Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Mondry - June 15, 22, 29 & July 13, 1992

Italy--Currency Broker

Were you living in Milan then?

I used to try. I had nothing what to do. Money, I had, I made money. I used to make a weekend, four, five hundred dollars. That's good enough for, for an hour, hour and a half on the Americans, you know, on the ??? they call it. On the stock market, you know. That's going around, what do you got? They used to tell you, you know. What do they call it? Used to call it chozzerai you know what chozzerai is? Russian rubles, we used to call chozzerai. Golden rubles we used to call chozzerai. In American that golden dollar is called loksh. You know, the dollar was long. It used to be the long dollar, the golden dollar.

So, why was the Russian ruble a chozzerai?

'Cause they're little, a little chozzerai.

So, you dealt in currency?

Yeah too. We had the Italians, all brokers and we used to give them commission, you know. Like he used to come and listen, "I need, need a half million lire." You know, I was afraid to trust him, you know. The Italians, they run away, you know. You see, I got somebody, Americano, you know. He just come from America. He tell American he wants change. I say, "Can you bring him over here?" He's afraid. He say, "Well, let's meet him someplace. Let's meet in a, in a cafe, you know." He tells me right away, how many lire he wants commission, you know. Okay, so I work the price down for him. I still give him more than the bank. I have to go and get the money, you know. Then we have an...another guy gives us the money, you know. Everything trust, we trust each other.

So, you did this for four years 'til 1949? And then what?

Then I come to New York.

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