Saskia Sassen was born on January 5, 1949 in the Hague, the Netherlands. In 1948 her parents, Willem Sassen and Miep van der Voort, moved to Argentina and the family lived in Buenos Aires. Her father was a Dutch collaborator with the Nazis, a Nazi journalist and a member of the Waffen-SS. In the 1950s Willem Sassen was close to Adolf Eichmann, who visited Saskia's childhood home, when the family was living in Argentina. Saskia Sassen also spent part of her youth in Italy and was brought up in five languages.