After his first publication (Unter der Sonne des OrientsUnder the Oriental Sun, 1931), Hans Helfritz recorded his travels in word and picture. Altogether he published 25 books, many of which have been translated into foreign languages.

While still in exile, he wrote his book about Bolivia Im Quellgebiet des Amazonas (At the Headwaters of the Amazon), which was published by Safari Verlag Berlin in 1942. After that, Helfritz was only able to publish books in Germany again in 1951.

Besides the travelogues and guidebooks, he also wrote a historical work about the advanced civilisations of Central America (Amerika – Inka, Maya und Azteken, Vienna 1965).

Travel Guide

Hans Helfritz always understood how to interconnect his differing activities. Upon his return from exile, he worked as a tour guide, which he used to do research for later books. Along with writing the first art travel guide of a new series for DuMont Publishing in Cologne Die Götterburgen Mexikos (The Mountains of the Gods, 1968), he also worked on numerous other guidebooks, including ones about Indonesia, Morocco, Mexico and Ethiopia.


In 1990 the autobiography of Hans Helfritz was published, Neugier trieb mich um die Welt (Curiosity Drove me ’round the World). The book was transcribed with the assistance of Jean-Claude Kuner, who recorded their discussions over a period of several weeks.

One part is dedicated to the key stages of his life. Another consists of amusing anecdotes of unusual events that happened to Hans Helfritz during his many journeys (published by DuMont Publishing, Cologne, 1990; out-of-print).

Radio feature about the life of the explorer Hans Helfritz / SFB, 1990 / Author + Director: Jean-Claude Kuner