A widely experienced director and playwright in Germany and Austria, Hellmer, having fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s, was a prominent figure in the German exile community in New York, editor of Aufbau, forcefully advocating avant garde forms and sensibilities such as the epic theatre of Brecht, the Theatre of the Absurd, advocating and advancing the work of such figures as Erwin Piscator.
Hellmer became a producer and literary agent in the 1940s, representing, in addition to Frisch and Dürrenmatt, such figures as Sławomir Mrożek, Michael Noonan, Jacob Picard, and Jane Rule, and producing the work of authors such as George Bernard Shaw.
Hellmer's ideals and commitments, both aesthetic and social, are illustrated by the instance of Jane Rule for whom he ultimately succeeded in securing publication of her first novel, Desert of the Heart, in 1963, at a time of considerable resistance to the publication of such work.
- Frisch, The Firebugs
- New York Times, 22 September 1959
- New York Times, 1 February 1949
- Bibliography, Erwin Piscator (German) Site
- Max Reinhardt
- New York Times, 25 April 1945
- New York Times, 15 August 1961
- Guide to the Papers of Michael Noonan, National Library of Australia
- Guide to the Papers of Jacob Picard, Center for Jewish History
- University of British Columbia Archives.
- New York Times, 1 February 1941
- Author's Site