Saving Thomas Mann's house

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The German government has purchased the former Los Angeles home of one of its most famous and celebrated authors. Why?

Thomas Mann grappled with the rise of totalitarianism and the collapse of the tradition of Western humanism in his writings, which include Dr Faustus and The Holy Sinner.

When Adolf Hitler became Germany's chancellor, Mann fled Germany and eventually settled in the Pacific Palisades. And there he commissioned a modest-sized house in the Modernist style, designed by another German immigrant, JR Davidson.

Earlier this year, Mann's house went on the market for a listed $15 million, labeled as a possible tear-down. So the Germans stepped in to save it, with the goal of making it an artists' retreat.