Hanni Lux (born Johanna Deutsch) is the daughter of Theodore and Rachel Ostermann Deutsch. She was born on April 17, 1921 in Vienna, Austria where her father worked for a Swiss firm as a mechanical engineer, and her mother, a graduate of the Vienna University, taught art history and languages. Hanni's older sister, Judith, was born on August 18, 1918. Though the family was not religious, Theodore was a devoted Zionist who refused to enter Germany following Hitler's rise to power in 1933. He and his wife were avid skiers and quite athletic, and their two daughters became competitive swimmers. Since the EWASC (Ester Vienna Swim Club) did not allow Jewish members, the two girls joined Hakoah, a Jewish sports club, in early 1930s. The two girls excelled, winning several competitions. In fact, in 1936 Judith was voted Austria's best athlete of the year and was selected to represent Austria in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. However, Judith and two other Hakoah swimmers resigned from the Austrian team rather than participate in what became a centerpiece of Nazi propaganda. Judith and the other girls were severely punished by the Austrian Sports Federation. They stripped her of all her titles and medals and only restored them late in her life. Her sister Hanni participated in a pre-Olympic torch-bearing ceremony in Vienna as a member of Hakoah. As the Jewish athletes marched by, they were greeted with silence and hostility. After the Nazi take-over of Austria, the Deutsch family moved to Palestine in April 1938. After the start of the war, Hanni joined the British Army's WAAF (the Women's Auxiliary Air Force), where she met her first husband, Jimmy, an officer in the Air Force. Hanni and Jimmy lived in England immediately after the war and then moved to Israel where they lived next door to Judith.