Martin Heidegger was one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century. Heidegger was also a Nazi. He was obsessed with Hitler’s hands (his hands!). I suppose they seemed like the hands of a serious man to Heidegger, the hands of a peasant intellectual. Heidegger liked to dress up in his little Schwarzwald outfit and parade around his university campus as if he were head of the academic SS. He proclaimed the essential greatness of the German people and kicked the Jews out of Freiburg University. He looked out, in 1933, at the triumph of National Socialism and decided that it was good. He wasn’t ambiguous about it either, saying, “The Führer, and he alone, is the present and future of German reality, and its law.” Even in 1943, after the devastating German defeat at Stalingrad,… More…