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Mikhail Lievovich Gebelev
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Birth: Oct. 15, 1905, Belarus
Death: Aug. 15, 1942
Minsk City District, Belarus

Anti-Nazi Resistance leader, the tacit Resistance head in the ghetto of Minsk.

Having been born in the Jewish shtetl of Uzliany he later moved to the city of Minsk and worked there as clerk and public servant. After the Germans had invaded Soviet Union and occupied the city of Minsk he went into hidding, then met the most senior Resistance leader in Minsk Isay Pavlovich Kazinetz and was appointed by him the liason officer between the Communist resistors on the "Aryan" side of Minsk (lead by Kazinetz himself) and the ghetto fighters, whose leader was the Jewish Polish refugee Hersh Smoliar.
However Mikhail Gebelev soon emerged as tacit head of the ghetto resistors, because Mr. Smoliar turned out to be a honorable man- but also an absolutely non-charismatic one.
Mikhail Gebelev played a key role in Isay Kazinets´ plan to stage the large-scale simultaneous uprisings of the Communist underground, ghetto resistors and Soviet War prisoners to drive the Germans out of Minsk and defend the liberated city until the Red Army units arrive, but the rebellion was foiled, because through treason and tortures the Gestapo crushed the Communist Resistance and put to death its leaders-including Kazinetz.
However the ghetto fighter organisation still remained largely intact -thanks to Gebelev's brilliant leadership and an active help of the ghetto council head Moshe Yoffe.
In the following weeks and months Mikhail Gebelev, backed by Smoliar and Yoffe, organized mass escapes of the ghetto prisoners to the forests outside Minsk, where they formed (or joined) partisan units to fight the German occupiers and local collaborators.
Gebelev himself was asked many times to flee as well, but he firmly replied "I am here in the line of duty !"
In August 1942 he was detained by the Belarusian collaborators, delivered to the gestapo, brutally tortured and hanged in the prison-without giving his captors any names or information.
A few months later the German occupiers "liquidated" the ghetto and murdered its remaining prisoners, icluding Moshe Yoffe and Mikhail Gebelev's 80-year-old father Liev.

Hersh Smoliar could miraculously escape in the very last moment and published in 1947 a book, where he described Gebelev's heroism (and downplayed his own), but only in 2005 the municipality of Minsk honored the fallen resistor and named after him a street in the former ghetto. 
Kurapaty Forest
Minsk City District, Belarus
Created by: Pilgrim
Record added: May 10, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 89885304
Mikhail Lievovich Gebelev
Added by: Pilgrim
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