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80th Anniversary Commemoration of the Farhud

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

On Sunday 30th May an international zoom event was held to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Farhud. The event was attended by over 350 people, and Sephardi Voices UK was proud to be able to produce a film featuring first hand testimonies of the Farhud. The poet Yvonne Green shared her poem on the Farhud commission by Harif, the full text of which can be found here.

The Farhud was a pogrom that took place in Baghdad.

In the spring of 1941, the Iraqi Prime Minister, Rashid Ali, declared independence from the British Empire and announced his allegiance to Hitler. After a month and a half of fighting, British forces regained control and the Iraqi government surrendered, fleeing the country. However, the British Army did not immediately reclaim Baghdad.

For 48 hours, British forces remained on the outskirts of the city, encamped by the Al Khurr Bridge, leaving Baghdad without a government.

During those 48 hours, on June 1st 1941 - the first night of the Jewish festival of Shavuot - a pogrom broke out in the city. This pogrom is known as the Farhud.

Official figures state that 2,500 homes and businesses were looted, 600 people were injured and 179 people were killed. The true figures are likely to be far higher.

A video bringing together testimonies from the Sephardi Voices UK archive, together with testimonies from Sephardi Voices International and private family archives.



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