George Turlo was born in Vilnius in 1934 to a Catholic family. His father was a judge in Domachevo, a town in present-day Belarus with a mostly Jewish population. In 1939, after his father was arrested by the Soviets, the family fled to Slonim, Belarus, where they stayed for the next two years. His father was arrested again and they had no further contact with him until 1946. Turlo watched the liquidation of Slonim's ghetto in 1942 and, while trying to help a Jewish boy, was captured by the SS. He and several Jews were taken to a grave, where the Nazis made them kneel and started to shoot. Turlo fell underneath several bodies and was not injured. After climbing out of the grave, he spent several weeks hiding in the woods, eventually making his way to Bialystok where his grandmother lived. Turlo then went to Warsaw, where he was a messenger boy during the Warsaw Uprising and where he witnessed the Warsaw ghetto liquidation in 1943. After the war, Turlo became an architect and immigrated to the United States in 1966.