Thomas Mann (1875–1955) achieved fame with his first novel, Buddenbrooks (1901), which recounts the story of the physical decline of a once vigorous merchant family as it turns from business to the arts. Mann’s other works include Death in Venice (1912), The Magic Mountain (1924), the tetralogy Joseph and His Brothers (1933–43), and Doctor Faustus (1947). Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929. He left Germany in 1933 after the Nazi seizure of power, lived in Switzerland, and then moved to the United States in 1939. This photograph of him is from the archive of the League of Nations. Mann was a member of the League’s Committee on Intellectual Cooperation, established in 1922 for the purpose of building up international relations among teachers, artists, scientists, and members of other intellectual professions and improving the working conditions of the educated workforce. Its members included scientists Albert Einstein and Marie Curie and composer Béla Bartók. In 1926 the committee moved from Geneva to Paris, where it was reestablished as the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation. The photograph is in the archives of the League, which were transferred to the United Nations in 1946 and are housed at the UN office in Geneva. They were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 2010.
References: “Thomas Mann - Biographical,” http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1929/mann-bio.html, from Horst Frenz, editor, Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967 (Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing Company, 1969).
Place: Europe; Germany
Institution: United Nations Office at Geneva Library
Physical description: 13.6 x 9.5 centimeters