An Underground Life: Memoirs of a Gay Jew in Nazi Berlin (Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiographies New edition)
By: Frank Heibert (author), Gad Beck (author), Allison Brown (translator)Paperback
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That Gad Beck, a Jew in the Berlin of Nazi Germany, lived through the Holocaust at all is surprising. The fact that he lived it as a homosexual Jew who spent the entire war funnelling food, money and clothing to hidden Jews and helping smuggle others out of the country is amazing. It was love that gave him both the impetus and the strength to fight. The rise of National Socialism was tearing his family apart, destroying his school, thwarting his dream of emigration to Israel. Then the Nazis came for Manfred Lewin, Beck's first love, and for his family. Gad's love for Manfred gave him the courage to don a three-sizes-too-large Hitler Youth uniform, march into the transit camp where the Lewins were being held, and demand - and obtain, to his astonishment - the release of his lover. But Manfred would not leave without his family, and so went back into the camp. The Lewins did not survive. Coming of age as a gay man during the war and maintaining a series of romantic relationships while carrying on his resistance work, Beck reveals a tenacity and irrepressible spirit that is his real legacy.
His determination to keep loving, living and believing in every human possibility without compromise - even in the face of the unthinkably monstrous - makes this quite a different story of the Holocaust.
Gad Beck was the director of the Jewish Adult Education Center in Berlin, Germany, until his retirement. He is still very active as a public speaker on life in Berlin during the Nazi period.
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- ID: 9780299165048
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