Anne Antoinette Politzer was born to middle-class Austrian-Jewish parents. Her family friends included the painter Isidor Kaufmann, the influential Social-Democratic politician Hugo Breitner, and the booksellers Hugo Heller and Paul Knepler. At the Heller bookstore, she met Rabindranath Tagore. In 1922, she entered the University of Heidelberg to study literature. She also studied in Jena and at the University of Tübingen, receiving her Ph.D. in 1926 with a dissertation on German mystics. During a visit in Paris in 1927, Anna met Theodore Fried, a Hungarian artist. They married in November of that year and had a son, Christopher (Risto) Fried, who became a well-known psychiatrist. Anne Fried wrote reviews for European magazines such as Individualität and Forum. In the 1930s, she helped refugees escaping the Nazis. In 1938, Anne Fried's marriage came to an end and she emigrated to the USA with her son. She taught at Newark Junior College, worked at a bookstore, took odd jobs as a secretary and proofreader, and became a teacher of developmentally disabled children. In 1945, she began studies in sociology at Columbia University, receiving her M.A. in 1948. In the 1950s, she became director of Fuld Neighborhood House in East Harlem. She also worked at The New York City Mission Society and as a director of James Weldon Johnson Community Center. Anne Fried visited Helsinki for the first time in 1961, and moved to Finland in 1969, joining her son Risto, who had settled there with his family. During her American years, Anne Fried had written poems and essays, including some about Ellery Queen's novels (she was a friend of Hilda Wiesenthal, married to Fred Dannay, one of the two writers behind the pseudonym). At the University of Helsinki, Anne Fried studied literature. In 1975, she published a study of the writer Marko Tapio. This became the first of 11 books in Finnish. Anne Fried's literary studies on prominent writers as Heinrich Böll, Günter Grass, Marguerite Duras, and Paul Celan; autobiographical pieces; and essays on the forces that shaped 20th-century life are considered central to modern Finnish literary culture.