On January 27, 1969 Saddam Hussein ordered the hangings of nine innocent Iraqi Jews accused of being Israeli spies. Eight of the nine were from Basra while one was from Baghdad. In the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War the Iraqi government had already issued decrees preventing Jews from attending universities, prohibiting Jews from holding employment, phone lines in Jewish houses were cut and Jews were denied the right to travel outside of Iraq. Saddam Husseim began a campaign of scare tactics which included posting agents in front of Jewish houses and businesses, random abductions of Jews by police forces and the government’s seizure of Jewish assets. The nine Jewish men were put on a televised mock military trial and their hanging was met with much public fanfare and celebration. At the time of the hangings, there were 2,500 Jews still living in Iraq but the hangings marked the beginning of the end of the Iraqi Jewish Community. Almost the entire Jewish Community fled Iraq after the hangings.
Learn about upcoming events that celebrate and educate on the history, heritage, and vibrant living culture of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews