Paula Popowski was born in Poland in 1923 in a predominantly Jewish city. "I came from a very orthodox family. I didn't socialize with Gentiles. Jews and Gentiles didn't mix in public school." In the late 1930s, bad things started happening to German Jews. Germans came through burning everything in Poland; took Jewish prisoners and kept them in the synagogue. In 1940, they abolished Jewish businesses. There was an outbreak of typhus, and it was difficult to get medical care. There was very little food; they had to share everything. There were rumors of killings and the Germans started taking hostages in the early 1940s. She heard rumors about Auschwitz and people being burned to death. Her message to people—"Whatever religion, or nationality people are, judge them by their deeds; don't generalize."