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Oral history interview with David Bitman

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.29.2 | RG Number: RG-50.590.0002

David Bitman describes the development of the Jewish Communist schools in Argentina in the 1940s and 1950s; the relationship with the Jewish Board of Education and the Jewish principal institutions like the AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina); the Zionist influence and discourse with the schools; various activists who participated in the Jewish Communist Movement; the Zitlowsky Yiddish School; the discourse surrounding the government order to have private schools offer a day-long education; how many Jewish schools had to close their doors and others decided to offer a day-long education and accepted non-Jews; spending his first years in Uruguay; the demise of the Banco Israelita del Uruguay; the curriculum in the schools; moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina, after the beginning of WWII because for personal financial reasons; arriving on February 5, 1940; registering his daughters in the Zitlowsky Yiddish School, which was then affiliated with the Yiddisher Kultur Farband; how the school became affiliated with the Jewish Board of Education around 1944; how after the creation of Israel, Hatikva was allowed to be sung, and it was even translated into Yiddish so that the students would know what they were singing; being invited to form part of the pedagogic committee in charge of producing the books for the school; the view of some of the leftist schools, like the Peretz, that the Warsaw Ghetto uprising was organized by Communist Jews; the inspections of the schools by the Jewish Board of Education; and how in the Zitlowsky schools it was forbidden to make criticisms of the Soviet Union in writing.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
David Bitman
interview:  1986 May 19
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, acquired from the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina-Communidad de Buenos Aires
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:23:35
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