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Oral history interview with Hélène Chemla

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.369 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0564

Hélène Chemla (née Boukobza), born in Sousse, Tunisia in 1932, discusses being raised in an extended family as her father suffered from a fatal disease; how as middle class Tunisian Jews, her family was often looked down upon by the Italian and French Jewish community; her father’s successful boutique which tailored custom-made clothing to the French community of bureaucrats and government employees; attending public school and learning French; how the Germans imposed wearing the Jewish star in Sousse, though not in Tunis; fleeing to Djemal (Jamel) and then eventually Moknine and Monistir after the Allies and Germans started bombing Tunis; how her father had been recruited for hard labor but was allowed to work at another location once the Germans realized he was an excellent tailor; how once defeat was imminent, the Germans told her father not to return to work for several days, during which he fled to find his family; and moving with her family back to Sousse and in 1956, to France, when Tunisia declared its independence.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Hélène Chemla
Peggy Frankston
interview:  2009 May 02
1 digital file : MP3.
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:40:18
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