The Farhud was a horrific pogrom of violence against the Jews of Baghdad which broke out on June 1st, 1941, during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. This violence towards the Jews lasted for two days. The Farhud was both Nazi inspired and encouraged by a prominent Arab leader, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj-Amin Al Husseini.

Al-Husseini previously met with Adolf Hitler and top Nazi officials in Berlin who offered him assistance in the dissemination of Anti-Jewish propaganda. Nazi Germany’s Ambassador to Iraq in 1941, Dr. Fritz Grobba increased Nazi outreach to Iraqi Arab communities by purchasing Arab language newspapers. One Iraqi newspaper Al-Alam Al-Arabi (The Arabic World) published the first Arabic language translation of Mein Kampf.  Grobba also assisted with the creation of the first Iraqi chapter of the Hitler youth known as Al-Fatwa.

The Nazi-inspired rioters rampaged through the city of Baghdad slaughtering Jews, raiding and destroying their homes and business, and raping Jewish women; the Jewish community of Baghdad was devastated. The Farhud was only stopped when British forces occupying Iraq stepped in to restore order after nearly 300 Jews were killed, over 2,000 Jews were injured and 600 Jewish businesses were looted.

The event marked the beginning of the end for the Iraqi Jewish Community which at the time numbered over 130,000 people.

Voices of the Farhud- (part 1) (part 2)