Response to Gregory Fried’s “The King Is Dead: Heidegger’s Black Notebooks”

Response to Gregory Fried’s “The King Is Dead: Heidegger’s Black Notebooks”

Black Notebooks/Schwarze Hefte Vols. 94-96 by Martin Heidegger

On September 13, 2014, LARB's philosophy/critical theory section published Gregory Fried’s review of Martin Heidegger's Black Notebooks. On that occasion, intellectual historian Martin Woessner and LARB’s philosophy/critical theory section editor Arne De Boever solicited reader responses to Fried's review. Published below are five responses we selected out of the many emails we received.


A Good Heideggerian Never Says He’s Sorry

Alexander S. Duff

Now more than ever, Heidegger should provoke us. Let us not imitate what one reader of Heidegger called his “cowardly vagueness” in facing up to the fuller political implications of his thought. We should ask ourselves: What is the standard by which we condemn Heidegger’s anti-Semitism and his racism? Do we have good arguments? As Heidegger himself understood, there are no Heideggerian reasons to take exception to his diagnosis of the West as nihilism, and his logical assimilation of the chosen people of God to that fate. Every standard to which we refer when we condemn anti-Semitism predates the “crossing over” to which Heidegger points. As Fried remarks in his essay published in these pages, Heidegger points forward to a Revolution-beyond-all-revolutions, “an entirely ‘other’ inception that cannot be predicted or measured by the standards of the first one.” But I think we can use our aversion to Heidegger’s political conclusions as a way to understand what his thought overlooks or cannot admit, and thus call everything he says into question.

Will the publication of the Schwarze Hefte, the Black Notebooks, settle, finally, disputes about whether Heidegger’s Nazism “taints” or “infects” his philosophy? This seems unlikely. The argument about the meaning of the Black Notebooks will be inexhaustible, because the Notebooks themselves add little that was not already known about Heidegger’s Nazism and anti-Semitism. The “evidence” is clearer, to be sure, but the disputes about the plain connections between Heidegger’s Nazism and his thought have nothing to do with the quantity or quality of the evidence.

Indeed, some might say that there is not a single important revelation in the Notebooks about the deep connection between Heidegger’s thought and Nazism that was not already clear in his other work, even in the work published during his lifetime. Perhaps this most recent revelation of the private Heidegger will return us, full circle, to a consideration of his evidently most considered, deliberate, and public statements on National Socialism.

Indeed, when the published works are reexamined in light of these private Notebooks, it is striking how well the original statement that Heidegger made on his Nazism in 1953 holds up. The Introduction to Metaphysics (available in an excellent English translation prepared by Fried and Richard Polt) presents a set of lectures originally delivered in 1935, shortly after Heidegger resigned as rector of Freiburg University. In this book, Heidegger refers to the necessity that the German people confront the “metaphysically identical” Russians and Americans, who encircle Europe like pincers. He argues that the tremendous peril Germany faces derives less from the danger posed by its geopolitical rivals, than from a spiritual collapse within Germany itself. The Nazis, Heidegger warns, are suffering from the same impoverishment of the spirit caused by the “metaphysics” — the shallow universalism and “individualism” of communism and liberalism — that has produced the threat from Russia and America. Indeed, much of the book is an intramural critique of the doctrines and ideologies of Heidegger’s fellow Nazis. He concludes the work by warning that Germany appears to “stagger” rather than stand firm against the danger. This is an alarming critique of Nazism: that it was not sufficiently radical!

Perhaps the most striking discovery in the Notebooks is the depth, extent, and vitriol of Heidegger’s dissatisfaction with the Nazi movement and government. As Fried notes, Heidegger’s embittered, frustrated despair that the revolution has been hijacked by mediocrities and philistines occupies far more space and attention in these volumes than his references to “Jewry.” His withering critiques of his fellow Nazis do not point to a gentler assessment of the Jews, however. When Heidegger discusses the Jews, he assimilates them to his sweeping diagnosis of Western history as metaphysical nihilism, the various avatars of which in the contemporary world — English parliamentarism, Bolshevism, Americanism, Jewry, and diminished forms of fascism — share in the deracinating, “gigantic” deformities of one another.

The volumes present a form of self-critique, a diagnosis of his own erring and profound, at times despairing, dissatisfaction with what came of the National Socialist movement. But none of this leads Heidegger toward anything like a renunciation of anti-Semitism. Indeed, from the perspective of what Fried characterizes as Heidegger’s “radical historicism,” any kind of apology or regret is incoherent: “Only with the full understanding of the earlier deception (Täuschung) concerning the essence of National Socialism is the necessity for its affirmation, indeed on the basis of thinking, first given.” Far from abandoning his decision, he affirms it. A good Heideggerian never says he’s sorry.

The moral obtuseness of a genius can be most useful as a provocation. Our revulsion at the tortuous logic of Heidegger’s denial of even the need for regret should compel us to rethink the entirety of his claims about metaphysics, nihilism, and the West. Fried’s treatment of this subject stands out for the clear-sightedness and political sobriety with which it delineates such a project.

Alexander S. Duff teaches in the Government Department at Skidmore College.


Turning the Tables on Heidegger

Jordan Hoffman

I have no doubt Gregory Fried’s sensitive portrait of Heidegger’s Kampf and ultimate disillusionment with Nazism is accurate. However, whereas he depicts fascism’s having let down a philosopher, I tend to see a philosopher’s having disappointed fascism, for Heidegger’s fretting over Being and Germany’s salvific role in inaugurating a new “inception” is inextricably connected to a politically and ethically problematic nationalism. Indeed, Heidegger is not alone in his anti-Semitism-cum-Vaterlandsliebe: he continues the tradition established earlier by Richard Wagner. Similarities found in their works expose a mutual parochialism that cannot gainsay their global influences but does raise problems whose provisional (as opposed to final) solutions may be found in Heidegger’s own ontology.

As Fried points out, the early years of the notebooks champion Nazism as a movement that might serve Heidegger’s aim to overturn metaphysics, but by defining pre-Socratic thought as a sacred space, the original “inception,” Heidegger imagines an ideal origin to thinking no more credible than Plato’s ideal realm, just as his countryman Johann Winckelmann imagined the Greeks as having created pure, white sculptures as ideal depictions of man despite the evidence of garish colors. This obsession with the Greeks and their purity dominates Wagner’s works too.

Wagner promoted a worldview similar to Heidegger’s (but at least he set it to a tune — sort of). Both men found their disciplines, metaphysics and opera, in ill health. While Judaeo-Christianity for Heidegger stinks of Platonism, and the particular presence of Jews in Germany presents a nuisance to be removed as easily as erasing a name from a dedication, Wagner writes more virulently on race in his essays but composes more subtly in his music. The infamous essays blame Meyerbeer for the wreck of opera and Mendelssohn for the dilution of quality music in Germany. Both philosopher and composer cherish the Greeks for having established the pure origins of their fields, the pre-Socratics for Heidegger, the tragedians for Wagner. Both feel that the German Volk are uniquely positioned to redeem Western Civilization. In their works, both men plumb the depths of origins: Heidegger in his close readings of pre-Socratic thinkers, Wagner in his use of Northern European mythology and romances. Indeed, in the case of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, one cannot help but notice his obsession with unpacking layers of depth in the myths. The tetralogy’s retrospective gestation; the number of characters who recapitulate events from earlier in the musical dramas; the seminal conversation between Wotan and Erda in Siegfried, a seeming self-portrait of Wagner’s own heroic unearthing of the origin of Truth — all of this seems to anticipate Heidegger’s lifework. Finally, the overt anti-Semitism in Heidegger’s notebooks and actions as rector and the depictions of lesser races in Wagner’s compositions (Albrecht, Mime, Kundry — not necessarily Jewish stereotypes, pace Adorno, Gutman, et al.) and his attacks in print raise serious questions concerning nationalism and culture-building, questions certainly not unique to Germany but indubitably prevalent there. So: what to do about this?

Well, let’s turn the tables on Heidegger. Let’s take the philosopher at his word and philosophize “racially.” Let’s grant Germans the distinction of addressing, saving, and revealing Being. And let’s grant that Jews, ontologically speaking, “can take over the uprooting of all beings from Being as its world historical ‘task.’” Now, assuming that Heidegger’s symbolic anthropology is correct, might not the danger fall, after all, on the side of the rooted community?

The signal event in Judaism is the revelation on Mount Sinai. The importance of this event explains the survival of the Jewish people to this day, when many other cultures over time have been destroyed or absorbed by others. When the Jews receive the Torah from the Divine, they are literally rootless. They have been promised territory to settle but a generation shall pass before they receive it. Most cultures emerge out of the landscape its people inhabit, as the etymologies of culture and agriculture suggest. That the Jews received their identity as a people prior to a place has had profound consequences for Jews throughout the diaspora. Because their identity adheres to halakha rather than to a specific spot on the planet, they have migrated successfully for millennia: the Jews’ homeland is Torah. Of course, this is precisely Heidegger’s issue, for the Jews’ nomadism directly threatens the premise, or myth, of authentic thinking’s being tied to a rooted people. Wagner and Heidegger’s Volk diametrically oppose Jewish mobility, and if Being only emerges out of a people who are rooted then clearly nomads are a threat.

But what if no “ontological” connection between place and Being exists? What if that proposition is delusional? What if, in fact, the “ontological Jew” more accurately reflects reality, that there is no Being but only beings on the move? Heidegger’s ontology does not point toward a revolution in metaphysics; it reinforces Western philosophy’s urge to reduce complexity to simplicity (Being). That he pontificates in nationalistic terms only exposes his philosophy as symptomatic of the Western tendency since the 1600s to see the world in terms of nations, despite all borders being fundamentally arbitrary. Taking a long view, we see over time cultures, nations, and civilizations emerge, evolve, and, frequently, disappear, with continual migrations and comingling, and all along there emerge identities that have longer or shorter lifetimes depending on little more than chance, a Grand Whac-A-Mole of History. If this is the case, the wandering ontological “Jew” seems a truer description of Dasein than the immobile German. After all, looking back, Heidegger’s project seems the consummate Liebestod of Western Civilization’s centuries old flirtation with a nationalism that culminated in two world wars. As moderns we still struggle with questions about the nation-state — ISIL’s expansion across several national borders symbolizes the paradox of contemporary nationalism’s failure and tenacity. Indeed, elsewhere in the Middle East, some might argue that the state of Israel, ipso facto, consists of non-“Jews,” that the “Jewish state” is not the “‘Jewish’ state,” the moniker being simply an ontological oxymoron. It may be time we start to confront what has always been the case: borders are illusory; peoples have, do and always will migrate; and nomadism might point the way to a real ontological revolution, one that can find its model in “the Jews.”

Jordan Hoffman teaches English at Valley Torah High School in Los Angeles, California.


Shall We Think with Heidegger Against Heidegger?

Sidonie Kellerer

Gregory Fried encounters his rational, open-minded antitype, one that remains favorable to his subject even where he disagrees. While Fried recognizes Heidegger as the illiberal obsessed by völkisch communal belonging, and while he may no longer see him as the great philosopher, he notes the broad impact Heidegger has had in emphasizing the totality of “Being” against “metaphysics” and the reduction of reality to what can be rationally analyzed. He points out “that the question of Being is as old as philosophy itself, and was never Heidegger’s private property.” Despite Heidegger’s known deceptions and falsifications and the megalomania now found in the Black Notebooks, Fried credits him with having attempted new answers to avert the “relentless quest for power upon power […] as we ramp up the apocalyptic lethality of our weaponry,” new answers serious enough to make us think “the question of Being against Heidegger” with Heidegger.

We read that in the Notebooks Heidegger acknowledges “how early” he came to believe in Hitler’s party as a political option. But this does not come as a surprise in light of recent research.[1] The same holds for Heidegger’s anti-Semitism before 1933: “Whatever Heidegger’s anti-Semitism was then, he must have kept it quite private,” Fried writes. This may be the common perception, but several well-documented accounts have established that Heidegger’s anti-Semitism was, from early on, more than mere cultural prejudice.[2]

It is true that Being and Time was preceded by Heidegger’s fame as an outstanding teacher. But assuming that his “electrifying impact” was due to his great philosophizing seems dubious. The Notebooks clearly confirm the cryptic style of expression he cultivated, in agreement with numerous statements scattered in the “Gesamtausgabe.” One example among many others: “In the future we have to dare the unintelligible; any concession in terms of comprehensibility is already a destruction.”[3] In and of itself this could indicate the difficult search for a new philosophical language. But with Heidegger’s work still constituting a steadily expanding corpus, his best-known texts need to be linked to those only recently published. In 1931 Heidegger explains that “what is said indirectly” appears to be the best way to “impose” his message to his students.[4] Does the veiled style of expression point to the depth of the thinking, or is it the result of a manner of philosophizing that reduces free judgment by working with allusions and, to cite a former Heidegger student, with “imposition”?[5]

My own research makes me believe that Heidegger’s cryptic language is linked to a crucial yet generally disregarded notion of his thinking: the aptitude of every human being to use his reason towards understanding the world is abandoned for a belief in the “difference in essence” of Menschentümer[6], a disdainful term perhaps translatable by “mankinds.” For Heidegger, reason, understood as a common human ability, is the expression of cowardice. He conceives of philosophy as the struggle against cowards, as something beyond a dialogue based on rational arguments. Genuine thinking is “struggle of meditation”[7] that aims at “domination and decision.”[8] Such martial thinking is not about knowledge; it is about conjuring a cult of true Being that opens itself only to the chosen few. Heidegger imagined philosophy as a radical and dangerous life that only heroes could brave.

Fried explains that modernity, as seen by Heidegger, is the result of our being forgetful of Being. However, the modernity Heidegger rejects is less about forgetting Being than about shirking it because a whole range of people lack the courage, the strength, and finally the “essence” to live up to Being. There is no general “we” for Heidegger. The Notebooks are clear about that: the propagated “meditation on essence”[9] is the obverse of the “incapacity for meditation” of those who lack roots and therefore lack history — Geschichte.[10] It should be noted here that the Nazis are never qualified as lacking history in the Notebooks. It is thus disputable when Fried states that the Nazis appear “as yet another manifestation of metaphysics.” The only danger according to Heidegger is that Jewish machinations could weaken Nazism, and thereby lose its brutal radicalism.

This alleged Jewish trickery is the very reason Heidegger celebrates World War II: it epitomizes the necessary struggle against those who are not only “immune”[11] to the call of Being, but who also seek to deter the Germans and their state from their destiny. These are the “merchants” — the “money grubbers” who are “tricky,” who mislead, who “lurk” and who “allure.”[12] Such anti-Semitic semantics invoke — without having to join the explicit and therefore trivial — anti-Semitic choir. To what extent is the “invisible philosophy”[13] that Heidegger advocates a conscious device of writing between the lines, a tactic devised for the “invisible war” against the Jews?[14] I see this as a crucial, yet neglected, aspect of the debate.

Fried points out correctly that Heidegger had hoped National Socialism would “be the catalyst of a ‘crossing-over’ to a new history.” It is understandable that Fried remains elusive about what this new history would entail. Heidegger never concretizes this “crossing over,” partly because his philosophy is about awakening the German people to their confrontation with the abyss, and this has little to do with “who we are going to be as human beings in a newly global world” (Fried).

Recent work that clarifies Heidegger’s attitude towards Nazism ought to be taken into account[15]: namely that Heidegger distinguishes between different “metaphysical essences.” On the one hand the Germanic and Russian metaphysical essence, representing a “people of authentic historical force,” and on the other hand the “metaphysical inanity”[16] of the Jews, the Americans, the English, the French. Heidegger advocates an ultimate subjectivity that is the will to power and its tool: technology in its martial sense.[17]

In his Letter on Humanism (1947) Heidegger began to spell out a modernity starting with Descartes and leading to the Shoah. This crude representation may well be a post-war mystification. If so, we would be ill advised to see in Heidegger a philosopher who, despite his errors, might still help us define a humanity beyond a “relentless quest for power upon power” and understand “what does it mean to be human upon this earth?” (Fried).

Sidonie Kellerer is lecturer at the philosophy department of the Universität Siegen in Germany.


Learning From Heidegger

Andrea Martinez

We do not always get the opportunity to radically question the importance of the work of a ground-breaking philosopher such as Heidegger. We normally understand and accept their relevance in terms of the insight they have provided regarding reality, human existence, ethics, knowledge, etc. The papers that are published in journals on foundational philosophers usually debate issues of interpretation, of aspects of their writings about which we are still in the dark. Very rarely does anyone dare to question the absolute value of such thinkers. We are now once again presented with the question — as we have been for some time — of what to do regarding Heidegger and his legacy. The publication of the Black Notebooks has raised the question whether we should revise altogether the uttermost relevance that Heidegger has had for over half a century.

I consider this to be a great opportunity.

Fried’s essay has already shed light onto the de-contextualization of some of the quotes from the Black Notebooks that surfaced in different blogs and articles in order to “demonize” more than to clarify Heidegger’s attitude towards Judaism. However, in his conclusion, he points toward the assumptions implicit in our judgment of Heidegger. What lies behind our questioning of Heidegger’s value as a philosopher? Who do we want to be as we answer the question? Are there totems, timeless truths, absolute values that can guide our questioning? And finally, what can we learn from Heidegger’s mistakes? Heidegger once spoke of the need for a crisis in the sciences in order to bring about “a radical revision” of their concepts (Being and Time, 1962). We could apply the same logic to his philosophy because it allows us to question not only his reasons for supporting the National Socialists, but also to ask why we are so altered by this question. What does the question say about ourselves as readers, thinkers, and consumers of philosophy?

Instead of blacklisting Heidegger from the philosophy syllabus, let’s try to understand why he allowed himself to be so “easily” seduced by Nazi ideology. The question of Heidegger’s value and of his legacy should be asked alongside the teaching of his texts, yet it should be a question asked amongst others, such as his conception of the motherland, and his approach to technology and machination. However, it should not be addressed, as some seem to recommend (see Emmanuel Faye’s The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy, 2005), as the defining character of his philosophy. Heidegger’s work continues to be relevant to our contemporary society insofar as it continues to ask the uncomfortable question of who we are, and how we shape the world (and vice versa) through our being.

Fried suggests that we take Heidegger’s National Socialism as a negative response to the question of being, and points at the possibility of learning from Heidegger’s mistake. For Fried, Heidegger was too optimistic regarding an “utterly other” inception of our time and along the way he made generalizing judgments about Jews. This formed a part of the “uprooting” from history and home that he considered quintessential to understanding ourselves. Yet, our times have revealed that these categorizations continue to blur their own boundaries.

In a number of his texts, Heidegger, despite his condemning words towards Judaism, works to offer a way of thinking the relationship between different perspectives in terms of understanding each other through common existential issues, and not through difference alone. Heidegger helps us to think about everything from the question of how to be authentic in our modern world to the way we inhabit and relate to our homes and our history. It is this Heidegger who can illuminate paths of mutual understanding, reaching beyond his own mistakes and revealing that the value of his legacy is not merely a problematic historical one. Polarization regarding his work will remain, but those poles will continue to be valuable so long as there is someone asking these questions in the lecture hall. Neglecting such poles seems to indicate that there is a definite answer to our question, and thus fails to question the question itself, by continuing to understand our judgments as timeless truths and diluting the possibility of asking if this really is who we want to be.

Andrea Martinez is a professor in philosophy in Mexico City.


Heidegger and the "Opportunity" of National-Socialism

Gaëtan Pégny, Translated by Arne De Boever and Martin Woessner

In his Heidegger article published in these pages, Fried writes correctly that:

For one thing, the Notebooks show the Nazi revolution was only an opportunity for Heidegger, a moment when the overturning might be possible, not guaranteed. He was proud enough to think he could become the leader in spirit of this movement, as Marx was to Communism, but the movement failed him and the historical rupture it should have served, not the other way around.

It’s entirely correct to state that Heidegger saw in National-Socialism an instrument at the service of an “originary truth” that he wanted to be “more grandiose,” but a thing or two should also be added to this statement.

First, it should be pointed out that according to Heidegger, National-Socialism can very well accomplish the “overturning,” on the condition that it submits to philosophy, but also on the condition of recognizing it — i.e., National-Socialism — must itself submit to an “originary truth” that is not philosophical:

[…] National-Socialism can never be the principle of a philosophy, but must always be placed underneath philosophy as principle. By contrast, consider the extent to which National-Socialism can take up certain positions and thereby participate in a new fundamental attitude towards Being! But the latter also on this condition, namely that National-Socialism recognizes its limitations — that is to say, that it understands that it is only true […] when it arrives at liberating and preparing an originary truth.[i]

There is therefore a good Nazism, and that’s Heideggerian Nazism. The Nazism of Heidegger the university rector wanted to be more radical than ordinary Nazism, attacking the Catholic Church, for example, whereas the Nazis signed an agreement with the Pope. In his public discourse, however, the rector called for the total submission of knowledge to the service of a new state, and vigorously applied the anti-Semitic dispositions of the new regime, calling for the “total extermination” of “the internal enemy” that was “incrusted upon the innermost root of the people.”[ii] In that, he was an extremist among the extremists. The texts from which I have just quoted have been known for quite a while, but the majority of Heideggerians have been surprised and have only admitted now, and following Peter Trawny [the editor of the Black Notebooks], that there are a number of problematic passages in Heidegger, even if they would prefer to see them limited the Black Notebooks alone.[iii]

In addition, we must also consider Heidegger’s deception. The ground of his “critique” of National-Socialism has been public since 2010 through Heidegger’s correspondence with his friend and student, the art historian and army officer (first in the reserves, then active during World War II) Kurt Bauch: “I have the impression that we are nearing the end; National-Socialism would be beautiful as a barbaric principle — but it shouldn’t be so bourgeois.”[iv] The piqued ex-rector criticizes the increasingly bourgeois nature of the regime: it is not radical enough, it doesn’t go far enough. This text from the time of his deception needs to be considered alongside the praise he demonstrated during his tenure as rector for the “primitive student”: the student who, because he is “primitive,” is more apt to apply academic politics to the new regime.[v] The true risk was not that the old science would slip into a so-called “barbarism,”[vi] but that one would put oneself on the road towards a new state (Heidegger evokes here certain critics of Nazism, who call it “barbarian,” but he does not align himself with them), with the new student participating in military exercises in the open air and primitively assisting the Sturmabteilung, [vii] as merely “a good thing.”[viii] Here’s the exact definition of the “greatness” of Nazism that can be found in the Black Notebooks:

National-Socialism is a barbaric principle. That’s the essential, and its potential greatness. The risk is not National-Socialism itself — but that it be diminished by a predication on the true, the good, what’s right […].[ix]

For Heidegger, the true danger is effectively that one apply to Nazism the logic of collective thought and the natural sciences — and that in this way, its radicality be diminished.

Fried’s text would benefit from a discussion of the above points. One cannot say (as Fried does) that Heidegger turns Judaism into only one form of Platonism among others. Already in a course from the Summer of 1932, that is to say before he became rector, Heidegger turns “Judaized Christianity” into the force that leads the West to its demise.[x] His critique of Platonism would have to be compared to that of other Nazi ideologues like Günther or Rosenberg, who also turned Platonism into a battle between the ancient, Greek, originary “truth” and “Asiatic” forces that were different from the Greco-Aryan myth. Neither Günther nor Rosenberg hesitates, by the way, to turn Socrates into a figure of the Jew.[xi] In this respect, one can only agree with Fried when he writes about Heidegger: “He is the most radical historicist: truth as meaning is not the securing of a subject’s representation as corresponding to an eternal, objective reality” — but only on the condition of recognizing that when Heidegger throws truth as exactitude overboard, it is with the intent of bending history and the history of philosophy so that they conform with his version of the Nazi myth.

If his philosophy still speaks to us today, it must be in the full knowledge of the exact content of Heidegger’s thought.

Gaëtan Pégny is a translator and has published articles about Heidegger and Bernard Bolzano.

Arne De Boever teaches American Studies in the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts.

Martin Woessner is Associate Professor of History & Society at The City College of New York’s Center for Worker Education.


[1] See the testimonials by Max Müller and Hans-Georg Gadamer cited in: Emmanuel Faye, Heidegger, The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy in Light of the Unpublished Seminars of 1933-1935 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009) 30.

[2] See i.e. Martin Heidegger /Kurt Bauch. Briefwechsel 1932-1975, ed. Almuth Heidegger. (Freiburg: Verlag Karl Alber, 2010) 18, 32. And also: Faye. Heidegger, The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy, 144.

[3] GA 96, 222.

[4] Elisabeth Blochmann/Martin Heidegger, Briefwechsel 1918–1969 (Marbach am Neckar,1989) 46. Letter from December 30, 1931: “In diesem Semester mache ich wieder die Erfahrung, die mich immer wieder beunruhigt, daß das indirekt Gesagte am sichersten einschlägt […]”.

[5] See Jeanne Hersch, Eclairer l’obscur: entretiens avec Gabrielle et Alfred Dufour (L’Age d’Homme, Lausanne, 1986) 29: “Les idées qu’il développait devant nous, il ne les soumettait pas à notre libre jugement, qui est l’attitude libérale d’un philosophe; il les imposait”. Also: Faye. Heidegger, the Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy, 221.

[6] See GA 54 (lecture from winter 1941/42): 142. GA 69 (texts dating from 1938–1940): 205.

[7] GA 96, 10.

[8] GA 96, 22.

[9] GA 96, 86.

[10] GA 96, 113.

[11] GA 96, 41.

[12] GA 96, 114, 94, 89,117..

[13] GA 96, 87.

[14] See Sidonie Kellerer, “A quelle ‘guerre invisible’ Heidegger faisait-il référence?”, L’Obs, May 11, 2014,

[15] See i.e. Heidegger, le Sol, la Communaute, la Race, ed. Emmanuel, Faye. (Paris: Beauchesne, 2014.

[16] GA 96, 56, 258.

[17] See Kellerer, “Rewording the Past.” Modern Intellectual History 11, no. 3 (2014): 575–602.

[i] “Black Notebooks 1931-1938”, N° III/198, GA 94, 190.

[ii] GA 36/37 (course from 1933-1934): 90-91. Following the works of Emmanuel Faye which already demonstrated these points, I have proposed a rereading of these texts comparing them to those by Hitler and Rosenberg in “Savoir et historicité dans l’enseignement et les discours de 1933-1934” and “Vérité et mythe dans De l’essence de la vérité”, in: Heidegger, le sol, la communauté, la race, ed. Emmanuel Faye. (Paris: Beauchesne, 2014): 179-209 and 211-242.

[iii] On the question of Heidegger’s National-Socialist anti-Semitism, see my response to Peter Trawny and Florian Grosser, “In Heidegger’s Allusions, a Different Message” The Chronicle of Higher Education,

March 6, 2014, (, and my “The Many Lives of Dasein”, The Future of Philology (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014): 194.

[iv] Martin Heidegger/Kurt Bauch, Briefwechsel 1932-1975, ed. Almuth Heidegger. (Freiburg: Verlag Karl Alber, 2010): 29-30 (letter from June 7, 1936).

[v] In “The German Student as Worker”, GA 16, 202.

[vi] Ibid., 206.

[vii] Ibid., 199.

[viii] Ibid., 202.

[ix] “Black Notebooks 1931-1938”, N° III/206, GA 94, 194.

[x] See note 3.

[xi] For such a comparison, see “Vérité et mythe dans De l’essence de la vérité”, Heidegger, le sol: 179-242.

LARB Contributors

Gaëtan Pégny was born in Brittany (France) in 1979. He is married, father of one son, and lives in Berlin. He is a translator and has published articles about Heidegger and Bernard Bolzano.

Andrea Martinez is a professor in philosophy in Mexico City. She recently received her doctoral degree from University College Cork, Ireland, dedicating her dissertation to the phenomenology of Martin Heidegger, in particular, its possible application to issues on identity and migration. 

Sidonie Kellerer is lecturer at the philosophy department of the Universität Siegen in Germany. She has written a monograph on the influence and reception of Descartes among the Neo-Kantians, Husserl and Heidegger (Konstanz University Press, 2013). Recently she has published articles in various languages on Heidegger’s relation to nazism, among these: “Rewording the Past - On a 1938 lecture by Martin Heidegger”, Modern Intellectual History, Vol. 11 (3) 2014.

Jordan Hoffman teaches English at Valley Torah High School in Los Angeles, California.

Alexander S. Duff teaches in the Government Department at Skidmore College. His book, Heidegger and Politics: The Ontology of Radical Discontent, will be available in 2015 from Cambridge University Press.


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