Calmeyer Lawyer 1s

Calmeyer’s Legacy

Hans Calmeyer Righteous Gentile 1903-1972

“The Dutch Schindler”

 Lawyer for Life



Mordecai Paldiel

Dr.  Mordecai Paldiel, the former Director of the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust authority, is a lecturer at Yeshiva  College (at Yeshiva University) and Queens College (CUNY in New York.   Born in Belgium, Dr. Paldiel and his family of six fled to France where  they were rescued by a Catholic Priest who was able to smuggle the  entire family into Switzerland.

Dr.  Paldiel, a leading authority on rescue during the Holocaust, has written several books including The Path of the Righteous: Gentile Rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust, Whosoever Saves One Life: The Uniqueness  of the Righteous Among the Nations, Sheltering the Jews: Stories of  Holocaust Rescuers and German Rescuers of Jews: Individuals  versus the System. In 1991, Dr. Paldiel was the Ida E. King  Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Holocaust Studies at the Richard  Stockton College of New Jersey.  He received a B.A. from Hebrew  University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Religion and Holocaust Studies from  Temple University.

Dr.  Paldiel speaks about the Righteous Among the Nations and the  significance of documenting the rescue of Jews by non-Jews during the  Holocaust.  He also speaks on the importance of honoring these rescuers  as role models for outstanding human behavior.

Dr.  Paldiel has relocated to New York and is available to speak on rescue  and rescuers.

Muslim Rescuers also saved Jews:

Dr. Mordecai Paldiel

Among the overwhelming Christian-born European rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust, honored as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad  Vashem, there is a small but important contingent of Moslem rescuers  from mostly Albania, as well as Bosnia and other regions.

Of special significance are the so-far 63 Albanians awarded the  Righteous title, based on evidence by those they helped to survive  during the German occupation of Albania in 1943-1944. Their story  remained unknown for many years due to the decades-long rigid Communist  regime in that country, that forbade any contacts with outsiders. The  importance of their deeds, above and beyond the rescue itself, stems  from the Albanian adherence to a sacrosanct principle ” that of "Besa" ” one's word of honor. In Albania, when a person gives you his Besa to  act in a certain way, then he is committed to abide by it whatever the  circumstances. This was coupled With another inherently Albanian folk  principle ” of giving refuge to someone in need of help; during the  German rule of Albania, these were especially the Jews in that country.  As a result, with a few minor exceptions, all of the some 2,000 Jews in  Albania were spared the furnaces of Auschwitz; they were hidden and  sheltered by the broad masses of the mostly Moslem population: This is a type of Islam sorely in need today ” of compassion and mercy; of the  sanctity of life and viewing the other, the stranger, as of one's own  close family.

When Norman Gershman first stepped into my office, at Yad Vashem,  several years ago, and spoke to me of his wish to take professional  photos of the Righteous living in various European countries, I directed his attention to Albania and its rescuers. Since his first visit there, and his encounter with the goodly nature of these inhabitants; Norman  is a changed man, and his album is a testimony of the faith and  commitment by him to bring the message of these unknown rescuers, in  that still unknown country in Europe, to the attention of the public at  large. He has since enlarged his initial investigation of rescue deeds  in Albania, including nearby Kosovo. It is to be hoped that the example  of these simple people with a heart of gold will serve as role models  for the education of future generations, on the potential of goodness  inherent in all men.  Gershman's discovery of these knights of the  spirit is a story to be read by all persons who care about the future  course of humanity.

 Dr. Mordecai Paldiel
Director, Righteous Among the Nations Dept.
February 2007

Books by Mordecai Paldiel

Wonderful meeting of the Calmeyer Foundation Board with Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, author of 5 books, currently lecturer at Yeshiva and Queens College in NY after 24 years with Yad Vashem, where he was responsible for researching and proofing  Hans Calmeyer’s qualifications and ultimate designation as a Righteous Gentile, an interesting process and story in itself that was also applied to Schindler. Significantly, Dr. Paldiel has both the existing knowledge depth and history expertise and focus to be the ideal candidate for a new English-language biography of Hans Calmeyer. He has agreed to help in working on this book.

         Not only the depth of his knowledge for a book, but Dr. Paldiel’s perspective and moving stories constitute an extensive base of dramatic history-telling that will be ideal for dramatic presentation in a movie. We intend to approach 2 major American film-makers for their potential interest in the very near future. We may start making digital videos of these meetings, very important stories are being told.

         The Simon Wiesenthal Center is presently filming a major documentary in which Hans Calmeyer may be a 5-7 minute segment. Our contact with Katrin Osmaliowski there promises to generate some of the short-video content we would like to develop and feature on the upcoming American website.


Judeo-Christian Cross