Miriam Brysk was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1935. Following the German invasion of Poland, Miriam and her family moved to Lida, Belarus, which was her father's hometown. When Lida was turned into a ghetto, her father, a surgeon, was forced to treat Germans at the local hospital. On May 8th, 1942, Germans massacred most of the residents of the Lida ghetto, but Miriam and her family narrowly escaped death. After returning to the ghetto, the Jewish partisans contacted Miriam's father, requesting his assistance as a surgeon. The family joined the partisans in the Lipiczanska forest, where Miriam was passed off as boy for her safety.
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