Incorporating published and archival material, this volume fills an important gap in the history of the Jewish experience during World War II, describing how the war affected Jews living along the southern rim of the Mediterranean and the Levant, from Morocco to Iran.

Surviving the Nazi slaughter did not mean that Jews living in the Middle East and North Africa were unaffected by the war: there was constant anti-Semitic propaganda and general economic deprivation; communities were bombed; and Jews suffered because of the anti-Semitic Vichy regulations that left them unemployed, homeless, and subject to forced labor and deportation to labor camps. Nevertheless, they fought for the Allies and assisted the Americans and the British in the invasion of North Africa. These men and women were community leaders and average people who, despite their dire economic circumstances, worked with the refugees attempting to escape the Nazis via North Africa, Turkey, or Iran and connected with international aid agencies during and after the war. By 1945, no Jewish community had been left untouched, and many were financially decimated, a situation that would have serious repercussions on the future of Jews in the region.

Covering the entire Middle East and North Africa region, this book on World War II is a key resource for students, scholars, and general readers interested in Jewish history, World War II, and Middle East history.

chapter |4 pages


part I|2 pages


part II|2 pages

The war begins

chapter 4|8 pages

The war begins

49The war in the Levant

chapter 5|17 pages

The threat to Palestine

chapter 6|14 pages

Iraq and the Farhud in Baghdad

chapter 7|17 pages

Vichy in Syria and Lebanon

chapter 8|14 pages

Iran and the “Tehran children”

part III|2 pages

The war continues

chapter 9|12 pages

The war continues

120The North African campaign

chapter 10|17 pages

Egypt and the panic of 1942

chapter 11|14 pages

Bombings and deportations in Libya

chapter 12|19 pages

Algeria and Operation Torch

chapter 13|17 pages

The Nazi SS in Tunisia

chapter 14|19 pages

Labor camps and refugees in Morocco

chapter 15|22 pages

Turkish neutrality and refugees

part IV|2 pages


chapter 16|10 pages

The war ends