Thomas Mann (6 June 1875 – 12 August 1955) was a controversial German writer.
Mann father was a German Lutheran, his mother a Catholic Brazilian woman of German and Portuguese ancestry. In 1905, Mann married a Jewish woman from wealthy, secular Jewish family, who later converted to the Lutheran church.
Mann was bisexual. One example is in 1911, when he became enraptured by a 10-year-old boy, later fictionalized in his novella Death in Venice (1912), here described as a 14-year-old boy. Mann's diary records his 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 great novel, Buddenbrooks" (1901).
During World War I, he is stated to have supported conservatism and the war effort. By 1922 and later, he supported increasingly left-wing views, eventually supporting the Marxist-influenced Social Democratic Party of Germany. In 1930, Mann gave a public address in Berlin in which he strongly denounced National Socialism and encouraged resistance by the working class. This was followed by numerous essays and lectures in which he attacked the NSDAP.
In association with the NSDAP gaining power, he and his family moved from Germany, eventually moving to the United States.
During the war, Mann made a series of anti-National Socialist radio-speeches. They were recorded on tape in the United States and then sent to Great Britain, where the BBC transmitted them, hoping to reach German listeners. Mann advocated the idea of German collective guilt, stating in a BBC broadcast on 30 December 1945 on "the revenge on Germany for the inhuman deeds of the Nazis, 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.