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Oral history interview with Isaac Breiter

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.29.5 | RG Number: RG-50.590.0005

Isaac Breiter, born in Bahia Blanca, Argentina in 1908, discusses having six brothers and one sister; his father, who was born in Ukraine, and his mother, who was born in Russia; his father arriving in Argentina alone circa 1904 and settling in a farm in the area of Bernasconi, without the aid of the Baron de Hirsch enterprise; the family moving to Argentina to join his father; his family’s move after a few poor harvests to the city of Bahia Blanca; the birth of his only sister in 1906 in Bahia Blanca; his parents’ religious backgrounds; his father bringing his mother-in-law and his brothers-in-law to Argentina in an attempt to unify his family; staying in Bahia Blanca until 1918; attending elementary and high school; the expectation that all the children would receive higher education and the family moving to Buenos Aires when the oldest child started university there; his father’s work making bricks in Bernasconi and then opening a small department store that prospered; the Balfour Declaration; entering the School of Engineering in 1926; the Tragic Week in 1917; living in the Jewish neighborhood; joining the Zionist Federation, where he and other created the Zionist Youth Cultural Association, which became the spiritual leader of the youth in the capital city; his colleagues Yagupsky and Jacobo Bronfman; the activities in the group, including the cultural and Zionist activities as well as communication with other youth organizations in the world (among them the Universal Union of Jewish Youth in Paris); receiving his enlisting document at the age of 18 and deciding at that moment to become active in Argentinean politics; joining the Radical Civic Union; his work pasting posters on the streets for the reelection campaign of president Yrigoyen in 1922; becoming more active in the party in 1946 after returning from the province of Entre Rios, where he had worked as an engineer; meeting with Arturo Frondizi (who later became president of the republic) and with whom he established a very close friendship; being the deputy (representative) for Buenos Aires from between the years 1958-1962; his activism with the Student Center at the School of Engineering in the Buenos Aires University; his work in Viale and Nogoya prior to his return to Buenos Aires in 1946; never fulfilling his wish to immigrate to Israel; celebrating the main holidays, which were always hosted by his mother even after he married; how his generation did not know much about the Holocaust; not remembering any anti-Jewish demonstrations during the war; being active in the DAIA (Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas) as a representative of Federation after 1946; other Jews active in the Radical movement, including Berta Feiguin de Ferrari (from the Cordoba province), Simon Goldstraj, Simon Junin, Arnoldo Kronhaus, Rozenkraz, and Bernardo Sweitzer; never experiencing anti-Jewish bias from anyone, especially not in the years of Eichmann’s capture and the debate of the relations with Israel; the popular anti-Semitic demonstrations of 1959; his policy as a deputy to stay in the background when Israel or problems in the Jewish community were discussed; his thoughts on the extradition of Eichmann; having a stroke in 1961 and being confined to a wheel chair; his thoughts on public and private education; being a delegate to the World Jewish Congress in Geneva in 1953; participating in the World Jewish Congress; visiting Israel with his wife; and his children, who did not receive a Jewish education.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Isaac Breiter
Ana E. de Weinstein
interview:  1986 September
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 09:23:36
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