Claude Bouhadana BITC_H264

[0:00:01] Lisette: Hello, this is an interview in Montreal, Canada on 2 May 2016. And with Claude Bouhadana. It takes place in Montreal and as I told the person doing the interview is Lisette Shashua and the camera is Mr. Hugo Dufort.

[0:00:30] Herny: Ok, can we again and Do That INSTEAD of you looking at your paper can you look at the camera and the camera can look at the piece of paper.

[0:00:37] Lisette: OK And I'm going to do it in English..

[0:00:39] David: Okay fine. Wait till the camera man tells you ...

[0:00:46] Lisette: Good morning this is an intervew for Sephardi Voices, it's Taking place in Montreal, Canada, the 2nd May 2016 with Mr. Claude Bouhadana. The interview is Lisette Shashoua and the cameraman is Mr. Hugo Dufort. Thank you.

[0:01:18] David: Can you, can I, I'm sorry can you do that one more time in English?

[0:01:23] Lisette: In English? Okay.

[0:01:25] Henry: And do not move the sheet just hold it steady.

[0:01:32] Lisette: Ok good morning, this is an interview for Sephardi Voices Taking place in Montreal, Canada the 2nd of May, 2016. The interviewee is Mr. Claude Bouhadana, the interviewer is Lisette and the cameraman is Shashoua Mr. Hugo Dufort. It is the 2nd of May, 2016.

[0:02:04] David: Perfect. Thank you.

[0:02:15] Lisette: What is your name in all over please?

[0:02:18] Claude: The whole? Uh well my name is Claude Shalom Bouhadana. Shalom's my Hebrew name which actually.

[0:02:27] Lisette: And when you were born?

[0:02:29] Claude: In Casablanca.

[0:02:33] Lisette: And your date of birth?

[0:02:34] Claude: January 28, 1933.

[0:02:39] Lisette: Thank you for participating with Sephardi Voices it makes us happy. Can you talk a little, your family, the origins of your family?

[0:02:51] Claude: Yes ah well, the origins of my family from my father's side was, good Morocco. From my mother's side they came from Algeria and they settled in Morocco.

[0:03:11] Lisette: What year?

[0:03:13] Claude: Well around 1890 or so.

[0:03:23] Lisette: And would you like to tell us a little talk about your, history of the family.

[0:03:31] Claude: The history of the family? Although the family ...

[0:03:33] Lisette: Grandparents ...

[0:03:36] Claude: My paternal grandfather was born 70 kilometers, in a town called Settat 70 km from Casablanca and had, as a result of one of a kind pogrom that took place, they had to leave quickly and come to Casablanca to live what. That's the side of my grandfather. [0:04:04] About my mother ah, good my mother was born in Casablanca, his parents were already established there. And they came from, Algeria, part of, sisters of my mother were born in Algeria. My maternal grandfather was from Morocco, the city of Tetouan which is in northern Morocco was a protectorate at the time, a Spanish protectorate. [0:04:45] He, he had left a given moment on, Morocco to Argentina, Argentina then he returned and he settled in Algeria and there he saw my maternal grandmother what.

[00:05:03] Lisette: Is there anyone in your family who has had experience with the programe, 1912?

[0:05:14] Claude: Ah yes. My parents always told me, often spoke to me to program, in fact especially on the side of my mother they told me about this program, which was held on arrival in France, when France arrived in Morocco, landed at Casablanca. There was a program and uh, my mother's family being French, they were French because as they came from Algeria. [0:05:44] Was moved, finally was moved to Algeria, France has the uh, out of Morocco to go, during the pogrom. And then they returned to Morocco and my mother always told me that when they returned they had left their home in state. They found the rampage, all it was, that was the ... [0:06:19] when there was much talk in the family of this, of this pogrom, in fact the attack at the time of arrival from France to Casablanca.

 [0:06:31] Lisette: Do you have memories you would like to share your grandparents, bels of memories of your childhood?

[0:06:40] Claude: Yes. Well my paternal grandfather was, I have excellent memories of it. Besides, I bear his name. He also called Shalom. And it is with him that I began to learn the rudiments of Hebrew. He took me. I never knew my maternal grandfather because he had already died when I was born and good ... [0:07:16] By cons I had a great relationship with my maternal grandmother often took me to her and who loved me. I was the little son ...

[0:07:32] Lisette: Pampered.

[0:07:32] Claude: Pampered, here. exactly.

[0:07:37] Lisette: And what do you want to tell us of your parents and how they met your parents?

[0:07:45] Claude: Well, my parents are therefore met in Casablanca since they both lived in Casablanca. They met because my, my aunt, my mother's sister, married a gentleman who knew my father and the East how they she could, my mother could know her, my father, husband.

[0:08:15] Lisette: And so it was a love match.

[0:08:17] Claude: Yes, it was a recess love match but they have obviously shown summers as always.

- [0:08:25] Lisette: And when they were married your parents?

[0:08:30] Claude: In 1932.

[0:08:32] Lisette: And the name of your father and where he is born?

[0:08:36] Claude: Messod and was born in Casablanca.

[0:08:41] Lisette: And your mom?

[0:08:43] Claude: Mom, my mother was also born in Casablanca. Annette was born in Casablanca.

[0:08:54] Lisette: Ok, does the label in the family was important? Social etiquette say religious ...

[0:09:08] Claude: Yes. It was, it happened nevertheless that, when France arrived in Morocco on my parents as well as the other went to French school because we must consider that the arrival of France in Morocco was for Jews a favor. A benefit that we enjoyed and good, somehow there's been some, there is adapted a little to the French culture as normal. It was good and the Israelite covenant [0:09:54] The medium was religious but we can say that it was less than the generation of our grandparents who were more religious, much more practitioners but, the fact that we went to the French school and that it was, in a way, it is integrated into French culture that has become ours what. It is...

[0:10:26] Lisette: In your home you speak French?

[0:10:29] Claude: At home we spoke only French but Arabic is included because it was in contact with, Muslims and spoke Arabic well and I, I spoke Arabic I know him well enough even more than I had a pharmacy in Casablanca where I had an exclusively Muslim clientele. [0:11:00] So I spoke Arabic fluently but at home and at school recess we spoke only French normally what.

[0:11:12] Lisette: So in the street, in shops and in the ...

[0:11:15] Claude: Well in the street in the street next to where it was most obviously in general traders spoke French.

[0:11:26] Lisette: Even the Arabs?

[0:11:28] Claude: But we happen to go, for example, market or to go, and there is the, traders, sellers were Arab and so we spoke Arabic. This is how...

[0:11:45] Lisette: Do your parents lived in the [inaudible]

[0:11:50] Claude: Ben before, before the arrival of French uh, the, the Jews they were no European city, they do not exist and therefore French town they lived in what is called the native town. Who was the city proper, and as and when they got out of there and they built, the French are stupid, actually, we built the European city, the French city and my parents were able to get out of this indigenous city and settle uh, in ... in what European city.

[0:12:39] Lisette: Do you remember anything of the Vichy government?

[0:12:47] Claude: Well, the government Vichy when there's been good, it was uh, the, there were the many, of, of, of Jewish students in French schools were sent to French schools and therefore went to the Alliance Israelite because it was, it was the Vichy laws, which were applied in 1941 in Morocco and good, I have escaped that because there was what was called a numerus clausus. [0:13:27] Where 2% of Jewish students were kept in the French system, the French school and I stayed in the French system. [0:13:40] So I never went to the Alliance Israelite.

[0:13:43] Lisette: So uh, you're among the 2%?

[0:13:46] Claude: I was among the 2%

[0:13:48] Lisette: And it was just by chance?

[00:13:50] Claude: Yes, but by chance, it was called the numerus clausus by chance. Maybe the fact, there's also been the fact that my mother was French by my grandfather because my grandfather was French fact in 1867 when he was in Algeria.

[0:14:09] Lisette: Yes.

[0:14:11] Claude: Before what was called the Cremieux decree. Because there was the Cremieux decree in Algeria that has naturalized all the Jews of Algeria. But my grandfather ...

[0:14:23] Lisette: Only Jews?

[0:14:25] Claude: Only Jews, not Muslims.

[0:14:27] Lisette: And the Christians?

[0:14:28] Claude: Christians were French ex. The French were French ex.

[0:14:36] Lisette: Ok So your dad, your dad is he was affected by that.? By the Vichy government of Vichy?

[0:14:46] Claude [overlap] Yes, he ... well of course my father was hit because uh, among the measures taken by the Vichy government there was what was called the declaration of assets. Jews in Morocco were to make a declaration of assets uh, that's saying I own it, I own it, I ... and it is, of course uh, [0:15:18] the period of the war, the period Vichy, the war has been a difficult period for the Jewish merchants because there was no, we received nothing, no y'avait goods y'avait no ... that was it what. It was mostly uh ... [0:15:36] ... Obviously when the Americans, the Americans landed in Morocco in November 1942 and the situation was gradually restored to the Jews what. That is, it has allowed us to finally save us from this rather awkward situation and what annoying.

[0:16:01] Lisette: Do you know someone in your family or friends who have summers arrested by the Vichy government?

[0:16:08] Claude: Yes. I do not know anyone who has not been arrested.

[0:16:12] Lisette: So in Casablanca uh, it was, uh, y'avait nothing happened ...

[0:16:16] Claude: Yes.

[0:16:17] Lisette: Really. Apart from the need ...

[0:16:20] Claude: Let returned schoolchildren, that there were, obviously discriminatory measures because the government, the government had introduced ration cards for food and uh, the French were entitled to certain amounts of food because there was shortage recess and Jews were entitled but at a level much lower than what those French. That was it.

[0:16:55] Lisette: And the Muslims?

[0:16:58] Claude: Ben Muslims, I have no exact recollection of what it was that their situation in perspective uh uh, rationing but I presume it was well below that of the French what.

[0:17:13] Lisette: And above the Jews?

[0:17:16] Claude: Superior Jews? I do not know, I do not remember ...

[0:17:21] Lisette: Do you feel the [inaudible]? Are you treated as summers ... where you had to do synagogues that are above, it should not be on a horse and everything?

[0:17:37] Claude: Well, it's, you know, I was, the question is that the question of dhimmitude does, does that arose, arose only, that 'before the arrival of the French. Here is. When the French arrived in Morocco the issue of dhimmitude was practically lifted but that did not stop, it does not prevent Muslims from us ...

[0:18:08] Lisette: Recall.

[0:18:09] Claude: Yes, finally despise us as y'avait phrases in Arabic that fell recess dhimmitude. But for example, walking along a mosque as it was the case that either. Because y'avait France and France has us much, has protected us on the map here what. That is, regardless of education and training that we received. [0:18:45] Thanks to the France I may say that it has given us the tools to hold us ... we obviously raise the instructions perspective and the time came when we had to leave Morocco, we had the tools to us, we also arrange like those who came to Canada or go to France or ... that was what.

[0:19:17] Lisette: Do you have memories of a community, how you lived your Jewish community in Morocco? Do you have memories and Purim celebrations, ... anything?

[0:19:33] Claude [overlap] Yes it was ...

[0:19:33] Lisette: Shabat.

[0:19:35] Claude: It was, it was, we had a traditional community and religious life what. We went to the synagogue obviously, the one party, y'avait holidays like Passover, Purim as such, it was, but what is certain is that as and as our education amounted uh, there's been a kind of integration. [0:20:07] and it was a little detached from, ancient traditions, but ... it was mostly that.

[0:20:22] Lisette: And your Shabbat, how it was?

[0:20:25] Claude: Well I have to admit that, on Shabbat, good at home it was the Sabbath is, it is, was respected but uh, we were less attentive to, full compliance with Shabbat uh, that is not become here in Canada, in Montreal.

[0:20:50] Lisette: And let the dafina, your mom always did dafina?

[0:20:54] Claude: Yes well, the dafina it was, it was the traditional dish [overlap]

[0:20:58] Lisette [overlap] Every Sabbath?

[0:20:59] Claude: It was every Shabbat. It was, finally, the traditional dish was happening and at the time as did not exist electric oven and were sent the dafina in an oven uh, public, it was like that.

[0:21:19] Lisette: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[0:21:21] Claude: And who was cooking, he was sent on Friday and they would cook and we would seek the y'avait someone who would search for us who brought us on Saturday midday. That was, that was the dafina.

[0:21:31] Lisette: But it was kosher? You may have the kosher?

[0:21:34] Claude: Yes, the kosher had no problem with the kosher in Morocco in Casablanca. Both for meat that touts the rest was kosher was enough, because what it was ...

[0:21:48] Lisette: Abundant.

[0:21:49] Claude: Yes, It was a city where there were still perhaps more than 100 000 Jews and slaughter ritual was practiced routinely on that side we did not have problems.

[0:22:04] Lisette: And it's your mom who made purchases of the room to say shopping?

[0:22:10] Claude: Yes, yes, yes.

[0:22:11] Lisette: Yes.

[0:22:11] Claude: It was my mother who took care of that.

[0:22:13] Lisette: She who is she who does the cooking?

[0:22:15] Claude: Yes it was she who did the cooking cavity.

[0:22:18] Lisette: And what you had, people were helping at home? Household?

[0:22:23] Claude: Yes well we had at home like most people we had servants in general it was Muslim servants who gave uh, that helped finally home for housekeeping, kitchen , for the rest.

[0:22:45] Lisette: Are you with memories year by shopping at the souk?

[0:22:50] Claude: Yes to the souk.

[0:22:51] Lisette: Do you go with your mom?

[0:22:53] Claude: Yes. We avi .... we lived in the European city but the, the, most markets, souks were native city and I remember uh, having accompanied my parents, my mother for example to the market. I remember very well, I have very good memories of that.

[0:23:19] Lisette: And you, you play, backgammon, ...

[00:23:24] Claude: No, I do not play, I ...

[0:23:27] Lisette: Your family right?

[0:23:28] Claude: Well ...

[0:23:29] Lisette: In the cards?

[0:23:30] Claude: So in my family we played pretty cards. I was the only one who did not play cards. I was the only one. My father was at a summer, was bridge player, he played a lot of bridge, it was a passion, a passion of the bridge and he won several tournaments and also was his passion. [0:23:53] And everyone was playing cards in the family. I was the only one who could find no interest in playing cards. And stayed that way. Besides I do not like casinos. In fact, it's not that I do not like casinos I, when I go to the casino I, I go, I put everything I have and I go right after. Yeah, I have not ..

[0:24:17] Lisette: Do ... ok, do you have any Muslims or Christians freinds attend you visit home? Do you...

[0:24:32] Claude: Well uh, obviously being in French schools uh, I had many Christian friends, I had Christian friends uh, I, of course it was a friendship that was limited uh, outside in certain activities. In high school I had Christian friends and Muslim friends with whom we got along very well and we had good relations. [0:25:08] Until comes the creation of the state of Israel, where the atmosphere has changed completely and everything, and there's obviously been after, I had a pharmacy who was in a Muslim area and I had an excellent relationship with my Muslim clients. People would tell me, uh, that they knew I was Jewish but they came to me because he trusted me. [0:25:44] That left other pharmacists and they had, which did not stop when the war broke '67 create me problems ... so for example, when the war of '67 broke out June 5, 1967 I arrived at the pharmacy and had closed and I found the pharmacy, because at the time we had, the, to close the curtains, the shop. [0:26:20] And we closed with padlocks. I found in the wood splinters padlock to prevent me from opening the door. To prevent me yes. I had to call a locksmith who sawed the locks open for me and finally I had problems and so I, when I saw that I closed, I left but, police Commissioner of the district asked me to reopen the pharmacy. [0:26:56] In saying that I would be protected. So it was Monday, June 5, because the war 6 days exploded Monday. On Friday I went back, I opened the pharmacy and while I was serving them, some clients I saw a Muslim boy on the door that prevented people from entering the pharmacy. Then I came out, I just pushed like that and he was able to go get um, do make a medical doctor stating that I wanted to strangle him. [0:27:39] So it was Friday and ...

[0:27:42] Lisette: Does there were ... people ...

[0:27:44] Claude: Yes.

[0:27:45] Lisette: Who saw what it was?

[0:27:47] Claude: People saw but nobody has responded. Person ... so, uh, good meantime, there's been stories, the police arrived and my uh, my conduit to the police station. And it was Friday night, I spent all Friday night uh, the police station and waiting that I had my finally ... my deliverance through some friends who, who were aware of my case and intervened so that they can release me, me ...

[0:28:28] Lisette: Muslim or Jewish friends friends?

[0:28:30] Claude: Jewish friends who contacted Muslim friends who were highly placed and have me, which helped me get out of there. Well I went out without no problem in fact, no, but after that I took the decision, who to leave. This is a result of how I ...

[0:28:53] Lisette: And you left how long after that ...

[0:28:57] Claude: Ben was in June '67, I left, I closed my pharmacy completely.

[0:29:03] Lisette: Ah, you're never returned after that.

[0:29:04] Claude: Yes I returned to put order to uh ...

[0:29:08] Lisette: The day after you returned?

[0:29:09] Claude: No, no, no. There I closed outright. But I had to return because I drug, merchandise that I should go to, to settle all for suppliers. But with the intention, to go with the intention of permanently leaving Morocco.

[0:29:31] Lisette: And you, you ...

[0:29:32] Claude: I went to France. In France.

[0:29:34] Lisette: What year?

[0:29:35] Claude: Um 1967.

[0:29:37] Lisette: Oh you went immediately.

[0:29:39] Claude: Ah right now, yes right away, yes. No. No, when I got that uh, that story I told myself I did not stay, I had nothing to reproach myself. I had done nothing to ... and I was the object that it then that I had, people who came to see me, saying "We know you are Jewish but it comes to you when- same and we trust you. " All that. [0:30:02] And overnight the situation changed completely and then I said I did not stay in a place like this.

[0:30:13] Lisette Bravo. Good choice. Are you made the bar mitzvah?

[0:30:16] Claude: Yes I had my bar mitzvah yes.

[0:30:19] Lisette: Over there in the synagogue?

[0:30:20] Claude: Yes to the synagogue, yes, yes.

[0:30:21] Lisette: Yes. What was your synagogue?

[0:30:24] Claude: I think, the synagogue ... I forgot the name but ... I think it was the Benisty synagogue. Because synagogues were called, usually some families um, gave it, I remember not years detail but uh, that gave local and we did, we organized a synagogue and it bore the name of the family.

[0:30:57] Lisette: Yeah.

[0:30:57] Claude: It was like that.

[0:30:59] Lisette: Do you have sold your home and uh, the pharmacy?

[0:31:04] Claude: No, I did not sell ah well I did not own the house, we were tenants so with my wife. The pharmacy I have not sold. I have not, I closed and I left. I have...

[0:31:19] Lisette: Do you [overlap]

[0:31:21] Claude: On the contrary ...

[0:31:21] Lisette ... business to suppliers? Do you saw at least have the money?

[0:31:27] Claude :, Ben, making them the, drugs to suppliers, because I had, I had to these providers, I had bills.

[0:31:36] Lisette: Yeah.

[0:31:37] Claude: Because we always sold us 30 months, 30 days, 45 days uh, here. And so I could pay like that. I paid and since I had a lease in the local of local, I had to keep it and despite my departure, my father continued to pay rent until the lease while pharmacy was closed. The room was, I had to pay for the lease, so that my parents do not have problems. To not have to, I paid for the lease, I do not know, six, seven months or so. Without exercising any activity.

[0:32:22] Lisette: And your parents stayed in Morocco?

[0:32:25] Claude: My parents stayed in Morocco uh, until '75, they remained until '75 and my father became ill and he came to be treated in France uh, in ' 74 and died in France also. He is buried in France.

[0:32:47] Lisette: And what he was your dad? He continued to work?

[0:32:50] Claude: Yes he continued to work yes.

[0:32:52] Lisette: What was he doing?

[0:32:53] Claude: Well he was a businessman.

[0:32:55] Lisette: Then, it not prevent ...

[0:32:58] Claude: No, it has not stopped. He continued to work and because past episode of the Six Day War and, things got a little ... packed and we had, yes it was, then y'avait times like it but I really was thinking. Because having nothing to reproach myself I thought I never thought that one day I would have problems of this kind. [0:33:29] So I told myself as long as that's the way uh, I prefer to leave. this country and go ... in France.

[0:33:40] Lisette: And just, I wanted to back off a little to your childhood or when you grew up, is that there were Zionist movements at home in Morocco? Zionist organizations?

[0:33:56] Claude [overlap] Ben ie there were Zionist organizations everything.

[0:34:02] Lisette: Until what year?

[0:34:05] Claude: The truth is that I do not remember very, very well. I am not, I do not remember very, very well. I am not in the head, the detail of years. But I heard y'avait Zionist movements, but you know we finally my, in my mid Casablanca uh, we, I can say that we had the legs to Casablanca but had his head in Paris. [0:34:33] So all that is, France was our uh, like what our homeland. It was uh, all we were doing and especially that we, having gone to the French school and we were very, very directed towards France which we adapted all adapted all, all the values, all the principles . It was...

[0:35:03] Lisette: So you you participate ...

[0:35:09] Claude: Attend the Zionist movement?

[0:35:12] Lisette: Yes.

[0:35:13] Claude: Yes. I did not participate because I, I, I thought anyway, I said the day I leave this country is for France. Because I had a French degree, I uh, then I told myself, and for me France was the natural destination.

[0:35:34] Lisette: Why did you leave France?

[0:35:38] Claude: We left France because ... uh ... we went in Venezuela in September and we stayed in Venezuela because my, the family of my wife was established in Venezuela good, we went to uh ...

[0:35:58] Lisette: What year you went to Venezuela?

[0:36:01] Claude: In 1975. In 1975.

[0:36:06] Lisette: So you stayed ...

[0:36:07] Claude: From '75 to '82.

[0:36:10] Lisette: Wow.

[0:36:10] Claude: Yes.

[0:36:10] Lisette: OK That's very interesting.. And why you left France for Venezuela?

[0:36:16] Claude: Well, we left France because ...

[0:36:19] Lisette: Who was the place ...

[0:36:21] Claude: Yes that's true but I do not know. Really my wife having her family there we thought, I thought it was Venezuela uh Best Quality ... the United States in Latin America.

[0:36:37] Lisette: Yeah. Yeah.

[0:36:40] Claude: So but I became disillusioned because, and I said no Venezuela did ... it's not the place, ideal for me, for myself or for children and that's when I decided to come to Canada.

[0:36:55] Lisette: Never return to France?

[0:36:58] Claude: Back in France? Yes.

[0:36:59] Lisette: No, I can say to live.

[0:37:01] Claude: Ah, to live in? Although at the time so it could have been done but over time I realized that luckily I had the chance. We got lucky.

[0:37:12] Lisette: Yes. Do you speak Spanish?

[0:37:15] Claude: Yes, yes Spanish. Because my maternal grandfather being of Spanish Morocco Tetouan and my grandmother in Algeria and all we spoke Spanish in the family anything.

[0:37:27] Lisette: Commonly?

[0:37:29] Claude: Yes fluently. My mother, my mother finally with himself sisters spoke Spanish and we understand children. We do not talk about the park that for us there was the French that mattered.

[0:37:43] Lisette: Then I'll set me back again, when Israel was founded in 1948 you had 15 years. What you remember and how does that affect you as a Jew?

[0:37:58] Claude: As Jewish uh, allocated on the plan ...

[0:38:01] Lisette: In '48.

[0:38:03] Claude: In '48, no. We have not been affected because France was still in Morocco. And so you know for us as long as France was in Morocco we were protected. So we do not emotionally affected summers recess uh, did we, I still remember, or Saturday, which followed because the declaration of independence was made by uh, Ben Gurion a Friday and thus the Saturday we heard the news. [0:38:41] Obviously that there was a period that followed the period after that, we were pretty annoyed by uh, uh action taken against us by the Moroccan authorities but it ' was not ...

[0:38:59] Lisette: It has not touched you.

[0:39:01] Claude: It has not affected us primarily.

[0:39:04] Lisette: So back in 1956 and Morocco became a state ...

[0:39:10] Claude: Independent yes.

[0:39:11] Lisette: How you feel? You felt proud to be Moroccan or it has not really hit you?

[0:39:20] Claude: You know, I knew that sooner or later he had to leave then uh, and then we were, we felt good, we felt that we we were considered, not as second class citizens but almost. And the prospect that France leaves Morocco recess was that we were not always, it was always more or less worried when in the future.

[0:39:59] Lisette: So feel, not feel proud to be Moroccan or Moroccan.

[0:40:04] Claude: But you know me anyway I was French by my mother so I was Moroccan by my father but I was French by my mother and I did, I had done all my education, my studies in France, so I felt french.

[0:40:24] Lisette: And during the war with Israel and Egypt in '56 how it affected you?

[0:40:30] Claude: Ben war, like all Jews around the world obviously, we summers affected because we were following the news, developments of the situation. And we ... we were always worried so much that at the end of the war especially as it was Nasser who ruled Egypt at the time and who ... who ... especially good [00: 41:01] This is especially the war of '67 which I have very specific memories I remember that the secretary of the Arab League had gathered at a conference in Cairo uh, when Egypt threatened when Nasser threatened Israel and that, at this conference he was surrounded by journalists and their said, "Well then, when the conference ended, I give you appointment in Tel Aviv." [0:41:37] In a café terrace in Tel Aviv because he thought uh, invade Israel and Israel reduce and, well, that was in '67. The war broke out on 5, Monday, Friday, Israel had won the war, it was for us, it was uh, miraculous and something extraordinary. [0:42:08] It was, and really I, I, I remember listening to the radio on Friday night we announced the defeat of Egypt, the joy that we had and ...

[0:42:28] Lisette: And what, what are your feelings in light of the king of Morocco? how do you feel?

[00:42:39] Claude: Well the King of Morocco, in my time, at first it was Mohamed V, he was very well disposed towards the Jews but he could not uh, do anything or prevent, he received the Jewish community, he always had a certain affection for the Jewish community. He said "I will protect you." This is true but life everyday was different. We airplane y'avait discrimination within the population and were the subject of ah, insults and, things like that what.

[0:43:42] Lisette: I think you already have, you told us about the ... that is, if you were from a non-Jewish organization.

[0:43:53] Claude: Yes.

[0:43:54] Lisette: In sport, work, work?

[0:43:57] Claude: Yes, work, yes.

[00:43:59] Lisette: But is that something to play ...

[0:44:03] Claude: No, it was rather in fact rather in the French environment in general sport perspective, point of view ...

[0:44:11] Lisette: Who is French environment with non-Jews?

[0:44:15] Claude: Non-Jews, yes, yes.

[0:44:17] Lisette: Yes, with sports.

[0:44:19] Claude: Right.

[0:44:20] Lisette: Christians?

[0:44:21] Claude: Some Christians yes, yes Christian.

[0:44:22] Lisette: Muslims too?

[0:44:25] Claude: The Muslim less. a little less.

[0:44:29] Lisette: And at work it was, you had Muslim clients?

[0:44:33] Claude: At work I was installed in a Muslim neighborhood I had opened a pharmacy in a Muslim neighborhood all my clients were Muslims. But I maintained very good relations with them. Very, very good. I even remember, It's a detail but to see a Muslim go into the pharmacy, spread a rug and start to pray. [0:45:02] so that I, I wondered, but did he not know that it is a Jewish home? Because for Muslims the Jewish ... he was a very [inaudible] of almost unclean and almost, but that did not stop I had, and that Muslims came to my house asking me to because at the time uh pharmacy, the pharmacist was a lot of advice. [0:45:34] People came and they told you "That I hurt here, I have this, I have it" then advised them medicine, "Well you'll take this." When it was still part of our, our pharmacy activities. And so we advised them and very often they came back saying, really, the medications you give me you are very good. You give me very good drugs, that's fine. [0:46:01] And it did not stop when the war of '67 broke out of me, to the problems I had.

[0:46:08] Lisette: Yes, yes, yes. And in any case with them you speak Arabic?

[0:46:13] Claude: Oh yes I was speaking Arabic.

[0:46:14] Lisette: No French.

[0:46:14] Claude: Yes, indeed.

[0:46:15] Lisette: You spoke French with Muslims or very little?

[0:46:18] Claude: Um, ie, the y'avait a, a portion of the Muslim population who speak French but most spoke only Arabic. The majority spoke Arabic.

[0:46:35] Lisette: So finally you left in '67.

[0:46:38] Claude: '67 that's it. After the 6 Day War.

[0:46:41] Lisette: After the 6 Day War, after having problems ...

[0:46:43] Claude: Some yes problems. Otherwise I would not have left anything if I had not been ...

[0:46:50] Lisette: Does there were, say, they tried to, to hurt Jews, hitting, ...

[0:47:03] Claude: Yes, there has been, but yes there were Jews who were, who molested summers ...

[0:47:09] Lisette: molested ...

[0:47:10] Claude: Yes recess. Sure there's been ...

[0:47:13] Lisette: As a group? As a group, is that there were groups that were coming to attack or what?

[0:47:17] Claude: Y'avait y'avait groups, Y'avait, individual actions recess. talk one heard, I have not been, attacked, or I can not tell apart the incident I got to the pharmacy.

[0:47:35] Lisette: Who is big enough.

[0:47:36] Claude: Yes. Ben was capital, which was very important apart from that I have no personal problems because I obviously was living in the European city therefore European city in general Muslims came to work but it was relatively protected .. .

[0:48:00] Lisette: And no y'avait, anti-Semitic or anti Jewish laws at, Morocco recess.

[0:48:07] Claude: Well uh, there's been the the only anti-Jewish laws that took place was at Vichy, when there's been the the Vichy regulations, which imposed on, returning in jurisdictions such as Jews or Jewish students in French schools. [0:48:34] There's been this. Well, obviously with France, with the protectorate over Morocco always favored the French rather what. That was ... because everything in Morocco, particularly in Casablanca was under French administration. [0:48:58] This was also the France I keep a souvenir of Casablanca, a very beautiful city, in fact the city, European or we lived was where everything was organized by France . Administrations, banks, in fact the parks ... the ... everything was, hospitals, roads, everything, it is France that has left an organized country, really a model country.

[0:49:36] Lisette: Uh you took with you, just your clothes. Are you able to sell what you have in the house?

[0:49:46] Claude: No one made a ...

[0:49:48] Lisette: You have nothing left as house, as ...

[0:49:51] Claude: House we were uh, tenants of the apartment where we lived and we were able to move a frame for France. We put all our, all we had at home in a setting and go to France.

[0:50:13] Lisette: You left nothing?

[0:50:15] Claude: Yes.

[0:50:16] Lisette: And where you lived in Paris? In France?

[0:50:23] Claude: Ben in France we lived in the suburbs of Paris. I had my pharmacy. I had a pharmacy in Paris ..

[0:50:32] Lisette: Where in Paris?

[0:50:33] Claude Au, Boulevard Magenta in the 10th arrondissement. Not far from the Republic Square much talked about now. And uh we lived in the suburbs, the northern suburbs near Enghien-les-Bains by there. And that's when I went down every day going to the pharmacy and I went up at night and it's like that, that's what we lived there, in the suburbs.

[0:51:04] Lisette: It was very easy to adapt to France?

[0:51:07] Claude: Yes, it was, you know, come I told you, we air the feet in Casablanca, head to Paris, so for us it was France, the natural destination it was not, we arrived, we knew everything we knew ...

[0:51:23] Lisette: And the kids they go to school?

[0:51:27] Claude: Children ...

[0:51:27] Lisette ... very easily.

[0:51:29] Claude: Yes, we had, we had when we arrived in France we had two children who went to school easily without problems what. My son was born and my daughter and uh, they went to school without problems. After we had two children and who are, who have also, who were young but who started their e ... schooling in French schools what.

[0:51:55] Lisette: And then you went to Venezuela.

[0:51:57] Claude: We are, that's where we went, Venezuela, yes.

[0:51:59] Lisette: They learned Spanish.

[0:52:00] Claude: They learned Spanish, of course. They went to the Jewish school because Venezuela y'avait a Jewish school and that's it. Well they learned Spanish but we still speak French at home. At home the French it was our mother tongue.

[0:52:18] Lisette: Do you need the help of JIAS JIAS?

[0:52:23] Claude: Um ...

[0:52:24] Lisette: Do they helped?

[0:52:24] Claude: No, I have not needed help from JIAS, no, no. I, I had been in contact with the JIAS when we were in Morocco before .. but not thereafter not. We came on our own.

[0:52:45] Lisette Uh do you [inaudible] here in France?

[0:52:50] Claude: Yes here I [overlap] in Venezuela I, we went to a synagogue which was, and which belonged to my parents-who bore the name of my moreover stepfather and here I am a member of the synagogue Or Hahayim in Côte-St-Luc.

[0:53:15] Lisette: Uh, do you have involved in Jewish organizations here, there?

[0:53:24] Claude: Not particularly, no. Not especially.

[0:53:26] Lisette: And you visited Israel?

[0:53:29] Claude: Yes, yes, yes, I went twice in Israel yes.

[0:53:32] Lisette: When was the last time?

[0:53:34] Claude: Well the last time it goes away. That was in '96. 1996.

[0:53:38] Lisette: It changed since ...

[0:53:39] Claude: That's what we said yes. It's [overlap] I'm told. Israel's problem .... for us is that finally, for me it's ... it's still a very long journey and who is not, uh, there's no there is forced to move from from one place to another, from one country to another, it is not next door to anything.

[0:54:06] Lisette: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That is true. So, you have left France because your woman ...

[0:54:12] Claude: Had his family in Venezuela, which was established for a long time over there yes.

[0:54:18] Lisette: So it was in 1975.

[0:54:20] Claude: Yes, that's right, in '75.

[0:54:23] Lisette: And uh you stay in Venezuela how many years?

[0:54:27] Claude: Seven years we stayed in Venezuela.

[0:54:29] Lisette: Seven years. And you left Venezuela because it was not ...

[0:54:35] Claude: I left Venezuela because I had realized that it could not be the land of opportunity. I still felt a certain vis-à-vis children responsibility. And I thought, I do not see my children grow up in this country there or have a future in a country like Venezuela. [0:54:59] And I was right because now it's a disaster what. It is...

[0:55:03] Lisette: Yes, yes, yes.

[0:55:04] Claude: Finally, with time ...

[0:55:07] Lisette: You made very good decisions.

[0:55:10] Claude: Yes, I have ...

[0:55:10] Lisette: At the right time.

[0:55:12] Claude: Yes.

[0:55:16] Lisette: So when you came here is that you had family in Montreal?

[0:55:20] Claude: Yes, when I came here, I had finally uh, my sister, who lived here with her husband, Mr. Halsélem is that it is a very involved [sp?] in the Sephardic community and has always been there and it was also her pharmacist and so I, I had support from my sister, my brother who helped me to start anything.

[0:56:07] Lisette: So as identity, how do you see? Jewish? French? What? What is your identity now?

[0:56:25] Claude: I, obviously, my identity is Jewish. My culture is French, I can not, I still, would not that I do have, vis-à-vis France some recognition for the instruction, which I have received. To have been able to do my studies in France. [0:56:56] This is for me the France that was all what. It was like, especially since home was still ... among Jews from Judaism values ​​there is a value called Hakara Totov [sp?], Recognition of good. I still have a recognition that if only the fact that France has arrived in Morocco, could we uh release and allow us to rise and the time comes, be able to have the tools to be able to leave what the hastily Morocco. [0:57:41] So I feel for sure that I feel very French. Although, the current events are struggling a little. With the declaration of, UNESCO it made me much, it really touched me the latest uh, initiative to which France voted for the resolution denying the right of Jews on Mt. and the temple, and even suggesting that the Jews had handled them, the archaeological research by installing ... [0:58:27] Yes we criticized the Israeli have installed Jewish graves in Jerusalem in some places to argue that Jews were there at that time as well ... and what pains me most is that the resolution was passed with the support of France. France has voted for the resolution. As against this resolution the United States voted against, the Netherlands voted against, Britain voted against, actually the US right?

[0:59:07] Lisette: Canada?

[0:59:08] Claude: No, Canada was not part of the ..., the Council, what I think is the Council for Human Rights. I do not know but there's a number of countries but what pained me most is to see that France had voted the resolution. This is an absolutely unbearable resolution, finally, really, it's a lie. Is to deny the truth. [0:59:39] It is recognized that the Jewish people has no right to the Temple Mount is to deny the truth and something like that, especially when even when we think of France it is thought always at great values, loyalty, truth, the great values ​​that it comes from France that really touched me.

[1:00:05] Lisette: Yes. It is very painful. Do you consider yourself a refugee a migrant, an immigrant? What do you...

[1:00:16] Claude: I consider myself as an immigrant but obviously ...

[1:00:21] Lisette: Jew?

[1:00:22] Claude: I ... the truth, yes, wandering Jew obviously well I can not deny it's safe. I made so many countries that I was a very stable, I never thought that one day I would go from one country to another and it was not at all in my ... but I must admit that, in fact, I love Canada. I ... and I'm very glad I made the choice to come to Canada [1:00:57] And if there's an index that does not lie is that when I'm traveling and I'm back before, when I was in other countries, when the plane was landing I said "Oh, even in this country again." I was apprehensive.

[1:01:13] Lisette: Even in France? Even in France?

[1:01:14] Claude: No, in France a little less. But the only place I return with pleasure is in Montreal. And I love Montreal.

[1:01:24] Lisette: It's beautiful.

[1:01:25] Claude: I, though I am, I am an immigrant but I find that, I love this city and I feel good and I, and obviously inhabitant Côte-St-Luc c ' what's even better?

[1:01:41] Lisette: Yeah. What identity you want to pass to your children?

[1:01:50] Claude: Ben predominantly Jewish identity. Mainly Jewish identity.

[1:01:57] Lisette: And you, now is ... Canada? France?

[1:02:03] Claude: Well you know, uh, following our story obviously there are several good identities. There's the, the, Israel, there's France, there's Canada. Good but ...

[1:02:18] Lisette: And where do you consider home?

[1:02:24] Claude: I think I am at home in Canada. Canada. While I, I am very interested in, Israel and I ...

[1:02:40] Lisette: Do you ever returned to Morocco?

[1:02:42] Claude: Yes, I returned to trip a few times yes. Sometimes.

[1:02:47] Lisette: How does it hit you?

[1:02:49] Claude: Well to tell the truth, ah, I have no personal problems but I never feel at ease in Morocco. Because I think uh, surrounded by, Arabs, Muslims, I say what can they think of me. It is, I'm not comfortable.

[1:03:15] Lisette: Do they recognize you? Do you have attended where you were, the pharmacy where you were?

[1:03:21] Claude: Yes ...

[1:03:21] Lisette: People you have the ...?

[1:03:24] Claude [overlap] No, not yet, but in the city where we were going to recess the y'avait more they recognized well, they made a clear distinction between those Muslims and those who were Jews.

[1:03:38] Lisette: But someone recognized you as a pharmacist?

[1:03:42] Claude: No, I have not, chu not returned in the neighborhood where I was, I ...

 [1:03:47] Lisette: You have not tried ...

[1:03:48] Claude: No I have not tried not. But in general terms as I tell you, I do not feel at ease. I do not feel comfortable to return to a country ....

[1:04:02] Lisette: So the last question, what is the message you want to give to someone who will listen to this interview?

[1:04:13] Claude: Well, I would give a message of hope. Is that it must never despair. My example is despite, them moves and tribulations that we have been, well it is now, thank you god children settled here, they're, uh, little children also, we are very satisfied and above all we found here, actually a Jewish environment much closer to our tradition that we had been elsewhere. [1:04:54] And that I think it is very important. That is, it is something very, very important.

[1:05:01] Lisette: Your children are married with all Jews?

[1:05:04] Claude: Yes all and all are married to Jews. Yes Yes. It's not, it's very, this is also a very important point.

[1:05:15] Lisette: Thank you very much for participating with Sephardi Voices. It was a pleasure to meet you. Thank you very much