Erlih was born in France in 1928 to first-generation immigrants to France from Bessarabia (now Moldova). His father was a folk musician who played the cimbalon and pan pipes. His parents made sure that he spoke only French so that he would not be known as an immigrant.
- Sultan, Sophie (2018). Devy Erlih, portrait d'un violoniste pionnier (1928-2012). Rouen: Editions du Robec. ISBN 978-2-9564-338-0-4.
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