The Balkans and the Caucasus regions  include those states on the Balkan peninsula, those on the Anatolian Peninsula, and those in the area around the Caucasus Mountains. These states are grouped together because of the intense ethnic struggles within and between many of them. These modern states were all part of the Ottoman Empire and 20th-century political realignments created national polities that included sizable ethnic minorities. Although most of these states had some level of historical engagement with the Holocaust, many of them view World War II almost strictly in terms of their own national histories. The Holocaust, therefore, is generally not a substantial topic of interest unless it fits into a larger national narrative.

ALBANIAN historical memory of the Holocaust also centers on the Albanian refusal to deport Jews to the Nazi killing centers, even after German occupation. There are, in fact, accounts of Albanian Muslims who hid Jews from Nazi persecution; though there is also irrefutable evidence from German documents that Albanian collaborators assisted the Germans in deporting a few hundred Kosovar Jews from detention centers in Albanian-annexed Kosovo to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and assisted German military units in rounding up and deporting Albanian Jews and Communists from south central Albania during the German occupation.

When Albania recognized the International Day of Holocaust Remembrance in 2004, it became the first predominantly Muslim state to do so. While high school students learn about the Holocaust within the larger context of World War II, their teachers are not provided sufficient training.


GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON HOLOCAUST EDUCATION: Trends, Patterns, and Practices,  a publication of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and  the Salzburg Global Seminar, 2013
Download PDF

UNESCO:  Why Teach About the Holocaust?, 2013