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Gad Beck

June 30, 1923 - June 24, 2012
Gad Beck Gad Beck 

Gerhard Beck and his twin sister Margot were the children of a Jewish father and an originally Protestant mother who converted to Judaism for her marriage. In the spring of 1940 Gerhard Beck received a hakhshara place at the Skaby estate near Königs Wusterhausen. His emigration to Palestine failed for health reasons, however. In 1941, while he was performing forced labor, he joined the Hechalutz (Hebrew for “the pioneer”), a group that supported the Jewish settlement of Palestine and various forms of political resistance. It was around this time that he began to call himself Gad. His twin sister Margot (Miriam) was also active in the group. After Jizchak Schwersenz's emigration, Beck became the head of Chug Chaluzi and organized the survival of numerous Jews living in hiding. After the war he lived in Munich to begin with but emigrated to Palestine in 1947, as did his parents and sister. He lived in Israel until 1979 and then returned to West Berlin. He became head of the Jewish Adult Education Center, published his autobiography in 1995, and held numerous public lectures and readings in Europe and the United States.