Aries and witness

Hans Hauge: Løgstrup, Heidegger and Nazism. Biographies, Discussions, Memories, Polemics and Anecdotes Publishing Multivers. Denmark

Løgstrup, Heidegger and Nazism Biographies, discussions, memories, polemics and anecdotes Forlaget Multivers
Forfatter: Hans Hauge
Forlag: (Danmark)
In his book on Heidegger and Nazism, Hans Hauge overlooked the massive Nazi narrative that prevailed in postwar Germany. 


The Danish literary scholar Hans Hauge has written a book about Heidegger and the Danish theologian Knud Ejler Løgstrup (1905 – 81) (Løgstrup, Heidegger and Nazism, Multivers, 2016). Løgstrup studied under Heidegger in the 1930 century and had many personal and professional connections to Germany, including as a German married.

Hauge holds a doctorate at Løgstrup from 1992 and possesses extensive knowledge of philosophy and theology. His main point of view is that the entire ongoing debate about Heidegger's Nazism is a kind of university policy cover maneuver to reinforce positivism and neo-Darwinism in the humanities. Here I will concentrate on Hauge's apologetic treatment of the relationship between Heidegger and Nazism, which has been the subject of much international debate since the so-called Black booklets was published in 2014 – 15. Here at home, Window magazine recently published a theme number on the issue in which Hauge himself and one of his Danish critics contributed.

Method: The belief in witnesses. “Heidegger and Char became friends. Char had joined the resistance movement and was also a good friend with Albert Camus. He apparently had no problems with Heidegger's Nazism, ”Hauge writes. Should this be an argument against Heidegger being a Nazi? How much did Char know about the vast material now available in Heideggers Gesamtausgabe? In this easy way, Hauge finds many "witnesses" who support his case.

"We can conclude that Hannah Arendt did not consider Heidegger a Nazi. She is also a witness, and we now have many witnesses: Løgstrup, Leisegang, Siedler, Müller, Brock and Arendt. And Rosemarie Løgstrup. But not Adorno. In fact, I never think Adorno met Heidegger. "

But on the basis of common legal criteria on the credibility of witnesses, it could be argued that Arendt is incompetent, since she was for a time Heidegger's mistress.

«In 1951, he was emeritus. There were several others who wrote about Heidegger at this time without mentioning his national socialist commitment. Especially the ones I mention here. And this again shows the paradox that it is worse nowadays to have been attracted to non-existent national socialism than it was back then when there was really existing national socialism. "

Hauge attacks positivism, but has only one kind of anecdotal method to judge whether Heidegger was a Nazi or not.

This interpretation paradigm goes through the book like a red thread. Hauge overlooked the massive concealment of Nazism that prevailed during the reconstruction phase in Germany, when it was laid on who had been a Nazi. It was a non-theme. Giulio Ricciarelli's film Labyrinth of Lies (2014) starring Alexander Fehling says something about the climate in the 1950s and the extent to which Nazism was displaced in Germany. Hauge has a great overview of the research literature, but does not mention Guido Schneebergers Nachlese to Heidegger, which the author had to publish at his own expense in Bern in 1962 because no publisher would publish it. It was the first collection of writings from Heidegger's period as Nazi director in Freiburg in 1933–34. When idea historian Thor Inge Rørvik and the undersigned edited a double issue of the philosophy journal Agora on Heidegger and Nazism in 1989, I borrowed a copy of Schneeberger's book by philosophy professor Johan Fredrik Bjelke (1916-94), who had spent several years for country failure after the war. In Hauge's terminology, he probably would have been a "witness".

«Brock, Lévinas, Vietta, Beaufret, Bachmann, Sartre, Prenter, Habermas, Arendt, Kunz, Løgstrup, Sløk, Diderichsen, Pedersen; what they have in common is that they either say nothing about Heidegger's politics, or they cite him as the grip of a national socialist raptus (Løgstrup), fear (Sartre), derailment (Kunz), involvement (engagement) (Brock), mistake (Habermas) ), or it was Elfride's fault (Arendt). They all interpret it as a passivity and not as a decision or decision. Do the different ones have a good explanation for his derailment? Well not really. ”

Contradictory. Hauge attacks positivism, but has only some sort of anecdotal method to judge whether Heidegger was a Nazi or not. Criticism of positivism does not consist in being against facts, but in examining the context in which facts are created – how a "fact" is created. That the facts must be interpreted does not mean that they can be neglected. «Texts can be read in countless ways, but only one way at a time. Nazism or not? It cannot be decided by reading texts, but it is decided solely by the interpretative community that you happen to belong to, ”Hauge writes. This kind of thinking undermines the legitimacy of the humanities: Belonging and sectarianism replace intellectual debate and academic criteria. The criticism of positivism must not degenerate into an escape from the empire! Neglecting the source criticism as Hauge does is not a good advertisement for the humanities. That a number of people do not mention Heidegger's Nazi connection does not prove anything.

Is Heidegger forgiven or innocent?

"I have a not very original part explanation as to why it had become so around 1950 that he did not mention Heidegger's Nazism. It is due to the Cold War and it enabled the re-enactment of most old Nazis who returned after a process of de-Nazification. Who else would teach? "

Here Hauge himself states the key to the fact that Nazism was not mentioned. The observation contradicts Hauge's own unthinkable method – yet it has no consequences for his attempt to save Heidegger with the help of "witnesses". And what are they really witnessing? "Paul Celan now belongs to a series of witnesses who did not accuse Heidegger or demand an apology." Is this an indication that Heidegger is forgiven or that he is innocent?

Hauge has a major problem with Løgstrup, who wrote a chronicle in Dagens Nyheter in 1936 in which he called Heidegger the philosopher of Nazism (the first part of the chronicle is available online in English translation). "Why does Løgstrup insist on calling Heidegger the Nazi philosopher, when not many people thought that was the case in the 1930s?" Hauge can't really answer that. And that also undermines Løgstrup as a "witness of truth" when in other contexts not mentions that Heidegger is a Nazi. Unfortunately, Hauge lacks a well thought-out idea-historical or ideological-critical method for dealing with the connection between Heidegger and Nazism.

The criticism of positivism must not degenerate into an escape from the empire!

Heidegger's (lack of) ethics. "Heidegger has repeatedly been told he had no ethics. He was without a sense of otherness (Lévinas). Because he had no ethics, he could not resist Nazism. It's a hopeless criticism. " For one could well become a Nazi even if one had an ethic, Hauge continues. Here the reasoning is interrupted too quickly. IN Letter about humanism Heidegger determines ethics using the Greek word ethos, which can mean "place of residence". Being ethical to Heidegger means staying "near the Aries". But the problem is that Aries manifests itself in unpredictable ways, and when Heidegger supports Hitler and the declaration of the League of Nations in 1933 (which Hauge compares in several places with Brexit), he justifies this: “The leader has given the German people the opportunity to choose their own life ». The decision "extends to the very limit of our people's existence (Dasein). And what is this limit? It consists in the original claim of all beings (Urforderung alles Seins), that it rescues and retains its own being ». Here is one of many examples of the relationship between proximity to Aries – which Heidegger repeats as a mantra in the Black Booklets – and the political field. The discussion of the relationship between politics and fundamental ontology is almost absent in Hauges's book, though he mentions Bourdieu's small book on Heidegger's political ontology. The philosopher Nils Gilje writes in New Norwegian Journal (2015): “Heidegger took a paradoxical position. The more critical he became of National Socialism, the more prominent his philosophical anti-Semitism became. " The Black Booklets give the impression that Heidegger believes in defending an authentic form of national socialism, while the victorious national socialist Weltanschauung (world view, ed.) by Heidegger is considered vulgar and philosophically naive. Hauge cuts out of this problem.

Hauge is out in many errands in this book – a bit too many. Why this fear of positivism and Darwinism? Like many of its critics, Hauge has a vague notion of positivism. Positivism is a broad cultural movement in the latter half of the 19th century, while Carnap and the logical positivism of the interwar period represent a much narrower platform of recognition. When it comes to Darwinism and evolutionism, one is struck by the philosophical naivety of many who experimented with these ideas in the late 1800s, including our own Henrik Ibsen. When Georg Brandes notified Ibsens Ghosts, he drew the likeness of Karl Gjellerup's Darwinian and evolutionist thesis Heredity and morality (1881), who, in his total determinism, denied human freedom and thought this was a fiction in line with a werewolf. Gjellerup received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1917.

I have yet to meet a Danish literature researcher who has read this book. The debate about Darwin dates back 150 years and has – whether we like it or not – already had massive impacts on the humanities and their research objects. Here, there is a large field that requires historical, interdisciplinary knowledge, interpretive art and reflection when it comes to ethics and philosophy of history and science. Why not open up and manage this field rather than gnaw at the late Heidegger's incomprehensible linguistic innovations? Heidegger cannot save the decay of European universities in the wake of the Bologna process. Isn't it soon time for one Boloxite?

Hans Hauge has already been criticized by Danish reviewers for that Løgstrup, Heidegger and Nazism is chaotic. The author appears as a nice and knowledgeable man with great storytelling and impressive staff-historical knowledge of Danish philosophy and theology. Hauges book should be expanded and revised into a multi-volume work on the history of these subjects in Denmark and their influence over the last hundred years. The content of the ideas had to be better clarified. With a more rigorous publishing editor, Hauge could become a real counterbalance to the decay at the universities he sees in a misunderstood way, having to use Nazi Heidegger to fight.

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