Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wartime Iranian diplomat saved 2,000 Jews

Abdol-Hossein Sardari, a junior diplomat in Paris in 1940

The story of an Iranian diplomat who saved 2,000 Iranian Jews in Europe from the Nazis by pretending they belonged to an 'Aryan' sect is an inspiring antidote to the poisonous Holocaust denial of the current regime. Michael Rubin on the Commentary blog has the story:

The BBC has a fascinating report based on The Lion’s Shadow, a new book by Fariborz Mokhtari, which tells the story of Abdol-Hossein Sardari, a young Iranian diplomat in Paris, who helped save 2,000 Iranian Jews in Europe. While Iran was officially neutral during World War II, Reza Shah—the father of the Shah overthrown in 1979—sympathized with the Nazis. In 1941, Iranian authorities ordered Sardari home, but he continued to help Iranian Jews in Europe even after the loss of his diplomatic immunity.

The BBC continues:

The story he spinned to the Nazis, in a series of letters and reports, was that the Persian Emperor Cyrus had freed Jewish exiles in Babylon in 538 BC and they had returned to their homes. However, he told the Nazis, at some later point a small number of Iranians began to find the teachings of the Prophet Moses attractive – and these Mousaique, or Iranian Followers of Moses, which he dubbed “Djuguten,” were not part of the Jewish race. Using all of his lawyer’s skill, he exploited the internal contradictions and idiocies of the Nazis’ ideology to gain special treatment for the “Djuguten,” as the archive material published in Mr. Mokhtari’s new book shows. High-level investigations were launched in Berlin, with “experts” on racial purity drafted in to give an opinion on whether this Iranian sect – which the book suggests may well have been Sardari’s own invention – were Jewish or not. The experts were non-committal and suggested that more funding was needed for research.

Adolf Eichmann dismissed Sardari’s claims as “the usual Jewish tricks and attempts at camouflage” but by then, Sardari had already saved 2,000 Jews.

Read article in full

Article in the Daily Telegraph

Article in the Daily Mail

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

He will be blessed!!!It takes a huge amount of courage to do what he did!
suzy vidal

Anonymous said...

Isnt it true that the regime in Iran used this for an antisemitic propaganda TV-series?

Anonymous said...

They are bound to turn shis into anti-Jewish propaganda!!!
Today I saw Ahbmadietc etc on TV he spoiled my afternoon!
WE SHALL OVERCOME.....
sultana latifa

Anonymous said...

Sardari should be honored for his saving thousands of Jews from the Holocaust. We shouldn't be blinded by modern day politics concerning this case.

Despite the pronouncements from the current Iranian President, I know from personal experience that the vast majority of Iranians are not anti-Semitic; rather, they oppose what they see as unjust occupation of Palestinian land by Israel. Whatever your political leanings, we should honor the Iranian diplomat Sardari as much as the other "righteous" Gentiles at Yad Vashem.

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

Anon [not Suzy],
I don't know of any "unjust occupation of palestine." You think it's unjust if Jews reclaim their ancient homeland. I don't. As for the name "palestine," the Muslim-Arabs did not use this name for the country 100 years ago, nor did they even see the Land of Israel as a separate country. For the Arabs, it was simply part of bilad ash-Sham.

Anonymous said...

I pray that we shall never see the end of Israel!!!look at everything they built and also transforming the desert into a garden.
When I visited Israel in 1957 straight after leaving Egypt, I was already dazzled by that tiny country. Year after year, i saw the extraordinary improvements.On the last trip with the World Congress of Jews from Egypt it was even more extraordinary!

so maybe there is a bit of jealousy from Arab countries who would like to have the limelight. In this year's Nobel an Israeli was named. And where are the Arabs?

suzy vidal