Much has been made of the terrible things Zionists have done to the Palestinians, but less widely known are their crimes against fellow Jews. I have, in my possession, a booklet entitled “The Children of Tehran Accuse”. It was published in Jerusalem, 1943 even as the crimes were coming to light.
Secular Zionists sent people throughout Eastern Europe to spread the word that Jewish orphans should make their way to Tehran, Iran where they would be taken care of amongst their own until such time it would be safe to bring them to the Promised Land. In this way, several hundred holocaust orphans found themselves under the auspices of secular Zionists in a strange land. The Zionists proceeded to abuse, neglect and persecute the children. They also forcibly estranged them from their religious roots. Following is an excerpt, translated from Hebrew by yours truly:
The children are gathered
One by one or in small groups the Polish refugee children were gathered to Iran. In the Spring of their days was revealed to them the dreadful aspects of life. Three years of wandering, hunger, sickness and want was their lot. Some of them escaped alone from the oppressive sword of the Nazi, without parents or acquaintances, like wild animals pursued (their enemies) at their necks. Others crossed the border to Russia accompanied by their parents and with their own hands buried their fathers and mothers in the Siberian snow…and, behold, was sprung upon them the rage of the “instructors”, who took control over them.
The Polish government had established, in Tehran, a large camp for all refugee children, citizens of Poland and saw to all their needs. They understood that, for religious educational reasons, it’s important to separate the Jewish children from the Christian children. Therefore they looked with favor upon the request by the “Jewish Agency” in Tehran, to establish a camp for Jewish children and they ceded control to them, to be responsible for those Jewish children. At the same time they (the Polish government) continued to provide for those children from its own pocket. Mr. Shaefer, representative of the Jewish Agency in Tehran (Mr. Rosenblum came out against him in “haboker” Feb. 5th, 1947 with serious accusations involving his care of Jewish issues, issues that are not relevant here), handing over the management of the camp to the attorney Rodzinsky, a refugee from Vilnius who was half assimilated. The latter then handed over educational responsibility to a member of “Shomer hatza’ir” (a far left group), David Levinburg who was also a refugee and the only one who knew Hebrew from among all the original adults who arrived in Tehran. His knowledge of the language served him well, it seems, for he received the responsibility over the education of the children. David Levinburg chose instructors from among his friends and acquaintances as he saw fit. Most of these were unfit both from a teaching credential standpoint and from a Jewish standpoint. A great proportion of them couldn’t even speak Yiddish. Dr. Hirshberg, who migrated from Tehran to Israel, confirmed this fact from a meeting of the instructors which took place in Itlit, when he said:
Among the great assembly of instructors were isolated individuals who turned to me and said, “We want to learn Hebrew” but most didn’t even say that. This is painful to me, for an instructor must first learn Hebrew and only then can he teach it. Without Hebrew and without a personal, and deep, relationship with Hebrew culture and without the Hebrew spirit, no instructor has the right to teach these children who are destined to be the Hebrew youth of Israel.
Favoritism was what determined who would be an instructor, this is also the reason why up to 733 children who dwelt in the camp had 65 instructors. This means one instructor for every 11 children – in no other institution for children do we find such a high ratio of instructors. (These numbers were reported by Madam Szold during her speech before the instructors in Haifa, two days before the arrival of the children).
During the month of Elul, 1942 the special Jewish camp was set up. With the arrival of the days of awe, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the yearnings of these children, wise in the ways of the life of Torah, were especially strong. After three years these were the first Jewish holidays that they would be able to observe properly more or less. The instructors, who had decided to “prepare” the children for their future “experience in secular Israel” utilized every means at their disposal to stifle and uproot, in a calculating manner, any longings the children had for their religion and heritage. The details of the lifestyle in Tehran were given to us via testimony by these children of Tehran: Nathan Alboym, 16, Avraham Frankle, 16:
Rosh Hashana. On the night of Rosh Hashana all the children gathered together for evening prayers. The prayers were fervent, emotional and full of tears. The children prayed in the manner of their forefathers during the high holy days. They prayed for the rescue of their families and for their own rescue. The childrens’ prayers were viewed, by the instructors, as “hysterical nervousness” (so writes Bracha Habas in the name of Rodnitsky in her article in “Davar” from 18th Adar). In the middle of the prayers, David Rosenberg entered and demanded to cease the prayers and to hurry up for a festive feast in honor of the holiday. During the feast, none of the instructors or any members of the Agency refrained from smoking cigarettes – Rosh Hashana was on Sabbath that year (and smoking is strictly forbidden on Sabbath). The following day the children sought to pray in the synagogue of Tehran. Even though the prayers began at six o’clock, they were allowed to leave only at nine o’clock in the morning. They reached the synagogue during the reading of the Torah. The instructors forbade the children to enter inside the synagogue and so the children remained outside in the garden, even to hear the blowing of the shofar – no permission was given them. After half an hour had passed, they took them from there and brought them to a coffee house. A few of the children were able to sneak into the synagogue. Those children were taken by force, via taxi, back to the camp. The day after that they requested a shofar but their request was denied.
Yom Kippur. After the kol nidre prayers, David Levinberg announced, in a loud voice, “children, time to eat”. All the instructors sat down in the office, opened the windows completely and set up a feast in full sight of the children. The witness, Nathan Alboym remained in the lobby until a late hour and recited psalms. The instructor commanded him to cease and then turned off the lights. The next day on Yom Kippur they transported the children to the city in buses, even though the camp was no more than twenty minutes by foot from the synagogue. (This fact was certified by Mrs. Sertok, who visited Tehran on Agency business for a meeting with the council of Polish Jewry – attested to by Mr. Eliezer Sirkis) (travel, by motor vehicle, is prohibited on Sabbath and the holidays, including Yom Kippur). They spent a short hour at the synagogue for the intent was to arouse the wealthy of Tehran to the plight of the children. In fact wealthy donors pledged a sum of 60,000 Tomnis to benefit the camp. One child sought to remain for the yizkor service to remember the souls of his parents. The instructor Glicher struck him and removed him from the synagogue by force.
During the holiday of Sukkoth the children were not allowed to visit the city for prayers at all. The children requested an ethrog for the benediction and were told: “for three years you were able to make do without an ethrog so you can do without one this year as well”. During Simhath Torah they set up a party and distributed bread, butter and pig meat to honor the holiday. They performed a play whose theme was the burning of the Holy Temple – not with prayer and mourning, rather with (joy that) the bricks would be used to build houses in Israel.
The issue of kosher. The kitchen was not kosher (Mrs. Sirtok certified this fact during the above mentioned conference). With minor effort it would have been possible to attain authorization and assistance from the Polish government to make the kitchen kosher, but the instructors refused to even raise a finger to this end. At first many of the children refused to eat the non-kosher food. They approached David Levinberg and asked him to increase their portions of bread or to give them other foods instead of meat and cooked foods that they don’t eat. The above person refused using the excuse that there wasn’t enough money. At that same time they were spending hundreds of Tomnis for theater and entertainment. For David Levinberg’s birthday they purchased wine for the sum of 500 Tomnis, arranged a party for all the instructors, got drunk and carried on until the police got involved and arrested a few of them. Those who ate only kosher subsisted only on their regular portion of bread which was the same as was given to those who ate non-kosher. There were instances of fainting and heart attacks from weakness and hunger. David Levinberg told the doctor who treated one of the children who was fainting, who is the witness – Frankle: “who cares if one or two of them die from hunger. Then they’ll give up on kosher”. Over time, those who insisted on kosher diminished. Not many were able to withstand this test after having been hungry for three years. The child Binyamin Gezundheit related to Mrs. Wein, an instructor in a camp in Hadera (Israel) that when he demanded kosher food in Tehran they punished him and wouldn’t let him eat even permitted foods, until his will was broken and he ate non-kosher. Frankel put together a list of children who requested kosher and it included about 250 names not counting the small children. Only 14 children withstood the test and did not give in and it would be appropriate to recognize their names as a remembrance.”
The story of the Children of Tehran is only one example of the cruelty secular Zionists perpetrated upon their fellow Jews. If there is interest, I’ll publish more of the pamphlet.