Herman Zimlichman was born in 1923 in the city of Oświęcim (in German Auschwitz), Poland as the youngest of six siblings. His parents had lived in Eastern Galicia, but during World War I, they left this area and settled in Oświęcim. In 1931, Herman's father died and, like his siblings, Herman had to work. In the 1930s, the family lived in the resort town of Zakopane.
The Wehrmacht entered Zakopane on the very first day of World War II – September 1, 1939. In October 1939, the Zimlichman family crossed the German-Soviet demarcation line in Galicia to the Soviet side. They first settled in Lvov. When the Soviet authorities started the "passportization" of the local population, the Zimlichmans refused to accept Soviet citizenship. In June 1940, the Soviet authorities began to deport such "refuseniks." Herman and his brother Chaim were deported to a camp situated close to the town of Iaroslavl, in central Russia. The inmates of the camp worked cutting down trees.
Meanwhile, the German-Soviet war began in June 1941. In August of that year, the Polish Government-in-Exile and the Soviet Union signed a military agreement, and the Soviets – with the goal of establishing Polish military units on Soviet territory -- began to liberate Polish soldiers who had been captured in 1939 and also some other Polish citizens who had been incarcerated in camps of the GULAG. Herman and Chaim were among those freed. After their release, the brothers arrived in Guzar, a village in Uzbekistan, in Central Asia, where General Anders' Polish army was being formed. However, the attempts of Herman and Chaim to enlist to this army were not successful. At the medical commission, like other Jews, they were classified as being in "health category E," which meant dismissal from Anders' Army. At this stage, having failed to enlist in the Polish army, Herman and Chaim were sent to a kolkhoz in northern Uzbekistan where, within a short time, Chaim died from pneumonia and Herman fell ill with dysentery. After two months in hospital, Herman did not stay in one place but worked as a farm hand on local collective farms and in forced labor, such as construction work in the Urals, etc. While in the Urals, Zimlichman heard about the formation of the Polish 1st Tadeusz Kościuszko Infantry Division – a Polish anti-Nazi formation that was subordinated to the Soviet supreme military command rather than to the Polish Government-in-Exile, as Anders' Army was. With the aim of enlisting in the Kościuszko Division, Zimlichman arrived in recently liberated Stalingrad. An official at the conscription office tried to discourage him, saying, "You will be killed at the front." Zimlichman recalled, "I replied that it would be better to be killed with a bullet than to die from hunger."
The attempt of the Jew Herman Zimlichman to enlist in the pro-Soviet Polish division was successful and he was assigned to its separate communication company. His baptism by fire took place in Poland, near Lublin. He then fought in the vicinity of Warsaw and in the area of Otwock and Garwolin. That was the time (in August-September 1944) of the Warsaw Uprising by the Polish Home Army (AK). Considering that the AK was not only an anti-German force but also an anti-Soviet one, the Soviet army command decided not to intervene but rather to wait and see the results of the event. Consequently, the 1st Belorussian Front, and the 1st Kościuszko Infantry Division with it, halted on the right, eastern bank of Vistula. Zimlichman recalled that this was a time of relative quiet for him, disturbed only by German night air raids and bombing of the Division's positions. In January 1945, he took part in the forcing the Vistula River and capture of Warsaw. He then fought in western Poland and in Germany: in Bydgoszcz, Oppeln, Görlitz, Cottbus, and the vicinity of Berlin. In every place that Herman reached, his primary mission was to guarantee telephone communication between the command of the division or regiment and its subordinate units.
Zimlichman noted that it was only after he crossed the Vistula that he gained some idea of the scope of the mass murder of Jews. Despite this realization, he behaved humanely toward the German POWs he captured in 1945 and was proud of this.
During his return from Germany to Poland in 1945, as a Jew in the uniform of the Kościuszko Division, he narrowly escaped being killed by Polish nationalists. Some men whom he identified as members of the AK, tried to kill him and to throw off a train. (Unfortunately, such occurrences were not rare in postwar Poland). Zimlichman jumped when it was going full speed and dislocated both of his arms.
In 1950, Zimlichman married and, in 1952, he and his wife submitted to the authorities a request to leave Poland for Israel. However, at that time the Stalinist authorities in Poland did not grant people permission. The Zimlichmans arrived in the Jewish state only five years later, in 1957. They settled in Dimona.
Herman Zimlichman died in 2001.
 Herman Zimlichman, Zikhronot be-nativ hayei 1923-2001, Givatayim, 2012, p. 15.