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  • Writer's pictureYaman

Ozyas Grayf

While I was trying to reach the documents of the building by sharing the photograph of the school in my archive in order to assist a master's thesis on the old Turkish school in Burgaz island and its accompanying buildings, a different story arose.

The crossed-out Ozyas Grayf in the photo.
Memory with my schoolmates on the island of Burgaz. Grayf 22 August 1938

We knew that the structure in this photo was not structurally similar to the school. We were evaluating the possibility of a summer meeting of schoolmates rather than school because it was summer season and students were not wearing aprons. At that moment, Rıfat Bali came to our rescue and informed that the name that I could not read due to the handwriting is Grayf and that there are families with this surname among the Istanbul Ashkenazi Jews. In the light of this new information, another possibility came to mind. Could it be the Burgaz Recreation Camp *, which enabled the weak children of poor and needy Jewish families, popularly known as the Colonie des Vacances, to have some rest in the summer and benefit from the fresh air? At this point, Seyfi Isman from Burgaz island stepped in. He explained both that the mentioned Colonie was established in 1950 and was renovated in 1964, and reached out to the little Grayf family, who was the crossed-out Grayf in the photo.

Ozyas Grayf

Ozyas Grayf. We are an Ashkenazi Jewish citizen of German origin who always spent the summers of his childhood in Burgaz island. Rest in peace.

I conclude my article with the impressive words of Ozyas Grayf's son Dori Grayf from Burgaz island, when he saw the photo.

I would definitely recognize my father even if I only see his hand-writting.

* Burgaz island Rest Camp, Naim Avigdor Güleryüz Haftanın Sesi Magazine 1.8.1957 Issue 20.

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