Guta Blass Weintraub

Guta Blass Weintraub

Born: January 22, 1924

Lodz, Poland

Guta was born to a Jewish family in the Polish city of Lodz, the nation's second-largest city and the center of its textile industry. Her father, a successful businessman, owned a clothing factory, which produced uniforms for the Polish army. Guta attended a private Jewish school in Lodz.

1933-39: On September 1, 1939, not long after I began secondary school, the Germans invaded Poland. Polish soldiers moved quickly through Lodz to defend the border, but a few days later, after being beaten, they came streaming back through the city. We made sandwiches for them as they retreated toward the USSR. When the Germans entered Lodz on September 8, 1939, my family fled to the nearby town of Wierzbnik-Starachowice.

1940-45: The Germans set up a ghetto in Wierzbnik. I worked in labor camps until 1944, when I was deported to Majowka. Before we entered the camp, a Ukrainian guard stood us before two long pits. "You have one minute to say your prayers. Then you'll be shot." I jumped on his back, trying to strangle him, but we separated when we fell to the ground. Enraged, the Ukrainian shot me. His bullet only grazed my skull. I bled profusely so I feigned death. The guards beat me to make sure. Only a Soviet bombing raid saved me.

After the raid, Guta crawled under a barracks. She was deported to the Auschwitz and Ravensbrueck camps before being released to the Swedish Red Cross in April 1945.