Israel Gutman

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Israel Gutman (1923 - 2013) was a Jewish prisoner at Majdanek, Auschwitz and Mauthausen, a postwar Holocaust historian in Israel who held important positions at Yad Vashem, and a deputy chairman of the International Auschwitz Council.

Similarly to Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi, Gutman has stated that when the Communist Red Army was approaching Auschwitz and the camp was evacuated, he preferred join the SS in the evacuation rather than to escape and wait for the Communists. “One of my friends and relatives in the camp came to me on the night of the evacuation and offered a common hiding place somewhere on the way from the camp to the factory. […] The intention was to leave the camp with one of the convoys and to escape near the gate, using the darkness we thought to go a little far from the camp. The temptation was very strong. And yet, after I considered it all, I then decided to join [the march] with all the other inmates and to share their fate.[1] See also Holocaust Memorial Days on Communist atrocities at the liberation of Auschwitz.


  1. Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined 2nd, revised and corrected edition.