Stuttgart/Pacific Palisades, June 19, 2018 - On Monday, June 18, 2018, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier officially opened the Thomas Mann House in Pacific Palisades, CA. From the summer of 2018 onward, groups of four Fellows working in science and the arts will be invited for stays of several weeks at the new institution. The Thomas Mann House is to become a venue for international exchanges, based on which the Fellows will develop and implement specific projects during their stay together with American partners. In the spirit of its former resident, it is also planned to host debates at the Thomas Mann House about fundamental topics of the present and future that are relevant on both sides of the Atlantic, but also with a view to the Pacific. Due to its history, the building is furthermore intended to serve as a place of remembrance for exile in its many facets.
In the first year of the residency program, 2018/2019, the Fellows are Dr. Jutta Allmendinger, professor and president of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center; Göttingen-based literature professor Dr. Heinrich Detering; the internationally renowned actor Burghart Klaußner; and Dr. Yiannos Manoli, professor of microelectronics at the University of Freiburg.
“With the Thomas Mann Fellowships, we support individuals who position themselves as bold influencers on transatlantic and global issues,” commented Sandra Breka, Member of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, at the opening event. “Our support of this residency program also reflects our aspiration to make these voices heard more widely on the U.S. West Coast.”
The Robert Bosch Stiftung supports the Thomas Mann Fellowships as part of its international relations activities. Other sponsors include the German Foreign Office and the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung, the Goethe Institut, as well as the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Stiftung.
“The White House of Exile”
The building was the home of Thomas Mann, novelist and 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate, during his years in American exile between 1942 and 1952. The Federal Republic of Germany acquired it in 2016. At the “White House of Exile,” as President Steinmeier called it, Mann wrote and spoke about the political challenges of his time and the shared values of western democracies. Most of his radio address series, “Deutsche Hörer!” (German Listeners!), was created here and then broadcast by the BBC to Germany.
The residency program at the Thomas Mann House is managed by Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e.V. The registered association has been running the artists’ residence at Villa Aurora in Los Angeles, the former exile home of Marta and Lion Feuchtwanger, since 1995 and has a well-established infrastructure at its disposal.