Interpretations and Perspectives of the Great Conflict
Edited By Jarosław Suchoples and Stephanie James
Esmaeil Zeiny - From Neutrality to Its Infringement. Holomine in Persia during World War I
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Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS) Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
From Neutrality to Its Infringement. Holomine in Persia during World War I
Abstract: The outbreak of World War I and its consequences represents one of the most momentous political episodes in twentieth-century world history. One of the largely unknown calamities of World War I is that several non-European countries such as Persia suffered a great deal because of the War. Although Persia declared neutrality when the war broke out, it became the battleground for the Ottoman, the Russians and the British. Immersed in its own civil war, Persia then had to witness the battle between Russia-Britain with the German supported Ottomans. This, along with some other factors, such as natural factors and the incompetency of the central government, caused great famine in Persia in the last two years of the war killing 9 million people. However, as one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century, termed here as ‘Holomine’, this calamity is largely unknown or forgotten. By studying the history of Persia before and during the Great War, this chapter examines the reasons for violation of Persia’s neutrality. The chapter discusses factors which contributed to the spread of famine throughout Persia and explains how ca. 40% of the Persians expired.
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