John Mann was born Jose Mankowski in Paris, France on November 9th, 1926. When the Germans invaded Paris, the family left in their truck along with many other Parisians. However, after hearing that things were well in Paris, the family returned. This was a fatal mistake. In June 1942, John’s father was arrested and sent to the labor camp Drancy. His mother fled Paris and went to southern France with John and his older brother Oscar.
They were hidden in a small town with the Mercadier family. When France was liberated, the family returned to Paris to their old apartment. John and Oscar continued school and helped their mother with the market stall on the weekends. They learned that their father had been sent to Auschwitz and was murdered in 1942.
In 1948, they visited America, and Oscar fell in love and was determined to live there. He finally left in 1952, and John and his mother followed him later. John and his brother were both admitted to Georgetown University. John became head of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. He married Risa Berman, also a respected physician. Together they had two daughters.
Later in life, John felt a void and realized how much he missed his father. John visited Auschwitz in 1998 and prayed at the “Wall of Death” where his father was shot to death and said prayer. He said this brought him peace.