In this op-ed, Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahar writes about the importance of Holocaust education making the point that “history shows that ignoring the plight of our fellow human beings in any country can lead to tragedies not only there but anywhere.”
Mr. Bahari has a deep understanding of the darkness of humanity. In 2009, he was imprisoned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, falsely accused of being an agent for foreign intelligence. His experience is chronicled in the memoir and subsequent film Rosewater.
Below are some more snippets from his powerful piece:
— I also have a more practical reason for being deeply affected by the Holocaust and the legacy of the Nazis. The Nazis and their collaborators denied the world of the potential contributions of those six million murdered Jews. Every one of those individuals could have contributed to humankind’s progress.
— Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s revolutionary anti-Israeli rhetoric, the confiscation of Jewish properties and the execution of Habib Elghanian, a leader of Iran’s Jewish community, forced 60,000 Jews to emigrate from their homeland. There are now only about 30,000 Jews still living in Iran. There were more than 100,000 before the 1979 Revolution…. The talents of those Jews who fled, are now in service of another country.
— Each of us, patriotic Iranians, must work to rectify this legacy by healing divides and repairing bridges, one group and nation at a time.
For more on this topic, see Islamic Leaders Visit Auschwitz.