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Gad Beck, Last Known Gay Jewish Survivor of the Holocaust, Dies in Berlin

Gad Beck (pictured as a child, with his sister), activist and the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, has died in Berlin at the age of 88, the Jerusalem Post reports:

BeckPerhaps the single most important experience that shaped his life was the wartime effort to rescue his boyfriend. Beck donned a Hitler Youth uniform and entered a deportation center to free his Jewish lover Manfred Lewin, who had declined to separate himself from his family.

The Nazis would later deport the entire Lewin family to Auschwitz, where they were murdered.

Speaking about his life as a gay Jew, Beck invoked a line frequently cited about homosexuality: “God doesn’t punish for a life of love.”

Beck is survived by his partner of 35 years, Julius Laufer. Read his full obituary at the link below.

Last gay Jewish Holocaust survivor dies [jerusalem post]

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  1. Never forgotten. Always remembered, of what kind of monsters we, people can be to one another.
    I truly hope and pray Gad is reunited with his lover Manfred, forever.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jun 25, 2012 2:59:06 PM

  2. We are a species which has committed the most vile, abhorrent atrocities on our fellows.....

    Have we learned anything at all ?

    "God does not punish for a life of love."
    Read it and weep.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jun 25, 2012 3:05:28 PM

  3. In the linked JP article Gad Beck is quoted as saying that BECAUSE he was gay he was able to connect with trusted gay non-Jews who gave him food and other supplies he was able to take back to other Jews. That's interesting, one oppressed group (though oppressed for reasons that wouldn't show up on a birth certificate or official papers) helping another.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jun 25, 2012 3:06:26 PM

  4. Gad Beck's entry from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

    Posted by: Eric | Jun 25, 2012 3:08:37 PM

  5. amen, Caliban.

    i light a candle for a departed brother, enjoying a well-deserved rest. what a story. what bravery and resilience.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jun 25, 2012 3:11:50 PM

  6. A very great gay man. See the great documentary "Paragraph 175" He shines in it.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 25, 2012 3:40:58 PM

  7. He was so articulate in the documentaries I've watched - such a uniquely important witness to history. His decision to return to life in Germany served to demonstrate the resilience of the human spirit. I found him admirable and extraordinary.

    Posted by: Fahd | Jun 25, 2012 3:42:28 PM

  8. He would of been better of dead than to live his live has a gay jew. Now he will burn in hell for being gay.

    Posted by: John Luke | Jun 25, 2012 4:23:12 PM

  9. @ John Luke - I can only guess that you will be praised in heaven and have your feet washed by angels for your benevolence. If that's how your heaven works then any place where you are not is a more peaceful eternity for the rest of us and especially for such a dedicated, forgiving, gentle soul as Mr. Beck.

    Posted by: Jonny | Jun 25, 2012 4:35:01 PM

  10. @John Luke, he was always a gay Jew, so per your reasoning if he had been dead he'd have been burning in hell nearly a century ago. It seems to me that it was in fact better for him -- 88 years better -- to have lived his life as a gay Jew than be dead. Yes?

    Posted by: NaughtyLola | Jun 25, 2012 4:38:02 PM

  11. Though I don't believe in fairy tales, according to the Bible I was raised with it's YOU who is far more danger of roasting for eternity, John Luke. You just went against several of Jesus' own rules to satisfy your right-wing religious/political hate agenda. You might want to start wearing asbestos undies just in case.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jun 25, 2012 4:43:40 PM

  12. No gays in my Heaven that is for sure. He lived a life of sin. He would of been better off dead is all I was saying. Maybe his after life would of be a little less painful.

    Posted by: John Luke | Jun 25, 2012 4:48:36 PM

  13. And this section of the USHMM site is devoted to his and Manfred's love story, and illustrates and translates the pages of the small handmade book Manfred had created for Gad sometime before being taken to Auschwitz.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jun 25, 2012 5:02:57 PM

  14. What a miserable excuse for a human being you are "John Luke."

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 25, 2012 5:13:09 PM

  15. lol John Luke Matthew u believe in that creationism "science"--oh sorry PSEUDOSCIENCE--too?

    Posted by: REDBALL | Jun 25, 2012 5:26:04 PM

  16. Rest in peace, Gad.

    Posted by: kit | Jun 25, 2012 5:32:28 PM

  17. I highly recommend Gad Beck's story of his wartime experiences in Berlin, An Underground Life. It's kind of amazing.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Jun 25, 2012 5:33:09 PM

  18. "Zog nit keynmol az du geyst den letzten weg"

    And John Luke, hell is a Christian concept.

    Posted by: LFB | Jun 25, 2012 5:39:51 PM

  19. And it's where most of you are going.

    Posted by: John Luke | Jun 25, 2012 6:02:28 PM

  20. so we'll see u "there," john luke? cuz, OBVIOUSLY, you're one of us...trolling the gay-menz boards lol

    Posted by: john luke thinks he's a "prophet" | Jun 25, 2012 6:04:17 PM

  21. I probably sound strange saying this about John Luke, because until recently others used to say this about me - but ignore him. He's just trying to stir up trouble. At least when I was opposing marriage equality I had a purpose - to explain to the LGBT community how someone could be against SSM and yet still not be anti-gay and want to help improve American's treatment of LGBT people. But John Luke isn't doing anything other than repeating the standard views of the other side.

    When you're a visitor (and I'm still one myself since I'm straight) you need to show respect for your hosts.

    Posted by: Mary | Jun 25, 2012 6:42:09 PM

  22. Let's test your reasoning abilities, John Puke:

    1) It's common knowledge that the biggest homophobes are the biggest homos.
    2) You are the biggest homophobe.
    3) So guess what?

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Jun 25, 2012 6:43:03 PM

  23. Manfred Lewin's memento for Gad Beck. Lovely.

    Posted by: PJ | Jun 25, 2012 8:37:22 PM

  24. KNOW our gay history. LGBT were just as discriminated as any other group..except our story does not get told enough!

    Posted by: AJ | Jun 26, 2012 1:39:20 AM

  25. I recently educated myself on GLBT history, our struggles and what we endured. It was so moving and powerful. I really believe it should be taught in schools because if young children realize what we went through as a people to be comfortable in who we are, they would be far more accpeting and knowledgable. It's part of the historic message and should be expressed.

    Posted by: CollieFlower | Jun 26, 2012 1:40:37 AM

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