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Mikhal Dekel, PhD
CUNY Research Foundation, City College (New York, NY 10031-9101)

Awards for Faculty
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$25,200 (approved)
$25,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2017 – 7/31/2017

The Trail of WWII Refugees: From Poland to the Middle East

Completion of a book on Jewish refugees from Poland who fled Nazi forces and the communities in Iran and the Muslim Soviet Union that accepted them.

Of the roughly 350,000 Polish Jews who escaped genocide during WWII, approximately 230,000, two-thirds, survived as refugees in the Muslim Soviet Union--Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan--and (in smaller yet significant numbers) Iran. We do not often think of the story of the Holocaust as one of Jews surviving in Muslim lands, and we do not often think of the networks that were in place in these areas. Tehran Children tells the story of these networks and of the complex web of aid groups, conflicting and converging national interests, diplomatic maneuvers, and local attitudes towards these refugees. It studies the experience of both the refugee and the host nation; of foreign and local aid; of trans-national diplomacy; of hunger--its relief and its use as a weapon; and of memory: how refugees remember and are remembered by the Muslim nations with which they had come in contact. The book has been accepted for publication by W.W. Norton.