Vidal Cohen

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  • Country name at time of photo:
    France
    Country name today:
    France

This is a picture of my father, Vidal Cohen, taken in the early 1930s. At the time he was in the south of France. He would travel to France for medical treatment because he had asthma.

My father owned a shop called ‘Com fete’ that sold clothes and trench coats. The shop used to have the nickname ‘The Trench Coat Source.’ Before the war he had established a shop that was very original, with goods from Paris. He had brought machines from Paris to waterproof the trench coats. We had a room in the house where he would store the coats while they were being made. He worked with agencies around Greece and he had a contract with army officers’ cashiers. The officers would shop at my father’s shop.

My father attended a Jewish school and he knew Hebrew and Rashi. In fact, I have a card of his written in Rashi. He would travel to France for medical treatment because he had asthma.

My father wasn’t very religious, he always worked on Saturdays. Our food was kosher anyway, because we bought the meat from the Jewish butcher. My father would go to the synagogue only on religious holidays.

My father was a very difficult man. He was very strict. He wanted the towels to be very well ironed, and if they weren’t he would say, ‘What is this?’ in an angry manner. When I think of what we had on the table everyday… We had to have a variety of salads as well as boiled vegetables that weren’t very common at the time, like greens.

Interview details

Interviewee: Roza Benveniste
Interviewer:
Alexis Katsaros
Month of interview:
May
Year of interview:
2007
Athens, Greece

KEY PERSON

Vidal Cohen
City of birth:
Salonica
Country name at time of birth:
The Ottoman Empire
Year of death:
1948
City of death:
Thessaloniki
Country of death:
Greece
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Businessman, Retail merchant
after WW II:
Businessman, Retail merchant

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