Tehran Children: On the Trail of WWII Refugees in Central Asia and the Middle East

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
color photo of Mikhal Dekel

Adolphus Busch Hall, 7 Kirkland Street, Hoffmann Room

Beginning in September 1941 and throughout the war, Central Asia and Iran became places of refuge to hundreds of thousand 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 will discuss 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 a 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.


Mikhal Dekel (The City College of New York)

Cosponsored by the Center for European Studies Study Group on Jews in Modern Europe, and the Davis Center Seminar on Russian and Eurasian Jewry

For more information, please call 617-495-4037.


The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us at 617-495-4037 or daviscenter@fas.harvard.edu in advance of your participation or visit.

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