The Correspondences Between Leni Yahil und Hannah Arendt, 1961-1971

Liebe_hannah_arendt-1 In Eurozine:

370 Riverside Drive, New York 25, N.Y.53[53]


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Dear Hannah Arendt,

The bond between us has been broken or has petered out – whatever you want to call it, and for my part I haven't done anything to re-establish it. Now your articles are forcing me – I'm almost tempted to say against my better judgment – to ask you a question. So far, I've read only 4 articles, I haven't got hold of the 5th one yet, but it is a matter of days only and it won't in principle provide anything new, just the conclusions from all the previous material. I don't want here to give you a description of the impression your attacks and portrayals are making here – I'm sure that – if you're not informed of this – you will probably be able to imagine this yourself. Nor do I want to give you my opinion, analysis, general and personal reactions – I don't know how far you're interested in that, and there's not really space for that in a letter. Nor do I want to go into your presentation of the Scandinavian events in general, and the Danish ones in particular – although I could say a great deal about this.

As I've said, I'd like to ask you a question: what was or is your own innermost intention that you were pursuing? Whom do you think you are serving in this way: Historical truth? Justice? The present or the future of the German or the Jewish people? Or do you wish to prove specifically to the latter that it isn't worthy or doesn't have the right to exist as a nation among the nations? I am asking you seriously, not polemically, I just don't understand.