Lali Horstmann came from a distinguished German banking family, the von Schwabachs. Her husband Freddy Horstmann was a diplomat and art collector, the only son of the owner of a Frankfurt newspaper, the General Anzeiger. Freddy Horstmann resigned from the Diplomatic Service when Hitler came to power. Lali Horstmann left Berlin in 1949, and lived mostly in London and New York. She died in 1954.