to the Editor
enclose an excerpt from the book entitled: From Babylon
to Jerusalem, Studies and Sources on Zionism and Aliya from
Iraq, by Zvi Yehuda (p.186-187). Translated from Hebrew
into English by me.
received from Baghdad on October 21, 1949
Yesterday there were more than twenty searches done, mainly
in the homes of instructors and commanders. According to
the latest news, three girls and one young man died of torture.
The police took the prisoners off in different clothing
in order to discover persons they knew from the Movement.
person in charge and the instructors of the Movement and
the Shura (the Hagana organisation in Iraq) cannot get out
of their hiding places. Yesterday and today they searched
also Jewish schools and they arrested teachers and pupils.
In our opinion, as things are going on, our main task will
be to bring the person in charge of the Movement and the
Shura to Israel and thus complete our tasks, if we survive.
Despite the tortures applied by the government, the prisoners
have disclosed no further names of the Movement members.
The police use three kinds of torture:
Tying elbows and wrists with iron chains, raising them
up and beating the whole body with a whip.
Placing the hands and feet in boiling water.
Inflicting burns on the entire body with a hot iron.
have entered a state of hysteria from these tortures; some
of them can hardly be recognised.
The entire Jewish population is shocked and wants a day
of prayer and atonement. The head of the Jewish community
together with a few other prominent members oppose this
for fear of antagonising the government, but they propose
to surrender the weapons and move out, which means the death
of all members of the Movement and the Shura. If there are
any talks by the head of the community with foreigners,
his answer cannot be relied upon.
The members of the Movement and the Shura are on the verge
of despair. They demand armed action against some members
of the government and the community.
We are not frightened by the situation, we have survived
and will survive, but guidance is needed. Answer quickly!
Our work compels us to be on the move all day long. We may
be caught at any moment. Are we to appear as locals or Israelis?
We cannot appear as locals because we have no proof that
we have not been absent for some time. Answer quickly!
Recently an article was published in Ma'ariv daily newspaper,
that prominent Iraqi Jews, residing in England had met with
the Iraqi "Ambassador" in London.
think it is a right approach. The Arabs, among themselves,
quarrel and fight each other, and then reconcile, on the
face of it, and fall on each other's neck, and then unite
against Israel. So in fact, Israel is the only catalyst
in the Arab world. If really the Iraqi leaders want to meet
the Iraqi Jews of outside Iraq - I think it is a good move,
may be to a way similar to the approach of Morocco 20 years
ago, that opened the way to direct talks between Israel
the Iraqi leaders meet the Iraqi Jews, openly, in Baghdad,
then this would neutralise some of the Iraqi open policy
against the Jews and then Israel.
fact, I suspect that this move from the Iraqi "Ambassador"
is recognising the great influence of the Iraqi Jews, and
to counter the Iraqi Opposition approach to the Iraqi Jews.
I think, the English Iraqi Jews should not agree to separate
the Israeli/Iraqi Jews from them. Also, I think, that at
least the first meetings should not be about property. When
I represented Naim Dangoor at the WOJAC Conference here
some years ago, I agreed that Israel must not represent
the non-Israeli Jews concerning their lost property.
I am ready to lend a hand in any endeavour to approach the
Iraqi authorities, provided it is not clandestine and in
the open, and am even ready to be included in any delegation
- as a proud Israeli.
you know, I am very good in the Arabic language and even
have a word processor in Arabic, so if I can co-operate
in any way (writing, translating, typing in Arabic) I am
received your journal from my cousin Ketty Levy Ozair in which
I sadly saw the article about my late aunt and uncle, Semha
and Philip Levy with their photograph.
was pleasantly surprised to see so many letters from people
that I knew. I read the different articles which drew me back
in time and place and sat up all night just browsing through
your journal and going back to the ones written by people
that I knew and have not heard from in a long time.
I am an Iraqi
who has been living in Brazil for the past thirty-five years.
But, whenever I have the opportunity, either in London, where
I have my two sisters and a brother, or in Tel-Aviv, where
I have my mother and other brother, I read it all and enjoy
it so much - as it makes me remember my home life in Baghdad
and the people I knew then.
Please put me
on your regular mailing list.
Rio de Janeiro,
Joory (nee Sawdayee)
There is a very
interesting story behind this photograph of my younger brother
Fred with our maternal grandmother Khatoun Reuben (Karradi).
Fred enlisted in the British army at age 17, in the Royal
Berkshire Regiment in India. He was seriously wounded in the
Burma campaign and was sent back to England, together with
his regiment. Because of his army service in Burma, Fred was
promoted to sergeant at a very young age. On route to England,
the plane stopped in Palestine, and Fred obtained permission
from the Commanding Officer to go to Haifa, where he believed
he could track down our Uncle Victor, who was associated with
the Shell Oil Co.
When he arrived
at the building, a young man answered the door. Upon asking
to see Uncle Victor, the young man responded that there was
nobody by that name in the building. Fred told him that this
was the address he was given. The young man insisted that
there was nobody by the name of Victor Reuben in the building,
and questioned Fred at great length how he was related to
Victor Reuben. At the end of five minutes of intense questioning,
the young man said "Shake hands with me - I am your first
cousin Eliyahu!" You see, Eliyahu was with the Haganah, and
all he could see was a man in the uniform of a British sergeant.
The story had a happy ending, since my brother got to see
all our relatives, including our dear grandmother, who was
in the photo with Fred.
Joseph & Sandra
As per letter
sent to Dr. Naim Dallal, Montreal, who appears in the photograph
of the Royal Military College
were doctors graduated with the rank of Captain. Picture
sent by Dr. Naim Dallal of Montreal.
to right :
row : 1....; 2 Dr. Salim Soffer; 3 Dr. Naim Dallal; 4....;
5 Dr. Yoseph Haya; 6....; 7....; 8....; 9....; 10 Dr.Abraham
Soffer; 11 Pharmacist Sabha; 12 Dr. Sam Nathan.
row from back : 1....; 2....; 3....; 4....; 5....; 6....;
7....; 8 Dr. William Shahrabani; 9 Dr. Ezra Nissan; 10....;
11Jewish Pharmacist; 12....; 13....; 14 Dr. Sasson Yado.
row from back : 1 Jewish Pharmacist; 2....; 3 Dr. Maurice
row from back : 1....; 2....; 3....; 4....; 5 Dr. Mahdi
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