Oral History

Rene Slotkin describes medical experiments at Auschwitz

Rene and his twin sister Irene were born Rene and Renate Guttman. 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, Rene and Irene learned that he was killed in the Auschwitz camp in December 1941. Rene, Irene, and their mother were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto, and later to Auschwitz. There, the twins were separated and subjected to medical experiments. Irene and Rene remained separated for some time after their liberation from Auschwitz. The group Rescue Children brought Irene to the United States in 1947, where she was reunited with Rene in 1950.


I was with other, I had to think were twins. Um, my visits to the, um, hospital, I don't think were anywhere near as frequent as Irene's, and I don't remember ever being invaded into my body. The only thing that I remember them doing to me is measuring. And I do remember the roentgen, the X ray, I guess it was, roentgen, I remember that name, they used roentgen a lot, and I had to stand still or sit still for a very long time for this process to take place. And it was cold wherever you were. Uh, but that, that was just about the experience with the hospital, very minimal compared to Irene's.

  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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