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Exiled German-speaking intellectuals in Southern California: Victoria Wolff

During the 1930s and 1940s, many German Jews and intellectuals fled Nazi Germany. This LibGuide provides information about German-speaking intellectuals who found refuge in Southern California

Victoria Wolff

Victoria Wolff (1908-after 1972)

Born Victoria Trude Victor married Alfred Wolf in 1927. She began to write while in high school and after her marriage to Alfred Wolf in 1927 wrote stories, essays for regional newspapers. She wrote her first novel about George Sand Eine Frau wie du und ich (1932), followed by others. In 1933, unable to work in Nazi Germany, Victoria Wolff fled to Switzerland, leaving in 1939 for two years in Nizza and to France and finally in 1941 to the United States. In an effort to acclimate herself with American-style writing, she attended writing courses at Columbia University. Her first attempts to write to an American audience were unsuccessful but she did sell her first novel to an L.B. Fischer (Spell of Egypt) in New York in 1943. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1942 after sucessfully selling her story The White Evening Dress to a film company. About half of her stories which she wrote for film were sold. She wrote the comedy Every Man for Herself in 1943 for Zsa Zsa Gabor.

After a bitter legal battle with MGM, she stopped writing for the film industry and returned her energy to novels. In 1954 her autobiography Keine Zeit für Tränen was published and two years later in 1956 a historical novel about Los Angeles Stadt ohne Unschuld.

She married Erich Wolff in 1949. Her husband was physican to many of the German exiles, including Lion Feuchtwanger, Thomas Mann, and Franz Werfel.

Years in Southern California: 1939-1947?.


Autorenlexikon deutschsprachiger Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts. Edited by Manfred Brauneck. Reinbeck bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1991.

Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Created May 1997 by Marje Schuetze-Coburn