Friday, April 30, 2010

Iraq demands return of secret Jewish archive

 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36865492/ns/world_news-washington_post/from/toolbar

 

 

The soldiers came looking for weapons of mass destruction. What they found in the flooded basement of Saddam Hussein's secret police headquarters was a legacy of destruction — the demise of one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world.

There was a treasure trove of Torahs and Haggadas, centuries old. And there were marriage records, university applications, financial documents — the living record of a community, seized by the Mukhabarat from the homes of Jews as they fled Iraq under pressure and amid persecution, with only a handful remaining.

 

Now comes the historical conundrum: Who owns these materials?

 

With the materials still sitting in a College Park office building, stabilized but with mold on them, the Iraqi government is demanding that they be shipped back, saying they are the property of the Iraqi people.

 

"They represent part of our history and part of our identity. There was a Jewish community in Iraq for 2,500 years," said Samir Sumaidaie, the Iraqi ambassador to the United States. "It is time for our property to be repatriated."

 

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We want the Jews' property returned.  But not the Jews.

 
 


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2 Comments:

At April 30, 2010 6:02 PM , Blogger Ruth Z Deming said...

absolutely fascinating, bob! what if these archives were found in a basement in germany, where would they go? a contentious question, but certainly a country that hates the jews should not hold such treasures.
where is college park anyway, if you know.

 
At May 02, 2010 10:14 AM , Blogger Silent 3 said...

THere's a College Park, Maryland and one in Georgia. It's probably the one closest to Washington DC

 

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