Magazine

The hidden treasures of Iraqi Jews

American troops descended on the headquarters of Saddam Hussein’s secret police in Baghdad in 2003 and were surprised to find a trove of Jewish books.

PASSOVER HAGGADA, 1930
Photo by: REUTERS


On May 6, 2003, American troops reached Baghdad’s Mukhabarat, or secret police headquarters, which had been bombed a few weeks previously by the US Air Force. In the basement of the building, they found thousands of fragments of Torah scrolls, Jewish religious books and personal and community documents which had been confiscated from the thriving Iraqi Jewish community by Saddam Hussein’s secret police.



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