Michel Fink (Moise Finkelstein aka)

1919 1945
(Ukraine) 1919 /   (Pologne) 1945

Michel FINK (Moïse Finkelstein, aka)


Michel Fink’s father was a writer and moved to France with his family in 1927. They settled in Arras, in the north of France. Michel Fink, who had started drawing when he was young, attended a drawing school in 1931. That same year, he arrived in Paris, visited Le Louvre and took classes at the Lycée Michelet (high school). He set up an artistic discussion circle within his school and organized conferences, notably on Rembrandt. He painted portraits and later depicted landscapes and still lifes.

After being awarded the bronze medal at the drawing concours général in 1937, he left the lycée Michelet, enrolled in the university, and later in the Ecole normale.

On 15 April 1950, Fink was sent to Annecy to paint in a military hospital and to Perigueux where he decorated the dining room of the barracks’ officers. Shortly afterwards, he joined the Resistance and became the copy editor of the underground Jewish journal Quand même. He distributed tracts in order to recruit young people and helped Jews escape to Spain and Switzerland.


On 26 May 1944, he was arrested by a militia in Toulouse and was interned in Drancy. On 30 June 1944, he was deported on convoy number 76 to Monovitz, a camp for political prisoners in Auschwitz. There, he worked alongside a group of painters. On 19 January 1945, the Nazis evacuated the men in the camp to Ganaker. Michel Fink was exhausted and stayed in a military hospital until April 1945. He died of exhaustion.