Scroll to explore Daniel's journey

1 Thessaloniki, Greece

Daniel Bennahmias was born in 1923 in Thessaloniki, and lived there with his parents, Mark and Harriet.

picture of a Jewish family in central Thessaloniki
A Jewish family in central Thessaloniki. There were approximately 50,000 Jews, mostly Sephardim*, in pre-war Thessaloniki. Only 2,000 of them survived the Holocaust. (*Sephardim, or Sephardic Jews, are descendants from the Iberian Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal in the late 15th century)

2 Athens, Greece

Daniel and his family moved to Athens in 1943 and went into hiding after the Italian surrender in the September of that year.

3 Haidari, Greece

The Bennahmias family were sent to Haidari concentration camp in March 1944, having been betrayed and subsequently arrested in Athens.

4 Auschwitz, Poland

Daniel was sent to Birkenau - the extermination camp of the Auschwitz camp complex, which also comprised forced labour camps and concentration camps - in mid-April 1944.

Daniel's tattooed number from Birkenau, Auschwitz
Daniel's tattooed number from Birkenau, Auschwitz. During the Holocaust, concentration camp prisoners received tattoos only at one location, Auschwitz. Incoming prisoners were assigned a camp serial number which was sewn to their prison uniforms. Only those prisoners selected for work were issued serial numbers; those prisoners sent directly to the gas chambers were not registered and received no tattoos. JMG copyright.

5 Mauthausen, Austria

In January 1945, German soldiers took Daniel from Auschwitz to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.

6 Ebensee (a subcamp of Mauthausen), Austria

Daniel was then sent to Ebensee (a subcamp of Mauthausen) before he was finally liberated by troops later in 1945.

Daniel's provisional identification card
Daniel's provisional identification card, which was issued at Mauthausen in 1945. JMG Copyright

7 Athens, Greece

After he was liberated, Daniel returned to Athens, where he married Odette Sabbethai in 1951.

 Daniel and Odette on their wedding day
Daniel and Odette on their wedding day. JMG Copyright.

8 California, USA

After their marriage, Daniel and Odette moved to the United States, as numerous Holocaust survivors from Greece did at the time. They adopted two children, Sabrina (in 1960) and Marc (in 1962).

Greek-Jewish families
Greek-Jewish families originally from Thessaloniki at a birthday party in California, with Daniel Bennahmias. JMG Copyright.