Ms. Bitton-Jackson was born Livia Elvira Freidmann, better known as Elli, on February 28, 1931 in Samorin, a small town in Czechoslovakia, occupied by Hungary in 1938. She spent her childhood there with her parents and her older brother Bubi, at the foot of the Carpathian mountains and one kilometer from the Danube river. Hungarian Jews were "lucky," in that Hitler did not catch up to them until 1944, when Elli was 13 years old, and the war was already drawing to a close. But that did not mean that they were not persecuted. On March 25, 1944, schooling for Jewish children was terminated. Jews were forced to wear yellow stars and, steadily, matters worsened. Jews were not allowed to talk, greet or look at gentiles on the street, rendering many friends strangers overnight. Then all the Jews of Samorin, now called Somorja, were deported to Nagymagyar, another town where a ghetto was created for the Jews of her area.
Ms. Bitton-Jackson has written schorlarly studies and numerous autobiographical accounts of her experiences, for both children and adult readers. Her publications include __Elli: Coming of Age in the Holocaust__ (Times Books/Random House, 1980) and __Madonna or Courtesan?: The Jewish Woman in Christian Literature__(Seabury Press, 1983; Harper/Row, 1990). Her award-winning titles for children, which have become classics of the genre, include __I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust__ (Simon & Schuster, 1997), __My Bridges of Hope__, and __Hello, America: A Refugee's Journey from Auschwitz to the New World__ (Simon & Schuster, 2005).
For over thirty years Ms. Bitton-Jackson has written a column on women in Jewish history for the New York weekly, __The Jewish Press.__ Her doctoral dissertation, Zionism in Hungary, was published by Herzl Press. She has also written numerous monographs and chapters in other books.
She lives in Israel.