№ 078/2017 from Apr 12, 2017
On April 20, 2017, the Greek historian Rika Benveniste will give a DHC Lecture at Freie Universität Berlin on the fate of Jewish Holocaust survivors in Thessaloniki in Greece. Based on the life story of a woman who survived the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp, Benveniste will describe the circumstances of those few survivors who returned to their hometown. In particular, she will refer to the practical support they received from the Jewish community. This DHC Lecture is being organized by the Dahlem Humanities Center in cooperation with the Center for Modern Greek Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. The lecture will be held in English, and admission is free.
More than 50,000 Jews lived in Thessaloniki before World War II; 46,000 of them were deported to the extermination camps run by the National Socialists. Most of them were murdered there. In her lecture, Benveniste will reconstruct the circumstances of their lives and the difficult arrival of some 60 Jewish survivors who returned to Thessaloniki and found a place to stay in a building owned by the Jewish community, a former orphanage.
Rika Benveniste was born in Thessaloniki. She studied history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and earned her doctorate on medieval history at the Sorbonne (Paris I-Panthéon). She is a professor of history at the University of Thessaly. In her research, she deals with historical anthropology, the history of the West in the Middle Ages, Jewish history and historiography, and the history of the Shoah.