David Katz was born in Leipzig, Germany on February 12, 1930 to parents who were both professional classical musicians. After Hitler assumed power in 1933, David and his parents fled first to Belgium, and then to France, where they were arrested and spent two years in a number of camps operated by the Vichy collaborationist government.
In 1942, his parents were sent to Auschwitz, and David, at the age of 12, was sent to an orphanage run by a French children’s aid organization. After a year in the orphanage, he escaped as a group of Nazis was raiding the orphanage, and ran for his life. At 13, he was on his own to survive.
Miraculously, he made it with the help of a righteous priest and an elderly farmer, who both took him in when he needed help. He became a member of the French Resistance, and helped them as a courier until the war was over.
He emigrated to the United States in 1946 to live with relatives who had escaped Europe in the early 1930s. David and his wife MaryAnne, an artist of renown, raised four children who then gave them grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They lived in Chesapeake, since his retirement there in 1994, until his death in 2012. MaryAnne and their son Sam and his wife still live in Chesapeake.