Prime Minister Edi Rama receives award at the White House during his visit to the US .
(photo credit: ALBANIAN PMO)
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama received an award for his dedication to Holocaust remembrance, which was presented to him by a US government agency at a ceremony in the White House on Monday.
The US Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad bestowed its Cultural Pluralism Award on Rama, recognizing him for “the extraordinary contributions in advancing the cause of Holocaust remembrance, ensuring historical truth and promoting cultural preservation of the sites related to the heritage of American citizens.”
Albania’s efforts surrounding commemoration and education about the Holocaust include its annual observation of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.
Each year, the Albanian Foreign Affairs Ministry sponsors events to commemorate the Holocaust. This year, on that day, the ministry held an exhibition titled “Noblemen Among Nations,” showcasing the efforts of those who rescued Jews from persecution and annihilation. Junior high and high school students attended the exhibition.
Since 2014, Albania has been an observer country to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
Albania protected some 2,000 Jews during the Holocaust, refusing to hand over both its citizens and Jewish refugees, who fled from other European countries, to the Nazis and Fascist Italian authorities.
Albania was the only country in Europe whose post-war Jewish population was far larger than it had been before the war.
In the last 25 years, Yad Vashem has bestowed the title of Righteous Among the Nations on 75 Albanians.
Paul Packer, the chairman of the United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, said: “We are delighted to award the Cultural Pluralism Award to Prime Minister Edi Rama for Albania’s outstanding contribution in the areas of Holocaust remembrance, ensuring historical truth and preserving sites relating to the heritage of American citizens. Prime Minister Rama, alongside his government, has built on Albania’s legacy during the Holocaust of safeguarding its citizens, and has worked ceaselessly to preserve the memory of the Holocaust.”