Ernest Simon was born in 1923 in Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad), Czechoslovakia. In 1938, when the Germans annexed the Sudetenland, Ernie and his mother fled to Pilsen. He lived briefly under Nazi occupation in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia before immigrating illegally to Palestine in 1940. There he joined the Jewish Brigade before transferring his enlistment to the Czech army-in-exile with whom he returned to Europe. After the war he found that most of his family had been killed in the Holocaust. Ernie immigrated to the United States in 1950.
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