My Story
История бухарских евреев | Новая история (1917 - наши дни)


My wife Shoshana has been an instrumental source of support. She is a beautiful and gifted woman who has made a tremendous difference in my life and has raised our three sons with good manners and respect. It is with her encouragement that I decided to put my memoirs into print.



My story begins in Kokand, Uzbekistan (formerly part of The Soviet Union), where my mother & father, Bukharian Jews, were born and raised.My mother, Dora Yegoudaeff, was born in 1901. She came from a very large family of 13 siblings. My father Pinchas Mammon, was born in 1899.He had a sister named Bachmal. Both my parents lived well in Kokand, as the Jewish and Muslim communities had an amicable relationship.

When my father was a young boy, he studied at a Talmud Torah. He had a beautiful voice and we loved to listen to him sing Jewish melodies. My father was selfemployed as a clothing salesman and the majority of his clients were Muslim. On the other hand, my mother, like most of the Jewish woman in Kokand, did not attend school, as there was some fear Jewish girls who wandered on their own from home would be kidnapped or apprehended by Muslims. That is why my mother, who came to Paris at the age of 25, had no knowledge of reading or writing.

My parents were married at a very young age in 1917. I believe my mother was only sixteen and a half, and my father was eighteen. They apparently lived around the corner from one another. It was shortly after the time of their marriage when things became unsettled in Kokand and across all of Russia.

In the wake of the Russian Revolution, the Menshevik's took over power from the Czar and things became chaotic.People were suddenly imprisoned simply for being Bourgeoisie. I remember my mother telling us that many of her wedding presents were taken by some burglars who were taking advantage of the change of government by breaking into homes and businesses to rob Bourgeois people.

The Menshevik Prime Minister, Kerensky, was unable to restore order or control the mobs, so he resigned. Then the Bolsheviks came into power and all hell broke loose. It was at this time my parents realized that it was getting extremely dangerous for Jews to live under the reign of the Bolsheviks and the entire Mammon family decided to leave Russia. The Mammon family was fortunate in that they all had British passports, which enabled them to emigrate.



My parents and their only son, Mashiach (Michel) who was born in Kokand on August 15th 1920, decided to leave Kokand by train, which was the only form of transportation available.The journey was long and arduous and they eventually arrived in Berlin, Germany. This was only a few years after the end of World War I and things in Germany were very difficult.Shortly after their arrival in Berlin, my mother gave birth to another child on January 31st 1923, whom they named Shalom (Charles)

While living in Berlin for two years, my fathers mother Rivka was diagnosed with cancer and she insisted that her husband Binyamin Katan take her to Eretz Israel, as she wanted to die there. So my grandparents ventured to Eretz Israel and my parents eventually decided to join them after Charles was born. The rest of the family carried on their journey to France, where some relations were already living.


Eretz Israel

When my parents arrived in Palestine, my father and a partner established a grocery store, but times were tough.Money was scarce and people were buying items entirely on credit. On September 30th 1924 (2nd Tishrei 5685) I was born, on the second day of Rosh Hashana at the Mount Scopus Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Whilst in Jerusalem we lived on Fischel Levy Street in Bet Yisrael, (now it\'s 10, Chaim Ozer Street).

My fathers mother passed away and was buried on Mount Olive. Eventually my parents decided to leave for France where the rest of the family had settled.



 In February 1926, my parents took the boat from Haifa to Marseilles where they subsequently boarded a train to Paris.



My parents settled in Montmorency, a town in the countryside named after the Count of Montmorency. We lived in a villa with very large gardens and a cherry tree, which I remember climbing to pick cherries.It was very quiet and there was plenty of open space for myself and two brothers to entertain ourselves and exhaust our energy in the fields.

Our parents were very strict with us. For instance on one occasion they didn't know our whereabouts until about 7pm.My mother, who was the head of the family, punished us severely. We were not allowed out of the house for one week.But you must understand that I'm talking about 1928/29 and parents were generally stricter in those times.

Unlike today, life seemed safer and more peaceful back then. We used to wander around unsupervised in the fields without any fear. We never heard of instances where children were taken away for no reason. I cannot even remember our parents locking the doors of the house.

In October 1929, when I was a little over five years old I started school. Although children begin school at a younger age than five today, I do not have any recollection of attending pre–school. Around this time in 1929/1930, my mother gave birth to another boy named Avram (Albert). Around the time he started walking we moved to Enghien Les Bains, a suburb in northwest Paris.


Enghien Les Bains

Enghien Les Bains was a very pleasant setting, with a lake and a casino. We initially lived at 28 Grand Rue and then we moved to Rue De St.Leu, where we stayed for about a year. There were four Mammon families who lived in Enghien Les Bains and several young cousins. Some of these young cousins were born in Riga, Latvia and Wiesbaden in Germany. Some of them married and settled in Paris. My fathers sister lived in Port St.Cloud and my grandfathers brother's children lived on Rue Des Rosier in the XI Arrondissement of Paris. Here are the names of the Mammon family relatives:

My grandfathers brother Emanuel, his wife Zena and two children, Shurah and Yehuda ( John) Natanel, Penina, Brouha, Tamara and Michel were all brothers and sisters. Michel died at an early age and Penina and her husband were deported Rachamim, his wife Bachmal and two children named Bechor Aron and Alta (Marie) Rafael, his wife Esther and their daughters Rachel, Berthe, Frida and Elizabeth who was born in London.

Enghien Les Bains was so called because it is a thermal city.There was a beautiful synagogue where we used to go for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Unfortunately we had to go to school on Saturday as the only days off were Thursday and Sunday. On those days we went to cheder.

To be continued...

Благородная миссия:

Почти все мы покинули места нашего прежнего проживания с болью в сердце, ибо каждый из нас оставил там могилы отцов и матерей, братьев и сестер.Наш народ на протяжении всей своей...

Celebration of success. Leadership awards of 2009:

On June 24, 2009, The Jewish Child Care Association, aka JCCA and Association of Bukharian Jewish Youth of the USA “Achdut Unity,” hosted a formal dinner award ceremony...

Встреча поколений:

Интересное, удивительное событие произошло 17 июня 2009 года в НьюЙорке. Во всяком случае, для наших авлодов: Некталовых, Исхакбаевых, Хаимовых, Галибовых, Фузайловых...


© 2009