Since the Covid-19 Pandemic has become such an important part of our lives, there is an important piece of history to be told and retold, as well. I always feel very proud reading this story. Some of you may have heard of it before, but it’s important enough to be repeated.
“He who saves a life, saves the world.” A Jewish Proverb
“Over 80 years ago in Greece, 60,000 Jews lived peaceful lives in Thessaloniki. It was a vibrant peaceful community. Most of these Jews worked in the port. Everyone rubbed shoulders and appreciated each other. On April 6, 1941, Nazi terror struck the village. Hitler invaded Greece in order to secure its southern front before launching the famous operation Barbarossa and its great offensive
against Russia. Of the 60,000 Jews in Thessaloniki, around 50,000 were exterminated at Birkenau Concentration camp in record time. The massacre of the Jews in Greece was brief, but intense. Very fewmade it out alive. Among the survivors, there was a family known as Broula.
After the war, in 1961, a son was born into that family and his parents named him Israel Abraham. He grew up to study veterinary medicine in Greece. He was a brilliant student and got his doctorate in reproductive biotechnologies
at the Veterinary School of Aristotle University in Salonica. At the age of 34, he decided to move to the United States and changed his first name from Abraham to Albert. He moved up the ladder in the medical industry and eventually got his appointment as the CEO of this company in 2019. About 2 years ago, he decided to direct all the energy of the company to try to find a vaccine for the new virus – Covid, which had struck the whole world.
He expended great financial and technological efforts to achieve this goal. A year later, the World Health Organization validated his company to produce the long-awaited vaccine. His vaccine would be distributed in several countries, including Germany. Ironically, this vaccine which will save the lives of millions of people around the world, including many Germans, was led by and pushed by a little Jew from Thessaloniki, son of Holocaust survivors from whom most of his people were exterminated by Nazi Germany. And this is why Israel became the first country to receive the vaccine in memory of his grandparents and his parents who gave birth to Israel Abraham Broula, known today as Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer. “ (David Thrasher, MD)