Heidegger on the Holocaust: The Jews Self-Destructed

The publication of some of Martin Heidegger’s “black notebooks”—unpublished writings from the Nazi era—have shown the extent of the support for Hitler given by the prominent German philosopher and the centrality of anti-Semitism to his worldview. A forthcoming volume of the notebooks contains extensive writing on the Holocaust, refuting the once widely-held assumption of his “silence” on the subject. It turns out he was certain the Jews brought it on themselves, as Donatella Di Cesare writes:

[I]t is no surprise that Heidegger should discuss the Shoah and consider it from both philosophical and political viewpoints. Selbstvernichtung—self-destruction—is the key word. [Heidegger’s] argument is that the Jews destroyed themselves, and no fingers should be pointed at anyone except the Jews themselves. . . .

Heidegger does no more than draw his conclusion from everything he has said previously. The Jews are the agents of modernity and have disseminated modernity’s evils. They have besmirched the spirit of the West, undermining it from within. Accomplices of metaphysics, the Jews have everywhere brought about the acceleration of technology. The charge could hardly be more serious. Only Germany, with her people’s iron cohesion, could stem the devastating impact of technology. This is why the global conflict was primarily a war of Germans against Jews. If the Jews were annihilated in the death camps, it was because of the mechanism that they fomented by plotting to achieve world domination. The link between technology and the Shoah should not be disregarded: it was Heidegger himself who alluded to it elsewhere. What is Auschwitz if not the industrialization of death, the “fabrication of corpses”?

Read more at Corriere della Sera

More about: Anti-Semitism, Existentialism, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Martin Heidegger, Nazism, Philosophy


While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy