The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum of Washington, DC, recently shared glimpses of two past lovers, Jacob Gutman and Bela Milstein.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, which provides the documentation, study and interpretation of Holocaust history, took to their social media recently and shared glimpses of two past lovers, Jacob Gutman and Bela Milstein of 1941 in the Ghetto in Radom, Poland. The USHMM also shared some pictures of Jacob and Bela from 1941 and 1946, including their wedding day photographs.
The Photos of Jacob and Bela were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Jacob Gutman. Jacob Gutman also shared his love story and called his beloved Bela Milstein his first and forever love.
“She was my first and only love,” reflected Jacob Gutman.
While confined in the Radom ghetto, Jacob spent Bela every free moment he could with his then-girlfriend Bela Milstein.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shared that the two lovers, Jacob and Bela, were both forced to live in the ghetto, which was established in April 1941. “Poverty, hunger, and cold [were] widespread,” Jacob remembered. And also At one point, a typhus outbreak in Poland hospitalized Jacob’s entire household.
In the spring of 1943, Jacob shared that his Bela was transferred to the Blizyn labour camp. Despite the distance and the risk, Bela snuck letters and photos to Jacob via another inmate. The two photographs of Jacob and Bela in the ghetto are two of three Jacob carried with him through several forced labour and concentration camps.
After Jacob was liberated in the spring of 1945, he searched for Bela. He showed her photograph to fellow survivors with the plea, “If you ever see this girl, tell her that I am alive in Germany.”
Bela eventually received Jacob’s message, and the couple reunited in the following months. Their wedding was held in the Mittenwald displaced person camp in January 1946, and they immigrated to Canada in 1948.
“I consider myself to be a fortunate person for many reasons,” wrote Jacob. “The most important one was finding Bela after the liberation from the concentration camps. Just thinking about her gave me the will and courage to survive the most difficult periods in the camps.”