It was over 100 degrees that August day in 1942 when the first of what would eventually be 1,000 kids arrived in Tehran. They were Jewish kids, mostly Polish, escaping Nazi persecution and hopefully on their way to Palestine. What they found on arrival was paradise: mown lawns, colorful flowerbeds, shops full of everything one could want, even chocolate! There were no bombed out buildings, no bread lines, no persecution. In fact, just the opposite. As the young refugees traveled by bus to various towns, Persian kids ran to the buses to welcome them with apples and smiles. Many of the Jewish kids would spend six months as guests in Iran, a time of hospitality and healing from the horrors of war. As written by one young traveler, “Everything is like a fairytale… Each one feels as if he is born again, has come to a place out of this world.” Heroism isn’t always heroic, sometimes it’s simply dressed as kindness.
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