Irene Awret, née Spicker, was born to a German Jewish family in Berlin. In 1942, she was hiding in Brussels when she was arrested by the Gestapo and jailed to await deportation to Auschwitz. Her artistic talent was accidentally discovered by a Nazi officer who found her sketchbook among her belongings. He sent her to the transit camp at Mechelen (Malines), where she was assigned to the art workshop, painting portraits, posters, and signs for the camp. In the workshop, she met sculptor Azriel Awret, whom she married soon after Allied forces liberated the camp in September 1944. In 1949, Irene Awret, her husband and daughter moved to Israel. They became founding members of the Safed Artists' Colony before relocating to the USA in the 1970s. Irene Awret's artwork includes ceramics, watercolor and oil paintings, pencil, ink, and charcoal drawings, which have been exhibited in galleries, at the Jewish Museum of New York, in schools and synagogues. For her first book, Days of Honey: The Tunisian Boyhood of Raphael Uzan (1985), she received the Janusz Korczak Award of the Anti-Defamation League. She is also the author of an autobiography, They'll Have to Catch Me First (2004).