Historic Figures Who Set Out to Save Jews From the Holocaust

Abdol Hossein Sardari, second from left, in Paris. History Press

34. The Diplomat Who Strove to Save Jews Had a Royal Upbringing

Abdol Hossein Sardari (1914 – 1981) was a member of Iran’s Qajar Dynasty, which had reigned since the late eighteenth century. In 1925, the Qajars were overthrown, and Sardari’s family was forced to flee Iran, abandoning their properties and much of their wealth. They settled in Europe, where Sardari was raised.

Instead of a royal’s life of luxury, waited on hand and foot, he ended up having to earn his keep and make his own way in life. Sardari studied law at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, and graduated with a law degree in 1936. In 1937, he was hired as an Iranian diplomat at the Paris embassy. That was where he was when the Germans launched the blitzkrieg that crushed France in 1940.