Sunday, June 03, 2012
[Start][Previously on]

The Shadow of Heidegger

In 1945 the war ended.

The United States (in Hiroshima and Nagasaki) dropped atomic bombs on civilian populations.

Churchill, earlier, has massacred the city of Dresden.

I wrote, page back, a somber phrase: “Germany was in love with death”. Worse: the human condition is in love with death.

Hitler, they say, killed himself; Goebbels too.

Alfred Rosenberg was judged at Nuremburg. They hung him.

Atrocious stories (backed by films I have declined to watch) started making the rounds about concentration and extermination camps that were run in our nation. These stories attribute to Germany massacres whose numbers transgress all limits. While they are not rigorously established by international commissions independent of the vengefulness of the allies I’ll suspend my judgment of them.

In the meantime, I don’t doubt that: they lie. We are a metaphysical people, the center of the West, the inheritors of Hellenic greatness, not assassins.

Heidegger was humiliated.

He was subjected to denazification proceedings.

He was barred from continuing his classes at the university.

In France, everyone read or tried to read L'Être et le Néant. I book dictated by Heidegger. Magisterially written and recreated by Sartre. A book that – many said – expressed the spirit of the French Resistance.

What miracle had Sartre produced? How had it been possible for him to express the spirit of the French Resistance through a book written by a Nazi?

The implausible, the incredible, do not dwell only in Argentina, Martin.

Some years passed. I taught German and philosophy. My Spanish was good. I was, since my youth, a dedicated reader of the Quijote.

Towards the end of 1948 they called me.

They were waiting for Eichmann.

While they awaited him, they called me.


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