Mauša Jakovas was born on 12 September 1920 in Šiauliai to Izaokas Kolpenickis and his wife Tania (née Milstein). From 1929–1937, he attended a private Jewish gymnasium in Šiauliai with instruction in Hebrew and intensified teaching of foreign languages. In school, he was interested in both literature and sports. Mauša wrote for the magazine Moksleivis (Pupil) and later for Mūsų jaunimas (Our Youth). He also took an active part in various sports competitions. In 1937, he became a student in the Philology Department of the Faculty of Humanities of the Vilnius Stephen Bathory University. In 1940, he became attracted to communist ideology and, being a good writer and speaker, became an active member of the agitation team of the Lithuanian Union for Helping the People. However, it was not for spreading communist ideas but for being a Jew that Mauša Jakovas Kolpenickis was expelled from the university on 19 September 1941, 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. Soon thereafter, he was sent to the Vilnius Ghetto where he was killed in 1943. His mother Tania Milstein Kolpenickienė was taken from Šiauliai to the Kaunas Ghetto where she was also killed. Nothing is known about his father’s fate.