Latest Issue

From Hitler to Hölderlin

Much has been written about Heidegger's involvement with the Nazis. But Desmond Christy welcomes a new biography which refrains from hasty judgements, and lets the life speak for itself

By Desmond Christy   June 1998

Martin Heidegger, one of the great philosophers of our century, was born in Messkirch, a little town between Lake Constance, the Schwaben mountains, and the Upper Danube in 1889, the same year as Adolf Hitler. Heidegger’s involvement with the Nazis, uncovered in books by Victor Farias and Hugo Ott, has made it easy to condemn the man and his philosophy. Why listen to a philosopher who bangs on about Being when he supported a “revolution” which would murder millions of people?

R?iger Safranski’s new biography of Heidegger, a huge success in Germany and already translated into half a dozen languages,…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect