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Teachers Who Rescued Jews During the Holocaust”Their Fate Will Be My Fate Too..”

Nuro Hoxha

Albania

Sazan Hoxha with a photograph of his father, Nuro Hoxha

Nuro Hoxha was a well-respected teacher in the village of Tërbaç, near Vlorë in Albania. In September 1943, when the Germans occupied Albania, Hoxha went to warn his long-time friend Ilia Solomoni of the danger to the Jews. Solomoni had nowhere to go and did not know what to do, so Hoxha offered to hide Solomoni and his family in his two-storey house in Tërbaç. 

Ilia Solomoni told Yad Vashem that the brave teacher welcomed them into his home with the words: “You have my Besa [Albanian code of honor].” 

The Solomoni family – Ilia, his wife Sarika, and their baby daughter Mirela  – moved to the storeroom in Hoxha’s cellar, underneath the staircase. Hoxha covered the opening with a rug. When the danger outside intensified, more family members joined them in the hiding place: Ilia’s sister, Fortunata, his brother-in-law, Eliezer Negrin and Sarika and Negrin’s mother, Aneta.

In the spring of 1944, the Nazis’ Albanian accomplices arrested Ilia and threatened to hand him over to the Germans. Braving the danger, Hoxha appealed to the collaborators and told them that the entire village would take revenge on their families if Ilia was not released. Two days later, Ilia was set free, and it was Hoxha who was waiting for him at the prison gate and accompanied him home. 

In September 1944, Ilia was arrested again, and was released once again thanks to Hoxha’s intervention. Throughout the period from September 1943 until November 1944, Hoxha and his family did everything they could to provide for the members of the Solomoni family, without receiving any remuneration.

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