| About | About
Feuchtwanger | Archives | Exhibitions
Researching German Exiles | Feuchtwanger
Society | Villa
Aurora | Writings | Hours
German Exiles in Southern California
Heinrich Mann (1871-1950)
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
the Nazis assumed power in February 1933, Heinrich 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 Mann
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.
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 year, Mann lived in Santa Monica at 2145 Montana Avenue.
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 Königs Henri Quatre (1935; Young Henry of Navarre),
Der Atem (1949; The Breath) and his autobiographical
Ein Zeitalter wird besichtigt (1945; An Age is
The photographs are located in the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library Archive
at the University of Southern California.
Mann's years in Southern California: 1940-1950.
Krull, Marianne. Im Netz der Zauberer : eine andere Geschichte
der Familie Mann. Zurich: Arche, 1991.
Mann, Heinrich. Heinrich Mann, 1871-1950: Werk und Leben in
Dokumenten und Bildern. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, 1971.
Schröter, Klaus. Heinrich und Thomas Mann. Hamburg:
Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 1993.
For more information contact the Feuchtwanger