One Does Not Escape Jewishness


Ultimately, Hannah Arendt’s achievements and biases, her creativity and inner conflicts must be seen as part of the quite extraordinary history of post-emancipation German-Jewish intellectuals as they confronted German culture and its later breakdown, the experience of totalitarianism, and Jewish attempts at reconstitution. Her involvement with the Jewish world was always intense and complex, but so too was her simultaneous engagement in other cultural and political spheres. Precisely because she acutely and distinctively embodied the tensions and contradictions of these manifold worlds, she was able – sometimes more, sometimes less successfully – to grasp critically their interconnections and plumb both the despair and the possibilities of her fractured time.

more from the TLS here.