Wolff, Helen

BORN 27 Jul 1906, Skopje, North Macedonia - DIED 28 Mar 1994, Hanover, New Hampshire
BIRTH NAME Mosel, Helene
GRAVE LOCATION Marbach am Neckar, Baden-Württemberg: Friedhof bei der Alexanderkirche

Helene Mosel was born in Skopje where her father, an electrical engineer employed by Siemens, worked at the time. In 1912 her mother took the children to Vienna, in 1916 to Berlin and in 1918 to Oberammergau. Their she studied the library that was left in their apartment by an American couple and she developed an interest in the publishing business.

After graduating from high school she worked as a nanny in Frankfurt am Main. In 1924 she was engaged to the composer and conductor Alfred von Beckerath (1901-1978). In 1927 she completed an internship at Kurt Wolff Verlag in Munich. For Pantheon Casa Editrice she translared works from the English. She worked for the International Institute for Intellectual Cooperation and in 1933 she married the publisher Kurt Wolff in London. They emigrated to New York without any money. Helped by small investors they founded the publishing house Pantheon Books in 1942. It published many bestsellers.

In 1959 she and her husband left Pantheon Books and moved to Locarno. After Kurt Wolff died in 1963 from an accident she returned to New York and resumed her publishing work until her retirement in 1986. She died in 1994 in het house in Hanover, New Hampshire. She was buried in the grave of her husband in Marbach in Germany.

She wrote novels and play herself but she didn't publish them. In 1930 she wrote the novel "Hintergrund für Liebe" ("Background for Love"). She wanted the manuscriupt to be burned but that didn't happen. It was published in 2020 by Wiedle Verlag and became a bestseller in Germany.

• Husband: Wolff, Kurt (1933-1963, London)


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


Helen Wolff – Wikipedia

Wolff, Kurt

Published: 24 Sep 2023
Last update: 24 Sep 2023