She was born in 1927 in Krakow to the Weinfeld family. During World War II she was interned in the Kraków Ghetto, and then an inmate of the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp, Auschwitz concentration camp and finally the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. After the latter camp's liberation by the British army, she was among the ailing women inmates evacuated by the Swedish Red Cross for convalescence in Sweden. In 1946 she found her way to pre-State Israel. She qualified as a registered nurse, and studied literature and history at Tel Aviv University. She also served as a cultural attaché in Israeli diplomatic posts located in Budapest and Stockholm.
Miriam Akavia has been publishing her novels and books since 1975. As a president of the Platform for Jewish-Polish Dialogue, she has been organizing meetings with teenagers of both countries. Moreover, she struggled against stereotypes which separate Poles and Jews.
Miriam Akavia wrote mainly about her childhood, the Holocaust and her war experiences. She was also a translator who translates Hebrew literature into Polish language and vice versa.
She is a laureate of many honours in Poland, Israel and Germany. In 1978 she received a Yad Vashem Prize. Her books have been translated into many languages including English, German, Danish, and French.
In English translation
- An End to Childhood (1995) Essex: Vallentine Mitchell
- My Own Vineyard (2006) London: Vallentine Mitchell