Anita was born on April 26, 1926 in Karlsruhe, Germany. She came from a relatively well-off family. Her father, a German businessman, served as an officer in the German Army during WWI. He attended the 1912 Olympic Games as a member of the German Soccer Team. Her mother came from Warsaw. When she was two, the family moved to Berlin to live in a villa with servants. Anita attended a small private girl school from 1932 to 1937. She wasn't really aware of her Jewish roots before 1933. But her life changed the very day Hitler came to power. As anti-Jewish laws tightened, Anita felt a little bit more excluded every day. In 1935, her brother was sent to Scotland where he attended Kurt Hahn's school. In the summer of 1937, her parents took the decision to move to Engelberg, a small town near Luzern, Switzerland. The family left Berlin, leaving everything behind them. Anita was sent to a convent school in Luzern. Although they were able to get an American visa, the family decided to move to France in 1938. Being of Alsatian descent, they were eligible for French citizenship, which drove them to settle down in Paris where they led an undisturbed life until the war broke out. Her father was interned in a camp because he came to be viewed as an enemy alien. Eventually, in May 1940 the whole family succeeded in obtaining a Canadian visa and left Paris for Montreal. Anita didn't really enjoy her first years in Montreal as she experienced strong antisemitism on one side and on the other side was rejected by fellow Jews because of her German Citizenship. In 1947, she graduated from McGill University. She got married one year later and had two children.