Reden und andere Zeugnisse eines Lebensweges

Speeches and other testimonies of a way of life

This volume is a collection of 290 entries, most no more than a page or two in length, including addresses, poems, announcements, letters, and reviews. The collection is divided into seven chronologically differentiated parts, and an appendix.

  1. Student and Dozent (1910–22) includes an informative vita prepared for an application for a position in Göttingen; see Becoming Heidegger, 106ff;
  2. Ordinary professor in Marburg and Freiburg (1923–33) includes letters explaining his refusal to accept a position in Berlin, a letter to Hannah Arendt regarding his alleged “anti-Semitism,” and a telling letter (March 30, 1933) to Elisabeth Blochman relating the impact of recent events on him;
  3. Rector of Freiburg University (1933–4) includes numerous short entries (many clearly establishing Heidegger’s enthusiastic support for National Socialism), the Rectoral Address “The Self-Assertion of the German University” (107–17), a recommendation for Paul Kristeller, and letters concerning yet another, rejected offer of a position in Berlin;
  4. Professor in the Third Reich (1934–45) includes two lengthy entries: “The German University” (elaborated from perspective of “the national socialistic revolution,” 285–307) and “The Contemporary Situation and the Future Task of German Philosophy” (316–34);
  5. Cleansing and Teaching Ban (1945–50) includes “facts and thoughts,” some defensive, on his rectorate as well as on the repercussions of his resignation (372–94); his “application for reinstatement,” outlining his reasons for joining the National Socialist Party and his relation to it after 1933 (397–404); “What is being itself?” (423f); and a letter to Marcuse, noting his “political error” and reasons for not apologizing (430f);
  6. Pensioner (1950–1) includes entries acknowledging his “political error” (452f, 459) and a sense of “shame for what transpired against Jews” (469) yet also repeatedly denying accusations of anti-Semitism, mistreatment of Husserl, or membership in the SA or SS;
  7. Emeritus (1951–76) contains the 1955 address “Gelassenheit” (517–29; translated “Discourse on Thinking”), pieces on Hebel’s poetry and on art, a letter to Hans-Peter Hempel on the situation of his rectorate and resignation, the 1965 address “On the Question of the Determination of the Matter of Thinking” (620–33), and, finally, two much-discussed interviews: the 1966 Spiegel magazine interview (652–83) and the 1969 interview with Richard Wisser (702–10).

The appendix contains newspaper reports and publications of frequently cited yet unsubstantiated remarks (three entries from 1930, three from 1933, and one from 1958).