Insights into the Iraqi Farhud

I have been made aware of some publications coming out of Israel, in relation to the Farhud and attacks against Iraqi Jews in the early 1940’s. These publications are attributing these attacks solely to “Iraqi Muslims” by “NAZI inspired gangs”. 

I have been disappointed that these sections of the Israeli media have failed to include the following historical facts, which in the interests of balance and clarity, provides a more substantial insight into historical fact. 

Soon after Hitler took power in 1933, Germany’s chargé d'affaires in Baghdad, Fritz Grobba, acquired the widely read Christian Iraqi newspaper Al-Alem Al Arabi and converted it into a Nazi organ that published an Arabic translation of Mein Kampf in instalments. 

In the propaganda war, to cause unrest against the British in Iraq, Egypt and Palestine, Radio Berlin also began beaming Arabic programmes across the Middle East. 

During this period, Iraq was also under British control, where a large percentage of the civil services was made up of people affiliated to the Orthodox Christian Church, with many also being inspired by the Anti-Colonialist sentiments being echoed by NAZI Germany. 

Known NAZI sympathisers, who were also active members of the Orthodox Church, had during the period of the NAZI occupation of France, travelled around area’s controlled by the Vichy regime and upon their return to the Middle East, sought to establish movements inspired by their experiences in Europe. 

NAZI Germany also funded known Anti-British organisations, with the view of disrupting the presence of the British Empire, to cause destabilisation, with the perspective of Germany gaining access to the oil fields, thus cutting off British supply routes into Egypt. 

Hussein Al-alak is the editor of Iraq Solidarity News (Al-Thawra). You can follow Hussein on his blog.

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