For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

The Heidegger controversy: A critical reader

by Heidegger, Martin; Wolin, Richard (1992)


This anthology is a significant contribution to the debate over the relevance of Martin Heidegger's Nazi ties to the interpretation and evaluation of his philosophical work. Included are a selection of basic documents by Heidegger, essays and letters by Heidegger's colleagues that offer contemporary context and testimony, and interpretive evaluations by Heidegger's heirs and critics in France and Germany.In his new introduction, "Note on a Missing Text," Richard Wolin uses the absence from this edition of an interview with Jacques Derrida as a springboard for examining questions about the nature of authorship and personal responsibility that are at the heart of the book.Richard Wolin is Professor of Modern European Intellectual History and Humanities at Rice University. He is the author of Walter Benjamin, The Politics of Being: The Political Thought of Martin Heidegger, and The Terms of Cultural Criticism: The Frankfurt School, Existentialism and Poststructuralism.

Key Passage

[Excerpt from German Students (November 3, 1933)]-Do not pervert the knowledge you have struggled for into a  vain, selfish possession. Preserve it as the necessary primal possession of the leader [Uhrerischen Menschen] in the völkisch professions of the State. You can no longer be those who merely attend lectures [die nur "Hörenden']. You are obligated to know and act together in the creation of the future university [hohe Schule] of the German spirit. Every one of you must first prove and justify each talent and privilege. That will occur through the force of your aggressive involvement [Einsatz] in the struggle of the entire Volk for itself. -Let your loyalty and your will to follow [Gefolgschaftswille] be daily and hourly strengthened. Let your courage grow without ceasing so that you will be able to make the sacrifices necessary to save the essence of our Volk and to elevate its innermost strength in the State. -Let not propositions and "ideas" be the rules of your Being [Sein]. -The Führer alone is the present and future German reality and its law. Learn to know ever more deeply: from now on every single thing demands decision, and every action responsibility. -Heil Hitler! -Martin Heidegger, Rector (p.47)


Heidegger, Germany, National Socialism, Nazi, Twentieth Century, National Socialist Education, Academia, Duty, Work Creation


Address to German Students [1933], Heidegger Citations

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