David, known as Dudek by his family and friends, came from Radom, a city with a large Jewish population. David's family was involved in Zionist activities, and David attended a Jewish religious school every afternoon after returning from public school. His father owned a distillery.
1933-39: The Germans invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and Radom was occupied on September 8, 1939. The Germans were seizing Jewish men to work as slave laborers, and the Birnbaum family knew that they might spare those who had practical trades. David and two of his brothers were quickly apprenticed to their brother-in-law, who was an electrician.
1940-44: In the summer of 1940 thousands of young men from Radom were deported to labor camps near the Soviet border. David ended up in the Wolanow camp, where his trade enabled him to be assigned as a building foreman. Over the next four years, David was deported to several other labor and concentration camps, which he survived because of his skill as an electrician.
After the war, David emigrated to the United States. He was killed in an auto accident in 1969.