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German History in Documents and Images
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Thomas Mann (1905)
Thomas Mann (1875-1955), the most accomplished German author of the twentieth century, is the subject of this 1905 engraving by Johannes Lindner (1839-1906). Mann’s breakthrough novel Buddenbrooks was published in 1901. The novel – the story of a merchant family in Lübeck (Mann’s birthplace) and its decline in the modern era – exhibits many characteristics of literary modernism. Mann went on to write many more works, including novels, novellas, criticism, and essays, and he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929. A prominent patriot during the First World War, he grew increasingly skeptical of German nationalism during the Weimar years and, distraught over Hitler’s rise to power, fled Germany for Switzerland in 1933. He emigrated to the United States in 1939 and became an American citizen. When he returned to Europe after the Second World War, he settled in Zurich rather than Germany, although he often visited his native country.