tv Doc Film - Remember Baghdad Deutsche Welle September 6, 2018 9:15pm-10:00pm CEST
it's two in the morning and when sugar is getting ready to go to iraq. he's a jewish north london with a point to prove. who is going to even believe that there were jews in iraq. i can no longer carry on living as if nothing has happened to tell my son that he was born in finchley and this was where his eye surgery started. we have gotten possible off iraq and i will not let go.
i don't want to buy a house north of baghdad it's so that he can say the iraqi jews still have a stake in their home. as long as a move like this is being taken as long as our house is being bought and use of iraq. we are still there. and that gives me the sense of belonging. for decades baghdad has meant violence. and the last place most people would want to call home especially the jews. but it wasn't always soon. not diamond not. that i don't think i'm a lucky god. i think.
i first came across the jews of baghdad when i was asked to catalogue an archive. it belonged to the family of david dunn goal. when david's father was born there were one hundred forty thousand jews in baghdad . and they made up nearly half the city. few people in baghdad now remember them. through their houses and old synagogues are everywhere. edwin has arrived in baghdad looking for his roots. i feel. i haven't finished with this place. unfinished business or. i don't even know the dangers around that because when i tell people.
on the road are you kidding are you crazy. phew. i feel i see if i'm a jew living in baghdad for an hour. edwin was just being flowery. iraqi jews are the ones unsung. the ones who were captured and taken slaves. the ones who sat by the waters of babylon there we sat down and wept when we remembered zion. they stayed and wrote a great book of jewish lore the babylonian talmud. they were below the muslims in society but they ran their own a says as babylon became mesopotamia and as mesopotamia became iraq. back in lunch.
i went to meet david. on the banks of the tigris when iraq was ruled by the british. now a lean and doreen live in flat one of the other. this is my father the chief of iraq. it was hanging. back there. to show that life was good. in the. face. his speech was that. we don't have religious. jews and christians. it was a good time it was very it was. this paradise was created by the british who took one thousand nine hundred seventeen.
this little boy being pulled along in it to a british tongue. david. on his father's farm near the town of. the world. really shared with their with. you. believe you they were like a brother. brother. i mean they are the whole we were to their whole we were just part of what. they were. if you are in with the british. that. the no two will iraqi jews were in line with the british i met seemed to tell in israel. and i and many others like me in the pool class thought the british you
are robbing our resources are all you and you you are trying to tell us what to do we don't want any foreigners here we want to rule ourselves by ourselves grow up and then free you have nothing to go to go all. but when british rule ended in one thousand nine hundred two the oilman didn't go home the un and i did king of this little known country it meets with directors of again i have to credit him company by sheer magic's give the authentic that touch. not to the pump station four million times more like it was independence. on tom's i would say. their reality masters well while the government.
the british. but the british were not the only ones i have to iraqi oil. as disaffection with the british grew the germans promoted hitler as a liberator. and in one thousand thirty three camp was translated into arabic. i met sure the national day he was a child in basra. there was a famous say. but in the sky it clearly on the ground this year whether i missed out on a lovely summer or feel of a hit close to it sounds like a bomb. the nazis key arab supporter the grand mufti of jerusalem came to baghdad in one thousand thirty nine. the jews did not understand what happened in iraq.
with the mufti and with the influence of the nicest during the thirty's they are in danger to us our intention. to move to moved into this house on the banks of the tigris in baghdad next door to david's family the dangour was. in early one nine hundred forty one the move to hit. your excellences great fear of. the palestinian problem has united old out of states and the mutual hatred of the english and the jews. that ups are willing to shed their blood in the holy war and the oil flow for england. great futa my
wishes for a long life and shining victory. the public mood in iraq turned against the monarchy and in much nine hundred forty one the region fled with the boy king leaving iraq to the fascists and its oil to the germans. once again the british invaded to. do nothing about the first gave up all of a little bit of enough to make it a lot of fear on. every doctor but if they don't the rebels all of a load of. the nationalists or they feed it completely by the end of may. the half escalations who is the object that can be a victim for this is a frustration the juice. i
met just bare on spend machine television. she was living in the suburbs and her family didn't realize anything was wrong my grandfather went shopping he was beaten and very badly they called him you know our jewish you know our english and he was beaten and he was bleeding all over. that night a riot started. in jerusalem i found early a man who was in the center of baghdad the muslims evaded the jewish quarter we knew it this way or the other bill will kill jews. all night we were up there on the roof frightened to death waiting for something bad to happen they were banging on doors and breaking people
shouting crying. we heard the crowd coming on the stairs my father out note to the neighbors he said please give us every few which. called his god and they started to cross us to the other side. my uncle. who was a slaughter and his part of the business both of them they lived together that type of. the class where they stopped the process and took which was outside and they killed our neighbors were muslims. and in my mother. and her family of her we were very good friend. she's a breastfed me. and god bless her calea is name. came to our house through
a strong one the big one they shifted to their. own ship brooke picked it out for three days. she saved our life. after nine hundred forty one with the money keep back in place iraq was a piece for the rest of the war. the most he fled and went to berlin. to dangle was brought the house where he lived and the kids got to play in the most he's got. the mohawk he's touched them. there were parties every night the community was living in a bubble. they were not touched by the holocaust and they were living as if there was no war and nothing has happened much. so my father was very happy to to
to stay all and back. david sure mashes davydenko as neighbor in london as he was in baghdad when they were children there's always hope that a bad episode was a one off and it won't repeat itself. in the southern mountain wishful thinking that. is the truth and nothing. but the less well off jews. they saw the right during the rumors warning. really joined a secret cell. phone rude. there's a. bikini to be. color you didn't begin the shares
do but no more loyal to. the last sort of call could be the has all the dark. hair washing on. today he teaches kids at the babylonian museum mentality. and he's bringing his replica guns to tell them about how scientists working for the creation of israel came to train them in fact that boy didn't tell a lot lot more shoe industry leaders. to give him course if you. are thomas kushal how to. cook you must can cook but. you should rush how much of a budget. the kenyan packed design is were essential to the jewish leader david ben-gurion.
he was building his new country and he wanted a million immigrants to people it and to defending. the home don't argue with bringing bring the jews here. because we don't want to help and do more today i know you can bring them so it's bring the jews. around spend most shame decided to learn hebrew the chosen one which is the new state i don't know of all the people that came to study with me. we went far far away in the desert somewhere near or. near the river or somewhere very far nobody lives there not a soul of the. first lady of the world there. with the bacon eggs they were talking about this or it was like the end like either but
all the movie that so everybody was interested to go. in a nine hundred forty eight palestine was partitioned to make way for the new jewish homeland israel. the dream came to the zionists. and the nightmare began for the jews still living in the arab world. from egypt from trans-jordan and from the north with support of other arab states palestine is invaded as the united nations looked for ways to stop the war. raging routed out of palestine and ignited in the streets of iraq. the fierce the top and when israel won the war the iraqi
government at that time mostly against the jews of europe and they were a very difficult situation to give one thousand fifty. jews were fired from government jobs and the people boycotted as shops. jews closed their businesses they do not bear to go to the streets. they hang. jewish people for desire and these him and their land overthrew foregone the music. so everyone and the store that there was no way for us to live their. money opened the door was. a deal funded by american scientists. with sweetness for the prime minister's family allowed for the choose to renounce their iraqi citizenship
and leave. at first the take up was slow. some people didn't want to go they had their jobs and their money and their houses . my parents were not vanished they were jews. they have all the whatever it due to do holidays and all and in the synagogue they want not really dying. but then a series of bombs went off in jewish districts of baghdad although the government accused in one hind to zionists for doing it in order to drive immigration. no one believed them now they were afraid or they are throwing bombs in the synagogue so we have to move so they went to register all of the seven hundred thousand when the
register in the synagogue so we were about two hundred twenty thousand. the minute they close the list of all those wanted to go jerusalem they confiscated all the money in the banks or what you had you can't sell anything you can sell your house you can sell not even a brand. and we left iraq with them pounds. throughout the summer of one nine hundred fifty one planes flew continuously from baghdad to tell of the. until one hundred twenty thousand iraqi jews were carried away. but the welcome wasn't. they were expecting. looking like creatures from the arabian. it's a colorful site but scarcely
a pretty one. a sort of weird costume ball on poles in front of you musing bizarre but. it was. they concede that people have no concept. of does not exist the our language is the language of the enemy and they'd be fine. black people. in the room some of these people may have been well to do or even well things what you mean and tell no more they are all penniless. basically the message just came back guys don't rush for god's sake we rush to this place and we sitting in tents with a russian. in
one nine hundred fifty one life for edmonds family under the money was comfortable . to leave. along with seven thousand when. they stayed on. and when has left the safety of the hotel to look for his childhood home now sandwiched between the notoriously violent side to city and the river. to area is controlled by a shia militia. the taxi driver snafus and of course for that i'm watching. lost so much. a lot of what. father was shot i leave you with i'll be. adda careful because i mean it could be the release. that got them cut them cut them up we have got. them adoption of other i g g the b.
of you know how that doesn't require. a lot of bit other bits you know. it well go for the blood of. my god. oh my god the solution. would be out of our street floyd way way way way. as we know. paul they got it how do you how difficult you know but i sure would. i think i would be out of by sheer numbers. why do you think you always have a number of them are kind of oh. well i would. say they were. when i saw the house in perth. that you have to leave your old home. like a criminal. case difficult to put myself into the cauldron of boiling
motions. on the jew who always lived here. it's a kind of a feeling of belonging. but there's just other mother other than a minute but can i didn't diminish. how that of could be a lot of on the other shot of him in him should be you know most of it with his heart and of the heart and all of the love about that guy but the courage to do we reduce human who has not edwin is still in his old neighborhood trying to find his family's synagogue it's called me a twig. and it's now the only maintained synagogue in iraq. that it. may tweak is still standing. when saddam hussein needed to piece the
americans hearing street to be preserved. but it's too dangerous to choose to actually question. baghdad was the center of the jewish world for over fifteen hundred years. they were both in color mode babilonia cardboard. why isis is put so much into iraq. can't see it. with the fact that my grandfather is buried here. and that we've abandoned him and we just say good bye bye. bye and that's where a. good boy everything. we don't know gave in the back.
while the rose egyptian president is it makes a public appearance following caesar and this is. seen by the friends when soon with took place my father could see that it was a momentous thing happening in the beast. it was the first time that nationalism asserted itself i remember he was to listen to news day and night he couldn't get away from it one minute. that women i mean probably david. said leave my mother who are not happy. you could feel a kind of exile. behind the sort of facade of easygoing life.
our house was on the river front and the royal palace was on the other side we work up to the sound of gunfire. it must have been a. sort of first light. the radio came on announcing the army had taken over. two years after series in one nine hundred fifty eight the monarchy in iraq was overthrown in a leftwing military coup. it had lasted thirty seven year. veteran premier and reassign just opposed his plan to end the republican rebels
have offered ten thousand pounds for his arrest. insisting the new one thing is certain the kremlin is doable. this is i do karim qassam he was the leader of the revolt the idea that the king should be replaced by a republic was something strange to us and quite bewildering in some ways even though we knew very little about politics we knew something cataclysmic was happening. i was three years old when the coup happened everybody rushed to the balcony to watch. the prime minister for russia and the reciting they tied his body to a car and just the usual arab style of revenge would pull his body through the streets. baghdad i remember my mother my grandmother screaming as the as the body
was passed through up. under me squeezing between them to see what what was the commotion. king faisal the second in the royal family were gunned down. and the crown prince's mutilated body was displayed on the walls of the ministry of defense. in one nine hundred fifty nine david parents finally made the decision to leave iraq we came to england when we had finally got our entry permit. my father had hoped to make his life in the land his forefathers it was south. i never went back. after the revolution we had to bring it down we didn't want anybody to come and see we have the king and on the war. live with it down when we're at it. and put it away in a store all. four thousand jews stayed after the revolution
. the first six months we thought we are going to be called when the east. now even want to learn about communism with us we're out of stuff we are going to be probably. the david calash had a dealership selling fine t. american cars we have board about seventy or eighty dollars. when the revolution kid mean we thought no board you were there to write in a b. car you want to go in this war or otherwise there will kill you. you corrode merely be in six months the government the open embassies of the east russia embassy. china and these people they are starving for american cars.
with corn in the room with every car the streets of egypt because of the short. break ups. in one thousand sixty three with the tacit support of the cia kassam was killed in another coup by the baath party who included some old wartime fascists and a young officer saddam hussein. israel was back as an issue. and within weeks jewish passports were taken away. i was lucky i was really lucky. i lived. in march to have a mosque and i didn't see if he said. everything changed in
sixty seven when the six day war started. to remember coming home from school my mother picked us up. i think in her face. the traffic was stopped by police. convoy with lots of soldiers all do their guns. iran was one of five arab states fighting his trail in the six day war in june one thousand nine hundred sixty seven. i remember my brother the signal saying you know this is very bad for us if israelis win then they're going to come back and take their revenge on us and israelis knows well we're all going to us anyway. the israelis won. and the consequences were immediate for the two thousand jews still living in baghdad. people from the post office blocked on the door opened the door myself of the house where the the colorful and so on and i just took them they
pulled the cords from the war and took all the instruments and they said i'm sorry but rules are rules jews are not allowed anymore the use of the telephone. my mother was placed immediately under house to house arrest luckily she knew with the chief inspector of police back that he protected her. there was a lot of help from our muslim friends. in early one nine hundred sixty nine the bath leadership laid on an event in response to the six day war and its aftermath. saddam hussein now deputy leader was given the job of turning it into a national festival they rounded out a number of people mostly jews and they accused them of being spies for israel and
for the west when they said spy remember my dad's complection he. was suddenly said. that doesn't sound good he knew that there probably meant the jews. show trial of the suspects was mounted in january. on the day of the trial i remember we were petrified all of us. suddenly we see them on television the doorbell rings and when the doorbell rings in the middle of the night even of for be divided look at the evening and for everybody the door there is no reason for their doorbell to ring let its trouble is sure enough it was my are saying. they are taken by the world. has come to ask him to check. no matter what we try what how we tried we could not find out where he was.
for me it was like almost the end of the world. if you are to time when small. another ninety jewish men furnished from their family. then came uses danny's uncle. it was a notice like one of those adverts you sell at apartment on the fifth page size color. and his partner were found guilty yesterday of the spy and they will be hanged tomorrow morning. that was my turning point i guess. it was only one thought which is the same thing and everybody had just one thousand left let's get out. jews were not allowed to possible so they couldn't leave the
country so there was no other option just. seventy seventy one that you're at school was the year you're going to school every morning you count and you look around who is left in your classroom. my mother we had an idea that she was planning to run away. but not a tall adventurous person very secure she try to keep myself occupied. she was making goals walk he men and women in customs. plans were to go on holiday as such to northern iraq it's beautiful it's lovely. and. once we're in the kurdish areas we're pretty much safe because they didn't
have any in a must to do was this. we knew that this was a proper way to escape. over seventy one my father brought the family together and told us that. in two hours we depart the house wherever. we have to go through checkpoints you tried to be cool. pretending to your goal of the jolie and you're looking at around that your sisters or younger your grandmother who was praying about lee. is it possible this soldier i would suspect for years. families. look like you know us jewish they look
frightened. so when we crossed the border between iraq and kurdish iraq and the guy turned around and said you're ok no you've made it. but it was just a choice amazing we knew that we we were free or just ecstatic. leave. the jewish community was now down to a few hundred. the baath party's attention drifted ousts way. eleven years after aliens passport had been taken away her application for a new one suddenly went through. its work clothes into. we had less it cases with us where winter or a friend's house and the next morning relating to the affluence and less.
alien arrived in london on the eighteenth of december nine hundred seventy four leaving two hundred eighty jews in baghdad. once you leave the country and don't return within three months and all your property is confiscated. and you to see unless later was your nationality and also consider the offer you're. in two thousand and three iraq was once again invaded. and non-doing american alliance wanted to be rid of saddam hussein. i'm going to be to edwin in northern iraq he's buying his. bill the capital of the
kurdish area. he wanted to join the last five to still living in baghdad but it's too dangerous that. which is not to say at the least safe islamic states frontline is just a short drive from the bill city center. so there is no. problem with just. eyeballed this house is a step being like dream almost to. ask . you know what maybe just maybe in thirty forty fifty sixty years time jews would
reconnect with their both place. it could die with me but if i don't see that my dream in my lifetime i can east i know i set it in motion. of course i know i'm going for a bit for the behavior there i longing for but it does my body that. i knew all morning for that if you still natural. but you don't go there. i don't want to go back. there's a lot of people who left baghdad in the good times so they have a nice nest. subject your memory of it. i know that my memory is
just marred by the loss of my dear uncle. iraq is still in awe blood. in. it's like and distant bell ringing in the back of wired's always reminding us where we came from. i still miss but. i wouldn't let the going out because it's all in the glory it's the places i know. i'm not the same. it's big that sort of member. everything as it is or as it will as it was sort of it. i was dreaming.
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