The chants swelled in the throats of a hundred thousand people crowded under the swinging cadavers. “Death to traitors!” “Death to Israel!”
“What did you think, standing there?”
Dr. Hassan did not excuse himself, but neither did he berate himself. Those executed were spies, they had been convicted of working against the revolution; these were the consequences.
“There was no concept of democracy, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, the rights of an individual. We didn’t feel these things, we didn’t think these things, we didn’t have any practice of them. I came from a religious town where you could never give your frank opinion. No one had ever been able to speak freely, contradict or question the prevailing order, or especially any kind of religious institution. There was no discussion of these things, life simply was, and was organized already. We did not feel mercy or pity for those Jewish spies who were hanged. We didn’t know the reality, that they were innocent, that they had been tortured. People were shouting, ‘Death to the spies!’ OK, we shouted, ‘Death to the spies!’”