Vivienne was born in Paris, France in 1934, where she was raised by her Polish-born parents. She had a younger brother and sister. Her father was taken away in 1941.
In July 1942, 13,000 Jews were rounded up by the police in Paris and sent to Auschwitz. With the help of a policeman, Vivienne’s mother evaded capture, and sent Vivienne and her siblings into hiding in the countryside.
In mid-1943 her mother was denounced and sent to Auschwitz. Vivienne and her siblings survived, but their parents were murdered at Auschwitz, and none of the family in Poland survived the Holocaust.