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, October 27, 2019 at the Center for Jewish History.
"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.
This event is co-sponsored by the CCNY Foundations.