Heidegger’s Black Noteboooks: National Socialism. Antisemitism, and the History of Being

Heidegger-Jahrbuch 11:77-88 (2017)
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This chapter examines: (1) the Black Notebooks in the context of Heidegger's political engagement on behalf of the National Socialist regime and his ambivalence toward some but not all of its political beliefs and tactics; (2) his limited "critique" of vulgar National Socialism and its biologically based racism for the sake of his own ethnocentric vision of the historical uniqueness of the German people and Germany's central role in Europe as a contested site situated between West and East, technological modernity and the Asiatic. Heidegger did not break with radical right-wing Germanist thought, as some scholars have argued. He at most placed National Socialism within his narrative of the history of being, metaphysics, and technology, and thereby relativized it without addressing either its uniqueness or its totalitarian structures and practices. Heidegger formulated his own metaphysical and ontological version of Antisemitism during the National Socialist period. This vision was deeply connected with his understanding of the "history of being" and was intensified during and immediately after the Second World War. Heidegger could perceive no difference between the Shoah and the Allied bombing, defeat, and occupation of Germany. Heidegger's post-war philosophy (of home, history and technology) is deeply shaped by, and remained complicit with, his thinking during this period.
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