Thomas Mann und Erich Kästner: E(rnst) versus U(nterhaltung), Exilliteratur versus Literatur unter Schreibverbot in der ‚inneren Emigration’
Contributor(s)Institut für Germanistik, Allgemeine Literaturwissenschaft und Ältere deutsche Literatur im europäischen Kontext, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, 42119 Wuppertal, Gaußstrasse 20.
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AbstractThe writers Thomas Mann (1875–1955) and Erich Kästner (1899–1974) took in the years between
1933 and 1945 (in the so called ‘Third Reich’) extreme positions of inner and outer emigration,
which can be shown concerning autobiographical aspects and concerning their works which they
wrote during the time of national socialism. While Kästner, who represents the inner emigration,
wrote humorous stories like "Drei Männer im Schnee" and "Der kleine Grenzverkehr", Mann completed
his tetralogy of "Joseph und seine Brüder", which deals with the foundation and development of the
monotheistic jewish world religion, in France, Switzerland and America where in 1943 he began his
dark artist novel "Doktor Faustus", while in Europe internicine warfare and the Shoa were in progress.
While Erich Kästner, who was a very engaged political author in the so called Weimar Republic, was
captivated during the period of national socialism by his inwardness, Thomas Mann released himself
from this attitude in view of the Third Reich and became an emancipated author who was politically
engaged and with moral integrity.