Suzi Sharhon

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This is my childhood in this photo.  One day my uncle Mishel came and took me to the studio to have my photo taken.  This was in 1931 at Studyo Leonardo.  I do not really remember much about that day.  My uncle took me to the studio in that dress.  He took the photo as a souvenir, as he was leaving for Germany.  He took one photo and left another for my Mum.  He took the other with him.  As you can see I was a bit fat here.

I was born in an apartment building called "Gul Apartimani" [Rose Building] opposite Pera Palas, in Tepebasi in 1927.  My mother kept a record of all the births.  At that time people could get their identity cards whenever they wanted, not like now, that you have to leave the hospital with a birth record paper.  Then, children were born, and after a while they would go and get their identity card.  I got my sister's identity card.  I had a sister who was born before me in 1925.  She was born on 7th July.  She died when she was 13 or 14 months old from some sort of illness.  My mother told me she had died when she herself had been one month pregnant to me.  Then when I was born, they gave me that other one's identty card but my mother recorded my birth in one of her books: "Suzi. Elle est née 24 janvier 1927" [in French: "Suzy: Born on 24th January 1927"].  There was no need to get another identity card.  No one checked anyway.  Her name had been "Sultana", so I got that name as well.

My uncle Mishel was also born in Salonica of course, like all the others.  I do not know when, but he also went to Germany when he was very young both to study and then to do business.  He was in business with his older brother Alber and then came back here when Hitler came.  After the war was over, he went to Paris.  There he married a woman whose surname was Behar and whose first husband had been killed by the Germans.  He went in to the textile business in Paris.  He died in Paris, but I do not know when.

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Interviewee: Suzi Sarhon
Yusuf Sarhon
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Istanbul, Turkey


Suzi Sarhon
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