York woman who fled Nazi Germany shares her story and life advice

Lore Gutmann’s incredible journey started in Germany before the Nazi uprising and continues today in her row home along West Market Street in York – where she’s lived for the past 60 years. “When you have your health and beautiful memories like I do, you have to be thankful,” she says.

Written by: Anthony Machcinski
Video by: Ken Bruggeman
For captions, click the CC button near the bottom right of the video.

Lore and Julius Gutmann met at a Tel Aviv coffee shop in 1959.

Lore’s family had lived in Germany more than 20 years earlier and fled to Palestine (it’s now Israel) during the Nazi uprising. Julius, the owner of York Cutlery and a German-American translator for the U.S. Army during World War II, was in the country visiting relatives.

A family friend suggested the two should get to know each other, and from the moment they met, Lore knew Julius was different than anyone she ever encountered.

“He was such a smart and intelligent man,” Lore remembers.

After a few dates, Julius had to go back to York. Several months later, though, he was back in Israel to see Lore. The pair married in a Jewish synagogue.

“HaShem brought us together,” Lore says, referring to God in Hebrew. “We knew we were meant for each other.”

Lore Gutmann has lived in the same row home along West Market Street in York since moving to America in 1960. (Photo by Ken Bruggeman/Our York Media)

In 1960, they moved into the small row home Julius owned along West Market Street in York.

Lore found the transition difficult at first. Her apartment in Tel Aviv was a 10-minute walk from the Mediterranean Sea, where she swam almost every morning. In York, her limited English occasionally got her into trouble. Once, she tried to pay for her groceries in Lira, the currency she had used in Israel.

Eventually, Lore settled in. They raised two children in the home they shared with her mother-in-law.

“My kids enjoyed it because they would ask what I was making for dinner, then run upstairs and ask what Grandma had for dinner. Whoever had the best, they stayed with,” Lore laughs. “This was a lively house.”

Lore Gutmann manages to stay active as a 90-year-old and still swims every day. (Photo by Ken Bruggeman/Our York Media)

Lore says she’s in a new chapter in her life.

Julius died in March 2007. Lore took care of him for the nine years he was on dialysis.

“I loved my husband very much, but I know my husband is not coming back,” Lore says. “I have to accept it. I could not sit at home and cry. I had no choice but to be strong.”

Lore works out at the York Jewish Community Center every day. During the summer, she swims at a local outdoor pool. The 90-year-old still cooks all her meals in the same home in which she’s lived the past 60 years.

Lore is thankful for her family and her friends. She has 12 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and two more on the way. Each morning, Lore wakes up and thanks HaShem for giving her another day.

“I always say when you have your health, you have everything,” Lore says. “When you have your health and beautiful memories like I do, you have to be thankful.”

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