Zenia Szajna Larsson was born in Lódz, Poland as the daughter of a barber and went to Sweden in July 1945 with the aid of the Red Cross. She survived the ghetto in Lódz and the concentration camps in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. In Sweden, she started a course at Konstfack (University College of Arts, Craft and Design) the year after her arrival and continued at Konsthögskolan (School of Fine Arts). She married in 1950. Zenia Larsson, who also worked as a sculptor, wrote about her experiences during the war in a novel. Through the character of the girl Paula Levin, her alter-ego, she wrote the terrible, yet hopeful, trilogy Skuggorna vid träbron, 1960, Lång är gryningen, 1961, and Livet till mötes, 1962.