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  • Author: Michael McGaha
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This little memoir, first published in Italian in 1987, is an account of a life well lived. A proud Sephardi Jew, Victor Eskenazi (1906-1987) was fortunate to have been born and raised in Istanbul at a time when that city was still home to an extraordinarily diverse mix of ethnic and religious groups. In the book's introduction, Eskenazi's son John defines his father as Ottoman “because of his inbred cosmopolitanism, his wide vision of the world, his insatiable intellectual curiosity, his instinctive understanding and respect of other peoples, cultures, and behaviours, and when required also a determination and assertiveness that is so prevalent in the Ottoman personality and in the history of the Empire” (pp. 10-11). Although Eskenazi's formal education ended with high school, just growing up in such a city was in itself a liberal education. By the time he finished high school, he was fluent and literate in Greek, Ladino, French, Ottoman Turkish, German, and English. A bright and sensitive child, Victor clearly reveled in the rich variety of sights, sounds, and smells his native city offered him in such profusion.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Germany, Italy, Vienna