Born: 1937, Teplice Sanov, Czechoslovakia
Describes life in a Catholic orphanage in postwar France [Interview: 1995]
Irene and her twin brother Rene were born Renate and Rene Guttmann. The family moved to Prague shortly after the twins' birth, where they were living when the Germans occupied Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939. A few months later, uniformed Germans arrested their father. Decades later, Irene and Rene learned that he was killed at the Auschwitz camp in December 1941. Irene, Rene, and their mother were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto, and later to the Auschwitz camp. At Auschwitz, the twins were separated and subjected to medical experiments. Irene and Rene remained separated for some time after their liberation from Auschwitz. Irene was sent to several orphanages in Europe. The group Rescue Children brought her to the United States in 1947, where she was reunited with Rene in 1950.
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