In May of 1976 – in the middle of the most lawless period of the Argentinian massacre – Martin Heidegger died. In his last period he had approached Zen. The majority of the Argentinian killers (especially their shock troops, which they called work groups) were anti-Semitic, Nazis, admirers of the Führer and believed they were following Germany’s glorious fight against Bolshevism.
In June of 1976 I went to present a lecture in Montevideo.
There I was called by a pair of friends. They had blown my department. A work group had gone to get me, and didn’t find me.
They destroyed everything.
I returned to Germany.
I returned to Freiburg.
My friends in Argentina (overcoming their fear, risking themselves) sent me my things they had saved. I knew Pablo Epstein had taken part. Perhaps this little triumph over fear might make him better. Would he know how much I wanted him?
In Freiburg they received me as a survivor. They knew everything that was going on in Argentina. They greeted me, also, as a brother. A brother that life preserved like a miracle, pulling him from death’s door, from thanatic rationality, from a cruelty at times lucid and bureaucratic but fed by the passion of hatred, by perversion. Torture is metaphysical, because its end is killing the soul.
They named me adjunct professor of the philosophy of history.
I remember the first word from the first class I held. How could I forget? I said:
My name is Martin Müller. I am the son of Professor Dieter Müller, who read this material in dark times.
Labels: The Shadow of Heidegger