John Freund was born to a distinguished Jewish family living in the town of České Budějovice, south of Prague, Czechoslovakia. His father Gustav was a pediatrician. John's happy childhood was shattered by the German invasion of his homeland in World War II. In 1942, his family was deported to Theresienstadt and then to the Auschwitz death camp. He survived the camp and the Nazi forced death march as the Red Army was advancing east. His parents and brother Karel were killed. John was liberated by U.S. troops in 1945. In 1948, he emigrated to Canada, and in 1959 married Nora, another Czech-born survivor. His memoir
Spring's End was published in 2007 by the nonprofit Azrieli Foundation in its Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs.