Klara Vinokur was born in Shpola, a small town in the Ukraine, in 1927. Her mother was a dressmaker, her father was a laborer and she had two siblings. She attended the local school with her non-Jewish Ukrainian friends. On June 22, 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union and her small town became occupied on July 30. On August 19 she was forced to wear an armband with the Star of David and forced to clean the streets and houses. In late September the Shpola ghetto was established and the entire local Jewish population was forced to live in cramped quarters with little food. Klara continued to clean houses and buildings for the Germans. On August 21 her father was murdered.