Sarah Danon Meller was born in Split, Yugoslavia, in 1933, to hard-working, happy parents. She had 2 sisters and 1 brother. In April 1941, Germany invaded Yugoslavia and carved the country up, giving Croatia to Italy, their wartime ally. During the summer of 1942, on a Friday evening during services, Italian Fascists burst into the Split synagogue and forced everyone out into the nearby square. They then beat the people bloody and, at the same time, looted and burned religious texts, artifacts, and other records. They also smashed Jewish-owned businesses and looted the stores. Sarah, her father, and her brother, late because of a customer at her father’s store, watched in horror from across the square.