Esther Gitman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Esther Gitman
Born (1939-09-20) 20 September 1939 (age 75)
Sarajevo, Kingdom of Yugoslavia (present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Nationality Yugoslavian
Ethnicity Jewish
Occupation Writer, historian

Dr. Esther Gitman is Jewish 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 non-Jews.[2] She has lived in the United States of America since 1972.[3] Before that her family lived in Israel for 19 years, then she moved to Montreal, 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 NYC.

Gitman received a bachelor's degree in history and sociology from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and a graduate degree in criminal justice from Long Island University. 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 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.[4] In 2008, Gitman participated in a conference on Aloysius Stepinac, the senior member of the Catholic Church among the Croats in the Second World War.[5]

Gitman has compiled databases on Jews who survived from Sarajevo and Zagreb.[6][7] In 2011 she published a book When Courage Prevailed: The Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941–1945 [8] with the subject of rescues and survival of Jews in Independent State of Croatia and also about the role of Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac in these matters.[9][10][11] In the interview for the Croatian daily Večernji list, Gitman said that for her: Stepinac is holy man who saved many Jews.[9]


  1. ^ The Centre for Advanced Holocaust Studies[dead link]
  2. ^ And in the darkest times, theres exists the light of great-spirited individuals – historian Esther Gitman about the saving of Jews in the NDH[dead link]
  3. ^ "International symposium on blessed Aloysius Stepinac". Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  4. ^ In 2006–2007 academic year Gitman was awarded by the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum and The Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies a Barbara and Richard Rosenberg Fellowship for her Postdoctoral research and added new material found in the Museum as well as in the National Archives. In 2007 Gitman received a post doctoral grand from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.Holocaust Historian to Discuss Fate of Croatian Jewry
  5. ^ American Jew in defense of blessed Stepinac[dead link]
  6. ^ "Sarajevo Survivors Who Went to Palestine, December 1948". 31 July 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  7. ^ "Zagreb Survivor Lists". 27 April 2008. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  8. ^ Gitman, Esther (27 September 2011). When Courage Prevailed: The Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941–1945. Paragon House.
  9. ^ a b "Esther Gitman: Hrvati su spasili tisuće Židova, a Stepinac je svetac". Večernji list (in Croatian). 27 February 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  10. ^ "Kad hrabrost prevlada". Croatian Radiotelevision (in Croatian). 18 October 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  11. ^ "Esther Gitman: Stepinac se suprotstavio sustavu žutih oznaka". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 9 September 2009. Retrieved 2013-01-08.