Dov was born in 1929 to Dora née Klinger and Israel Weissberg. As Dov describes it, he was born “with a silver spoon in his mouth.” His father Israel was the owner of the largest fabric wholesale business in Lvov, and the family was wealthy. Dov and his brother Marian, three years his junior, received a very aristocratic education.
In accordance with the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, Lvov passed to Soviet rule on 17 September 1939.
The family’s spacious apartment was found to be suitable accommodation for Soviet officers, and three officers and their families moved into the family home. The Weissberg family was eventually forced to leave, and so began the Weissbergs’ itinerant existence.
Lvov was occupied by Germany on 29 June 1941, in the course of Operation Barbarosa. In October 1941, the Jews of the city were incarcerated in a ghetto. The ghetto population was regularly reduced by the frequent aktions. In the most murderous aktion, in August 1942, Dov’s mother Dora was deported to the Belzec death camp. Israel, who remained in the ghetto, arranged false papers and hiding places outside the ghetto for his sons Dov and Marian.
Dov was sent to Warsaw on a night train on 22 December 1942. In Warsaw he was met by his uncles, Jozef (Jozek) and Lorenc Klinger, his mother Dora’s brothers, who were members of the Polish Resistance – the Armia Krajowa. Lorenc prepared false papers for Dov, who became Jozef Bielicki. Because of the grave danger, both to him and to those who hid him, Dov was moved between a total of eighteen different hiding places in Warsaw. On many occasions he managed to escape the notice of the Gestapo only at the very last moment.
In March 1943, Dov’s brother Marian rejoined his father in the ghetto. Marian and his cousin Mark were among a group of 200 Jewish children who were taken to be murdered on 17 March 1943. It was a revenge action, an act of vengeance by the Nazis for the death of a German SS officer by Tadek Drutkovski, a Jew in the ghetto. Israel did not want to leave his son and nephew - he joined them and all three were murdered in the Janowska camp in Lvov.
Dov heard the tragic news from his uncle Lorenc. Lorenc himself was executed for illegal underground activity shortly thereafter, in June 1944, in the Pawiak Prison in Warsaw.
At the beginning of May 1943, Dov entered his eighteenth hiding place at the Bajer family’s apartment. For seventeen months, until October 1944, Dov remained in their apartment without going outside even once. They also hid the husband of his aunt Stella (his mother’s sister) and another two Jews from Lvov.
During the Polish Uprising, in August 1944, the building in which they were hiding was hit several times. The roof was destroyed by shelling, a large opening was made in one of the walls and all the windows were blown in. Shrapnel and bullets penetrated the room in which they were hiding but did not injure them. On one occasion, a bullet damaged the wallet in Dov’s trouser pocket and punctured all the documents and photographs it contained. Thanks to the wallet, Dov himself was unharmed. At the end of September, after eight weeks of weakness resulting from lack of food, they decided to reveal their presence to their neighbors. The building management shared the small amount of food available to the residents with them. On 2 October 1944, the Armia Krajowa was forced to surrender to the Germans. Dov’s uncle, Dr. Jozef Klinger, was among those killed during the uprising; he was shot following his capture on 27 September 1944.
After the liberation in January 1945, Dov returned to Lvov and was reunited with his aunt Stella’s family.
In 1949, Dov began studying medicine in Wroclaw, Poland. In 1950, he immigrated to Israel together with his aunt’s family and completed his medical studies there. Dov established a family in Israel and eventually became a senior surgeon, saving lives on a daily basis.
Dov donated the punctured wallet that had saved his life to Yad Vashem, together with the punctured, forged documents that had been inside it.