Stories Catalog

Leon Gatenio

The Story of Leon Gatenio

Leon Gatenio was born on July 31st, 1923. His mother- name was named Vida, his father’s Alberto. Leon had two siblings, Andrian (Andreas) and Adina born in 1926 and in 1930 respectively. During the occupation the family had to abandon their house in Bizaniou 21 Street and move to another house in Mitropoleos 115 Street. Leon and Andrian were both students at the Astiko Gimnasio school, while their sister was enrolled at Ioakimio Private School. Just two days before Leon’s 20th birthday, on July 29 1943 the family was sent to Baron Hirsh ghetto by the German authorities. A few days later on the 2nd of August, they were transported to the Bergen – Belsen concentration camp, along with the rest of the Jews who held a Spanish citizenship.

On February of 1944, the entire family was sent from Bergen – Belsen to Spain. We know from the archives that the family sailed on June 21 1944 from Cadiz to Fedhala, a camp located in Northern Africa near Casablanca. Their goal was to reach Palestine, under British mandate at the time, and they were successful. Many years later, in the mid 1960’s, we find Leon again, living in Tel Aviv, Israel.