Fedor Gál

01.07.2010 | 00:00
Fedor Gál

Born to the Terezín Ghetto

The person who we now wish to introduce is Fedor Gál. Unlike the other life stories his begins in Terezín on March 20, 1945. In the ghetto, which during the war was used as a deportation camp for Jews from all over Europe.

His family was deported there at the end of the war from the Slovakian town of Nemecká Ľupča (today’s Partizánská Ľupča). His father farmed the land there and his mother looked after the household. During the period of deportations the Gáls together with some other Jewish families hid in nearby woods, until the locals reported them to the Germans.
Fedor’s pregnant mother together with his brother Egon came to Terezín from the Slovak reception camp in Sereď – in a roundabout way through Auschwitz. As Fedor says, he did not know why their transport was diverted away from the route to the Auschwitz.
Long after the war Viera Meisels, who was in the same transport and now lives in Israel, explained him that the cause of it was the destruction of the Auschwitz gas chambers and crematoria in November 1944. Fedor also doesn’t know where the Nazis killed his father during the death march from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In 2008 he set out to look for the probable location of his father’s death and made a fi lm documentary about his experience. The end of war found Egon, Fedor and their mother in Terezín. After some years of living in Ľupča they were again driven out by a new anti- Semitic wave, this time in the name of communist restructuring of the village, and they settled in Bratislava. Fedor’s mother worked as a clerk in a scrap yard and died in 1994. Egon has lived in Bratislava to this day.
Fedor went to primary school in Bratislava and secondary chemical school in the then Gottwaldov. Until the 1989 Velvet Revolution he worked in several jobs as a chemist, and then a philosopher – university teacher. From 1987 he was a freelance. In 1989 he co-founded the movement – Public against Violence, which in 1990 won the fi rst free parliamentary elections in Slovakia since 1948, when power was seized by the communists. He was briefly engaged as a politician, later he held the post of director of the Institute for Social Analyses of Bratislava University of J. A. Komenský and a team leader at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in Prague. After the disintegration of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic in 1992 he moved permanently to Prague. In the same year he became Doctor of Economics. Fedor Gál was the co-founder of TV NOVA and a company specialising in new technologies.
Today, he is mainly a journalist, but also a publisher and entrepreneur. With his son Róbert he set up G plus G publishers. As he says, writing is his life long obsession. At fi rst he concentrated on specialist and later popular science topics. With his increasing years, his writing refl ects inward feelings. Since 2008 he has also been engaged in the production of documentaries and short fi lms. Today with the director M. Hanzlíček he is working on the fi lm project “Natalie’s Story”, devoted to a little girl almost burnt to death by Czech neo-Nazis. Fedor Gál lives in Prague, is married and has two sons – Róbert and Branislav.

For Památník Terezín, Luděk Sládek

www.pamatnik-terezin.cz www.facebook.com/TerezinMemorial

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