Motek Finster

March 21, 1921. Warsaw, Poland - Buenos Aires, Argentina


Motek was born into a large and poor Jewish family in Warsaw, Poland. He was in the middle among 10 children along with his twin brother Gerardo. He was 18 years old when the nightmares began to go through the life of the Jews and from which he would rise 6 years later. Shortly after the Nazis began to march through Warsaw, he decided to escape with a friend to Ukraine leaving his family in Warsaw.


The desire to see his loved ones again brought him back to Poland. He found an unimaginative situation. His family lived within the Warsaw Ghetto, the Jews suffered Nazi and Polish persecution. Life in the Ghetto was not easy, with time hunger and disease made the stay intolerable. The image of dead people in the streets was part of the daily vision.


In 1940 all the Jews of Warsaw who lived in the Ghetto represented 30 percent of the total population, occupying only two percent of the territory. Motek along with many other Jews had to build the walls of the wall that distanced them from human life. You could only leave if you had work permits. One day he decided to escape from that world by jumping it. To this day he remembers with emotion the last hug he gave to his mother.

Hide and seek

He was wandering from town to town, surviving as he could, and for many months hiding in the forest in search of the partisans (members of the resistance against the Germans). Being hidden and working in the house of some peasants was ordered to concentrate on the square along with the rest of all the Jews. If someone did not show up, the family that hid them or provided them with work would be punished. His co-workers were good and they were afraid, which is why he decided to go to the square. With few belongings, he spent 3 days waiting for the SS to decide what to do with all the Jews. First, they divided them into two groups, Motek's group was ordered to board the train without explanation of what their course would be.


After long hours of travel and a cold weather, they reached Majdanek in 1942. "For those who believe that hell exists, I thought it was that. And if it really was, I met him and passed by him. We arrived in trucks all the prisoners with the wounded and also with the dead, because for the SS the prisoners of the list, alive or dead, had to be present "Majdanek was an extermination camp, in Polish territory, built four kilometers from the city of Lublin, near the border with Ukraine, opened in 1941. The peculiarity of this field was that it was in view of the people who lived in Lublin.


There, he lost his identity to be part of one more statistic. He was awarded the number 10,830 and almost never heard his name again until the end of the war. Those who could not work went to the gas chambers or were shot in the middle of the field. What was lived in the countryside was inexplicable and "is a clear example of how a human being can be cruel and ruthless with another human being" Months went by and the selections of living or dying passed them to the limit. One day, they made a massive selection. Those who had been selected to work, to live and not die like the rest, left the Majdanek extermination camp. They began to march without knowing where they were going, with few illusions of being released but not knowing what was waiting for them.


They traveled by train. Their destination was the most frightful extermination camp the Nazis had built. "If hell exists, and has an odor, it must be the same as this." Upon arriving at the camp a line of all the prisoners was formed. First, they shaved his entire head and then had to extend his left arm to receive the tattoo, with a special needle, but without delicacy, he received his new number of the condemned man who still carries on his skin: 126,497. The barracks were innumerable. Political prisoners, war prisoners, homosexuals, and gypsies in addition to the Jews who were the majority. Birkenau was not a field to keep prisoners as slave labor. Its sole purpose was extermination. To accomplish this goal, four large crematories with gas chambers were built. There were days when the kilns were not enough to incinerate so many bodies, so the camp authorities decided to burn the bodies in the open air. After the great massacres of 1942, there was an uprising in the countryside. The SS with the help of the Kapos (Jewish assistants of the Nazis) managed to capture all the guilty and hang them in front of the eyes of all the prisoners. The last months experienced the worst. Extreme punishments, hunger, and diseases were commonplace. He constantly wondered why his condition as a Jew was the factor for which he was living all those horrors.

Auschwitz - Buna

Rumors of the advance of the Russians altered their hopes. But he knew that this also led to the desperation of the Nazis and that they were in danger of being killed at any moment. It was announced that they would be moved to another field. Buna. There, they found themselves with better living conditions. He made a friend who worked in the kitchen and there he managed to feed himself better with the leftovers of every day. At the beginning of 1945, the Nazis ordered everyone to seize their few belongings and stand in a line to march.

March of Death

When the SS soldiers put them together to start the march, they were more than five thousand prisoners. His plan was to evacuate the fields, destroy them so that the Russians could not find evidence and move them all westwards, towards Germany, at forced marches. He who fell on the walk or could not get up after the breaks was killed instantly. In the middle of winter, with little shelter, much fatigue and without trying bite walked 7 days. In the end, there were only seventy-five of the five thousand that had started. The road was mined from trenches. Together with his Buna companion, they decided to throw themselves into one just when no Nazi officer looked at them. Two other dealers joined them. They stayed there a long time. His thoughts stopped when he heard an engine and a shutdown that made the floor tremble. It was a Russian tank.


Hopes The Russians freed them. That day Motek was born again. He was alone in the world, freedom hurt him and he did not know what to do. In his village, he could not find anyone alive and all the houses were usurped. He decided to travel to Germany where there were shelters for survivors. There, he met Regina Loebel. It was not easy to conquer her, but being on the Romantic Road of Southern Germany, she achieved what she was looking for. On April 15, 1946, they got married and their destinies were united forever. Love was his support. They stayed a few more years in Germany and then contacted Motek's sister, Esther, in Buenos Aires.


The entrance to Buenos Aires in 1947 was complex. Brazil, Bolivia. Reentering with her only sister who had been left alive was not easy. She had come to Argentia with her husband before the war broke out. The rest of his family was taken to Treblinka extermination camps where there were only entrance doors. It was not easy to live in Buenos Aires. But he felt free, he was not persecuted when walking in the streets and he was comforted by his sister's company. In the textile world, he found coins to move forward with his life. This is how the children who were given grandchildren arrived and today some great-grandchildren. "A family that I never thought I was going to have" Writing his story found a way to answer his four-year-old granddaughter because he has that tattoo on his arm, which is not the car's patent.