Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword: Arendt and Heidegger: Erotic Reversals, Conflict, and Fissures

Peg Birmingham

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pp. vii-xiv

Over the past several decades the question has often been raised: How could Hannah Arendt have reconciled with Martin Heidegger, whom she knew had joined and actively participated in the Nazi Party when taking over the rectorship of Freiburg University? The same question, asked differently: How could Arendt, a Jewish-German refugee who had fled Germany in 1931, have resumed her relationship with Heidegger, her former teacher, on her first trip back to Germany in 1948, a trip undertaken on behalf of the Commission on European Jewish...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvi

This book emerged from a world of discussions, readings, and dinners. I thank everyone I met in the course of the work on this book, all those who listened and extended suggestions of all kinds. Jerome Kohn and Lotte Köhler have given me strength from a distance for many years. Lotte Köhler made original sources available to me, read the book as it progressed, offered critical comments, and very much encouraged me. With his wonderful electronic letters and commentary, Jerome Kohn proved that the age of the culture of letter exchange is not yet past. Edith Kurzweil provided the...

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Introduction to the English Translation

Antonia Grunenberg

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pp. xvii-xxviii

Eight years after the initial publication of my book, Martin Heidegger’s notebooks from the 1930s and 1940s came out. In the so-called Black Notebooks (Schwarz Hefte) that Heidegger wrote since the beginning of the 1930s, the philosopher spoke most appallingly about the Jewish people, about the “German essence,” about education, and about the task of philosophy. Fundamental questions arise: How are we to understand Heidegger’s closeness to National Socialism? Can anti-Semitism be part of a philosophical way of thinking? Can this way of thinking be then called philosophy?

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Introduction

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pp. 1-4

At the end of her book The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt writes about the internal devastation wrought by the power of totalitarianism, “the iron band of terror” that succeeds in creating an atmosphere of desolation around and within each person. One might have the impression, she writes, “as though a means had been found in which the desert had set itself in motion, setting loose a sandstorm that blew over all the inhabited areas of the earth.”1...

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1 World Out of Joint, or How the Revolution in Philosophy Began

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pp. 5-51

The twentieth century began with a stealthy revolution in politics and culture, art and literature, industry, technology, and science. Everyone spoke of great changes:

Thus it was a world full of antitheses, this “fin de siècle,” where everything was chaotically swirling and surging through each other, at once carnival and Ash Wednesday, powerfully emerging Renaissance and pessimistically tired decadence; imperialistic desire for power and craving for peace at any cost; a...

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2 Life’s Transformation, or the Sudden Eruption of Love in Life

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pp. 52-91

An everyday love story. Life has written this story many times, yet something is different here. When the eighteen-year-old student Hannah Arendt from Königsberg met the thirty-five-year-old professor Martin Heidegger from Meßkirch in the winter of 1924, something happened.
Martin Heidegger was a reclusive scholar, at five three rather short and slender, with an athletic build. Hannah Arendt was a young student eager to learn, slim, with a beautifully proportioned face, shining eyes, and lightning-quick intelligence....

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3 The Failure of the German-Jewish Symbiosis, or Friends Becoming Enemies

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pp. 92-144

The evening before Hitler’s nomination as Reich Chancellor, Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger found themselves on opposite sides of German society. As a Jew, she was pushed to its margins, while he was elevated to the status of one of the greatest German philosophers.
With Being and Time, Heidegger led the philosophical community to entirely new dimensions of thinking. Prior to this he had been a well-known and respected figure in professional circles, one who was occasionally feared because of his uncompromising character. Overnight the book made him famous even...

Illustrations

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pp. 145-159

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4 Heidegger absconditus, or the Discovery of America

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pp. 160-200

“Are saved live 317 West 95,” telegraphed Hannah to her ex-husband, Günther Stern, who was living in Los Angeles, after she and Heinrich Blücher arrived in New York on May 22, 1941. Stern had worked hard to get visas for them. In Lisbon on May 10, they had boarded the SS Guiné; the writer Hans Sahl was on the same ship.1 And when, weeks later, Arendt’s mother, Martha, whom they had to leave behind in Marseille, arrived on the MS Muzinho, the relief must have been great....

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5 The Break in Tradition and a New Beginning, or Arendt and Heidegger in Counterpoint

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pp. 201-246

In February 1950, after years of flight and persecution, of disappointment, anger, and alienation, Hannah met again the great love of her youth, Martin Heidegger.
She immediately writes her friend Hilde Fränkel about the encounter:

Apart from that, yesterday I returned from Freiburg where I absolutely had to go for professional reasons. Would I have gone there otherwise? I don’t know. In any case, H. almost immediately appeared in the hotel and began to perform a kind of tragedy, in which I presumably participated in the first two acts....

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6 Amor Mundi, or Thinking the World after the Catastrophe

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pp. 247-292

Why did Hannah Arendt feel the need to tell Martin Heidegger about this intended dedication that she had withdrawn, rather than just remaining silent? Did she want him to be aware of the nondedication? What had happened?
In 1960 the German translation of The Human Condition (1958), entitled Vita activa oder Vom tätigen Leben, was published. Arendt made sure that Heidegger received a copy of the book. Two words in this almost brisk note draw our attention: between us. A dedication would have strengthened this “between us” but,...

Chronology

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pp. 293-296

Index

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pp. 297-312