Thomas Mann House in LA is a new transatlantic bridge for open debate on democracy

Helmut K. Anheier moderates panel discussion, Diversity and the Search for a Common Ground. @VATMH/Mirko

Helmut K. Anheier moderates discussion at opening festivities.

Members of the German-American community gathered on 19 June for the opening of the Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles, a new institution for fostering transatlantic dialogue. As part of the festivities, Hertie School President Helmut K. Anheier moderated a panel discussion at a conference devoted to topics vital to a vibrant, open democratic debate.

Read Helmut K. Anheier's op-ed inspired by the Thomas Mann House opening: A troubled partnership (Dahrendorf Form)

The discussion, Diversity and the Search for a Common Ground, included panelists Jutta Allmendinger, 2018 Thomas Mann House Fellow and President of the Berlin Social Science Center, Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, Wasserman Dean and Professor of Education at UCLA, and Human Development and Psychology MA students at UCLA, Diane Allen and Ramon Flores.

Among other notable guests, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also attended the festivities and gave the opening speech at the conference themed The Struggle for Democracy. The German author Thomas Mann built the house in Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles while in exile during World War II. While he lived there, it was a gathering place for exiled artists, intellectuals, scientists and others.

Germany’s Federal Foreign Office acquired the property in November of 2016 to create a place for dialogue about current global issues. A new residency programme, funded by the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, as well as by the Berthold Leibinger Foundation, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Foundation and the Robert Bosch Foundation began in 2018, to host fellows whose works address issues relevant to both sides of the Atlantic. 

Continue to Helmut K. Anheier's op-ed, which was inspired by the Thomas Mann House opening: A troubled partnership (Dahrendorf Forum).