Saddam Hussein's Persecution of the Kurds
Oral History Item Type Metadata
Saddam Hussein's persecution against the Kurds is too much. It's denying the basic things that human right would want. It's changing the culture and the way that the Kurds live.
The Kurds were in this land for few thousand years; since there is history, the Kurds have been in this. The Kurds are the first ones who build the first settlement. After human being came down from the caves, we settle in the village. The Kurds were the first one who build the village. That's the village of Jarmo. It's about fifty miles, sixty miles, close to my hometown.
Saddam Hussein didn't want this. Saddam Hussein didn't want the Kurds to live that life, that history. They wanted to deny that history. They wanted to change that history. They wanted the Kurds not to live in this fertile land. According to Bible, this is the Garden of Eden. This is where God placed Adam and Eve. This is a very sacred land. They didn't want the Kurds to live in this land anymore.
Through the '60s, the Kurdish conflict in Iraqi Kurdistan in the past three decades started in 1961. When Saddam came to power in 1963, or his party came to power in 1963, they made an attack on Kurdistan few months after they made their coup. When they started the campaign on the Kurdish land, they rounded up people in the cities, executed them publically in June 1963. June 19, 1963 was regarded, till the usage of chemical weapons, the Martyr Day in Kurdistan because on that day, they rounded up people in several cities in Kurdistan and they executed hundreds of people publically. They burned houses, they destroyed houses, they dynamited houses.
In 1988 Saddam destroyed over 4,000 Kurdish villages, cities, and towns in Iraqi Kurdistan, and gathered people in eighty-one collective towns. They were planning to do the same policy as Stalin did against the Kurds, to put every single family in a single -- in another city or town or village all over the Arabic countries. They discussed that in Arabic Summit in the beginning of the '80s. What happened is that Saddam Hussein went to war with Iran and then with Kuwait and could not implement this policy. If not, the Kurds in Iraq would be finished by now.