ISSN 2330-717X

New Film Documents How Circassians Saved Jews During World War II – OpEd


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.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.