jewsingreen.com, 05-08-2007. Posted by Sgt Brian Kresge (opgeslagen 14-05-2014) uitleg of detail .2010

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Passover with the Jewish Remnant in Baghdad


Tim Judah’s family left Baghdad in the late nineteenth century. When Saddam Hussein’s regime fell he was the first member of his family back in Baghdad for over a century. He decided to find what is left of the Iraqi Jewish community: ‘According to those that remain, their numbers add up to the grand total of thirty-four people.’

Baghdad was not the most obvious place to celebrate Passover. Sadda had fallen barely a week before it began, looters were rampagin through the city, dozens of buildings were on fire and Islamic hardliners were arming militias What’s more, in a city of almost five million people there were only a handful of Jews left

Until the Second World War roughly a quarter of Baghdad’s population was Jewish. In June 1941, following a Nazi-inspired coup, 179 Jews died and almost a thousand were wounded in a pogrom while the police and army stood by. Until 1948 there were still 150,000 Jews in Iraq but by 1951, after the Israeli government had organized airlifts, the vast majority of them had left. The government placed severe restrictions on those who stayed. Even so, a community of some six thousand lingered on. But now, according to those that remain, their numbers add up to the grand total of thirty-four people.

It’s not really about troops in Baghdad, per se, but in a perfect world, the toppling of the Ba’ath regime in Baghdad could open some doors for Jewish history or ancestry buffs.



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