Lisa Tetzner was born to a middle-class German family in in Zittau (Lausitz), the daughter of a doctor. She had a special interest in collecting and writing fairy tales. In 1924, she married Kurt Kläber, a writer who used the pseudonym Kurt Held. She began writing books for children after World War I. She also worked as a teacher and produced a radio program called "Children's Hour" for the Berlin Broadcast Service during the late 1920s. With her husband, she co-authored the nine-volume series Children from No. 67 (1933-1949). In 1933, to escape persecution from the Nazi regime in Germany, Tetzner and Held, who was Jewish and a Communist, fled to exile in Switzerland; they lived there the rest of their lives. Among their other joint works was the classic Black Brothers: A Novel in Pictures (1941), translated into English in 2004.