Guta Israel was born in Sandomierz, Poland, where she was one of seven siblings. The Germans invaded her hometown when she was 13, and the full weight of the Shoah hit soonafter. Polish Jews were quickly placed in ghettos, and while many were murdered in short order by the SS, Guta was among those selected for work. She was put in 3 separate concentration camps, including Auschwitz and Belsen. After she was liberated by British troops in 1945, she made her way at first back to Poland. But confronted with entrenched anti-Semitism, she moved to Canada with her husband, where they set out to build themselves a new life together.
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