This Holocaust survivor who made it through Auschwitz as a child and had a documentary made about his ordeal has died at the age of 86.
According to local media, Siegfried Meir, who was born in Frankfurt to a Romanian family, died in the Can Misses Hospital in Ibiza in the Spanish Balearics of eastern Spain.
According to Meir’s wife Pilar Molina, he died of a disease that he had been battling for several years which he prefered to keep secret.
Meir was captured by the Nazis when he was 7 years old and on the 19th of April 1943 he was sent from Frankfurt to Auschwitz together with his parents Mosh and Jenni.
Meir reportedly spent almost two years in Auschwitz and was later transferred to the Mauthausen concentration camp where he was protected by Spanish footballer and Republican prisoner from the Spanish dictatorship Saturnino Navazo. as his family had died.
According to Spanish researcher Arancha Gorostola, Meir was never clear about how he survived the camp and he refused to talk about what happened before he was sent to Auschwitz.
Gorostola told local media: “He would justify himself saying that he had amnesia but I don’t think he had it. I think he did not talk about Auschwitz because that broke the image that he wanted to give and what is acceptable in current society.”
Film director and producer Luis Ortas who made the documentary ‘Despues de la Niebla’ (After the Mist) (Cinetica Producciones, 2015) about Meir’s life told local media: “Memory is transformed based on your survival needs. Siegfried is a survivor, a person who invented himself to survive. How he survived the concentration camps is our big question. But respect for the victims put us a barrier to not go further.”
Local media reported that Meir settled with his protector Navazo in Toulouse after they were released from the concentration camps.
After working as a songwriter in France during his youth he moved to Ibiza where he settled down and opened a nightclub and a restaurant.
Meir reportedly refused to speak German again and could not stand listening to it.
Ortas said: “I learned many things from Siegfried, I learned the meaning of resilience. How to overcome all kinds of trauma, whatever happens, you can move forwards. He was a very complicated person because he had lived through a lot of trauma.”
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Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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