Born 1923 in Kraków, Poland, she was a high school student when the Second World War broke out. Arrested and jailed at a local prison, she was transferred to the Auschwitz concentration camp and later moved to the concentration camps in Ravensbrück and Neustadt-Glewe in Germany.
When the war ended, she settled in Warsaw, where she earned a degree in Polish studies from the University of Warsaw and took up a post at the literary department of Polish Radio. She authored a range of radio plays and worked as a reporter. She penned a few novels, four of which draw on her concentration camp experiences: Passenger, Holiday on the Adriatic, The Same Doctor M, and To freedom, to death to life.
Passenger became the basis for Alexander Medvedev’s libretto for Mieczysław Weinberg’s opera, The Passenger. The world premiere of David Pountney’s production of the piece took place at the Bregenzer Festspiele on 21 July 2010. It opened in Poland on 8 October 2010 at the Polish National Opera’s Teatr Wielki in Warsaw.
On 15 September 2013 we marked the writer’s 90th birthday with a special jubilee concert.
In 2020 Zofia Posmysz was awarded the presidential Order of the White Eagle.