Berel Silbiger is the son of Yisroel (Yakir) and Frumet (Sheinberg) Silbiger. He was born in 1923 in Nowy Sacz, Poland. Berel had three brothers: Asher Zarki (b. 1916), Avraham (b. 1917) and Wolf (b. 1928). During the German occupation of Poland the family lived in the Nowy Sacz ghetto. After the ghetto was liquidated, Berel was among the few who were assigned to stay behind. He was given the task of collecting sacred Hebrew texts and preparing them for shipment to Berlin. Afterwards, Berel was sent to Tarnow to clear the ghetto after the Jews there were deported to Auschwitz. In December 1942 Berel was sent to Auschwitz, where he labored in the coal mines of the Buna sub-camp. At the end of the war he was marched to Buchenwald, where he was liberated on April 11, 1945. In July 1945 Berel was included in a group of child survivors from Buchenwald who were given certificates to immigrate to Palestine. The group sailed on board the Mataroa. Berel's parents and brother Wolf perished in Belzec. His brother Asher died on the death march to Buchenwald. Only Berel and his brother Avraham survived the war.