Dekel Mikhal. “The Flight East: Holocaust Refugees in Tashkent, Tehran and Tel-Aviv”.
Beginning in September 1941, Central Asia and Iran became places of refuge to hundreds of thousands of Jewish and Christian Polish citizens. Mikhal Dekel, whose father was a child refugee in Tehran, recounts 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 from Poland to the Soviet interior, Central Asia, Iran, India and Palestine, analyzing 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 author of Oedipus in Kishinev (Bialik Institute, 2014), and The Universal Jew Moment: Masculinity, Modernity and the Zionist Moment (Northwestern University Press, 2011). Tehran Children is a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, and the Chautauqua Prize for Contribution to Literary Arts.