Before the invasion of Poland , Riva's older siblings fled to Russia to escape forced labor. Riva, her mom and younger siblings are forced to live in the Lodz Ghetto , where younger brother Laibele contracted tuberculosis . On September 10, 1942, their mother was taken out of the ghetto during a Nazi raid, leaving Riva to care for her younger brothers. She adopted them to keep the family together, which lasted until Laibele died and Riva, Motele, and Moishele were rounded up with the other remaining Jews in the ghetto and sent to Auschwitz . Riva and her brothers were separated at the gates.