Claudine Vegh, née Rozengard, was born to a Jewish family in Paris, France. Her father was originally from Poland and her mother from the Ukraine. In 1939, on the brink of World War II, the family fled Paris and took refuge in Saint Girons, in southwestern France near the Pyrenees. Her parents had to flee the area in 1941, leaving Claudine behind with their neighbors. Her father died while in hiding near Grenoble. In 1945, Claudine returned to Paris to live with her mother. She attended the Lycée Hélène Boucher and graduated from medical school, becoming a child psychiatrist. A hidden child herself, she conducted one of the earliest studies of a group known in France as "les enfants de déportés" ("children of the deported"). It was published in 1979 as Je ne lui ai pas dit au revoir (I Didn't Say Goodbye: Interviews with Children of the Holocaust).