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fluffybiscuits
21-12-2011, 05:27 PM
In the context of modern Iran , its very ironic. Below is a link to an article to a BBC article about a man Hossein Sardari, who has been described as the Iranian "Schindler". During his tenure as a diplomat he is credited with saving approx 1000 Iranian Jews using passports that he could issue. He fooled Adolf Eichmann into believing they were not related to European Jews but were a seperate branch seen as they had followed the preachings of Moses. Sadly Sardari died in a one bedroom bedsit after his pension was cut off but still, makes for riveting reading.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16190541

Holly
21-12-2011, 05:58 PM
A lot of people did remarkable humanitarian work in difficult circumstances then.

Yojimbo
21-12-2011, 06:08 PM
The list of brave people who have stood up to genocide is full of ironies. For example, a loyal member of the murderous Japanese military government of the 1930's and 40's, Chiune Sugihara was a major figure in saving thousands of Lithuanian Jews:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/sugihara.html

While on the other side of the globe, a dedicated Nazi, John Rabe, was one of the very few westerners who stood up to the Japanese to save Chinese civilians in the Nanjing massacres:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rabe

I think that sometimes people can have greater moral clarity and courage when faced with acts of evil carried out by 'foreigners' than when it is your own kinsmen who are carrying out the acts.

TotalMayhem
21-12-2011, 06:30 PM
A lot of people did remarkable humanitarian work in difficult circumstances then.

There is also evidence that he enriched himself in the process. And Paris was not the only place city where Iranian diplomats used blank Iranian passports in a manner similar to Sardari.

Sardari was the uncle of Amir Abbas Hoveyda (who also served in Paris at the time and engaged in illegal gold and currency trafficking), later Prime Minister of Iran and eventually executed by Khomeini.

Andrew49
21-12-2011, 06:56 PM
Schindler was ... no other word fits .... a crook himself. And, like Sardari, had more than a modicum of human decency. So what if there was profiteering in the process or if the main motive at the beginning was self-enrichment, their actions saved many lives.

Also this story reflects very well on Iran and the much maligned Iranian people.

This is worth a read:
S. Rob Sobhani is author of “The Pragmatic Entente: Israeli-Iranian Relations 1948-1978” (Greenwood Press, 1989) (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/20/israels-iran-dilemma/)

TotalMayhem
21-12-2011, 07:12 PM
Quite, just saying there a little bit more than just a humanitarian aspect to the story. The same people also procured young girls for officers of the German High Command in Paris. If they haven't been "diplomats", one might call them pimps. One of them later offered these very talents to Shah Reza Pahlavi. The story about the smuggler ring in the Iranian embassies in Paris, Bern and Berlin is fairly well documented.

Sardari and his nephew Hoveyda (who lived with him in Paris) were known for their extravagant lifestyle. Avoiding scrutiny over his involvement could be a reason why "Sardari never sought recognition for his work during his lifetime".

Lapsedmethodist
22-12-2011, 12:53 AM
Schindler was ... no other word fits .... a crook himself. And, like Sardari, had more than a modicum of human decency. So what if there was profiteering in the process or if the main motive at the beginning was self-enrichment, their actions saved many lives.


Also this story reflects very well on Iran and the much maligned Iranian people.

This is worth a read:
S. Rob Sobhani is author of “The Pragmatic Entente: Israeli-Iranian Relations 1948-1978” (Greenwood Press, 1989) (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/20/israels-iran-dilemma/)

In all fairness Andrew, and in the spirit of the story, people are capable of differentiating
between the Iranian people and the clerical mafia who rule Iran.

C. Flower
22-12-2011, 01:17 AM
The list of brave people who have stood up to genocide is full of ironies. For example, a loyal member of the murderous Japanese military government of the 1930's and 40's, Chiune Sugihara was a major figure in saving thousands of Lithuanian Jews:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/sugihara.html

While on the other side of the globe, a dedicated Nazi, John Rabe, was one of the very few westerners who stood up to the Japanese to save Chinese civilians in the Nanjing massacres:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rabe

I think that sometimes people can have greater moral clarity and courage when faced with acts of evil carried out by 'foreigners' than when it is your own kinsmen who are carrying out the acts.

I met a German mining engineer once who had done jail time in apartheid South Africa as he had taken the side of strking miners. He was politically fascist himself, but the sheer inefficiency of trying to work with a sick and hungry workforce went against his sense of logic and efficiency.

TotalMayhem
22-12-2011, 11:09 AM
Fariborz Mokhtari, the author of the book, is a professor at the National Defense University, the Center for Strategic Studies and also linked to the Miller Institute, a think tank chaired by Philip D. Zelikow, one of Dubya's former security advisers.

Here's a list (http://nesa-center.org/faculty/publications/mokhtari) of his previous publications.

Kev Bar
22-12-2011, 11:19 AM
In all fairness Andrew, and in the spirit of the story, people are capable of differentiating
between the Iranian people and the clerical mafia who rule Iran.

How thematic.

The Zionist with the heart of gold:D

TotalMayhem
22-12-2011, 11:41 AM
In all fairness Andrew, and in the spirit of the story, people are capable of differentiating
between the Iranian people and the clerical mafia who rule Iran.

From the book description:


represents the true, tolerant Iranian culture that is still alive today, despite the expressions and actions of the current repressive regime.

fluffybiscuits
23-12-2011, 03:25 PM
Schindler was ... no other word fits .... a crook himself. And, like Sardari, had more than a modicum of human decency. So what if there was profiteering in the process or if the main motive at the beginning was self-enrichment, their actions saved many lives.

Also this story reflects very well on Iran and the much maligned Iranian people.

This is worth a read:
S. Rob Sobhani is author of “The Pragmatic Entente: Israeli-Iranian Relations 1948-1978” (Greenwood Press, 1989) (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/20/israels-iran-dilemma/)

Schindler himself was a major crook of sorts. He made money on the back of exploiting the Jews in his factory at the time and paying them terrible wages. The man traded them like they were a commodity themselves but at the same time he did save their lives so inherently this prevents him from taking the title of being an utter scumbag to some.

TotalMayhem
23-12-2011, 03:50 PM
Sardari certainly saved many lives, no doubt. But I don't take his pure humanitarian motives, as presented in the BBC article, at face value. In the light of what is known about the goings on at the time and the author's background, the story certainly deserves more scrutiny... but then it may not support the idea of the "true, tolerant Iranian culture" which the "current repressive regime" seeks to destroy.