Alfred Ernst Wollschläger was born in Bromberg (then the German province of East Prussia) in 1901. He was a volunteer in the First World War and after the war studied theology, geography and sociology in Berlin. He worked for a bank for some time but soon gave up his job and took up travelling and writing for the Vossische Zeitung. This was the point of departure for his long and successful career as a popular travel writer and novelist.
Under the pseudonym Alfred Ernst Johann he published some 50 travelogues, prose books about travelling, novels and novellas - all written in German - between the late 1920s and his death in the mid-1990s; some of his writing was even republished posthumously. Most of his travel books are set in the US, Canada, Asia and Africa; only one, Kopra und Korallen : Fahrten und Erlebnisse in Australien und der Südsee (1936) has an Australian setting. Consistent with the ideology at the time of its publication, this work is said to be 'unashamedly fascist and racist' (M. Jurgensen, Eagle and Emu 53). Wollschläger also wrote one book under the pseudonym of Carl Matthias Fischer.