Autograph letter signed.
4to. 2 pp.
In German, to Mr. Motschan, on imprinted stationery of the Library of Congress, Consultant in Germanic Literature: "It has been a long time since I received your kind letter of June in which you remembered my birthday with so much affection. But I did receive it and cannot understand why the earlier letter got lost It cannot be the old address which caused it, for I receive many letters that get delivered to Princeton first... It has been a long time since we have lived in Princeton. Actually, my time as a visiting professor there had already run out after one year but was extended for another year as an exception. But every year we are here on the West Coast, and we like it so much that after renting for quite a while we built our own home here in the country, in a beautiful area near Westwood and Santa Monica, and not far from either Hollywood or Los Angeles. It is the fourth house in my life - and I think it will be my final residence. For what it will be like in Europe after this mess - if I live long enough to see it - God knows. Which does not mean that I say Hitler will be able to win this war. I was very happy to hear so much good news from you and I congratulate you on your studies. I can understand that St[efan] Zweig s death affected you so deeply. I cannot approve of his decision - hiding, by the way, an incurable illness of his wife is supposed to have contributed to it - because of the discouraging effect it may have on his companions in misfortune. And yet at the same time he was so much better off than most of them. He was much too soft a person, absolutely peace loving and his attitude was completely in favor of intellectual free trade and he is said to have made a gloomy impression since quite some time ago. R.I.P But he should not have permitted the Nazis this triumph. If he had hated and despised them more, he would not have done it Received my best wishes and let us hope that Switzerland will get through this turmoil safe and sound again!" - Thomas Mann had supported the first World War, which led to a break with his pacifist brother, novelist Heinrich Mann. Thomas had lived mostly in Munich until 1933, when he moved to neutral Switzerland. In 1936, he emphatically disassociated himself from Nazism with an open letter. Then in 1938, Mann came to Princeton as a visiting Professor, and settled in California in 1941. At the time of this letter, Mann was finishing his tetrology, Joseph and His Brothers, and began work on Doctor Faustus. Stefan Zweig, a man of Jewish descent, had developed pacifist views with the advent of World War I, when he moved to Switzerland from his native Vienna so that he could express those views. Between the wars he lived in Salzburg, then emigrated to Brazil in 1938. The horrors of World War II were too much for him to bear, causing him to commit suicide in 1942.