|Re: THE TRAGEDY OF THE ASSYRIANS-1933|
- Friday, September 24 2004, 5:30:10 (CEST)|
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In August and September 1933 reports of events which had been taking place in northern Iraq occupied some space in the columns of the daily press, not only of Great Britain, but of Europe. For some years previously comparatively little attention had been paid by the British press to the affairs of Iraq. The termination of the British mandate in October 1932 and the consequent complete independence of Iraq had been welcomed in England with much satisfaction; indeed, practically the whole British press had long advocate the curtailment of British responsibilities and expenditure in that country. Sincere good wishes for the success of the new Iraqi state were universally expressed. In the summer of 1933, King Feisal, to whom more than to anyone else Iraq owed the fulfillment of her national aspirations, paid a state visit to England, where his charm of manner and attractive personality made a deep impression on all who met him. As a result of this visit hopes for the continuance of close and friendly relations between the two countries were strengthened.
Up to the summer of 1933 comparatively few people in England were aware of the existence of the Assyrian in Iraq. Ecclesiastical circles had, indeed, been interested in this Christian remnant, and there were others who had expressed concern regarding this minority in the north of Moslem Iraq. The reports of the massacres of Christians by Moslems came as a shock to everyone, and not least to those who had at hear the future of Iraq. These reports alleged that large number of Assyrians had been murdered.
None of the accounts given were accurate, either as to the details of the massacres or as to the causes, which had brought them about. In Iraq a veil of secrecy was successfully imposed and the news that trickled through became more and more scanty, and more and more in accurate. On September 5, 1933, King Feisal died very suddenly in Switzerland, and this sad event, though it once more brought Iraq temporarily into the news, rather helped to submerge the Assyrian question. Since then, so many more important events have occurred throughout the world that very occasional references to it have appeared in the press, and the question has been to it have appeared in the press, and the question has been forgotten by all but the small section of people who are really interested.
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