Guide to Daniel Bennahmias oral history interviews OHP.8334

Finding aid prepared by Judith Janec
Tauber Holocaust Library
JFCS Holocaust Center
2245 Post Street
San Francisco, CA, 94115

Title: Daniel Bennahmias oral history interviews
Identifier/Call Number: OHP.8334
Contributing Institution: Tauber Holocaust Library
Language of Material: English
Container: Tauber Holocaust Library Archives
Container: OHT Box 4
Physical Description: 0.3 Linear feet comprising one sound disc with accompanying transcript of 27 pages, and one videotape with a total running time of 2:40
Date: 1986 June 24 and 1991 November 12
Abstract: This collection comprises one sound disc with accompanying transcript and one videotape of two oral history interviews with Daniel Bennahmias conducted by the Holocaust Media Project on June 24, 1986 and by the Holocaust Oral History Project on November 12, 1991.
Creator: Bennahmias, Daniel
Creator: Barnett, Lisa
Creator: Braun, Ilana
Creator: Mauldin, Denise
Creator: Netter, Bea
Creator: Neuberg, Joel

Scope and Contents note

This collection comprises one sound disc with accompanying transcript and one videotape of two interviews with Daniel Bennahmias. One interview was conducted by Joel Neuberg on June 24, 1986 on behalf of the Holocaust Media Project; the second interview was conducted by Bea Netter, Lisa Barnett and Ilana Braun on November 12, 1991 on behalf of the Holocaust Oral History Project. Daniel Bennahmias is a Holocaust survivor
The interviews describe Mr. Bennahmias experiences growing up in the Jewish community of Salonika in Greece; his and his family's incarceration in concentration camps by Greece because of their Italian citizenship; the occupation of Greece by Nazi Germany; his deportation first to a transit camp in Haidari and then to Auschwitz and his experiences there as a sonderkommando. The interview describes Mr. Bennahmias deportation to Mauthausen, Austria and then to Ebensee; his liberation by American troops; his subsequent reactions to the trauma of his concentration camp experience; his eventual immigration to the United States, and his marriage and career.

Biographical/Historical note

Daniel Bennahmias was born in 1923 in Salonika, Greece, where he lived with his parents, Mark and Harriet. His father's family was from Italy, and had Italian citizenship. His father worked at the Bureau of Information in Salonika. During the period that Italy was at war with Greece, Italian citizens were imprisoned. When the Bennahmias family was released they moved to Athens in 1941, lived in the ghetto, and hid there during the period after 1943 when the Nazi occupiers began to deport Greek Jews.
The Bennahmias family was discovered in March of 1944, arrested, and imprisoned in Haidari concentration camp for one month, after which they were deported to Auschwitz. Mr. Bennahamias's parents were murdered upon arrival, and he was selected to be part of the sonderkommando unit. He worked in the crematoria until January 1945, when he was sent to Mauthausen, then Ebensee, in Austria. He was liberated by American troops in 1945.
After the war, he returned to Athens. He married and moved with his wife to the United States, where he got a chemistry degree at UC Berkeley. Mr. Bennahmias died October 22, 1994.

Conditions Governing Access note

There are no restrictions to access for this collection.

Conditions Governing Use note

There are no restrictions to use for this collection.

Existence and Location of Copies note

The master copies of the oral history interviews are located at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.

Preferred Citation note

Daniel Bennahmias oral history interviews - OHP.8334, Tauber Holocaust Library, JFCS Holocaust Center, San Francisco, California

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Auschwitz (Concentration camp).
Ebensee (Concentration camp).
Mauthausen (Concentration camp).
Holocaust survivors -- United States
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Personal narratives
Jews -- Persecutions -- Greece
Jews, Greek
Thessalonike (Greece)
United States -- Emigration and immigration
World War, 1939-1945 -- Concentration camps -- Liberation -- Austria -- Mauthausen