Events | Thomas Mann's Los Angeles: Discussion with Michaela Ullmann and Benno Herz

Los Angeles | August 24, 2022 | 7:00 PM (PDT)

Exile Studies Librarian and Instruction Coordinator at USC Libraries’ Special Collections Michaela Ullmann and Benno Herz, Program Director of the Thomas Mann House, will engage in a conversation on the publication of Thomas Mann's Los Angeles: Stories from Exile 1940-1952.

The book Thomas Mann's Los Angeles: Stories from Exile 1940-1952 (Angel City Press) explores the Mann families' connections to the city and the network of intellectuals they found there, including writers such as Vicki Baum and Aldous Huxley and musicians such as Alma Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg. Short texts accompanied by maps, a rich selection of historic images, contemporary photographs and vivid anecdotes guide the reader through this fascinating community. After fleeing Nazi Germany, writer and Nobel Prize winner Thomas Mann found refuge for himself and his family in the Pacific Palisades, a quiet residential neighborhood in Los Angeles between Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean. Mann was one of many European intellectuals who fled to Los Angeles, forming a community known as "Weimar on the Pacific."

The conversation will highlight Michaela Ullmann's chapter on Heinrich and Nelly Mann and their hardships in Los Angeles. They will discuss how the idea of the book came to be and what the stories of the 1940s exile community might reveal to us today.


The event will take place at Vroman's Bookstore, the oldest and largest independent bookstore in Southern California on August 24th, 7p.m.

Free admission. Learn more here!


Michaela Ullmann is the Exile Studies Librarian and Instruction Coordinator at USC Libraries’ Special Collections. She holds an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology from University of Bonn (Germany), and an M.A. in Library and Information Sciences from San José State University. As a faculty member of the USC Libraries, Michaela oversees the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library, home to Lion Feuchtwanger’s invaluable 30,000 volume rare book collection and papers by German-speaking intellectuals and artists who fled Nazi-Germany and came to Los Angeles in the 1930s and early 1940s. She has published widely on the topic of German-speaking exiles in Los Angeles and is a co-editor of Lion Feuchtwanger's diaries (“Lion Feuchtwanger. Ein möglichst intensives Leben. Die Tagebücher”. Aufbau Verlag Berlin. 2018)


Benno Herz is the Program Director at the Thomas Mann House Los Angeles. He worked in the online communication division at the Städel Museum Frankfurt, Germany, before joining the Thomas Mann House. Prior to this, he studied Theater, Film and Media Studies at the Goethe University Frankfurt focusing on digital aesthetics and interface theory. In 2021 and 2022, he taught a Digital Humanities class on European Exile at University of California, Los Angeles. He is co-editor and co-author of the publication Thomas Mann's Los Angeles: Stories from Exile 1940-1952 (Angel City Press, 2022).




Vroman's Bookstore

695 E. Colorado St.

Pasadena, CA 91101

An Event by Vroman's Bookstore.

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