Victor Eskenazi

Victor Haim Eskenazi was born on the 26th February 1906 in a yali on the Bosphorus in Beylerbey, where his well to do expanded Jewish family all resided.  When his grandfather died he moved with his parents and sister to Galata.  Upon the death of his father, when he was seven, he was adopted by his uncle and educated in local German and English schools.

Following the death of his uncle, when Victor was eighteen, the family decided to leave Istanbul for Vienna to live with his maternal uncles.  He worked in the family bank for a few years and then in 1928 joined another uncle who had moved to Milan to open a gallery dealing in Oriental antiques.

Victor Eskenazi married Laure Roditi in 1936 and had to leave Italy for London in 1937 because of the fascist laws against Jews.  He enrolled in the British army in 1939 and was in the Intelligence Service until the end of the war, being stationed in Cairo and Istanbul.

He returned to Italy in 1947 where he continued his successful career as an antique dealer and died on 10th March 1987, survived by his wife and two beloved children: Peggy and John.

The short auto-biography of a cosmpolitan Jew born in Istanbul at the beginning of the 20th century.  His youth in Istanbul, his war years in the British Intelligence Corps and his fulfilling life as an antiques dealer in Milan are recounted in this engaging memoir in which the author's broad-minded and cultivated humanity radiates through every page.

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