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Tehran Children

Nonfiction: History
Unabridged   13.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 10/08/2019

Tehran Children

A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684573851
Digital Download ISBN:9781684573844


With literary grace, Tehran Children presents a unique narrative of the Holocaust, whose governing symbol is not the concentration camp, but the refugee, and whose center is not Europe, but Central Asia and the Middle East.

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Product Description

Fleeing East from Nazi terror, over a million Polish Jews traversed the Soviet Union, many finding refuge in Muslim lands. Their story—the extraordinary saga of two thirds of Polish Jewish survivors—has never been fully told.

Author Mikhal Dekel's father, Hannan Teitel, and her aunt Regina were two of these refugees. After they fled the town in eastern Poland where their family had been successful brewers for centuries, they endured extreme suffering in the Soviet forced labor camps known as "special settlements." Then came a journey during which tens of thousands died of starvation and disease en route to the Soviet Central Asian Republics of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. While American organizations negotiated to deliver aid to the hundreds of thousands of Polish Jews who remained there, Dekel's father and aunt were two of nearly one thousand refugee children who were evacuated via Polish military transport to Iran. Months later, their Zionist caregivers escorted them via India to Mandatory Palestine, where, at the endpoint of their 13,000 mile journey, they joined hundreds of thousands of refugees (including over one hundred thousand Polish Catholics). The arrival of the "Tehran Children" was far from straightforward, as religious and secular parties vied over their futures in what would soon be Israel.


“A revelatory history, a saga of flight and welcome, of death and head-down survival, a powerful narrative built for this moment. Dekel’s sweeping storytelling is marked by heartbreaking restraint and historical sensitivity.” —Charles King, author of Odessa and Midnight at the Pera Palace

“Tehran Children is a gripping account of Holocaust survival unlike any other. Blending the genres of memoir, history, and travelogue, Mikhal Dekel combines the empathy of a daughter with the insight of a scholar. This is one of the greatest, largely untold stories of the Second World War.” —Tara Zahra, author of The Great Departure

Author Bio

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