Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger

Elzbieta Ettinger, Author Yale University Press $39 (152p) ISBN 978-0-300-06407-0
In 1924, Hannah Arendt, then an 18-year-old assimilated German Jew, fell in love with future Nazi Martin Heidegger, her 35-year-old married philosophy professor at the University of Marburg. Insecure, vulnerable Arendt, whose father died when she was seven, idealized Heidegger, who found in their four-year love affair a passionate physical and spiritual bond. Heidegger joined the Nazi Party and openly declared his support for Hitler in 1933; later that year, Arendt fled Germany and severed her ties with Heidegger. She went on to condemn fascism in The Origins of Totalitarianism, yet in 1950, encouraged by her second husband, Heinrich Bluecher, a German ex-communist and an admirer of Heidegger's philosophy, she resumed a friendship with her erstwhile lover, swallowing his lies that he was a helpless victim of malicious slander. As Massachusetts Institute of Technology humanities professor Ettinger shows in this revealing account of a strange mutual dependency that lasted until Arendt's death in 1975, Arendt became Heidegger's willing apologist despite mutual rancor, conflicting emotions and her branding of her former professor as a ``potential murderer.'' (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/1995
Release date: 08/01/1995
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 152 pages - 978-0-300-07254-9
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