Die Vertreibung der Juden aus dem Irak

„When the Farhud – which means, in Arabic, ‚violent dispossession‘ – erupted, there were around 90,000 Jews still living in the Iraqi capital, the main component of a vibrant community descended from the sages who, 27 centuries earlier, had made the land once known as Babylon the intellectual and spiritual center of Judaism. (…) By the time the violent mob stood down, at the end of the festival of Shavuot, nearly 200 Jews lay dead, with hundreds more wounded, raped, and beaten. Hundreds of homes and businesses were burned to the ground. As the smoke cleared over a scene more familiar in countries like Russia, Poland, and Germany, the Jewish community came to the realization that it had no future in Iraq. Within a decade, almost the entire community had been chased out, joining a total of 850,000 Jews from elsewhere in the Arab world summarily dispossessed from their homes and livelihoods. (…)

For several decades after the Second World War, the importance of the Farhud was subsumed by the widely held notion that the Holocaust was something that consumed only European Jews. The truth was that the Nazis had both a direct presence and significant influence across the Arab world. So when, in 1941, the British had suffered a series of blows in southern Europe and North Africa, the time was right for a coup against the pro-British government in Baghdad. (…) The Farhud itself should not be seen as a spontaneous outburst. For days before the violence, a steady stream of anti-Jewish propaganda was broadcast on the radio. Members of what [British historian of Middle Eastern Jewry] Lyn Julius describes as a ‚proto-Nazi youth movement,‘ the Futuwwa, began daubing Jewish homes and businesses with red paint in the shape of a palm, in order to make the passage of the rioters easier.“

(Ben Cohen: „The difficult and important task of commemorating Iraqi Jewry’s Farhud“)

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