Search - List of Books by Gad Beck
Gad Beck (born 1923) is a retired educator, author and gay Holocaust survivor.
Total Books: 4
Beck was born in Berlin, Germany, along with twin sister Margot, to a Jewish father and German mother who had converted to Judaism. The family lived in a predominately Jewish immigrant section of the city. At age five, he and his family moved to the Weissensee district where he attended primary school and was the target of antisemitism from classmates. In 1934, he was enrolled in a Jewish school but had to quit and take a job as a shop attendant.
As a person with a partial Jewish ancestry (as the Nazis termed, Mischling) Beck was not deported with other German Jews. Instead, he remained in Berlin. He recalls in his autobiography wearing a Hitler Youth uniform into the pre-deportation camp where his lover had been arrested and detained. He asked the commanding officer for the boy's release for use in a construction project, and it was granted. When outside the building, however, the boy declined, saying, "Gad, I can't go with you. My family needs me. If I abandon them now, I could never be free." With that, the two parted without saying goodbye. "In those seconds, watching him go," Gad recalls, "I grew up."
He joined an underground effort to supply food and hiding places to Jews escaping to neutral Switzerland. In early 1945, a Jewish spy for the Gestapo betrayed him and some of his underground friends. He was subsequently interrogated and interned in a Jewish transit camp in Berlin.
After World War II, Beck helped organize efforts to emigrate Jewish survivors to Palestine, emigrating himself in 1947. Beck returned to Berlin in 1979 where he has since retired from his position as director of the Jewish Adult Education Center in Berlin.
In 2000, Beck was featured, along with a few other gay Holocaust survivors, in the HBO documentary film Paragraph 175 in which he remembers his "great, great love" lost to the Nazis. Also in 2000, Beck published his autobiography An Underground Life: Memoirs of a Gay Jew in Nazi Berlin. A documentary film, Gad is planned to be filmed on location in Berlin.