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Rosh HaAin – Research & conversations

28 May 2010 4,455 views 2 Comments

Conversation with the late Dr. Carole Zimbrolt
Side #1
10/15/78 B: When the Europeans came, they were stronger, had more self-confidence… the ones who came to build the country… while Easterners, in spite of all their Zionism, came as ‘miscainim’… those who came arrived here broken, miscainim, they didn’t come as pioneers.
C: And besides, the people who came from Europe… I mean besides the idealism… when things are really rotten, having an ideal keeps you from going crazy and after all many of the early ones went crazy and died… but also they had an idea of making a world, and by the time the Eastern peoples came here, the world was made and it wasn’t theirs.
B: When the Europeans came to build ‘a socialist world’ or whatever, it wasn’t even their world before… they had the idea… but it wasn’t already built and you couldn’t argue then whether it was good or not, or argue, say in the ’49 whether the kibbutz was good or not… now, there’s research on it and examination… for example, it wasn’t sure that to be not religious was good… but for example, they were sure that to be religion was primitive, that everything was primitive.
C: You know, one of the strongest feelings I got when I read some of the early literature on the immigration after the State… the Easter immigration… was that the Ashkenazis who had some, with all of their ideology… whenever people are very strong believers, there’s always the other side that’s always in you. They ran away from the family, they ran away from the Jewish shtetl, they ran away from the closeness and they ran away from the religion. And why did the Eastern peoples make them so uncomftorable? Because they represented everything that these people wanted so desperately to run away from. They were afraid of the family, they were afraid of the religion, the male-female roles were everything they were running away from. And sometimes I think that some of the things that went on in the early days is a kind of punishment of the Eastern peoples for being everything they were insisting that a Jew was not and suddenly the country is full of people who are exactly what they are saying that the Jew is not.
B: Jaffe. And now I’ll tell you about our aliyah. The aliyah started in Aden at the immigrant’s camp. So, this is where they provided medicines etc… there were places in Yemen where they knew about medicines etc… but how did they do it… they did everything in such a way…
C: Who were the people who were there? Who did they bring to run these camps?
B: Halutzim. The Mapainikim, the halutzim… there were also goyish workers… a lot of cleaning people, etc… from Sudan, from lots of places… and who paid for all this… the Jewish Agency paid… for the camps… what happened to the Jews before this… it took them months to get there… on donkeys, by foot…they were sick and they died… and everyone arrived without money. Even Jews who were rich in the Yemen. First of all, they couldn’t sell their stuff…perhaps they had a house of stone… a palace, but on the roads, on the way to Aden… the trip took months and they arrived… they were sick and dirty and hungry…so when they arrived, people saw them as people who were completely broken…
C: How did they get to Aden… how did they know where to go… who helped them find the road?
B: Guides came to the cities, and then they took Arab guides for the journey, Arab guides with their donkeys and their trucks… they gathered in the larger towns… and there were also camps along the way… and all during the trip they had to deal with Arabs robbing them… taking their money… it was like a kind of tax… the Arabs would put a tree across the road and stop them and say that they could pass on until they\d paid the ‘tax’… the trucks were at the end of the journey only…closer to Aden… and they sat in places for days until they paid… and there were poor people who already didn’t have anything to eat… and people helped them so that people weren’t left in the middle of the journey… the journeys could take months… especially for poor families… someone would be sick and they would stay somewhere for a while and then they wouldn’t have permission from the King to continue… all sorts of problems… people really died during the journey… in Shula’s family… 3 died on the way to Aden… they buried people in the middle of the journey…

[if you are intrested in us posting more information & continuation of the texts, let us know at niki.serri@gmail.com or contact Bracha

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  • Sharon said:

    I am definitely interested in reading more of the transcript. I will link to this sight when I teach my classes.

  • manuel kleidman said:

    dear niki how sad i am, its early morning in italy where i live via santa lucia 1 bracciano 00062 italy and i cry for she loved me and i needed her during many years she was a smile for me a culttural and poetical essential reflect in my life, i wrote music for her and played piano for her she translated my poems and my songs and sang them on stage she wrote about me and my first son iotam she called me abu yoyo she was deep and particular she was educated and wild she was very short and great i cry for i have so much to remember and i love you too as i always did , i should say and should have said before, long time ago manuel

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