heidegger’s secret lecture


Now everyone can read for themselves what, according to student transcripts, Martin Heidegger lectured on between November 1933 and February 1934 under the title “On the Essence and Concepts of Nature, History and the State”. In April 1933, he became rector of the Albert Ludwig University and in 1934, he handed in his resignation. During his year in power he applied himself single-mindedly to organising the university’s Gleichschaltung (bringing into line). All the documents from his rectoral term are now all being published together. The lack of empathy in their tone stands in contrast, for example, to his speech honouring the the Nazi martyr figure Albert Leo Schlageter from May 1933. The documents show that during the one year intermezzo, the new masters could rely on Heidegger. He cancelled the evening readings in January 1934, so that the “swearing in of People’s Chancellor” could be celebrated in style. He called upon people to make donations to the Winterhilfswerk so that it might become a “visible demonstration of the Volksgemeinschaft” (people’s community). He arranged, “after consultation with leaders of the student body” that the hand should only be raised for the fourth verse of the Horst Wessel Lied.

more from Albert Kissler at Sign and Sight here.