Thomas_MannThomas Mann was a German writer, social critic, and Nobel Laureate who came from a well-known literary family. His elder brother Heinrich Mann, and three of his children Erika, Klaus and Golo also became important German writers. Early in his career he was recognized for his epic Buddenbrooks (1901), Der Zauberberg (1924), and numerous short stories. 

Shortly after receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929 for these achievements, Mann gave a public address called "An Appeal to Reason" which criticized Nazi ideology. Not surprisingly, when Hitler came to power in 1933, Mann and his wife Katia (who came from a Jewish family) were forced to leave Germany.

After spending a few years in Switzerland, Mann and his family made their way to the United States where they lived for the next decade. Mann’s son Golo escaped from France with the help of Varian Fry and U.S. Vice Consul Hiram Bingham IV. But his daughter Monika was on the SS City of Benares, when it was torpedoed in 1940 crossing the Atlantic. Some 248 people including 77 children drowned.

From March to April 1938, Mann visited Los Angeles where he took part in a fundraising rally organized by the producer Jack Warner to assist refugees from Nazi Germany. Soon thereafter, Mann and his family moved to Pacific Palisades, CA and became naturalized citizens.

His criticism of the Nazis continued throughout the war years. From Los Angeles, he made a series of radio-addresses entitled Deutsche Hörer! ("German Listeners!") which were broadcast over Europe by the Allies. His speech of September 27, 1942 expressly condemned the ongoing Nazi extermination of the Jews.

While in Los Angeles, Mann wrote his novel Doktor Faustus (1947), which became a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. Disgusted by the McCarthy-era black-listing of many of his friends and colleagues, Mann returned to Switzerland in 1952 and died there in 1955.