Thomas Mann

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Thomas Mann in 1937.

Thomas Mann (6 June 1875 – 12 August 1955) was a controversial German writer.

Personal

The Mann family was an affluent family of grain merchants of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. His father was a German Lutheran, his mother a Roman Catholic Brazilian woman of German and Portuguese ancestry. In 1905, Mann married Katharina Pringsheim, a Jewish woman from wealthy, secular Jewish family. She later converted to the Lutheranism.

Mann was a degenerate bisexual. One example is in 1911, when he became enraptured by a mere 10-year-old boy, later fictionalized in his novella Death in Venice (1912), there described as a 14-year-old boy. Mann's diary records his disgusting attraction to his own 13-year-old son. Wikipedia states that "Death in Venice has been pivotal in introducing the discourse of same-sex desire into general culture."

He was awarded the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature, principally for his 1901 novel, Buddenbrooks.

Politics

During World War I, he is said to have supported conservatism and the war effort. But by 1922 and afterwards, he supported increasingly left-wing views, eventually supporting the Marxist Social Democratic Party of Germany. In 1930, Mann gave a public address in Berlin in which he strongly denounced National Socialism and encouraged resistance amongst the working classes. This was followed by numerous essays and lectures in which he attacked the NSDAP.

Following the election of the National Socialists to government in January 1933, Mann and his family left Germany, eventually moving to the United States, where, during World War II, he made a series of traitorous anti-German radio speeches. They were recorded on discs in the United States and then sent to Great Britain, where the BBC transmitted them, hoping to reach German listeners.

Mann also advocated the idea of German "collective guilt", stating in a BBC broadcast on 30 December 1945 that regarding "the revenge on Germany for the inhuman deeds of the Nazis, I cannot help but view with wretchedness all that is being done to Germans by the Russians, Poles or Czechs as nothing other than a mechanical and inevitable reaction to the crimes that the people have committed as a nation, in which unfortunately individual justice, or the guilt or innocence of the individual, can play no part."

In association with "McCarthyism", he was viewed as a suspected communist, which he denied, describing himself as a non-communist rather than an anti-communist. In 1952, he moved to Switzerland.

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