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Finding Aid for Heinrich Mann papers 0208
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Collection Details
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  • Scope and Content
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical/Historical
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Conditions Governing Access

  • Title: Heinrich Mann papers
    Collection number: 0208
    Contributing Institution: USC Libraries Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 12.0 Linear feet 17 boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1933-1950
    Abstract: The papers include personal and business correspondence, manuscripts and published articles, and personal documents and photographs, and pencil drawings dating from Heinrich Mann's years in France, 1933-1940 and Los Angeles, 1940-1950.
    creator: Mann, Heinrich, 1871-1950

    Scope and Content

    Collection contains personal and business correspondence, manuscripts and published articles, short stories and reviews, personal documents and photographs, and pencil drawings dating from Heinrich Mann's years in France, 1933-1940 and Los Angeles, 1940-1950.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Heinrich Mann papers, Collection no. 0208, Feuchtwanger Memorial Library, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.


    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.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Exile Studies Librarian at ullmann@usc.edu. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Conditions Governing Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Feuchtwanger, Lion, 1884-1958 -- Correspondence
    Mann, Heinrich, 1871-1950 -- Archives
    Mann, Heinrich, 1871-1950 -- Correspondence
    Mann, Thomas, 1875-1955 -- Correspondence
    Anti-communist movements--United States--History--20th century--Archival resources
    Exiles--Germany--History--20th century--Archival resources
    Exiles--United States--History--20th century--Archival resources
    Germany--Emigration and immigration--History--1933-1945--Archival resources
    Speeches, addresses, etc. German--Archival resources