Holocaust researcher Israel Gutman dies at 90by omri efraim, ynetnews.com
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Professor Israel Gutman, a prominent Holocaust scholar, died Oct. 1 in Israel. He was 90.
Gutman was a fighter in the Warsaw Ghetto, an Auschwitz survivor, and one of the founders of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. In a statement, Yad Vashem said, “Gutman was a prominent figure, a pioneer and world leader among historians in the study of the Jewish Holocaust in Europe, and the senior among them in Israel.”
Gutman was born in Warsaw in 1923, and joined the Hashomer Hatzair Zionist youth movement. During the Nazi occupation, he was a member of the Jewish Fighting Organization in the Warsaw Ghetto and took part in the 1943 uprising against the Germans. He was wounded during the battle, losing an eye. After this, Gutman was a prisoner in the concentration camps of Majdanek, Auschwitz and Mauthausen.
His parents and older sister perished in the ghetto. His little sister, Genia, was in the orphanage of Janusz Korczak and died in Treblinka after the expulsion of the orphanage’s children in summer 1942.
After liberation, he immigrated to Israel and joined Kibbutz Lehavot HaBashan. In 1961, he spoke at the Jerusalem trial of former S.S. leader Adolf Eichmann, testifying regarding his experiences in the Warsaw Ghetto and the Majdanek and Auschwitz camps.
In 1973, he moved to Jerusalem, and upon completion of his doctorate in 1975, began teaching at the Hebrew University, where he served until his retirement in 1993. At the same time, he became a leader in scientific activity and research at Yad Vashem and was founder of the International Institute for Holocaust Research, serving as its director. From 2000 until his death, he served as an academic advisor to Yad Vashem. Gutman also served as Vice Chairman of the International Auschwitz Committee.
Gutman, who lived in Jerusalem, was a widower and left behind two daughters and three grandchildren. He was buried Oct. 2 in Jerusalem.
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