Born: October 27, 1922
Fanny was the oldest of three girls born to a Jewish family in the Baltic seaport of Liepaja, a city with a large Jewish community in Latvia. Fanny attended a Jewish primary school there. Her parents owned and operated a shoe store and small shoe factory.
1933-39: As a young girl, Fanny's life revolved around activities with Betar, a Zionist youth movement founded in Riga in 1923. They had a group of about 25 boys and girls. They studied about Palestine and their Jewish heritage. In 1935 Fanny's mother gave birth to her youngest sister, named Liebele. When Fanny finished secondary school, at age 16, she left home for Riga to enter the university, where she studied nursing.
1940-44: In 1940 the Soviet Union occupied Latvia and Fanny returned home. A year later, the Germans reached Latvia and occupied Liepaja within a week. The Germans immediately began rounding up and shooting Jewish men. Fanny's father was one of them. On December 15, 1941, her family was informed that they were being deported. They were rounded up and put in prison. Suddenly Fanny heard her name. A guard said she was being released. Defiantly, Fanny replied, "I'm not leaving without my mother and sisters." After a moment he said, "Take them and get out."
Fanny was eventually deported, and over the next few years was imprisoned in five concentration camps. She was liberated in Kiel on May 4, 1945.