The oldest of three children, Abram was born to Jewish parents in the small, predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn, 35 miles east of Warsaw. Abram's father owned a wholesale grocery store, a restaurant and a gas station, all of which were located on the heavily traveled main road. Abram went to public elementary school and also received religious instruction.
1933-39: I was 21 when the Germans invaded Poland. My father, brother Majlech and I fled eastward towards the Soviet Union because we were afraid that the Germans would send us away to forced labor. When we heard that German forces had engaged Polish troops in a battle at Kaluszyn and that our town had been heavily bombed, we had to return home to see if my mother and my sister, Chaie Sura, were safe.
1940-44: When the Germans entered Kaluszyn, our house, which was on the outskirts of town, wasn't bombed and we found Mother and Chaie Sura unhurt. Acting under Nazi orders, the town mayor chose 10 men, including my father, to be on the Jewish council. My father chose me to be on the Jewish police force. My job was to keep order in the Jewish ghetto and to make sure that everyone respected the curfew hours.