Luiz Heinrich Mann (27 March 1871 – 11 March 1950) was a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
novelist who wrote works with strong social themes. His attacks on the authoritarian and increasingly militaristic nature of pre-World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...
German society led to his exile in 1933.
Life and workBorn in Lübeck
The Hanseatic City of Lübeck is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League and, because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage, is listed by UNESCO as a World...
as the oldest child of Thomas Johann Heinrich Mann and Júlia da Silva Bruhns
Júlia da Silva Bruhns
Júlia da Silva Bruhns was the wife of the Lübeck senator and grain merchant Johann Heinrich Mann, and mother of writers Thomas Mann and Heinrich Mann....
, he was the elder brother of Thomas Mann
Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual...
. His father came from a patrician grain merchant family and was a Senator of the Hanseatic
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...
city. After the death of his father, his mother moved the family to Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...
, where Heinrich began his career as a freier Schriftsteller or free novelist.
His essay on Zola
Émile François Zola was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism...
and the novel Der Untertan earned him much respect during the Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...
, since it satirized German society and explained how its political system had led to the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...
. Eventually, his book Professor Unrat
Professor Unrat , literally meaning “Professor Garbage”, is one of the most important works of Heinrich Mann and has achieved notoriety through film adaptations, most notably Der blaue Engel with Marlene Dietrich...
was liberally adapted into the successful movie Der Blaue Engel
Der blaue Engel
The Blue Angel is a film directed by Josef von Sternberg in 1930, based on Heinrich Mann's novel Professor Unrat. The film is considered to be the first major German sound film and it brought world fame to actress Marlene Dietrich...
(The Blue Angel). Carl Zuckmayer
Carl Zuckmayer was a German writer and playwright.-Biography:Born in Nackenheim in Rheinhessen, he was four years old when his family moved to Mainz. With the outbreak of World War I, he finished school with a facilitated "emergency"-Abitur and volunteered for military service...
wrote the script, and Josef von Sternberg
Josef von Sternberg
Josef von Sternberg — born Jonas Sternberg — was an Austrian-American film director. He is particularly noted for his distinctive mise en scène, use of lighting and soft lens, and seven-film collaboration with actress Marlene Dietrich.-Youth:Von Sternberg was born Jonas Sternberg to a Jewish...
was the director. The book's author wanted his girlfriend, the actress Trude Hesterberg, to play the lead, but Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich was a German-American actress and singer.Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically. In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films...
was given her first major role instead as Lola Lola the "actress" (named Rosa Fröhlich in the novel).
Together with Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...
and other celebrities, Mann was a signatory to a letter to the Urgent Call for Unity
Urgent Call for Unity
The "Urgent Call for Unity" was an appeal by the Internationaler Sozialistischer Kampfbund to defeat the Nazis...
condemning the murder of Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...
n scholar Dr Milan Šufflay
Milan pl. Šufflay was a Croatian historian and politician. He was one of the founders of albanology and the author of the first Croatian science fiction novel.-Life:...
on 18 February 1931.
Mann became persona non grata
Persona non grata
Persona non grata , literally meaning "an unwelcome person", is a legal term used in diplomacy that indicates a proscription against a person entering the country...
in Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...
and left even before the Reichstag fire
The Reichstag fire was an arson attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin on 27 February 1933. The event is seen as pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany....
in 1933. He went to France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
where he lived in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...
Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...
. During the German occupation he made his way to Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...
in Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...
and there was aided by Varian Fry
Varian Mackey Fry was an American journalist. Fry ran a rescue network in Vichy France that helped approximately 2,000 to 4,000 anti-Nazi and Jewish refugees to escape Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.-Early life:...
in 1940 to escape to Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...
. He then went to Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...
and sailed to America.
The Nazis burnt Heinrich Mann's books as "contrary to the German spirit" during the infamous book burnings of May 10th 1933, which was instigated by the then Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels
Paul Joseph Goebbels was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. As one of Adolf Hitler's closest associates and most devout followers, he was known for his zealous oratory and anti-Semitism...
During the 1930s and later in American exile, his literary career went downhill, and eventually he died in Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, US. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is surrounded on three sides by the city of Los Angeles — Pacific Palisades on the northwest, Brentwood on the north, West Los Angeles on the northeast, Mar Vista on the east, and...
, lonely and without much money, just months before he was to move to Soviet-occupied Germany to become president of the Prussian Academy of Arts
Prussian Academy of Arts
The Prussian Academy of Arts was an art school set up in Berlin, Brandenburg, in 1694/1696 by prince-elector Frederick III, in personal union Duke Frederick I of Prussia, and later king in Prussia. It had a decisive influence on art and its development in the German-speaking world throughout its...
. His ashes were later taken to East Germany.
His second wife Nelly Mann (1898-1944) committed suicide in Los Angeles.
- Mauthner, Martin: German Writers in French Exile, 1933-1940, Vallentine Mitchell, London, 2007, (ISBN : 978 0 85303 540 4).
- Walter Fähnders/Walter Delabar: Heinrich Mann (1871 - 1950). Berlin 2005 (Memoria 4)