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In fact, the first finance minister and one of the architects of the modern state of Iraq, Sassoon Eskell, was an Iraqi Jew.During the 1930s, Iraqi Jews were subjected to increasing persecution.The periods of the Amoraim and Geonim were golden ones in Babel, the area of modern-day Iraq, for the Jews.But even as the centers of Jewish life moved elsewhere and the rise of Islam created hardship and suffering for Jews, there was a strong Jewish presence in Iraq. The early years of that century were relatively good for the Jews, particularly under the British Mandate during the 1920s.
“It’s very important for people to know what happened to my parents – what happened to my mother, what happened to my brothers and my sisters.
No one heard their voice.” Elisha Cohen speaks clearly and confidently when discussing the history of his family in Iraq, but there are moments when you can hear the emotion permeate his voice.