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Reading Heidegger's Black Notebooks 1931-1941$
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Ingo Farin and Jeff Malpas

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034012

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034012.001.0001

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Heidegger and National Socialism: Great Hopes, Despair, and Resilience

Heidegger and National Socialism: Great Hopes, Despair, and Resilience

(p.239) 16 Heidegger and National Socialism: Great Hopes, Despair, and Resilience
Reading Heidegger's Black Notebooks 1931-1941

Thomas Rohkrämer

The MIT Press

Heidegger was a sharp critic of the modern secular and pluralistic condition and hoped for the emergence of a new communal faith that would unite the nation into a tightly knit spiritual community. With the rise of Nazism, he enthusiastically believed that Hitler offered the opportunity for such a new beginning in line with his philosophical aspirations – also because he shared many of the Nazis’ convictions ranging from their call for a völkisch ‘re-awakening’ and their glorification of a socially just national community (Volksgemeinschaft) to a glorification of a specifically German potential combined with prejudices against Communism, Jews and ‘the West’. Though his initial enthusiastic hope that he could become the philosopher guiding the Third Reich’s way in a complete break with the past towards an ideal future was soon dashed, he continued to support the regime because his völkisch chauvinism combined with a complete disregard of the murderous actions of the regime made him unwavering in the belief that a German victory would be best for what he took to be all-important: a new beginning.

Keywords:   Communal Faith, Community of the People, Conservative Revolution, Kulturkritik, machination, New beginning, Völkisch ideology

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