Farhud

Farhud

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'''Farhud''' ({{lang-ar|الفرهود}}) refers to the [[pogrom]] or "violent dispossession" carried out against the [[Jewish]] population of [[Baghdad]], [[Kingdom of Iraq|Iraq]], on June 1-2, 1941 during the Jewish holiday of [[Shavuot]]. The riots occurred in a [[power vacuum]] following the collapse of the pro-Nazi government of [[Rashid Ali al-Kaylani|Rashid Ali]] while the city was in a state of instability. Before British and [[Transjordan]]ian forces arrived, around 175 Jews had been killed and 1,000 injured. Looting of Jewish property took place and 900 Jewish homes were destroyed. By 1951, 110,000 Jews - 80% of Iraqi Jewry - had emigrated from the country, most to [[Israel]]. The Farhud has been called the "forgotten pogrom of the [[Holocaust]]" and "the beginning of the end of the Jewish community of Iraq", a community that had existed for 2,600 years. ==Background== {{main|History of the Jews in Iraq|Baghdadi Jews}} The Jews lived in the land of [[Babylon]] for more than 2,500 years following the [[Babylonian captivity]]. There had been at least two earlier comparable pogroms in the modern history of Iraqi Jews, in [[Basra]] in 1776 and in Baghdad in 1828. There were many instances of violence against Jews during [[History of the Jews in Iraq|their long history in Iraq]], as well as numerous enacted decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues in Iraq, and some forced conversion to Islam. After the [[Ottoman Empire]] was defeated in the [[World War I|First World War]], the [[League of Nations]] granted the [[British mandate of Iraq|mandate of Iraq]] to [[United Kingdom|Britain]]. After King [[Ghazi of Iraq|Ghazi]] who inherited the throne of [[Faisal I of Iraq|Faisal I]], died in a 1939 car accident, Britain installed [['Abd al-Ilah]] as Iraq’s governing regent. By 1941, the approximately 150,000 Iraqi Jews played active roles in many aspects of Iraqi life, including farming, banking, commerce and the government bureaucracy. ===Propaganda=== Between 1932 and 1941, the German embassy in Iraq, headed by Dr. [[Fritz Grobba]], significantly supported antisemitic and fascist movements. Intellectuals and army officers were invited to Germany as guests of the Nazi party, and antisemitic material was published in the newspapers. The German embassy purchased the newspaper ''Al-alam Al-arabi'' ("The Arab world") which published, in addition to antisemitic propaganda, a translation of ''[[Mein Kampf]]'' in Arabic. The German embassy also supported the establishment of Al-Fatwa, a youth organization based upon the model of the [[Hitler Youth]]. ===The Golden Square coup=== {{main|Iraq coup (1941)|Anglo-Iraqi War}} Michael Eppel, in his book ''"The Palestinian Conflict in Modern Iraq"'' blames the Farhud on the influence of German ideology on the Iraqi people, as well as extreme nationalism, both of which were heightened by the Golden Square coup: In 1941, a group of pro-[[Nazism|Nazi]] Iraqi officers, known as the "Golden Square" and led by [[General]] [[Rashid Ali al-Gaylani|Rashid Ali]], overthrew [[Regent]] [['Abd al-Ilah|Abdul Ilah]] on April 1 after staging a successful coup. Iraq's new government then was quickly involved in confrontation with the British over the terms of the military treaty forced on Iraq at independence. The treaty gave the British unlimited rights to base troops in Iraq and transit troops through Iraq. The British arranged to land large numbers of soldiers from India in Iraq to force the country to show its intentions. Iraq refused to let them land and confrontations afterward occurred both near Basra in the south and to the west of Baghdad near the British base complex and airfield. The Germans dispatched a [[Fliegerführer Irak|group of 26 heavy fighters]] to aid in a futile air attack on the British airbase at Habbaniya which accomplished nothing. [[Winston Churchill]] sent a telegram to President [[Franklin D. Roosevelt]], warning him that if the Middle East fell to Germany, victory against the Nazis would be a "hard, long and bleak proposition" given that Hitler would have access to the [[oil reserves]] there. The telegram dealt with the larger issues of war in the middle east rather than Iraq exclusively. On May 25, Hitler issued his ''Order 30'', stepping up German offensive operations: ''"The Arab Freedom Movement in the Middle East is our natural ally against England. In this connection special importance is attached to the liberation of Iraq... I have therefore decided to move forward in the Middle East by supporting Iraq."'' On May 30, the British-organized force called ''[[Kingcol]]'' led by [[Brigadier]] [[James Joseph Kingstone|J.J. Kingstone]] reached [[Baghdad]], causing the "Golden Square" and their supporters to escape via [[Iran]] to [[Germany]]. ''Kingcol'' included some elements of the [[Arab Legion]] led by [[Major]] [[John Bagot Glubb]] known as [[Glubb Pasha]]. On May 31, Regent Illah prepared to fly back into Baghdad to reclaim his leadership. To avoid the reality of a British-organized countercoup, the regent entered Baghdad without a British escort. ===Antisemitic actions preceding the Farhud=== [[Sami Michael]], a witness to the Farhud, testified: "Antisemite propaganda was broadcast routinely by the local radio and Radio Berlin in Arabic. Various anti-Jewish slogans were written on walls on the way to school, such as "Hitler was killing the Jewish germs". Shops owned by Muslims had 'Muslim' written on them, so they would not be damaged in the case of anti-Jewish riots." Shalom Darwish, the secretary of the Jewish community in Baghdad, testified that several days before the Farhud, the homes of Jews were marked with a red palm print ("Hamsa"), by [[Futuwa|al-Futuwa]] youth. Two days before the Farhud, [[Al-Muthanna Club#Yunis al-Sabawi|Yunis al-Sabawi]], a government minister that proclaimed himself the governor of Baghdad, summoned Rabbi Sasson Khaduri, the community leader, and recommended to him that Jews stay in their homes for the next three days as a protective measure. An investigative committee later found that [[Al-Muthanna Club#Yunis al-Sabawi|Yunis]] had the intent of killing the Jews, although his rule of Baghdad lasted only a few hours, to be seized by a public security committee. During the fall of the [[Rashid Ali]] government, false rumors were circulated that Jews used mirrors to signal the [[British Air Force]]. == Farhud (June 1-2, 1941) == According to the Iraqi government and British sources, violence started when a delegation of Iraqi Jews, sent to meet the Regent Abdullah arrived at the palace of flowers (Qasr al Zuhur) and was attacked by the mob as they crossed Al Khurr Bridge. Violence in Al Rusafa and Abu Sifyan districts followed, and got worse the next day, when Iraqi policemen joined in on the attacks on the Jewish community. Shops belonging to Jews were burned, and a synagogue was destroyed. However, Prof. Zvi Yehuda alleges that the event leading to the riots was anti-Jewish incitement in the Jami-Al-Gaylani mosque, and that violence was premediated. Prof Yehuda points to eyewitness testimonials and analyzes the different methods of operation to support his claim. Only at the afternoon of June 2, two days into the riots, [[United Kingdom|British]] forces quelled the violence by imposing a [[curfew]] and shooting violators on sight. An investigation conducted by the journalist Tony Rocca of the London Sunday Times attributes the delay to a personal decision by the British ambassador of the time ([[Kinahan Cornwallis]]), who did not execute orders received from London and refused pleas by his officers to act against the riots. Other testimonies suggest that the British delayed their entry into Baghdad for 48 hours because they wanted passions in the city to boil over and had an interest in a clash between Jews and Muslims. The precise number of victims is unclear: Some sources say that about 180 Jews were killed and about 240 were wounded, 586 Jewish-owned businesses were looted and 99 Jewish houses were destroyed. Other accounts state that nearly 200 Jews were killed and over 2,000 injured, while 900 Jewish homes and hundreds of Jewish-owned shops destroyed and looted. [[Bernard Lewis]] writes that according to the "official" statistics 600 Jews were killed and 240 injured, but the unofficial estimates were much higher. The Israeli-based Babylonian Heritage Museum maintains that in addition to 180 identified victims, about 600 unidentified victims were buried in a mass grave.An estimate published in [[Haaretz]] newspaper cites 180 killed and 700 wounded. == Aftermath == Eight assailants, including army officers and police, were condemned to death after the violence by the new pro-British Iraqi government. === Long term impact === {{seealso|Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries}} In some accounts the ''Farhud'' marked the turning point for Iraq’s Jews who, following this event, were targeted for violence, persecution, boycotts, confiscations, and near complete expulsion in 1951. It is estimated that in 2003, the Iraqi Jewish population numbered less than 100. In 2008 the Iraqi Jewish population dwindled to an estimated 7 people. == See also == * [[List of massacres in Iraq]] * [[Islam and antisemitism]] * [[Antisemitism in the Arab world]] * [[1945 Tripoli pogrom]] * [[Shafiq Ades]] ==Further reading== *Cohen, Hayyim (1966). ''The Anti Jewish Farhud in Baghdad 1941''. (Middle Eastern Studies, 3, 2–17) *Levin, Itamar (2001). ''Locked Doors: The Seizure of Jewish Property in Arab Countries''. (Praeger/Greenwood) ISBN 0-275-97134-1 *Shamash,Violette (2008,2010) "Memories of Eden: A Journey Through Jewish Baghdad."(Forum Books, London; Northwestern University Press, Evaston, IL, USA) ISBN 978-0-9557095-0-0 *Shenhav, Yehouda (2002). ''Ethnicity and National Memory: The World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC) in the Context of the Palestinian National Struggle''. (British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. 29 (1), 27–56) *Kedouri Elie (1974) ''The Sack of Basra and the Farhud in Baghdad, (Arabic Political Memoirs. London), pp. 283–314. *Meir-Glitzenstein Esther (2004). ''Zionism in an Arab Country: Jews in Iraq in the 1940s''. (London and New York: Routledge) *Zvi Yehuda and Shmuel Moreh (Ed.): ''Al-Farhud: the 1941 Pogrom in Iraq''. (Magnes Press and The [[Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism]]), 1992 Hebrew, 2010 English: plus the Babylonian Jewish Heritage Center as editor: ISBN 978-965-493-490-9, e-book: ISBN 978-965-493-491-6 ==External links== * [http://www.farhud.org/farhud.html The Farhud: Sephardic Holocaust Project] * [http://www.midrash.org/articles/farhud/ The Farhud of 1941 in Iraq.] * [http://www.mideastweb.org/Iraqaxiscoup.htm The Iraq Coup Attempt of 1941, the Mufti, and the Farhud] * [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/iraqijews.html The Jews of Iraq] * [http://www.bankingonbaghdad.com/archive/JewishTimes20041005/International%20News.htm Baghdad & Forgotten Pogrom] by Edwin Black (The Jewish Times) October 5, 2004 * [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/1427687/The-terror-behind-Iraqs-Jewish-exodus.html The terror behind Iraq's Jewish exodus], ''The Telegraph'', 16 Apr 2003. * [http://www.jimena.org JIMENA] * [http://www.babylonjewry.org.il/ Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center] * [http://www.iraqijews.org/ The Iraqi Jews] * [http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10007277 The Farhud] ([[United States Holocaust Memorial Museum]]) Lecture given by Dr. Zvi Yehuda on June 4, 2006 at the Babylonian Heritage Center in Or-Yehuda during the Memorial Evening of the 129 Jewish Victims of the Farhud (International Sephardic Leadership Council) * [http://www.flix.co.il/tapuz/showVideo.asp?m=1940442 Hebrew documentary video about the Farhud] * [http://www.memoriesofeden.com/1941-farhud/] the chapter on the farhud of "memories of eden", a book on Iraqi Jew history. * [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/966686.html] review of "memories of eden", Haaretz. *[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-13610702] {{coord missing|Iraq}}