The Gay German Who Fought The Nazis

Samuel Reason - March 6th, 2020

Gad Beck has a very cool hero story when you look at it as a whole, not many people in history were able to help so many people. Gad Beck was a gay Jewish resistance leader who fought the Nazis right in their hometown: Berlin – throughout the war. He was only half Jewish and this may have been the reason that he was never arrested immediately. He used this status to his advantage and set up a whole system that kept many of the last surviving Jews in the city completely hidden and alive.

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The craziest Gad Beck story has to be the time he walked his boyfriend straight out of a Nazi prison. His Jewish boyfriend and family had been arrested, were due to be deported to a ghetto in Poland. Before the deportation though his boyfriend, Manfred Lewis, was being forced to work in a factory. So Gad Beck went down to the factory and implored the factory boss for help, luckily he found someone was not a Nazi supporter entirely. The factory boss told him where Lewis was being held in prison and even provided him with a Hitler Youth uniform as a disguise.

Gad Beck was able to talk his way into the prison and invent a story on why Lewis was needed at the factory, something about a mission key. This allowed him to walk out of the prison with Lewis right behind him. A daring rescue mission that many would not even have attempted, but that was the type of hero Beck was – he wouldn’t dream of leaving his lover behind. Alas the mission has a sad twist, once free Lewis told him that he would never let his parents be deported without him and walked right back into the prison. The Lewis family was never seen again.

And that was only one of Beck’s amazing war time stories and deeds that he carried out. Eventually the Gestapo did close in his organisation and himself, but Beck was relatively famous in Berlin having come from a well known business family. It seemed this fame made the Gestapo unsure if they wanted to go ahead and torture him. In fact some of the Gestapo officers interrogating him, had known him since he was a boy, regularly buying cigarettes from one of his family’s shops. They had no qualms about brutally torturing his boyfriend Zwi Abiram right in front of him though, probably trying to get Beck to break.

Beck never did though and he kept the lives of the 62 Jews in hiding safe. Later when the Russian’s free Berlin he was able to get out of the Gestapo prison with Zwi alive. And the Russians even knew who he was already, so was the fame of his heroic resistance.

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