Ernst Rowohlt

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Ernst R. Rowohlt (23 June 1887 in Bremen – 1 December 1960 in Hamburg) was a German publisher who founded the Rowohlt publishing house in 1908 and headed it and its successors until his death.

In 1912 he married actress Emmy Reye, but it only lasted a short while. In 1921 he married Hilda Pangust and in 1957 he married Maria Pierenkämper.[1] Rowohlt had two sons, who were both illegitimate: Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt (1908–1992), who succeeded him as head of the publishing house, and Harry Rowohlt (1945-2015), a writer. He also had one daughter.[citation needed]

As a publisher he specialized in works by American authors, publishing Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and others.[2] With the rise of the Nazis he switched to safer non-fiction and travel works, and in 1937 joined the Nazi party.[3] He insisted on keeping his Jewish staff and editors and remained publisher for officially disapproved writers such as Hans Fallada. In 1936 he allowed Jewish author Bruno Adler to publish a biography of Adalbert Stifter under a pseudonym. When discovered in 1938 the Nazi's banned Rowohlt from working as a publisher.[1] Rowolt handed control of the firm to his son Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt and fled to Brazil, but he returned to Germany during the war and became a Captain in the Wehrmacht on the eastern front until his politically motivated discharge in 1943.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c Hans Fallada (20 January 2015). A Stranger in My Own Country: The 1944 Prison Diary. Wiley. pp. 255–. ISBN 978-0-7456-8154-2. 
  2. ^ a b Shareen Blair Brysac (23 May 2002). Resisting Hitler: Mildred Harnack and the Red Orchestra. Oxford University Press. pp. 358–. ISBN 978-0-19-992388-5. 
  3. ^ Jan-Pieter Barbian (de) (29 August 2013). The Politics of Literature in Nazi Germany: Books in the Media Dictatorship. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 182. ISBN 978-1-4411-6814-6.