Tehran Children is the true story of Polish Jewish child refugees who escaped the Nazis and found refuge in Iran. Over one million Polish Jews fled to the Soviet Union, endured extreme suffering in Soviet forced labor camps, and eventually found refuge in Muslim lands. Those who survived made up two thirds of Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors. Fleeing the Soviet camps, tens of thousands of Jewish refugees died en route to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. One thousand Jewish refugee children were later evacuated to Iran, where they were embraced by the Persian-Jewish community. Eventually, these children embarked yet again on a daring journey to Palestine, the endpoint of their 13,000 mile journey. The story of these refugee children includes hospitality, and of cruelty, the best and the worst of humanity.
Mikhal Dekel is a Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center.
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