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Oral history interview with Samuel Blutrajt

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.29.4 | RG Number: RG-50.590.0004

Samuel Blutrajt, born in Volinia, Poland (now Volhynia, Ukraine), describes being one of six children; his father’s immigration after WWI to Argentina with the intention of going to the United States after a while; how life was difficult and after the family joined him, they decided to move to one of the colonies maintained by the JCA (Jewish Colonization Association); the family arriving in 1925 from the English ship Darro; going to the colony in Rivera and renting land from the JCA; life and toil in the colonies; staying there until 1934 when he moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina; his work driving a truck to transport goods; getting married in 1940; working in a textile factory; learning the trade with his brother then buying machines and establishing their own factory; the reasons for joining or not joining the textile unions; how the unions got along before the establishment of the State of Israel and were mainly led by Communists or Socialists; how after 1948 the groups were divided and that division was expressed in the educational institutions they established; how the leaders on the Left identified themselves with Russia after 1917 even if they owned the big textile factories and belonged to a higher social class; staying behind in 1929 when many went to Birobidjan, Russia; how the workers in the factories where the leaders were Leftists had better working conditions; joining Jewish organizations after he was well established and had his own family; becoming active in the Peretz Shule, which was a Leftist school, preceded by its library called the “library of Devoto-Lynch” (alluding to the geographic areas where they were situated); the study of Yiddish in the school and the promotion of peace among different national groups; the efforts to protect and preserve the culture they had brought from the old country and its literature, such as Sholem Aleichem and Mendele; aspiring to become an integral part of the Argentinian citizenry as well; how the Zionists maintained that money should not be wasted in establishing schools in the Diaspora but the main ideal should be to send the people to Israel; how the people leaning Left did not mind intermarriage but mourned the abandonment of the Yiddish language and culture; and the waning of the Jewish school’s influence through the years.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Samuel Blutrajt
interview:  1986
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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