Gad Beck, a WWII Nazi resistance fighter and the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, passed away on Sunday in a in a senior citizens’ home Berlin, Germany.
Beck was a pioneering gay activist and educator in a severely anti-homosexual, repressive post-World War II Germany
During a wartime effort Beck entered a Nazi deportation center to donning a Hitler Youth uniform 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 all murdered.
Beck was featured in the film The Life of Gad Beck and the documentary Paragraph 175. (The notorious Paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code outlawed homosexuality before Adolf Hitler became chancellor in 1933, and the Nazi party radically intensified the enforcement of the anti-gay law, including deportations to extermination camps.
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.”