Cordelia Edvardson, née Heller, was born in Munich, Germany to Elisabeth Langgässer, a writer. She was born out of wedlock in the course of her mother's romance with Heinrich Heller, a married legal scholar and philosopher. Her father was Jewish and her mother, though a Roman Catholic, was the daughter of a Jewish father who had converted. Although Cordelia was raised as a Catholic, she and her mother were labeled Jewish by the Nazis and at age 14, she was deported first to Theresienstadt and then to Auschwitz. She survived, and emigrated to Sweden after World War II. There she began a career as an award-winning journalist. She married and had several children. From 1977 to 2006, she was the Middle East correspondent for the Swedish daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. In 1984, she published an autobiography documenting her life as a Holocaust survivor, Burned Child Seeks the Fire, which won her the Geschwister-Scholl-Preis literary prize.