WOLFF, Fritz

WOLFF, Fritz Georg. Berlin 11.11.1880 — Auschwitz after 31.3.1943. German Iranian Scholar. Son of a wealthy merchant, Emanuel Wolff, and Hedwig née Wolff. Educated in Berlin, then studied many languages at Munich, Heidelberg (i.al. Osthoff), Berlin and Giessen. Ph.D. 1905 Giessen, under Bartholomae. Lived some time in Münster, during the war in Berlin, then in Tübingen and Giessen and two years in Italy. From 1929 living in Berlin. He was of Jewish origin, but as a Christian remained in Germany. In the end of March 1943 he was finally arrested and probably killed soon after. He was a solitary man and did not aspire for a university career. Married Minna Pfeffer, three children, divorce 1936, again 1936 Margarete Marckwald. Also both wives were killed in 1943, the children had emigrated to the U.S.A.

Wolff started his career as Iranian scholar with the Avesta (translation of Geldner’s text), but soon moved to the Šāhnāme, being one of the few Western scholars really interested in this massive epic. His great glossary gave a good foundation to New Persian lexicography; it was printed in connection of the 1000 years’ celebration of Firdausī. In the 1930s he completed the Šāhnāme edition of Vullers and Landauer, but the text was never published.

Publications: Diss. Die Infinitive des Indischen und Iranischen. 53 p. Gütersloh 1905, also in KZ 40, 1907, 1-111.

– “Zur frage des accusativs mit dem infinitiv”, KZ 39, 1906, 490-500.

Avesta, die heiligen Bücher der Parsen, übersetzt auf der Grundlage von Chr. Bartholomaes Altiranischen Wörterbuchs. 11+460 p. Strassburg 1910, 2nd ed. B. 1924.

Glossar zu Firdausis Schahname. 13+911 p. B. 1935; Verskonkordanz der Schahname-Ausgaben von Macan, Vullers und Mohl. 3+109 p. B. 1935.

– “Verbesserungen und Zusätze zum Schahname-Glossar”, ZDMG 141, 1991, 88-113 (posthumous manuscript).

Sources: J. Ehlers, Encyclop. Iranica online 2018 (with details on the Nazi persecution and the Glossar); H.H. Schaeder, ZDMG 99, 1945-49, 164-167.

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