Paul-Henri Rips was born in to a prosperous Jewish family in Antwerp, Belgium. His parents were Isadore Rips, a merchant in the city's famous diamond exchange, and his wife Faja. Paul-Henri was 10 years old when Nazi Germany invaded his homeland in World War II and ended what he later described as his "golden childhood." Paul-Henri, his parents and sister, along with thousands of other refugees, fled to France. They got as far as the River Somme, where German soldiers turned them back, and they returned to Antwerp. After experiencing the escalating severity of Nazi policies, the family was jailed, sent to the Malines and Pithviers transit camps, and eventually managed to go into hiding to survive until the end of the war. Paul-Henri left Antwerp in 1950 and moved to the Belgian Congo and then to South Africa, where he married his wife, Lily. In 1997, the couple emigrated to Toronto to join their children and grandchildren. His memoir, E/96: Fate Undecided, was published in 2009 as part of The Azrieli Foundation Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs.