When Yehuda Dubner was a boy in Lodz, Poland, he and his younger brother Israel sang in the choir at their synagogue. Their parents worked in a textile business. Shortly after Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, persecution of the Jews began. Jewish people were arrested or taken for forced labor. The Dubner family was driven out of their home and into the Lodz ghetto, which Jews were forbidden to leave. Within a year, Yehuda and his father died from starvation.
In 1944, the Nazis cleared the ghetto. Yehuda’s brother Israel and his mother were shipped to the concentration camp Auschwitz. They were separated as soon as they arrived. Israel never saw his mother again.
At Auschwitz, Israel worked carrying bricks and slept on a wooden bed. After a month, he was transferred to another camp, Kaufering. There he caught the deadly typhoid fever, but he still reported for work cleaning the homes of Germans. American soldiers liberated Israel from the camp in 1945. He eventually married, had three daughters and again sang in a synagogue, this time as a cantor.