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Cahan, Dova

Dova Cahan
Israeli videomaker

participant in

SFC – Shoah Film Collection

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video title:


2010, 38 minutes

My documentary film ” A Zionist Journey from Romania to Eritrea” is based on the story of my late father, Herscu Saim Cahan, an active Zionist from Romania, who dedicated this life to Hanoar Hazioni Organization since his childhood. Between the two world wars in Europe he organized ships to bring the young Romanian Jewish called Halutzim to the land of Israel to build the future State. During the worst period of the human history, Romania too was invaded by the legionaries who were partners of
the Nazi and although my father excaped this atrocity he worked to help all his comrades caught on labour work. He organized public canteens in Bucarest were could be given help to those who excaped from the concentration camps and pogroms in the northen part of Romania.
After the war he became one of the highest Representative in the Organization and he contributed to the publication of the Hanoar Hazioni Bulletin “Tineretul Nou” for which he was writting also articles about
With the advent of the Communist party in Romania he left the country on Febrary 1948 with his wife and his two small daughter towards Palestine with the aim to remain there. But unfortunately the British who ruled this land at the time did not allowed him to remain and he had to find refugee in Asmara, Eritrea an ex Italian colony of the west of Africa where his sister lived already there with her husband since 1944.
In Eritrea too, he was very active in the local Jewish Community by trying to resolve the Jewish Falasha problem and the Jewish from Yemen. He was the owner of a very famous meat factory “INCODE” which supplied the main food for the Israeli army and population.
He died in March 3, 1974 just before the penetration of the Communist party also in Eritrea which brought to the end of the Ethiopian Empire and of the Emperor Haile Selassie..