Klaus Mann’s Die Sammlung: An Attempt at an International Journal

Von Lindeiner, Karina (2007). Klaus Mann’s Die Sammlung: An Attempt at an International Journal. German Life and Letters, 60(2) pp. 212–224.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0483.2007.00383.x


Research on German exiles usually focuses on activities of refugees from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. Where it looks at international anti‐fascist cooperation, it mostly concentrates on politically motivated initiatives (for example the writers' congresses in 1934 and 1935, in Moscow and Paris respectively), or on the activities of a few central organisations, such as the PEN Club or the American Guild for German Cultural Freedom.

This essay broadens the focus of exile research by arguing that Klaus Mann, with his journal Die Sammlung , attempted to achieve international anti‐fascist cooperation – cultural as well as political – an aspect that has so far been neglected even by researchers who focus particularly on Mann. The study fills this gap by investigating the international dimension of Die Sammlung . It shows that Mann intended to produce more than the ‘Dokumente einer ohnmächtigen Opposition’ (Hans‐Albrecht Walter) that exile journals usually formed. Instead, he aimed at providing an international platform for intellectuals from many countries, as well as a literary and political journal by and for German exiles. In this respect, Die Sammlung was not only a precursor of Mann's own 1940s English‐language journal Decision, but also a unique endeavour amongst the journals of German exile.

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