Laurette Levadi

"Support the State of Israel.  Jews are now different as we have Israel, we are strong and we have the respect of the world.            "

Name at birth
Liora Mamane or Maman (descendants of Maimonides
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Meknes, Morocco
Name of father, occupation
Isaac Mamane, Tailor
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Rebecca (Amar) Mamane
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents and twelve children: Laurette, Joseph, Chaim, Avraham, Simcha, Raphael, David, Rayna, Mayer, Yom Tov, Esther, Yacot
How many in entire extended family?
Over 100
Who survived the Holocaust?
 The Jews of Morocco originally came from Spain after the Inquisition and the expulsion of the Jews.  It was a lot of fun growing up in our family.  My father made a good living as a tailor.  Morocco is an Arab country, the Arabs didn’t like the Jews, they would throw rocks at us, spit on us.  One Passover, there was a riot, Jews were killed in their homes.  They looked at us like we were rats.  They didn’t like us and we didn’t like them. 
At my father’s tailor shop, at the shop he gave himself a French name, Mr. Hubert, so as not to be known as a Jew.  He looked like a Frenchman.  Morocco was a French Protectorate.  My father did well as a tailor.  When the Germans later invade Morocco, they came to him to repair their clothes, their uniforms.  They did not know that he was Jewish.  
We had a good life in Morocco, the weather is beautiful. The Jewish holidays were beautiful, Sukkot, weddings, Shabbat.  It was an authentic Jewish life that we had.  Weddings were celebrated for seven days.  Moroccan Jews were great musicians and singers.  I remember the food being delicious. 
When the Germans invaded Morocco, we were scared about what could happen.  I was about nine years old at the time. The Germans didn’t harm us, they just looked around, analyzing what was going on.  I’ve always been a curious, my father said don’t ask about what is happening.  
The Germans met with the king of Morocco (King Mohammed V) wanting the names of all of the Jews and their possessions.  The king said I don’t have any Jews, I only have Moroccans.  He did not give them any information.  The King liked the Jews, he was wise man.  Apparently, the King later gave them the information as he feared the Germans would harm Moroccans.  As fate would have it, the plane carrying all of this information back to Germany, crashed in the mountains, scattering all of the documents. I believe this was G-d’s doing. 
Morocco was spared by the Germans.  In Tunisia and Algeria, north African countries nearer to Europe, the Germans set up labor camps but not concentration camps.  Perhaps because Morocco was further from the Europe than the other countries. 
Where did you go after being liberated?
Montreal, Canada
Where did you settle?
Detroit, Michigan
How is it that you came to Michigan?
My husband was a psychiatrist who secured a job in Detroit at Sinai Hospital.
Occupation after the war
Homemaker. I was trained to be nurse in Paris. When we came to the United States, I got pregnant very soon, and became a homemaker
When and where were you married?
We were married in Morocco after the war. I met my husband who is an American, in Paris where he was studying medicine and I was studying nursing. I loved Paris. I later returned to Morocco, he came to visit me. I introduced him to my family, and he was enthralled by our large family. After the war, and the establishment of the new State of Israel, Jews left Morocco for Israel as they were treated badly. My father stayed for a while and eventually our family moved to Montreal. Montreal is French-speaking similar to Morocco.
Dr. David Levadi, psychiatrist
Kim and Ari (deceased)
Rebecca, Solomon, and Jonathan
What do you think helped you to survive?
We were with one another, and we prayed. My city was a religious city with many Rabbis who prayed a great deal.
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
Support the State of Israel.  Jews are now different as we have Israel, we are strong and we have the respect of the world.            
Charles Silow

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