“Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey” – Mikhal Dekel (City College of New York) comes to Duke to give the Holocaust Remembrance Day lecture on her new book, “Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey.” A book signing and reception will follow.
Dekel was born in Haifa, Israel, to a Holocaust refugee father and an Israeli-born mother. Over the course of seven intense years, she completed her mandatory military service, earned an L.L.B. from Tel Aviv University’s Buchmann School of Law, interned at the Tel Aviv State Attorney’s Office and joined the Israel Bar Association, before completing a graduate program in English at the CCNY and then a Doctoral program at Columbia University. She teaches English and Comparative Literature at CCNY and the CUNY Graduate Center, and directs CCNY’s Rifkind Center for the Humanities and Arts.
Tehran Children is the culmination of Mikhal’s decade-long journey to understand her father and the odyssey at the core of his young adulthood-an experience which he never talked about, though it informed every aspect of his being. His wartime odyssey was also part of a larger chapter in the history of World War II, that of refugees in Central Asia and the Middle East. The fact that most Polish Jews who survived the war had followed this path was virtually unknown at the time when she began writing.