Last Monday there was a publishing of an article accusing Martin Heidegger regarding his "Black Notebooks" and anti-Semitism viewpoint as found Heidegger sees extermination as “self-destruction”.
Heidegger joined Nazi ten days after being appointed as a rector at of the University of Freiburg on April 21, 1933, four months after Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany. But his view as anti-Semitism was not as obvious as found in the notebooks which was first published on 2014. There is continuous debates over Heidegger engaging with Nazi a "personal problem" or "rooted from the philosophy, especially 'Being and Time'"? Big name philosophers such as Richard Rorty, Hannah Arendt, Otto Pöggeler, Jacques Derrida, Jürgen Habermas, Pierre Bourdieu, etc, jumped into the brain war on the issue.
But I quite agree with Jonathan Rée's comment that Heidegger's work "make our thinking more thoughtful." http://bit.ly/1cTS8dc (I had an online discussion with someone on twitter on the issue https://twitter.com/sikkha/status/565446762304135169 )
This is my photo taken at the concentration camp memorial in Hamburg in 2009. It is a photo of train bogie to take the prisoners to the camp. I had visited the memorial and found lots of notes, photos, prisoners' belongings, etc. It's so depressed despite it's not an Austwitz. I've no doubt why there is a strong sense of Anti-nazi during and after the war.
The photo is "the work", according to Heidegger's philosophy. Looking through it, you will see the suffering of the prisoners behind this door, and an attempt of the Nazi to build its dictatorship atmosphere in the Third Reich.
Nevertheless, this photo had been taken in the modern day. It was during the peaceful time in Germany at the memorial to educate the wrong doing of human being. Seeing through "this work", it was also the first place, I really talked with you and saw your smile in the bright summer day.
It's irony that I have to defend Heidegger's philosophy and using it to reinterpret my own photo. And actually, I'm trying to use it to understand my country at the present moment.
It's irony that this photo also brings my valuable memory of our moment there.
This is the scene of Panzerlied song from the 1965 film, Battle of the Bulge. After reading Heidegger's Being and Time through section 51 of Division two, Being-towards-death and the everydayness of Dasein, I found, interestingly, Dasein is actually a 'modern man' who abandons an idea of God and trying to understand the meaning of death. (Premodern man's death doesn't matter, there is after-death life.) [In Heidegger's wording: "Anxiety in the face of death is anxiety 'in the face of' that potentiality-for-Being which is one's own most, non-relational, and not to be outstripped. That in the face of which one has anxiety is Being-in-the-world itself"]
Ob's stürmt oder schneit, ob die Sonne uns lacht,
Der Tag glühend heiß, oder eiskalt die Nacht,
Bestaubt sind die Gesichter, doch froh ist unser Sinn, ja, unser Sinn.
Es braust unser Panzer im Sturmwind dahin.
Whether it storms or snows, or the sun smiles on us,
The day burning hot, or ice cold the night.
Dusty are the faces, but our spirits are high, yes, spirits are high.
Our tank bursts through there in the stormwind [of the assault].
It reminds me the modern man or Dasein who can thoroughly understand the meaning of the moment of life and death in this scene. [Heidegger: Thus death reveals itself as that possibility which is one's ownmost]. You can see the lyrics and translation here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzerlied
However, the most interesting one is not Heidegger's Being and time nor the movie itself, but the top comment and replies in the clip:
Die besten Deutschen sind in dem Krieg verreckt. Man muss sich nur mal angucken, welches Pack sich heute "deutsch" nennt. Feiges, hedonistisches Gesindel dass sich keinen Dreck um die eigene Nation und ihre lange Geschichte schert, das nicht einmal den Mumm hat, auch nur ein einziges Mal gegen dieses Regime, das uns beherrscht und gezielt verarmen lässt, auf die Strasse zu gehen. Deutschland wird ruiniert und ausgebeutet, wird dabei von Merkel und ihren Schergen mit gefläschten Statistiken verarscht, das Gesundheitssystem geht den Bach runter, deutsche Ärzte fliehen nach Skandinavien und in die Schweiz, fast jeder vierte deutsche Arbeitnehmer ist im Niedriglohnsektor, 40% der Deutschen droht die Altersarmut, Riester-Rente, Ökostrom-Wende, alles eine gezielte Verarschung der Bevölkerung, wo Politiker mit Wirtschaftsbossen gekungelt haben, um sich weiter die Taschen vollstopfen können - und was machen die Deutschen? Nichts. Nur die Feiglinge haben damals überlebt.
It reflects the sense of strong nationalism, not the Nazi (let alone 3.4 million views on the clip), while there is a rising of Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain and Marine Le Pen in France. This is interesting weak signal regarding the future political landscape in Europe.
But, Heidegger insists, Dasein is not just thrown into the world. Because it – we – are capable of understanding, we can also throw off our thrown condition. Understanding is, for Heidegger, a conception of activity. It is always understanding how to do something or how to operate something. Understanding is the possession of an ability (etwas können) and the authentic human is characterised by the ability or potentiality to be (Seinkönnen).