Arnold Paucker was born in 1921 in Berlin-Charlottenburg to a Jewish family. He was active in the German and Jewish youth movements, and in 1936 attended the Ben Shemen School in Palestine.
In the years 1941-1947 Arnold served with the Royal Engineers of the British Army. In 1950 he married and moved back to Britain. He studied at Birmingham University and later became the director of the Leo Baeck Institute in London and a historian of German Jewry.