Martin Heidegger and National Socialism: Questions and Answers

Gunther Neske, Author, Emil Kettering, Author, Lisa Harries, Translator
Gunther Neske, Author, Emil Kettering, Author, Lisa Harries, Translator Paragon House Publishers $22.95 (319p) ISBN 978-1-55778-310-3
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), acclaimed by some as the spiritual father of French existentialism and of postmodernism, was a Nazi. Swept up in the mass enthusiasm for Hitler in 1933, he soon voiced opposition to the fuhrer but stayed in the party until 1945 and thereafter remained silent on Auschwitz. Victor Farias dealt a blow to the German philosopher's reputation with his 1987 book Heidegger and Nazism. Now comes this damage-control exercise, a collection of essays, interviews and comments in defense of Heidegger, edited by Neske, the philosopher's long-time German publisher, and Kettering, who teaches philosophy in Mainz (Germany). Included are Heidegger's 1966 interview with Der Speigel (published posthumously in 1976); his tight-lipped TV interview of 1969; his retrospective apology when seeking reinstatement to a university post in 1945; and defenses of Heidegger by Hannah Arendt, Jacques Derrida, colleagues and pupils. Neither these apologetics nor the introduction casts much light on the connections, if any, between Heidegger's politics and his philosophy. (Dec.)
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