|Ardeshir Babaknia M.D.|
Scholar, Author | Chairman, Medical Advisory Board
Los Angeles Center for Women’s Health
Dr. Ardeshir Babaknia, a well-known Johns Hopkins trained physician who is currently the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the Los Angeles Center for Women’s Health spent the past 15 years on something other than medicine – a 4-volume book on the Holocaust in his maternal language, Farsi.
For over a decade, Dr. Babaknia has dedicated much of his time and effort to researching, writing and editing a detailed and impeccable four volume historical account of the Holocaust in Farsi. Two other books have also been published by Ardeshir Babaknia:”Jewish Contribution to Human Civilization” in 1972 and “Jewish Winners of the Nobel Prize” in 1992. Dr. Babaknia’s comprehensive four volume book is now available, and already he is working on a 2 volume book in English – “The Holocaust: Capturing the Emotions” which seeks to capture and convey the emotions of both victims and perpetrators involved in the Holocaust.
As a well respected member of the Persian community, Dr. Babaknia’s work is of outmost significance within the Persian community and has been well received. His four volume series is one of the first and only works of its kind written in Farsi. The academic honesty with which he writes will give readers an unbiased and detailed understanding of not only the events of the Holocaust but the subsequent impact. The amount of research that has gone into this book is incredible. The following is what one may expect to find in Dr. Babaknia’s series:
• While there are many books written in English or Farsi, there is really not a significant number of books on the subject of the holocaust.
• Most of these books are translations, such as “Death is My Job” written by Robert Merle and translated by our great poet, Ahmad Shamloo, or “Treblinka “(Uprising at Death Camp “) written by Juan François Steiner.
• This thoroughly researched, 4- volume book has over 2400 pages, 3400 reference, 1500 photo doc. 300 copies of official documents and over 10,000 subject matter indices published in Farsi.
• Besides its length and thoroughly researched accuracy, the book is beautifully written.
• It fuses the essence and emotion of a narrative with the academic honesty of a well researched book – and that alone makes the book hard to put down.
• The holocaust is a tragedy, not just for the Jewish people, but for all mankind.
• It is a tragedy that one man should treat another with a complete lack of empathy and so much hatred.
• It is only through knowledge and understanding that travesties akin to what happened in the holocaust can be prevented.
• Thus, it is important that the story of the holocaust be told, and be heard.
• The world that was silent yesterday, will be silent tomorrow, unless we open our eyes to someone else’s suffering and garner empathy in our society.
• It is not important for holocaust research, to know, just how many people were affected, but to understand why these tragic events occur, as tragedies like this have continued and will continue,if we do not bring the causes of the tragedy to light.
• As it is often said, “those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it”.
• This is a heavy task for writers and researchers to be able to accurately convey the events that made the holocaust the tragedy that it was.
Dr. Babaknia shed light on his reason for allocating time and effort into the book:
The Holocaust, the systematic, bureaucratic extermination of an entire people-men, women, children and suckling infants- solely because of the identity and belief of their grandparents, defies explanation. The facts may be recounted, but can never be fully understood. Questions may be posed, but answers should not be expected-responses, perhaps, but not answers.
As I have studied the events we call the Holocaust, I gradually realized that my first duty, and that of all students of the Holocaust, is to write down what happened, as clearly and completely as possible. There is no subject more important to me than this. Though there exist tens of thousands of books on the subject in English and many other languages, there has never been a comprehensive book about the Holocaust in Persian , which is spoken daily by well over one hundred million people worldwide. Hence the reason for writing this book.
From the Introduction- The Holocaust
“When I began my research on this topic fifteen years ago, I wanted to know why and how the Jews of Europe were destroyed - and why and how the world allowed it to happen. As my mentor, Raul Hilberg, has eloquently stated, The how of the event is a way of gaining insight into perpetrators, victims, collaborators and bystanders.”
It goes without saying that Dr. Babaknia is a force in the Iranian community in more ways than one. His work as a doctor is to be applauded and his work as a writer will and has affected the lives of many. That is why Jaam- va- Jaan magazine is honored to make Dr. Babaknia our esteemed member of the community this month.