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Holocaust historian Gutman dies, 90

Israel Gutman, a Warsaw Ghetto survivor and founding historian at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, has died in Jerusalem, aged 90. His funeral is scheduled for Wednesday.

A survivor of the Nazi death camps who became a "trailblazing" historian and documented the Holocaust in an encyclopedia, Israel Gutman died in Jerusalem on Monday, according to the Yad Vashem memorial.

Professor Gutman, born in Warsaw in 1923, took part in the city's 1943 ghetto revolt by poorly armed Jews against occupying Nazi German soldiers.

He then survived two concentration camps as well as the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. His parents and siblings died in the Warsaw ghetto.

After World War II, Gutman immigrated to then British-held Palestine in 1946 and completed a doctorate about the Jewish resistance in Warsaw.

Testimony against Eichmann

In 1961 he testified at the Jerusalem trial of the Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann and became a founding director of Yad Vashem's International Institute for Holocaust Research and its chief historian between 1996 and 2000.

Gutman's projects included the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust Later on, he remained a Yad Vashem academic advisor.

On Monday, the memorial site's chairman Avner Shalev said Gutman had excelled with "rare and exceptional strength as a researcher, teacher and leader."

ipj/mkg (AP, AFP, kna)

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