Sandra McGee Deutsch
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Born in Egypt, she moved to Italy and then Argentina. Lived privileged life in all these places. Of Sephardic Turkish descent, she married a Syrian, which called for adaptation. Has worked in business and has been active in Jewish community life.
Summary of Interview
She was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1942. Her father had been born in Turkey, but he moved to Italy and went to Egypt to escape the racial laws. Her mother's family was also from Turkey, but she was born in Egypt. In Alexandria her family lived a very cosmopolitan life, speaking French among themselves and hardly learning Arabic. Her great-grandmother's generation of women could not read or write, although the men generally went to the university. In 1947 they moved to Italy, and in 1953 to Argentina. Some members of her father's family were living in Buenos Aires. For her, it was relatively easy to adapt. The family spoke mostly French at home, and she continued to speak some French when she married a Syrian from Aleppo. These were important cultural differences between her husband and herself. While her family was not very religious, and he had given up much of his religious observance in I971 they became observant. Now, for her, religion is the base of her Jewish identity. She has many close non-Jewish friends. She studied translation for one year at the university level, and worked in a textile firm and in catering. Her children carry on Jewish traditions in their own ways.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
1 hour and 40 minutes
Length of Transcript
Interview with Simone Barbouth by Sandra McGee Deutsch, 2000, "Interview no. 957," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.