In Freiburg, in 1928, I knew Heidegger. I knew his name, his fame, his writings, and his voice. I had earlier attended his courses in Marburg. I didn't know him - so to speak - in person. I can't say I ever did, despite the closeness of our lives. I could see him, hear him and even exchange phrases with him. However, can anyone know the absolute?[Continued]
Nothing could transmit the bewitchment, the reflexive ecstasy (I know the risks of this phrase: is there an ecstasy of thinking), the feast of intelligence provoked, in me, by his appearance. We didn't believe much in philosophy in those years. Reaching us were the final waves of a turgid, old neo-Kantianism, or the icy winds of the mathematical currents, so dear to the inheritors of English empiricism. Or the power of Husserl, the greatest and latest of our philosophers, that, in fact, was insufficient to shake our spirits with the necessary violence to tear us from decadence, from the opaque humors of defeat. Heidegger was the new. And what's new always has the fury of hurricanes, and the pain of devastation. No one spoke like him. No one spoke like him at the closing of his Rektorat address. Nobody, as when he said: "The whole world is in the middle of the storm." And we raised our arms in joy and we acclaimed - glorifying him - the Master from Germany.
I want, now, for you to know something, I want to establish this from the start: your father, Dieter Müller, was National Socialist and was professor at Freiburg for many years. I also want to confess (even though this should not diminish in the least my responsibility before the facts) that I became a National Socialist for Heidegger, that I had not been one until hearing, in 1933, his Rektorat address, and had that not been the case, I never would have been one if that speech had never been made. Spoken by he who said it, the way in which he said it, with the authority with which he said it; said by Martin Heidegger, from the vast height of his philosophical genius. You were born in 1934 and it was for him that your name is Martin.
Labels: The Shadow of Heidegger