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This picture was taken in 1952. This really was an official picture, I do not know why I had it taken. This was an enlarged one, they had given it additionally. I, Zümbül Ers (Levi) was born in ?stanbul in 1934. I never went to preschool, my mother and siblings raised me, there was no such things as nannies with us. I was mostly alone through my childhood. After my father's passing, my mother started to go out to work. She was a tailor. She worked and I stayed alone in the house. My childhood was very bad, I had a very bad childhood. I went to the second coeducational school, this was a Jewish school. I could only attend third grade in primary school. That year my mother was very sick and one of my brothers was a soldier. ? had lost my father at a young age. My mother was very ill, her legs became paralyzed, she wasn't able to walk, I think her legs became immobilized from fear and she was unable to walk. That is why I stopped going to school after 3rd grade so I could take care of my mother. I started working at 9 years of age, I started caring for my mother at 9 years of age. There was a pantyhose factory in Kasimpasha belonging to some Druzes, I started working there. First I started working in the weaving, I would attach labels. Then I would make straps for bras. We paid the rent with the money I earned. One of my brothers was a soldier, the other had just returned and did not have a job. I had a bad childhood, I could not get an education. Whereas I was a hardworking student, in third grade, after I quit school, a committee from the school came to my home to ask that I return. To ask why you are not sending your daughter to school. They saw my mom's situation, my mother was sick. I couldn't go. In the meantime there was a government law stating that it was mandatory to finish elementary school. Because of this they would permit me to leave work at 3 o'clock and I would go to night school after that. I finished elementary school this way. I got my certificate. Then I continued working. In my spare time, I've had a lot of projects, a lot of hobbies. I raised myself, I would cut my old dresses and make blouses. ? started these when I was 6 years old. I would put corks on the ends of my mother's hairpins and I would knit. I would knit scarves at the age of 6. In this way I knit a lot of things now. Sewing, knitting became my hobbies. I did not go to school but life educated me. Today I am someone who knows all there is to know, I don't lack for anything. Today I have a lot of friends who are graduates of college, you won't believe me but I am superior. I raised myself. I raised myself by reading.

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Interviewee: Zelda Ers
Yusuf Sarhon
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Istanbul, Turkey


Zelda Ers
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