Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Oral history interview with Irene Hizme and Rene Slotkin (Guttmann twins)

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2003.485.5 | RG Number: RG-50.718.0005

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward

    Oral history interview with Irene Hizme and Rene Slotkin (Guttmann twins)


    Interview Summary
    Irene Hizme (née Renate Guttmann) and René Slotkin (né Guttmann), Jewish twins born December 21, 1937 in Teplice-Sanov, Czechoslovakia (Teplice, Czech Republic), discuss being sent to Theresienstadt in 1943; their memories of Prague, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic); the death of their father in Auschwitz in 1941; the night they were marched to the cattle car to be deported; arriving at Auschwitz; the conditions of the camp; violence in the camp; being separated from their mother and then each other; how all the people in their barrack were killed that night; René witnessing roll calls and mass shootings; Irene's memories of being hungry; their experiences with Dr. Mengele; painful medical procedures; how they kept going because they knew the other one was alive; how Auschwitz changed in January 1945, a time when there was more confusion; experiencing air raids; how Irene was very ill in 1945 and was rescued by a Polish woman after liberation; a Jewish organization that took her from the woman’s home and put her in an orphanage in Fublaines, France; René's memory of being marched away from the camp; the German guards disappearing suddenly before the camp was liberated by the Russians; how he was taken to a hospital and then to an orphanage in Košice, Czechoslovakia (Slovakia); not remembering when they were tattooed; how René lived with a few different families and left Czechoslovakia in 1949; finding each other in 1948; how Irene was selected to represent the war orphans for in the United States for the organization Rescue Children; being adopted by an American family, the Slotkins; how René found her after she was photographed for Life magazine (November 17, 1947 issue); growing up in the U.S.; how René was adopted by the Slotkins; not talking about their experiences for decades; how their experiences influenced their lives; how Irene was ashamed of what happened to her and was astounded by American leniency; speaking about their individual experiences in 1985 when they discovered other twins who had survived Auschwitz; and how Irene was told as a child about the tremendous odds against her surviving Auschwitz.
    Rene Slotkin
    Hizme, Irene
    Stephen Stept
    interview:  2002 October 12

    Physical Details

    4 videocassettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Topical Term
    Child concentration camp inmates--Poland--Oswiecim. Concentration camp guards--Poland--Oswiecim. Concentration camp tattoos--Poland--Oswiecim. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Czechoslovakia--Personal narratives. Holocaust survivors--Psychology. Holocaust survivors--United States. Human experimentation in medicine. Jewish children in the Holocaust--Czechoslovakia. Jewish orphans--Poland. Jews--Czechoslovakia. Jews--Czech Republic--Teplice. Mass murder--Poland--Oswiecim. National socialism and medicine. National socialism and science. Orphanages--Slovakia--Košice. Orphanages--France--Fublaines. Roll calls--Poland--Oswiecim. Twins. World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities--Poland. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation. Men--Personal narratives. Women--Personal narratives.

    Administrative Notes

    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum produced the oral history interview with Irene Hizme and Rene Slotkin (Guttmann twins) in preparation for its exhibition "Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race." The interview was transferred to the USHMM Oral History Branch from the Museum's Institutional Archives in April 2013.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 09:29:10
    This page:

    Additional Resources

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us