US Senator discovers Tunisian-Jewish link

US Senator George Allen did not know until recently that his mother was Jewish – not only Jewish, but Tunisian-Jewish. Haaretz reports:

“The new book by Robert Satloff, the director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, enjoyed a moment of unexpected relevance this week. Before it even reached the bookstores – the book, which deals with what befell North African Jewry during the Holocaust, is scheduled for publication in about a month – the author was asked to comment urgently on the history of the Lumbrosos, a Tunisian family, in the period of the Nazi occupation. It turns out, incredibly, that one of the family’s descendants is currently a United States senator.

(…)”Thanks to information from the Lumbroso group,” writes Jacques Sabille, no fewer than 17 German transport planes were destroyed. Sabille wrote the authoritative 1954 book “The Jews of Tunisia Under Vichy and the Occupation,” which Satloff quotes. Sylvain Lumbroso, who established the group of Tunisian Jewish insurgents, received a medal for his action.

“Sen. Allen’s maternal grandfather, Felix Lumbroso, was arrested and held by the Germans, but he survived. Satloff does not know his exact relationship to Sylvain Lumbroso, the war hero, as he explained this week in writing about the family, but he believes there is a “high probability” they were related. The Lumbrosos are an important family of Jewish leaders in Tunisia.”

Read article in full

More on the Lumbroso family in The Forward

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