I have a friend whose mother was born in Odessa, Russia in 1920. The family migrated to Tehran, Iran sometime between then and the early 1940's. The family "story" is that they "sneaked out" with only the clothes on their back and jewelry sewn into the clothes. Her mother married an American soldier in 1945. Her grandparents came to the US through Beirut, Lebanon in 1951. (Their nationality is listed on the Passenger List as Iranian. But, again, the story is that they were "in hiding.")
The story of family wealth seems to have some ring of truth to it. Her mother was highly educated, spoke numerous languages, and was once a concert pianist "in the old country."
I was looking at the possibility that the family was Ukrainian, but when I posted there someone said that the surname sounded Armenian. I also found out that the grandmother's given name, Anoush, was an Armenian name. Also, the proximity of Armenia to Iran makes the Armenian origin more likely.
The grandfather's name was Dikram Benoganian.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Birmingham, Alabama, USA