Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey
Join Mikhal Dekel in conversation with Natalia Aleksiun about a family story that complicates our understanding of refuge, displacement, new homes, and the unexpected fate of child refugees.
Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey tracks the fates of those Polish Jews who during WWII were "saved by deportation.” It follows them alongside other Polish nationals from their Polish hometowns, into the Soviet interior, Central Asia, Iran, India and Mandatory Palestine. Dekel travels these paths of escape, refuge, exile and new home, probing archives and people - from Polish nationalists to Russian oligarchs to Korean Uzbeks - and painting a dynamic, situational history of Jews and Catholics, refugees and evacuees, natives and newcomers, the millions and the one - her father - a former child refugee. Tehran Children is also a history of the present: of ways in which complex pasts have been obliterated from but nonetheless have bled into present-day Poland, Russia, Uzbekistan, Iran, and Israel, of the limited frameworks at our disposal for understanding these pasts and of the possibility of expansion
A reception and book signing will follow the program.
This event is co-sponsored by the CCNY Foundations.
Mikhal Dekel is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at City College and the CUNY Graduate Center and Director of the Rifkind Center for Humanities and the Arts She is the author of The Universal Jew: Masculinity, Modernity and the Zionist Moment and Oedipus in Kishinev.
Natalia Aleksiun is Professor of Modern Jewish History at Touro College, Graduate School of Jewish Studies, New York. She is the author of Where to? The Zionist Movement in Poland, 1944-1950 and Conscious History: Polish Jewish Historians before the Holocaust.