Events | Jan Philipp Reemtsma: Democracy and Emphasis

Los Angeles | January 9, 2020 | 7:00 PM

German Scholar and writer Jan Philipp Reemtsma will be fourth to speak in the series “55 Voices for Democracy” on January 9, 2020 at the Thomas Mann House.

© Ziko van Dijk

What does it mean to speak about - and for - democracy in an emphatic sense? Is there a common project committed democrats stand for and even would fight for in difficult and dangerous times?

Renowned German Scholar and writer Jan Philipp Reemtsma will speak in the series “55 Voices for Democracy” at the Thomas Mann House. The series expands the 55 BBC radio messages Thomas Mann sent from his house in California to thousands of listeners from Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and occupied Netherlands and Czechia. In his monthly radio speeches between October 1940 and November 1945 Mann spoke out against fascist ideas and became the most significant German voice in exile.

As the political crisis in Europe and the US deepens, the time demands a strong response for the preservation of social and liberal values, for the renewal of our political vocabulary, and for overcoming political separation and manipulation. Thomas Mann’s belief that the “social renewal of democracy is both condition and warrant for its victory” rings true more than ever before.

“55 Voices for Democracy” brings together internationally esteemed intellectuals, scientists, and artists to present ideas for the renewal of democracy. Like Thomas Mann, they will deliver short “radio” talks combined with public events. Previous contributors include Francis Fukuyama, Timothy Snyder and Ananya Roy. Renowned intellectuals like Orhan Pamuk, Bruce Ackerman, Seyla Benhabib and Larry Diamond have already confirmed their participation.

The event with Jan Philipp Reemtsma on January 9th is moderated by USC Professor and Director of the Annenberg Media Center, Christina Bellantoni.

Jan Philipp Reemtsma is Professor for New German Literature at the University of Hamburg and an internationally renowned author of works such as Gewalt als Lebensform (2016), Vertrauen und Gewalt (2008, translated as Trust and Violence, 2012) or Gebt der Erinnerung Namen (2007, with Saul Friedländer). The traveling exhibitions on the crimes of the Wehrmacht that he organized with the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, have had a lasting impact on the process of accounting for the past in Germany.

Christina Bellantoni is a USC Professor of Professional Practice and Director of the Annenberg Media Center. A multimedia journalist with over 20 years of experience, she has worked as a reporter, editor, producer, and analyst across numerous platforms. She is the former assistant managing editor of the Los Angeles Times and editor-in-chief at Roll Call.


Thomas Mann House
1550 San Remo Drive
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Participation by invitation only.

Media partners for the series are Deutschlandfunk, Los Angeles Review of Books and Süddeutsche Zeitung.


Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e. V. is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.



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