132 // NOTES TO PAGES 86 – 88


most deeply repressed priestly vengefulness” (33–34). Heidegger, with his idiosyncratic hypostatization of a “spirit of revenge” proceeding against the Germans, can certainly call upon Nietzsche’s moral genealogy. Doing so also casts a light back upon Nietzsche’s anti-Semitism, which does not disappear when the philosopher in other passages adores the “race” of the Jews and gives free rein to his rage against anti-Semites. The thesis is probably not untenable that the (Christian-) conservative strand of German philosophical-history as a whole, from German Idealism, through Nietzsche, and on to Ernst and Friedrich-Georg Jünger, Carl Schmitt, and Martin Heidegger, was more or less latently anti-Semitic. Nevertheless, it is a matter of observing the distinctions between these kinds of anti-Semitisms.

15. Heidegger and Arendt, Letters, 82; Briefe, 101–2. I cite only a portion of the poem.

16. “Und vieles/Wie auf den Schultern eine/Last von Scheitern ist/Zu behalten. Aber bös sind/Die Pfade.” Friedrich Hölderlin, “Mnemosyne,” third version, Poems and Fragments, 518–19, translation modified. The “Scheit” is a wooden log. “Log” (Scheit) is related to the verb “to cut” (scheiden). “Scheitern” here in Hölderlin is the plural of “log” (cf. Scheiterhaufen, pyre, bonfire).

17. Arendt, Denktagebuch, 3.

18. Arendt and Jaspers, Correspondence, 48.

19. Heidegger and Arendt, Letters, 3045; Briefe, 382–83.

20. Heidegger, Anmerkungen II, 77, in Anmerkungen II–V, GA 97. It is conspicuous that Heidegger does not even once regard Judaism as a religion. This holds not only for the Black Notebooks, but rather for his work as a whole. One exception is found in the “Letter to a Young Student,” in which the philosopher speaks of the “default of god and the divinities.” This manner of “absence” would be “not nothing,” but rather “the presence, which must first be appropriated, of the hidden fullness . . . of what has been,” under which he understands “the divine in the world of the Greeks, in prophetic Judaism, in the preaching of Jesus.” Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought, 182; GA 7: 185. The expression sounds conciliatory; its center of gravity, however, lies in that it concerns the “fullness of what has been.” When in the Black Notebooks the talk is of an “‘eternal people,’” Heidegger means not the Jews but instead the Germans (in his “Eighth Speech to the German Nation,” Johann Gottlieb Fichte contemplates the relation between a


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