Moishe Gutman testifies to the disappearance of his sister Hannah Gutman, who was born in Jerusalem and was last seen in a WIZO institution for children in Jerusalem, 1948.
Moishe's mother, born in Poland, lost her family in the Holocaust and immigrated to Jerusalem with her husband and with her eldest son. When she gave birth to her daughter Hannah, the mother became ill and was hospitalized. Since there were already five children in the family at that time, a representative from WIZO managed to persuade the father to take the baby to a children’s home, and care for her until the mother was better.
While the mother was still in the hospital and the baby was in the care of WIZO, Jerusalem was bombarded. Some of the family’s children were playing outside at that time, Moishe was injured and his older brother was killed. The father sat "Shivaa" (a week of mourning). After a while the mother also died, and the father sat "Shivaa" again, mourning her death. One Friday, the father came to WIZO to visit baby Hannah. He saw a healthy and smiling baby. When he returned on Saturday night (the children’s home was a short walk from the family home) it was announced that the girl had passed away and that they had buried her.
My dad had so many tragedies, a deceased wife, a deceased son, and a seriously injured son. He had no strength to shout anymore.
For fifty-five years her disappearance weighed heavily on my father’s heart.
A LETTER FROM THE FATHER:
MY INFANT DAUGHTER DISAPPEARED IN 1948 DO YOU KNOW HER?
I, Shlomo Zalman Gutman, and my wife Sara Hinda lived in Jerusalem, Israel, on Agripas Street 9. My wife was pregnant and suffered from heart disease. She was admitted to Bikur Cholim Hospital in Jerusalem where she gave birth to our daughter Chana Shprintza on March 2, 1948. Being that my wife was not well, she was unable to nurse Chana Shprintza. I was forced to admit our otherwise healthy daughter to the WIZO children’s home on Strauss Street in Jerusalem. Four months later, on July 1, my wife passed away. The following week, on July 9, my daughter disappeared from the WIZO children’s home in a mysterious way. Therefore, I ask anyone who reads this, to please help me find my daughter wherever she may be and to inform me as to her whereabouts.
Chana Shprintza Gutman
Father: Shlomo Zalman Gutman – born in Poland
Mother: Sara Hinda Gutman – born in Poland
Birth Date: March 2, 1948
Birth weight: 2.140
Note: On a street map of Jerusalem one could see that the Gutman family home was a few streets away from the WIZO institution. Yet, no one came to inform her father of her [death]. It is only after her father got up from shiva for her mother, and he went to see his daughter in the children’s home, was he told that his daughter died - that the night before all 60 babies died from poisoned American milk powder. A tragedy of such proportion would have made it to the press, but it did not, for there was no truth to it. Chana Shprintza’s disappearance most likely falls into the category of the “missing Yemenite children.”