Throughout history, millions of people have sought refuge in Iran. This is especially true when it comes to neighbouring countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the last three decades, millions of people from both countries have taken or took refuge in Iran.
But Polish refugees in Iran? Jewish Polish refugees in my ancestral city of Esfahan during WWII?In fact there were so many Polish children in Esfahan during the war that a recent commemoration stamp was issued by the Polish authorities (see right). On the stamp it says “Isfahan – Miasto Dzieci Polskich”, meaning “Isfahan – the City of Polish Children”.
What were they doing there?
They were a part of 450,000 people who took refuge in Iran during the war.
You can learn more about their fascinating history in this interview with Dr Lior Sternfeld. He is an Israeli scholar and is currently a lecturer of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Soon he will be joining Penn State University as an Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies. Wish him the best.
You can find the article here