Dana Schwartz was four years old when Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union divided and occupied her native Poland. She was born in Lwow, which initially fell under Soviet occupation. In July 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union and occupied Lwow, and in November, established a ghetto in the former Jewish district of the city. The entire Jewish population, including Dana's family, was forced into the Lwow Ghetto. Dana’s father was able to organize false papers identifying Dana and her mother as Polish non-Jews. The two were able to escape from the ghetto with their new fake identity. They survived the remainder of the Holocaust with false identities in various hiding places outside of Lwow.