Mohammed V (10 August 1909 – 26 February 1961) (Arabic: محمد الخامس) was Sultan of Morocco from 1927 to 1953, exiled from 1953 to 1955, where he was again recognized as Sultan upon his return, and King from 1957 to 1961. His full name was Sidi Mohammed ben Yusef, or Son of (Sultan) Yusef, upon whose death he succeeded to the throne. He was a member of the Alaouite Dynasty.
On 20 August 1953, the French who were occupying Morocco at the time forced Mohammed V and his family into exile on Corsica. His uncle, Mohammed Ben Aarafa, was placed on the throne. Mohammed V and his family were then transferred to Madagascar in January 1954. Mohammed V returned from exile on 16 November 1955, and was again recognized as Sultan after active opposition to the French protectorate. In February 1956 he successfully negotiated with France and Spain for the independence of Morocco, and in 1957 took the title of King.
"There are competing accounts of exactly what Mohammed V did or did not do for the Moroccan Jewish community" during the Holocaust. However, "though a subject of debate, most scholars stress the benevolence of Mohammed V toward the Jews" during the Vichy era. Mohammed blocked efforts by Vichy officials to impose anti-Jewish legislation upon Morocco and deport the country's 250,000 Jews to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps in Europe. The sultan's stand was "based as much on the insult the Vichy diktats posed to his claim of sovereignty over all his subjects, including the Jews, as on his humanitarian instincts." Partial Nazi race measures were enacted in Morocco over Mohammed's objection, and Mohammed did sign, under the instructions of Vichy officials, two dahirs (decrees) that barred Jews from certain schools and positions.
Nevertheless, Mohammed is highly esteemed by Moroccan Jews who credit him for protecting their community from the Nazi and Vichy French government, and Mohammed V has been honored by Jewish organizations for his role in protecting his Jewish subjects during the Holocaust. Some historians maintain that Mohammed's anti-Nazi role has been exaggerated; historian Michel Abitol writes that while Mohammed V was compelled by Vichy officials to sign the anti-Jewish dahirs, "he was more passive than Moncef Bay (ruler of Tunisia during the Second World War) in that he did not take any side and did not engage in any public act that could be interpreted as a rejection of Vichy's policy."
Mohammed V was one of the sons of Sultan Yusef, who was enthroned by the French in September 1912 and his wife Lalla Yaqut, who was of Turkish origin.
His first wife was Lalla Hanila bint Mamoun. She was the mother of his first daughter Lalla Fatima Zohra.
His second wife was his first cousin Lalla Abla bint Tahar (Arabic: لالا عبلة بنت طهار) (born 5 September 1909 – died 1 March 1992). She was the daughter of Moulay Mohammed Tahar bin Hassan, son of Hassan I of Morocco. She married Mohammed V in 1929 and died in Rabat on 1 March 1992. She gave birth to five children: the future King Hassan II, Lalla Aicha, Lalla Malika, Moulay Abdallah and Lalla Nuzha.
His third wife was Lalla Bahia bint Antar, mother of his last daughter Lalla Amina.
He died on 26 February 1961 following complications of a surgery he had undergone.
The Mohammed V International Airport and Stade Mohamed V of Casablanca are named after him, as well as numerous universities and various public spaces across Morocco. There is an Avenue Mohammed V in nearly every Moroccan city and a major one in Tunis, Tunisia.
In December 2007, The Jewish Daily Forward reported on a secret diplomatic initiative by the Moroccan government to have Mohammed V admitted to the Righteous Among the Nations.Order of Blood of the Tunisian Republic
Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour of the French Republic-1927
Companion of the Order of Liberation of the French Republic-1945
Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit of the United States-1945
Grand Collar of the Order of the Yoke and Arrows of Francoist Spain-03/04/1956
Grand Collar of the Order of Idris I of the Kingdom of Libya-1956
Collar of the Order of the Hashemites of the Kingdom of Iraq-1956
Grand Cordon of the Order of Umayyad of Syria-1960
Grand Cordon of the Order of Merit of Lebanon, special class-1960
Collar of the Order of the Nile of the Republic of Egypt-1960
Collar of the Order of al-Hussein bin Ali of Jordan-1960
Grand Cordon of the King Abdulaziz Decoration of Saudi Arabia-1960