Annie Liberman was born in Tunis, Tunisia in 1943. When she was 13 years old Tunisia gained independece from France. At the time of independence Tunis, the capital city of Tunisia, had over 80,000 Jewish citizens. Annie remembers a pleasant childhood growing up with a large and thriving Jewish community in Tunis.
Under French rule, many Tunisian Jews were given French citizenship by the colonial authorities. Thus, when Tunisia gained independence it was natural for many Tunisian Jews to move to France along with many others who held French citizenship. Since her father had worked for the French government he was able to secure a job in Paris. Her uncle, the doctor of the Bey (Bey was the title given to the ruler of Tunisia at the time) left as well. While Annie left Tunisia relatively peacefully, other members of her family had moves that were more traumatic. In June 1967 in the aftermath of Israel’s six-day war, many Jews who stayed in Tunisia were attacked in the streets and blamed for the defeat of the Arab armies who had just lost a war with Israel. Annie’s cousins had to leave their houses and businesses behind as they left the country.
Annie lived in Paris for eight years before moving to Los Angeles but retained many of her Tunisian Jewish customs. Liberman currently lives with her husband of over thirty years in Palo Alto. They have three daughters who all live in San Francisco. While Annie’s life is firmly established in the United States she has enjoyed recent visits to Tunisia and looks forward to visiting Tunisia again. One of her cousins has even moved back to Tunisia.