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Israel Gutman

Israel Gutman (Enlarge)

Israel Gutman

Born in Warsaw, Poland, Israel Gutman was sixteen years old when WWII broke out. During the war, he joined the Warsaw ghetto’s Jewish underground and was wounded while taking part in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. From Warsaw, he was sent to the Majdanek concentration camp and from there to Auschwitz. In May 1945, he took part in the “death march” to Mauthausen. Overall, Gutman spent two years of his life as a prisoner in the camps. After the war, when he was extremely ill, Gutman was hospitalized in Austria but fled the hospital to join the Jewish Brigade in Italy. Before immigrating to Mandate Palestine in 1947, he helped care for Jewish refugee survivors of the Holocaust and played an active role in the clandestine Jewish immigration to Palestine underway at the time. In Israel, he joined Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan, where he raised a family and lived as a kibbutz member for twenty-five years. Gutman, who was the only member of his family and his school class to survive, felt a responsibility to learn how life returned to normal even after a great crisis of such magnitude. He studied in university and wrote numerous books and articles on the Holocaust, earning an international reputation in the field of Holocaust studies and helping to train generations of researchers in the field. He is currently the chief scientist of Yad Vashem.

 

 

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