Born in Sczeczyn, Poland on 15 January 1910, Dora Wilamowska moved with her parents, Jakob & Hannah, brother, Josef, and sister, Syma, to Gera, Thüringia, Germany in 1914. She grew up in Gera where her parents had two more sons, Samuel and Bernhard (Dov) and a daughter, Leah.
She studied music, singing, and piano in the Leipzig Conservatorium and became an exceptional coloratura soprano. Dora moved to Berlin around 1930 where she joined the Jüdische Kulturbund where Jewish musicians still performed in front of Jewish audiences throughout Nazi Germany.
As many of the cast immigrated from Germany, Dora's career advanced in the Kulturbund. She toured Germany performing in many cities such as Hamburg, Leipzig, and Berlin. She played many operatic roles during these performances between 1936 and 1941 and received high acclaim for her singing. During this time, she developed a relationship with Curt Franz Loewy (Lewinsky) who worked as a writer in the Kulturbund. They wanted to marry, but because of the Nuremberg laws, they were prohibited to do so.
Dora's brother, Josef, immigrated to New York in July 1938 under the sponsorship of a cousin living there. Her brother Samuel immigrated to Denmark and worked on a farm until he was evacuated to Sweden in 1941 where he lived and married in 1948. Samuel immigrated to New York in 1948 and raised two daughters, Mary and Doris (named after his sister). He died in 2005.
Dora's sister, Syma, escaped the war by moving to Switzerland, Malta, and then Palestine where she lived until her death in 2000. Dora's youngest brother, Bernhard (Dov), immigrated to Palestine in 1936 at the age of 14. He raised two sons there, Amos and Shai, and Dov died in 2001.
Dora's parents, Hannah and Jakob, and her youngest sister, Leah, were deported back to Stawiski, Poland in October of 1938. There they suffered hardships, imprisonment, and months in the Lomza Ghetto. They are believed to have perished in Stawiski about August 1941.
Throughout their time in Berlin, Dora and Curt exhausted every avenue to flee Germany. They petitioned South American countries, England, and tried many times to immigrate to New York. Unfortunately, their quota number was too high and the American Embassy in Berlin closed just before their number was to be called.
Ultimately, the Nazis closed the Kulturbund in Sept. 1941 and Dora's career came to an end. In 1941, she was forced her to work long shifts at manual labor for the Siemens company. In September 1943, Dora and Curt were deported to Auschwitz. Their last address was at 16 Trautenaustrasse. It is presumed from factual information that Kurt was sent to the gas chambers upon arrival and Dora was forced to sing in the Auschwitz orchestra using her last ounces of strength. She became infected with typhus and despite treatment in the Camp's Nazi Hospital, she died around November 1943 at the age of 33.