Diamand was born in Berlin on 8 June 1913, and educated there, but held Austrian nationality. In the early 1930s, being Jewish, he fled to Amsterdam to escape Nazism. While there, he worked as secretary to pianist Artur Schnabel.
Diamand spent some time in a Dutch concentration camp before escaping. He and his mother needed to hide from the Nazis, in attics and other cramped places, with inadequate food. Schnabel's last student, pianist Maria Curcio, looked after them, at great risk and high cost to her own health and career. In 1947, they married. They divorced in 1971. He subsequently married American violinist, Sylvia Rosenberg.
Diamand died on 16 January 1998, in Amsterdam.
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