Halina is a child survivor of the Holocaust, born in Warsaw, Poland, at the beginning of World War II. Most of her family, including her father, a physician from Warsaw, were killed during the Holocaust. Her mother was able to save herself and her child by obtaining false identity papers. While her mother worked in Cracow, Halina was put in a small village, Chernichow near Cracow. She grew up there believing she was Catholic, and not knowing her real identity or name.