Born in Vienna in 1920, the son of a newspaperman, he attained a certificate of matriculation at the Gymnasium (high school), which would have allowed him to enter the university of Vienna. However, being Jewish, he was arrested on the street at the age of 18 after the German Kristallnacht of November 1938, and sent instead to what he called ‘‘the infamous college of Dachau.’’ As Wellisch wrote, I was there only for a relatively short time, about two and a half months, because I happened to have already a visa to Sweden. I was supposed to emigrate there to be trained in agriculture. That helped somewhat to free me from the camp". Thus Wellisch spent the years of the second world war in Sweden, first working on a farm, then briefly in the library of the Swedish Cooperative Federation. In 1949, involved in the Zionist movement, he emigrated to the new state of Israel and became the librarian of the Signal Corps of the Israel Defense Forces; then in 1956 the Head of the Information Center of TAHAL, a civil engineering company specializing in water resources development. He was a founding member and secretary of the Israel Society of Special Libraries and Information Centers. In 1967 the United Nations sponsored him for a study tour through the United States to study computerized information systems for libraries. He was invitated to the University of Maryland’s College of Library and Information Services as a visiting lecturer. He received a Ph.D. there in 1975, was promoted to Professor in 1981, and on his retirement in 1987 was honoured as Professor emeritus.