Beginning in September 1941 and throughout the war, Central Asia and Iran became places of refuge to hundreds of thousands of Jewish and Catholic Polish citizens. Mikhal Dekel, whose father was a child refugee in Tehran, will recount the research and writing process of this epic yet relatively unknown Holocaust story, told in her new book Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey. She discusses the circumstances that brought her father and hundreds of thousands of others from Poland to the Soviet interior, Central Asia, Iran, India and Palestine and talk about the refugees’ experiences in each locale and the mutual impact of refugees and host countries on each other.
Mikhal Dekel is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the City College and the CUNY Graduate Center and Director of CCNY’s Rifkind Center for Humanities and the Arts. She is the recipient of many awards – including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation and the Lady Davis Foundation – and is the author of three books: Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey (W.W. Norton in 2019) Oedipus in Kishinev (Bialik Institute, 2014), and The Zionist Moment (Northwestern University Press, 2011). Her articles, translations, and blogs have appeared in many publications, including the Journal of Comparative Literature, English Literary History, Jewish Social Studies and Callaloo.
The 1939 Society Lecture in Holocaust Studies
Sponsored by the
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
Cosponsored by the
UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies
UCLA Department of History
UCLA Department of English
UCLA Asia Pacific Center