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Oral history interview with Salomone Koen

Oral History | Accession Number: 2013.294.50 | RG Number: RG-50.693.0050

Shlomo ben Mordechai Hacohen (Salomone Koen), born in Monastir, Yugoslavia (Bitola, Macedonia), describes the Jewish population in Monastir; his parents, Mordechai and Clara, and siblings, Chaim, Abraham, Mois, and Allegra; being the youngest sibling; his family being very observant; the interactions of the Jews and non-Jews; all his brothers attending a yeshiva until the public schools opened to Jews; his non-Jewish friends; being bullied in school for being Jewish; his education; being active in the Hashomer Hatzair; his father’s role as the chief rabbi in the town; the German invasion and the conflicts between Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes; the killing and deportation of Croatian and Slovenian Jews; his father being deported to a concentration camp; escaping to the mountains with the partisans; being in a high position with the partisans because he knew the languages of the small towns; his activities with the partisans; fighting with Haim Bar-Lev (né Brotzlewsky), who also sent the partisans armaments and other supplies; the partisans helping people escape to Albania; crossing into Albania in 1941 with his brothers (Abraham and Mois) using Muslim names and being arrested; deciding to confess he was Jewish and be sent to the concentration camp because he could not stand life in the Albanian jail; being released and becoming Albanese citizens through someone’s bribery; becoming the leader of the partisans at the Tirana hospital; escaping to the mountains and receiving help from farmers; liberation in Yugoslavia; the Yugoslavian communists; being named the commander of Opicina, Italy (a town on the border with Slovenia); making arrangements for the returning Jewish refugees to go to Palestine; his brother, Chaim, going to Chile; the rest of the family joining him in Chile later; and the effects of the war on the family.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Hacohen, Shmuel
Neiman, Sonia
interview:  2009 November 23
2 digital files : MOV.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Fundación Memoria Viva
Record last modified: 2022-06-16 10:13:21
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