Hershel Vider grew up with three brothers. He attended cheder and spoke with his parents in Hungarian and with his grandparents in Yiddish. As an adolescent, he was involved in Zionist movements, such as Betar and Hashomer Hatzair. During the war, he was imprisoned in a Russian labor camp in Vorkuta,Russia, from which he was released in 1946. He was married in a traditional wedding in 1949.