Chava Rosenfarb was one of the most important Yiddish novelists and writers of the second half of the twentieth century. Her primary subject was the Holocaust; she was a survivor of the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz, and Bergen Belsen.
She was born in Lodz, Poland in 1923. When she was a child, her father encouraged her to write about her experiences and to think about being a writer. In 1939, when she was 16, the Nazis invaded Poland – and her life was changed forever.
She and her family were incarcerated, along with the rest of the Jewish population of Lodz in the Lodz ghetto. In the ghetto she wrote poems during those days of constant terror. She wrote about the ongoing struggle to endure—writings she lost and later recreated from memory.
In 1944 when the Lodz ghetto was liquidated, Chava and her family were transported to Auschwitz and later to Bergen Belsen, before being liberated by British forces in 1945. After spending several years homeless and stateless in Europe, she came to Canada in 1950 and settled in Montreal.