Tagged Nazi Germany

Your Non-Shocking News of the Day

Stop the presses. Martin Heidegger was an anti-Semite: For decades, controversy has marred the legacy of Martin Heidegger, whose theories and complicity with the Nazi regime led many to brand him an anti-Semite. Yet there was never a smoking gun in the late German philosopher’s expansive work, an explicit pejorative reference to Jews or Judaism as such. Heidegger admirers and critics battled over certain passages, concepts, and personal anecdotes. But neither side could issue unequivocal evidence to put to rest the long-running feud. This, however, may change with the publication in March of Heidegger’s “black notebooks,” a kind of intellectual…

Quote of the Day

[George] Kennan was right to think he had an artist’s temperament at war with a foreign service officer’s ambition. He was twenty-six years in the service of the United States in Riga, Vienna, Prague, Lisbon, and Moscow, where he set up the first US embassy when US–Soviet diplomatic relations were established in 1933. He was in Moscow throughout the darkest periods of Stalin’s terror, but rarely saw the Kremlin butcher himself, catching sight of him once staring grimly from the armored interior of a vast Cadillac. While fellow-traveling American visitors and journalists from Lincoln Steffens to Walter Duranty visited Moscow and…

Quote of the Day

I’ve seen proof, black on white, that Herr Dr. Förster has not yet severed his connection with the anti-Semitic movement. … Since then I’ve had difficulty coming up with any of the tenderness and protectiveness I’ve so long felt toward you. The separation between us is thereby decided in really the most absurd way. Have you grasped nothing of the reason why I am in the world? … Now it has gone so far that I have to defend myself hand and foot against people who confuse me with these anti-Semitic canaille; after my own sister, my former sister, and after Widemann more recently have…

Yes Virginia, Friedrich Nietzsche’s Intellectual Legacy Was Hijacked By the Nazis

Details. Here is a key passage: Fitting Nietzsche’s ideas into a single worldview was no simple matter, but this was precisely the mission of theVölkischer Beobachter’s editors and writers: to make even complex ideas such as Nietzsche’s appear to coordinate with the main tenets of Nazism. Looking into the shifting terms with which the daily newspaper presented Nietzsche helps us toward understanding how the Nazi party attempted to place his biography and writings—along with the tradition of Kultur as a whole—at the service of the Nazi outlook. In addressing the “Germanness” of Nietzsche, however, the cultural politicians of the party faced some…

No Virginia, American Jews in Hollywood Did NOT Collaborate with the Nazis

Story here. Given the many holes in the original story, it comes as more than a little bit of a surprise that people bought into the idea that a certain subset of American Jews “betrayed their country and sold out their co-religionists.” This excerpt sums up the whole sorry state of affairs: . . . This is not simply a silly book; it’s a deeply problematic, even potentially dangerous, one. Who knows whether this is due to incompetence or malevolence. The mystery is that no editor or faculty adviser seems to have been looking out for the author. Harvard University…

In Memoriam: Boruch Spiegel

Would that we had more like him: Boruch Spiegel, one of the last surviving fighters of the Warsaw ghetto uprising of 1943, in which a vastly outgunned band of 750 young Jews held off German soldiers for more than a month with crude arms and firebombs, died on May 9 in Montreal. He was 93.His death was confirmed by his son, Julius, a retired parks commissioner of Brooklyn. Mr. Spiegel lived in Montreal.The Warsaw ghetto uprising has been regarded as the signal episode of resistance to the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum calls…