The right thing to do, no matter what, is the story of Abdol Hossein Sardari
Oskar Schindler was an ethnic German industrialist, German spy, and member of the Nazi party, credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories, which were located in what is now Poland and the Czech Republic.
Dr. Fariborz Mokhtari, born in Iran, is a professor of political science at the University of Vermont. One day he read the book The Puzzle of Hoveyda, which tells the story of Iran’s Prime Minister Amir-Abbas Hoveyda, who served for 13 years, the longest serving prime minister in Iran’s history. After the Iranian Revolution Hoveyda was tried for “waging war against God” and “spreading corruption on earth” and was executed.
In the book Dr. Mokhtari read a mention of a rumor that there was an Iranian diplomat who worked in Paris and helped Jews escape the wrath of the Nazis killing machine. That diplomat was the uncle of Hoveyda, who later on became Iran’s prime minister, who frequented his uncle’s Parisian residence while studying at the Sorbonne. Curiosity led Dr. Mokhtari to contact the publisher of the book who directed him to the author, who directed him to three people who told him the entire story about the young Iranian diplomat Abdol Hossein Sardari, a son of an affluent family who was assigned to join Iran’s diplomatic ranks in France. Sardari was a social butterfly and the parties he gave attracted the crème de la crème of Europe, Nazis as well. When Sardari realized what the Nazis were doing to the European Jews, he used his connections and influence, including the one he had with the Nazis, he issued hundreds of fake passports that enabled Jews to flee Europe to safer Iran.
In 2002 Dr. Mokhtari started to write his book In The Lion’s Shadow, published it in 2011.
The word lion, used in the title of the book, represents the flag of Iran prior to the revolution in its center a lion was depicted. After the revolution the lion image was taken out of Iran’s flag. That means, what Sardari did, he did in the name of the national symbol of Iran.
The subtitle of the book is ‘The Iranian Schindler And His Homeland In The Second World War’, is significant because the number of Jews Abdol Sardari saved was greater than the number of Jews Oskar Schindler saved.
Oskar Schindler story was the subject of the 1982 novel Schindler’s Ark, and the subsequent 1993 film Schindler’s List, which reflected his life as an opportunist, initially motivated by profit, but ended showing extraordinary initiative, tenacity, and dedication in order to save the lives of his Jewish employees.
Now the time has come to tell the story, in a film, of Abdol Hossein Sardari’s heroism. Because if we do not, evil will continue eclipsing good.
Abdol Sardari refused to receive the accolade he deserved. He knew that what he did was the right thing to do, the only thing to do. But accolade he well deserves. His story must be told because it is the right thing to do. It will inspire the next generations.