This morning while the rest of the family slept, I went out and walked around some of the old city of Lubeck. On an early pass by the town hall, I saw a circle of about twenty high school students. I noticed how few boys were in the group, maybe three, but didn't otherwise think about what this might be. I went on my way.
Somewhat later, I was in the same area when three young women of about 16 stopped me and asked if I had few moments. I said (in English) Yes, with the qualification that I am an American and that the questions and answers would have to be in English. All clearly knew some English and one spoke it well, so this was not a problem. They wanted to ask me a few questions about Thomas Mann; they had notebooks and a list of questions. Fortunately, we had visited the Buddenbrooks House yesterday, and I was not entirely unprepared.
So: Where was Thomas Mann born? Lubeck. When? I thought 1878 (1875). What did his father do? His father was a merchant and senator. (Here there was a bit of confusion, and I came up with Kaufmann.) Was Thomas Mann pro- or anti-Nazi? He was opposed to the Nazi regime, and emigrated shortly after it came to power. (Again, a bit of confusion, and I said, "anti-Nazi".) Did he have any children? I thought five, and was able to name Klaus, Elisabeth, Golo, and Michael; I knew that I was missing the name of one daughter, but in fact missed two (Erika and Monika). When did he die? 1955. Where? Switzerland.
Later on I saw two more trios with notebooks, but I did not see anyone answering questions. I suppose that I should have asked what school they attended, and whether its web site will offer a statistical summary of what people knew. If we see them later on when out and about, I will ask.