Hills museum hosts program on Jewish refugees in India, Iran

The Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills hosts “Trauma and Adventure in Transit: Jewish Refugees in Iran and India,” presented June 27 via Zoom.

Cooper Union professor Atina Grossmann will speak during the 7 p.m. event. To sign up, visit holocaustcenter.org/june.

Grossmann will talk about Jews who escaped to India and Iran after 1933. On the margins of the Holocaust and anxious about their families’ fates, they were homeless and stateless, but also oddly privileged as adventurous Europeans in non-western societies.

“This fascinating program will show how the plight of these Jews were shadowed by the emerging European catastrophe, and how they navigated complex and unfamiliar terrain in India and Iran,” CEO Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld said in a press release. “They lost their livelihoods and professions, and had an anxious sense of their families’ fate or what their future held.”

Grossmann used archival sources, memoirs and letters, fiction, as well as second and third generation reflections. She also reviewed an extensive collection of family correspondence and memorabilia from both Iran and India between 1935 and 1947, including an almost daily exchange of letters between her mother in Tehran and her father in various British internment camps in India and postwar in Bombay.

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