Rosalia was raised by Jewish parents in the small, predominantly Jewish industrial city of Tulchin in southwestern Ukraine. She married Aaron Schatz, and together they raised four children in the city of Odessa. In 1919, when her family was grown, Rosalia and her daughter Ludmilla emigrated via Romania to France after Aaron was killed during the Russian civil war.
1933-39: Rosalia settled in Bagneux, a suburb of Paris. She spoke only Russian and Yiddish and found Paris to be a different world from the one she had known in Ukraine. Ludmilla, now married, lived nearby with her daughter, Nadine. When France declared war on Germany in September 1939, her daughter and granddaughter left for the Brittany coast, but Rosalia remained in Paris.
1940-42: German troops occupied Paris in June 1940. For six months the Germans took no drastic actions against the citizens and Rosalia felt in no immediate danger. But in September 1940 the Germans began to impose anti-Jewish measures and by June 1942, in preparation for mass deportations, they ordered Jews to wear a yellow star. Rosalia was arrested by French police working with the Germans during mass arrests of foreign Jews in the summer of 1942.
Rosalia was deported to Auschwitz via the Drancy transit camp on September 28, 1942. She was gassed on arrival, at the age of 67.