Wolff, Kurt

BORN 3 Mar 1887, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen - DIED 21 Oct 1963, Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg
GRAVE LOCATION Marbach am Neckar, Baden-Württemberg: Friedhof bei der Alexanderkirche

Kurt Wolff was the son of the professor of music history Leonhard Wolff. His mother was Jewish. He was educated in Marbach from 1905 to 1906. In 1909 he married Elisabeth Merck, who became a translator. In 1908 he met Ernst Rowohlt who had started his publishing business in Leipzig in that year. They worked together until Rowolth left and Wolff renamed the company to Kurt Wolff Verlag. He published work by Walter Hasenklever, Franz Kafka and George Traktl. Franz Werfel and Kurt Pinthus worked for him as editors.

During the First World War he had to join the army and George Heinrich Meyer (1872-1931) replaced him until he was allowed to return in 1916. In 1919 he moved his company to Munich and in 1924 he founded another publishing house in Florence named Pantheon Casa Editrice. He divorced Elisabeth on 22 January 1931 and settled in a village near Florence. He married his second wife, the author Helen Mosel (1906-1994) on 28 March 1933 in London.

Business detoriated in Munich and he sold most of his shares in 1933. In 1940 the company was renamed to Genius Verlag and it was dissolved in 1956. Wolff fled from Italy to France in 1938 with his wife and their son, the composer Christian Wolff (b.1934). He was interned there, but in 1940 they escaped to the USA. In 1942 he founded Pantheon Books in New York and it was soon successful. In 1960 he left Pantheon Books and returned to Europe. When he was on his way to a visit to the Literary Archives in Marbach he was hit by a truck and died soon afterwards. He was buried in Marbach.

• Wife: Wolff, Helen (1933-1963, London)

Related persons
• published work by Kafka, Franz
• published work by Kraus, Karl
• published work by Werfel, Franz


The grave of Kurt Wolff at the Friedhof bei der Alexanderkirche, Marbach.
Picture by Androom (29 Jan 2010)


Kurt Wolff (Verleger) – Wikipedia

Wolff, Meta

Published: 24 Sep 2023
Last update: 24 Sep 2023