Sima Skurkovitz was born to a Jewish family Vilnius (Vilna), Lithuania, where she attended a girls' school and became a singer-songwriter who performed for Jewish and non-Jewish audiences. In 1941, the country was invaded by Nazi Germany, and the deportations and murder of Jews began. She and her family were forced into the Vilnius Ghetto. In 1943, the Nazis wiped out the Ghetto, and with it Skurkovitz's family. She was active in a resistance group, and managed to escape death in the Ghetto by volunteering for forced labor. She was sent to a series of labor and concentration camps, but survived. She found comfort and the will to live in singing and other cultural activities. In April 1945, she was sent to Bergen-Belsen, where she was liberated by the Allies. After the war, she met her husband and emigrated to Israel in 1949. She wrote a 1993 memoir, Sima's Songs: Light in Nazi Darkness. It was published in Germany in 1997.