Ex Captivitate SalusExperiences, 1945-47
Ex Captivitate Salus
Experiences, 1945-47
Translated by Matthew Hannah

When Germany was defeated in 1945, both the Russians and the Americans undertook mass internments in the territories they occupied. The Americans called their approach ‘automatic arrest’. Carl Schmitt, although not belonging to the circles subject to automatic arrest, was held in one of these camps in the years 1945-46, and then, in March 1947, in the prison of the international tribunal in Nuremberg, as witness and ‘possible defendant’. A formal charge was never brought against him. Schmitt’s way of coping in the years of isolation was to write this book, clarifying his own position on certain fundamental questions. 

In <i>Ex Captivitate Salus</i>, or <i>Deliverance from Captivity</i>, Schmitt considers a range of issues relating to history and political theory as well as recent events, including the Nazi defeat and the new emerging Cold War. Schmitt often urged his readers to view the book as though ?it were a series of letters personally directed to each of them. Hence there is a decidedly personal dimension to the text as Schmitt expresses his thoughts on his own career trajectory with some pathos, at the same time he is at pains to emphasise that ‘this is not romantic or heroic prison literature’.

This reflective work sheds new light on Schmitt’s thought and personal situation at the beginning of a period of exile from public life that only ended with his death in 1985. It will be of great value to the many students and scholars in political theory and law who continue to study and appreciate this seminal theorist of the 20th century.

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  • September 2017
  • 100 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $59.95
  • 9781509511631
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9781509511648
  • Open eBook $19.95
  • 9781509511679
Table of Contents

Introduction: Carl Schmitt’s Prison Writings Andreas Kalyvas and Federico Finchelstein

Translator’s Note

Conversation with Eduard Spranger (Summer 1945)

Remarks in Response to a Radio Speech by Karl Mannheim (Winter 1945/46)

Historiographia in Nuce: Alexis de Tocqueville (August 1946)

Two Graves (Summer 1946)

Ex Captivitate Salus (Summer 1946)

Wisdom of the Cell (April 1947)

Song of the Sixty-Year-Old

Appendix: Foreword to the Spanish Edition


About the Author

Carl Schmitt (1888-1985) is widely acknowledged to be one of the most important and influential political theorists of the twentieth century. His many works published in English include The Concept of the Political, Political Theology and On Dictatorship.

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Ex Captivitate Salus is Carl Schmitt’s poetic, apocalyptic, seductive but ultimately unsatisfying attempt at self-exculpation after the fall of the Third Reich—which, in its early years, Schmitt served so faithfully.”
John McCormick, The University of Chicago

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