Bella Camhi

"If we want to keep it alive, it must be told."

Name at birth
Bella Chico
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Salonika, Greece
Name of father, occupation
Aaron, Factory worker
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Matika (Mazal Tov) Button, Homemaker
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents and four children: Bella, Sara, Joseph and Vidal
How many in entire extended family?
Who survived the Holocaust?
Me and two cousins, Louisa and Eliezer
Following the German occupation of Greece, my mother, father, family, and I were placed in the Salonika Ghetto.  In 1943, my family was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau where everyone, except me, was gassed on arrival.  I was 18, my sister Sara was 11, Joseph 7, Vidal 5.  I was assigned to work in the “Kanada Kommando" and my younger sister was placed in the "Kinderblock" from where she was later sent to the gas chambers.  My 11 year old sister always cried for our mother.  I had a gift for languages; I worked as a translator, learned German and Polish.   My parents spoke Turkish; I knew Greek, Spanish, and Hebrew.  Sometime in 1944, I was moved out of Auschwitz-Birkenau, loaded onto a wagon, and later abandoned in an empty field.  After being liberated, I walked to Munich, Germany.  I returned to Salonika and later immigrated to the United States in 1951.
Name of Ghetto(s)
Name of Concentration / Labor Camp(s)
Sam Camhi, painter
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
If we want to keep it alive, it must be told.

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