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Moshe Galek

Sochocin, Poland

Moshe was one of eight children born to Jewish parents in Sochocin, a predominantly Catholic village near Warsaw. Moshe was a self-made man, having founded a successful pearl-button factory in the village. While in his thirties, he married Fela Perznianko, the daughter of a prominent attorney from nearby Zakroczym. He brought his new wife to Sochocin, where they 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 that they escape to Palestine; Fela, however, was strongly opposed to leaving. Sensing the war would turn out badly for Jews, Moshe divided his gold and jewelry among his wife and daughters, urging, "Whoever can save himself, should!" Warsaw fell to the Germans on September 28, 1939.

1940-43: The Galeks were forced into the Warsaw ghetto in November 1940. The family shared a room in a house where several other families lived. Food was scarce, and they passed the days sitting in the house, talking. The family survived the mass deportations of 1942, but were seized in the final roundups of April 1943, just before the ghetto was destroyed.

During the roundup Moshe and Fela were separated from their children. They were placed in a line with other older adults and summarily executed.

 

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