George Gal Speech

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Name of the exhibit: “Jewish youth – Do you want to live?”

Submitted by: Sarah Bleiwas and family

Date of origin: April 28, 1939

Origin of the object: This is a speech that was written and presented by Gál György András (George Andrew Gal) in Budapest, Hungary in 1939. We are unsure of where the speech was presented.

Description: Gál György András, or George Andrew Gal, was born on June 20th1921, in Budapest, Hungary. On April 28th1939, when George was 17 years old, he wrote and presented this speech in Budapest. It reflects the mood amongst Jewish youth shortly before Nazi Germany’s troops occupied Hungary. Excerpts from the speech:

“Towards what we are starting now, the future, near and far, places in front of us insurmountable and immeasurable tasks. The soulless prophet shouts towards us with an empty heart and a full throat: “Jewish youth – do you want to live?”

“My brothers in departure, the road is in front of us, the true and only one. It is full of steep hills and traps, but we go forward. Freedom is singing in our hearts and truth is pounding in our brain. In our hands the bible is our shield, and in our soul lives God.”

Five years later, on July 2nd1944, when George was 23 years old, he was killed in a forced labour camp in Hungary. Bombs exploded around him, and Jewish labourers were not permitted to take shelter in the bunker.

On Oct 20th1944, George’s father (Aladár Gál) was taken away by the Nazis, and he never returned. George’s mother and sister survived the Holocaust.

Voyage to Ottawa:George Gal’s sister (Susan Gál/Haydu, arrived in Toronto, Canada as a refugee in April 1957 with her husband (Zoltan Haydu) and daughter (Agnes Haydu/Bleiwas). The next year, in 1958, George and Susan’s mother, Helen Gál joined Susan and family in Toronto and brought the speech. Susan’s granddaughter (Sarah Bleiwas) brought the speech from Toronto to Ottawa.

See additional information about this speech here: George Andrew Gal Speech EXPLAINED