The Farhud against Iraqi Jews will be a new topic for emphasis at the Los Angeles Museum of the
Holocaust, operated by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, and the
California State University at
Chico-based California Center for Excellence of the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, Human Rights and Tolerance.
Shlomo Alfassa, executive director of the Oviedo,
Fla.-based International Society for Sephardic Progress, announced Friday (Jan. 21) that the two California organizations have endorsed a request that materials be developed to teach about the "Farhud"--an Arabic term he defines as meaning "violent dispossession."
Alfassa said a book by Edwin Black, Banking on
Baghdad, has helped spur the movement to focus the spotlight on the events of June 1-2, 1941, when "hundreds of
Iraqi Jews were killed, maimed and raped, as their homes and businesses were torched and looted during a 48-hour pogrom."
He said the Farhud was planned by the Mufti of Jerusalem while headquartered in Baghdad as part of an alliance between Arabs and German nazis. In return for the action against the Jews, Alfassa said, the nazis purchased oil to fuel their invasion of the Soviet Union.
“We are grateful to Edwin Black for telling the world what happened to this important Jewish community, and for documenting how Hitler’s Holocaust was not confined to Europe but was intended as a world war against the Jews,” stated Alfassa. “After nearly 65 years, this forgotten event of the Holocaust which enveloped the Jewish people, will now—finally—be recognized and studied.”