A Celebrated Sportswriter Untangles his Complex German-Jewish-Nazi Family History

New York, NY (January 19, 2022)

Alexander Wolff spent 36 years as a writer for Sports Illustrated. He also authored multiple books about basketball. Now, he has taken a shot at covering the story of his complex family history in a book titled, Endpapers: A Family Story of Books, War, Escape, and Home.

Lauren Gilbert, Senior Manager for Public Services at the Center for Jewish History will go one-on-one with Wolff to discuss his latest projecton Thursday, January 20th at 6:30pm. The interview will stream live on Zoom.

Wolff, who lives in Vermont, spent a year in Berlin researching his family history, which explores the lives of his grandfather and father, both German-born men who became American citizens. Kurt Wolff, a book publisher of Jewish descent, went into exile to escape the Nazis and founded Pantheon Books in New York, while his son Niko remained behind in Germany. Despite Niko’s Jewish heritage, he served the Nazis on two fronts before arriving in the United States in 1948.

According to Gilbert, “This is an exceptionally well-written, well-researched, and touching tale, recounting the author’s fascinating journey to uncover his family’s illustrious and scandalous past.”

Through his research, Wolff uncovers family secrets that never made it to the land of fresh starts, including the connection between Hitler and his grandmother’s family’s pharmaceutical firm E. Merck, as well as the story of the half-brother his father never knew.

This program is co-sponsored by the Leo Baeck Institute and is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.