ATTEMPTS AT A RESPONSE


The considerations up to this point give rise to a justifiable assumption: Heidegger’s being-historical Manichaeism, which increases at the end of the 1930s, his narrative of a history of the world and the homeland threatened by the un-history of worldlessness and homelessness (Heimatlosigkeit), formed a milieu in which his anti-Semitism, long latent to be sure, could now take on its own being-historical significance. In this context, deceptive stories (the Protocols of the Elders of Zion) and simpleminded legends (of a Jewish “gift for calculation,” for example) enter Heidegger’s thinking forcibly and start to proliferate there.

One must not be deceived: Although we do not know what Heidegger intimated by the “production of corpses in the gas chambers and extermination camps” or still less what he knew, and even if we believe him that “hundreds of thousands” were “unobtrusively liquidated in annihilation camps,” all of this still implies a central thought of his being-historical anti-Semitism: that the Jews were a military enemy of the National Socialists or, worse yet, of the Germans.1 In the war between such enemies, at what point would Heidegger have limited the violence against the Jews? In his eyes, what was the scope of the above-mentioned “predetermination” for “planetary master criminals”? Was the “fabrication of corpses” really unthinkable when it came to an


Peter Trawny - Heidegger and the Myth of a Jewish World Conspiracy