Thomas Mann

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Thomas Mann, 1937
photo by Carl Van Vechten
Thomas Mann signature.svg

Paul Thomas Mann (born June 6, 1875 in Lübeck , † August 12, 1955 in Zurich , Switzerland ) was a German writer and one of the most important storytellers of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929 .

The first novel Buddenbrooks , published in 1901, was followed by novellas and stories such as Tonio Kröger , Tristan and Death in Venice . The novel Der Zauberberg , published in 1924 , with which he continued the tradition of the European educational novel , shows Mann's creative art: the narrator maintains a skeptical - ironic distance from the characters, typical constellations recur as leitmotifs , and a syntactically complex, demanding style prevails. These characteristics also characterize the following publications, among which the novellaMario and the magician , the romantic tetralogy of Joseph and his brothers and the late work Doctor Faustus should be emphasized.

His statements on current political, social and cultural issues also received widespread attention. If he was initially skeptical of Western democracy, he turned into a staunch defender of the Weimar Republic in the early 1920s . During the Nazi regime , he emigrated in 1933 to Switzerland and 1938 in the United States , whose citizenship he accepted the 1944th From 1952 until his death he lived in Switzerland again.

Thomas Mann came from the respected Lübeck patrician and merchant family Mann . His wife Katia , née Pringsheim, inspired several of his literary figures and works. His older brother Heinrich and four of his six children, Erika , Klaus , Golo and Monika , were also writers.


1875 to 1913

Early years

The father:
Thomas Johann Heinrich Mann
The mother:
Julia Mann
The grandparents' house in Lübeck, Mengstrasse 4 (" Buddenbrookhaus ")

Thomas Mann was the second son of the businessman and Lübeck Senator Thomas Johann Heinrich Mann . He was baptized as a Protestant on June 11, 1875 in the Marienkirche in Lübeck. His mother Julia (nee da Silva-Bruhns) was of Brazilian origin on his mother's side . In addition to the brother Heinrich (1871–1950), the children Julia (1877–1927, suicide), Carla (1881–1910, suicide) and Viktor (1890–1949) emerged from the marriage. The family was one of the first circles in Lübeck. Thomas Mann later described his childhood as “cherished and happy”.

In 1891 Thomas Mann's father died of bladder cancer . In his will he had ordered the company and house in Lübeck to be sold. The proceeds were invested and his wife and children were entitled to their interest for a living.

After nine years of schooling, Thomas Mann passed the “ one-year- old ” (secondary school leaving certificate), which was actually only intended for six years, in Lübeck in 1894, with consistently moderate to very poor performance. He found his school days dull. He began to write at an early age and in 1893 participated with prose sketches and essays in the school magazine Der Frühlingssturm, which he co-edited . The fourteen-year-old signed a letter to Frieda L. Hartenstein from 1889 with “Thomas Mann. Lyric-Dramatic Poet ”. In 1894 he left the Katharineum in Lübeck prematurely as a senior second and went to Munich , where his mother had moved with the siblings a year earlier.

Krafft Tesdorpf , who had been the guardian of the children not yet of legal age since the death of his father , decided that Thomas Mann should take up a civil profession after leaving school. Thomas therefore took a job as a volunteer in a fire insurance company, even though he was bored with office work. He made his debut as a writer in 1894 with the novella favor . It was published in the literary magazine Die Gesellschaft , which had already published his poem Twice Farewell in 1893 . He was then offered further publications in the art magazine Pan .

Due to this first success, Thomas Mann ended his insurance activity in 1895 and began to attend lectures at the Technical University of Munich in order to later pursue a journalistic profession. In 1896 he came of age at the age of 21 and received 180 marks a month from the interest on his father's property, which enabled him to live as a freelance writer. From 1895 to 1896, Thomas Mann wrote articles for the national- chauvinist monthly The Twentieth Century , whose brief editor was his brother Heinrich.

First book publications

Heinrich and Thomas Mann
Photography Atelier Elvira around 1902

In 1896 he followed his brother Heinrich to Italy . In July 1897 they rented a place in Palestrina, east of Rome . Together they wrote the picture book for good children there . It contained parodic “art poems” and was illustrated with handwritten drawings. The brothers gave it to their sister Carla for confirmation. After Carla's death, the unique item came into the possession of the youngest brother Viktor, who later passed it on to Thomas Mann's children. Since the family emigrated in 1933, it has been considered lost; only poems quoted by Viktor Mann in his memoir We Were Five , and some reproductions of the drawings have been preserved from the only joint effort between the two brothers.

Thomas Mann wrote a few short stories in Palestrina, including Der kleine Herr Friedemann , and began with the novel Buddenbrooks .

His sporadic contributions to the anti-Semitic monthly Das Twentyth Century are limited to the time when his brother Heinrich was the editor (1895/1896). Even if Thomas Mann's articles are more moderate than the rest of the magazine, they contain the anti-Jewish stereotypes that can also be found in his literary works around the turn of the century. A distancing from the program of the twentieth century does not exist at that time.

From 1898 he worked for a year in the editorial office of Simplicissimus . In 1900 he was called up to serve in the Munich body regiment as a “ one-year volunteer ” . His military career ended after three months due to unfit for service - an experience that is reflected in the draft scene in the confessions of the impostor Felix Krull .

Buddenbrooks - first print from 1901

In 1901 Mann's first novel Buddenbrooks was published. The first two-volume edition initially met with little response. The one-volume second edition from 1903, on the other hand, brought the breakthrough and made Thomas Mann known to the public. Some of the characters in the novel have role models in the family history of the man, many secondary characters are based on Lübeck citizens. Most of the portrayed were not thrilled to find themselves in the book because of the ironic representation. Soon a list was circulating that identified the living models and that a Lübeck bookstore lent its customers. The relationship between the people of Lübeck and their prominent fellow citizens was therefore tense for a long time. In 1929, 28 years after it was first published, Thomas Mann received the Nobel Prize for Literature for Buddenbrooks .

In 1903 the first disagreements between the brothers Thomas and Heinrich emerged. Although Thomas Mann had established himself as a writer in public, he felt that his brother had set him back as an artist and, for his part, criticized the “boring shamelessness” in his books. In particular, Heinrich Mann's recently published novel The Hunt for Love aroused his disgust. The contact did not break off completely and there were repeated attempts to get closer, but an artistic exchange only took place in regular correspondence, with the respective letter writer commenting on the recipient's works.


Engagement photo of Katia Pringsheim, 1905
Katia and Thomas Mann, 1929

In 1904 Thomas Mann met Katharina "Katia" Pringsheim (daughter of mathematician Alfred Pringsheim and granddaughter of suffragette Hedwig Dohm ) and began to advertise her. Until then, only homoerotic crushes were documented in his letters and diaries. He did not live out his homosexuality, however, it remained with crushes for "youngsters", who among others in Buddenbrooks (Hanno / Kai Graf Mölln), Tonio Kröger (Tonio Kröger / Hans Hansen), The Magic Mountain (Hans Castorp / Pribislav Hippe) and The death in Venice (Gustav von Aschenbach / Tadzio) were reflected.

With the decision to marry Katia Pringsheim, he opted for an "orderly" life and married into one of the most respected families in Munich. Katia hesitated at first, so the marriage was only concluded on February 11, 1905. In his second novel, Royal Highness from 1909, Thomas Mann dealt with the brewing period in literary terms. He had six children with Katia: Erika (1905–1969), Klaus (1906–1949, suicide), Golo (1909–1994), Monika (1910–1992), Elisabeth (1918–2002) and Michael (1919–1977, presumably suicide).

In 1912, doctors suspected Katia Mann of tuberculosis , which necessitated a longer stay in a sanatorium in Davos . When Thomas Mann visited her there, he was impressed by the atmosphere of the sanatorium and fascinated by the amusing descriptions his wife gave him about the clinic's clientele. They inspired him to write his novel The Magic Mountain , which he began in 1913 but only completed in 1924.

1914 to 1929

First World War

Thomas Mann's summer villa
in Bad Tölz
Reconstruction of Thomas Mann's villa in the Herzogpark district of Munich

In 1914 the Mann family moved to Poschingerstraße 1 at Herzogpark . When the First World War broke out in the same year , there were many writers who did not contradict the euphoric mood , especially among bourgeois circles in the German Reich - on the contrary: the beginning of the war was welcomed and cheered. Even Alfred Kerr , Robert Musil , Richard Dehmel and Gerhart Hauptmann were convinced by its authorization. Thomas Mann's opinion is presented in the following quotes.

In his story of the First World War, Jörn Leonhard quotes the children's memory of the father's words that “a fiery sword will probably appear in the sky” and his memory of Leo Tolstoy , the “representative of radical non-violence” (Leonhard ): "Strange, but if the old man was still alive, he didn't need to do anything, just be there on Yasnaya Polyana - this would not have happened - it would not have dared to happen."

Thomas Mann wrote to his brother Heinrich: “I personally have to prepare myself for a complete change in the material basis of my life. If the war is long, I will almost certainly be what is called 'ruined'. ”And he goes on later:“ In God's name! What does that mean against the upheavals, especially the mental ones, which such events must lead to on a large scale! Don't you have to be grateful for the completely unexpected, to be able to experience such great things? "Thomas Mann considered the war to be necessary in principle, as from his point of view it was necessary to" smash " the" most rejected police state in the world ", Tsarist Russia .

In his thoughts during the war - reflections on the subject of the war - the poet defended his militaristic classmates. In keeping with the imperialist zeitgeist of the time, he also wrote: "The equilibrium of Europe [...] was the impotence of Europe, had been its embarrassment, more than once ..." The contact with Heinrich, who like Stefan Zweig , Arthur Schnitzler , When he wrote to Romain Rolland and later also Hermann Hesse against the chauvinistic ideas of 1914 that determined public opinion , he had since broken off completely. He dealt in detail with the intellectual currents of the war and pre-war periods in his extensive work, Considerations of an Unpolitical , in which he explains the difference between the German pessimistic self-irony of the spirit with simultaneous love of life on the one hand, and the Romanesque radicalism of the spirit or of life on the other hand tries to work out. In contrast to his own understanding as a German bourgeois artist, his brother Heinrich is a Francophile “civilization writer”.

Shortly after going to press (late 1918), however, Mann was increasingly distancing itself from this phase of his political thought.

Weimar Republic

Thomas Mann in the Hotel Adlon , Berlin 1929

The assassination of the Reich Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau on June 24, 1922 was one of the reasons for Mann's decision to publicly stand up for the Weimar Republic and its values. With his speech Von deutscher Republik (The German Republic) he emerged for the first time as a political admonisher and advocate of the new form of government. Democracy and humanity , so Mann, are one, and since man should follow the principle of humanity, he must strive for a democratic coexistence. He also became a member of the liberal democratic German Democratic Party . He also joined the committee of the Pan-European Union .

In 1924 Mann published his novel The Magic Mountain . It was an instant hit. This was followed by Disorder and Early Suffering and About Marriage . In 1925 he began working on the tetralogy Joseph and his brothers . The young people, whom the writer felt enchanted, were the model for the contours of Joseph. Also the then seventeen-year-old Klaus Heuser († 1994), the son of Werner Heuser , and a friend of his children, whom Thomas Mann had met in Kampen on Sylt in 1927 and about whom he noted that it was his "last passion as far as humanly possible", may have flowed into the figure of Joseph.

As a founding member of the Poetry Section at the Prussian Academy of the Arts, Thomas Mann took part directly in attempts to raise the reputation of literature. In particular, he turned against the then applicable law for the protection of young people from trash and dirty writing, which restricted freedom of writing.

Even when he was no longer active in Lübeck, he often returned there. Like Fritz Behn and Hermann Abendroth , both of whom had been sponsored by Ida Boy-Ed like him in Lübeck , Mann was one of the invited guests to the city's 700th anniversary in 1926. The high point of the festival on June 6, 1926 coincided with his 51st birthday. The former patron invited them to their apartment at the castle gate , from where they watched the procession . Afterwards, they celebrated Thomas Mann's birthday, which she organized.

In a speech on November 30, 1926 in the Munich Tonhalle, Thomas Mann sharply criticized Munich's cultural scene. The city reacted quickly and set up a committee to promote literature - in early 1927 Thomas Mann was appointed to the newly established literary advisory council of the city of Munich together with Catherina Godwin , Hans Ludwig Held , Hans von Gumppenberg , Emil Preetorius , Peter Dörfler and Wilhelm Weigand . After Gumppenberg's death in 1928, Benno Rüttenauer was employed for Gumppenberg . The advisory board supported writers by awarding printing grants and by the City of Munich 's Poet Prize, which was founded in 1928 at the suggestion of Thomas Mann . Thomas Mann was initially confident, but from 1929 onwards the influence of the political right became increasingly noticeable, and he was less and less able to assert himself with his proposals.

Nobel Prize 1929

Thomas Mann's summer house on "Mother-in-Law" in Nidden , Lithuania

The Nobel Prize in Literature came as no surprise to Mann. Years before it had been speculated that he could get it, he himself had been hoping for it as early as 1927. On the afternoon of November 12, 1929, the news reached him from Stockholm . He was shocked that the committee was practically only referring to his first novel. Responsible for this was primarily the influential Stockholm “kingmaker”, the Swede Fredrik Böök , who was unable to show appreciation for the novel The Magic Mountain and had panned it several times . The prize money was 200,000 Reichsmarks . Mann used part of it to pay off the debts of his children Klaus and Erika after their world tour. In addition, the construction of the summer house in Nida , which has been maintained as a Thomas Mann cultural center since 1996, on the part of the Curonian Spit belonging to Lithuania and two cars were financed, and the rest was built. Back in Stockholm, a journalist had already suggested to the men to “leave the money outside”, but they didn't understand why. When they emigrated from Germany in 1933, they lost a large part of their assets, namely their real estate and other property.

1930 to 1944

"German speech"

"German Speech", original brochure from the first print from 1930
Thomas Mann, 1932

The 1930 Reichstag elections gave the National Socialists a huge increase in votes. Thomas Mann, who, like many other skeptics, had observed the growing political influence of the NSDAP with suspicion, decided to appeal to reason , a speech that he gave on October 17, 1930 in the Berlin Beethoven Hall and which was called " German Speech "went down in history. Arnolt Bronnen , the brothers Ernst and Friedrich Georg Jünger and about a dozen National Socialists who tried in vain to interfere with heckling had mingled with the predominantly republican and social democratic audience .

Thomas Mann called National Socialism soberly frankly "a huge wave of eccentric barbarism and primitive, mass-democratic carnival brutality" with "mass cramps, booth bells, hallelujah and dervish repetition of monotonous catchphrases until everything foams at the mouth". He asked whether this was German and whether "the ideal of a primitive, blood-pure, simple-hearted and intellectual, hacking, blue-eyed obedient and staunch honesty, this perfect national simplicity in a mature, well-experienced cultural people like the German" could be realized at all. The applause in the hall was great, but it did not get outside. Thomas Mann was one of the most important prominent opponents of National Socialism.

February 1933 marked the 50th anniversary of Richard Wagner's death. Mann received several invitations to give a lecture on the occasion. On February 10, he held this ( Richard Wagner's suffering and greatness ) first in the Auditorium Maximum of the University of Munich, and on the following day he went on a longer trip abroad with his wife: The lecture tour took them to Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, followed by an introduction Winter vacation in Arosa . Not least at the insistence of Erika and Klaus Mann, they should not return to Munich from this trip. When all members of the Poetry Section at the Prussian Academy of the Arts were asked to declare their loyalty to the National Socialist government, Mann declared his resignation in a letter to the Academy President Max von Schillings on March 17, 1933.

On the day of the book burning , May 10, 1933, Thomas Mann was expelled from the Munich Literature Advisory Board. His works were spared the book burning, but not those of his brother Heinrich and his son Klaus.

First years in exile

The decision to turn their backs on Germany was not an easy one for the men. Among other things, they had to leave their property behind. Only a part of it could later be transported to Switzerland via detours. However, there were no financial bottlenecks because the family was able to transfer a considerable part of the Nobel Prize money and cash from Germany to Switzerland in good time. Thomas Mann's publisher had pleaded with him not to leave the Germans alone during this difficult hour and had agreed to continue publishing his new publications.

In an official letter from the German embassy in Bern, Ernst von Weizsäcker speaks in 1936 of "scornful remarks" by Thomas Mann and expresses "no concerns about initiating the expatriation procedure now"

The first stop of the exile was Sanary-sur-Mer in France. After considering whether to settle in Paris , Basel or Zurich, the Manns finally moved to Switzerland and lived in Küsnacht near Zurich. The writer's freedom of movement was reduced because his German passport expired and the National Socialists made its extension dependent on Mann's personal appearance in Munich. A “ protective custody warrant ” was already waiting for him there. The expatriation procedure , which affected all celebrities who had emigrated since August 1933, was initially suspended in his case. However, the tax authorities took the opportunity to confiscate his house and inventory in Munich. They relied on publishing contracts from which the writer had a substantial tax liability for the years 1929–1930.

In 1934 and 1935, the Manns made the first two trips to the United States . There was great interest in the prominent writer; the authorities granted him entry without a valid passport. Thomas Mann celebrated his sixtieth birthday in Küsnacht, and it was celebrated overwhelmingly by the Swiss. On November 19, 1936, he was granted Czechoslovak citizenship for Proseč at his request . In the diary he noted to just "strange event." A few weeks later was it - a German citizen - at the same time with his wife Katia and children Golo, Elizabeth and Michael disallowed . According to the findings of an independent historians' commission , the expatriation procedure was favored by the opinion of the then envoy Ernst von Weizsäcker , who in a letter from Bern in May 1936 spoke out in favor of it, because Thomas Mann, in addition to "scornful remarks, [even] hostile propaganda against the Reich Abroad ”. At the same time, on December 19, 1936 , the University of Bonn revoked the honorary doctorate that had been awarded to him in 1919.

In the 1930s, Mann visited Hungary six times and lived there with Count Lajos Hatvany in Hatvan near Budapest, among others . Here he published several texts in the German-language newspaper Pester Lloyd , founded in 1854 , such as the 1936 essay Achtung, Europa!

In personal correspondence during this time, he expressed his hopes for the success of the Popular Front governments in France ( Front populaire ) and Spain ( Frente Popular ) . He also called the Stalin Constitution of 1936 "acceptable".

"Where I am is Germany"

Princeton University (New Jersey)

The final move of Thomas Mann and his family to the USA coincided with the Berchtesgaden Agreement , which was supposed to lead to the annexation of Austria to the Nazi state in March 1938 . When he arrived in New York on February 21, 1938, reporters asked him to comment on this development and asked him whether he found exile a heavy burden. His answer was printed in the New York Times the next day :

“It is hard to bear. But what makes it easier is the realization of the poisoned atmosphere in Germany. That makes it easier because it's actually no loss. Where I am, there is Germany. I carry my German culture in me. I have contact with the world and I do not consider myself to fall. "

“It's hard to take. But what makes it easier is to visualize the poisoned atmosphere that prevails in Germany. That makes it easier because in reality you are not losing anything. Germany is where I am. I carry my German culture within me. I live in contact with the world and I do not see myself as a fallen person. "

The first stop in exile in the USA was Princeton. Thomas Mann was mediated by his patroness Agnes E. Meyer , a visiting professor at the local university . Four lectures were on his curriculum with the self-chosen topics Faust by Goethe, Wagner , Freud and an introduction to the magic mountain .

The first year in the United States was successful. He was financially secure, his works sold well, he went on several reading tours, met important people and received five honorary doctorates ( Columbia , Hobart , Princeton , Rutgers and Yale ). On June 6, 1939 he started his last trip to Europe for the time being. At the same time he was working on his novel about Goethe, which he finished in October 1939 and which appeared in Weimar under the title Lotte in the same year .

"German listeners!"

The outbreak of World War II on September 1, 1939, caused consternation at home and abroad and prompted Thomas Mann, who was currently in Sweden, to take numerous actions. He was a member of several committees that supported emigrants, including the Unitarian Service Committee and the Committee for Jewish and Christian Refugees . In October 1940 he began writing the lyrics for his radio show “ Deutsche Hörer! "Aired at monthly intervals, his warning and emotional speeches were from March 1941 in California on board recorded and the airmail brought to New York. They were transmitted by cable from there to London , where the BBC broadcast the five- to eight-minute recordings via longwave in the German Reich. The Allies tied these attempts to break the monopoly of the German broadcasting corporation from outside into their general information policy and propaganda against the Third Reich and its people.

War leaflet with an article by Thomas Mann, 1943

Mann donated the proceeds from the program to the British War Relief Fund . One of his most famous speeches is the broadcast on January 14, 1945:

“If this war were over! If the horrible people who brought Germany here had only been removed and one could begin with a new beginning of life, with clearing away the ruins, internal and external, with the gradual reconstruction, with a sensible reconciliation with the other peoples and a to think dignified coexistence with them! - Is that what you want? Do I express your longing? I think it. You are fed up with death, destruction, chaos, however much your most secretive may have longed for it at times. You want order and life, a new way of life, no matter how gloomy and difficult it will be for years to come. "

It was not for nothing that Mann chose such an apocalyptic language . However, he also turned Hitler and his helpers, who later became known as “ Paladins ”, into jokes in vicious parts of the radio speeches in order to avoid excessive demonization: “Well then, the war is terrible, but it has the advantage that it Prevents Hitler from delivering cultural speeches. ”In the speeches, moral and civil-social distancing often alternated.

Thomas Mann was one of only a few publicly active opponents of National Socialism whom the German dictator specifically addressed in his inflammatory speeches. Mann reciprocated with allusions to the rhetorical weaknesses of the "Führer" and emphasized the correctness of his own predictions:

“German listeners! [...] With my weak strength I tried to hold back what had to come [...] - the war in which your lying leaders blame Jews and English and Freemasons and God knows who, while it was certain for everyone who could see the moment when they came to power and began to build the machine with which they intended to crush freedom and justice. "

The ones under the name of German listeners! The radio broadcasts that had become famous provided a lot of discussion material in Germany after the war. While some claimed that Thomas Mann had suggested a collective guilt of all Germans in his speeches , others were of the opinion that he had only been very harshly judged with the mentality of the Weimar Republic and the social climate in the first years of National Socialism.

Life confession

Thomas Mann House, Pacific Palisades (2006)

In 1941 the Manns moved to Pacific Palisades , north of Los Angeles / California between Santa Monica and Malibu. There they lived in a rented house on Amalfi Drive from April 8, 1942, before moving into a specially built house on San Remo Drive on February 5, 1942. It was threatened with demolition as a sales object in mid-2016, which led to an online petition for its preservation on behalf of the Society for Exile Research , in which Herta Müller , among others, participated: The house should be "a place of remembrance of the history of exile, become a place of intellectual, social and cultural exchange. ”The Federal Republic of Germany acquired the property for this purpose. It was opened as the Thomas Mann House in June 2018 as a cultural center.

The citizenship of the United States earned Thomas Mann until 1944. In between 1943 and 1947 - interrupted in 1946 by a severe lung disease who was treated surgically in Chicago - working man at Doctor Faustus . For this project, he had studied musicological textbooks and biographies on Mozart , Beethoven , Berlioz , Hugo Wolf and Alban Berg in advance . He made contact with contemporary composers such as Stravinsky , Hanns Eisler and Arnold Schönberg in order to be instructed in musical composition . He learned a lot from Adorno , who was living in the neighborhood at the time. He was happy to advise him in detail, which Thomas Mann himself accounts for in his autobiographical report The Origin of Doctor Faustus - A Novel , and which Katia Mann also reports in her unwritten memoir . Documentary and historiographical information from Luther's time and the Thirty Years' War were just as much part of the preparation of the novel as Grimmelshausen , collections of proverbs from the Middle Ages and specialist literature on Nietzsche. He called the book his “life confession” and wrote to Paul Amann on October 21, 1948: “Zeitblom is a parody of myself. In Adrian's mood there is more of my own than one should believe - and should believe. "

In California, Mann also found access to the North American Unitarians , of which he became a member. Thomas Mann - previously a Lutheran - valued the Unitarians above all as a religious community without dogmatic foundations, whereby he was closer to Christian-oriented Unitarianism than more recent humanistic approaches. Mann also appeared as a guest speaker in the pulpit and arranged for Frido and his granddaughter Angelica to be baptized in the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles in the spring of 1942 , whereby he himself acted as godfather.

1945 to 1955

Relationship to post-war Germany

Mann had driven a wedge between himself and influential literary and journalistic circles in western post-war Germany: In his open letter to Walter von Molo, Why I'm Not Returning to Germany, he advocated the thesis of the collective guilt of Germans. Threatening letters and criticism from his Doctor Faustus were the result. He commented on the bombing of German cities during the Second World War with the words: “Everything has to be paid for.” A few years had to pass before the West German public regained a more conciliatory attitude towards Thomas Mann.

Return to Europe

Thomas Mann's house in Kilchberg on Lake Zurich (2009)
Dutch newsreel 1947: Thomas Mann addresses the Dutch.

After the death of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, and especially since the beginning of the Cold War in 1947 , Thomas Mann was increasingly disappointed by US policy . His decision to return to Europe was first recorded in his diary in December 1949. It solidified when in June 1951 before the House of Representatives in Congress it was described as “ one of the world's foremost apologists for Stalin and company ” (German: “one of the world's most important defenders of Stalin and comrades”). He (like the German emigrants Hanns Eisler and Bertolt Brecht before) had to give an account of his activities to the committee for un-American activities . Exactly one year later, in June 1952, the Manns returned to Switzerland with their daughter Erika. In his diary he spoke of a "repeated emigration". There they first moved into a rented house in Erlenbach near Zurich and then lived from 1954 in the purchased villa in Kilchberg , Alte Landstrasse 39, above Lake Zurich.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S86717, Thomas Mann in Weimar.jpg
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S86748, Thomas Mann in Weimar.jpg

Man visiting Weimar, July 31 and August 1, 1949

Thomas Mann had already paid a visit to Germany in 1949 to celebrate Goethe's 200th birthday. He visited Frankfurt am Main ( Trizone ) and Weimar ( SBZ ), which was viewed with suspicion by the West German public, but was commented by Mann with the sentence: “I don't know any zones. My visit is to Germany itself, Germany as a whole, and not an area of ​​occupation. ”In Frankfurt he received the West German Goethe Prize . In Weimar he met Johannes R. Becher , President of the Kulturbund and later Minister of Culture of the GDR, and Colonel Tjulpanow , head of the SMAD's information department , and he was awarded the East German Goethe National Prize. The entire trip, which also took him to Stuttgart and the destroyed Munich, was under police protection, as there had been a few threatening letters in advance. Ultimately, however, he was enthusiastically received and his Frankfurt speech on Goethe and Democracy was broadcast via loudspeaker from the Paulskirche to the forecourt, where other listeners were standing. Thomas Mann donated the prize money of the Frankfurt honor to penniless writers, the sum of the Weimar Prize for the reconstruction of the Herder Church there .

Thomas Mann is hugged by his daughter Erika during the Schiller ceremony in Weimar after being appointed honorary member of the German Academy of the Arts (GDR). Left in the background: Victor Klemperer . (Photo: Horst Sturm , May 14, 1955)

The visits to Germany from Switzerland became a permanent fixture. In 1953 Thomas Mann accepted the honorary presidency of the German Schiller Foundation in Weimar ( GDR ). In 1954 he continued the work he had begun in 1909 on the novel The Confessions of the Impostor Felix Krull - which ultimately remained a fragment due to his near death.

On the 150th anniversary of Friedrich Schiller's death in 1955, Mann published the essay attempt on Schiller and gave the speeches at the festivities; first in Stuttgart and on May 14, 1955 in Weimar. On this day he was presented with the certificate of honorary member of the German Academy of the Arts .

On May 20, 1955, he visited his hometown Lübeck for the last time and was granted honorary citizenship during this stay . In his acceptance speech he referred to his father, the city's former senator: “I can say that his image has always been in the background of everything I do, and I have always regretted that I gave him so little hope in his lifetime could, I would like to become something remarkable in the world. The deeper is the satisfaction with which it fills me that I was allowed to honor my origins and this city, albeit in an unusual way. "

Thomas Mann is buried on August 16, 1955, Kilchberg cemetery
Kilchberg cemetery: grave of Thomas, Katia, Erika, Monika, Michael and Elisabeth Mann, 2005

In July 1955 the couple stayed in the Dutch seaside resort of Noordwijk . On July 18, Thomas Mann mentioned a drawing pain in his left leg to his wife for the first time, which had "recently flown to him" and which is now beginning to be a nuisance to him. The doctors consulted diagnosed a leg vein thrombosis and prescribed bed rest. On July 23, he returned prematurely to Zurich for further treatment. In the canton hospital, his condition improved for a short time. Looking forward to his return to Kilchberg, he wrote to Theodor W. Adorno : “Pazienza! It is the Magic Mountain time that I entered. ”However, within a few days there was a steady deterioration: he lost weight and increasingly suffered from poor circulation. On August 12, 1955, Thomas Mann died at the age of eighty in the Zurich Cantonal Hospital of a rupture of the lower abdominal artery ( aorta abdominalis ) as a result of arteriosclerosis .

Numerous mourners from Germany and abroad attended the funeral at Kilchberg cemetery on August 16. As one of the long-time companions of the deceased, Carl Zuckmayer wrote in his words of farewell : “At this coffin, the mind of the day falls silent. A life has come true that was devoted to just one subject: the work of the German language, the continuation of the European spirit. "

Narrative work and stylistic features

Thomas Mann tied in with the narrative techniques of the 19th century, above all with the sweeping gesture of Tolstoy and the symbols and leitmotifs in Theodor Fontane and Richard Wagner's work . Characteristic of Thomas Mann's prose are irony and “cheerful ambiguity ”. Up to Der Zauberberg (1924), psychological perspicacity and insight predominated. Then, in the “second half” of the complete work, mythological motifs and religious themes were created. In addition, Thomas Mann left an important essay work. His narrative style, which is highly interwoven with clauses and insertions, preserves rhythm and balance, language and tone are adapted to the respective topic.

Thomas Mann has written eight novels of very different sizes:

  • With his first novel, Buddenbrooks , he created a work of world literature for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1929; In it he processed his family history as the history of the decline of the bourgeoisie and immortalized his home town Lübeck without naming it. Thomas Mann himself is part of the plot in the character of Hanno Buddenbrook .
  • The novel Your Royal Highness is conceived as an autobiographical fairy tale.
  • The novel The Magic Mountain , which was explicitly not mentioned at the Nobel Prize ceremony, although it was published five years ago, was planned as a humorous counterpart to death in Venice , with the fascination of love and death. Similar to the Buddenbrooks , a history of decline is artistically designed , counter to a classic Bildungsroman ; but now no longer from an attitude of romantic-nostalgic irony, but from an attitude of critical irony. In the dialogues and disputes between the characters in the novel there is a discerning diagnosis of the times.
  • The tetralogy Joseph and his brothers kept Thomas Mann himself for his most important work. It was created between 1926 and 1943, i.e. for the most part during the National Socialist era . With her, Mann wanted to create an oriental and cheerful counter-epic to Richard Wagner's gloomy Nordic Nibelung myth based on the Old Testament story of Joseph ( Gen 37-50) . At the same time, in the figure of Joseph, who came to power in Egypt, he commemorates the politics of the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom he admired .
  • Lotte in Weimar . The Goethe novel was written between the third and fourth volumes of the Joseph tetralogy. He designed a late reunion (1816) between Goethe and Charlotte Kestner, née. Buff (Werthers Lotte) from different perspectives, not least from the perspective of Goethe, in whose inner monologue towards the end of the novel Thomas Mann incorporates aspects of his own view of art and life, love and spirit.
  • The novel Doktor Faustus was written between 1943 and 1947. In it the narrator Serenus Zeitblom describes the life story of the composer Adrian Leverkühn against the background of the Second World War, which he places symbolically in relation to German history. Nietzsche's biography provided the material and Theodor W. Adorno provided the musical basis, especially the description of modern twelve-tone music .
  • The old work The Elected is Thomas Mann's shortest novel and lives from the tension between the legend Gregorius, designed by Hartmann von Aue in a medieval verse epic, and its modern rendering.
  • The fragmentary novel Confessions of the impostor Felix Krull is a kind of picaresque novel and occupies an exceptional role in the poet's opus.

Among the large number of novellas are particularly noteworthy: Tristan , Tonio Kröger , Death in Venice and Mario and the Magician .

The works of Thomas Mann (apart from the considerations of an apolitical , which arose during the First World War and in the opinion of the author are to be regarded as a "aberration" anyway) have the following things in common:

  • The already mentioned "grave-mischievous" style that is characteristic of Mann and very popular with readers, with ostensible solemnity and an underlying ironic humor, mostly benevolent, never drastic or bitter and only rarely degenerating into macabre. This irony is tempered in the Buddenbrooks by adding Low German to the family. In Doctor Faustus , Thomas Mann strikes a predominantly serious tone in view of the horror of war, although there, too, the critical irony does not entirely recede.
  • Home ties: Lübeck ( Buddenbrooks , Tonio Kröger ), Munich ( Gladius Dei , Beim Propheten , Disorder and Early Suffering ), Davos (The Magic Mountain) and Germany in general (Doctor Faustus) are in the foreground of important works.
  • Music already plays a central role in Buddenbrooks and Tristan , and the main role in Doctor Faustus .
  • Homoerotic aspects particularly characterize the story Death in Venice .
  • In addition to homoerotic aspects, metaphors for incest and sadomasochism also appear in Mann's work .
  • For Thomas Mann, the mutual relationship between art and life is central: ambiguity as a system - Thomas Mann's demands on art .
  • Conscientiousness: Thomas Mann always wrote his works only after long and thorough research into the facts.
  • Political engagement: This - mostly indirect - engagement runs through many of his works, from Buddenbrooks to Mario and the Magician to Doctor Faustus . In contrast to his brother Heinrich and his children Erika and Klaus, Thomas Mann was sometimes a bit “genteel above things”, while these were more “ left ” from the start .

Self-reflection and reception


Thomas Mann's desk in the replica study of the Thomas Mann Archive at ETH Zurich (former archive location in the Bodmerhaus)
Ludwig von Hofmann : The Source (1913). Mann bought the painting in 1914. It hung in his study until his death and is currently part of the holdings of the Thomas Mann Archive at ETH Zurich

Thomas Mann wrote a diary all his life . After his hasty emigration to Switzerland, the diaries remained in Munich in 1933, and Thomas Mann feared that they would fall into the hands of the National Socialists. The diaries were rescued to Switzerland by his son Golo in an adventurous operation. Thomas Mann burned all the diaries from before March 1933 in the garden of his house in Pacific Palisades in May 1945. Only the notebooks from the period September 1918 to December 1921 were preserved because the author needed them for his work on Doctor Faustus . The diaries still available and published today cover the periods from September 1918 to December 1921 and from March 1933 to July 1955. Thomas Mann had decreed that the sealed packages with the diaries could only be opened 20 years after his death.

The successive publication began in 1975, the hundredth anniversary of the author's birthday. The audience's expectations were correspondingly high. Since the text of the diaries turned out to be "unliterary" and was far removed from the linguistic level of the works, the publication was often disappointed. That was not really surprising, since Thomas Mann himself wrote the note Without literary value on his diary collection while in exile in California before he entrusted it to posterity. What was astonishing was that Thomas Mann's homoerotic tendency was very clearly revealed here; for the central role in his life, which the author, according to the diary, attached to his love for young men, had previously not been inferred either from the work or from other known utterances.

The main meaning of the diaries, however, is not so much to convey a private picture of the writer and insights into his psyche, but rather to convey his intellectual and scientific background, to document the genesis of his work and to give indications of intended effects. Critics have described the diaries as both numb and apathetic as well as vain and narcissistic .

In a diary note from September 15, 1950, the author again plays with the idea of ​​burning his diaries. The reaction of the remaining family members was generally cautious. The youngest son Michael Mann seemed to have suffered particularly from the attitude of his father towards him, which became clear in the diaries. It is controversial whether his death at the turn of the year 1976/1977 was related to his work on his father's diaries.


The life and work of Thomas Mann was controversial even during his lifetime and remained so after his death.

Mann's works do not come from mere creativity, but are often the result of years of daily, disciplined detailed work. The descriptions in his works often go back to real circumstances; they are rarely fictitious. Their innovative integration, surprising associative linkage and precise linguistic execution form the core of Thomas Mann's work and make his works what is (occasionally disrespectfully) described as " educated bourgeois ".

His literary successes, his conservatism, his upper-class lifestyle and, last but not least, his ability to be incisive polemics contributed to envy and hostility. The relationship with some of his fellow writers was accordingly tense. Robert Musil , highly esteemed by Mann, and Kurt Tucholsky called him a “great writer”, Bertolt Brecht called him a “government-loyal wage clerk of the bourgeoisie”, Alfred Döblin called him the gentleman “who made the crease an art principle”. The fact that he modeled most of his literary characters after real models, partly from his family, partly from his prominent circle of acquaintances, even from the environment of his competitors, did not always win him friends. On the other hand, Mann maintained friendly relationships with, for example, Hermann Hesse , Hermann Broch and Jakob Wassermann .

Thomas Mann's relationship to Judaism was ambivalent. He called himself, however, a philosemite . He advocated the equality of Jews in Western European societies and called their contribution to the cultural life of Europe, “and especially in Germany”, as “indispensable”. In 1921 he described the anti-Semitic student protests against Jewish professors at German universities as a “terrible disgrace”, and opposed the “cultural reaction we are in and of which the swastika nonsense is a crude popular expression”.

The relationship between the National Socialists and Thomas Mann, who had publicly opposed right-wing extremist political tendencies in Germany since the early 1920s, was initially not entirely clear after the Nazis came to power in 1933. In Munich the house and property were confiscated and even a (secret) " protective custody warrant " was issued. In March 1934, however, the novel The Young Joseph was allowed to appear by the Berlin publisher S. Fischer Verlag , which suggests that a return of the internationally renowned Nobel Prize winner Thomas Mann to the German Reich would have suited at least some of the rulers in Berlin into the concept. Mann hesitated for a long time, also out of consideration for the interests of the publisher, to take a public position against the regime. Only after he had brought about the public and clear break with the German rulers in February 1936, not least due to strong pressure from his daughter Erika, with an open letter to Eduard Korrodi in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, were the remaining Munich household items expatriated and auctioned.

In the year of his 100th birthday, it was scientifically examined why a man has no committed students. The literary scholar Peter Pütz takes the view: Mann's effect lies “not in the successor, but in the alternative”. Thomas Mann did not belong to any literary school or current: “[I] have never belonged to a school or coterie that was just on top, neither the naturalistic nor the neo-romantic, neo-classical, symbolistic, expressionistic, or whatever they were called. That’s why I’m never supported by a school, and have rarely been praised by writers [fellow writers]. "

Marcel Reich-Ranicki sums up: “Dozens of writers declared that they were more indifferent to nobody than the author of the Magic Mountain . But they assured it with a voice trembling with anger and probably also with envy. "

Walter Nigg writes about Thomas Mann's attitude towards Nietzsche : “Thomas Mann's contradicting attitude is not too surprising, since the mannered writer had little substance in him. From the Buddenbrooks to the confessions of the impostor Felix Krull , he never got one step beyond the ironic attitude, an attitude that had to fail in relation to the Nietzsche phenomenon. "

The Hungarian writer Sándor Márai , who dealt with Mann's tense relationship with Germany, showed more understanding : “Thomas Mann is German in a way, as if he were in Africa: defiant and loyal, at the same time a little rehearsed, demonstrative, insulted and haughty German . He has something of Mozart - his music - and of Goethe - his role - and of course also a lot from Thomas Mann, who was born a patrician in Lübeck and is now Thomas Mann in Küsnacht near Zurich. He struggles for life and death with what is German about him; wants to keep the German in itself a little alive and at the same time hurt a little to death. [...] It is possible that he is not exactly the ideal German, but certainly the most honest. [...] What a conflict! I bow low to him, and sometimes I feel sorry for him, poor man. "

According to Der Spiegel, Georg Lukács saw Mann as his key witness for his theory that Marxism was the legitimate successor to classical German humanism.


Last word

Thomas Mann Stone in Lübeck

The Thomas-Mann-Stein by the sculptor Ulrich Beier , erected in book form in front of the property of the former birthplace in Lübeck's Breiten Straße in 1975, quotes him with his speech to celebrate the 50th birthday :

“None of us knows how, in what rank he will stand before posterity, before time. If I have one wish for the fame of my work, it is to say that it is life-friendly, although it knows about death. "


Buddenbrooks (1909)

Work editions


Stories and short stories


Essays (selection)

Autobiographical (selection)


Original tape recordings by Thomas Mann, who recited his own works with audible enjoyment, exist of the following works:

  • Confessions of the impostor Felix Krull. ISBN 3-89940-263-4 .
  • Tonio Kroeger
  • The railway accident
  • The wounderchild
  • German listeners! DHV Hörverlag, ISBN 3-89940-398-3 .
  • Experiment about Schiller
  • Difficult hour
  • The chosen
  • About the origins of Buddenbrooks

Film adaptations (selection)


Literature (selection)

Catalog raisonnés

  • Hans Bürgin : The work of Thomas Mann. A bibliography. With the collaboration of Walter A. Reichert and Erich Neumann. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1959. (Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1980, ISBN 3-596-21470-X ).
  • Georg Potempa : Thomas Mann Bibliography. Collaboration with Gert Heine. Cicero Presse, Morsum / Sylt 1992, ISBN 3-89120-007-2 .
  • Hans-Peter Haack: first editions Thomas Manns. A bibliographic atlas. Collaboration with Sebastian Kiwitt. Antiquarian Dr. Haack, Leipzig 2011, ISBN 978-3-00-031653-1 . ( Cover picture )


Secondary literature

  • Michael Ansel, Hans-Edwin Friedrich, Gerhard Lauer (eds.): The invention of the writer Thomas Mann. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2009, ISBN 978-3-11-020136-9 .
  • Heinz Ludwig Arnold (Ed.): Thomas Mann. text + criticism , special issue. 2nd extended edition edition text + kritik, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-88377-124-4 .
  • Maurice Blanchot : Thomas Mann. Encounters with the demon. Edited and translated from French by Marco Gutjahr, Turia + Kant, Vienna / Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-85132-839-4 .
  • Andreas Blödorn, Friedhelm Marx (ed.): Thomas Mann manual. Life - work - effect. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2015, ISBN 978-3-476-02456-5 .
  • Karl Werner Böhm: Between self-discipline and desire. Thomas Mann and the stigma of homosexuality. Studies on early work and youth. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1991, ISBN 3-88479-558-9 .
  • Jacques Darmaun: Thomas Mann, Germany and the Jews. Niemeyer, Tübingen 2003, ISBN 3-484-65140-7 .
  • Heinrich Detering : Thomas Mann's American Religion. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2012, ISBN 978-3-10-014204-7 .
  • Joachim Fest : The ignorant magicians - About Thomas and Heinrich Mann. Siedler, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-442-75535-2 .
  • Manfred Görtemaker : Thomas Mann and politics. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-10-028710-X .
  • Sebastian Hansen: Considerations of a Political. Thomas Mann and German Politics 1914–1933. Wellem Verlag, Duisburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-941820-34-0 .
  • Volkmar Hansen (ed.): Thomas Mann, novels and stories. Interpretations. Reclam, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-15-008810-0 .
  • Gert Heine, Paul Schommer: Thomas Mann Chronicle. Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-465-03235-7 .
  • Erich Heller : Thomas Mann. The ironic German. Frankfurt am Main 1959.
  • Malte Herwig : educated citizens on the wrong track. Natural science in the work of Thomas Mann. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-465-03352-3 .
  • Martina Hoffschulte: “German listeners!” Thomas Mann's radio speeches (1940 to 1945) in the context of the work. With an appendix: sources and materials. Telos-Verlag, Münster, ISBN 3-933060-11-7 .
  • Thomas Klugkist: 49 questions and answers about Thomas Mann. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-10-042219-8 .
  • Helmut Koopmann (Ed.): Thomas Mann Handbook. Kröner, Stuttgart 1990, ISBN 3-520-82801-4 . (3rd updated edition 2001, ISBN 3-520-82803-0 ; published by Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-596-16610-1 ).
  • Tobias Kurwinkel: Apollonian outsiders. Configurations of Thomas Mann's “basic motif” in narrative texts and film adaptations of the early work. With an unpublished letter from Golo Mann about the making of the film adaptation “Der kleine Herr Friedemann”. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-8260-4624-7 .
  • Hermann Kurzke : Thomas Mann. Epoch - work - effect. Beck, Munich 1985, ISBN 3-406-30870-8 . (4th, revised and updated edition (with the assistance of Karsten Stefan Lorek) 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-60831-5 ).
  • Karl-Josef Kuschel, Frido Mann, Paulo Astor Soethe: Motherland. The Mann family and Brazil. Artemis & Winkler, Düsseldorf 2009, ISBN 978-3-538-07293-0 .
  • Hans Mayer : Thomas Mann. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main. 1980, ISBN 3-518-03633-5 .
  • Volker Mertens : The secret is big. Thomas Mann and the music. Militzke, Leipzig 2006, ISBN 3-86189-747-4 .
  • Georges Motschan: Thomas Mann - experienced up close. Matussek-Verlag Nettetal 1988, ISBN 3-920743-16-4 .
  • Friedrich Ernst Peters : Thomas Mann and Romanticism. 1926. [with a letter from Mann to Peters dated March 19, 1929], published posthumously: Universitätsverlag Potsdam, Potsdam 2013.
  • Jürgen H. Petersen: Reading Faustus. A pamphlet on Thomas Mann's late novel. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-8260-3671-2 .
  • Ulrich Raulff ; Ellen Strittmatter (Ed.): Thomas Mann in America. Marbacher Magazin, 163/64. German Schiller Society, Marbach am Neckar 2018, ISBN 978-3-944469-41-6 .
  • Marcel Reich-Ranicki : Thomas Mann and his people. DVA, Stuttgart 1987, ISBN 3-421-06364-8 . (Edition expanded by eight articles: 2005, ISBN 3-421-05864-4 ).
  • Joachim Rickes: The novel art of the young Thomas Mann. "Buddenbrooks" and "Your Royal Highness". Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2006, ISBN 3-8260-3219-5 .
  • Günter Rohrmoser : Decadence and Apocalypse. Thomas Mann as a diagnostician for the German bourgeoisie. Society for Cultural Studies, Bietigheim / Baden 2005, ISBN 3-930218-35-6 .
  • Angelika Schaller: Thomas Mann - homo patiens. In: Dominik Groß , Monika Reininger (Hrsg.): Medicine in history, philology and ethnology. Festschrift for Gundolf Keil. Würzburg 2003, ISBN 3-8260-2176-2 , pp. 333-348. (On Thomas Mann's relationship to doctors, health, disease, suffering and death.)
  • Sibylle Schulze-Berge: cheerfulness in exile. An aesthetic principle at Thomas Mann. On the poetics of the cheerful in the middle and late work of Thomas Mann. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2006, ISBN 3-8260-3232-2 .
  • Kurt Sontheimer : Thomas Mann and the Germans. Nymphenburger Verlagshandlung, Munich 1961; Revised new edition: Langen Müller, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-7844-2861-4 .
  • Jochen Strobel : Disenchantment of the nation. The representation of Germany in Thomas Mann's work. (Dissertation Technical University Dresden 1997.) Thelem, Dresden 2000, ISBN 3-933592-01-1 .
  • Tobias Temming: "Brother Hitler"? On the political importance of Thomas Mann. Essays and speeches from exile. Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Berlin, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-86573-377-1 .
  • Hans Rudolf Vaget: Soul Magic. Thomas Mann and the music. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 3-10-087003-4 .



The database of the Thomas Mann Collection Dr. Hans-Otto Mayer (donation from Rudolf Groth) in the University and State Library in Düsseldorf continuously records monographs and essays from anthologies and specialist journals as well as newspaper articles on the subject of "Thomas Mann and his Family". The database contains over 28,100 bibliographic records from primary and secondary literature and is continuously updated. The database is freely accessible on the Internet pages of the University and State Library in Düsseldorf.

Web links

Commons : Thomas Mann  - album with pictures, videos and audio files


About man

Original sound

References and comments

  1. The Brockhaus. Universal dictionary in 20 volumes . tape 11 . FA Brockhaus, Leipzig 2007, p. 4731 .
  2. ^ Gert Heine, Paul Schommer: Thomas Mann Chronicle . Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main. 2004, ISBN 3-465-03235-7 , pp. 331 .
  3. The one in Viktor Mann's We were five. The family tree published in a portrait of the Mann family shows where the grandparents came from. The father came from the canton of Glarus on his mother's side (Hans Marti died in the Swabian War in 1499 ) and on his father's side from Franconia , the mother on his father's side from "boatmen from the north" and on the mother's side from "farmers from Portugal " who emigrated to Brazil .
  4. Peter J. Brenner: Thomas Mann - a virtuoso of half education . In: Universitas . tape 68 , no. 5 , 2013, ISSN  0041-9079 , p. 5–6 ( online proof ).
  5. Viktor Mann: We were five. P. 30.
  6. Stephan Stachorski: Thomas Mann. In: Michael Fröhlich (Ed.): Das Kaiserreich. Portrait of an Era in Biographies. Primus Verlag, Darmstadt 2001, ISBN 3-89678-400-5 , pp. 443-453, pp. 444 f.
  7. Stefan Breuer : The "Twentieth Century" and the Mann brothers. In: Manfred Dierks, Ruprecht Wimmer (Ed.): Thomas Mann and Judaism. Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 75-95, pp. 92 f.
  8. See also Rolf Thiede: Stereotypes from the Jews. The early writings of Heinrich and Thomas Mann. On the anti-Semitic discourse of modernity and the attempt to overcome it. Metropol, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-926893-35-4 , pp. 55-80.
  9. Marcel Reich-Ranicki : Thomas Mann and his own. 1987, ISBN 3-421-06364-8 , p. 122.
  10. ↑ In 1915 he stopped working on it.
  11. Jörn Leonhard : Pandora's box. History of the First World War. Chapter I: Inheritance: The First World War and the long 19th century Europe. CH Beck, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-66191-4 .
  12. Th. Mann: Friedrich and the grand coalition. 1915, p. 121 f .; A. Gasser: Preussischer Militärgeist und Kriegsentfesselung 1914. 1985, p. 77.
  13. ^ Thomas spokesman, Ruprecht Wimmer (ed.): Thomas Mann yearbook. Volume 20. ISBN 978-3-465-03537-4 , p. 86.
  14. Rubric: To our pictures. In: Von Lübeck's Towers , Volume 36, No. 14, Issue of June 26, 1926, p. 60.
  15. Dirk Heißerer (Ed.): Thomas Mann in Munich . Volume V: Lectures 2007–2009 . Peniope, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-936609-46-2 .
  16. The wording of the Nobel Prize acknowledgment stated that he was being awarded the prize “primarily for his great novel 'Die Buddenbrooks', which over the years has gained steadily increasing recognition as a classic work of contemporary literature”.
  17. ^ Frank Dietrich Wagner: Appeal to reason. Thomas Mann's German speech and Arnolt Bronnen's national attack in the crisis year 1930. In: Thomas Mann Yearbook. No. 13, 2000, ISBN 3-465-03091-5 , p. 53.
  18. Thomas Mann's books were allowed to appear in Germany until 1936. Only after Mann spoke out against the regime in an open letter to the rector of the University of Bonn and accepted Czechoslovak citizenship, did his entire work appear on the Propaganda Ministry's list of “harmful and undesirable literature” . This is first documented for December 9, 1936. His books were confiscated in German bookshops and the press instructed to remain silent about him.
  19. Klaus Schröter: Thomas Mann . Rowohlt, Hamburg, p. 109 .
  20. Eckart Conze , Norbert Frei , Peter Hayes, Moshe Zimmermann : The office and the past. German diplomats in the Third Reich and in the Federal Republic. Blessing, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-89667-430-2 , p. 85.
  21. ^ After the war, on December 13, 1946, this withdrawal was revoked. See also Pascal Beucker , Anja Krüger: Answer considered. In: , / taz , January 17, 2002.
  22. ^ Letter to Herman Wolf dated July 30, 1936, first published in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . March 21, 2014, p. 14.
  23. per: literary autumn : scientist Heinrich Detering spoke in the old town hall. White spot at Thomas Mann. In: Hannoversche Allgemeine . October 21, 2012, accessed January 7, 2018 .
  24. The texts are printed in Insel-Buch No. 900: Deutsche Hörer 25 [recte: 55] radio broadcasts to Germany. Insel Verlag, Leipzig 1970.
  25. ^ Francis Nenik / Sebastian Stumpf: Seven Palms. The Thomas Mann House in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles . Spector Books, Leipzig 2018, ISBN 978-3-95905-180-4 , pp. 109, 145 .
  26. Peter von Becker : Dispute over Thomas Mann Villa. The great haunted house. In: Der Tagesspiegel . September 1, 2016.
  27. Stefanie de Velasco : Thomas Mann's villa in America: Uncle Tom's hut. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . December 14, 2016.
  28. Quoted from Hubert Mainzer: Thomas Mann's “Doktor Faustus” - a Nietzsche novel? In: active word . Volume 21, 1971, p. 28.
  29. See in detail Heinrich Detering : Thomas Manns American Religion. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2012, ISBN 978-3-10-014204-7 . Meetings with Michael Braun: Not an unbelieving Thomas. In: . November 1, 2012; Religion in Exile: The Unitarian Thomas Mann. In: The world . December 1, 2012.
  30. See on the whole subject Manfred Görtemaker : Thomas Mann und die Politik. Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-10-028710-X , pp. 177-234. The controversies are shown in the following volumes of documents: JF Grosser (Ed.): The Great Controversy. An exchange of letters about Germany. Hamburg 1963; Wigand Lange, Jost Hermand (Ed.): “Do you want Thomas Mann back?” Germany and the emigrants. Europäische Verlags-Anstalt, Hamburg 1999, ISBN 3-434-50441-9 ; Stephan Stachorski (Ed.): Fragile Republic. Thomas Mann and post-war Germany. 2nd edition. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-596-16844-9 .
  31. At the entrance you can see a plaque with the names and residence dates of the Mann family.
  32. ^ Francis Nenik, Sebastian Stumpf: Seven Palms. The Thomas Mann House in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles . Spector Books, Leipzig 2018, ISBN 978-3-95905-180-4 , pp. 278 .
  33. "He was not an academic, he was an artist". A conversation with the writer Frido Mann about his grandparents and their life in the Pacific. In: Ulrich Raulff; Ellen Strittmatter (Ed.): Thomas Mann in America. Marbacher Magazin, 163/64. Deutsche Schillergesellschaft, Marbach am Neckar 2018, pp. 12–22, here p. 21.
  34. Ronald Hayman: Thomas Mann. A biography. Bloomsbury, London 1995, ISBN 0-7475-2531-5 , p. 564 ff.
  35. Georges Motschan: Thomas Mann - experienced up close. Verlag der Buchhandlung Matussek, Nettetal 1988.
  36. ^ Diary October 13, 1953.
  37. ^ Thomas Mann to Hermann Ebers on March 29, 1949.
  39. Including a criticism of the scientific worldview according to Patrick Bahner's lecture by Andreas Kablitz : "The Magic Mountain". The dissection of the world. University Press Winter, Heidelberg 2017; in his report from the Cologne conference of the working group “Text and Textuality” of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation on the relationship between “predication and meaning”.
  40. ^ Mechthild Curtius: Erotic fantasies with Thomas Mann. Koenigstein, 1984.
  41. Arne Hoffmann : Bound in leather. Sadomasochism in world literature. Ubooks, Diedorf 2007, ISBN 978-3-86608-078-2 , p. 98 ff.
  42. Werner Frizen: Oldenbourg interpretations. Volume 25: Confessions of the impostor Felix Krull. Oldenbourg, 1988, ISBN 3-637-01425-4 , pp. 59-61.
  43. ^ Hans Wolfgang Bellwinkel: Scientific topics in the work of Thomas Mann. In: Würzburg medical history reports. Volume 11, 1993, pp. 351-369, especially pp. 356 and 365-367.
  44. Michael Mann. In: .
  45. For example, it is explicitly known that Thomas Mann apologized in writing to Gerhart Hauptmann for having caricatured him in a recognizable way in the Zauberberg as Mynheer Peeperkorn .
  46. Thomas Mann: The solution of the Jewish question (1907). In: Hermann Kurzke , Stephan Stachorski (Ed.): Thomas Mann: Essays, Volume 1: Spring Storm (1893-1918). 1993, ISBN 3-596-10899-3 .
  47. Thomas Mann: On the Jewish Question (1921). In: Hermann Kurzke , Stephan Stachorski (eds.): Thomas Mann: Essays, Volume 2: For the new Germany (1919–1925). 1993, ISBN 3-596-10900-0
  48. Peter Pütz: Thomas Mann's effect on contemporary German literature. In: Heinz Ludwig Arnold (Hrsg.): Text and criticism . Special volume Thomas Mann. 1976, ISBN 3-921402-22-0 , pp. 135-145, table of contents.
  49. Thomas Mann: My time. Lecture at the University of Chicago, May 1950. Bermann-Fischer / Querido, Amsterdam 1950, p. 20.
  50. Marcel Reich-Ranicki: Review. Essays on German writers from yesterday. DVA, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-421-01908-8 , p. 110.
  51. Walter Nigg: Great Unholy. Diogenes, Zurich 1996, ISBN 3-257-22865-1 , p. 224.
  52. ^ Sándor Márai: The four seasons. Translated from Hungarian and annotated by Ernö Zeltner. Piper, Munich / Zurich 2009, ISBN 978-3-492-25312-3 , p. 68.
  53. LUKACS - Rabbits on the Himalaya , Der Spiegel , December 25, 1963
  54. his address on this occasion in GW 13, pp. 702–706.
  55. Members: Thomas Mann. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed April 10, 2019 .
  56. Klaus Johann: Marc Vogler brings high piles on the opera stage. October 7, 2019, accessed on September 25, 2020 (German).
  57. Full text Thomas Mann and the Romanticism.
  58. ^ Database of the Thomas Mann Collection. In: University Library Düsseldorf .
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on April 11, 2005 .