Ester Yaros was born on January 23, 1932 in Brussels, Belgium. She grew up in a non-religious home but felt Jewish anyway. When Germans started bombarding Belgium, the family decided to flee to France, thinking that it wouldn’t yet be invaded by the Nazis. When they saw German trucks coming to France, they returned to Brussels. Several antisemitic laws were enacted; Esther couldn’t attend school anymore for instance. In 1942, her parents sent her to live with farmers in the outskirts of Brussels. They visited her every Sunday until one day they didn’t show up. She learned that they had been denounced and that they died in Auschwitz. A woman from Solidarité Juive came to hide her in a convent. She got a new name, Alice Raymonders. One day, she told a friend she was Jewish. The priest had to call her a liar in front of everyone to save her and everybody’s life. The living conditions were so poor that lots of children became sick, including Esther who was sent to a hospital in Brussels. She was then sent to another convent, in Sugny, where she stayed until 1944. At that point, the entire convent ran towards Brussels, fleeing the front. After the war, Esther was taken to the orphanage Les Hirondelles in Brussels. She stayed there until a man came to propose that the orphans immigrate to Palestine. Esther and her friends refused and immigrated to Canada instead. Esther arrived in Winnipeg in 1947 and later settled in Montreal in 1950.