Sunday, March 11, 2012
[Start][Previously on]

The Shadow of Heidegger

Once (perhaps in the winter of 1940?), Kruger, whispering, sweating more than ever, said: “The Gestapo watches us”. I was surprised. “Have we said or done anything that might annoy the Gestapo?” Of course not he said. We are Germans, patriots, common people. “Well then?” “To be rigorous I ought to tell you that the one really being watched is Heidegger.” Stupefied, I said: “Professor Kruger, neither you nor I is Heidegger. Even the Gestapo knows and understands that”. “But you were his disciple”, he let out as he left.

What an honor for a philosopher as little relevant as I: the Gestapo was watching me.

Nevertheless, they killed Kruger. Don’t ask me why. Germany was already indecipherable to me. Officials from the Gestapo entered his house and shot him in his office, with, how to put this, and efficient fury. His bloody head – not necessarily any more useless than it had been alive – fell on his copy of The Myth of the Twentieth Century, the major work of Alfred Rosenberg that, for years, we had taught to our humiliation. He’d been, Kruger, taking some notes for class the next day, which, of course, he was unable to dictate.

Then, from that event on, I decided to escape from Germany.

It wasn’t easy.

But it was possible.

But for me – very especially – it was necessary.


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