ARENDT, HANNAH


ARENDT, HANNAH
ARENDT, HANNAH (1906–1975), political and social philosopher. Born in Hanover, Germany, she studied at the universities of Marburg, Freiburg, and Heidelberg. In the 1930s Arendt married Gunther Stern, a young Jewish philosopher. In 1933, fearing Nazi persecution, she fled to Paris, where she subsequently became friends with walter benjamin and raymond aron . In 1936, she met Heinrich Bluecher, a German political refugee whom she married in 1940, following her 1939 divorce from Stern. After the outbreak of war, and following detention as an "enemy alien," Arendt and Bluecher fled to the U.S. in 1941. From 1944 to 1948 she was successively research director of the Conference on Jewish Relations and chief editor of Schocken Books; from 1949 to 1952 she was executive director of Jewish Cultural Reconstruction. Arendt was professor at the University of Chicago from 1963 to 1967 and afterward at the New School for Social Research, New York. An erudite, provocative, and penetrating writer, Arendt evaluated major developments in modern times. She believed that antisemitism contributed to totalitarianism which she saw as connected with the fall of the nation-state and to the change in the social structure. She advocated freedom based on public participation in politics, a tradition deriving from the Greco-Roman world, in contrast to freedom based on private interests. The former was furthered through revolutions, like the American, the latter through disastrous rebellions like the French. The dehumanizing and depoliticizing process of modern times have led away from genuine freedom to the evils of totalitarianism. Hannah Arendt covered the Eichmann trial   for the New Yorker magazine and subsequently published as a book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963), which aroused violent controversy. In it she claimed that European Jewish leadership had failed, that the victims were partly responsible for the slaughter by their failure to resist, and that Eichmann represents the "banality of evil." Her other publications include The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951); Rachel Varnhagen – The Life of a Jewess (1957); Between Past and Future (1961); On Revolution (1963); and Men in Dark Times (1969). In 1970, Arendt presented a seminar on Kant's philosophy of judgment at New York City's New School (published posthumously as Reflections on Kant's Political Philosophy (1982). She published "Thinking and Moral Considerations" in 1971, and the following year Crisis of the Republic (1972). In her final years, she worked on a projected three-volume work. Volumes 1 and 2 (Thinking and Willing) were published posthumously as The Life of the Mind (1981). Arendt died just as she was beginning work on the third and final volume, Judging. In recent years, attention has focused on Arendt's intense intellectual and sexual relationship with German philosopher Martin Heidegger, whom she met at the University of Marburg in 1924 when she was an 18-year-old student and he was 35, married, and the father of two children. What is striking in this consistently unequal liaison is that it endured throughout Arendt's life, surviving a 17-year hiatus between 1933 and 1950, despite Arendt's knowledge that Heidegger stood accused of advancing the cause of Nazism in the academy and was banned in 1946 from the university of which he was rector. As Berel Lang has written, this lasting connection "overrode her recognition of his character – he had no character, she once concluded – (and) was so deep and constant that even love's blindness hardly explains it." At present, much of the correspondence between Arendt and Heidegger remains in sequestered archives. Certainty as to how the relationship evolved, its importance to Arendt and Heidegger over the course of half a century, and the extent to which their personal connection had an impact on Arendt's thinking will remain for future investigators to determine when the entire record is available. -ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Ettinger, Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger (1995); B. Lang, "Snowblind: Martin Heidegger & Hannah Arendt," in: The New Criterion, 14:5 (1996); D. Villa (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Hannah Arendt (2000); E. Young-Bruehl, Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World (20042). (Richard H. Popkin / Judith R. Baskin (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Arendt, Hannah — born Oct. 14, 1906, Hannover, Ger. died Dec. 4, 1975, New York, N.Y., U.S. German born U.S. political theorist. She obtained her doctorate from the University of Heidelberg. Forced to flee the Nazis in 1933, she became a social worker in Paris… …   Universalium

  • Arendt, Hannah — (1906–1975)    Hannah Arendt was born on 14 October 1906, in Hanover, in Wilhelmine, Germany. After graduating from high school in Koenigsberg in 1924, Arendt began to study theology at the University of Marburg, where she became a student of the …   Historical dictionary of the Holocaust

  • Arendt, Hannah — (1906–1975) Political philosopher. Born in Hanover into a Jewish family, Arendt studied in the German existentialist tradition of Jaspers and Heidegger . She moved to Paris in 1933, and escaped the Nazi occupation to America in 1940. Her first… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Arendt, Hannah — (1906–75)    American philosopher. Arendt was born in Hanover and educated at the Universities of Koenigsberg, Marburg and Heidelberg where she was taught by Martin Heidegger. When Jewish existence became intolerable in Germany, she moved first… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Arendt,Hannah — A·rendt (ârʹənt, ärʹ ), Hannah. 1906 1975. German born American historian and political theorist whose major published works include The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) and On Revolution (1963). * * * …   Universalium

  • Arendt, Hannah — (1906 75)    Amerian political and social philosopher of German origin. Born in Hanover, she lived in Paris after Adolf Hitler came to power. In 1941 she escaped to the US. From 1963 to 1967 she taught at the University of Chicago, and then at… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Arendt, Hannah — (14 oct. 1906, Hannover, Alemania–4 dic. 1975, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Teórica política estadounidense nacida en Alemania. Obtuvo su doctorado en la Universidad de Heidelberg. Forzada a huir de los nazis en 1933, fue en una asistente social en …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • ARENDT (H.) — ARENDT HANNAH (1906 1975) Aménager, dans l’esprit de ses contemporains, un espace de mémoire pour la lumière oubliée du politique, tel est le souci ou l’ambition unique qui inspire l’œuvre de Hannah Arendt. Juive allemande et philosophe, née à… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Arendt — Arendt, Hannah (amerikanische Philosophin und Publizistin deutscher Herkunft) …   Die deutsche Rechtschreibung


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