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Oral history interview with Hélène Chemla

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

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

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.

Interviewee
Hélène Chemla
Interviewer
Peggy Frankston
Date
2009 May 02  (interview)
Language
French
Extent
1 digital file : MP3.
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:19:46
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn41514