Exhibition Thomas Mann: Democracy Will Win

Dww_Boston ©ETH

Wed, 10/05/2022 -
Fri, 10/07/2022

Goethe-Institut Boston

Introduction by Veronika Fuechtner, Friday, October 7, 6:00 pm

Exiled to the USA during the Nazi regime, the German Nobel-prizewinning writer Thomas Mann was a powerful opponent of National Socialism and a committed champion of democracy. The current sociopolitical issues in Germany and the United States render his call for an active renewal of democracy “in thought and feeling” as relevant today as it was in 1933.
The exhibition is divided into two parts. The first part presents the evolution of Thomas Mann’s political biography: from monarchist to powerful opponent of National Socialism and committed champion of democracy. What roles do personal background and the zeitgeist play, how important is each individual’s commitment, actions, and sense of responsibility? What contradictions must we overcome within ourselves to become politically active?

The second part connects these five topics to ongoing debates on both sides of the Atlantic: Do we have to recalibrate the tools of democracy, as we have understood them since antiquity, the French Enlightenment, and the American Constitution of 1787? Thomas Mann’s life offers numerous points of reference for dealing with our present state of affairs and the future of democracy – while adhering to Mann’s dictum: “Democracy will win!

Gallery Hours:
Wednesday, October 5: 5-8pm
Thursday, October 6: 3-5pm
Friday, October 7: 6 pm: Introduction by Veronika Fuechtner, followed by a reception 

Veronika Fuechtner ©Annette Hornischer Veronika Fuechtner is an Associate Professor of German Studies and of Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College. Her research interests include the history of psychoanalysis and sexology, the relationship between science and culture, discourses on race and ethnicity, German-language modernism, contemporary culture, German-language film, and global cultural and scientific histories. She is currently completing a monograph on Julia Mann, Thomas Mann's Brazilian mother, and the family’s construction of race and "Germanness."

From October 5-7, the Goethe-Institut Boston will offer free tours to school and university groups. Group tours are limited to appointment-only; to visit the exhibit with your students, please call or email Karin Oehlenschlaeger (617.893-5527 / Karin.Oehlenschlaeger@goethe.de) 

Please note: Masks are optional but all are encouraged to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID. Please monitor yourself for exposure and illness. If you yourself test positive, learn that you have had close contact with a person who has tested positive, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID, we ask that you remain home.