PASSINGS: Sergei Belov, Israel Gutman

Sergei Belov

Champion Russian basketball player


Sergei Belov, 69, the starting guard on the Soviet basketball team that won a gold medal over the U.S. at the 1972 Olympics, died Thursday in the Ural Mountains city of Perm, Russia, where he coached a local team. His death was announced by CSKA Moscow, the team he played with for 13 seasons. No cause was given.

Belov scored a game-high 20 points in the Soviet Union's 51-50 controversial victory over the U.S. in the gold-medal game in Munich, which ended on a decisive last-second layup after the clock had been reset. It was the first time since the sport's inclusion in the Olympics in 1936 that the U.S. didn't win the tournament, and the Americans refused to accept the silver medal.

Belov, a shooting guard, was widely considered one of the best non-American players of his generation. He also won three Olympic bronze medals — in 1968, 1976 and 1980 — and led the Soviets to two world championship titles, in 1967 and 1974.

Born on Jan. 23, 1944, in Naschekovo, Russia, Belov later coached CSKA and the Russian national team.

In 1992, he became the first international player inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was inducted into basketball's international Hall of Fame in 2007.

Israel Gutman

Nazi camp survivor became Holocaust expert

Israel Gutman, 90, who survived the Nazi atrocities of World War II and dedicated his life to researching the Holocaust, died in his sleep late Monday in Jerusalem, according to a spokeswoman for the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem.

Born in Warsaw in 1923, Gutman was wounded during fighting in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1943 when a few hundred poorly armed Jews put up resistance to Nazi troops who were rounding up residents and sending them to death camps.

His parents and siblings died in Warsaw while Gutman was incarcerated in two concentration camps as well as the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.

After the war, he moved to what became the state of Israel, where he helped survivors and devoted himself to studying the Holocaust. He served in several prominent capacities at Yad Vashem including chief historian and head of its international research institute.

In 1961 he testified in the trial of Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann, who had been nabbed by Mossad agents in Argentina the year before and taken to Jerusalem.

Gutman's projects included the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, which Yad Vashem called "comprehensive and groundbreaking."

Times wire reports