Vera Schlamm was born to a Jewish family in Berlin, Germany. In the late 1930s, she and her parents
Max Schlamm and Meta Frankel Schlamm fled Nazi persecution to Amsterdam. In 1943, during the German Occupation of the Netherlands in World War II, they were arrested and deported to the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. They survived to be freed in an "official exchange" at the Swiss border in January 1945. Two years later, they immgrated to the USA, and Vera resumed her education. After graduating from medical school in Texas, she moved to Los Angeles, California, where she completed an internship and residency in pediatrics. Dr. Schlamm's memoir Pursued, written with Bob Friedman, was published in 1972.