Weimar on the Pacific: German Exile Culture in Los Angeles and the Crisis of Modernism

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University of California Press, Aug 8, 2008 - History - 358 pages
In the 1930s and 40s, Los Angeles became an unlikely cultural sanctuary for a distinguished group of German artists and intellectuals—including Thomas Mann, Theodore W. Adorno, Bertolt Brecht, Fritz Lang, and Arnold Schoenberg—who had fled Nazi Germany. During their years in exile, they would produce a substantial body of major works to address the crisis of modernism that resulted from the rise of National Socialism. Weimar Germany and its culture, with its meld of eighteenth-century German classicism and twentieth-century modernism, served as a touchstone for this group of diverse talents and opinions.

Weimar on the Pacific is the first book to examine these artists and intellectuals as a group. Ehrhard Bahr studies selected works of Adorno, Horkheimer, Brecht, Lang, Neutra, Schindler, Döblin, Mann, and Schoenberg, weighing Los Angeles’s influence on them and their impact on German modernism. Touching on such examples as film noir and Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus, Bahr shows how this community of exiles reconstituted modernism in the face of the traumatic political and historical changes they were living through.
 

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Contents

GoetheSchiller Monument by Ernst Rietschel 1857
2
The Dialectic of Modernism
30
Max Horkheimer during the 1940s
31
Institute of Social Research in FrankfurtMain during the early 1930s
34
Theodor W Adorno at his writing desk circa 1947
57
Theodor W Adornos duplex apartment house
59
Bertolt Brecht in 1938
81
Bertolt Brechts house Santa Monica
86
Franz Werfel circa 1945
173
Franz Werfels house Beverly Hills
178
Karl and Rosa
197
Alfred Döblin circa 1940
198
Alfred Döblins house Hollywood
201
Salka Viertels house Pacific Palisades
225
Paul Tillich circa 1954
237
Thomas Manns
242

Brechts Galileo
105
Charles Laughton as Galileo in 1947
106
Coronet Theatre Beverly Hills
120
Bertolt Brecht
129
Fritz Lang
131
Still photo from Hangmen Also Die circa 1943
138
Rudolph M Schindler
149
Richard Neutra and Julius Shulman at the Tremaine House
150
Schindler Studio House
154
Lovell House designed by Richard Neutra
158
Kester Avenue Elementary School Building designed by Richard Neutra
162
Thomas Manns house Pacific Palisades circa 1941
170
Thomas Mann in 1941
243
Arnold Schoenberg
265
Arnold Schoenberg circa early 1940s
266
Arnold Schoenbergs house Brentwood
269
Lion and Marta Feuchtwangers house Pacific Palisades
291
Census map of Los Angeles showing distribution of foreignborn residents from Austria Germany and Hungary
299
Chronology
301
Appendices IV
309
Bibliography
323
Index
347
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Ehrhard Bahr is distinguished professor emeritus of German at UCLA.

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