Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Tunisians recall wartime labour camps
Today is International Holocaust Memorial Day.
While the Holocaust overwhelmingly affected European Jews, let us not forget that Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews too would have been targeted for extermination had Rommel won the military campaign in North Africa.
Nevertheless, from November 1942 to May 1943, Jews in Tunisia came under direct Nazi rule. This three- minute clip tells the stories of Shushan Cohen and Gad Shahar, who were among the 5,000 Jews sent to Labour camps. Gad Shahar tells how as a 19-year-old he was shocked to hear the people of his neighbourhood cheer as the Jews were herded to the camps.
Shushan Cohen remembers having to bed down in a horses' stable full of dung. He recalls a few curses and other words in German. The
prisoners had to eat, drink and urinate from the same tin. Jews were singled out for such treatment.
Dozens of Jews were shot to death in these camps. Some 40 were deported to European death camps and never returned.
Here is the list of Tunisian Jewish victims:
Tibi in the resistance of Sousse, deported to Europe, died
Assous in resistance of Hodjeb El Ayoun, deported to Europe, died
Mounier in resistance, died during mission
Joseph Chemla deported to Buchenwald, died in Torgau
Gilbert Chemla deported to Buchenwald, died in Torgau
Jean Chemla deported to Buchenwald, died in Torgau
Rousseau Ruhlmann deported, died
Cohen-Hadria died in Auschwitz
Raymond Samama died in Oranienbourg
Victor Nataf shot by the Nazis, as a spy for the Allies
Serge Moatti deported to Auschwitz, came back
Victor Silvera deported to Auschwitz, came back
Andre Assuied in Djebibina, died in forced labor camp
Emile Hababou shot by a German guard, 1/23/1943, Bizerte camp
Alfred Hababou shot by German guard, nicknamed "Grandma," Bizerte
Elie Saadoun shot by German guard, nicknamed "Grandma," 2/9/43
Victor Lellouche killed by soldier Walter, nicknamed "the killer"
G. M. Guedj
Edmond Azria 2/16/43
Chalom Guez 2/24/43
Robert Amram 1.43
Jacques Cohen 4.43
Gilbert Mordechai Mazouz, shot on a long march 9.12.1942
Roger Ktorza, rescued by Saada J. Saffar
(compiled from Sabille, Jacques. Les Juifs de Tunisie sous Vichy et l'Occupation. Paris: Edition du Centre de Documentation) Acknowledge the Righteous (Robert Satloff in The Daily Star)