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Oral history interview with Sami Dorra

Oral History | Accession Number: 2010.144 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0576

Sami Dorra, born in Beirut, Lebanon on March 28, 1920, discusses his family’s move to Vienna, Austria then Paris, France; enrolling in the Sorbonne to study physics and mathematics; how two days before the Germans reached Paris in June 1940, Sami, his elder brother, and his cousin Moïse Lévy took bikes and headed towards the south of France, and eventually splitting up; going to Port Vendres in the Pyrénées-Orientales; being a stowaway on a ship; managing to get to and stay in Algeria; enrolling in the only French university still functioning in North Africa; travelling to Casablanca in 1940; deciding not to return to Algiers; being arrested by the local police because he lacked proper permits and visas; being taken to the camp of Oued Zem; being sent to the camp of Im Fout; how many of the workers fell ill with typhus and he caught amoebic dysentery; how Morocco was liberated in November 1942 by Americans; the French authorities tracking him down, but the Iranians provided him with a certificate stating he was essential to the war effort; meeting an American woman from Illinois who was working for the Red Cross; getting married in 1945; returning to France in 1946 to visit his parents; and returning to Morocco, where he worked in various capacities for local newspapers until he left for France in 1950.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Sami Dorra
Peggy Frankston
interview:  2010 April 30
1 digital file : WAV.
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:23:24
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