Jacques Abravanel

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  • Photo taken in:
    Salonica
    Country name at time of photo:
    Greece
    Country name today:
    Greece

This is a picture of my father-in-law, Jacques Abravanel. It was taken in Salonica in the 1930s. 

My father-in-law’s wife died of cancer when she was really young, so he had to bring up by himself eight children. And he did his best. He was a very tall and huge man and he had the looks of a real noble man. I remember he had a mustache and he looked like a very important man. And indeed he was. 

During World War I he had a boat, which he named ‘Marie’ after his daughter, and he used to bring wines from the island of Crete. Those wines were mainly consumed by the French. Then, when his boat sunk, the way down started. I remember my father, who had a restaurant at that time, used to buy wine from Abravanel’s cave. 

My father-in-law was a very kind-hearted man. I never heard a word of bitterness from his mouth. After World War II he came to live with Leo and me. I remember I used to cook for him every day because he really liked good food. I think one can tell from his looks. He preferred the Jewish food, like pesce en salsa or enhaminados eggs, but he would never complain if I cooked Christian food. He was such an easy-going person. 

He was religious. I remember he used to read the Bible and go to the synagogue regularly. He had also given money for a synagogue to be built. He passed away many years after the war and I closed his eyes. 

 

Interview details

Interviewee: Eugenia Abravanel
Interviewer:
Valia Kravva
Month of interview:
November
Year of interview:
2005
Thessaloniki, Greece

KEY PERSON

Jacques Abravanel
City of birth:
Salonica
Country name at time of birth:
Ottoman Empire
City of death:
Salonica
Country of death:
Greece
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Businessman, Retail merchant

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