Christopher Marian Ballaban was born in Boryslaw, Poland. Born Marian, he took the name Christopher upon his baptism at the age of 16. Chris grew up in a loving family. His father was very patriotic, and Chris adopted his father’s love of Poland. In October 1939, Chris joined the Polish Resistance. He delivered documents for the Resistance. In March of 1940, Chris was arrested (as a Polish citizen, not as a Jew) and sentenced to a Russian Labor Camp.
Between January and October of 1941, Chris was imprisoned at several prisons and gulags in Komi Rep Russia. Unlike German Camps, Russian camps did not murder their prisoners directly. Rather, the captives were worked hard and given little food until their deaths.
Chris managed to survive the camps and in October 1941, the Soviet Government released the Polish citizens, and Chris decided to join the Polish Army. In August of the following year Chris fought in the Polish Army and left Russia. He traveled to various countries—Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Palestine, and Italy. Eventually, Chris joined a British Army resettlement division in England. In 1946, he applied for a visa to the United States. After five years, in 1951 Chris finally immigrated. Chris earned his Master’s degree and started a family.
Chris’s mother, father, and sister survived the war by hiding in a closet in their hometown for two and a half years. After the war, they immigrated to Israel.