LONDON: An Egyptian doctor who saved a Jewish family in Germany during the Second Word War is being celebrated with a Google Doodle, the BBC reported.
Mohamed Helmy was born in Sudan in 1901 to an Egyptian father and German mother. In 1922, he traveled to Germany to take up medicine, and later became the head of a urology department at a Berlin hospital.
Amid the growing persecution of non-Germans in the country, Helmy was arrested twice and prevented from marrying his German fiancee. He also lost his hospital position.
The Egyptian physician aided the family of one of his Jewish patients following the introduction of racial laws, at one point disguising a teenage girl, Anna Boros, in a headscarf, and calling her his niece.
Helmy’s courage was honored in the Google Doodle, which was launched by Berlin-based artist Noa Snir on what would have been the Egyptian’s 122nd birthday. It depicts Helmy, in his doctor’s clothing, sheltering a family with outstretched arms.
Snir said: “I think Helmy’s case is an especially interesting one as he himself suffered persecution due to his background and ethnicity, and that still didn’t stop him from helping as many people as he could. It’s unfathomable to me, this type of courage and integrity.”
Helmy and the Jewish girl he saved stayed in contact long after the war until his death in 1982.
He was posthumously given the Righteous Among the Nations award by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial site, in 2013.