Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger by Elzbieta Ettinger
Hannah Arendt’s love affair with Martin Heidegger began in 1925 at the University of Marburg, shortly after her eighteenth birthday. Heidegger, a lapsed Catholic of peasant stock, married with two children, was then the rising star of German philosophy: the publication of Being and Time in 1927 would establish him as one of the foremost thinkers of the century.
Arendt, on the other hand, was a frail if vivacious Jewess from Koenigsberg, half Heidegger’s age, and, as his student, vulnerable to his practiced seductiveness. The child of a well-off and highly assimilated family, she had been left deeply insecure by her father’s gruesome death from syphilis as well as by her mother’s remarriage. But she clearly inflamed Heidegger’s erotic and spiritual imagination, despite or perhaps even because of his latent anti-Semitism.
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