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Oral history interview with Edmond Chemla

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.371 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0563

Edmond Chemla, born February 5, 1921 in Monastir, Tunisia, discusses the history of the Jewish community of Monastir; his father’s early life and glass-cutting business; his education in a Franco-Muslim school; his religious education and practice of Judaism; his mother’s family history and jewelry business; his family life in Monastir; the family’s move to Sousse, Tunisia in 1939; his job at the Bank of Tunisia in Sousse; his reaction to the outbreak of war in Europe; Tunisians’ position on France’s collaboration with Germany; the Tunisian authorities’ reluctant compliance with antisemitic laws; his work during the war, first for a wealthy family and then at BNP, after being dismissed from the Bank of Tunisia for being Jewish; his experiences during the German occupation from November 1942 to April 1943, including forced labor under German command; Tunisians’ reaction to the liberation of Tunisia by the English; his work at BNP from then until the end of the war; changes in Jewish-Arab relations in Monastir after the war; his views on the founding of Israel; his support of Tunisian independence from France; his move to Paris, France in 1956; his work as an independent stockbroker and portfolio manager; the increased tension between Jews and Arabs in Tunisia; the different ways Ashkenazi Jews and North African Jews perceived Arabs; his desire for peace between Jews and Arabs; and his views on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and its relations with its Arab neighbors.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Edmond D. Chemla
Peggy Frankston
interview:  2009 May 24
1 digital file : MP3.
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:23:22
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