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Heinrich Mann

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Heinrich Mann

*  1871 Lübeck
† 1950 Santa Monica


Luiz Heinrich Mann, the elder brother of Thomas Mann, was born on March 27, 1871 in Lübeck. He spent his childhood in financially secure and well protected familial surroundings. After finishing his schooling in 1889, Heinrich Mann did an apprenticeship as a bookseller in Dresden. Mann then went to Berlin to do his voluntary service at the S. Fischer publishing house in 1891/1892. He also studied at the Friedrich Wilhelm University and began to write seriously at that time. Mann published his first work, "In a Family", in 1894. As a young man, he suffered from a lung disease, hemoptysis, and spent time at health resorts. The Mann family relocated to Munich permanently in 1893. In the most productive year of 1903, Mann wrote the trilogy "The Goddesses or the Three Novels of the Duchess of Assy" and the novel "The Hunt for Love". Traveling abroad often, Heinrich Mann spent a year in Italy with his brother Thomas. He wrote the novel "Small Town Tyrant" in 1905. When his sister, Clara Mann, took her own life in 1910, Mann took her death very hard. Mann married the actress Maria Kanová from Prague in 1912, then they moved together back to Munich. That same year, Heinrich Mann began his next novel "The Loyal Subject". The novel immediately fell victim to the censor with its advance publication in the paper "Zeit im Bild" and was suppressed with the outbreak of World War I. In 1915, the novel appeared in Russian, then after 1916 as a private edition in German. This important work was only published in Germany in 1918 after the end of the war. When his brother Thomas Mann, in "Thoughts in War", expressed support for the war, Heinrich Mann cut off all contact with him. The following years of Mann's life were marked by tragedy; the death of his mother in 1923, the suicide of his sister Julia in 1927, and the separation from his wife Maria in 1928. After his divorce, Heinrich Mann lived in Berlin, becoming more and more politically active. Politically he identified with the Communists. Together with such personalities as Käthe Kollwitz and Albert Einstein, Mann signed the appeal to the Communist Party of Germany and the Social Democratic Party of Germany against the National Socialists. Heinrich Mann became the president of the poetry department of the Prussian Academy of the Arts in 1931, though the department was closed two years later because of Mann's political activities. Heinrich Mann fled to France even before the burning of the Reichstag in Berlin in 1933. There he wrote the novels "Young Henry of Navarre" and "Henri Quatre: King of France". In 1940, Mann went to the United States. During his time there, he became chairman of the Preparatory Commission of the German Popular Front and was named honorary president of the exiled Social Democratic Party of Germany. Mann was appointed to the presidency of the German Academy of the Arts in East Berlin in 1949. He died on March 12, 1950 in Santa Monica, California, shortly before returning to Germany.