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Thomas Mann's WarLiterature, Politics, and the World Republic of Letters$
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Tobias Boes

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501744990

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501744990.001.0001

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The First Citizen of the International Republic of Letters

The First Citizen of the International Republic of Letters

(p.85) Chapter 3 The First Citizen of the International Republic of Letters
Thomas Mann's War

Tobias Boes

Cornell University Press

This chapter reveals the increasing tensions between Thomas Mann and the Nazi regime. Since the 1920s, he had become one of the most prominent defenders of the democratic constitution of the Weimar Republic, and an increasingly vocal critic of Adolf Hitler and his followers. In addition, over the course of the late 1930s, Mann's reputation as a “great man of letters” was adapted for a new and more belligerent age that found its culmination with the outbreak of the Second World War. By turning Mann into an anti-Nazi icon, Americans were simultaneously taking a stand themselves. One of the most important factors driving this process was Mann's physical presence in the country, which opened up entirely new avenues of reception.

Keywords:   Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, World War II, anti-Nazism, Weimar Republic, Thomas Mann

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