A Polish refugee lands in Iran

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From the diary of Emil Landau



Here Emil, age 15, records his arrival in Pahlavi, northern Iran, in August 1942:

In forty plus degrees heat [over 100 degrees Fahrenheit], the first group leaves the ship’s dock, and after a half an hour sail gets to the small port of Pelhavi. Difficult to transmit in writing the first impression. Each one feels as if he is born again, has come to a place out of this world. The port’s waters are littered with colorful boats. The surroundings are mowed lawns and flowerbeds. Rows of impressive Chevrolets and Studebakers waiting for transport. Everything seems good and beautiful, everything smiles together with the Persians, and with the Indian soldiers who gaze at the arrivers with pity. After we are on shore everyone hugs everyone.

As we pass through small towns, Persian kids toss apples at the cars. Everyone is awed by the look of luxurious stores where one can get anything: chocolate and other Western sweets, and most importantly- bread and buns made of white flour. No sign of lines. Everything like a fairytale. Like the Samarkand dreams of mountains of bread. The heart expands.


Map drawn by Emil Landau with highlight showing the route of the Tehran Children



One Response

  1. Dedication
    | Reply

    In remembrance of Polish soldiers, women, men and children coming back home, dead on foreign land and buried here in 1942

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