Brit-Am Historical Reports (11 June, 2015, 24 Sivan, 5775)
1. When Baghdad Burned: The June 1941 Farhud Massacre byÂ Edwin Black
2. Isolated people in Sweden only stopped using runes 100 years ago by Lise Brix
3. How the Portuguese Secret Jews (Marranos) Saved England by Manuel Azevedo
1. When Baghdad Burned: The June 1941 Farhud Massacre
May 28, 2015 10:03
Author: Edwin Black
'Violent dispossession.' In an Arabic dialect, the word is Farhud. For decades after it occurred, many thought the nightmare was a sudden and unexpected convulsion that afflicted the Iraqi Jewish community, one that lived in that land for some 2,600 years. But in truth, the wild rape and killing spree of June 1-2, 1941, was not unexpected. For years, the Jew hatred, anti-British rage, and Nazi agitation seethed just below the surface, like a smoking volcano waiting to erupt.
Soon after Hitler took power in 1933, Germany's charge d'affaires in Baghdad, Fritz Grobba, acquired the Christian Iraqi newspaper Al-Alem Al Arabi, converting it into a Nazi organ that published an Arabic translation of Hitler's Mein Kampf in installments. Then, Radio Berlin began beaming Arabic programs across the Middle East. The Nazi ideology of Jewish conspiracy and international manipulation was widely adopted in Iraqi society, especially within the framework of the Palestine problem that dominated Iraqi politics.
As Arab Nationalism and Hitlerism fused, numerous Nazi-style youth clubs began springing up in Iraq. One pivotal group known as Futuwwa was nothing less than a clone of the Hitler Youth. In 1938, Futuwwamembers were required to attend a candlelight Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg. When the delegation came back from Germany, a common chant in Arabic was, 'Long live Hitler, the killer of insects and Jews.'
By the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, and a coterie of transnational Palestinian agitators, had thoroughly permeated Baghdad's ruling circles. For example, Taha al-Hashimi, Iraqi Chief of Staff, doubled as the head of the Committee for the Defense of Palestine.
To lure more Arabs to the Nazi cause, Grobba employed such tactics as dispensing lots of cash among politicians and deploying seductive German women among ranking members of the army. German radio broadcasting in Baghdad regularly made fallacious reports about non-existent Jewish outrages in Palestine. Grobba, in conjunction with the Mufti, cultivated many Iraqis to act as surrogate Nazis.
By April 1, 1941, with WWII in full swing, a group of pro-Nazi Iraqi military men known as the Golden Square staged a coup, ousting the British-dominated government. Quickly, the Golden Square welded Iraqi actions to Berlin's iron will. Why did they become partners? The Golden Square wanted Germany to destroy the British and Jewish presence in their country. The Third Reich craved what was beneath the ground - oil. Without that oil, still controlled by a British oil company, Germany could not invade Russia.
An abortive effort to seize British oil and military facilities in Iraq roiled throughout May 1941. But on May 28, 1941, a British military column determined to protect the oil installations finally punched toward the outskirts of Baghdad to defeat the insurgency. The Nazi-allied Golden Square and the Reich's wirepuller, Grobba, fled the capital. On May 31, at 4 a.m., with the morning still more dark than dawn, the acting mayor emerged with a white flag on behalf of the residuum of official authority in Iraq.
The next day, on June 1, with British authority nominally restored but still withdrawn beyond the outskirts of Baghdad and the Golden Square coup plotters out of the country, the British puppet regent, Prince Abd al-Ilah, returned to Iraq. During the few hours surrounding the regent's return, a power vacuum existed in the country. It resulted in the bloodbath of June 1-2 that became known as the Farhud.
The original plans for a sweeping anti-Jewish action on June 1, organized before the pseudo-success of the British, were intended to mimic Nazi mass murder campaigns in Europe. Lists of Jews had already been compiled. Jewish homes had been marked in advanced with a blood-red hamsa, or palm prints, to guide the killing. The text announcing the mass murder and expulsion was already prepared and scheduled for radio broadcast.
But Jewish leaders who learned of the impending disaster begged for mercy from the temporary local mayoral authorities, who successfully engineered the expulsion from Baghdad of the massacre planners. The radio broadcast on May 31 merely announced that the British-appointed regent would return to his palace from his temporary refuge in Trans-Jordan.
Baghdad's Jews had every reason to celebrate. June 1 was the joyous holy day of Shavuot, commemorating when the Law of the Torah was given to the Jews on Mt. Sinai. Baghdad's Jews thought stability had returned to their 2,600-year existence in Iraq. They were so wrong.
At about 3:00 p.m. that June 1, Regent Abd al-Ilah had landed at the airport near Baghdad. He was making his way across al-Khurr Bridge to the Palace when a contingent of Baghdadi Jews went out to greet him. As the group came to the bridge, they encountered a contingent of dejected soldiers just returning from their dismal surrender to British forces. The mere sight of these Jews, bedecked in festive holiday garb, was enough to enrage the soldiers.
Suddenly, the Jews were viciously attacked with knives and axes. Several were hacked to death right then and there on the bridge. The planned systematic extermination, now foiled, broke down into a spontaneous citywide slaughter.
Baghdad became a fast-moving hell. Frenzied mobs raced throughout the city and murdered Jews openly on the streets. Women were raped as their horrified families looked on. Infants were killed in front of their parents. Home and stores were emptied and then burned. Gunshots and screams electrified the city for hours upon hours. Beheadings, torsos sliced open, babies dismembered, horrid tortures, and mutilations were widespread. Severed limbs were waved here and there as hideous trophies.
Women were defiled everywhere. Arabs broke into the girls' school and the students were raped - Â endlessly. Six Jewish girls were carted away to a village fifteen kilometers north and located only later. One young girl was raped, and then her breasts slashed off - an all too typical crime that day. Young or old, Jewish females were set upon and mercilessly gang raped and often mutilated.
In truth, no one will ever know many were murdered or maimed during those two dark days. Official statistics, based on intimidated and reluctant witnesses, listed about 110 Jews dead. Hundreds were listed as injured. But Jewish leaders said the real numbers were far greater. One Iraq historian suggested as many as 600 were murdered during the overnight rampage. The Jewish Burial Society was afraid to bury the bodies. The corpses were ignominiously collected and entombed in a large, long, rounded mass grave that resembled a massive loaf of bread.
2. Isolated people in Sweden only stopped using runes 100 years ago by Lise Brix
May 21, 2015 - 06:25
In a remote part of Sweden they used runes until just a hundred years ago. The people in the area also speak their own language: Elfdalian.
Most people associate runes with the Viking age but in lvdalen in western Sweden, the local population continued to use runes for centuries after the ancient written language had been abandoned by the rest of Scandinavia.
Hidden deep in the Swedish forests the runes were allowed to live on until the early 20th century, just as the inhabitants retained their very special language Elfdalian which is considered a veritable treasure chest for Scandinavian linguists.
The runic script was the dominant written language in Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia until the advent of Christianity in the ninth and tenth century introduced the Latin alphabet.
By the 15th century the Latin alphabet had almost wiped out the use of runes, Â but not in Alvdalen. Here, the Swedish linguist Henrik Rosenkvist recently saw a letter dated 1906 written partly in runes.
'The use of runes in Scandinavia gradually ceased during the 15th century. There are the odd areas of Gotland in Sweden and in Iceland where the rune tradition survived until the 17th century, but in Alvdalen their use was widespread until the early 20th century,' he says.
3. How the Portuguese Secret Jews (Marranos) Saved England
By Manuel Azevedo
Hector Nunes was born of New Christian parents in Evora, around 1520, after the forced baptism of 1497 but before the onset of the Inquisition in Portugal. He attended Coimbra University, as a Catholic of course, and graduated in medicine in 1543. By then the Inquisition had started its monstrous work, especially in Evora. He immediately fled to England to join his family. At first engaged in trade, he was eventually certified by the Royal College of Physicians and even elected Censor of the College in 1562. He became a highly sought after physician, treating the likes of Lord and Lady Burlghey and Sir John Penott, Lord Deputy of Ireland.
He was soon providing Burghley and queen Elizabeth's Ministers, notably the principal secretary Walsingham, intelligence information on Spanish military and naval movements. Nunes' large scale trading was a perfect cover for his espionage activities. The wily Nunes even corresponded directly with Phillip the Catholic. He had an extensive network of informants including his own brother-in-law in Madrid who was later arrested. Roth notes that Nunes was so important to the government that the Privy Council even protected him from creditors. He was appointed as a special commissioner in insurance cases. He was treated unlike any other Portuguese merchant of the period.
On May 30th, 1588, the 'Invincible' Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon to invade England with approximately 140 ships, 25, 000 men and 180 priests. They were intent on taking England in the name of Catholicism and root out Protestantism. They had the Pope's blessing.
Unbeknownst to the commander of the Spanish fleet, one of Nunes' ships from Lisbon contained more than salt and figs. It is said that Nunes was in the middle of supper when he received the despatch with the news of the Armada's departure. He arose from his half eaten dinner, and headed straight to Walsingthams house with the news. England was ready for the Spanish fleet. Less than 70 Spanish ships limped back home.
Not only was England saved, but also the defeat of the 'Invincible' Spanish Catholic Armada had significant military, political, and religious importance for years to come. The power of the Pope and the Catholic Church were curbed and the way opened for Manasseh's ultimately successful plea to Cromwell entitled:
To his Highnesse the Lord protector of the Common-wealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The Humble Addresses of Menasseh ben Israel, a Divine, and Doctor of Physick, in behalfe of the Jewish nation.