Abraham Kogan - Personal Introduction

I was born in Czernowitz in 1926, grew up there and left in 1944. In October 1941, at the beginning of the massive deportations to  Transnistria my late father, who was in the timber business/industry,  received a permit "Autorizatzie" to stay in Cz.  The family managed to survive there in the Ghetto until end of March 1944, in spite of the additional expulsions to Transnistria that followed from time to time (1942-1943). In April 1945 and after a series of serious obstacles I managed to get out of the Soviet Union after obtaining permission for "repatriation" to Romania as a former Romanian citizen. I was all alone, very far from my family, crossed the border to (Iashi). A month later, the family was reunited in northern Romania (my parents, sister and brother) and we continued our wandering westwards.

Elementary school: "Safah Ivriah" - Hebrew school (4 years);
Secondary school: L.E.G. (Romanian private high school) (3 years)
1940-1941 Soviet period: Yiddish High School No. 5

In 1945-1946, we got stuck in Transylvania/Romania and could not run away further to the west. I finished there my high school studies and started studying civil engineering at the Polytechnical University in Timisoara.  In late 1947 I temporarily interrupted my studies to emigrate to Palestine (Aliyah Beth via Cyprus - almost 1½ years in British "illegal immigrants" camps).  I came to Israel only at the end of January 1949, resumed my civil engineering studies at the Technion in Haifa, and graduated in 1952 (B.Sc.). After passing the subsequent special diploma exams and presentation of my  "project", I obtained the "Dipl.-Ing." degree in 1953.

I became specialized in water resources development, irrigation and water supply engineering. I was one of the founders of TAHAL Water Planning of Israel Ltd., the official Israeli Government's agency for developing the water sector of the country. In 1978 I was invited by the World Bank to join a team of experts for preparation and appraisal of a large-scale irrigation project in Peru.  After successfully completing that mission I was offered to join the professional staff of the World Bank, got a senior position at  its Washington DC headquarters, where from I worked for another 17 years altogether (8½ years with Latin American countries and 8½ years with Central and Eastern European countries).

Upon return to Israel, in 1996, I still got several special consultancy assignments for the World Bank, to Latin American countries, but mainly Eastern Europe.  Although I am formally a retiree, I am still professionally active, but on a part-time basis.

I am almost a "fanatic Czernowitzer patriot", but never intended to go back, since 1944.  It was only in late December 2005, after having "discovered" Mimi, the daughter of my good old Czernowitzer friends, that I decided to join the 2006 Reunion group, at the urging of my son David (Dudu). My wife, Dola, who is from Kraków/Poland, a Bergen-Belsen camp survivor, did not come to the Reunion.  All our children and grandchildren are "Sabras".

I am still emotionally so excited from what I saw, the reminiscences and the associated experiences that I went through during this visit to my former hometown that I am unable to describe them in detail. Perhaps some time in the near future.