The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa: The Impact of World War II, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa

The Impact of World War II, 1st Edition

By Reeva Spector Simon


288 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Incorporating published and archival material, this volume fills an important gap in the history of the Jewish experience during World War II, describing how the war affected Jews living along the southern rim of the Mediterranean and the Levant, from Morocco to Iran.

Surviving the Nazi slaughter did not mean that Jews living in the Middle East and North Africa were unaffected by the war: there was constant anti-Semitic propaganda and general economic deprivation; communities were bombed; and Jews suffered because of the anti-Semitic Vichy regulations that left them unemployed, homeless, and subject to forced labor and deportation to labor camps. Nevertheless, they fought for the Allies and assisted the Americans and the British in the invasion of North Africa. These men and women were community leaders and average people who, despite their dire economic circumstances, worked with the refugees attempting to escape the Nazis via North Africa, Turkey, or Iran and connected with international aid agencies during and after the war. By 1945, no Jewish community had been left untouched, and many were financially decimated, a situation that would have serious repercussions on the future of Jews in the region.

Covering the entire Middle East and North Africa region, this book on World War II is a key resource for students, scholars, and general readers interested in Jewish history, World War II, and Middle East history.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa on the Eve of World War II

Chapter 2. The Issue of Racism and Opposition to Nazism

Chapter 3. German and Italian Policy and the Issue of Palestine


Chapter 4. The War Begins: The War in the Levant

Chapter 5. The Threat to Palestine

Chapter 6. Iraq and the Farhud in Baghdad

Chapter 7. Vichy in Syria and Lebanon

Chapter 8. Iran and the "Tehran Children"


Chapter 9. The War Continues: The North African Campaign

Chapter 10. Egypt and the Panic of 1942

Chapter 11. Bombings and Deportations in Libya

Chapter 12. Algeria and "Operation Torch"

Chapter 13. The Nazi SS in Tunisia

Chapter 14. Morocco, Labor Camps and Refugees

Chapter 15. Turkish Neutrality and Refugees


Chapter 16. The War Ends: Epilogue

About the Author

Reeva Spector Simon served as Associate Director of the Middle East Institute, Columbia University, and Professor of History at Yeshiva University. She is the author of Iraq Between the Two World Wars and co-editor of The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in Modern Times.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Jewish
HISTORY / Middle East / General
HISTORY / Military / World War II
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies