Sunday, October 30, 2011
[Start][Previously on]

The Shadow of Heidegger

I have another reason for telling your about Albert Schlageter. He was the hero, the martyr that Röhm's SA had chosen as symbol of the struggle, of commitment until the end. And Germany, in May of 1933, feared the SA. And Röhm, and, with him, our Rainer Minder, got crazier every day. They wanted to replace the army. They would be the Wehrmacht. And sink the National Socialist revolution. And even question the Führer's leadership if he did not follow them into that internal and decisive war. Who was going to slow them down? They were a great army. They were authentic militants and they had taken up the struggle and being towards death. In the first year of taking power they went from 400,000 to 3,000,000. Three million brutal militiamen, pitiless, skilled in the intolerable pain and suffering of others, already with lethal concentration camps, ready to kill and die!

Did Heidegger know, when he rendered onto the cult of Schlageter, that it was to them, to Ernst Röhm's army, to the Sturm Abteilung, to those begging for a second revolution, to whom, in effect, he was directing his words?

I don't know. I can, however, swear something: no one, neither Röhm, nor Heidegger, nor Rainer, nor, even less, I, sensing the coming blood bath, the night of Saint Bartholomew that awaited Germany. Its imminence wasn't even imagined. Perhaps because it was a case of - like never before or, undoubtedly, in aspects never seen - the imminence of death.

I don't know, now, what sense it made to tell you about Albert Leo Schlageter.

The night of the long knives has fallen on me.

Heidegger handed over to Schlageter's comrades an interpretation of the authentic hero that he took from paragraphs of Being and Time that were unpolluted and academic in 1927; full of militant ardor, of warrior decisionism in 1933. Only he could have done that. And he had.

He concluded like this: "We honor the hero and in homage to him we raise our arm."

The worst was to come.

The worst was imminent.


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