reactionary, but he believed in man’s freedom. This wasnalso the conclusion of a long interview, conducted by DernSpiegel in 1966 and published 10 years later after his death.nSo much nonsense put forth by eager whitewashers mustnhave a reason, particularly since among these pious embalmersnthere are many Jews (George Steiner) and manynnon-Jewish Nazi-hunters like Rudolf Augstein, publisher ofnDer Spiegel and a super-leftist of excellent standing.nHeidegger’s reputation would have remained inviolatenhad not a new book by a certain Victor Farias, an unknownnChilean refugee living in France, thrown a bomb amongncultists. The book, Heidegger et le nazisme, chronicles thenhero’s life and thought from beginning to end and concludesnon the basis of massive evidence that the philosopher’snlife and thought were thoroughly compatible with thenHitlerist ideology. Immense embarrassment in the Heideggerianncamp! Suddenly, nobody cares to reexamine thenmaster’s writings for possible anti-Semitism (but he was annantimonotheist, a cause which naturally had effects). Hisndisciples are shying away from his suddenly putrid corpse—nbut they, the ex-worshipers, knew it, didn’t they? Well, theyndid, but as long as only monotheism was at stake, or merenChristianity, it didn’t matter. Now Farias unearthed, no, notnany particular diatribe against Jews, but tidbits like a booknHeidegger sent in J 960 to a certain Eugen Fischer, directornin 1927 of the Institute of Racial Hygiene, inscribedn”cordial greetings for the New Year.”nWatching the Heideggerian tribe jump nervously awaynfrom the master’s heritage is not edifying. Like Trotskynbefore, the German philosopher is now being fought over,nand like Trotsky, he is on his way to becoming an unperson,nerased from encyclopedias and doctoral dissertations. Herenare some alarmed utterances by professors who did not orncould not jump away fast enough since the publication ofnFarias’ book, last fall: “Heidegger’s adherence to Hitlerismnwas not a philosophical act” (Pierre Aubenque); “We gainnnothing by transforming Heidegger into a kind of Rosenberg”n(Gerard Granel); “Heidegger refused obstinately tonacknowledge Auschwitz as a break in contemporary history”n(Ph. Lacoue-Labarthe); “Let’s not speak, in Heidegger’sncase, of Hitlerism but of a national-estheticism” . . . and sonon and on, filling, for example, the January/February issuenof the prestigious journal le Debet. Professors who madentheir career by writing, lecturing, paraphrasing, plagiarizing,nand paneling on, about, around, and (alas!) in favor ofnHeidegger as the greatest philosopher of all times findnthemselves in a terrible dilemma: their fame and royaltiesnwill collapse if they abandon the storm-tossed (sinking?)nship; yet, if they remain on board, they too will be tarrednwith the brush of Nazism, and the fact that some Jewishnacademics will be too does not help.nWe witness a huge, fin-de-siecle mystification, a pseudoenigmanthat nobody dares solve. Heidegger had beenndeliberately turned into a sphinx, with enough interpretersnaround to veil his real philosophical obscenity, while hisnrelatively insignificant faux pas is displayed as the century’snmajor crime. Once again, the intellectuals are too cowardlynto face facts and to apportion sin and virtue according tonmerit.nWhat are the facts? The most important is that if notndirectly Hiderist, at least pagan/atheistic sympathies are builtninto Heidegger’s philosophy. A thinker who sees Westernnphilosophy as a 2,500-year-Iong betrayal of Being mustnexpect Time to restore being to its rightful place. Keep innmind that Heidegger’s major opus is called Being and Timen(Sein und Zeit!). After the many betrayals and falsenapproaches, Being will be unveiled (not “revealed,” thatnwould be too Christian-sounding), to and by the Philosopher.nThe latter’s task is to be himself on the way to Being,nto “shepherd” Being in man’s world, to let Being manifestnitself through him, the Philosopher. As Martin Buberncleady saw it, the Being that is coming among men was, fornHeidegger temporarily. Hitler—the embodiment of thenmovement which was to create conditions for Being tonappear. Heidegger wrote repeatedly (his repetitious stylenhad the effect of an incantation) that we are now in annin-between era; the old gods, those of the pre-Christiannworld, had left, the new ones have not yet arrived.nWhat kind of gods will the new ones be? Like the Greekngods of Holderlin, whom Heidegger regards as the greatestnGerman poet/prophet, they will be superhuman heroesnsmashing the materialist, commercial, technological modernnsociety. This is an old German myth, going back at least tonArmenius, who defeated the Roman legions, and to Luthernalso, who shook his fist at another Rome. For Heidegger,ntoo, Germany is the new Greece, the new pagan worldncausing the mutation of the West, and first of all thenWestern ideal of learning, with the professor’s functionnbeing to serve as an oracular prophet, speaking from thendepth of Being. Or rather, a prophet to whom Being unveilsnitself, a post-Zarathustra seeker. Is it not obvious now whynMartin Heidegger accepted the appointment as universitynRektor and conceived his inaugural address as a manifesto ofnphilosophical renewal?nGreek history, Parmenidean wisdom built around thenself-unveiling One, the Hellenic pantheon — and the betrayalnof all these by Plato, Christ, and the Westernnbourgeois — form Heidegger’s philosophico-mythical universe.nWe understand now Heidegger’s receptivity to Hitler:nmover of masses, rates of antibourgeois values and of thenthousand-year super-empire. Hitler was for Heidegger thendemigod, the Coming One who brings reality and dispelsnappearances, the oracular orator who names Being when henspeaks new words: race, nation, youth, marching, adventure,nDeutschtum. He was interviewed soon after the warnended by a fascinated Frenchman, Jean Beaufret. He spokenof fishes suffocating on dry land as a simile for statementsnwe make about being, each time we use the verb to be. Tonsay merely that something is, is an adulterated manner ofntreating Being, the only authentic form. Not even thenphilosopher can speak as reverentially of Being as wenshould—only the Poet can who then becomes the priestnbringing sacrifice. Philosophy and mysticism meet in thenunspeakable, the unutterable.nIt would be a vast exaggeration to say that Heideggernfound in Hitler’s rhetoric and crowd-flattering slogans morenthan the usual democratic political prose, with a few twists.nHeidegger was enamored with words and their precision; hencould not admire their inechanical public uses. For somentime, however, he could see himself as Hitler’s teacher ofntruth, the way Plato hoped to teach truth to Dionysius, thenSyracusan tyrant. Let us not underestimate philosophers’nnnJUNE 19881 35n