Ita Grynbaum and her eight brothers and sisters lived in a small, busy, one-story house in the town of Starachowice, Poland. The family had a tailor shop in the house. Ita's mother and father often traded their work for firewood and food for the family. Ita helped her mother with chores around the house.
In June 1939, Ita's father came home from synagogue and went to bed. He was obviously not well, and Ita's older brother Chuna ran to get the doctor. But by the time they returned, Ita's father had died. Ita's mother and older siblings kept the tailor shop running. Later that year, German troops took over the town. Ita had to work at a nearby factory. In October 1942, she was forced to join the other Jewish people in town in the marketplace. Then, she and others who were considered strong enough were sent to a labor camp nearby. Ita was put to work serving food to the Polish workers. When the deadly disease typhus struck the camp, Ita became ill. She was sent to the barracks for sick prisoners. Her brother Chuna visited her daily, often bringing her rags to pad her painful bedsores. With no medicine or doctors for the sick prisoners, Ita died of her illness after three months. She was 17 years old.