Ernie Weiss was born in Vienna, Austria in 1931. He is a Jew.

In June, 1938, following the annexation of Austria to Germany, Ernie, his parents, and his baby brother began a long and difficult journey to the United States. They lived in Yugoslavia, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Cuba before they were allowed into the United States. The year was 1946. The Weiss family then spent a year in New York City before settling in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Ernie was graduated from Brookline High School in 1949 and from Boston University in 1953 with a B.S. in public relations. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953 until 1955. He married during that time and with his first wife had two children, Marc and Laurie. He now lives in Cumberland Foreside, Maine, with Leslie, his wife of twenty five years. His younger brother, Peter, lives in Boston with his wife Ronnie.

Robert Weiss, his father, died in 1984 at age eighty-three. Hedy, his mother, was eighty-six when she passed away in 1990. After her death, while going through his family's old photos, films, and documents, Ernie became engrossed with learning about his father’s incarceration in the Dachau concentration camp, a topic that was never discussed by his parents, and their eight years of hectic flight from Vienna to the United States. In the late 1990's he decided to record his history for his children and four grandchildren. Then, through extensive research, he discovered how other family members escaped from Vienna and Prague, and about how others were killed.

Out of this came Out of Vienna, Eight Years of Flight from  the Nazis.