Item #020957 TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS) to Louis B. Mayer of MGM. Thomas MANN.


Pacific Palisades, CA: 5 October 1941. Letter. A superb three-page TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS) on Mann's personal stationery to Louis B. Mayer, president of MGM Studios, commending Mayer for the Studios' contracting of 5 refugee writers in order to allow their immigration to the United States to escape death during World War II: Alfred Doeblin, Alfred Polgar, Hans Lustig, Wilhelm Speyer, and Walter Mehring. In part: "It is not my custom to interfere in matters which do not directly concern me; however I should like to take the liberty of presenting to you with confidence a matter which is close to my heart, and which is a source of worry for me as well many other well-meaning people. It was one of the finest and most meritorious deeds during these turbulent years which destroyed so much life and happiness, a deed which will certainly never be forgotten when the fantastic tale of the emigration of European culture is told, that two great Motion Picture Companies in Hollywood decided to give emergency contracts to a number of German and Austrian writers which not only enabled these men to immigrate into the United States, but also secured, if only for a certain time, a basis for their existence." Mann spends most of the letter arguing for the rehiring of these writers for another year, not "for unproductive and merely humanitarian purposes," but because "the value of the agreement for the Company has already been demonstrated." An important letter revealing Mann's solidarity with refugee writers during the rise of Fascism in Europe. Mann himself emigrated to the United States in 1939 following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. The outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939 prompted Mann to offer anti-Nazi speeches (in German) to the German people via the BBC, and in October 1940 Mann began monthly eight-minute broadcasts, recorded in the U.S. and broadcast by the BBC to Germany, condemning Hitler and the Nazis. In doing so, he was one of the few publicly active opponents of Nazism among German expatriates in the United States. Light creases from mailing. Near Fine. Item #020957

Price: $2,000.00

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