Thursday, June 03, 2021

As many as 1,000 Jews could have died in the Farhud

The 80th anniversary of the Farhud, the 1941 massacre of Jews in Iraq, has produced a plethora of articles. Carole Basri writes that the death toll could have been as many as 1,000 Jews murdered or disappeared, while lamenting the theft of Jewish history in Iraq. Edwin Black says that there is continuity between the Nazi-Arab alliance and the Jew-hatred still manifest today. Lyn Julius says that the ideology of Hamas is kindred to the Jew-hating ideology of the wartime Mufti, the driving force behind the Farhud.


First came the Farhud: The 2-stage ethnic cleansing of Iraqi Jewry by Carole Basri (Times of Israel)
The author's great grandfather, Hakham Ezra Reuben Dangoor (1848–1930), Chief Rabbi of Baghdad from 1923 to 1926, at the Shrine of Joshua, the High Priest in Baghdad 

 The official Iraqi government report, written soon after the Farhud took place, states that “110 Jews and Muslims” were killed.  Other reports state that “179 Jews of both sexes and all ages were killed.” 

However, a newly discovered document of the Religious Zionist Workers Archives, dated July 17, 1941, offers very different numbers along with a shocking new detail: “The height of the slaughter occurred at the local hospital where poison injections were administered, causing the deaths of 120 Jewish patients. …The hospital director in charge had his privileges to treat patients as a doctor taken away for five years.

 Based on estimates, the number of murdered and disappeared is over 1,000 people.” This startling number of more than 1,000 Jews murdered or disappeared makes sense when one looks at photos of the mass grave of the Jewish victims of the Farhud, where I was told by my family more than 800 Jews were buried together.

 Yet, the official estimate of 110 Jews and Muslims seemingly belies this fact. The official Iraqi government report includes “Jews and Muslims” and is supposedly based on Iraqi government sources.

 However, the newly discovered Intelligence Report 26 cited above was written based on eyewitness accounts and letters to relatives a mere month and a half after the Farhud to inform Jews in pre-state Israel of the dire plight of Iraqi Jews. 

 The Farhud victims were buried in a mass grave The stark discrepancy in casualty count is just one reason the perspective of the victims, those Jews in Iraq who witnessed the Farhud, is so essential to protect the accuracy of the historical narrative.


On Farhud Day, many ask: could it happen again? by Edwin Black (JNS News)

The mass expulsions of the 1950s were the fruit of an intense, fervent worldwide alliance of Arabs and Muslims with the Nazis during the Hitler regime, during the Holocaust and after World War II, with the embers of Jewish persecution still burning. 

 From 1933, Arabs immediately approved of what Hitler was doing, and many joined the Nazi movement led by the war criminal, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. German consulates from Tel Aviv to New Delhi were besieged with requests to join, emulate or recruit for the Nazi movement. 

 The Mufti met with Hitler in a highly-publicized newsreel-recorded event and agreed to join in exterminating the Jews in Palestine. Hitler agreed to recognize a Nazi-style Arab State. For his part, the Mufti recruited thousands of Arabs and Muslims to fight in three Waffen-SS divisions: the Handschar, the Skanderbeg and the Kama, fighting in Nazi battlefield trenches and operational garrisons from Paris to Poland and beyond. 

 These Islamic divisions were under the direct protection of Heinrich Himmler, architect of the Holocaust. The Mufti also worked closely with Holocaust engineer Adolf Eichmann and, in his post-war diary, called Eichmann a “rare diamond.”

 More than that, the Mufti visited Nazi concentration camps, and clearly understood the details of the “Final Solution.” He lobbied European governments and the Red Cross not to send more Jews, especially children, to Palestine—thus saving their lives—but instead to death camps in Poland.
Aribert Heim, 'Dr Death': converted to Islam 

 After Hitler’s Reich fell in May 1945, some 2,000 leading death-machine Nazis escaped Nuremberg justice and fled to Arab countries via various “rat lines” operated by the Catholic church and other post-war clandestine operations. Once in the main Arab “confrontation” countries neighboring Israel, the Nazis adopted Muslim identities and took up senior security and military positions to create the post-war Middle East our world knows today. 

 Dr. Aribert Heim was notoriously known as “Dr. Death” for his grotesque pseudo-medical experiments on Jewish prisoners in the concentration camps. He was fond of decapitating Jews with healthy teeth so he could cook the skulls clean to make desk decorations. Heim converted to Islam and became “Uncle Tarek” Hussein Farid in Cairo, where he lived a happy life as a medical doctor for the Egyptian police.

 Two of Goebbels’s best propagandists, Alfred Zingler and Dr. Johann von Leers, became Mahmoud Saleh and Omar Amin, respectively, working in the Egyptian Information Department. Erich Altern, a Gestapo agent and Himmler’s coordinator in Poland, became Ali Bella, working as a military instructor in training camps for Palestinian terrorists. 

 Franz Bartel, an assistant Gestapo chief in Katowice, Poland, became El Hussein and a member of Egypt’s Ministry of Information. Hans Becher, a Gestapo agent in Vienna, became a police instructor in Cairo. Wilhelm Boerner, a brutal Mauthausen guard, became Ali Ben Keshir, working in the Egyptian Interior Ministry and as an instructor for a Palestinian terrorist group. Space makes it impossible to list hundreds more. 

 But we know that after the Third Reich fell, the most popular name for a newborn, after “Mohammad,” was “Hitler.” Many will recall the highly visible Egyptian supreme military lead Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. His brother was a high official named “Hitler Tantawi.” Thus, the hate lines and battle lines of the modern post-war Middle East were constructed by, sharpened, politicized and made more lethal by actual senior Nazis carrying out Hitler’s final legacy. 

These well-placed Nazis also ensured that Iraq and other Arab nations applied the Eichmann method—identification, confiscation and deportation—to almost a million Jews who had long been citizens of those nations.

 Eventually, several of the Nazi transplants worked with the KGB to create the PLO and even helped train the Mufti’s nephew, Yasser Arafat. Israel is fighting the same Hitler principles today as civilization was in the 1940s. 

 The Arab-Nazi continuum was forgotten, obscured and reduced to a platen of smoldering dots until I connected them in my 2010 book, The Farhud: Roots of The Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust. The book coalesced a movement of Sephardic Jews who demanded that their persecution and expulsion be recognized. 



The inspiration behind the coup, and the Farhud itself, came from the Palestinian Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. He arrived in Iraq in 1939 with 400 Palestinian émigrés. Using Nazi propaganda, they whipped up local anti-Jewish incitement. 

 The Farhud marked an irrevocable break between Jews and Arabs in Iraq and paved the way for the dissolution of the 2,600-year-old Jewish community barely 10 years later, after Israel achieved statehood in 1948. 

Ninety percent of the community fled to Israel for fear of a second Farhud. Other “Farhuds” followed in other Arab countries, resulting in the flight of their Jewish communities, stigmatised as the “Jewish minority of Palestine”. 

 Today, only 4,000 Jews out of a million in the late 1940s remain in the Arab world. Most of the displaced Jews now live in Israel, where they and their descendants comprise roughly half the Jewish population.
The Mufti meeting Adolph Hitler in November 1941

The Mufti’s postwar legacy of Islamised anti-Semitism endures in the kindred ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood – as seen in the latest conflagration between the Brotherhood’s Gaza branch, Hamas, and Israel.

 Political Islam is a product of the Nazi era. It seeks to complete the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Middle East. That’s why it is shocking to see the West treat with moral equivalence Israel, a free democracy struggling to survive, and Hamas, a terrorist organisation that supports judeophobia, misogyny, homophobia, and ethnic cleansing. The cry heard at pro-Palestinian demonstrations across the West: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is nothing less than a chilling call for genocide: “Palestine will be free… of Jews.” 

 Meanwhile anti-Semitic incidents in Britain have reached record levels. Those who know about the Farhud are experiencing a weary sense of déjà vu when Jews in the UK, the US, Canada, Germany and elsewhere are subject to verbal and physical attacks and intimidation. 

Mob violence, a time-honoured instrument of political coercion in the Muslim world, has migrated to the West. The lesson of the Farhud is that Jews, whatever their opinions, remain fair game for collective punishment.




Iraqi Jews remember persecution (Holly Johnston - Rudaw)

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