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Yad Vashem Remembers Moses Gewolb z"l, Shoah survivor

Moses and Helene Gewolb Moses and Helene Gewolb

On 31 January 2012 Holocaust survivor Moses Gewolb and his sons Ira and Jay Gewolb attended the opening of the International Seminars Wing, in which the Gewolb Family, Yad Vashem Guardians, endowed a classroom On 31 January 2012 Holocaust survivor Moses Gewolb and his sons Ira and Jay Gewolb attended the opening of the International Seminars Wing, in which the Gewolb Family, Yad Vashem Guardians, endowed a classroom

Moses Gewolb, z”l, was born in Krzeszowice, Poland, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1915.  The son of Alter Chaim and Yocheved Gewolb, he was a brilliant student, in large part self-taught, whose broad knowledge of Jewish culture was a resource to family and friends throughout his long life. Within days after the onset of World War II, he and his family were caught in the Nazi's grasp. Separated from his family early in the war, he was in the Krakau ghetto, the Krakau-Plaszow, Krakau-Prokocim, Skala, and Yerusalymska concentration camps, and later in the Skarzysko-Kamienna concentration camp, where he was initially assigned to the infamous Hala 58 Werk C, but later transferred to Werk A.  Because of his round glasses and the many selfless acts of kindness and assistance to fellow inmates, he was universally known as "Gandhi." In 1944 he was sent to Buchenwald, then to Schlieben, Bautzen, Gross-Rosen and Nixdorf as the War wound down. He was liberated in Mikulasovice in Czechoslovakia.

He returned to Krzeszowice to search for family members, but none had survived except for two older sisters, Hela Natowicz and Leah Grossfeld, who had survived in Siberia and Palestine, respectively. Moses continued to help them and their families in Israel for many years, as he became successful in the United States. In Krzeszowice he met his wife and the love of his life, Helene Horowitz, a survivor of Auschwitz, who journeyed with him through Czechoslovakia and France before coming to the United States in 1948.  In the U.S. he created a successful and artistic business making hand-made reproductive furniture. He established a strong Jewish home filled with music and songs, and sent his two sons to Yeshivot and thence to the Ivy League where both became doctors. He always had a special love for children. He was a strong and consistent supporter of Israel and capped his life with a major donation of a classroom in Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies. He passed away on September 15, 2013 in Brooklyn. He is survived by his sons, Drs. Ira and Jay Gewolb.

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