Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Farhud" pogrom against Iraqi Jews 70 years ago

This article describes what happened to the 2,400 year old Iraqi Jewish community in 1941.

I'm familiar with the story from my husband's family, since they are Iraqi Jews. Outside of that community, though, it is amazing how many people think that the Holocaust and Nazism didn't affect non-Ashkenazi Jews, or fail to recognize the experience of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands after the 1948 War of Independence between Israel and Eygypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.

The article's description of the Iraqi Jewish community fits with what I've seen. It was a tremendously accomplished community, deeply involved in commerce, government and the professions. We heard the stories from my husband's grandmother about the grand family residence they used to have, and how everything had to be left behind and was lost when they fled to Israel, and found themselves living in vast and chaotic muddy transit camps set up by the new state for the refugees.

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