National Socialism, World Jewry, and the History of Being
Apr. 23 at 6:00 p.m.
CUNY Graduate Center
Heidegger intended the Black Notebooks, which were recently published in Germany, as the culminating achievement of his 102-volume Collected Works edition. They represent, among other things, a stark reaffirmation of his philosophical commitment to National Socialism and, as such, a point of no return for Heidegger scholarship. But what the Black Notebooks also disturbingly reveal is Heidegger’s obsession with “World Jewry” in the most negative and cliché-ridden terms: as a pivotal source of cultural and social dissolution that must be eliminated in order to realize National Socialism’s “inner truth and greatness” as Heidegger himself put it in 1935. How, then, should one go about resolving the conundrum of a great thinker who remained entirely convinced that the Nazi regime, with its unbridled racism and exterminationist militarism, represented an adequate solution to the “decline of the West”?
Richard Wolin is Distinguished Professor of History, Political Science and Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center. Among his books, which have been translated into ten languages, are: Heidegger’s Children: Hannah Arendt, Karl Löwith, Hans Jonas, and Herbert Marcuse, The Seduction of Unreason: the Intellectual Romance with Fascism from Nietzsche to Postmodernism, and The Wind From the East: French Intellectuals, the Cultural Revolution and the Legacy of the 1960s, which was recently listed by the Financial Times as one of the best books of 2012. He frequently writes on intellectual and political topics for the New Republic, The Nation, and Dissent .
Sponsored by the Ph.D. Program in History, Committee on Social and Political Thought, Public Programs, the CUNY Academy, the Center for the Humanities, and the Center for Jewish Studies