Stefanie Zweig was born in Leobschutz, Upper Silesia, in 1932. In 1938 she and her parents fled to Kenya, as a result of the Nazi persecution of Jews. Her father, a lawyer and notary public, worked as a manager on a farm and earned just enough to finance his daughter's schooling. The family spent most of its time in Ol’ Joro Orok, situated directly at the Equator—3,000 meters above sea level—a very remote place, even for Africa. In 1944 Stefanie Zweig's father enlisted in the British Army, which also enabled him and his family to return to Germany in 1947. Upon their return, they were shocked to see so much destruction, hunger, and despair. Stefanie, who could not read or write German, had problems adjusting to this alien world. However, after graduating from high school she worked as a journalist for a Jewish newspaper. In 1963 she became the chief editor of the culture section of the Abendpost-Nachtausgabe in Frankfurt. She has been working as a freelance journalist and author since 1988. She has written numerous youth books and novels, which have won many awards and prizes in Europe, and her autobiographical novels Nirgendwo in Afrika and Irgendwo in Deutschland have become bestsellers.