The Pogrom (Farhud) against the Jews of Baghdad in 1941

Jewish and Arab Approaches


The pogrom against the Jews of Baghdad on 1–2 June 1941, known among the Jews as the Farhud (Arabic: ‘the destruction of order’, ‘robbery’), was a watershed in the history of the Jews of Iraq. It was the first and the only pogrom against the Jews in modern Iraq and marked the culmination of the change in Jewish-Muslim relations in a country where the Jews had been a small but successful minority, well integrated within the Muslim environment. The Farhud took place shortly after the fall of the short pro-Nazi regime of Rashid Ali and the restoration of the pro-British Regent; it occurred under the influence of long years of pro-Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda and can be considered as a disaster in the fringes of the Shoah, the Jewish holocaust. This paper will try to analyse the event in its various aspects, the Jewish and Arab responses, and the role of the Farhud in their collective memory.


Jewish Community Arabic Literature Jewish Refugee Iraqi Government Nazi Ideology 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

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