Holocaust

The lesser-known impact of the Holocaust on Sephardi and North African communities remains an overlooked aspect for many students
holocaust
holocaust

Holocaust

The lesser-known impact of the Holocaust on Sephardi and North African communities remains an overlooked aspect for many students
When teaching about the Holocaust, include information about its impact on Jewish communities in the Balkans
  • The deportation of Balkan Jewry to death camps commenced in the summer of 1941, starting with the Jews of Yugoslavia, and later extending to the Jews of Thrace, Macedonia, and Greece in 1943.
  • On the Island of Rhodes, only 151 of 1,767 Jews survived the death camps.
  • Nearly 60,000 out of 77,000 Greek Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. From March to August 1943, over 45,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau from Salonica alone.
  • Before World War II, Sarajevo was home to between 8,000 and 12,000 Jews. By the end of the Holocaust, 85% of the Jewish population of Sarajevo had perished.

More about the Holocaust’s reach to this part of the world

Emphasize the impact of the Holocaust on the North African Jews of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisian, and Libya, and in the Middle East
  • Hitler’s Mein Kampf was translated into Arabic by Yunis al-Sab'awi and was published in Baghdad beginning in 1933 with additional publications appearing in Lebanon and Egypt.
  • By the late 1930s, approximately 400,000 Jews lived in French North Africa (known as the “Maghreb,” comprised of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia), and 300,000 in the Italian colony of Libya. More than 5,000 Tunisian Jews were sent to forced labor camps, and at least 265 were murdered, and approximately 2,000 Algerian Jews were forced into labor and concentration camps in Bedeau and Djelfa. During the Holocaust, a total of 2,584 people were sent to the Giado (Jado) concentration camp, south of Tripoli; all but 47 of them were Libyan Jews.
  • Only in Morocco were North African Jews spared due to the efforts of Sultan Mohammed bin Youssef, later crowned King Mohammed V, who defied pro-Nazi French colonial powers and safeguarded the country's quarter-million Jews.

 

See additional resources about the impact of the Holocaust on North African communities: