Alicia Appleman-Jurman was born to a Jewish family in Rosulna, Poland (now Rosilna, Ukraine). She was raised in Buczacz (now Buchach, Ukraine), a part of southeastern Poland annexed by Russia in 1939. In 1942, she was not yet 13 when Nazi Germany invaded in World War II. Her father Sigmund Jurman was murdered, and Alicia was put on a train destined for a death camp. She escaped by being thrown out the train window and, although injured, followed the railroad tracks back to the Buczacz Ghetto. Her four brothers Moshe, Bunio, Herzl, and Zachary all were killed. Her mother Frieda Jurman died saving Alicia from being shot by the Nazis. At the end of the war, at age 15, she joined the underground group Bricha, helping to smuggle Jews out of Eastern Europe to the British Mandate of Palestine. In early 1947, she sailed to Palestine herself aboard the ship Theodor Herzl, which was stopped by the British Royal Navy, and was imprisoned on Cyprus for eight months. In December 1947, she finally reached Palestine and later served in the Israeli Navy. In 1950, she married Gabriel Appleman, an American volunteer who had fought in Israel's 1948 War of Independence, and then went to the USA with him. The couple had three children. They returned to Israel in 1969 and were there during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. In 1975, they moved back to the USA and settled in California. She published her autobiography, Alicia: My Story, in 1988. In 2012, she published Six Cherry Blossoms and Other Stories, followed by Alicia: My Story Continues: A Journey in Historical Photographs (2013).