Publication News from The Foundation for the
Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture


Contact: Robert Bedford

BIRKENAU (AUSCHWITZ II) How 72,000 Greek Jews Perished

With the passing of Dr. Albert Menasche came the remembrance of the significant legacy he left behind. Not only did Dr. Menasche leave a reputation of many years of dedicated service in Salonica as a strong community leader and medical practitioner, but he also recorded his memories in a rare published account of his life as a victim of Nazi persecution. As one of the few Sephardim who survived the annihilation camps, Dr. Menasche's account of his experience at Auschwitz was one of the first of its kind to tell the fate of the Greek Jews. This account, Birkenau (Auschwitz II) - How 72,000 Greek Jews Perished was published after his return to Salonica in 1945, and translated into English in 1947.

Dr. Menache was also a gifted flutist and survived Birkenau as a member of the Men¹s Orchestra. He watched as the Nazis slowly annihilated his entire family ­ brothers and sisters, his beloved wife and their 16 year old daughter. His poignant, eyewitness account, Birkenau, became widely known in Greece and the U.S. and was printed in several languages. Its popularity briefly heightened the awareness of the suffering and hardships of the Jews of Salonica and Greece. As a tribute to his years of service and dedication, a revised edition of his out-of-print book, Birkenau, is being planned by the Foundation. The reprint will contain rare photos from Dr. Menasche¹s private collection as well as excerpts from interviews with the Doctor and his acquaintances. Dr. Menasche was a well-known doctor at the Hospital Hirsch, Azilo de Locos and Clinique Pinhas in Salonica. As President of the Community after the war, Dr. Menasche worked with a handful of survivors in rebuilding the Jewish community in Salonica. He emigrated to America in 1951, and was Physician-in-Residence at the Sephardic Home for the Aged in Brooklyn for over 25 years.

BIRKENAU (AUSCHWITZ II) How 72,000 Greek Jews Perished, is reprinted and published by the Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture and will be available in 2003.

# # #



How 72,000 Greek Jews Perished
by Dr. Albert Menache
185 pages, b&w photos,
paper ISBN 1-886857-03-2