Mirjam Finkelstein was born in Berlin in 1933. She is the daughter of Margarethe and Dr Alfred Wiener, the founder of the Wiener Library. Dr Wiener and his family fled Germany in 1933 and settled in Amsterdam. While Alfred Wiener was in the U.S.A, Mirjam, her two sisters, Eva and Ruth, and her mother were deported to Westerbork and then to Bergen-Belsen. In early 1945 she was moved from Bergen-Belsen to Switzerland. Between 1945 and 1947 Mirjam lived in the U.S.A. and then returned with her father to the UK, where she finished her schooling at the Paddington and Maida Vale School for Girls. There she studied Maths, Chemistry, and Physics and became a Maths teacher. Mirjam Finkelstein has three children and lives in London.