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Iran and the Holocaust

After the German invasion of Poland in 1939, hundreds of thousands of Polish Jews fled across Poland’s eastern border into the Soviet Union. They were joined by over one million Christian Poles who were deported from early 1940 to mid-1941 following a Soviet campaign of mass arrests and expulsions of Polish citizens to labor camps in Siberia and Soviet Central Asia. The grueling work and harsh weather often made conditions in the camps unbearable.

An agreement signed by Poland and the Soviet Union in 1941 gave amnesty to Polish prisoners of war. Over 116,000 of these freed prisoners, now refugees and members of the Polish army, traveled south and eventually made their way to safety in Iran. These lists contain the names of some of the people who made their way to the country between 1942 and 1943.

Jewish Polish Citizens Arriving in Pahlewi, Iran

This two-page list contains the names of 105 Polish Jews arriving in Pahlavi, Iran, sometime during 1942–1943. The list includes first and last names and year and place of birth for each refugee.

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Children in Orphan-Asylum in Pahlewi, Iran, From Lunaczarsk near Tashkent

This one-page list from August 1942 consists of the first and last names of 69 children in an orphanage in Pahlavi, Iran. Birth year and place are included for each child.

—Courtesy of American Jewish Archives

Children from an Orphan Asylum in Samarkand (USSR) Arriving in Pahlew, Iran

This three-page list from August 1942 contains the names of children arriving in Pahlavi, Iran from Samarkand. Birth date and place are given where known. Location of father or mother given for several children.

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