Born in Leipzig in 1931, Grössel studied German literature, Romanic literature and philosophy in Göttingen and Paris. Doctorate 1960. Worked 1960-1966 as a publishing house reader, 1966-1997 as a radio journalist in Cologne and continuously as a translator, editor and critic in the fields of Danish, French and Swedish literature. Hanns Grössel died in Cologne on 1st August, 2012.

Prizes (selection): 1976 Translators' prize of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung, 1991 Translators' prize „Natur och Kultur“ of the Swedish Academy, 1995 Prize for European Poetry of the Town of Münster (together with Inger Christensen), 1996 Alfred-Kerr-Prize for Literary Criticism, 2010 European Translators' Prize of the Town of Offenburg; 2002-2004: awarded with the German Translators' Union's Hieronymus ring.

Thomas Mann (1875–1955) achieved fame with his first novel, Buddenbrooks (1901), which recounts the story of the physical decline of a once vigorous merchant family as it turns from business to the arts. Mann’s other works include Death in Venice (1912), The Magic Mountain (1924), the tetralogy Joseph and His Brothers (1933–43), and Doctor Faustus (1947). Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929 “in particular for [...] Buddenbrooks [...] as a classic work of modern times“, by 1930 the number of copies published had crossed the one-million mark.

Thomas Mann left Germany in 1933 after the Nazi seizure of power, lived in Switzerland, and then moved to the United States in 1939. After his return to Switzerland in the year 1952 he died in Zurich on 12th August 1955.

See also Helmut Koopmann (ed): Thomas-Mann-Handbuch, Stuttgart 1990 and Hermann Kurzke: Thomas Mann. Das Leben als Kunstwerk, Munich 1999, Frankfurt am Main 2002.