Daniel's Journey

Scroll the right hand column to explore the map, geographical boundaries are taken from present day and may differ from historical records.

Daniel’s journey begins in Thessaloniki, Greece, where he was born in 1923. He fled with his family to Athens in 1943, and went into hiding after the Italian surrender in September.

The Bennahmias family were discovered in March 1944. They were arrested and imprisoned in Haidari concentration camp, 8km from Athens, for one month, after which they were deported to Auschwitz.



I have tried to find the words to express what we went through. I don’t know what they are. I can’t discover them

Daniel’s parents were murdered upon arrival at Auschwitz, while he remained there until January 1945, which is when Nazi soldiers transported him to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. He was then sent to Ebensee (a subcamp of Mauthausen) before he was finally liberated by American troops later in 1945.

The next part of Daniel’s journey saw him return to Athens, where he married in 1951. He moved with his wife to California and lived there until his death in 1994.



Το Μαουτχάουζεν ήταν ένα ναζιστικό συγκρότημα στρατοπέδων που ιδρύθηκε από τα γερμανικά SS στην Αυστρία το 1938 αμέσως μετά το Anschluss, την ενσωμάτωση της Αυστρίας στο Τρίτο Ράιχ, με δεκάδες υποστρατόπεδα. To Έμπενζεε (1943-1945) ήταν ένα από τα σημαντικότερα υποστρατόπεδα του Μαουτχάουζεν. Σχεδόν 200.000 κρατούμενοι πέρασαν από το σύστημα του στρατοπέδου του Μαουτχάουζεν μεταξύ Αυγούστου 1938 και Μαΐου 1945. Τουλάχιστον 95.000 πέθαναν εκεί. Περισσότεροι από 14.000 από αυτούς ήταν Εβραίοι.


Το Άουσβιτς-Μπίρκεναου είναι το πιο διαβόητο από όλα τα ναζιστικά στρατόπεδα και στην πραγματικότητα αποτελούνταν από τρία κύρια στρατόπεδα, γνωστά ως Άουσβιτς Ι, Άουσβιτς ΙΙ – Μπίρκεναου και Άουσβιτς ΙΙΙ – Μονόβιτς-Μπούνα. Σε αυτό το συγκρότημα στρατοπέδων ανήκαν επίσης περίπου 45 υποστρατόπεδα. Πάνω από 1,1 εκατομμύριο άνθρωποι δολοφονήθηκαν εκεί, και πάνω από το 90% από αυτούς ήταν Εβραίοι.


Το Χαϊδάρι είναι μια συνοικία που απέχει 9 χλμ. από το κέντρο της Αθήνας. Κατά τη διάρκεια της ιταλικής κατοχής στην Ελλάδα χτίστηκε στην περιοχή στρατόπεδο, το οποίο λειτούργησε μόνο για λίγες μέρες. Από τον Σεπτέμβριο του 1941 η Sicherheitdienst (SD), μια ειδική υπηρεσία ασφαλείας των Γερμανών, είχε τη διοίκηση του Χαϊδαρίου, το οποίο αρχικά χρησίμευε ως διαμετακομιστικό στρατόπεδο στα μεγάλα στρατόπεδα συγκέντρωσης στην Ευρώπη, ιδιαίτερα στο Άουσβιτς και στο Νταχάου. Λειτουργούσε κυρίως ως κέντρο κράτησης εσωτερικών πολιτικών αντιπάλων. Το Χαϊδάρι ήταν διαβόητο για τον υποσιτισμό, την καταναγκαστική εργασία, τα βασανιστήρια και τις εκτελέσεις.

Haidari Concentration Camp

Haidari is a quarter located 9 km away from the center of Athens, the Greek capital. During the Italian occupation of Greece, a military camp was built in the area, which operated only for a few days. From September 1941 the Sicherheitdienst (SD), a special Nazi security service, had command of Haidari, which initially served as a transit camp to major concentration camps in Europe, especially Auschwitz and Dachau. It functioned primarily as a detention center for internal political opponents. Haidari was notorious for malnutrition, forced labor, torture and executions.

Mauthausen Concentration Camp

Mauthausen was a Nazi camp complex established by the German SS in Austria in 1938 right after the Anschluss, the incorporation of Austria into the Third Reich, with dozens of subcamps. Ebensee (1943-1945) was among the most important subcamps of Mauthausen. Almost 200,000 prisoners passed through the Mauthausen camp system between August 1938 and May 1945. At least 95,000 died there. More than 14,000 of them were Jewish.


Sephardim, or Sephardic Jews, are descendants from the Iberian Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal in the late 15th century. For many centuries they flourished in communities throughout the Mediterranean, especially in present-day Turkey, Greece, and the Balkan countries. During the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia and Greece, most of the Sephardim were deported to concentration camps, where many perished


Auschwitz-Birkenau is the most infamous of all Nazi camps and actually consisted of three main camps, known as Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II – Birkenau and Auschwitz III – Monowitz-Buna. There were also around 45 sub-camps around these sites. Over 1.1 million people were murdered at this site, and over 90% of them were Jewish.


The Nazis planned the mass-deporation of European Jews to extermination camps in German-occupied Poland. The Jews were forced to gather at local sites, such as a synagogue or town square, and then crammed onto freight or passenger trains, with limited or no food or sanitary conditions. Journeys often lasted several days, and sometimes they took a few weeks. Many of those packed onto these trains died during the journey to the camps through starvation or overcrowding.