These Historical Figures Toed the Line of Leadership
These Historical Figures Toed the Line of Leadership

These Historical Figures Toed the Line of Leadership

D.G. Hewitt - January 24, 2019

These Historical Figures Toed the Line of Leadership
The renowned philosopher joined the Nazi Party but claimed he never went to any meetings. Wikipedia.

1. Martin Heidegger might have stopped going to Nazi Party meetings in 1934, but was the philosopher’s flirtation with Nazism really so fleeting?

German thinker is widely-regarded as one of the most important Western philosophers of the 20th century. Above all, his debut book, 1927’s Being and Time continues to influence scholars to this day. Notably, several Jewish thinkers and academics have spoken out in favor of Heidegger, including Hannah Arendt. However, for some critics, Heidegger’s reputation will always be tainted due to his association with the Nazis. Moreover, the discovery of his private notebooks – ‘the Black Notebooks’ – in 2014 have called some scholars to question just how antisemitic Heidegger was – and the extent to which his thinking was shaped by his personal bigotry.

Heidegger joined the Nazi Party in 1933 and stayed a member right through the worst of its excesses. On the one hand, he resigned from his post as Rector of the University of Freiburg in 1934. Furthermore, he stopped attending Party meetings soon that. Such a lack of overt support for the regime have led some supporters to argue that his flirtation with Nazism was merely an “error” he regretted. On the other hand, even after the war, Heidegger never condemned the Nazis. He never even mentioned the Holocaust, lending weight to the argument that he was profoundly antisemitic and merely concerned with his own career and reputation.


Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

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