Born: January 7, 1930
Judith was the younger of two children born to religious, middle-class Jewish parents. Judith's mother, Clara, was Sephardic, a descendant of Jews who had been expelled from Spain in 1492. Her father, Lodewijk, was a traveling representative for a firm based in Amsterdam. The family lived in an apartment in a new section of Amsterdam on the southern outskirts.
1933-39: Judith attended grade school with her cousin Hetty who was the same age. Judith loved to study. Her mother taught piano to students who came to the house for lessons. Judith loved to play the piano, too. Her family celebrated the Jewish holidays, and like most Dutch families, they exchanged gifts every December 6 on Saint Nicholas Day.
1940-43: After the Germans occupied Amsterdam, they enforced new laws that forbade Jews to enter libraries and museums, or even to use street cars. Then they ordered Jews to wear an identifying yellow badge, and would not allow Jewish children to attend public schools. One by one Judith's relatives disappeared, picked up by the Germans. Then Judith, her mother and brother were arrested in a roundup by the Germans who came while Judith's father was away at work on a night shift.