Back to Baghdad

Others, such as Soviet olim and Jews from Arab countries, immigrated to Israel because they were forced from their country of birth

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December 13, 2017 19:49
3 minute read.
Director Wilder with Marlene Dietrich, star of his 1948 romantic comedy ‘A Foreign Affair.

Director Wilder with Marlene Dietrich, star of his 1948 romantic comedy ‘A Foreign Affair'. (photo credit: PHOTOFEST)

 
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 ome of us made aliya of our own volition. Others, such as Soviet olim and Jews from Arab countries, immigrated to Israel because they were forced from their country of birth.

Iraqi Jews certainly were, with the bulk of some 120,000 predominantly Baghdad-born immigrants arriving, by hook or by crook, in 1950 and 1951. My parents-in-law were among them, and for many years I thought that was that for Jews in Iraq. I later discovered that a few thousand remained until the 1970s, when Saddam Hussein made life there intolerable and, practically overnight, forced them to leave. Today the Baghdad “community” consists of just five members.

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