A junior Iranian diplomat in France representing a neutral developing country risks all under German occupation in the Second World War to save as many threatened Jewish families as he can - and his efforts went well beyond saving Iranians. Abdol-Hossein Sardari was born into a privileged Iranian family but had a hard life from early childhood. Yet the problems he faced did not undermine his conviction to stand with the forces of good against evil. He saved hundreds of families, protected their property and even secured food rations for their children. By challenging the inherent absurdity of the Third Reich's racial laws and turning Nazi logic on its head, he argued that Iranian Jews were not Semite but of Aryan 'stock'. The concept of Blutmassig nicht Juden, those whose religion was based on the teachings of Moses but whose blood and race were not Jewish - skilfully exploited by a man trained in law - would save lives. Without his diplomatic status and with Iran having declared war on Germany after its occupation by the Allied Armies, Sardari was extremely vulnerable. With no protection or even compensation from Tehran, he worked on to the end of the War.
This kind, compassionate man lost the love of his life in the chaos of the Chinese Revolution. His own life ended no less tragically; but the families he had saved thrived and their descendants are on every continent, keeping his memory alive. This story is a timely reminder not only of Iran's betrayal in the Second World War but of the underlying historical realities of that troubled country today. 'Astonishing.' The Daily Mail 'A moving account of the role an Iranian diplomat played in the dark days in Europe during WWII; but the passion in telling the story transforms the work into more.' Dr William J. Olson, Distinguished Professor, National Defense University 'This fascinating book shines a light on an unknown subject. Iran, or Persia as it was known, hides in the tapestry of history giving glimpses of a gorgeous past rich with colour and culture. Most of us now know it more, sadly, for its intolerance, revolution and mullahs rather than its extraordinary history, poetry, artistry and its cultural tolerance. Taking a character, about whom little is known, and explaining his part in saving his contemporaries can be fraught with problems.
Fariborz Mokhtari avoids much of this by providing us with a history lesson and context. This is a fascinating read.' Rear Party Armed Forces Friends and Family Illustrations