He was born on October 19, 1925 in the Polish city of Kolomyia. His parents were Polish Jews who had a shop in Kolomyia. In 1939, after Galicia joined the USSR, the Soviet authorities declared the family bourgeois and confiscated the business.
When the Germans entered Galicia in 1941, a 15-year-old boy fled to the east, while his family was arrested and sent to the Kolomyia ghetto, and then to the death camp in Belzec. His younger sister, Ruth Vermuth, escaped from a Nazi train bound for Belzec, after which she worked under false documents at a factory and as a maid in Germany. She reconnected with Victor in 1994.