Joseph Samuels will deliver the College of Liberal Arts Hans Heilbronner Lecture, "The Farhud: When the Mob Came After the Jews of Baghdad," on Thursday, October 27, at 4:00 p.m. in the Memorial Union Building Theatre 2 on UNH’s Durham campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Joseph Samuels was born in the Jewish quarter of the old city of Baghdad in December 1930. An Arabic speaker, he grew up believing that Baghdad was his home and Iraq his country. The Farhud, the anti-Jewish massacre that took place on June 1, 1941, during the Holocaust, shattered his belief. Samuels will discuss this ancient Jewish community and its demise, drawing on the experiences of his family and friends, as well as his own perspective as a boy. His story provides an Iraqi Jewish example of the plight of refugees in the 20th century as well as how Nazi antisemitism affected the world beyond Europe. Samuels’ life journey is detailed in his autobiography, “Beyond the Rivers of Babylon: My journey of optimism and resilience in a turbulent century,” written with Julie Fax.
The Hans Heilbronner lecture series honors the memory of Hans Heilbronner, professor of history, who served the University of New Hampshire with distinction from 1954 until 1991.