David Rubinowicz was born on July 27, 1927, in Kielce. He had a younger brother, Herszel, and a little sister named Malka. His parents were Josek and Tauba.
The five of them shared a small wooden house on Krajno's main road. The Rubinowiczes were country folk, no different from their neighbors, except that they happened to be Jews. Josek Rubinowicz was a dairyman; he owned a cow and a wagon, and ran a small shop. But a year after the German occupation, the dairy was no more.
The cow had been sold so the Germans wouldn't take it, and now the Rubinowiczes were much poorer. David had an uncle in Kielce whom he used to visit regularly, and the Rubinowiczes had lived there themselves before moving to Krajno.
Like many Polish cities and towns, Kielce had a large Jewish population - in 1939, every fourth person was a Jew. On April 4, 1940, David went to see his uncle again. He got up earlier than usual and left after breakfast. On his right arm he wore "the four-inch armband in white with the star of Zion" all Jews over the age of ten had been ordered to display, at all times, on pain of imprisonment. As Jews were not allowed to travel on vehicles, he walked.
On March 24, 1941, David stood at the window and watched soldiers pass.
"My head was awhirl with so many vehicles and cavalry. Heavy artillery was also on the move. It was fun...We hardly ever see soldiers in our parts."
The fun did not last long. A few months later David was home by himself when German militiamen entered the house, searched "every corner," and announced that his father was to report to the militia. Both parents went.
Someone told him that his father had been taken into "temporary custody," and David "raced home with this bad news." At the time, his uncle, aunt, and grandmother were living with them. "All were alarmed. Uncle went to the militia right away, and Auntie as well. We children stayed behind on our own, except for Grandma. We had no supper at all; at twelve o'clock I went to bed."