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Postgraduate Workshop: Tehran Children, Archival Research and the Personal

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The Wiener Holocaust Library

29 Russell Square

London

WC1B 5DP

United Kingdom

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Postgraduate Workshop: Tehran Children, Archival Research and the Personal

About this Event

This workshop, geared at postgraduate students, doctoral candidates and early career researchers, will be led by Professor Mikhal Dekel and inspired by her forthcoming historical book, The Tehran Children, which is a fusion of memoir and historical investigation.

The workshop is free of charge to attend but because space is limited, registration is required. Professor Dekel’s forthcoming book, Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey, will be available for purchase at the workshop.

About the book:

Rather than perish in Nazi-occupied Poland, more than a million Jews escaped east to the Soviet Union. There they suffered extreme deprivation in Siberian gulags and “Special Settlements” and then, once “liberated”, journeyed to the Soviet Central Asian Republics. The majority of Polish Jews who survived the Nazis lived out the war in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan; some of them continued on to Iran. The story of their suffering has rarely been told. Most Polish Jews who escaped Nazi extermination survived in Muslim lands, and most Polish Jews who escaped Nazi extermination survived in Soviet Central Asia, Iran, India and Mandatory Palestine. For Polish Jewish child survivors in the USSR, the most traumatic experience was separating from their parents. Now more than ever, not revision, but the excavation of facts can help us move forward. The history of refugees is the history of the world: it isn’t just their history, but the history of host countries, aid organizations, and complex, shifting global politics.

Following the footsteps of her father, one of a thousand refugee children who travelled to Iran and later to Palestine, Dekel fuses memoir with historical investigation in this account of the all-but-unknown Jewish refuge in Muslim lands. Along the way, Dekel reveals the complex global politics behind this journey, discusses refugee aid and hospitality, and traces the making of collective identities that have shaped the post-war world—the histories nations tell and those they forget.

About the author:

Mikhal Dekel is a professor of English at City College of New York and the CUNY Graduate Centre. She is the author of The Universal Jew: Masculinity, Modernity and the Zionist Moment and Oedipus in Kishinev.

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Date and Time

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The Wiener Holocaust Library

29 Russell Square

London

WC1B 5DP

United Kingdom

View Map

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