In the Lion’s Shadow.


Ari Siletz
by Ari Siletz

A couple of days ago I heard about an upcoming Los Angeles event recognizing the role of Iranian diplomat Abdol-Hossein Sardari (1914-1981) in saving Jewish lives during the Nazi occupation of France. The focus of the gathering will be the introduction of a new book about Sardari called In the Lion’s Shadow. The author, Dr. Fariborz Mokhtari, will be there to discuss his research.  I haven’t read the book yet but have heard enough about Sardari to become curious about the details of how he deceived the Nazis into believing Iranian Jews were members of an Aryan convert sect called “Djuguten!”  After all, the notorious Adolf Eichmann himself dismissed this claim as a trick to evade his gas chambers. In addition to being a life saver to thousands, Sardari should be ranked among the world’s top revisionists, inventing an entire people previously unknown to history and convincingly arguing for their existence. Fascinating chap!  

Unlike the “Djuguten,” Sardari’s humanitarian effort is part of well-documented history made more important by the fact that it has a direct bearing on current affairs.  As the hostility between the Iranian and Israeli governments comes to a boil, the citizens of each country are wondering if the conflict has any genuine cutural roots. To speak matter-of-factly, I am uncertain. On the one hand we have the evidence of relentless “death to Israel” chants reinforced by documented anti-Semitic episodes in Iran’s past, and on the other hand we have the relative tolerance of the Pahlavi period highlighted by the actions of dutiful civil servants like Sardari who made no distinctions between one Iranian citizen and another. With our history pointing to both options, it seems today’s Iranian has a choice.

But how do we exercise this choice in a visible way so that others, including our children, can know?  If you make the choice that one Iranian is the same as another regardless of religion or race, then one way to display it is to show up at an event recognizing a brave and clever national hero who rescued thousands of Iranians from a dangerous situation in Nazi occupied Europe--and even saved some Europeans in the process. How many other heroes can you count in our history who single handedly went against a terrifying power to successfully rescue a huge number of Iranians?  In mythical times Rostam rescued Bijan and Kay Kavus, but Sardari is a real-life Iranian hero from just a few decades ago.  (Quiz: How many Jews did Cyrus rescue from captivity in Babylon?)

I hear that a lady who was seven years old when Sardari rescued her has been invited to the event. Iranian-Jewish journalist Homa Sarshar will be there along with Rav David Shofet the leading rabbi of the Iranian Jewish Community. Iranian Jewish researcher Faryar Nikbakht will do an interview with the author about In the Lion’s Shadow. A to-be-announced non-Jewish Iranian thinker will also be invited, but I am just as interested to see how many Iranian non-Jews in the Los Angeles area understand Sardari’s significance to our nation to show up on their own.

When: 6:30 PM, Monday April 23, 2012
Where: 142 S. Rexford Dr. Beverley Hills CA.
Facebook page.


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Ari Siletz

Thanks Esfand...

by Ari Siletz on

...for the informative description. Yes, 12 CDs seems like a lot to sift through, especially when the episodes get progressively worse. But I suppose I could pace it over a few months period. 

Esfand Aashena


by Esfand Aashena on

Ari jaan Sardari is Hamid Parsa in Zero Degree, he is a good guy (the same guy who played the nurse's kaffash husband in Separation) and a fully France educated Iranian yet religious, not half Palestinian half Iranian.

Everybody, well most everybody, plays well in this series.  It is just too much senseless killings and violence and the focus of the series is about a package containing supposedly evidence of Zionist collaborating with Nazis and fasicists and handful of bad guys Zionists!  That's about it.

When I first saw it (it's a 12 part VCD) it, it started as ok to good and interesting plot but as it went by and with each adding VCD it got worse and worse and worst!  You're not missing anything but you should see it as part of a forced pop culture in Islamic Iran. 

Everything is sacred

Ari Siletz

I plan to be there too.

by Ari Siletz on

Bavafa, I hope things work out so we can run into each other at the event. 

Esfand: Believe it or not, I still haven't seen madaar after all this time. I hear the "Sardari" character is half Iranian half Palestinian. It would be interesting to see what' they've done with the dramatization.

Azarbanoo, glad you liked the blog. Did you see the recent Reza Pahlavi video where he implies Israel should return Cyrus' favor--but not through war. It was on on Israeli TV. 

Amirparviz, please let IC folks know how things develop in London regarding a Sardari event. 


Thanks for sharing this with us....

by Bavafa on

 I am going to see if I can make this, and if my wife doesn't go I may have an empty seat.

'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 


Esfand Aashena

TV series in Iran.

by Esfand Aashena on

Iran Holocaust drama is a big hit  

In 2007 after Ahmadinejad had claimed Holocaust is a myth, opened a Holocaust conference and other nonsense they released this TV series called Zero Degree Turn.  It was a popular show because Iranians were seeing unveiled women for the first time in a TV series.  Presumably the Government had gone liberal to push Ahmadi's agenda.

Other than that the show was not made properly and had too much unncessary gore and violence like the SAW movie franchise.  It was about a Jewish leader dying over a suitcase of documents that Sardari smuggled to Iran along with his love interest who was the Jewish leader's niece.

The documents ended up being evidence of Zionists collaborating with Nazi and Fascists to push their agenda at the expense of killing Jews and other nonsense.

That period in Iran, WWII, Reza Shah and young Mo Reza Shah is an era rich with stories that a lot of novels can be written and movies made.  Perhaps in another time and under better circumstances.

Everything is sacred


Ari, Great announcement in your blog

by Azarbanoo on

Thanks to Iranians such as Sardari, Kourosh & others who save  Jewish people .  They are great heros in the history of mankind in particular IRANIAN'S History.


I can help

by yahudirani on

I wii be glad to help. Contact me please


We need to organize a recogition in London too.

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

How can one get in touch with these organizers in LA?