Holocaust survivor, historian Israel Gutman dies at 90

October 3, 2013

Israel Gutman, who survived the Nazi atrocities of World War II and dedicated his life to researching the Holocaust, died Sept. 30 in Jerusalem. He was 90.

Estee Yaari, a spokeswoman for the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, confirmed the death but provided no further details.

Mr. Gutman, who was born in Warsaw, was wounded during fighting in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1943 when a few hundred poorly armed Jews resisted troops who were rounding up residents and sending them to death camps.

His parents and siblings died in Warsaw while Mr. Gutman was incarcerated in two concentration camps as well as the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.

After the war, he moved to Israel, where he helped survivors and devoted himself to studying the Holocaust. He served in several prominent capacities at Yad Vashem, including chief historian and head of its international research institute.


This photograph provided by Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial shows Israel Gutman, who survived the Nazi atrocities of WWII, fought in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and dedicated his life to researching the Holocaust. Gutman, 90, died in Jerusalem on Sept. 30, 2013. (AP)

In 1961, he testified in the trial of Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann, who had been captured by Mossad agents in Argentina the year before and brought to Jerusalem.

Yad Vashem described Mr. Gutman as a “trailblazing historian.” Chairman Avner Shalev said his insight as “someone who experienced in the flesh the horrors of the Holocaust, fought in the Warsaw Ghetto, was imprisoned in Auschwitz and was a member of the camp’s Jewish underground, survived the death marches and was a witness to all that occurred — added an enormous weight to his rare and exceptional strength as a researcher, teacher and leader.”

Mr. Gutman’s projects included the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, which Yad Vashem described as “comprehensive and groundbreaking.”

Survivors include two daughters and three grandchildren.

— Associated Press

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