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Oral history interview with Leon Menin

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.29.18 | RG Number: RG-50.590.0018

Leon Menin, born in 1900 in Pochaiov, Ukraine, discusses the town, which was made up of about 1,200 Jewish families; the Ukrainians who lived around the shtetl; his father, who was a harness-maker; growing up with three brothers and four sisters; his father’s immigration to Argentina in 1909 and return in 1914; attending a Jewish school; going to Odessa, Ukraine to work on a vineyard at the age of 13; returning to Pochaiov; the Austrian occupation and being sent with his family to Galitzia and then Czechoslovakia; working in a flour mill to help support the family; returning to Pochaiov after the war; being taken to the Polish army in 1920; spending three months in Warsaw, Poland; returning home and working in the forest industry; getting married in 1926; moving his entire family (including parents and siblings) to Argentina with the help of the HIAS; getting a visa as a farmer; arriving in Argentina in February 21, 1930; his three children and has five grandchildren; working as a peddler first and then a merchant; living in Buenos Aires; his role as the vice-president of the community organization (Bet-Am) in Avellaneda; being active in the AMIA; being a member of the Labor party; being very active in his synagogue; the various institutions in the 1930s in Argentina, including the two Jewish schools, the Bialik and the Zalman Raizen Shules; his activism with the Zalman Raizen Shules between 1930-1960; the politics of the schools; the disturbances of 1946-1947 when the communists wanted to take over the school; the unification of the two Jewish schools in 1982; the guests who visited the shule, including Leivik, Zalman Raizen, and Zerubabel; how Argentinean politics impacted the economy of the Jews in the years of Uriburu, Ortiz, Castillo, and Justo; the revolution of 1943; being appointed treasurer in charge of the erection of the monument to Argentina’s liberator, General Jose de San Martin, which was finished after Peron was deposed; never affiliating with the Peronist movement or with the Eva Peron Foundation; building the OJA (Youth Organization of Avellaneda); his work with the Israeli Labor party MAPAI since 1938; being very involved with the United Jewish Appeal for the Great Buenos Aires and heading the campaign for over 44 cities; his involvement with the cemeteries through the AMIA; the 75-year old cooperative in Avellaneda and its demise in 1986; life under Mayor Herminio Iglesias; his work and activity as vice-president of the Nursing Home, Hogar Israelita, between 1955-1974; and bringing refugees to Argentina after WWII.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
León Menin
interview:  1988 April
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 09:23:38
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