Relations with upper class…
These bankers, especially Avram Kamondo, was financing the defense expenses of the Ottoman Empire in the Crimean War between the years 1853 and 1856. Avram Kamondo had very close relations with all the grand viziers of the period, and even his intimate friendship with Mustafa Resit Pasha was not a secret to anyone. He also served as the financial consultant of Mustafa Resit Pasha. He was awarded the title “Count” as to be assigned to his son after his death in 1867 by the Kingdom of Italy as a result of his close relations with King Vittorio Emmanuelle II of Italy and the contributions he had wade. “The first person with foreign-nationality who achieved the permission to buy real estate in the Ottoman State” is Avram Kamondo.
In addition to his financial businesses. Kamondo had also developed a lot of projects about his congregation. The Jewish community during 1830’s was so illiterate and ignorant that “any Jewish person who learned a different language was to be deemed he changed his religion”. Avram Kamondo took the leadership and management of the congregation. He was aware of the modern education in Europe as he very frequently visited there. He anticipated a modern elementary school where Turkish, French and Hebrew would be taught. The school which was established in Haskoy, Piripasa started schooling in 1854.
However, it was not welcomed by some reactionary rabbis and fanatic congregation, so he decided to withdraw among the cries “we are loosing our religion!” Upon death of his only son in 1866, Avram Kamondo decided to move to Paris with his grandchildren in 1872. He passed away in his manor in Paris the next year. He willed to be buried in Istanbul and therefore Avram Kamondo’s body was brought to Istanbul with the help of the Ottoman State. He was buried in the mausoleum he had built beforehand. He was so much loved by Istanbul people that on the day his body was brought to Istanbul, all the personnel in the stock exchange and finance institutions ceased their work while Jewish people were in mourning. The tradesmen in Galata. and Golden Horn also closed their shops.
After Avram Kamondo’s settlement in Paris, on the other hand, his bank in Istanbul shrunk its businesses. It was closed in 1910’s. Family members carried on living in Paris and contribute to works of art. The great wealth of the family disappeared with the break of World War II and all the members of the family were sent to Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Kamondo’s, who were one of the richest families in the world once, shook deeply with the death of Avram Kamondo and ended up in a tragically in a concentration camp…
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