Heidegger and the JewsThe Black Notebooks
Heidegger and the Jews
The Black Notebooks
Translated by Murtha Baca

Philosophers have long struggled to reconcile Martin Heidegger’s involvement in Nazism with his status as one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century. The recent publication of his Black Notebooks has reignited fierce debate on the subject. These thousand-odd pages of jotted observations profoundly challenge our image of the quiet philosopher’s exile in the Black Forest, revealing the shocking extent of his anti-Semitism for the first time.

For much of the philosophical community, the Black Notebooks have been either used to discredit Heidegger or seen as a bibliographical detail irrelevant to his thought. Yet, in this new book, renowned philosopher Donatella Di Cesare argues that Heidegger’s “metaphysical anti-Semitism” was a central part of his philosophical project. Within the context of the Nuremberg race laws, Heidegger felt compelled to define Jewishness and its relationship to his concept of Being. Di Cesare shows that Heidegger saw the Jews as the agents of a modernity that had disfigured the spirit of the West. In a deeply disturbing extrapolation, he presented the Holocaust as both a means for the purification of Being and the Jews’ own “self-destruction”: a process of death on an industrialized scale that was the logical conclusion of the acceleration in technology they themselves had brought about.

Situating Heidegger’s anti-Semitism firmly within the context of his thought, this groundbreaking work will be essential reading for students and scholars of philosophy and history as well as the many readers interested in Heidegger’s life, work and legacy.

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  • November -0001 (pb)
    July 2018 (hb)
  • 313 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509503827
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  • 9781509503834
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  • 9781509503865
Table of Contents


I. Between Politics and Philosophy

1. A Media Affair

2. A Nazi by Chance …

3. Biographic Detail, or Philosophical Nexus?

4. Heidegger, an Anti-Semite?

5. What Has Been Left Unsaid about the Jewish Question

6. The Black Notebooks

7. Reductio at Hitlerum. On the Posthumous Trial of Heidegger

8. A Calling to Account?

9. From Derrida to Schürmann: Toward an Anarchic Reading

10. Taming Heidegger

11. The Exclusion of Nazism from Philosophy

12. Philosophical Commitment and Political Decision

II. Philosophy and Hatred of the Jews

1. Luther, Augustine, and “the Jews and Their Lies”

2. The “Jewish Question” in Philosophy

3. Kant and the “Euthanasia of Judaism”

4. Hegel and the Jew without Property

5. “Anti-anti-Semite? Nietzsche, the Antichrist, and the Falsification of Values

6. Lies and Fakery: The Non-being of the Jew in Mein Kampf

III. The Question of Being and the Jewish Question

1. The Night of Being

2. In An Esoteric Tone…

3. Anti-Semitism and Never-dispelled Doubts

4. Metaphors of an Absence

5. The Jew and the Oblivion of Being

6. The Greeks, the Germans—and the Jews

7. The Rootless Agents of Acceleration

8. Against the Jewish Intellectuals

9. Geist and ruach. The “Original Fire” and the Spectral Breath

10. Machination and Power

11. The Desertification of the Earth

12. The Apocalyptic and the “Prince of This World”

13. The Deracification of Peoples

14. Race or Rank?

15. The Metaphysics of Blood

16. “My ‘attack’ on Husserl”

17. Heidegger, Jünger, and the Topology of the Jew

18. The Enemy: Heidegger versus Schmitt

19. Pólemos and Total War

20. Weltjudentum: The Jewish World Conspiracy

21. Judeo-Bolshevism

22. Weltlos—without World: The Jew and the Stone

23. Metaphysical Anti-Semitism

24. The Jew and the “Purification” of Being

25. “What is it about no-thing?”

IV. After Auschwitz

1. “Bellum judaicum

2. To Abdicate to Silence?

3. “The Production of Corpses” and Ontic Indifference

4. The Ontological Massacre: Parmenides and Auschwitz

5. Do they die? They do not die, they are liquidated…”

6. Positionality, Technology, Crime

7. The Northeast Wind: Heading Toward Defeat

8. Selbstvernichtung: The Shoah and the “Self-Annihilation” of the Jews

9. The Betrayal of the “German Essence”

10. Who is the Victim? If Germany is a Lager

11. The “Question of Guilt” and the Crime Against the Germans

12. The “Note for Jackasses:” Against the Jewish Prophecy

13. World Democracy and the Dictatorship of Monotheism

14. “An old spirit of revenge makes its way upon the earth”

15. Whether It Is Possible to Forgive a Rabbi

16. Cousin Gross and Cousin Klein: Jews and Family Resemblances

17. The Oblivion of the Jew: the Hidden Debt

18. Where Paul is Hidden

19. The Future of Being and the Hebrew Name

20. A Pagan Landscape

21. The Other Beginning, the Beginning of the Other: Anarchy, Birth

22. An Angel in the Black Forest: Apocalypse and Revolution



About the Author
Donatella Di Cesare is Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the Sapienza University of Rome.
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“Donatella Di Cesare’s book restores philosophical balance to the debate on Heidegger and the Jews. It is a tour de force combining intellectual history and philosophical reflection on both the man and the thinker that goes well beyond the all-too-routine alternative of rabid condemnation or doggedly blinkered defense.”
Babette Babich, The Jesuit University of New York

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