Iraqi Jews

Rescued From Saddam’s Clutches

Trove of Iraqi Jewish treasures on view.

03/11/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

In 2003, when Coalition forces seized Baghdad, a group of American soldiers stumbled upon treasures from the Jewish community of Iraq. While the team had been sent to search for nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in Saddam Hussein’s intelligence building, what they found were nearly 3,000 books and documents that had originally come from synagogues and Jewish organizations. The items were submerged under four feet of water, and the reason they were there in the first place remains a mystery.

Items recovered from flooded basement of Saddam’s intelligence headquarters.  Photo courtesy of National Archives

Return Of ‘Stolen’ Jewish Trove From Iraq Fueling Anger

On eve of D.C. exhibit, community wants ‘illegally expropriated’ material to remain in Jewish hands in U.S.

10/16/2013
Staff Writer

The treasure trove of materials tells the story of the rich history of Iraqi Jews, stretching back 2,500 years to Babylonia. There are Torah parchments, a Hebrew Bible with commentaries from 1568, a Babylonian Talmud from 1793 and a Passover Haggadah from 1902.

Jewish trove found in an Iraqi government building. Photo courtesy Harold Rhode

Iraqi Jews Struggle To Keep Their Artifacts In U.S.

10/09/2013
Staff Writer

Returning Jewish books and objects to the Iraqi government, as the United States is supposed to do according to a 2003 agreement, would be like giving Jewish property looted to the Nazis back to Germany.

The Iraqi government has promised to display Jewish objects among other national treasures. Getty Images
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