Frances Fabri was born S rika Lad nyi in Bekes, Hungary, in 1929. She was deported to Auschwitz with her family when she was fourteen. She and her mother were immediately separated from her father but remained with her mother for the duration of her interment. Both Fabri and her mother survived and returned to their hometown after they were liberated. They left Hungary in 1956 and arrived in New York in 1957. Frances Fabri had begun university before they left Hungary, and completed her studies at Hofstra University in New York, studying history and literature. She moved to San Francisco, CA in 1972.