Ester-Lėja Kopeliovičiūtė was born on 19 February 1924 in Kaunas. Later the Kopeliovičius family moved to Vilkaviškis where they lived on 16 Laisvės Street. From 1929 Ester-Lėja’s father Aronas Kopeliovičius was an office worker at the oil factory in Taboriškės. From 1932– 1940, Ester-Lėja attended a private Jewish gymnasium in Vilkaviškis with instruction in Hebrew. She chose to study the humanities, and in 1940 became a student in the Philological Department of the Faculty of Humanities of Vilnius University. On 2 August 1941, Ester-Lėja was given permission by Vilnius University to visit her parents in Vilkaviškis during the summer holidays. She returned to Vilnius in the beginning of September and on 19 September 1941, she and many other Jewish students were expelled from Vilnius University on the basis of the Order of 17 September 1941 of the Higher Education Department of the Board of Education, which was subordinate to the Nazis. Her name and address (29 Vokiečių Street) appear in the list of Vilnius Ghetto prisoners, and her visits to the ghetto library are also documented.