Martin & Fritz

After the publication of Heidegger’s Black Notebooks, which I previously wrote about, there has been a clamoring for the Heidegger family to release his familial correspondence. In “Heidegger and Anti-Semitism Yet Again: The Correspondence Between the Philosopher and His Brother Fritz Heidegger Exposed”, Adam Soboczynski and Alexander Cammann present an underwhelming case that Heidegger was a monster. The only thing ‘exposed’ is the co-authors’ hysteria.

Regarding some newly published letters between Martin Heidegger and his brother Fritz, they write:

Inside these pages one finds an unvarnished picture of the philosopher’s political disposition. In the Black Notebooks, a kind of diary of thoughts, Heidegger approached anti-Semitism from a philosophical remove, but these personal letters published expose him as a bona fide, unrepentant anti-Semite…

The opprobrium Martin Heidegger directs at Jews in the letters may have been typical of the widespread anti-Semitic discourse and conspiracy theories of the time. As early as 1916, he complained to his future wife of the “Jewification of our culture and universities,” against which the “German race” must “summon inner strength” to “rise up.”…

Just like National Socialism itself, the war was, for Heidegger, a battle in defense of the “Occident” and “German-ness” against the “great threat” posed by “Bolshevism” and “Americanism” (Jan. 29, 1943). On June 7, 1942, the philosopher still wonders why “our propaganda” doesn’t reveal “Americanism in all of its excesses.”

Commenter ‘Sean’ nails it:


Who cares already? All that matters is the work. Plenty of geniuses throughout history have been “bad people.” Enough with the moralizing. So we should only study the work of geniuses who never beat their wives or kids, who never committed an act of violence, who never harbored hatred of a group based on their religion or gender or color or place of origin? Oh crap! You just emptied out half of everyone’s library and record collection. Yes, we get it, Heidegger liked Hitler and was a Nazi. You’re a better person than he was. We get it.

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