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May 12, 1892 | Zakroczym, Poland
Fela was the older of two children born to Jewish parents living in Zakroczym, a town on the Vistula River near Warsaw. Her father was a respected attorney. As a young woman, Fela worked as a hat designer in Warsaw, until she married Moshe Galek when she was in her late 20s. She moved to the nearby town of Sochocin, where her husband owned a pearl-button factory. Fela and Moshe raised four daughters.
1933-39: In 1936 the Galeks moved to Warsaw, attracted by the city's cultural life. When Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Moshe proposed escaping to Palestine. Although Fela was an avid Zionist, she resisted the idea because she was hesitant to begin a new life someplace else. Warsaw fell to the Germans on September 28, 1939; by December, Fela and her family were already wearing the required armbands that marked them as Jews.
1940-43: The Galeks were forced into the Warsaw ghetto in November 1940. The family lived in a room in a house where several other families lived. Food was scarce, and days were passed sitting in the house, talking. The family survived the mass deportations of 1942, but was seized in the final roundups of April 1943 just before the ghetto was destroyed.
During the roundup, Fela and Moshe were separated from their children, placed in a line with other older adults, and summarily executed.