Esther Gitman

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Esther Gitman
Born (1939-09-20) 20 September 1939 (age 77)
Sarajevo, Kingdom of Yugoslavia (present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Nationality American
Occupation Writer, historian

Dr Esther Gitman is a Jewish American historian who is an expert on the Holocaust in Yugoslavia specifically focusing on the Independent State of Croatia.[1]

Gitman was born in Sarajevo in 1941. In October 1941 in her mother's arms they escaped Sarajevo to the Italian zone of occupation on the Adriatic, both survived the Holocaust through the help of Righteous Gentiles. She has lived in the United States since 1972.[2]

Before that her family lived in Israel for 19 years, then she moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada with her husband Israel and only child, her daughter Michal. That is where her husband Israel, earned his PhD and finally in 1978 they moved to New York City. She earned a bachelor's degree in history and sociology from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and a graduate degree in criminal justice from Long Island University.[citation needed]

She earned a PhD from City University in New York in Jewish history. She began her research into the Croatian-Jewish history in 1999 with her dissertation entitled Rescue of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia, 1941–1945. In 2002 she received a Fulbright scholarship to travel to Croatia to continue her research. In the 2006–07 academic year Gitman was awarded, by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, a Barbara and Richard Rosenberg Fellowship for her research.[citation needed]

In 2007 Gitman received a post doctoral grand from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.[3] In 2008, Gitman participated in a conference on Aloysius Cardinal Stepinac, the senior member of the Catholic Church among the Croats in the Second World War.[4]

Gitman has compiled databases on Jews from Sarajevo and Zagreb who survived the Holocaust.[5][6]

In 2011, she published When Courage Prevailed: The Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941–1945[7] with the subject of rescues and survival of Jews in Independent State of Croatia and about the role of Aloysius Cardinal Stepinac during that time.[8][9][10] In the interview for the Croatian daily Večernji list, Gitman stated that, for her, "Stepinac is holy man who saved many Jews".[8]


  1. ^ The Centre for Advanced Holocaust Studies Archived 30 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "International symposium on blessed Aloysius Stepinac". Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Holocaust Historian to Discuss Fate of Croatian Jewry,; accessed 12 November 2016.
  4. ^ "American Jew in defense of blessed Stepinac" Archived 16 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Sarajevo Survivors Who Went to Palestine, December 1948". 31 July 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Zagreb Survivor Lists". 27 April 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Gitman, Esther (27 September 2011). When Courage Prevailed: The Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941–1945, Paragon House.
  8. ^ a b "Esther Gitman: Hrvati su spasili tisuće Židova, a Stepinac je svetac". Večernji list (in Croatian). 27 February 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Kad hrabrost prevlada". Croatian Radiotelevision (in Croatian). 18 October 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Esther Gitman: Stepinac se suprotstavio sustavu žutih oznaka". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 9 September 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2013.