Ochs Samuel Moses

Samuel Moses Ochs - Personal data
Date of birth: 1886
Place of birth: Zborów
Date of death: 1942
Place of death: Londyn
Occupation: rabin
Related towns: Wrocław, Gliwice, Buchenwald

Rabbi dr Samuel Moses Ochs (born 1886 in Zborów; died 1942 in London)- in 1911 came to Wrocław, where he began studying the philosophy, history and languages of the East on the local university. Afterwards he took up theological studies on the Jewish Theological Seminary (Polish: Żydowskie Seminarium Teologiczne) in Wrocław.

On February 1st he came to Gliwice, were he became the assistant rabbi of the seriously ill Wilhelm Münz (1856-1917). After his death in 1917, Ochs became the Rabbi of Gliwice.

It were the times of World War I and rabbi dr Ochs took action to help the widows of Jewish soldiers, who died in the war fighting for the German army. In the same time, he offered spiritual ministry for wounded Jewish soldiers staying in field hospitals near Gliwice.

The end of World War I brought the outbreak of the Silesian Uprisings and a complicated debate on the future of Silesia. Everything was to be decided in a voting, held in 1921. In this time rabbi Ochs engaged himself against the division of Upper Silesia. He called the Jewish population to vote and opt for the accession of Silesia to Germany.

In April 1923 rabbi Ochs obtained German nationality (earlier he used Austrian nationality). He was a very well-educated person. He spoke eight languages fluently, published works and comments on the Bible and worked as the editor in the Jewish Theological Seminary in Wrocław.

During the Kristallnacht pogrom on 9/10th November 1938 he witnessed the burning of a synagogue in Gliwice by the Nazis. Soon after he was battered and arrested. Together with other Jews he was deported to the Nazi concentration camp in Buchenwald. In the beginning of 1939 he returned to Gliwice, however his wife Helena and son Herbert left to Great Britain. He died in 1942 in London [[refr:"nazwa"|B. Kubit, Rabini gliwiccy [w:] Żydzi Gliwiccy, ed. B. Kubita, Muzeum w Gliwicach, Gliwice 2006, p. 140-141.]].

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