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Exiled German-speaking intellectuals in Southern California: Thomas Mann

During the 1930s and 1940s, many German Jews and intellectuals fled Nazi Germany. This LibGuide provides information about German-speaking intellectuals who found refuge in Southern California

  Thomas Mann (1875-1955)

Thomas Mann's years in Southern California: 1940-1952.


Thomas Mann is considered the greatest German writer of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929. Opposed to the politics of the National Socialists, Mann emigrated to Switzerland in 1933 and lived there until 1938. He then came to the United States as a visiting professor to Princeton. In July 1940, the Manns took the train to Southern California, living at 441 North Rockingham in Brentwood until October. Thomas and Katia Mann returned to Princeton for the fall of 1940 before finally returning to California in April 1941. They lived next at 740 Amalfi Drive in Pacific Palisades until they built their own home in Pacific Palisades at 1550 San Remo Drive.

In 1944 Thomas Mann became a U.S. citizen. In 1952, Mann and his family left the US as a direct result of the McCarthy Era. Although Mann visited both East and West Germany several times after the end of the war, he refused to live there and completed his life living in Switzerland near Zürich. Mann died on August 12, 1955 at the age of 80. 

While in Los Angeles, Mann wrote Joseph der Ernährer (1942), Doktor Faustus (1947), its appendix Die Entstehung des Doktor Faustus (1949), Der Erwählte(1951).




Thomas Mann. Tagebücher 1940-1943. Edited by Peter de Mendelssohn. Frankfurt: Fischer, 1982.

Thomas Mann. Tagebücher 1944-1.4.1946. Edited by Inge Jens. Frankfurt: Fischer, 1986.

Autorenlexikon deutschsprachiger Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts. Edited by Manfred Brauneck. Reinbeck bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1991.

Biographisches Lexikon zur Weimarer Republik. Edited by Wolfgang Benz and Hermann Graml. Munich: C.H. Beck, 1988.

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Michaela Ullmann
Michaela Ullmann Head, Instruction & Assessment