The Arrival of Ashkenazi and Iraqi Jews
Chapter 1 explores ways that the Jewish community became more diverse following World War II. It examines the sociological and demographic transformations that the Jewish population experienced during the war. This chapter argues that the 1941 invasion of Iran by Allied forces and the subsequent collapse of the rigid state structure facilitated social mobility and redefinition. At the same time, a wave of Iraqi Jews arrived in Iran and added another layer of identity to the growing Jewish population. This chapter also debunks the traditional portrayal of Iran as passive in the war historiography, where it is usually examined in an insufficiently complex or nuanced way, and analyzes the ways in which the war and its aftermath shaped Iran. Contrary to the traditional historiography’s stagnant or, rather, declining analysis of Iranian Jewry, the Jewish population in Iran witnessed a golden age in terms of becoming Iranian citizens.
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