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Oral history interview with Adolfo Gass

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.29.45 | RG Number: RG-50.590.0045

Adolfo Gass, born on May 25, 1914 in the section Trece Ranchos of the Mauricio Colony, Argentina, describes his mother, who arrived in Argentina on the “Petropolis” ship that had departed Hamburg, Germny in August 1891 when she was 11 years old; his mother’s arrival in Argentina with her married sister and staying at the Hotel de Inmigrantes for a week before being moved to the colony; living in makeshift tents; his mother’s marriage at the age of 15; his father’s immigration to Argentina and the assistance he received from the JCA (Jewish Colonization Association), including the 150 hectares to work in the same section of Mauricio Colony as Adolfo’s mother; his father’s death at a young age; Adolfo’s 10 siblings; attending school and being taught the national and the Yiddish curricula; the exodus from the colony; his desire to be a doctor and going to live with friends in Buenos Aires; his mother’s move to Buenos Aires in 1928; spending school vacations in the colony, helping out; his admiration for President Yirigoyen; the September Revolution; becoming a party affiliate in 1935 while attending a university; the students’ strike and President Justo’s response to the students; his religious views; the five synagogues that were in Mauricio Colony and the lack of religious discrimination in the colony; the antisemitic rhetoric in the disturbances of 1935, which rekindled Adolfo’s connection to his Jewish roots; earning his degree and practicing medicine in Patagonia and, later on, in the Tigre locality; being appointed the ambassador to Israel by President Illia; making it clear that he represented not only the Jews of Argentina but the entire country upon his arrival to Israel; his responses to the comments that Argentina was an antisemitic country; being elected to the Argentinean congress in 1973; being exiled to Venezuela after a coup in 1976; being elected to the Senate in 1983; the AMIA and the Embassy of Israel’s attacks; and his proposal to change the limits to who can become president in Argentina in 1984.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Adolfo Gass
Monica Salomon
interview:  1990 November 09
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, acquired from the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina-Communidad de Buenos Aires
Record last modified: 2020-09-15 09:25:42
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