1933 – 1940

Sanary : capital of the artistic and literary exile…

After Hitler came to power in 1933, many intellectuals and artists left Germany and Austria, seeking refuge in France, which seemed to them a safe country.

Some of them, after having ventured on foot across the Pyrenees, found their salvation across the Atlantic.

Sanary sur Mer, which at the time was a small fishing village on the french riviera, became a meeting point for famous writers and  artists between 1933 and 1940 : Thomas MANN, Lion FEUCHTWANGER, Moïse KISLING and many others. They stayed there for varying lenghts of time.

The Café de La Marine, on the Sanary port, Quai Charles de Gaulle, was one of the places where the exiles used to meet.

Ludwig Marcuse gave Sanary sur Mer, during these years, the title of : 

« Secret capital of German-language literature »

On 10 May 1933, there were book burnings throughout Germany. This measure was not the spontaneous action of the Nacionalist students, but that of the Nacional-Socialist Party, which had been preparing it for a long time.

The works of the « burned authors » were reproached for  their anti-german spirit, decadence, immorality, sordid opinions, political treachery, falsification of German history and the debasement of its great figures, as well as the literary betrayal of the soldiers of the First World War, shamelessness and arrogance. The discriminated books were removed from bookshops and libraries. This led to the exodus of the entire German literary elite, 1,500 well-known writers .

Above, the commemorative plaque in front of the Sanary Tourist Office.

To go further…

Consult the brochure
“Exil Im Paradise – The life of the exiles”

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Consult the brochure
“Memory road map – The houses of the exiles”

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