Posted by: Lister | September 17, 2007

Iranian Schindler’s List

A miniseries, produced by government media and aired on state-run television titled “Zero Degree Turn”.

It shows men, women and children with yellow stars on their clothes being taken forcibly out of their homes and loaded into trucks by Nazi soldiers.

“Where are they taking them?” the horrified hero, a young Iranian diplomat who works at the Iranian Embassy in Paris, asks someone in a crowd of onlookers.

“The Fascists are taking the Jews to the concentration camps,” the man says. The hero, named Habib Parsa, then begins giving Iranian passports to Jews to allow them to flee occupied France to then-Palestine.

Though the Habib character is fictional, it is based on a true story of diplomats in the Iranian Embassy in Paris in the 1940s who gave out about 500 Iranian passports for Jews to use to escape.

[…] The series began with a love story between Habib, the embassy employee, and a French Jew, Sara Stroke, in the early 1940s. Viewers say the love story pulls them in as much as the history.

After Paris is occupied by the Nazis, Habib decides to forge Iranian passports for many French Jews to save them from the Holocaust — starting with Sara and her family. The German government accepts his embassy’s claim that the passport holders are from an Iranian tribe and lets them leave France.

Habib is imprisoned by the Nazis for espionage after his forgeries are discovered. He then is released and returns to Tehran, where he is jailed again for forging passports.

Eight episodes remain in the series, and viewers drawn by the love story are on edge as they await the finish.

[…] State media have said the series, which began in April, is popular. It has been a revelation for some Iranians and has pulled them away from more popular satellite channels, which are banned but which many watch anyway on illegal dishes. The fare on state TV is usually dry.



  1. Have you watched this? Do they have it with English subtitles? Should I stop asking you and just go to google?

  2. 😀
    I’ve not watched it. I just thought it was a great story.

  3. Will the series air in Australia?

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