Bente Jonas (born Bente Greniman) is the daughter of Noah Greniman and Inger Samson Greniman. Noah Greniman, who was born on March 17, 1915 in Copenhagen, was a high school English, German and French teacher. Inger Samson was born in Copenhagen April 15, 1918. She was the daughter of Moses and Amelie Greniman and had three sisters, Kate, Grete and Vibeke. The family was modern Orthodox, and she and her sisters attended the Maria Krauuse girls' school. Germany occupied Denmark on April 9, 1940. At first the occupation was relatively benign. Life for the Noah and Inger was not greatly disturbed and they pursued their courtship. However, at the end of August 1943 Germany made plans to deport Denmark's Jews starting in October. Shortly before, Inger and Noah became engaged. In October 1943 they left from her mother's house and went to a small village on the northern coast of Zeeland (Espergaerde) probably by taxi where they stayed a few nights in the house of a villager. From there they left for Elsinore and continued by a fishing boat to Halsingborg where one of Bente's aunts was living. They then settled in Lund about a half hour away and remained there till the end of the war. Noah, who had just finished his studies, was hired to teach German in a new high school for all of the Danish Jews who had reached Sweden. Though the subject was not popular at the time for obvious reasons, the school followed the regular Danish curriculum so that the students would be able to receive their regular diplomas upon returning to Denmark after the war. Inger worked as a maid to earn a living. Inger and Noah married on March 5, 1944 in Lund, Sweden, and their daughter Margit was born on November 19, 1944. The family retuned to Denmark in May or June 1945 after Noah completed teaching the school year. After the war they lived at the home of his parents which they found in good condition as neighbors had looked after the house. Bente was born in Copenhagen in three years later. She later moved to Israel and married Zeev Jonas, also from Copenhagen. Though Noah and Inger survived the war, Noah's parents were on one of the few boats to capsize while en route to Sweden. They drowned at sea together with their brothers, sister-in-law and nephews drowned at sea. Only one person survived from that boat.
Zeev Jonas is the son of Anker (b. April 27, 1914) and Devorah (Dora) Levine, (b. March 3, 1914). He was born on April 5, 1941 in Copenhagen where his father was a jewelry salesman. Zeev had two siblings: Hennie (b. April 10, 1936) and Bent (Moshe) (b. Feb. 24, 1948). After conditions for Jews became more perilous, Anker considered stealing a rowboat in order to escape to Sweden. Instead he got in touch with the underground. The Jonases moved to a family in Glomso where they stayed a few weeks. From there they left for a small fishing village Espergaerde. They stayed for a day or two when before leaving for Sweden on a fishing boat. The trip only took 1 or 1 and ½ hours. Each family paid a small sum of money for passage (1,500 k approx). Zeev and his family stayed in Stockholm where they had cousins and remained there from October 1943 to May 1945. His father worked in several places including in a job as a chemical engineer. Unfortunately, not all of Zeev's extended family succeeded in escaping; some were sent to Theresienstadt including Zeev's maternal uncle.