Bruckstein was born in Munkacs (then in Czochoslovakia, now Ukraine) but grew up in the Hassidic community of Sighet, Transylvania. Bruckstein’s father owned a small factory, and the family were traditionally Hassidic rabbis and writers. In 1944 the family were deported to Auschwitz, Bruckstein was then transferred to Bergen-Belzen and subsequently a series of forced labour camps. He returned to Sighet in 1945 where he found the only other survivor in his family, his brother Israel. His plan to move to Palestine had not come to fruition when the Iron Curtain fell. Bruckstein wrote plays in Yiddish and journalism for Yiddish newspapers and studied literature at Bucharest University, where he started to write short stories, before returning to Sighet. Twenty of his plays were staged, some were translated and performed in other Eastern Bloc countries. After years spent struggling to emigrate to Israel with his family, in 1972 he was finally successful. Between 1972 and his death in 1988 Bruckstein published seven books, a combination of novels, novellas and short stories.