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Oral history interview with Arlette Benichou

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.163 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0629

Arlette Benichou (Messaouda-Fortunée El Haïk), born March 7, 1921 in Tunis, Tunisia, discusses her family background; how her family gained French citizenship because her father was employed by the French protectorate; her schooling; working in the Postal Service; the background of her husband, Albert Benichou; how she learned of Albert’s Jewish identity; marrying Albert in June 1941 and moving to his hometown of Orléansville, Algeria (now Chlef, Algeria); losing her government job because of the Vichy regime’s antisemitic legislation; how her husband started a firewood business using a Catholic acquaintance to legally own the business; how the acquaintance took over the business when her husband was ill and then refused to return it to him; how her family doctor worked in secret because Jews were no longer authorized to practice medicine; giving birth to five children between 1942 and 1952; knowing about the secret plans for the liberation of Algeria; listening to de Gaulle on a small radio which they hid from the authorities; the invasion of Allied soldiers in 1942; how her family invited English soldiers into their home to eat with them; how her husband joined the French army while still remaining in his job in the Postal Service; and leaving Algeria in 1962 and settling in Toulouse, France.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Ms. Arlette Benichou
Peggy Frankston
interview:  2011 August 07
1 digital file : WAV.
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:41:10
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