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A precious donation

May 2021

Donation by Bernat Finder

The Museum is truly honored to exhibit what Bernat Finder z”l wanted to donate, through his sons Albert and Daniela, custodians of his will, in memory of the tragic story lived by him and his family in the Shoah.

«Unfortunately I have never been able to tell my painful story, which still makes me cry at the very thought. In Užhorod, in my hometown, the Hungarians had started making life impossible for us Jews since 1938; in 1944 they handed over my entire family to the Germans, including myself (six brothers, parents, grandparents, uncles and cousins).

They deported us to Auschwitz where all my family, except one of my brothers and I, were eliminated.After a few days, my brother and I were transferred to Buchenwald where they registered us: my number was B.55711 and my brother’s was B.55710. We were then taken to Dora where we worked hard, I don’t know how many hours a day, with very little food.

Later they transferred us to two other camps, Harzungen and Ellrich, where we were subjected to the same work and the same life, which made us increasingly weak.

When the Germans learned of the imminent arrival of the Russians, to prevent us from being freed too easily, they took us to Bergen-Belsen where we found hell: for six days we were without food and water.

Finally the British army came to free us and many of us crossed the fence and ran to a nearby potato field to find something to eat, but suddenly the Germans, who hadn’t left yet, started shooting.

Next to my brother and me there was another boy who was hit, dying instantly; when he fell, he lost these tefillin that I have been keeping for nearly 75 years.

My wish is to donate them to the Museum of the Jewish Community of Trieste so that they can be exhibited as a testimony of what is only an episode of my sad experience».

Bernat Finder (Užhorod CZ, 27 March 1927 – Trieste, 19 June 2019)