Martin Heidegger, the son of Friedrich Heidegger and Johanna Kempf Heidegger, was born in Meßkirch, Baden-Württemberg, on 26th September 1889. His father was the sexton of the village church and was raised as a Roman Catholic. His family could not afford to send him to university, so he entered a Jesuit seminary, though he was forced to leave after a few weeks because the organisation's doctor diagnosed him as suffering from a psychosomatic heart condition. (1)
With the support of the church he studied theology at the University of Freiburg. In 1911 he switched his field of study to philosophy after reading the work of Franz Brentano, especially, On the Manifold Meaning of Being According to Aristotle (1862). He later admitted that although he did not fully understand it at the time, he did trigger an interest in metaphysics. (2)
Heidegger completed his doctoral thesis on psychologism (a philosophical position, according to which psychology plays a central role in grounding or explaining some other, non-psychological type of fact or law). (3)
On the outbreak of the First World War Heidegger was conscripted into the army, but was discharged after two months because of health reasons. Heidegger now became a lecturer at Freiburg and taught courses or early Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. In 1916 he became a junior colleague of Edmund Husserl when the latter joined the Freiburg faculty. Husserl was one of the founders of existentialism, a concomitant of an atheist view that whatever meaning attaches to human existence is found in it or imposed on it by human beings themselves. (4)
In 1917 he married Elfride Petri, a Protestant student who had attended his courses for the last two years. They had two weddings, one Catholic for him and one Protestant for her. They had a long marriage even though Heidegger had affairs with several of his students. This included Elisabeth Blochmann, who had a distinguished career as an educational theorist. Elfride and Elisabeth were very close friends. It is clear from the evidence of letters written at the time, that Elfride knew about the affair and that Heidegger and his wife conducted an open marriage in which she too had affairs. (5)
Desperately short of manpower, Heidegger was conscripted into the German Army in 1918. On his return to Freiburg on 9th January, 1919, he announced his break with the Roman Catholic Church and a few days later he was appointed as Husserl’s assistant. "His lectures on phenomenology and his creative interpretations of Aristotle would now earn him a wide acclaim. And yet, Heidegger did not simply become Husserl’s faithful follower. In particular, he was not captivated by the later developments of Husserl’s thought - by his neo-Kantian turn towards transcendental subjectivity and even less by his Cartesianism - but continued to value his earlier work, Logical Investigations. Laboring over the question of things themselves, Heidegger soon began a radical reinterpretation of Husserl’s phenomenology." (6)
In 1923, Heidegger became Professor of Philosophy at the University of Marburg. He began to lecture on philosophers and early Christian thinkers such as Paul of Tarsus, Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Max Scheler, Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche and Franz Brentano. He was especially interested in the work of Wilhelm Dilthey "whose stress on the role of interpretation and history in the study of human activity profoundly influenced Heidegger." (7)
In 1924 Hannah Arendt went to Marburg University where she studied philosophy under Martin Heidegger. She was an extremely intelligent teenager and became interested in Greek philosophy while at school. "Headstrong and independent, she displayed a precocious aptitude for the life of the mind. And while she might risk confrontation with a teacher who offended her with an inconsiderate remark - she was briefly expelled for leading a boycott of the teacher's classes." (8)
Her fellow students found her a very attractive young woman. Hannah was described as having "striking looks: thick, dark hair, a long, oval face, and brilliant eyes". One student claimed that she had "lonely eyes" but "starry when she was happy and excited". Another friend described them as "deep, dark, remote pools of inwardness." (9)
Hannah attended her first Heidegger lecture in November 1924. He argued that Socrates, Plato and Aristotle had taken philosophy in the wrong direction who "turned away from awe-filled contemplation of the actual existence of things toward an abstract metaphysics of ideas and ideal types". This "pre-Christian belief in eternal ideal types and the unity of the universe made him especially attractive eight hundred years later to St. Augustine, who sought to establish an intellectual basis for Christian thought." (10)
Heidegger preferred the pre-Socratics because their thought focused on actual existence. He went on to argue that the decline of civilisation from the earliest heights of pre-Socratic thought had been accelerated by Christianity, which distracted one from the essential fact of existence by directing attention to an afterlife. Hannah later claimed that it was his early lectures that convinced her that he was "the hidden king of thinking". (11)
Heidegger quoted Cato the Elder as saying: "Never is he more active than when he does nothing, never is he less alone than when he is by himself". The central characteristic of this type of thinking is the presence of a second internal voice to hear and test ideas: responding, revising, or rejecting. "The second voice reacts to what the first reacts to what the first proposes, if indeed the two can be told apart definitely. It is the twoin-one duality of the mind that makes it possible for the self to reflect on itself, to assess its ideas, even to judge itself." (12)
After one lecture at the beginning of February 1925, Heidegger approached Hannah Arendt and asked her to come to see him in his office. He asked about the lectures and about the philosophers she had been reading. A few days later they began an affair. "He (Heidegger) responded to Hannah's youth, her beauty and her mind. Many years later he declared to her that it was she who had inspired his thought in these years of the mid-1920s... They were lovers for several months... and they would meet in the attic room where she lodged." (13)
Heidegger wrote: "You are my pupil and I your teacher, but that is only the occasion for what has happened to us. I will never be able to call you mine, but from now on you will belong in my life, and I shall grow with you." In another letter he said: "Love is rich beyond all other possible human experiences... because we become what we love and yet remain ourselves... Love transforms gratitude into loyalty to ourselves and unconditional faith in the other... Nothing like it has ever happened to me." (14)
What we know about the first months of their love affair comes mostly from Heidegger's letters to Arendt, which she saved. For whatever reasons, he did not save hers. Heidegger made it clear that he would never leave his wife, Elfride Heidegger, and their two children. "There are shadows only where there is also sun." Hannah accepted this and agreed to keep the relationship a secret. (15) According to Mary McCarthy, her love affair with Heidegger was the most important that she had in her life. (16) Although she accepted that it was a man of weak character and a "notorious liar". (17)
Arendt later justified her relationship with a married man with children. She believed that the love between them deserved to be preserved and nurtured independently of any social convention or competing obligation. Although his wife was an intelligent woman she could "not participate in his deepest thought or be the companion that he needed to overcome his alienation from the world." Hannah Arendt "did not expect their love to last forever, neither could she deny it or feel in any way ashamed". However, as Daniel Maier-Katkin has pointed out: "It was naive... not to see that a deceitful and adulterous husband might also be untrustworthy and undependable as a lover." (18)
Other students who Heidegger had a major influence over included Hans Jonas, Karl Löwith, and Herbert Marcuse. Like Aredt, they were all "non-Jewish Jews". Heidegger was considered to be an excellent teacher: "Heidegger's impact as a teacher and mentor was, according to most extant accounts, inordinately profound. Few scholars who experienced his mesmerizing lectures and seminars remained untransformed. By the same token, students who fell under his powerful philosophical shadow often had difficulty extricating themselves and establishing an independent intellectual identity - a dilemma that even his most gifted students were forced to confront. Needless to say, such problems were compounded in the case of his extraordinarily talented Jewish students, men and women who often first experienced their Jewish identity in the crosshairs of German anti-Semitism." (19)
Elfride Heidegger was not very well liked, indeed was deeply resented in some circles. Although she had some Jewish friends, Elfride was openly anti-Semitic in the sense that she did not want German culture to be influenced by "alien" ideas and aesthetics. She was a traditionalist who loved to go on walks while singing popular folk songs. She disliked the pluralism and modernism of the Weimar Republic and was an early supporter of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. (20)
One day the Heidegger family and a group of philosophy students went for a hike and a picnic lunch in the Black Forest. They held an athletic competition and one of the students, Günther Stern, was an easy winner. Elfride was very impressed with this young man who she already knew to be a very fine musician, as well as a talented student in philosophy and literature. At the end of the day Elfride told Stern that he was an exceptional specimen of humanity and that such a young man ought to be a member of the Nazi Party. He replied that as he was Jewish he did not think the party would have a place for him. (21)
Jorg Heidegger was born in January 1919. The following year Elfride became pregnant but Martin was not the father as he had been working abroad at the time of conception. Elfride's physician and childhood friend, Friedel Caesar, was the real father. Heidegger seems not to have been disturbed by Elfride's extramarital pregnancy. It is possible that they had an open marriage. He wrote to her that he understood her love for Friedel. "In the end, they concealed this indiscretion from the world, continuing as husband and wife... Thus they remained, or seemed to remain, within the community of traditional values, and to avoid the stigma of adultery in her case and of having been a cuckold in his." (22)
In the summer of 1925, Hannah Arendt's relationship with Martin Heidegger began to weaken. In a letter to him she explained the way she was feeling. Derwent May explained: "After her happy childhood, she says that she had become dull and self-preoccupied for a long time. noticing things but not responding to them with any feeling, and finding a protection for herself in this state of mind. Heidegger had released her from this spell, so that the world had become full of colour and fascination and mystery for her again." (23)
Hannah Arendt left University of Marburg and moved to the University of Freiburg, where she studied under Edmund Husserl, a man who had inspired Heidegger's philosophy. Husserl was very impressed with Heidegger and wrote to Erich Jaensch saying. "He is without doubt the most important figure among the rising generation of philosophers... predestined to be a philosopher of great stature, a leader far beyond the confusions and frailties of the present age." (24)
Arendt wrote that Heidegger recognised before anyone else that philosophy was almost dead. It had been formulated into schools of thought and compartmentalized into such disciplines such as logic, ethics, and epistemology, and was not so much taught as "finished off by abysmal boredom." Heidegger did not participate in the "endless chatter about philosophy," rehearsing the teachings of others. He read all the earlier thinkers, and he read them, Arendt said, better than anyone ever had, and perhaps better than anyone ever will again. "His intention was not merely to comprehend or absorb the lessons taught by others, but to interrogate the masters, to think with and against them." (25)
On 9th January, 1926, Arendt visited Heidegger and complained that she felt forgotten. In a letter to Arendt he tried to explain his position: "It is not from indifference, not because external circumstance intruded between us, but because I had to forget and will forget you whenever I withdraw into the final stages of my work. This is not a matter of hours or days, but a process that develops over weeks and months and then subsides. And this withdrawal from everything human and breaking off of all connections is, with regard to creative work, the most magnificent human experience... but with regard to concrete situations, it is the most repugnant thing one can encounter. One's heart is ripped from one's body." (26)
The book Heidegger was working on, Being and Time, was published in 1927. Heidegger approached philosophy in a different way. His work was deeply influenced by Charles Darwin that had provided an alternative to Genesis's account of creation and Albert Einstein had reconceptualized the material universe. The ascent of indusrialized technology had elevated reason above faith in Western culture. "The various sciences broke away from philosophy, which had for centuries been their home; and all that seemed to be left behind was metaphysics.... Metaphysics came to signify the capacity of the mind to penetrate beyond the physical realm into an extended universe of intangibles filled with questions about the existence of God, the soull, what we are doing when we are thinking, or whether we can be certain that the world as it appears to us is the same as the world as it actually exists." (27)
Thomas Sheehan has described it as a very difficult book. "Heidegger often makes his case in charged and dramatic language that is difficult to convey in summary form. He argues that mortality is our defining moment, that we are thrown into limited worlds of sense shaped by our being-towards-death, and that finite meaning is all the reality we get. He claims that most of us have forgotten the radical finitude of ourselves and the world we live in. The result is a planetary desert called nihilism, with its promise that an ideally omniscient and virtually omnipotent humanity can remake the world in its own image and likeness. None the less, he still holds out the hope of recovering our true human nature, but only at the price of accepting a nothingness darker than the nihilism that now ravishes the globe." (28)
Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche were inventive philosophers in the nineteenth century thinking outside of the mainstream. These two became increasingly important over time, but neither was well known or widely read in their own lifetimes or in the early years of the twentieth century. Anthony Grayling argues that Heidegger's work was important in the development of what became known as existentialism: "Commentators on existentialism find its roots in the writings of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger... Existentialism... is a concomitant of an atheist view that whatever meaning attaches to human existence is found in it or imposed on it by human beings themselves, for one premise of atheism is that no purpose is established for mankind from outside... The four values which individuals... can impose on the meaninglessness of existence to give it value: namely love, freedom, human dignity, and creativity." (29)
Interestingly, the word "love" appears only once in all 500 pages of the book. Heidegger asks a series of questions: "What is existence?" "What is time?" "What is a thing?" "What is a work of art: Is it only the canvas and oils, or does something less tangible also exist there?" But he never questioned the meaning or existence of love. He appeared obsessed with death, "which carries us out of this world, that he failed to notice that it is love which connects us to it." (30) Karl Jaspers commented that because love was absent from Being and Time, the book's style was unlovable. (31)
In the book, Heidegger radically rethinks Aristotle, who argued that since every meaningful appearance of beings involves an event in which a human being takes a being as - as, say, a ship in which one can sail or as a god that one should respect - what unites all the different modes of Being is that they realize some form of presence (present-ness) to human beings. This presence-to is expressed in the ‘as’ of ‘taking-as’. Thus the unity of the different modes of Being is grounded in a capacity for taking-as (making-present-to) that Aristotle argues is the essence of human existence. Heidegger's response is to suggest that although Aristotle is on the right track, he has misconceived the deep structure of taking-as. For Heidegger, taking-as is grounded not in multiple modes of presence, but rather in a more fundamental temporal unity that characterizes Being-in-the-world (care)." (32) This engagement with Aristotle explains why, Thomas Sheehan, has pointed out: “Aristotle appears directly or indirectly on virtually every page of Being and Time." (33)
The anchoring concepts of Being and Time are "being" and "disclosure". These are discussed in existentialist terms. Disclosure is effected by anxiety. It has been pointed out that "anxiety is not fear, which is always fear of something particular, but rather is an indefinite and general mood of dread or anguish." We are thrown into the world without any answers available to the question, "Why am I here, why am I here now?" Heidegger suggests that we deal with this question by the "process of looking at the things around us to find possibilities for escaping our dread." (34) Heidegger also pointed out that the fact of death establishes the meaning of what has been." (35)
Within a few years, this book was recognized as a truly epoch-making work of 20th century philosophy. It earned Heidegger, in the fall of 1927, full professorship at Marburg, and one year later, after Husserl’s retirement from teaching, the chair of philosophy at University of Freiburg. (36) It catapulted Heidegger to a position of international intellectual visibility and provided the philosophical impetus for a number of later programmes and ideas in the contemporary European tradition, including the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre. (37)
Heidegger occasionally met Hannah Arendt but in April 1928 he told her because of his fame he would not be able to visit her again. A few days later she wrote to him about their relationship: "I have been anxious the last few days, suddenly overcome by an almost bafflingly urgent fear... I love you as I did on the first day - you know that, and I have always known it... The path you showed me is longer and more difficult than I thought. It requires a long life in its entirety... I would lose my right to live if I lost my love for you, but I would lose this love and its reality if I shirked the responsibility to be constant it forces on me." (38)
On 6th April, 1929, Heidegger took part in a public debate with Ernst Cassirer, at Davos. Cassirer, was a Jewish philosopher who supported the German Social Democratic Party, whereas Heidegger was a supporter of Adolf Hitler. The two men clashed over the relationship with philosophy and politics. Cassirer's wife accused Heidegger of being anti-Semitic and described him as an "unimposing little man, shy as a peasant boy who had been pushed through the portals of a mansion... His black hair and those piercing dark eyes at once reminded me of some journeyman from Austria, or Bavaria, an impression only strengthened by his manner of speech." (39)
In the General Election that took place in September 1930, the Nazi Party increased its number of representatives in parliament from 14 to 107. The behaviour of the Nazis became more violent. On one occasion 167 Nazis beat up 57 members of the German Communist Party in the Reichstag. They were then physically thrown out of the building. The stormtroopers also carried out terrible acts of violence against socialists and communists. In one incident in Silesia, a young member of the KPD had his eyes poked out with a billiard cue and was then stabbed to death in front of his mother. Four members of the SA were convicted of the rime. Many people were shocked when Hitler sent a letter of support for the four men and promised to do what he could to get them released. (40)
Heidegger was attracted to the ideas of Nazism. He approved of its anti-communism and its authoritarianism. Daniel Maier-Katkin has argued: "The Nazis did not have a philosophy so much as an ideology. Philosophy is about questions; the Nazis came to power with answers... It is nevertheless indisputable that there were already points of contaqct between his thought and emerging Nazi doctrine: Certainly he shared in the almost universal belief in the cultural superiority of European civilization in the imperial age, without which totalitarianism would not have been possible. He was also a nationalist in the sense that he had special regard for German language, philosophy, science, and spirit." (41)
Heidegger was also resentful of the attribution of national guilt for the First World War and the imposition of reparations imposed by the Allies at Versailles after the Armistice. Heidegger disliked parliamentary democracy and thought it irrevelent to the real dangers of global communism. In letters written to friends, Heidegger revealed expressions of anti-Semitism. In one letter he argued: "We are faced with a choice, either to provide our German intellectual life once more with real talents and educators rooted in our own soil, or to hand over that intellecual life once and for all to the growing Judaization in the broad and the narrow sense." (42)
In his Black Notebooks, written between 1931 and 1941, he confirmed his anti-Semitism. Heidegger accused Jews of "Bolshevism" and "Americanism" and complicit in the domination of "technology". He suggested that Jews projected their own faults onto others: "World Judaism, incited by the emigres let go from Germany, is everywhere elusive and in the unfolding of its power it does not need to get involved in military action anywhere, whereas we are left to sacrifice the best blood of the best of our people." (43)
On 4th January, 1933, Adolf Hitler had a meeting with Franz von Papen and decided to work together for a government. It was decided that Hitler would be Chancellor and Von Papen's associates would hold important ministries. "They also agreed to eliminate Social Democrats, Communists, and Jews from political life. Hitler promised to renounce the socialist part of the program, while Von Papen pledged that he would obtain further subsidies from the industrialists for Hitler's use... On 30th January, 1933, with great reluctance, Von Hindenburg named Hitler as Chancellor." (44)
His former student, Max Müller, reports that in the 1920s Heidegger's showed signs of anti-Semitism, by pointing out to him with a degree of annoyance that "originally only two Jewish physicians had worked in the department of internal medicine at the University, and that eventually only two non-Jews were to be found in the department". In a letter written in 1929 to Victor Schwörer, a Nazi sympathizer, in which Heidegger argues for a scholarship for Eduard Baumgarten, an Aryan student, on the basis that nothing less was at stake "than the urgent awareness that we stand before a choice: once again to provide our German spiritual and intellectual life with a genuine German manpower and educators, or to deliver it over definitively... to increasing Jewification in both a broad and a narrow sense." (45)
In the winter of 1932, Hannah Arendt wrote to Martin Heidegger saying that there were rumours circulating that he was becoming a Nazi and an anti-Semite. He replied rejecting this claim but in reality he was collaborating in secret with Nazi professors and sympathizers to destabilize the elected rector at Freiburg, Wilhelm von Möllendorff, a member of the German Social Democratic Party, refused to dismiss Jews working at the university. Heidegger suggested that if he was elected rector, he would join the party and sack Jewish members of staff. (46)
Under pressure from the German government, Von Möllendorff, resigned and on 21st April 1933, Heidegger was elected as rector of University of Freiburg by the faculty, and on 1st May he joined the Nazi Party. If not an anti-Semite, he was certainly an opportunist. He also campaigned for Germany's withdrawal from the League of Nations in the plebiscite of November 1933. (47) Over the next few months carried out some of the Nazi educational reforms with what has been described with "enthusiasm". (48)
The Nazi Party made good use of Heidegger. "There were pictures of him in the newspapers: Heidegger, the leading German philosopher, with a Hitler-style mustache, wearing a brown tunic with a high collar and a Nazi Party pin with eagle, globe, and swastika. It might have been laughable in a Charlie Chaplin sort of way were it not for his international prominence as an intellectual... Most significantly, as rector, Heidegger signed all of the letters dismissing Jewish faculty at the University of Freiburg, including the letter to his friend, mentor, steadfast champion, and enthusiastic supporter, the world-famous emeritus professor of philosophy, Edmund Husserl, a baptized Austrian Jew, professing Lutheran, and German patriot whose enthusiastic support over the years prepared the path for Martin's elevation to his chair in philosophy." (49)
Rudiger Safranski, the author of Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil (1999) argues that Heidegger was not anti-Semitic "in the sense of the ideological lunacy of Nazism". Karl Jaspers said that Heidegger was not openly anti-Semitic, but crude anti-Semitism went against his "conscience and taste". However, in the 1930s, he appeared to be insensitive to the suffering of many of his Jewish friends and colleagues, but that Heidegger was not anti-Semitic "in the sense of the ideological lunacy of Nazism." (50)
Heidegger abolished the Faculty Senate and instituted a dictatorial system of governance. He wrote letters that effectively destroyed the academic careers of dissident graduate students and young faculty members. He went so far as to recommend that the famous chemist Hermann Staudinger (who was not a Jew or active in left-wing politics) be removed from his position as professor because of his pacifist and anti-nationalist beliefs in the First World War. The Ministry of Culture agreed with this decision, but the Nazi government, "afraid of worldwide repercussions" allowed Staudinger to retain his position. (51)
For many years Heidegger was a regular visitor to the home of Karl Jaspers and his Jewish wife, Gertrud Jaspers. The final time that Heidegger visited their home, in 1933, Gertrude spoke directly to him about the hospitality he had accepted in her house over many years, and about how awful and frightening she found the Nazis with whom he had associated himself. Gertrude began to cry and Heidegger commented: "Sometimes crying helps to make you feel better." Heidegger left, never saying goodbye. (52)
Walter Eucken, an economist who worked with Heidegger at the University of Freiburg, who later joined the German Resistance group led by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Hans Dohnányi, Friedrich Olbricht, Henning von Tresckow, Friedrich Olbricht, Werner von Haeften, Claus von Stauffenberg, Fabian Schlabrendorff, Carl Goerdeler, Julius Leber, Ulrich Hassell, Hans Oster, Peter von Wartenburg, Hans Dohnányi, Erwin Rommel, Franz Halder, Klaus Bonhoeffer, Hans Gisevius, Fabian Schlabrendorff, Ludwig Beck and Erwin von Witzleben. Eucken believed that Heidegger saw himself as the natural philosophical and intellectual leader of the Reich and hoped to shape and define Nazi philosophy for the coming millennium. (53)
Despite the fact that Hitler was willing to make use of Heidegger's support, he much prefered the the ideas of Alfred Rosenberg, who had first developed his ant-Semetic views during the First World War when while in Russia in 1917 he first saw a copy of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. According to Konrad Heiden: "To Rosenberg it was a sign from heaven. Both the place and the hour were significant. Moscow, 1917.... The globe was afire. The Tsar's empire was crumbling. Perhaps there would never again be peace. Perhaps this book would tell him why. The demon, who had incited the nations against each other, had spoken. Perhaps he, Alfred Rosenberg, understood him better than others, for in his own soul he could feel more strongly than others the mesh woven by hatred and love between the nations.... Surely one of the most astounding, far-reaching, and bloody conspiracies of all time was bound to that hour. He who could read would go far." (54)
The book claimed that the First Zionist Congress in 1897 was a gathering of Jewish conspirators. In his book, Die Spur de Juden in Wandel der Zeiten (1920) he pointed to "Bolshevik Jewry" as the moving force behind the Russian Revolution. "Over the next two years he published no fewer than four other books in which he denounced the Jews as wanting in morals, as the founders and perpetuators of the criminal Freemason socities, and as a people of decisive influence in Russia who were plotting to overthrow governments throughout the world by means of Zionism." (55)
Daniel Maier-Katkin has argued that Alfred Rosenberg's philosophy that so appealed to Hitler "revolved around the ideas that God had not created individuals but separate races, that only the race has a soul, that Aryan culture is based on a higher innate moral sensibility aqnd more energetic will to power, and the higher races must rule over and not interbreed with the lower races in order to preserve their superior physical and spiritual heredity." (56)
In November 1923, Hitler appointed Rosenberg as editor of the Volkischer Beobachter (Racial Observer). It was an anti-socialist and anti-Jewish newspaper. For example,one headline was "Clean Out the Jews Once and for All." The article urged a "final solution" of the Jewish problem by "sweeping out the Jewish vermin with an iron broom." The newspaper also campaigned for the concentration camps to house Germany's Jewish population. (57)
Under the editorship of Rosenberg the newspaper became increasingly anti-Semitic. Rosenberg saw English capitalists, as long as they were not Jews, as the Aryan rulers of "coloured sub-humanity". He argued in July 1930 that "German master-men must systematically and peaceably share Aryan world domination... England's task is the protection of the white race in Africa and West Asia; Germany's task is to safeguard Germanic Europe against the chaotic Mongolian flood and to hold down France, which has already become an advance guard of Africa... None of the three states can solve the task of destiny alone." (58)
In the summer of 1933, Heidegger began his campaign to become chair at the University of Berlin and the leadership of the Prussian Academy of University Lecturers. However, he had several enemies within the Nazi Party, including Erich Rudolf Jaensch, who taught philosophy at the University of Marburg and Ernst Krieck, who was a lecturer at the University of Heidelberg. Jaensch and Krieck wrote to Rosenberg saying that Heidegger's appointment would be "catastrophic" as he was a man who had helped to maintain the old system, especially its "Jewish cliques". Heidegger was described as the "quintessential decadent archetypal representative of the age of decay." (59)
Heidegger traveled to Berlin hoping to see Hitler but his approach was rejected. It now became clear that his enemies in the party had blocked him. In April 1934, Heidegger resigned as rector at the University of Freiburg. He later claimed that he stepped down because Bernhard Rust, the Minister of Education, ordered him to replace the deans of the law and medical schools with party members whom he considered unqualified, but it is more likely he resigned because he realized that he was not trusted by Hitler. (60)
Hannah Arendt wrote some years later, that fascism in Germany did not allow for free initiative in any field of life. It was, she thought, a sign of Heidegger's naivete that he ever thought the Nazis would have a place of leadership for a man who thought independently and whose thought was too complicated for them to understand. "Totalitarianism in power invariably replaces all first-rate talents, regardless of their sympathies, with crackpots and fools whose lack of intelligence and creativity is the best guarantee of their loyalty." (61)
Heidegger continued to open his classes with the so-called "German greeting" of "Heil Hitler!" In 1936, he confided to one of his students that his "partisanship for National Socialism lay in the essence of his philosophy"; it derived, he claimed, from the concept of "historicity" (which stressed the importance of authentic historical commitment) in Being and Time. On the lecture stump, he proved an effective propagandist on behalf of the new regime, concluding one speech by declaring: "Let not ideas and doctrines be your guide. The Führer is the only German reality and its law." (62)
In the summer of 1936, he visited Rome wearing a swastika pin on his jacket. He told his former student Karl Löwith, who was living in exile, that fascism was the right course for Germany, if one could "hold out long enough". He made it clear that he had not abandoned his ideology, his commitment to German rebirth, nor even his confidence in Hitler's leadership. Although he did not play a major role in Nazi Germany there is no evidence that he ever uttered a word of resistance. (63)
On 27th November, 1944, Freiburg was devastated by British and American bombers. Heidegger and the rest of the philosophy faculty withdrew to Castle Wildenstein. When he returned to Freiburg in 1945 his house and library had been temporarily commandeered by Allied troops, who demanded a purge of Nazi Party supporters from teaching and other public professions. A Denazification Commission was established to determine who collaborated with Hitler's government. Members of the commission were mostly people who had been imprisoned by the regime. It also included two men who Heidegger had sacked while he was rector of University of Freiburg. (64)
Heidegger claimed that he joined the party because it facilitated his efforts to protect the university and because he hoped that the participation of intellectuals would deepen and transform National Socialism. "Heidegger never acknowledged that by consciously placing the full weight of his academic reputation and distinctive oratory in the service of the National Socialist revolution, he did a great deal to legitimize the Nazis in the eyes of educated Germans, to raise the hopes of ordinary people that there might be something of value in the new regime, and to make it much more difficult for German science and scholarship to maintain its independence during the period of political upheavel." (65)
Karl Jaspers, an old friend and fellow philosopher, was asked by the Denazification Committee for his views on Heidegger: "In the torrent of his language he is occasionally able, in a clandestine and remarkable way, to strike the core of philosophical thought. In this regard he is, as far as I can see, perhaps unique among contemporary German philosophers. Therefore, it is urgently to be hoped and requested that he remain in the position to work and write. Yet it is absolutely neccessary that those, like Heidegger, who helped place National Socialism in the saddle, be called to account... Exceptional intellectual achievement can serve as a justifiable basis for faciliting the continuation of scholarly work, but not for the resumption of professional position and teaching duties. In our situation, the education of youth must be handled with the greatest responsibility... Heidegger's manner of thinking, which seems to me in its essence unfree, dictatorial, and not directed at open communication, would be disastrous in the current environment. As long as he does not experience an authentic rebirth that is evident in his work, such a teacher cannot in my opinion be placed before the youth of today." (66)
In January 1946, the faculty senate granted emeritus status and a pension to Heidegger, refusing to allow him to teach, and pointedly making no provision for periodic review of the decision. This was a harsh blow for Heidegger and two months later was hospitalized for several weeks for depression and a physical and mental breakdown. The psychologist Robert Heiss, a close friend, claimed that after his release from the sanitarium Heidegger was remote and seemed to have entered a state of internal exile "as if he were reaping what he had sown". (67)
Herbert Marcuse, a Jewish socialist who had been Heidegger's student between 1928 and 1932, had fled from Nazi Germany in 1933 and worked for the for the Office of Strategic Services during the Second World War, wrote to Heidegger asking him to renounce his Nazi past: "Because you are still today identified with the Nazi regime, many of us have long awaited a statement from you, a statement that would clearly and finally free you from such identification, a statement that honestly expresses your current attitude about the events that have occured. But you have never uttered such a statement... A Philosopher can be deceived regarding political matters; in which case he will openly acknowledge his error. But he cannot be deceived about a regime that has killed millions of Jews - merely because they were Jews - that made terror into an everyday phenomenon, and that turned everything that pertains to the ideas of spirit, freedom, and truth into its bloody opposite." (68)
Heidegger replied that he thought this was unreasonable as he had not yet denounced the rule of Joseph Stalin: "To the serious, legitimate charges that you express about a regime that murdered millions of Jews, that made terror into an everyday phenomenon, and that turned everything that pertains to the ideas of spirit, freedom, and truth into its bloody opposite. I can only add that if instead of 'Jews' you had written 'Germans of the eastern territories,' then the same holds true for one of the allies, with the difference that everything that has occurred since 1945 has become public knowledge, while the bloody terror of the Nazis in point of fact had been kept a secret from the German people." (69)
Marcuse had indeed been a critic of Stalin and so this was an unfair argument. It is true that some Germans had been murdered and raped by members of the Red Army and German prisoners of war (including both of Heidegger's sons) had been treated badly. However, it is difficult to compare the actions of some members of an army with that of the policies of a government. As Daniel Maier-Katkin has pointed out: "Even if Heidegger was right about the Russians, he failed to see the Red Army established a sphere of control that extended as far west as Prague, Budapest, and Berlin only because it had been pushing the Wehrmacht back across central Europe, and that this would have been avoided had the Nazis been stopped at the beginning." (70)
Sheldon Richmond argues that most of his former students had a love-hate relationship with Heidegger, especially as he "did not admit to any wrongdoing in his wholehearted service to his Teutonic deity, Hitler." Only Marcuse severed all relations with him after he refused to seek forgiveness for his eyes wide open adoption of Nazism. "Marcuse and the other former disciples of Heidegger the teacher, but not Heidegger the man, saw him as he was in his naked self: a thinker whose apparently sophisticated, apparently complex, apparently deep thought led him to justify to himself the murder of millions. Like the children of Noah, they saw Heidegger as a person intoxicated with his own ego who turned his thought into a totem for the Nazis." (71)
In 1946 Hannah Arednt wrote an essay on the development of existentialism, beginning with Søren Kierkegaard and including the work of Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl, Karl Jaspers, John-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. She explained how Kierkegaard's point of departure is the individual's sense of subjectivity and of being lost and alone in a world in which nothing is certain but death: "Death is the event in which I am definitely alone, an individual cut off from everyday life. Thinking about death becomes an 'act' because in it man makes himself subjective and separates himself from the world and everyday life with other men... On this premise rests not only the modern preoccupation with the inner life but also fanatical determination, which also begins with Kierkegaard, to take the moment seriously, for it is the moment alone that guarantees existence." (72)
In Being and Time (1927) Heidegger spells out our "average everyday" attitude towards death. The first thing that he emphasizes is that, although we all know, in one sense, that we are going to die, there is another sense in which we are not fully aware of that fact. (73) As Heidegger points out, "death is understood as an indefinite something which, above all, must arrive from somewhere or other, but which is proximally not yet present-at-hand for oneself, and is therefore no threat." (74)
Arednt argued that Jaspers had used the fact of death as a starting point for a life-affirming philosophy in which man's existence is not simply a matter of Being, but rather a form of human freedom. For Jaspers "man achieves reality only to the extent that he acts out of his own freedom rooted in spontaneity and "connects through communication with the freedom of others." She compared Jaspers with Heidegger, who interpreted death as proof of man's "nothingness". She suggests that this approach to philosophy is connected to his support for Adolf Hitler. (75)
In another article published in September, 1946, she attacked German intellectuals such as Heidegger, who went out of the way to aid the Nazis. This included the extermination camps: "Last came the death factories - and they all died together, the young and the old, the weak and the strong, the sick and the healthy; not as people, not as men and women, children and adults, boys and girls, not as good and bad, beautiful and ugly - but brought down to the lowest common denominator of organic life itself." She went on to say: "Heidegger "whose enthusiasm for the Third Reich was matched only by his glaring ignorance of what he was talking about." (76)
After a narrow vote the faculty senate agreed to reinstate Heidegger's right to teach beginning in the winter of 1950. Students turned out for his classes in great numbers, and his first public lectures in Bremen, Munich, and Freiburg on such topics as "Who is Zorathustra?" "On Things," "On Thinking," and "The Arts in the Age of Technology" were all great successes. At the end of the year both of his sons, were released from Russian prisoner-of-war camps. (77)
After the war Heidegger and Hannah Arendt resumed contact by letter. They did not meet again until February 1950. Although they enjoyed discussing a wide variety of topics, Elfride Heidegger was less friendly and on Martin's request she wrote to her about the affair. "Martin and I have probably sinned just as much against each other as against you. This is not an excuse... Please believe one thing: what was and surely still is between us was never personal... You never made a secret of your convictions, after all, nor do you today, not even to me. Now, as a result of those convictions, a conversation is almost impossible, because what the other might say is, after all, already characterized and (forgive me) categorized in advance." (78)
In a letter to Heinrich Blücher she explained what happened when she met Heidegger: "On top of everything, this morning I had an argument with his wife. For twenty-five years now, or from the time she somehow wormed the truth about us out of him, she has clearly made his life a hell on earth. And he, who always, at every opportunity, has been such a notorious liar, evidently (as was obvious from the aggravating conversation the three of us had) never, in all those twenty-five years, refuted that I had been the passion of his life. His wife, I'm afraid, for as long as I'm alive, is ready to drown any Jew in sight. Unfortunately she is absolutely horrendous." (79)
Over the next two years Arendt and Heidegger exchanged seventy letters. After their meeting in 1950 Heidegger wrote to her almost every day for the next few weeks, and urged her in the most earnest terms to come back to Freiburg for a second visit. In one letter he wrote: "You are right about reconciliation and revenge". Arendt later explained why she was unwilling to forgive Heidegger because of "the possibility that the one who is forgiven may interpret forgiveness as a release from moral culpability - which can perhaps be earned but not bestowed." Revenge "nevertheless preserves relationships because the person seeking vengeance always stays close (at least in a psychological sense) to the other, with no pretence of superiority - sharing perversely in the solidarity of sinners, wanting to do to the other what was done to him." (80)
Hannah Arendt published The Human Condition in 1958. Peter Baehr argues that the book contains within it two distinct, if overlapping, narrative levels. "On one level, we are introduced to a quasi-historical sketch of how three fundamental activities - labor, work, and action - have been envisaged, ordered, and reordered from ancient to modern times. These activities, which in sum compose the vita activa, were themselves traditionally seen as inferior to the vita contemplativa - the life of contemplation - until the sixteenth century, when the Protestant Reformation, the scientific revolution, and the emergence of capitalism began the process that reversed this order of estimation." (81)
In the book, Arendt also deals with her conflict with Martin Heidegger, although she never mentions his name. She writes about the possibility of reconciliation, an action that can produce new beginnings. Reconciliation cannot be achieved merely through an averted glance; the pain is too great to be denied and can only be overcome through forgiving. Forgiving, like love, derives from being with others - no one, Arendt thought, can forgive himself. Christian belief recognized that men must forgive each other before they can hope to be forgiven by God. "The freedom contained in Jesus' teachings of forgiveness is the freedom from vengeance, which incloses both doer and sufferer in the relentless automatism of the action process, which by itself need never come to an end." (82)
Revenge, which is the natural, expected, automatic reaction to transgression, never puts an end to the consequences of a misdeed, but instead keeps everyone bound to a chain reaction with no place for freedom or spontaneity. Forgiving, which can never be predicted, "is the only reaction which does not merely re-act but acts anew and unexpectedly... thus freeing both the one who forgives and the one who is forgiven." (83)
Hannah Arendt continued to have contact with Martin Heidegger and in the last nine years of her life the couple exchanged seventy-five letters. Hannah also visited him and Karl Jaspers in Europe in September 1968. She wrote to Heinrich Blücher that Jaspers could barely walk even with a walker and that he should be in a wheelchair. Hannah returned in February, 1969, to attend Jaspers's funeral in Basel. She also took this opportunity to visit Heidegger in Freiburg. (84)
At the memorial service held by Jaspers, Arendt reminded the mourners that he was not only among the leading thinkers of his age, but had also been the conscience of Germany during the Nazi period and remained loyal to his Jewish wife. "We don't know what happens when a human being dies. All we know is that he has left us. We cling to the works... which are what someone who dies leaves behind in the world... What is at once the most fleeting and at the same time the greatest thing about him - the spoken word and the gesture unique to him - those things die with him, and they put a demand on us to remember him. That remembering takes place in communication with the dead person, and from that arises talk about him, which then resounds in the world again." (85)
In October 1971, Arednt published an article on Heidegger in the New York Review of Books. She pointed out the almost unparalleled influence in the twentieth century among abstract thinkers and philosophers. Even before the publication of Being and Time (1927), "Heidegger had achieved fame as a teacher because he, before anyone else, recognized that philosophy had become formalized, tradition-bound, and boring precisely because it no longer bore any relationship to independence of thought... With Heidegger, students did not simply absorb lessons formulated by philosophers of earlier generations, but learned to interrogate and challenge the great thinkers of the past." (86)
As Heidegger's student, she acknowledged the influence he had before the publication of the book: "For Heidegger’s 'fame' predates by about eight years the publication of Being and Time in 1927; indeed it is open to question whether the unusual success of this book - not just the immediate impact it had inside and outside the academic world but also its extraordinarily lasting influence, with which few of the century’s publications can compare - would have been possible if it had not been preceded by the teacher’s reputation among the students, in whose opinion, at any rate, the book’s success merely confirmed what they had known for many years. There was something strange about this early fame, stranger perhaps than the fame of Kafka in the early Twenties or of Braque and Picasso in the preceding decade, who were also unknown to what is commonly understood as the public and nevertheless exerted an extraordinary influence." He was, according to Arendt, the "secret king in the empire of thinking". (87)
Hannah Arendt addressed the problem of old age and dying. "The end of life is death, but man lives not for the sake of death, but because he is a living being; and he thinks not for the sake of some result or other, but because he is a thinking, sensing being." The product of thought is less important than the fact of thinking. "The thinking self is ageless, and it is the curse and blessing of thinkers... that they get old without aging." She quotes something that Karl Jaspers said to her just before he died: "And now, just when one finally wants to get properly started, one is supposed to leave!" (88)
Arendt discussed Heidegger's collaboration with the Nazi government. Heidegger had succumbed to the temptation of intervening in the world of human affairs. She pointed out that his "escapade" involved "avoiding the reality of the Gestapo's secret rooms and the torture cells of the concentration camps" Arendt acknowledged that "both Plato and Heidegger resorted to tyrants and Führers" when they became involved in human affairs. This she concluded, "must be attributed not simply to the conditions of their times, and even less to innate character, but rather to a déformation professionnelle (occupational hazard)", which seems to drive many great thinkers to tyrannical tendencies. (89)
Arendt sent a copy of her article to Heidegger with a note explaining that his 80th birthday was the occasion for his contemporaries to honour "the master, the teacher, and - for some surely - the friend," by acknowledging that the "passionate fulfillment" of his life and work had been to demonstrate what it is to think and to have the courage to venture into unexplored territory: "May those who come after us, when they recall our century and its people and try to keep faith with them, not forget the devastating sandstorms that swept us up, each in his own way, and in which something like this man and his work were still possible." (90)
On 4th December, 1975, Hannah Arendt held a small dinner party at her home. After dinner they retired to the living room for coffee and conversation in comfortable chairs. Then, after a sudden brief spell of coughing, Hannah fell into unconsciousness; her doctor was summoned and came immediately, but Hannah, who was sixty-nine years old, died of a heart attack without regaining consciousness. (91)
In the early months of 1975 Heidegger met with Bernhard Welte, a Catholic priest, Freiburg University professor and earlier correspondent. The exact nature of their conversation is not known, but what is known is that it included talk of Heidegger's relationship to the Catholic Church and subsequent Christian burial at which the priest officiated. Heidegger died on 26th May 1976 and was buried in the Meßkirch cemetery. (92)
Commentators on existentialism find its roots in the writings of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger... Existentialism... is a concomitant of an atheist view that whatever meaning attaches to human existence is found in it or imposed on it by human beings themselves, for one premise of atheism is that no purpose is established for mankind from outside... The four values which individuals... can impose on the meaninglessness of existence to give it value: namely love, freedom, human dignity, and creativity.
Heidegger only took on the position of rector, he told the denazification commission, because the university needed him. He only joined the party because it facilitated his efforts to protect the university and because he hoped that the participation of intellectuals would deepen and transform National Socialism. He accepted the Jewish Proclamation reluctantly and passively only to keep the university from being closed (and did not see even after the fact that it would have been better to close universities in protest and perhaps awaken broader resistance throughout society).
Heidegger never acknowledged that by consciously placing the full weight of his academic reputation and distinctive oratory in the service of the National Socialist revolution, he did a great deal to legitimize the Nazis in the eyes of educated Germans, to raise the hopes of ordinary people that there might be something of value in the new regime, and to make it much more difficult for German science and scholarship to maintain its independence during the period of political upheavel.
In the torrent of his language he is occasionally able, in a clandestine and remarkable way, to strike the core of philosophical thought. In this regard he is, as far as I can see, perhaps unique among contemporary German philosophers. Therefore, it is urgently to be hoped and requested that he remain in the position to work and write. Yet it is absolutely neccessary that those, like Heidegger, who helped place National Socialism in the saddle, be called to account... Exceptional intellectual achievement can serve as a justifiable basis for faciliting the continuation of scholarly work, but not for the resumption of professional position and teaching duties.
In our situation, the education of youth must be handled with the greatest responsibility... Heidegger's manner of thinking, which seems to me in its essence unfree, dictatorial, and not directed at open communication, would be disastrous in the current environment. As long as he does not experience an authentic rebirth that is evident in his work, such a teacher cannot in my opinion be placed before the youth of today.
Because you are still today identified with the Nazi regime, many of us have long awaited a statement from you, a statement that would clearly and finally free you from such identification, a statement that honestly expresses your current attitude about the events that have occured. But you have never uttered such a statement... A Philosopher can be deceived regarding political matters; in which case he will openly acknowledge his error. But he cannot be deceived about a regime that has killed millions of Jews - merely because they were Jews - that made terror into an everyday phenomenon, and that turned everything that pertains to the ideas of spirit, freedom, and truth into its bloody opposite.
To the serious, legitimate charges that you express about a regime that murdered millions of Jews, that made terror into an everyday phenomenon, and that turned everything that pertains to the ideas of spirit, freedom, and truth into its bloody opposite. I can only add that if instead of 'Jews' you had written 'Germans of the eastern territories,' then the same holds true for one of the allies, with the difference that everything that has occurred since 1945 has become public knowledge, while the bloody terror of the Nazis in point of fact had been kept a secret from the German people.
The protagonists of Heidegger's Children - Hannah Arendt, Hans Jonas, Karl Löwith, and Herbert Marcuse were non-Jewish Jews who thought of themselves as proverbial "Germans of Jewish origin." As philosophically trained intellectuals, they expected to find salvation and meaning not in the traditions of Jewish cultural belonging but in the hallowed Germanic ideals of Geist and Bildung . All four were trained by Germany's greatest philosopher, Martin Heidegger. Although Heidegger was virtually unpublished until the landmark appearance of Being and Time in 1927, his talents as a lecturer and teacher had already gained him considerable renown.
Heidegger's Jewish students were among his very brightest. Each of the protagonists in question carved out a distinctive niche in the world of twentieth-century philosophy and letters. Hannah Arendt is probably the twentieth century's greatest political thinker. At an advanced age, Hans Jonas achieved renown as Germany's premier philosopher of environmentalism. Herbert Marcuse gained fame - and notoriety - as a philosophical eminence of the Frankfurt School as well as a mentor to the New Left. (At one point in the late 1960s, he was denounced by the Pope himself.) Karl Löwith, upon his return to Germany in 1956, became one of the leading philosophers of the postwar era. Moreover, Heidegger's own mentor, Edmund Husserl, to whom the philosopher dedicated Being and Time, was also Jewish. In light of Heidegger's zealous involvement with Nazism during the early 1930s, the attendant ironies - the Nazi rector of Freiburg University, a former assistant to Husserl, who was in turn surrounded by talented Jewish disciples - are considerable.
However, the inconsistencies in Heidegger's attitude are less profound than they may appear on first view. Among Heidegger's Jewish "children," none were practicing Jews. As assimilated Jews devoted to the allurements of Geist, the manifestly Jewish dimension of their personae was in most cases imperceptible. Karl Löwith, in fact, was a convert to Protestantism. Jonas had some Jewish education as a youth and, late in life, published several influential texts on the theme of post-Holocaust theology. Yet, in his major philosophical works, traces of Jewish influence are negligible. For a time during the 1930s, Arendt worked with Youth Aliyah, a Paris-based organization that helped send Jewish children to Palestine. Yet, following the Jewish Agency's 1943 Biltmore declaration rejecting a two-state solution to the question of Palestine, she became one of Zionism's most vocal critics. And although as we shall see, Heidegger's worldview was by no means free of the everyday anti-Semitism that seethed beneath the surface of the liberal Weimar Republic, he never subscribed to the racial anti-Semitism espoused by the National Socialists. To him this perspective was philosophically untenable, insofar as it sought to explain "existential" questions in reductive biological terms.
To begin with, there is much to learn about the conditions that governed the global dissemination of Heidegger's ideas, especially in the postwar period when he had been banned from teaching due to his political fall from grace during the early 1930s. Since his students' attitudes were often instrumental in determining how Heidegger's views would be received, Heidegger's Children is in part a study in reception history. In contemporary scholarship, the idea that there can be no absolute separation between a body of thought and its reception has become commonplace. Long before such notions became fashionable, the philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin formulated a related insight: "The work is the death of the intention." Once objectified, doctrines and ideas tend to defy the will of their author, taking on a life of their own. Often, commentary and interpretation outstrip proprietary assertions of authorial intention: rarely are authors the best judges of their own work. Thus, by observing the peregrinations of Heidegger's gifted Jewish students, one simultaneously gains new insight into both the richness and the limitations of his manner of thinking.
Heidegger's impact as a teacher and mentor was, according to most extant accounts, inordinately profound. Few scholars who experienced his mesmerizing lectures and seminars remained untransformed. By the same token, students who fell under his powerful philosophical shadow often had difficulty extricating themselves and establishing an independent intellectual identity - a dilemma that even his most gifted students were forced to confront. Needless to say, such problems were compounded in the case of his extraordinarily talented Jewish students, men and women who often first experienced their Jewish identity in the crosshairs of German anti-Semitism. For these students, the dilemmas of intellectual individuation proved doubly fraught, insofar as Heidegger's doctrines had fallen within the orbit of contamination circumscribed by the "German catastrophe" in ways that were both readily intelligible and ineffable since, often, what was at issue was a quintessentially Heideggerian habitus or gestus . At the same time, as eyewitnesses to Germany's shocking political devolution, Heidegger's "children" were able to offer invaluable firsthand testimony concerning the spiritual conditions responsible for the collapse. Yet that privileged proximity often proved existentially and philosophically troubling, for how much of what they had imbibed as students of German thought and culture had been tainted by the Bacillus teutonicus? Many would continue to pose similar questions until the end of their lives...
Had it not been for Heidegger's fateful political lapse of 1933 when, with great fanfare, he joined the Nazi Party and assumed the rectorship of Freiburg University, biographers might have scant material to work with. Heidegger was studiously averse to traveling outside his native home in Baden. In the early 1930s, he twice turned down offers to teach at the University of Berlin with resounding affirmations of the virtues of provincialism. One such account, "Why We Remain in the Provinces," reads like a parody of the German discourse of "blood and soil."
Yet Heidegger's dalliances with Nazism, though short-lived, have made biographical considerations central to the evaluation of his intellectual worth. Heidegger resigned as Nazi rector of Freiburg University after a year in office, but by then sufficient damage had been done. He had effectively delivered the university over to the aims and ends of the "German Revolution." On the lecture stump, he proved an effective propagandist on behalf of the new regime, concluding one speech by declaring: "Let not ideas and doctrines be your guide. The Führer is the only German reality and its law."
In May 1933, Heidegger sent a tell-tale telegram to Hitler expressing solidarity with recent Gleichschaltung legislation. There were instances of political denunciation and personal betrayal. Moreover, Heidegger remained a dues-paying member of the Nazi Party until the regime's bitter end. He continued to open his classes with the so-called "German greeting" of "Heil Hitler!" In 1936, he confided to Karl Löwith with that his "partisanship for National Socialism lay in the essence of his philosophy"; it derived, he claimed, from the concept of "historicity" (which stressed the importance of authentic historical commitment) in Being and Time.
As the rector of Freiburg University, Heidegger was charged with enforcing the anti-Semitic clauses of the so-called "Law for the Preservation of a Permanent Civil Service," which effectively banned Jews from all walks of government service, including university life. Despite his later disclaimers, in his capacity as rector Heidegger faithfully executed these laws, even though it meant banning Husserl, to whom he owed so much, from the philosophy faculty library. In the eyes of Hannah Arendt, this action, which had affected the septuagenarian phenomenologist so adversely, made Heidegger a "potential murderer." At the time, Husserl complained bitterly in a letter to a former student about Heidegger's growing anti-Semitism: "In recent years he has allowed his anti-Semitism to come increasingly to the fore, even in his dealings with his groups of devoted Jewish students," observes Husserl. "The events of the last few weeks," he continued (referring to Heidegger's joining the Nazi Party as well as the recent university ban on Jews), "have struck at the deepest roots of my existence."
With the regime's fall, Heidegger paid dearly for his transgressions. A university denazification commission found that by lending the prestige of his name and reputation to the regime in its early months, Heidegger had helped to legitimate it in the eyes of other German scholars. During the proceedings, an especially damning letter of evaluation was provided by the philosopher Karl Jaspers, who claimed that Heidegger's philosophy was "unfree" and "dictatorial." "I think it would be quite wrong," concluded Jaspers, "to turn such a teacher loose on the young people of today, who are psychologically extremely vulnerable." Heidegger was stripped of his right to teach and granted emeritus status. The man who thought of himself as the greatest philosopher since Heraclitus did not take the verdict well. For nearly two months, he was hospitalized for depression. According to recent reports, at one point he even attempted to take his own life.
Heidegger's children were forced to confront the painful fact of their mentor's political misdeeds. In light of the immense esteem in which they held him, the process proved difficult, protracted, and, at times, disorienting. As youths they firmly believed that, by casting their lot with the Freiburg sage, they were riding the crest of the philosophy of the future. They felt, as did Heidegger's other disciples, that his novel philosophy of "existence" put paid to the stale academicism of the reigning German school philosophies -- neo-Kantianism, Hegelianism, and positivism. His abrupt conversion to Nazism took almost all of his students, Jewish and non-Jewish, by surprise. However, if one carefully reconstructs the ideological components of his early philosophy of existence, his political turn seems less than a total break. In a concluding Excursus, " Being and Time : A Failed Masterpiece?" I have examined Heidegger's philosophical path prior to the composition of his great work of 1927, in order to show that indeed the "anticivilizational" ( zivilisationskritisch ) elements of his thinking, far from being a later accretion, were firmly embedded in his project from the very outset.
Following 1933, his Jewish students were forced to ponder, under the stress and hardship of exile, whether there was something integral to Existenzphilosophie that triggered Heidegger's Nazi allegiance. Perhaps Hannah Arendt's initial response was the most extreme: by her own admission, she abandoned philosophy for a period of twenty years. As late as 1964, the author of The Human Condition still bridled at being referred to as a "philosopher." ("Political thinker" was the term she preferred.) Among her fellow students, there was general agreement that Heidegger's philosophical "radicalism" was in part the catalyst behind his political excesses. Paradoxically, the element that accounted for his greatness -- his insistence on breaking with all inherited philosophical paradigms and traditions -- also proved his undoing. His students realized that when uncompromising intellectual radicalism is transposed to the realm of politics and society, the results can be calamitous.
Thereafter, a difficult process of coming to terms with the German intellectual past ensued. It was Karl Löwith, Heidegger's first dissertation student, who pursued this project at greatest length. Convinced that Nazism reflected a spiritual malaise afflicting not only Germany but the West as a whole, he sought out the intellectual roots of the crisis in the nineteenth century, when educated men and women abandoned the balance of German classicism (Goethe and Hegel) for the extremes of existentialism, scientism, and nihilism. Both Jonas and Arendt also perceived a Faustian-nihilistic strain in Western humanism -- the loss of a sense of proportion and "limit" -- that seemingly propelled the modern age headlong toward the abyss. For both thinkers, the dangers of nihilism that had been dramatically exposed by Nazism had not been laid to rest by the Allies' triumph of May 8, 1945. Instead, they lived on in the manifestations of modern technology: the risks of nuclear annihilation, environmental catastrophe, and interplanetary disorientation. Thus, in the opening pages of The Human Condition, Arendt gave eloquent voice to the fears of a generation:
In 1957, an earth-born object made by man was launched into the universe, where for some weeks it circled the earth according to the same laws of gravitation that swing and keep in motion the celestial bodies -- the sun, the moon, and the stars.... But ... it was not pride or awe at the tremendousness of human power and mastery which filled the hearts of men, who, when they looked up from the earth toward the skies, could behold there a thing of their own making. The immediate reaction ... was relief about the first "step toward escape from men's imprisonment to the earth." ... The banality of this statement should not make us overlook how extraordinary in fact it was; for although Christians have spoken of the earth as a vale of tears and philosophers have looked upon their body as a prison of mind or soul, nobody in the history of mankind has ever conceived of the earth as a prison for men's bodies or shown eagerness to go literally from here to the moon...
Among our four protagonists, Herbert Marcuse stands out as something of an exception. Whereas Arendt, Jonas, and Löwith remained more or less within a Heideggerian philosophical trajectory, Marcuse's commitment to critical Marxism and the political left produced a significantly different intellectual orientation. Hence, whereas Arendt, Jonas, and Löwith with frequently took their normative and political bearings from classical antiquity (as did Heidegger, who endowed the "Greek beginning" with unmatched historical significance), Marcuse, under the influence of Marx and Hegel, projected his Golden Age into the future in the form of a classless society. At the same time, given his strong Hegelian influences, Marcuse's Marxism was distinctly heterodox: he corresponded with the surrealists (from whom he derived his notion of "the Great Refusal"), published widely on Freud, and wrote an important critical study of Soviet Marxism. In light of these nonconformist interests, it is perhaps no great surprise that during the late 1920s he was preoccupied with the idea of a "Marx-Heidegger" synthesis and wrote a habilitation thesis on "historicity" under Heidegger's direction. Karl Löwith.
The disciples or intellectual Jewish children of Adorno may have had Heine, an Enlightenment critic and poet, and a Jewish apostate, in their baggage as they fled Nazi Germany and returned to Germany after the War. However, the intellectual Jewish children of Heidegger were not fans of Enlightenment German thinkers, and those who returned to Germany to query Heidegger about his Nazi turn, might have had Being and Time in their baggage. They had a love-hate relationship with Heidegger, literally in the case of Hannah Arendt, who visited Heidegger some years after the War and again commenced to assist him with promoting his books, even though Heidegger did not admit to any wrongdoing in his wholehearted service to his Teutonic deity, Hitler. At least Herbert Marcuse who also trekked through the Black Forest to chat with Heidegger in his hermitage, severed all relations with him after he refused to seek forgiveness for his eyes wide open adoption of Nazism. “He (Marcuse) implored Heidegger … to express a public word of contrition …Yet Heidegger proved unrepentant.”
A thumbnail version of Richard Wolin’s book is that the Jewish intellectuals who were intellectually seduced by Heidegger, committed intellectual patricide on Heidegger after he betrayed their naive trust in him to protect them from the onslaught of Nazi terror. Though they attempted to exorcise Heidegger’s worldview from their intellectual outlook, they all failed and were intellectually dominated by a Heideggerian dybbuk that structured the deepest core of their philosophies.
The subtext of Wolin’s book is less the Greek Oedipal tragedy, more the biblical taboo against illicit relations among the father and his children: the Lot story where the daughters sleep with their father to propagate the seed of the father because they thought that the fire and brimstone that demolished the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah, also demolished all civilization and all other humans; the Noah story where Ham the son of Noah looked upon him naked in his drunken sleep after the flood where human civilization in its sinfulness was washed away. These themes of how corruption and wickedness require radical destruction of western civilization in order to make humanity anew and free of the wicked West’s hegemony were themes that Heidegger’s children inherited from him and which they propagated through their own scholarly productions, even though they no longer felt comfortable in their Heideggerian intellectual cradle. Though Heidegger’s children thought they saw him in his terrible nakedness, and saw the emptiness of his prolix verbosity after he hailed Hitler, they unwittingly let loose a flood of his thinking and unwittingly cast a Heideggerian spell over those who admired their work.
A soulful letter from Marcuse in 1947 to Heidegger quoted by Wolin goes to the heart not only of Marcuse’s disappointment with his former teacher, but also of the disappointment of the other former Jewish students of Heidegger. Despite their disappointment with him, some became eminent refugee academics: Karl Löwith, for one, and Emmanuel Levinas (discussed in Wolin’s New Preface) and some also became eminent public intellectuals, such as Arendt, Marcuse, Hans Jonas and Leo Strauss (also discussed in the New Preface). Marcuse’s letter to Heidegger attempts to show his teacher, his grievous treachery to philosophy let alone to his own thinking: “we cannot make the separation between Heidegger the philosopher and Heidegger the man, for it contradicts your own philosophy. A philosopher can be deceived regarding political matters; in which case he will openly acknowledge his error. But he cannot be deceived about a regime that has killed millions of Jews - merely because they were Jews - that made terror into an everyday phenomenon, and that turned everything that pertains to the ideas of spirit, freedom, and truth into its bloody opposite.” Marcuse and the other former disciples of Heidegger the teacher, but not Heidegger the man, saw him as he was in his naked self: a thinker whose apparently sophisticated, apparently complex, apparently deep thought led him to justify to himself the murder of millions. Like the children of Noah, they saw Heidegger as a person intoxicated with his own ego who turned his thought into a totem for the Nazis.
I focus on Marcuse and on Arendt. First Marcuse: like Arendt, Marcuse attempted to confront Heidegger the man and seek some recognition, some glimmer of awareness, from him of his culpability. But unlike Arendt, Marcuse had the wit and spiritual independence to part from Heidegger the man, who similar to the Eichmannn of the famous book by Arendt, refused to acknowledge guilt, refused to admit any regret. Also, unlike the other Jewish disciples of Heidegger, Marcuse had other major intellectual influences. Marcuse adopted two secular anti-religious Jews as intellectual foster fathers, or at least as intellectual foster big brothers: Marx and Freud. All the other Jewish thinkers discussed by Wolin seemed to fixate on Heidegger and fixate on Heidegger’s own fixation with Greek philosophy. However, in the New Preface, Wolin also discusses very briefly the indirect off-spring of Heidegger’s influential effluence. These include Franz Rosenzweig, who was a Hegel scholar as well as a Biblical scholar and ally of Martin Buber, and Emmanuel Levinas, an icon of post-modernism, who was a scholar of the Talmud. Wolin also discusses Leo Strauss’s emulation of the elitist, authoritarian, and anti-democratic elements in Heidegger’s philosophy and his emulation of Heidegger’s reverence of Greek philosophy. However, to be fair, Strauss also revered thinkers whom Heidegger would have seen as an anathema such as Maimonides and other historical Jewish thinkers.
In his early days Marcuse attempted to create a synthesis of Marx and Heidegger, and later moved to a synthesis of Marx and Freud. But, according to Wolin, Marcuse, though he renounced Heidegger the man was unable to renounce Heidegger the philosopher because Heidegger the philosopher infiltrated the fundamentals of Marcuse’s thought. Marcuse’s famous thesis of the one-dimensional nature of current society where all thought and desire becomes instrumental to the functioning of a production-consumption society, where the only possibility of escape from this one-dimensional world is through its radical destruction and replacement by a new world created by a counter-cultural intellectual vanguard, is a Heideggerian thesis. Though Marcuse thought that he had cast off Heidegger’s nihilistic ontology of Being, according to Wolin, the thesis of the one-dimensional nature of modern society with its refashioning of thought into instrumental rationality, and Marcuse’s elitism amounts to a sublimation of Heidegger’s own adaptation of Nietzsche’s trans-valuation of society by a new elite of those above ordinary humanity.
Second Arendt. Unlike Marcuse, Arendt witnessed Nazism and its attempt to erase Jews and Judaism from humanity on trial as represented by Eichmann in a Jewish court in Jerusalem. Nothing could seem further from the philosophy of Heidegger than Arendt’s theory of how Eichmann could uncritically function with total self-unawareness in the Nazi civil service with his blind dedication to the Nazi public project of ridding humanity of its Jews. Arendt’s theory of the banality of evil has become the fulcrum for contemporary non-theological discussion of evil in academic philosophy. Susan Neiman’s (2002) ground-breaking attempt to provide a secular philosophical account of evil, in her re-interpretation of the history of modern philosophy in Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy, rides on Arendt’s theory of evil. Despite Arendt’s own personal trauma with Heidegger’s adoption of Nazism and her own eye-witness account of one of the most important trials of institutionalized evil in the history of jurisprudence, Arendt’s account of the banality of evil, according to Wolin, does not escape the ontologization of nihilism produced by Heidegger’s voluminous texts. According to Wolin, Heidegger laments how ordinary people are prisoners of their situation. More damaging to Heidegger, according to Wolin, is his anti-democratic view that only the elite can escape the prison of their situation through the decisive use of force to create a new situation for the people. Evil is unwittingly produced by functionaries merely trying to do their jobs and to advance in their careers, following the categorical commands, not of reason but of their managers, commanders, and chiefs, in specific times and places on specific occasions. The theory of the banality of evil is a logical corollary of Heidegger’s thought that structured Arendt’s outlook on life.
Repeatedly throughout the book, Wolin answers the questions of how Heidegger’s Jewish students could imbibe Heidegger’s thought and why those disciples could not free themselves from it. Simply put: these students thought of themselves as educated Germans, part of high German culture, and saw Heidegger as the pinnacle of German culture. They saw Heidegger as not merely the successor of Goethe, Kant, Hegel, and Heine, but as superseding them. His Jewish students saw Heidegger as the actualization of the German spirit. So, by becoming part of Heidegger’s clique they thought they could become more German than ordinary Germans. They subconsciously realized they were wrong when Heidegger made his Nazi turn. Most of Heidegger’s Jewish students rejected Heidegger the man and thought they rejected Heidegger’s philosophy. However, they had internalized Heidegger’s philosophy to the degree that their post-Heideggerian work was still implicitly structured by Heidegger’s mind-set.
We learn from Wolin’s book to become an aware intellectual consumer. Be aware of buying into appealing but dangerous ideas. Implicitly, however, Wolin’s book also raises a very troubling question. The eminent philosophers that Heidegger’s children became consciously attempted to reject Heidegger’s philosophy but failed. All of Heidegger’s children, even the independently minded Marcuse, unconsciously incorporated his philosophy into their works, and thereby unintentionally propagating his philosophy among their own students and readers. How then can unsuspecting readers of the works of Heidegger’s children not become unconsciously induced into incorporating some of Heidegger’s dangerous ideas into their own thought? This is a question troubling for open-minded readers who want to study alternative ideas, even those they think are wildly wrong and anti-liberal. What if the critical and open-minded reader can be unwittingly seduced to adopt ideas that turn “spirit, freedom and truth” into their “bloody opposite”?
Martin Heidegger’s eightieth birthday was also the fiftieth anniversary of his public life, which he began not as an author - though he had already published a book on Duns Scotus - but as a university teacher. In barely three or four years since that first solid and interesting but still rather conventional study, he had become so different from its author that his students hardly knew about it. If it is true, as Plato once remarked, that "the beginning is also a god; so long as he dwells among men, he saves all things" (Laws 775), then the beginning in Heidegger’s case is neither the date of his birth (September 26, 1889, at Messkirch) nor the publication of his first book, but the first lecture courses and seminars which he held as a mere Privatdozent (instructor) and assistant to Husserl at the University of Freiburg in 1919.
For Heidegger’s “fame” predates by about eight years the publication of Sein und Zeit (Being and Time) in 1927; indeed it is open to question whether the unusual success of this book - not just the immediate impact it had inside and outside the academic world but also its extraordinarily lasting influence, with which few of the century’s publications can compare - would have been possible if it had not been preceded by the teacher’s reputation among the students, in whose opinion, at any rate, the book’s success merely confirmed what they had known for many years.
There was something strange about this early fame, stranger perhaps than the fame of Kafka in the early Twenties or of Braque and Picasso in the preceding decade, who were also unknown to what is commonly understood as the public and nevertheless exerted an extraordinary influence. For in Heidegger’s case there was nothing tangible on which his fame could have been based, nothing written, save for notes taken at his lectures which circulated among students everywhere. These lectures dealt with texts that were generally familiar; they contained no doctrine that could have been learned, reproduced, and handed on. There was hardly more than a name, but the name traveled all over Germany like the rumor of the hidden king.
This was something completely different from a "circle" centered around and directed by a "master" (say, the Stefan George circle), which, while well-known to the public, still remained apart from it by an aura of secrecy, the arcana imperii to which presumably only the circle’s members are privy. Here there was neither a secret nor membership; those who heard the rumor were acquainted with one another, to be sure, since they were all students, and there were occasional friendships among them. Later some cliques formed here and there; but there never was a circle and there was nothing esoteric about his following.
He is widely regarded as one of Europe's most influential 20th century philosophers whose writings inspired some of the important thinkers of the modern era. But almost four decades after Martin Heidegger's death, scholars in Germany and France are asking whether the antisemitic tendencies of the author of Being and Time ran deeper than previously thought.
The philosopher's sympathies for the Nazi regime have been well documented in the past: Heidegger joined the party in 1933 and remained a member until the end of the second world war. But antisemitic ideas were previously thought to have tainted his character rather than touched the core of his philosophy – not least by Jewish thinkers such as Hannah Arendt or Jacques Derrida, who cited their debt to Heidegger.
This week's publication of the "black notebooks" (a kind of philosophical diary that Heidegger asked to be held back until the end of his complete work), challenges this view. In France the revelations have been debated vigorously since passages were leaked to the media last December, with some Heidegger scholars even trying to stop the notebooks' publication.
In Germany, one critic has argued that it would be "hard to defend" Heidegger's thinking after the publication of the notebooks, while another has already called the revelations a "debacle" for modern continental philosophy – even though the complete notebooks were until now embargoed by the publisher.
The most controversial passages of the black notebooks are a series of reflections from the start of the second world war to 1941. While distancing himself from the racial theories pursued by Nazi intellectuals, Heidegger argues that Weltjudentum ("world Judaism") is one of the main drivers of western modernity, which he viewed critically.
"World Judaism", Heidegger writes in the notebooks, "is ungraspable everywhere and doesn't need to get involved in military action while continuing to unfurl its influence, whereas we are left to sacrifice the best blood of the best of our people".
In another passage, the philosopher writes that the Jewish people, with their "talent for calculation", were so vehemently opposed to the Nazi's racial theories because "they themselves have lived according to the race principle for longest".
The notion of "world Judaism" was propagated in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious forgery purporting to reveal a Jewish plan for world domination. Adolf Hitler stated the conspiracy theory as fact in Mein Kampf, and Heidegger too appears to adopt some of its central tropes.
"Heidegger didn't just pick up these antisemitic ideas, he processed them philosophically – he failed to immunise his thinking from such tendencies," the notebooks' editor, Peter Trawny, told the Guardian.
The notebooks also show that for Heidegger, antisemitism overlapped with a strong resentment of American and English culture, all of which he saw as drivers of what he called Machenschaft, variously translated as "machination" or "manipulative domination".
In one passage, Heidegger argues that like fascism and "world judaism", Soviet communism and British parliamentarianism should be seen as part of the imperious dehumanising drive of western modernity: "The bourgeois-Christian form of English 'bolshevism' is the most dangerous. Without its destruction, the modern era will remain intact."
In an almost playful dig at English culture, he writes: "What, other than engineering and metaphysically paving the way for socialism, other than commonplace thinking and tastelessness, has England contributed in terms of 'culture'?"
Trawny, who is also director of the Martin Heidegger Institute, said he was "shocked" when he discovered the antisemitic passages a year and a half ago, but decided to go ahead with their publication in spite of the potential damage they could cause to the philosopher's legacy. "I still think you can engage with Heidegger constructively," he said. "These revelations will help that process."
Other philosophers have argued that the new revelations do not amount to a "smoking gun" of antisemitism, and should not lead to a dismissal of Heidegger's other writings even if they did. "Philosophy is about learning to be aware of problems in your own thinking where you might not have suspected them," said the British philosopher Jonathan Rée about the black notebooks.
"The best of what Heidegger wrote – indeed the best of philosophy in general – is not an injunction to agree with a proffered opinion, but a plea to all of us to make our thinking more thoughtful."
(1) Herman Philipse, Heidegger's Philosophy of Being (1998) page 173
(2) Anthony Grayling, The History of Philosophy (2019) page 476
(4) Anthony Grayling, Ideas that Matter (2009) page 197
(5) Anthony Grayling, The History of Philosophy (2019) page 477
(8) Peter Baehr, The Portable Hannah Arendt (2000) page viii
(9) Derwent May, Hannah Arendt (1986) pages 17-18
(10) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 27
(11) Hannah Arendt, New York Review of Books (21st October, 1971)
(12) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 29
(13) Derwent May, Hannah Arendt (1986) page 24
(14) Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World (2004) page 50
(15) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 31
(16) Carol Brightman, Between Friends: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy (1995) page xii
(17) Hannah Arendt and Heinrich Blücher, Within Four Walls: The Correspondence Between Hannah Arendt and Heinrich Blücher (2000) page 128
(18) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 36
(19) Richard Wolin, Heidegger's Children: Hannah Arendt, Karl Löwith, Hans Jonas, and Herbert Marcuse: Hannah Arendt, Karl Lowith, Hans Jonas and Herbert Marcuse (2001) page 7
(20) Hugo Ott, Martin Heidegger: A Political Life (1993) pages 137-138
(21) Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World (2004) page 61
(22) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 40
(23) Derwent May, Hannah Arendt (1986) page 24
(24) Hugo Ott, Martin Heidegger: A Political Life (1993) page 127
(25) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 68
(26) Martin Heidegger, letter to Hannah Arendt (10th January, 1926)
(27) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 68
(28) Thomas Sheehan, Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2000) page 340
(29) Anthony Grayling, Ideas that Matter (2009) pages 196-198
(30) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 45
(31) Karl Jaspers, Notizen zu Heidegger (1978) page 34
(33) Thomas Sheehan, Heidegger, Aristotle and Phenomenology, Philosophy Today (Summer, 1975) page 87
(34) Anthony Grayling, The History of Philosophy (2019) page 480
(35) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 299
(38) Hannah Arendt, letter to Martin Heidegger (April, 1928)
(39) Toni Cassirer, Mein Leben mit Ernst Cassirer (1981) page 165
(40) Alan Bullock, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (1962) page 218
(41) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 78
(42) Michael Inwood, Heidegger (2019) page 127
(43) Martin Heidegger, Black Notebooks XV (2017) page 17
(44) Louis L. Snyder, Encyclopedia of the Third Reich (1998) page 154
(45) Rudiger Safranski, Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil (1999) pages 255-256
(46) Hugo Ott, Martin Heidegger: A Political Life (1993) page 146
(47) Michael Inwood, Heidegger (2019) pages 6-7
(48) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 99
(49) Anthony Grayling, The History of Philosophy (2019) page 477
(50) Rudiger Safranski, Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil (1999) page 254
(51) Victor Farias, Heidegger and Nazism (1989) pages 119-121
(52) Elzbieta Ettinger, Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger (1997) page 44
(53) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 100
(54) Konrad Heiden, Der Führer – Hitler's Rise to Power (1944) page11
(55) Leni Yahil, The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry (1991) page 41
(56) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 100-101
(57) Louis L. Snyder, Encyclopedia of the Third Reich (1998) page 362
(58) Alfred Rosenberg, Volkischer Beobachter (July, 1930)
(59) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 101-102
(60) Rudiger Safranski, Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil (1999) page 271
(61) Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) (2017 edition) pages 444-445
(62) Richard Wolin, Heidegger's Children: Hannah Arendt, Karl Löwith, Hans Jonas, and Herbert Marcuse: Hannah Arendt, Karl Lowith, Hans Jonas and Herbert Marcuse (2001) page 10
(63) Richard Wolin, The Heidegger Controversy: A Critical Reader (1993) pages 140-143
(64) Rudiger Safranski, Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil (1999) pages 334-336
(65) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 172
(66) Karl Jaspers, letter to the Freiburg University Denazification Committee (22nd December, 1945)
(67) Rudiger Safranski, Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil (1999) page 352
(68) Herbert Marcuse, letter to Martin Heidegger (28th August, 1947)
(69) Martin Heidegger, letter to Herbert Marcuse (September, 1947)
(70) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 176
(71) Sheldon Richmond, Marx and Philosophy: Review of Books (31st December 2015)
(72) Hannah Arendt, What Is Existential Philosophy? (1946)
(73) Thomas E. Wartenberg, Existentialism (2008) page 102
(74) Martin Heidegger, Being and Time (1927) page 297
(75) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 168
(76) Hannah Arendt, Commentary (September, 1946)
(77) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) pages 177-178
(78) Hannah Arendt, letter to Elfride Heidegger (February, 1950)
(79) Hannah Arendt, letter to Heinrich Blücher (February, 1950)
(80) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) pages 185-188
(81) Peter Baehr, The Portable Hannah Arendt (2000) page xxviii
(82) Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (1958) page 241
(83) Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (1958) page 190
(84) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 299
(85) Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers, Correspondence, 1926-1969 (1993) pages 684-686
(86) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) pages 302-303
(87) Hannah Arendt, New York Review of Books (21st October, 1971)
(88) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 304
(89) Hannah Arendt, New York Review of Books (21st October, 1971)
(90) Hannah Arendt, letter to Martin Heidegger (October, 1971)
(91) Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness (2010) page 336
(92) S. J. McGrath, Heidegger; A Very Critical Introduction (2008) page 10