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The articles in this issue have been divided upinto the following categories







Breif notes given to newspaper reproters who asked for an interview with Mr. Dangoor

In 1937, having completed my Engineering studies at London University, I returned to Iraq where I worked on two permanent bridges at Baghdad. These bridges were deemed strategically necessary in the event of the Second World War breaking out, which was looming on the horizon.

The Second World War was often called the unnecessary war. As a teenager during my undergraduate years I was tormented to wonder that a new European war had to take place. I thought of three possibilities:

1. Because Germany was not beaten in the field in 1918 and it was necessary to beat Germany conclusively;
2. That arms merchants liked to start a conflict every generation to increase their profits;
3. That the purpose of a war in Europe was a cover for the destruction of European Jewry.

In the event, Germany as well as the rest of Europe has recovered from their wartime losses, and the arms merchants continue to make huge profits. The only permanent event of the war was the Holocaust, the almost total annihilation if Europe's Jewry under the secret cover of war. The Jews were punished for Zionism and Communism.

In 1939 I was drafted together with 100 other university graduates to officer's training college where I graduated as a Reserve Officer in the Iraq army. There I met a Moslem graduate of LSE and we formed a successful business partnership which lasted over 25 years.

In November 1947 I married my cousin, Renee, whose family had to leave Shanghai in the wake of Communist advance there. On 31 December 1946 I took her to a New Year's Eve ball where she was immediately chosen as 'Miss Iraq', with the title of 'The Queen of Baghdad, the beautiful for 1947'.

Our wedding was the last big event of the Iraqi Jewish community. On 29 November 1947 we were in Palestine on our honeymoon when the UN partition resolution was passed. That changed immediately the political climate all over the Middle East. The relaxed atmosphere in Palestine immediately changed to shooting and fighting and Jews all over the Middle East had to submit to restrictions and discriminations. I was repeatedly advised not to return to Iraq, and so we continued on our honeymoon which was to last over two years.

In November 1949 we were in New York where we contemplated settling when I received a telegram from my partner that our company was chosen by the Coca Cola Company as bottlers of their drink for the whole of Iraq. I decided there and then to return to Baghdad with my wife and new baby son to give my partner a helping hand in the Coca Cola franchise. I found that he had arranged for a limited production based on 20 fits per bottle, but I immediately changed that to a mass production in four bottling plants based on a rock bottom price of 14 fits per bottle. That price, which was the lowest in the whole world, was to stay until Coca Cola was boycotted in all Arab countries when Israel started producing the drink.

In March 1950 an Iraqi law came out that allowed Jews to renounce their citizenship and leave for Israel. It was thought by the Community and hoped by the Iraq Government that not more than a third of the 150,000 Jews would leave but at the expiry date of the new law in March 1951 nearly 80% of the Jews had registered to emigrate.

While Jews had continued to leave, I became involved in new businesses and in industrial ventures. The Revolution of 14 July 1958 resulted in major amelioration for Jewish life in Iraq for the 10,000 of those remaining. My wife decided she did not want to stay in that country because of the violence and we made our way to England to put our children in school there, and start a completely new life as refugees of England.

In 1964 the Ba'ath regime decreed that all Iraqi Jews living abroad had to return Within 3 months or lose their assets and citizenship.
It was a hard choice but I decided for freedom.





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