Bella Ouziel was born in Salonika, Greece, on July 14, 1925. Until she was 17 years old, she lived a comfortable life with her three siblings, stepmother and father.
In April 1943, Bella and her family, along with most of the Jews of Salonika, were deported to a nearby ghetto, and then later to Auschwitz-Birkenau. At the ramp at Birkenau, Bella and her sister Sylvia remained together while the rest of their family was sent immediately to the gas chamber. Sylvia and Bella remained together until Sylvia, refusing to eat, was sent to the hospital and then murdered.
Through the support of other Greek women in the camp, Bella remained alive. She was forced to work in Auschwitz-Birkenau and then in Auschwitz I. In the winter of 1945, Bella and her fellow inmates were forced on a death march to Bergen-Belsen in Germany, where she was liberated by British and Canadian forces on April 15, 1945.
Bella and her soon-to-be husband, Sam, returned to Salonika, where they married and had three children: Sylvia (named after her late sister), Albert and Morris. The family immigrated to Cincinnati in 1951.