Galler, Henry "Mr. Henry Custom Tailor" 1921-2012 Henry Galler, a much beloved custom tailor, leader of the Jewish community in New Orleans, and Holocaust survivor died peacefully on Sunday morning, October 14, 2012, in Dallas, Texas, where he lived since Hurricane Katrina. He was born in Olesyzce, Poland, and was ninety-one at the time of his death. In 1939, at the beginning of World War II, Henry's hometown was occupied by the Soviet Union. He was sent to a Soviet gulag for two years, but was released when the Soviet Union became an Allied nation. He joined the Polish army where he rose to the rank of lieutenant and was among the first troops to attack Berlin in 1945. After the war, Henry followed his childhood sweetheart Eva, also a Holocaust survivor, to Sweden, where they were married. They later relocated to the United States and eventually settled in New Orleans. For many years, Henry and Eva Galler devoted themselves to teaching over 600,000 students about their experiences during the war, offering lessons on respect and tolerance with the goal of eliminating prejudice. They traveled across the Deep South conducting hundreds of workshops and presentations in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The story of Henry and Eva and their small town in Poland is the basis for teaching the Holocaust in many schools across the United States. Henry was a member of Congregations Chevra Thilim, Anshe Sfard and Touro Synagogue in New Orleans, and Shaare Tefilla in Dallas. He was a member of the Lee E. Thomas Masonic Lodge 421 and named 'worshipful master' in 1976. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a Jerusalem Temple Shriner. He was president of B'nai B'rith in New Orleans, as well as the Zionist Organization of America, New Orleans Chapter, and the New Americans Social Club, a group of Holocaust survivors. He also served on the boards of the Jewish Endowment Foundation and the Uptown Jewish Community Center. He received many civic honors, including the Key to the City of New Orleans and the Distinguished Volunteer Award from Tulane University's Southern Institute for Education and Research. Over many years, Henry Galler's tailor shop, Mr. Henry Custom Tailor on St. Charles Avenue and later Jackson Avenue, served as a hub of political and social activity in New Orleans. Everyone knew Mr. Henry for his warmth and generosity of character; his smile lit up the room, and the twinkle in his eye was legendary. After Katrina destroyed their South Johnson Street home, the Gallers moved to Dallas, Texas. Henry Galler was laid to rest on Monday, October 15 at Sparkman/Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery in Dallas beside Eva, his beloved wife of fifty-nine years, who died in January 2006. Henry Galler is survived by his three devoted daughters, Janina Galler of Boston, MA, Marilynn Wohlstadter of Dallas, TX, and Linda Galler of Port Washington, NY; his three sons-in-law, Burton Rabinowitz, David Wohlstadter and Murray Singer; and eight grandchildren: Loren, Arielle and Danielle Galler Rabinowitz; Justin, Eric and Clara Wohlstadter; and Jake and Scott Singer.
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Published in Dallas Morning News on Oct. 18, 2012