Mann, Heinrich, 1871-1950

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Heinrich Mann, one of the foremost German writers of the twentieth century, lived almost penniless and seemingly forgotten in Los Angeles for nearly a decade before his death in 1950. Heinrich Mann was the elder brother of Nobel Prize winning novelist Thomas Mann. Despite his name and literary stature, Heinrich Mann remained virtually unknown in this country. By contrast, in pre-Hitler Germany, Heinrich had been both respected by fellow writers and popular with readers, perhaps even more so than his brother. Heinrich Mann began actively pursuing a career in writing in the 1890s after failing as a publisher's apprentice. He first began as a critic and editor, then turned his talents to short stories and novels. The novel Im Schlaraffenland (In the Land of Cockaigne), published in 1901, proved his literary skill. Although he had achieved a degree of literary success in the period before World War I, his works were not widely read. Not until Der Untertan (The Patrioteer) appeared in 1918 did he experience popular success. In the United States, Mann never gained wide recognition as a writer; and he is still best known for the 1930 film "The Blue Angel," which was adapted from his novel Professor Unrat (Small Town Tyrant). As the Nazis assumed power in February 1933, Mann was one of the first intellectuals to flee Germany. His close ties to France made his exile in Southern France relatively easy and allowed him to continue writing for an appreciative audience. Mann remained in France until the country fell to German occupation, whereupon he and his wife, Nelly, fled Europe. For Mann, then nearly seventy years old, the escape across the Pyrenees on foot was extremely arduous. Like most German exiles during World War II, Mann faced great financial difficulties in the United States. Away from European soil, he lost much of his sympathetic French audience, not to mention his larger readership in Germany. Luckily, his first year in Los Angeles was free of hardship because of a one-year contract with Warner Brothers Pictures previously arranged for Mann by fellow exiles. However, after the completion of this contract, and until his death in 1950, Mann was without a regular salary and was dependent on assistance from his family and friends. Heinrich Mann lived in several locations during his decade in Southern California. He and his wife lived first in Beverly Hills at 264 S. Doheny Drive and between 1942 and 1948 at 301 S. Swall Drive. It is in this home that his wife, Nelly, committed suicide in 1944. For his final two years, Mann lived in Santa Monica at 2145 Montana Avenue. Mann died in March 1950 shortly before his scheduled return to Europe. He was buried in Santa Monica at Woodlawn Cemetery. However, in 1961 his remains were removed and relocated to former East Berlin. In spite of the difficulties which he faced, Mann wrote some of his greatest works during his years in exile, including Die Jugend des Koenigs Henri Quatre (1935; Young Henry of Navarre), Der Atem (1949; The Breath) and his autobiographical Ein Zeitalter wird besichtigt (1945; An Age is Examined).

From the description of Heinrich Mann papers, 1933-1950. (San Leandro Community Library). WorldCat record id: 709903683

Biographical/Historical

Heinrich Mann (1871-1950), one of the foremost German writers of the twentieth century, lived almost penniless and seemingly forgotten in Los Angeles for nearly a decade before his death in 1950. Heinrich Mann was the elder brother of Nobel Prize winning novelist Thomas Mann. Despite his name and literary stature, Heinrich Mann remained virtually unknown in this country. By contrast, in pre-Hitler Germany, Heinrich had been both respected by fellow writers and popular with readers, perhaps even more so than his brother.

Heinrich Mann began actively pursuing a career in writing in the 1890s after failing as a publisher's apprentice. He first began as a critic and editor, then turned his talents to short stories and novels. The novel Im Schlaraffenland (In the Land of Cockaigne), published in 1901, proved his literary skill. Although he had achieved a degree of literary success in the period before World War I, his works were not widely read. Not until Der Untertan (The Patrioteer) appeared in 1918 did he experience popular success. In the United States, Mann never gained wide recognition as a writer; and he is still best known for the 1930 film "The Blue Angel," which was adapted from his novel Professor Unrat (Small Town Tyrant).

As the Nazis assumed power in February 1933, Mann was one of the first intellectuals to flee Germany. His close ties to France made his exile in Southern France relatively easy and allowed him to continue writing for an appreciative audience. Mann remained in France until the country fell to German occupation, whereupon he and his wife, Nelly, fled Europe. For Mann, then nearly seventy years old, the escape across the Pyrenees on foot was extremely arduous.

Like most German exiles during World War II, Mann faced great financial difficulties in the United States. Away from European soil, he lost much of his sympathetic French audience, not to mention his larger readership in Germany. Luckily, his first year in Los Angeles was free of hardship because of a one-year contract with Warner Brothers Pictures previously arranged for Mann by fellow exiles. However, after the completion of this contract, and until his death in 1950, Mann was without a regular salary and was dependent on assistance from his family and friends.

Heinrich Mann lived in several locations during his decade in Southern California. He and his wife lived first in Beverly Hills at 264 S. Doheny Drive and between 1942 and 1948 at 301 S. Swall Drive. It is in this home that his wife, Nelly, committed suicide in 1944. For his final two years, Mann lived in Santa Monica at 2145 Montana Avenue.

Mann died in March 1950 shortly before his scheduled return to Europe. He was buried in Santa Monica at Woodlawn Cemetery. However, in 1961 his remains were removed and relocated to former East Berlin.

In spite of the difficulties which he faced, Mann wrote some of his greatest works during his years in exile, including Die Jugend des Koenigs Henri Quatre (1935; Young Henry of Navarre), Der Atem (1949; The Breath) and his autobiographical Ein Zeitalter wird besichtigt (1945; An Age is Examined).

Heinrich Mann's years in Southern California: 1940-1950.

From the guide to the Heinrich Mann papers, 1933-1950, (USC Libraries Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Heinrich Mann papers, 1933-1950 USC Libraries Special Collections
creatorOf Mann, Heinrich, 1871-1950. Ein Verbrechen [Multimédia multisupport] / Heinrich Mann, aut. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Cassirer, Paul. Correspondence, 1910, with Albert Langen. Getty Research Institute
creatorOf Mann, Heinrich, 1871-1950. Correspondence to Franz Werfel, 1945. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Pregelʹ, Sofii︠a︡, 1894-1972. Sophie Pregel and Vadim Rudnev collection, 1926-1974. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
referencedIn Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars records, 1927-1949, 1933-1945 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Marta Feuchtwanger papers, 1940-1987 USC Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Fonds Louis Jouvet Bibliothèque nationale de France. Département des arts du spectacle
referencedIn Hanns Eisler papers, 1942-1948 USC Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Mierendorff, Marta. Marta Mierendorff papers, 1933-1985. University of Southern California, USC Libraries
referencedIn Decision magazine papers, 1940-1942 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Sharp, Martha Dickie, 1905-1999. Martha and Waitstill Sharp collection [electronic resource], 1905-2005. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
referencedIn Decision Magazine papers, 1940-1942 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Kurt Wolff archive, 1907-1938 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Marcuse, Ludwig, 1894-1971. Ludwig Marcuse papers, 1925-1984 (bulk 1933-1950). University of Southern California, USC Libraries
creatorOf Mann, Heinrich, 1871-1950. Heinrich Mann papers, 1933-1950. University of Southern California, USC Libraries
referencedIn Feuchtwanger, Marta. Marta Feuchtwanger papers. 1940-1987. University of Southern California, USC Libraries
creatorOf Feuchtwanger, Lion, 1884-1958. Feuchtwanger Archive, 1906-2000. University of Southern California, USC Libraries
referencedIn Marta Mierendorff papers, 1933-1985 USC Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Autograph File, V, 1476-1947. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Mann, Heinrich, 1871-1950. Ein Verbrechen [Multimédia multisupport] / Heinrich Mann, aut. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Eisler, Hanns, 1898-1962. Hanns Eisler papers, 1942-1948. University of Southern California, USC Libraries
creatorOf Cook, Cassius V., 1879-1950. Cassius Cook papers, 1908-1950. University of Michigan
referencedIn Kurth-Voigt, Lieselotte E., 1923-. Lieselotte E. Kurth-Voigt papers, 1960-1989. Johns Hopkins University, Sheridan Libraries and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library
referencedIn Ludwig Marcuse papers, Bulk, 1933-1950, 1925-1984 USC Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Decision magazine papers, 1940-1942 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Wolff, Kurt, 1887-1963. Kurt Wolff archive, 1907-1938. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Cassirer, Paul. person
associatedWith Cook, Cassius V., 1879-1950. person
associatedWith Eisler, Hanns, 1898-1962. person
associatedWith Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars corporateBody
correspondedWith Feuchtwanger, Lion, 1884-1958 person
associatedWith Feuchtwanger, Marta person
associatedWith Feuchtwanger, Marta. person
associatedWith Franklin, Carl M., (Carl Mason), 1911- person
associatedWith Jouvet, Louis (1887-1951) person
associatedWith Kurth-Voigt, Lieselotte E., 1923- person
correspondedWith Mann, Thomas, 1875-1955 person
associatedWith Marcuse, Ludwig, 1894-1971. person
associatedWith Mierendorff, Marta. person
associatedWith Pregelʹ, Sofii︠a︡, 1894-1972. person
associatedWith Sharp, Martha Dickie, 1905-1999. person
associatedWith Waldo, Hilde person
associatedWith Wolff, Kurt, 1887-1963. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Germany
Germany
Subject
Anti-communist movements--United States--History--20th century--Archival resources
Exiles--United States--History--20th century--Archival resources
Speeches, addresses, etc. German--Archival resources
Exiles--Germany--History--20th century--Archival resources
Exiles--History--20th century--Archival resources
Anti-communist movements--History--20th century--Archival resources
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1871-03-27

Death 1950-03-12

Americans

German,

French

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