On 3 March 1917 – one hundred years ago – Leon Betsikas was born in Hania. As a member of the Hania Jewish community he lived with his family near the Etz Hayyim Synagogue in the old town of Hania. While details of his life story still need to be researched further we know that Leon Betsikas died on 24 April 1945 in Ebensee, a subcamp of Mauthausen concentration camp, less than two weeks before the liberation by US-American troops.
We learned about his life story through research done by our Gedenkdienst volunteers and an ongoing research project about the Jewish community of Hania which is currently conducted by two Greek historians.
On the occasions of Leon Betsikas’ 100th birthday we would like to take the opportunity to bring this research project to your attention: Please see a project summary by the two historians, their contact information, a questionnaire for collecting family information and a short biography of Leon Betsikas on our website:
http://www.etz-hayyim-hania.org/research-library (click on the link “Hania Community Research Project”).
The Mauthausen Memorial also added our biography of Leon Betsikas to the project “Room of Names”, a Digital Memorial Book for more than 90,000 people who died in the Mauthausen Concentration Camp and its Subcamps which can be seen here: