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Oral history interview with Jacques Darmon

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.428.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0852

Jacques (Isaac) Darmon, born on February 10, 1936 in Oran, Algeria, describes his brothers Gilbert (born in 1942) and Pierre-Georges (born in 1940 and died at the age of 11 months); his family practicing a non-rigorous and festive Judaism; celebrating their bar mitzvahs; practicing religion at home; his family leaving the traditional Jewish neighborhood and wanting to blend with the rest of the non-Muslim population; the importance of education to his parents; the declaration of war in September 1939; his father being called up and sent to fight in Morocco; his father’s career as an agent who matched up shipping companies with businesses; his education; being expelled from school in 1941 because of the restrictions on Jews in public schools; attending a private school for students of all backgrounds, where Albert Camus was teaching French and history; the Jewish community in Oran creating its own school in 1942 in the Camp de Saint-Philippe; walking with his cousins until July 1942 when they attended a private Jewish school run by Madame Gourion; the Allied invasion on November 8, 1942; not suffering from hunger; the “marché témoin” organized by the French authorities, where rationed items went on sale; how the Jewish community of Oran welcomed the Allied troops and invited the Jewish soldiers into their homes for the holidays; a cultural center that was setup by the Americans; how his education gradually distanced him from religious beliefs; passing his baccalaureate and going to Alger then Marseille, France to study mathematics and physics for three years; studying theoretical physics and earning a PhD; becoming an expert in statistics and being involved in the major censuses of France for INSEE; being in favor of Algerian independence; his civil and later Catholic marriage, the adoption of their two children, and his divorce; and his interest in genealogy.

Jacques Darmon
Peggy Frankston
interview:  2015 October 29
2 digital files : WAV.
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:37:51
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