A grey, windy day—a good day to sit in the window of the GoNOMAD Cafe and read the WSJ. Here I found a piece by Roya Hakakian about Iran and the Holocaust. The author has a visit from two young female medical students, and at dinner they tell her that they had never heard the word “holocaust’ and thought that Hitler was just a dictator in Germany.
The reason was revealed–since the 1980 revolution, textbooks in Iran simply don’t mention either topic. Nobody who reads in Persian would know anything about what happened from 1939-44 because it is never taught.
One irony here is that Iran is the home to thousands of Jews. They live with a minimal amount of hassle surrounded by strident moslems. Everyday Iranians though, says the story, are suspicious of government anti-Israel propaganda, and unwilling to hate Israel as Ahmadinejad would like them to.
During the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, young Iranians were reportedly not interested in supporting the terrorist group, and were vehemently against their government’s investment in it. This despite what we read in quotes from Ahmadinejad, who seems to get all the press.