Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bella Camhi - November 18, 1999

Pre-War Religious Life

Let me ask you, t...tell me what a, what was a Friday night like in your house?

Oh golly, the, the, uh, the candles and--we have more fantasy that what the material was, you know. We were waiting to eat! Who wants you know, the religion. And believe it or not, they didn't know how to read and write.

Your family didn't know how to read and write.

Well you know, they have all mixed up too, don't forget. This is Oak Park. They were born in Turkey and I was born in Salonika. Like in 1912, from Turkey, the Greeks won the Turks you know, the ???. And it's funny, like, when Oak Park, Southfield turns into our park. Confusing.

So where in Turkey was your family from?

Oh no, no, you're not getting it. It's because the Greek won...

Salonika was...

the, the war.

Was, sure.

Right, Salonika--we were, we didn't move. It's just you know, when a war was uh, won, they took the ???. Yeah, but we were in the same place.

Okay, but it was Turkey...

But they were born in a Turkish regime, and I was born in a Greek regime.

So they were born in the Ottoman Empire.


Uh, your father must have spoken Turkish.

Oh yeah. They didn't speak my own language.

And you spoke Greek.

Because I went to school and we had Greek and Hebrew. And neither of those languages was spoken by my ???. And I didn't speak Turkish.

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