Honorary Award to Ambassador Behiç Erkin, Who Kidnapped Jews from Nazi Persecution

Behic Erkin
Behic Erkin

Prof. TORONTO - Genocide Education Week events, held on Sunday, November 7. The presentation of Arnold Reisman's book titled "Both Diplomat and Man" was striking. The book tells about Ambassador Behiç Erkin, who was known for his abduction of thousands of Jews from the Nazi persecution by giving Turkish passports while he was in Vichy, the capital of France, which was under German occupation.

In 2004, he said that he wondered about this issue and started to research it. Reisman argues that, starting with the presentation of his book, the abduction of Jews from Nazi persecution was in the personal effort of diplomat Behiç Erkin and that the Turkish government did not have such an official policy. He even argues that the Turkish diplomat did this against the government's order. Presentation, so that humanity them so full of courage, an unusual event even shows Turkey reveals almost blameworthy way. Professor The weakest point in Reisman's presentation was that he tried to support his thesis with statistics and probability calculations; On the other hand, at the end of his speech, he did not forget to say, "If I gave the impression that the Turkish government had no sympathy for the Jews, this is my fault, I'm sorry."

Turkey Levent Bilgen Consul General in Toronto in the hall before and after the presentation of his speech, Prof. He pointed out the mistakes and deficiencies in Reisman's researches. Levent Bilgen emphasized that all these efforts to save the Jews are a planned work of the Turkish government not only in France but also in other countries under the Nazi occupation.

Professor Reisman added that Ambassador Behiç Erkin was working to be deemed worthy of the 'honest people of the nations of the world' given by the Jewish organization Yad Vaşem. This engagement is an honorary adjective by the State of Israel to non-Jewish people who risk their lives to save Jews who have been subjected to genocide by the Nazis.

Sadly, this presentation was a missed opportunity for the Turkish community living in Toronto. There were very few Turkish listeners in the hall. Obviously, thousands of Jews were saved by the Turks from being sent to the gas chambers, nobody cares about Turkish society early one Sunday morning.


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