BERLIN – Gad Beck, an anti-Nazi Zionist resistance fighter and the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, died on Sunday in Berlin. He passed away in a senior citizens' home six days before his 89th birthday, which would have been on June 30.
Beck was a pioneering gay activist and educator in a severely anti-homosexual, repressive post-World War II German society. He was famous for his witty, lively style of speaking.
On a German talk show, he said, “The Americans in New York called me a great hero. I said no... I’m really a little hero.”
Perhaps 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.