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Oral history interview with Nizio Katzenelson

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.29.29 | RG Number: RG-50.590.0029

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Nizio Katzenelson, born on September 7, 1905, describes his father, Demetrio Katzenelson, who immigrated to Argentina from Ukraine at the end of the 19th century with the help of a well-known philanthropist Dr. Yarcho and lived in Gualeguaychu and in the Jewish colony in Lopez in the Colon district; his mother Sonia Braslavsy, who was from the Lucienville colony, in Basavilbaso; his uncle, who was the well-known kibbutz founder Berl Katzenelson; being a farm-hand on his father’s farm until age 10; his brothers and sister (Berta); his studies at the local school in the colony; attending high school “Fraternidad” for indigent children in Uruguay in 1917; graduating from medical school in Cordoba in 1927; paying for the engineering studies of his brothers as their parents could no longer afford them; his sister not attending college because she could not leave their widowed mother alone; being the first medical doctor in the Jewish colony of Ubajay, Pedernal, near Concordia (Entre Rios province); moving to Concordia; details on Colonia Lopez including the organization, living quarters, activities, produce, apiculture, schooling, and synagogue; being one of the first people to have a soccer ball and how people would come from far away to see it; their observance of Jewish holidays; his sister possessing the only piano in the colony (which had come from Concepcion del Uruguay); his mother’s occupations; the reading materials at their home; his very active maternal grandparents (Wulfsohn-Braslavsky); how his grandfather had co-founded the first Jewish Agricultural Cooperative of Basavilbaso and was the first teacher of the Lucienville colony; his grandmother founding the Aid Society of Basavilbaso and working for the Jewish hospital in Basavilbaso; his life as a doctor in the years of economic crisis in Argentina (1928-1931); the ICA (Jewish Colonization Association) and their stern treatment of the colonists; the colonists not being able to pay their debts; how the ICA threatened to confiscate the farm (which was 160 hectares) after his father’s death and he was able to get a few loans to pay it; moving permanently to Concordia without prep-planning; his religious beliefs and not observing any Jewish rituals; the dissolution of most of the colonies; and his political views.

Nizio Katzenelson
2008 May 25
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, acquired from the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina-Communidad de Buenos Aires
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Record last modified: 2019-01-16 11:47:36
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