Tehran Children & Anders Army

The Teheran Children and Anders' army

The Teheran Children were Jewish children from Poland who, with the outbreak of World War II, fled with their families to eastern Poland, which was occupied by the Red Army, in accordance with the Ribbentrop-Molotov agreement. On June 22, 1941, with the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union they continued eastward deep into the country, to Siberia and the Asian republics.

In 1942, with the formation of the Polish Army on Soviet soil, under the command of General Wladyslaw Anders, and which was called the Anders Army, it enrolled Polish officers and soldiers who had been released from their imprisonment in Gulags in Siberia and Kazakhstan.
Attached to this army were thousands of non-combatant Polish refugees, women, elderly people and children, starving and ragged, whose food was given to them from the soldiers' field  rations. Among them were thousands of Jews who were looking for a way out of the forced labor camps and out of the Soviet Union, even at the cost of arousing anti-Semitism, which was openly rife in the Anders Army.
Anders turned his men into an organized army. In view of the phenomenon of anti-Semitism he issued an order stating that the Jews had rights and duties in the service of the army, like all other Polish citizens. "Within the army, they should be treated with the same candor, warmth and trust as is the case of all the other soldiers”.
In order to avoid misunderstandings, he clarified the guidelines for the recruitment of soldiers for active duty: officers, professional non-commissioned officers, soldiers who were on active duty, as well as volunteers who had undergone pre-military training and were found fit by the recruitment committee, would be immediately accepted into the army.
The others would be directed to the southern republics of the Soviet Union, where they would be registered as reserve forces
All this, was done in order to refute the claim that that difficulties were made for the Jews when they entered the army " I order all subordinate commanders, to fight completely against all manifestations of racist anti-Semitism ..."
In light of the political differences, following an agreement between Stalin, Churchill and the Polish forces, 114,732 Polish soldiers and refugees were allowed to move from the Soviet Union to Persia, which was under British influence.
The families of hundreds of Jewish soldiers joined the army on its journey. This included hundreds of children without parents.
When the army arrived in Iran, the Jewish Agency set up a children's camp in Teheran, where they gathered them and prepared their immigration to Eretz Israel. In Persia and Iraq, Anders formed and trained his army, prepared it for missions and after a few months, set out for the Middle East on his way to the Italian front, and with them - the children
 1230 people, including 369 adults and 861 children (of whom 719 without parents and 142 with one or two parents) arrived by Sea from Karachi via the Suez Canal to Egypt and from there on February 18, 1943, via  Rehovot and Hadera, to Atlit, accompanied by festive and emotional receptions.
Following the heated debates between the Histadrut and the Labor settlement Movement, and between the various religious movements, on the question of where the children should be educated, it was agreed that children up to the age of 14 would be divided as follows: 298 children - to general secular educational institutions, moshavim and kibbutzim, 36 to traditional educational institutions, 288 to "Mizrachi" institutions and settlements, 38 children, to Agudat Israel institutions, and the remaining 200, aged 14 and over, were left to decide for themselves where they would be raised and educated.
Among the "Teheran Children" were: the generals in the reserves - Haim Erez and Avigdor Ben Gal ("Yanush"), Hadassah Lempel, Arie Mantkevich, Alex Giladi the rabbis - Ben Zion Rabinovich and Pinchas Schreiber and author Ben-Zion Tomer.
Six months later, in August 1943, another group of about 120 children arrived via Iraq and Jordan.
During the journey of the Anders Army, 3,085 Jewish soldiers deserted and immigrated to Israel as illegal immigrants. About 2,000 joined the British Army, and later the Jewish Brigade, and others, to the Hebrew Settlement Police and the underground organizations in Israel. Among them were Menachem Begin, who later became Commander of the Irgun  and Prime Minister of Israel, David Azrieli, Yaakov Kaplan and Yohanan Brillant.

Natan Alterman (an Israeli poet)

The Teheran Children
(Fifteen years after their arrival in Israel)

Even after they had grown, up for years and became old,
Even after time will have changed them
And they will be bald and have white beards,
They will still be called the Teheran Children...
They will take with them until old age the childhood nickname
Like a strange foreign sound.
But the heavens witnessthat sometime, during their childhood,
sevenfold to call them children was seven-fold strange .
Because in this old man there sometimes dwells a child.
But the Teheran Children is a code name that conceals
the memory of a cruel and persecuting time
In which the child fought for his life like an old man
The time moves away and sinks,
But suddenly burst out of it in a cloud
The wars of despair and of the burden and the strength
Of the children of the period of the elders of Teheran.
Yes, the war of the Elders of Teheran aged ten,
And the war of the six-year-old elders of Kazakhstan,
All the elders of the battles between Siberia and Polsia,
The little old men haunted by fire.
From a name, from a sound, from a forgotten song,
It suddenly bursts out and is spread unknowingly
Into the iron instruments and the paper and the wind
Of the revival of the Jews and the tears of the children
Into the iron instruments and the wood and the wind,
To the iron of  the army, to the writing,
It's melted like an important content ... it's sent
Like lightning, there is significance from going to the threshold.
It passes as a silent answer, like the secret of a whisper,
The conversation of gentle thought makers
Who so often wonder what advantage and what is the dawn,
In terms of eternal values, the tools of the state.
This contradicts as a silent and forgotten answer
The thin, know-it-like scapegoat
Because it is a wall and protects from wandering and fear
They are only a tool which is not a purpose to itself.
They are only tools if the thinker does not invent them
The final explanation answer "for what purpose
They are only a dangerous tool that is even future
To impoverish and impoverish the soul of the nation
It passes as a silent answer - and sent
The questions of doubt are quite right
It passes as an answer of nights of snow-bound spaces
And of battles without help and without witnesses.
It passes like a battle over bread and millet,
It passes like a memory of loneliness and terror,
This is given, as stated, vessels with little content
And somewhat reminiscent of the advantage and why.
It is seen from distant years that have passed
In the form of a wandering child. The Maggid says:
He is one of the Teheran Children. He is a soldier and a captain.
And alone he is waging a world war.
Thus says the Maggid... and the face of a country is blowing
And a wall and shield and just a roof seem a supreme object and purpose
And as the main objective which unbelievably has been achieved