Abdol Hossein Sardari Saved Thousands of Iranian Jews

abdol-hossein-sardari-is-the-second-from-the-rightAbdol Hossein Sardari used his position as an Iranian diplomat in Paris to save up to 2,000 Iranian Jews living in France from the Nazis and certain death. He also  issued passports to other Jews who were referred to him by an Iranian, once he realized the fate of any Jew left to Nazis. The exact number of people is unknown, because passports were issued to families, and not individuals.

Sardari Argued that Jews were “Iranian Followers of Moses”
Sardari, served as a junior diplomat in the Iran Diplomatic Mission in Paris in the 1940’s. Shortly after invading France, the German authorities ordered that Jews must register with the local authorities. Sardari used his wit and diplomacy to argue that Iranian Jews should not be considered Jews under the French Vichy (war-time government). He claimed that they weren’t really Jews, because Jews in Iran long ago accepted the teachings of Moses and became “Iranian Followers of Moses'”.

Charged with Embezzlement for Issuing Passports; Died in Obscurity
Sardari used Iranian passports to help others leave Europe, but especially all Iranian citizens. After the war he continued to serve as a diplomat. Ironically in 1952 he was charged with embezzlement, for issuing so many passports to Jews. It took him three years to clear his name. When the Iranian government was overthrown in 1978 by the Ayatollah, he lost almost everything, including his pension. He died impoverished in Paris three years later.

History compiled from the BBC, History Learning Site, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 

In the photo above, Sardari is the third from the left.

Author’s Note – The coordinated attacks on Paris, Beirut the day before, and the downing of Russian Flight 9268 by a bomb killing all 224 aboard, hang heavy on my heart. When I located this story I thought it was perfect timing. This is a case of a Muslim saving hundreds of Jews. Enemies in one decade, can be friends in another, and vice versa. Evil is its own ethnicity, and knows all cultures and countries.

Share Post

Tags: Commentary

1 Comment. Leave new

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed