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Tunisia Holocaust Conference Honors 5,000 Forced Into Labor Camps, Deportees

A conference commemorating the effects of the Holocaust on Tunisian Jews is being held in Tunis.

Historians, scholars and authors are scheduled speak at the two-day conference, which ends on Sunday. The conference aims to remember the 5,000 Jews subjected to forced labor in Tunisia during a six-month Nazi occupation of the country. Some were deported to Nazi death camps on the European mainland.

The conference also is set to memorialize Muslims who saved Jews during the period, including Khaled Abdelwahhab, a Tunisian Muslim who successfully hid more than 20 Jews from the Nazis in a factory on his property.

The conference is sponsored by the Tunisian Association Supporting Minorities, a Tunis-based NGO which works to defend minority rights in the country, and by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, a New York-based nonprofit that focuses on Muslim-Jewish relations.

Yasmina Thabet, head of the Tunisian Association Supporting Minorities, told reporters that by holding the conference “we are showing that we will not be deterred by threats and violence from helping Tunisians recover the memory of a searing event in our history.”

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