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Oral history interview with Edmond Chemla

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

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

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.

Interviewee
Edmond D. Chemla
Interviewer
Peggy Frankston
Date
2009 May 24  (interview)
Language
French
Extent
1 digital file : MP3.
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:19:45
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn41513