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 Guta 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. Guta and her family made sandwiches for them as they retreated toward the USSR. When the Germans entered Lodz on September 8, 1939, her family fled to the nearby town of Wierzbnik-Starachowice.

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

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.