Libya The Jews Museum Newsletter Testimonies
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Date: November 1998
Location: Bat Yam, Israel
Language: Primarily Italian
[ Full text] [ Abstract] [Excerpt in RealAudio]

Benedetto Arbib:
Lived in Tripoli until 1949.             
David Peled:
Lived in Tripoli and Homs until 1946.

Two interviews, Benedetto Arbib, and David Peled. Benedetto discussed his lack of Jewish education and observance as compared to other Libyan Jews, and his family's involvement with the fascist party. He talked about his occupation in the automobile agency as a driver, transporting food to Jews in the concentration camp of Giado, and after the war, transporting them to Benghazi and Gherian at the same time that they were transporting British soldiers to the borders of Tunisia. He was among the few responsible for the installation of power poles from Gherian to Benghazi. David described the dress of men and women and their jewelry, typical illnesses hereditary to Libyan Jews, Jewish professions, and the History of the Jews in Libya including their attempt to control Libya, their escape to the caves, and the development of the Jewish community in Libya. He described the unordinary aspects of the society, including intermarriage, homosexuality, prostitution.


Benedetto: Click for RealAudio sound
Italians built the concentration camp for the war against the French, this concentration camp, where they took the Jews of Benghazi and put them in Giado, was in fact an Italian military camp not far from the French border, the Tunisian border. I worked there when I was 15/16 years of age, I worked all the jobs. When Alfonso came he said: "Benedetto, we need to go to bring food from Tripoli to Giado," they had just liberated the concentration camp, the English had not yet arrived… Full text...

David: Click for RealAudio sound
In Tripoli those who dared put on trousers, shirts, we called that [A] he is dressed a la Italian [I]…before the Italians…no one wore these modern cloths etc. [A] you can see them together there [H] pictures [I] of traditional garb, like the Tarbush (hat)…Amros, Msellata, and Sebrata, [H] women went with a big 'zdad' red and black colors and white and they had in their ears earrings that are as big as six centimeters, no, [I] a diameter of 15 centimeters in the ears, [A] and necklaces [H] they call it [I] necklaces made of [H] Kesef [I] silver till the stomach…and the arms [H] with wide bracelets…[A] how do you call them [H] yes [A] bracelets [I] no but they are wide [H] wide bracelets [I] that are of 10/15 centimeters, and even on the legs… the Jewish community of Benghazi was more open to the Italian modernism, much more open because it was close to Egypt… Full text...
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