The Deportation of Jews from Libya to French North Africa during World War II

(Ha'aretz) Maurice M. Roumani - On July 15, 1942, French and Tunisian nationals in Libya began to be rounded up and evacuated to Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. I was deported in a truck together with my parents from Benghazi to Tunisia, and I was a witness to the bombing of La Marsa, a suburb of Tunis, on March 10, 1943. Two German air squadrons were stationed in El Aouina and near La Marsa. As a consequence, both sites were repeatedly bombed by the Allies. A massive raid was carried out by American airplanes on March 10 against both cities. However, the 4,392 fragmentation bombs that were dropped on La Marsa did not hit the airfield but fell in the city itself, killing 200 people, including 50 Libyan Jews. Thirteen members of my family were killed there, among them my grandmother, aunts and uncles, and other relatives. The writer is emeritus professor of political science and the Middle East at Ben-Gurion University and founder of the J.R. Elyachar Center for Studies in Sephardi Heritage.

2020-02-21 00:00:00

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