Nechama or Nehama Tec, née Bawnik, was born to Jewish family in Lublin, Poland. She was eight years old when Nazi Germany invaded her country in World War II, and survived with her sister and parents by being hidden by Polish Catholics under false identities. In 1950, she married Leon Tec, a child psychiatrist, with whom she had two children, and emigrated to Israel and then the USA. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in sociology from Columbia University, and became a professor at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. She published her Holocaust memoir Dry Tears: The Story of a Lost Childhood, in 1982.
Other works include When Light Pierced the Darkness: Christian Rescue of Jews in Nazi-Occupied Poland (1986); In the Lion’s Den: The Life of Oswald Rufeisen (1990); Defiance: The Bielski Partisans (1993), which won the 1994 International Anne Frank Special Recognition prize; Resilience and Courage: Women, and Men, and the Holocaust (2003); and more than 70 scholarly articles. Prof. Tec was appointed to the Council of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and in 1995 was a Scholar-in-Residence at the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, Israel.