Friday, June 4, 2021

New Film Documents How Circassians Saved Jews During World War II

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 2 – Nations which have been the victims of genocide often stress their uniqueness in that regard that they don’t reach out to others who have been victims of this same crime against humanity. Two events highlight that the Circassians haven’t followed that path and are interacting with Jews, the victims of another and better-known genocide.

            The first involves a documentary film, A Feat of Mercy, prepared by Askarbiya Nagaply, which tells the story of how Circassian communities in the North Caucasus worked to save Jews from falling victim of the Holocaust when the Germans invaded. It will be shown in Maykop on June 22 (

            And the second was a visit to Israel’s Knesset by deputies of the municipality of Kfar-Kama, a Circassian community in Israel. They met with leaders of Israel’s parliament and provided them with a briefing on the genocide of the Circassian people by the Russian authorities in the 19th and 20th centuries.

            Such efforts by members of a nation which has been the victim of genocide to reach out to those of another that has suffered in that way can only help the common cause of exposing and thus preventing any repetition of such crimes and only help groups that do reach out in this way to achieve their goals as well.

            Indeed, what the Circassians are doing in this case with the Jews should serve as a model for other nations which have been the victim of genocides. They too should reach out to others. In such communication and even cooperation, not only both of the groups involved will benefit but so too will the international community.

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