Dr. Mohamed Helmy was born in 1901 to Egyptian parents. He went to Germany in 1922 to study medicine, and he eventually settled in Berlin. He began working at the Robert Koch Hospital and would eventually become the head of the Urology department.
In 1933, Dr. Helmy began noticing that many staff members were being dismissed. It didn’t take him long to find the commonality between the dismissed staff: They were all Jews. It would later be learned that the hospital was heavily involved in Nazi medical policy, and being a man of dark skin, Dr. Helmy’s own career quickly became at stake. The Nazi’s quickly defined him as a “Hamitic” — a descendant of Ham, a term adopted from the 19th century racial science that defined the natives of much of Africa. He underwent discrimination and eventually, in 1938, he was fired from the hospital and prohibited from marrying his German fiancee, Annie Ernst.
Dr. Helmy would then be arrested, along with other Egyptian nationals, on two different occasions — In 1939 and 1940. He was later released both times because of health problems, but remained under the strict eye of the Germans.
Despite his own battle with discrimination, Dr. Helmy spoke out again Nazi policies; and being a true believer that we must practice what we believe, and he soon began risking his own life by helping his Jewish friends. Unlike many other doctors, Dr. Hemly welcomed Jewish patients, and somehow he was able to evade Gestapo interrogation.
When the Jewish deportations from Berlin began, a patient and family friend named Anna Boros needed a hiding place. Dr. Helmy brought her to a cabin he owned in another part of the city. However, when the “hero” became the “hunted” and Dr. Helmy found himself under police investigation, he would temporarily move her. Before the war was over, he had successfully hidden away several members of her family as well. As a result of Dr. Helmy’s love and dedication to these Jewish people, they all remained in safety until the end of the war.
What would prompt an Egyptian, a Muslim by birth, to put his own life on the line for the lives of not just one Jew, but many?
One could guess, but we aren’t told what his exact motivation was. Nonetheless, his story is not just another “someone helped Jews during the Holocaust” story. Rather, it is a modern-day “Good Samaritan” story.
In Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan, we see that the plight of the injured man was largely ignored by the leading rulers of the day: ““A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.” (Luke 10:30-32 NIV). The only one who seemed to care about the injured man was a Samaritan — A man who was persecuted and looked down on by the Jewish people: “But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.” (Luke 10:33-35 NIV). And in so doing, the Samaritan became known as the prime example of a “good neighbour” (See Luke 10:36-37)
God calls for us to reach out and help those in need. He doesn’t limit us to those whose skin is the same colour or whose ethnicity is the same. God doesn’t even limit us to those who are our “friends”. Rather, He calls us to help — especially — our enemies! This is the love that motivated the Samaritan in Jesus’ story, and it is the same love that motivated Dr. Mohammad Helmy.
Is it the love that motivates you as well?
Think about it!
In His love,
Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries