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Oral history interview with Maximo Yagupsky

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.29.42 | RG Number: RG-50.590.0042

Maximo Yagupsky describes being one of the last remnants of the first generation of Jewish immigrants to Argentina; his parents’ arrival in Argentina at the end of 1890 when his mother was 7 and his father was 14; his father’s emigration from Bessarabia in order to avoid military service; his grandfather, who was a ritual slaughterer (shochet) and performed his job on the ship Pampa on the way to Argentina; his grandfather settling in one of the colonies near Dominguez called Sonnenfeld, where there were about 50 families; the funding and managing of the whole enterprise by the Jewish Colonization Association (JCA); his father training as a ritual slaughterer and studying in other colonies, where he was tested by two different sects of Judaism; his family’s move to the colony La Capilla in the province of Entre Rios, where his father established himself as an independent shochet; his father’s influence on the town, encouraging the foundation of a modern Jewish school and the establishment of a post office; the good relations between the Jews and non-Jews in the area; Dr. Yarcho, who was sent by the JCA from Germany to Argentina; being sent to high school in Concepcion del Uruguay, where he learned to milk cows, tame horses, and deliver calves; his education at home, which included studying The Ethics of the Fathers with his seven siblings and father on Saturdays afternoon; his father’s hard work to support his family; his father reading Torah in the synagogue and officiating as a mohel; his father traveling once to Paraguay for a circumcision and bringing home a parrot; his father death, after which prayers were recited every morning at home and the parrot would join in; how the first cemetery was established in a field donated by a colonist; the rituals performed after a death; the geographic arrangement of the colony Baron de Hirsch; life in the colony, including the weather, professions, births, and education; rituals of passage among the Jewish colonists; the countries of origin of the different Jews in the colonies and the prejudices amongst the people; moving from the colony to Buenos Aires; the differences they felt between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews, and the geographic origin of the Sephardic Jews who arrived in Argentina; and the first mixed marriages between the two groups.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Maximo Yagupsky
interview:  1988 December 01
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 09:23:41
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