Erika Mann. Cabaret artist - war reporter - political speaker

An exhibition of the Monacensia in the Hildebrandhaus

For the first time, the Monacensia in the Hildebrandhaus is devoting a solo exhibition to the life and work of Erika Mann (1905-1969), the eldest daughter of Katia and Thomas Mann. The focus is on Erika Mann's consistent advocacy of freedom and democracy.

She belonged to the "dancing generation" of the 1920s, embodied the new woman, wrote whimsical feature articles for the newspaper, loved theatre scandals, crossed the whole of Europe by car and enjoyed life as the daughter of a famous family to the full. The rise of National Socialism opened her eyes politically. From now on Erika Mann saw her self-imposed task in the political enlightenment and didn't fear any conflicts. With her cabaret "Die Pfeffermühle" she celebrated great success in Munich in January 1933. The fame of the ensemble spread far beyond Munich, where it was forced into exile in March 1933 and reopened in Zurich in October. The cabaret struggle against Hitler continued in many German-speaking countries until 1936, despite hall battles, bans on performances and surveillance by the authorities.

Then the political world situation forced her to emigrate to the USA. As a political speaker, book author and war correspondent Erika Mann started a second career here.

But the end of the war brought the end for a political journalist who criticized the Cold War early and sharply. She also followed world events passionately as an executor and editor of the works of Thomas and Klaus Mann.

The exhibition "Erika Mann. Cabaret Artist - War Reporter - Political Speaker" presents biographical documents, letters, manuscripts, photographs as well as film footage and original sound recordings of a woman who was a fighter until the end of her life, a woman who is captivating and representative of the history of the 20th century and highly topical for the present. The majority of the exhibits on display come from Erika Mann's extensive literary estate, which is kept at the Monacensia in the Hildebrandhaus.

Films about the exhibiton are available here

Project management: Anke Buettner M.A., Director of the Monacensia
Curator: Prof. Dr. Irmela von der Lühe
Idea & concept: Sylvia Schütz M.A.
Design & realisation: Büro Alba, Munich
Research & rights: Laura Mokrohs M.A.
Programme: Lisa-Katharina Förster M.A.
Cultural mediation: Sylvia Schütz M.A.
Digital mediation: Dr. Tanja Praske

Under the patronage of Prof. Dr. Frido Mann
With the kind support of the Richard Stury Foundation and
der Freunde der Monacensia e.V.