Heidegger and Nazism

Heidegger And Nazism

The relationship between the German philosopher Martin Heidegger and Nazism is a controversial subject.

Heidegger joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) on May 1, 1933, ten days after being elected Rector of the University of Freiburg. A year later, in April 1934, he resigned the Rectorship and stopped taking part in Nazi Party meetings, but remained a member of the Party until its dismantling at the end of World War II. Heidegger had held high hopes of reforming the university system with the help of Nazism as a Conservative Revolution, but, by the end of the War, had become expendable and was even prevented from teaching. The denazification hearings immediately after World War II led to Heidegger's dismissal from Freiburg, banning him from teaching; after several years of investigation, the French military finally classified Heidegger in 1949 as a Mitläufer or Nazi follower (Mitläufer : person who gives into peer pressure without participation nor resistance nor inner conviction, unlike a fellow traveler, literally "with-runner" similar to "lemming-like"). The teaching ban was lifted in 1951 and he was granted emeritus status in 1953, but he was never allowed to resume his philosophy chair. His involvement with Nazism and the relation between his philosophy and National Socialism are still highly controversial, especially because he never apologized nor expressed regret, except privately when he called his rectorship and the related political engagement "the greatest stupidity of his life" (die größte Dummheit seines Lebens).

Read more about Heidegger And Nazism:  The Heidegger Controversy, Was Heidegger Anti-Semitic?, Heidegger's Rectorate At The University of Freiburg, Post-rectorate Period, Post-war