October 02, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC—The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum mourns the passing of Israel Gutman, a survivor of Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. He later became a preeminent Holocaust scholar who played a leading role in establishing the field of Holocaust studies in Israel, the United States, and worldwide.
His impact on the Museum is deep. He served on the Museum’s Content Committee, which oversaw the creation of the Museum’s Permanent Exhibition, and his voice was central to developing the exhibition narrative. He was also a longtime member of the Museum’s Academic Committee, where he helped guide the Museum’s research initiatives. He helped found the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem in Israel and served as its director from 1993 to 1996.
A prolific author, speaker, and teacher, he participated in conferences and spoke to audiences around the globe. He was particularly instrumental in establishing relationships with scholars and students of the Holocaust in his native Poland and promoting Holocaust understanding in that country.
“The survivors are the greatest teachers of Holocaust memory and the lessons it holds for us today,” said Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. “Professor Gutman’s personal experiences informed his unparalleled scholarship. As a survivor of Nazi crimes, his work to ensure that this history is known to future generations took on an added urgency and authenticity. He will be sorely missed, but his contributions to our knowledge of the Holocaust will endure.”
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