Basic writings heidegger what is metaphysics pdf War II led to Heidegger’s dismissal from Freiburg, banning him from teaching. Heidegger’s involvement with National Socialism, his attitude towards Jews and his near-total silence about the Holocaust in his writing and teaching after 1945 are highly controversial. 1931 and 1941, contain several anti-semitic statements.
After 1945, Heidegger never published anything about the Holocaust or the extermination camps, and made one sole verbal mention of them, in 1949, whose meaning is disputed among scholars. Whether there is a relation between Heidegger’s political affiliation and his philosophy is another matter of controversy. Heidegger’s affiliation with the Nazi Party revealed flaws inherent in his philosophical conceptions. April 21, 1933, to April 23, 1934. April 21, 1933, on the recommendation of his predecessor von Möllendorff, who was forced to give up his position because he had refused the displaying of an anti-Jewish poster, and assumed the position the following day.
He co-signed a public telegram sent by Nazi rectors to Hitler on May 20, 1933. Otto Pöggeler relativizes this engagement: “He wasn’t alone to be mystified. 1936 noted about Hitler: “he has beautiful hands”. London supported Hitler’s demands, and it soon occurred in view of the new stock exchange prices that people applaud in London’s cinemas when the newsreel showed Hitler’s image. This sense of relief at the demise of democracy was shared not only by the enemies of the republic. Most of its supporters, too, no longer credited it with the strength to master the crisis. It was as if a paralyzing weight had been lifted.
Something genuinely new seemed to be beginning — a people’s rule without political parties, with a leader of whom it was hoped that he would unite Germany once more internally and make her self-assured externally. Hitler’s “Peace Speech” of May 17, 1933, when he declared that “boundless love and loyalty to one’s own nation” included “respect” for the national rights of other nations, had its effect. Hitler had “indeed spoken for a united Germany. Even among the Jewish population — despite the boycott of Jewish businesses on April 1 and the dismissal of Jewish public employees after April 7 — there was a good deal of enthusiastic support for the “National revolution”. March 1933, declared that the National Socialist revolution was an attempt by the Germans to realize Hölderlin’s dream. Heidegger was indeed captivated by Hitler in this first year. May 1933: “It’s just like 1914, again this deceptive mass intoxication.
But according to others such as François Fédier and Julian Young, Heidegger “called for, not the subordination of the university to the state, but precisely the reverse”, and “did indeed seek to protect students from indoctrination by the crasser form of Nazi propaganda”. The way Heidegger conceived of the revival of the university, this became clear to me on the occasion of a memorable event. Everyone was puzzled, because it was well-known that Weizsäcker was no Nazi. But Heidegger’s word was law. The student he had chosen to lead the philosophy department thought he should pronounce introductory words on national socialist revolution. Heidegger soon manifested signs of impatience, then he shouted with a loud voice that irritation strained: “this jabber will stop immediately! Totally prostrated, the student disappeared from the tribune.
He had to resign from office. But Heidegger is a step ahead: he perceives something is going on that the others don’t. Heidegger’s tenure as rector was fraught with difficulties. He was in conflict with Nazi students, intellectuals, and bureaucrats. Though as rector he prevented students from displaying an anti-Semitic poster at the entrance to the university and from holding a book burning, he kept in close contact with the Nazi student leaders and clearly signaled to them his sympathy with their activism. Some National Socialist education officials viewed also him as a rival, while others saw his efforts as comical. Scholar’s camp, seriously described by Rockmore as a “reeducation camp”, but by Safranski as rather a “mixture of scout camp and Platonic academy”, actually “to build campfires, share food, have conversation, sing along with guitar with people who were really a little beyond Cub Scout age”.
Safranski tells how a dispute occurred with a group of SA students and their military spirit. Some of Heidegger’s fellow National Socialists also ridiculed his philosophical writings as gibberish. He finally offered his resignation on April 23, 1934, and it was accepted on April 27. Heidegger remained a member of both the academic faculty and of the Nazi Party until the end of the war, but took no part in Party meetings. The rectorate was an attempt to see something in the movement that had come to power, beyond all its failings and crudeness, that was much more far-reaching and that could perhaps one day bring a concentration on the Germans’ Western historical essence. It will in no way be denied that at the time I believed in such possibilities and for that reason renounced the actual vocation of thinking in favor of being effective in an official capacity. In no way will what was caused by my own inadequacy in office be played down.
But these points of view do not capture what is essential and what moved me to accept the rectorate. Heidegger’s inaugural address as rector of Freiburg, the “Rektoratsrede”, was entitled “The Self-Assertion of the German University”. This speech has become notorious as a visible endorsement of Nazism by Heidegger, giving the blessing of his philosophy to the new political party. All leading must concede its following its own strength.
All following, however, bears resistance in itself. This essential opposition of leading and following must not be blurred let alone eliminated. In this speech, Heidegger declared that “science must become the power that shapes the body of the German university. Together, science and German destiny must come to power in the will to essence.
German destiny is in its most extreme distress. Any true culture is based on race and blood. There is much talk nowadays of blood and soil as frequently invoked powers. Literati, whom one comes across even today, have already seized hold of them. Blood and soil are certainly powerful and necessary, but they are not a sufficient condition for the Dasein of a people. Nazi Party’s chief racial theorist.
Heidegger sarcastically contends that a people finding itself in skull measurements and archaeological digs is unable to find itself as a people. But no one will even ask us whether we do or do not will, when the spiritual strength of the West fails and its joints crack, when this moribund semblance of a culture caves in and drags all forces into confusion and lets them suffocate in madness. Each individual participates in this decision even when, and especially when, he evades it. But we do will that our people fulfill its historical mission. We have the new Reich and the university that is to receive its tasks from the Reich’s will to existence. There is revolution in Germany, and we must ask ourselves: Is there revolution at the university as well? The battle still consists of skirmishes.