Breif notes given to newspaper
reproters who asked for an interview with Mr. Dangoor
In 1937, having completed my Engineering studies
at London University, I returned to Iraq where I worked
on two permanent bridges at Baghdad. These bridges were
deemed strategically necessary in the event of the Second
World War breaking out, which was looming on the horizon.
The Second World War was often called the unnecessary war.
As a teenager during my undergraduate years I was tormented
to wonder that a new European war had to take place. I thought
of three possibilities:
1. Because Germany was not beaten in the field in 1918
and it was necessary to beat Germany conclusively;
2. That arms merchants liked to start a conflict every generation
to increase their profits;
3. That the purpose of a war in Europe was a cover for the
destruction of European Jewry.
In the event, Germany as well as the rest of Europe has
recovered from their wartime losses, and the arms merchants
continue to make huge profits. The only permanent event
of the war was the Holocaust, the almost total annihilation
if Europe's Jewry under the secret cover of war. The Jews
were punished for Zionism and Communism.
In 1939 I was drafted together with 100 other university
graduates to officer's training college where I graduated
as a Reserve Officer in the Iraq army. There I met a Moslem
graduate of LSE and we formed a successful business partnership
which lasted over 25 years.
In November 1947 I married my cousin, Renee, whose family
had to leave Shanghai in the wake of Communist advance there.
On 31 December 1946 I took her to a New Year's Eve ball
where she was immediately chosen as 'Miss Iraq', with the
title of 'The Queen of Baghdad, the beautiful for 1947'.
Our wedding was the last big event of the Iraqi Jewish
community. On 29 November 1947 we were in Palestine on our
honeymoon when the UN partition resolution was passed. That
changed immediately the political climate all over the Middle
East. The relaxed atmosphere in Palestine immediately changed
to shooting and fighting and Jews all over the Middle East
had to submit to restrictions and discriminations. I was
repeatedly advised not to return to Iraq, and so we continued
on our honeymoon which was to last over two years.
In November 1949 we were in New York where we contemplated
settling when I received a telegram from my partner that
our company was chosen by the Coca Cola Company as bottlers
of their drink for the whole of Iraq. I decided there and
then to return to Baghdad with my wife and new baby son
to give my partner a helping hand in the Coca Cola franchise.
I found that he had arranged for a limited production based
on 20 fits per bottle, but I immediately changed that to
a mass production in four bottling plants based on a rock
bottom price of 14 fits per bottle. That price, which was
the lowest in the whole world, was to stay until Coca Cola
was boycotted in all Arab countries when Israel started
producing the drink.
In March 1950 an Iraqi law came out that allowed Jews to
renounce their citizenship and leave for Israel. It was
thought by the Community and hoped by the Iraq Government
that not more than a third of the 150,000 Jews would leave
but at the expiry date of the new law in March 1951 nearly
80% of the Jews had registered to emigrate.
While Jews had continued to leave, I became involved in
new businesses and in industrial ventures. The Revolution
of 14 July 1958 resulted in major amelioration for Jewish
life in Iraq for the 10,000 of those remaining. My wife
decided she did not want to stay in that country because
of the violence and we made our way to England to put our
children in school there, and start a completely new life
as refugees of England.
In 1964 the Ba'ath regime decreed that all Iraqi Jews living
abroad had to return Within 3 months or lose their assets
It was a hard choice but I decided for freedom.
you would like to make any comments or contribute to The
Scribe please contact