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Oral history interview with Natalio Guiger

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.29.32 | RG Number: RG-50.590.0032

Natalio Giguer, born circa 1909, describes being the oldest of three children growing up in a colony in Argentina; attending school until the fourth grade; his teacher Mr. Leopoldo Najenson, who was the son of a farmer; learning Jewish studies from someone who had little knowledge of the matter; going at the age of 11 or 12 to live with his grandfather in the Colonia Sonnenfeld, where he was schooled and had a private tutor; his chores on the farm, which included riding a horse to the town, bringing in the calves, and taking a chicken to the ritual slaughterer; the challenges of farming; leaving the colony after his Bar Mitzvah and going to Buenos Aires; living with his sister and brother-in-law and studying for the exams corresponding to the grades he had missed in the colony; attending Carlos Pellegrini High School and earning a certificate of bookkeeper; living independently, studying at night and working during the day; being a messenger for a bookstore from ages 14 to 18; returning to the colony for three months in the summer to help his father; returning to the colony at age 19; working with the cooperative in the colonies; leaders of the cooperative movement in the colonies, including Miguel Sajarov, Dr. Yarcho, Merener, Marcos Gorfman, Finguerman, Pustilnik, Isaac Kaplan, Adolfo Leibovich, Marcos Wortman, Glezer, Sarota, and Julio Fergman; working in a store in Clara colony; doing the bookkeeping of the Colonia Curbelo y Monte Hermoso, which was north of General Campos and close to Concordia; the economic issues in 1930; becoming the manager of the cooperative when he was 21 years old; the problems in the cooperative; many of the Jews leaving the farms between the years 1943-1945; how the young generation tried to find new lands to work and formed the Centro Juvenil Agrario (Agrarian Youth Center) around 1934-1935; the lectures and discussions about cooperatives; how the leftist-leaning groups fought the Zionist and because of the internal fight, the center closed and their objectives were not achieved; the arrival of numerous Jewish refugees from Europe after WWII; a few children of the farmers find a place in the Alcaraz colony, where he was the administrator of the cooperative for three years (1933-1936); getting married to a woman he had met in his former colony; going to Pedernal, where the main industry was dairy, and leaving in 1941; moving to Bernasconi in La Pampa Province to the Narcis Leven colony, where he was the administrator of the cooperative until 1946; how the soil was not good and the ground water was very deep; being the manager of a cooperative bank in Bahia Blanca; becoming the manager of the cooperative in Moisés Ville, which had 1,200 members, and working there until 1951; going to Buenos Aires, where he was a partner of a clothing confection business until he retired; and being active in the Jewish National Fund, the United Jewish Appeal, and being a president of the Baron de Hirsch Center as well as a president of his synagogue.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Natalio Guiger
Gabriel Trajtenberg
interview:  1989 April 24
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 09:23:40
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