Martin Heidegger’s Family Spent Decades Distorting His Work to Cover Up His Anti-Semitism

The German philosopher Martin Heidegger was undoubtedly one of the most influential of the 20th century. He was also a Nazi. For many years after World War II, his defenders insisted that his support for Hitler was limited, and not reflective of his ideas. But in 2014, the appearance in print of Heidegger’s Black Notebooks—journals he kept from 1931 until the 1970s—revealed the extent of his anti-Semitism and sympathy for the Third Reich. Moreover, explains Richard Wolin, those responsible for the posthumous editing and publication of Heidegger’s works, led by his son Hermann and other family members, have systematically distorted their content:

In light of Hermann Heidegger’s pivotal role as the administrator of his father’s literary estate, it is worth pointing out that he has consistently maintained ties to politically dubious, far-right political circles. For example, in 2014, when, following publication of the Black Notebooks, a heated controversy erupted over the philosopher’s anti-Semitism, Hermann, seeking to calm the waters, gave an interview to Sezession, a Neue Rechte (New Right) publication. . . .

Ultimately, Hermann Heidegger’s attempt to clear his father’s name fell considerably short of the mark. As he remarked at one point during the interview with Sezession, “My father was critical of ‘world Jewry’ without being an anti-Semite. After Auschwitz, it has become impossible to make this distinction, although anyone who was alive during the 1930s readily understands its meaning.” What seems to have escaped Hermann’s attention is that the expression “world Jewry” (Weltjudentum)—which conjures the image of a “Jewish world conspiracy”—was itself a lexical mainstay of Nazi race thinking. Hitler himself frequently had recourse to it in Mein Kampf and other writings. Truly a shame that Auschwitz, among its various pernicious aftereffects, fundamentally ruined things for well-meaning critics of “world Jewry” like the Heideggers!

The controversies that have haunted the publication of Heidegger’s work are significant, insofar as they concern not merely occasional and understandable editorial lapses but instead suggest a premeditated policy of substantive editorial cleansing: a strategy whose goal was systematically and deliberately to excise Heidegger’s pro-Nazi sentiments and convictions.

Thus, in one of the few cases where Heidegger deigned to discuss the “Final Solution” to the “Jewish Question,” he cynically characterized the Holocaust as an act of “Jewish self-annihilation.”

Read more at Los Angeles Review of Books

More about: Anti-Semitism, Holocaust, Martin Heidegger, Nazi Germany, 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