See http://www.stephenhicks.org/2011/03/18/interview-with-director-jeffrey-van-davis-on-heidegger-and-nazism/ interview with Stephen Hicks, Professor of Philosophy, Rockford College and Jeffrey van Davis about his documentary, Only A God Can Save Us:
Order a DVD - Only A God Can Save Us (Nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten) at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Only A God Can Save Us”
“Nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten”
Martin Heidegger is considered by many to be the most profound thinker of the 20th Century. His magnum opus,
Being and Time, was published in 1927 and had the equivalent impact on philosophy that Einstein’s theory of relativity, published in 1906, had on physics; and Freud’s theories of personality, published in 1902 had in the field of psychology.
What Heidegger did was to overturn the whole history of philosophical thought that went back 2,500 years to the Greeks and re-examine the question of being and to challenge the whole of Western Metaphysics that prevailed up to his time. He went back to the Pre-socratics , specifically Heraclites, to begin to redirect the path of thinking, to redirect the years of philosophical inquiry in order to put us back “on the right track.”
A student of Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, at the University of Freiburg Germany, Heidegger would break with his great mentor and charge forth into a new direction, building on phenomenology, but going his own quite original way. His wish was to make philosophy the Queen of the Sciences. Heidegger’s monumental task would have a powerful impact on 20th Century philosophy and influence some of the century’s most important thinkers -- Jean Paul Sartre, Karl Jaspers, Jacque Derrida, Karl Löwitz, Hans Jonas, Michel Foucault, Hans Georg Gadamer, Richard Rorty, Herbert Marcuse, and Hannah Arendt.
In May of 1933,
Although one of the most influential thinkers of our time, much of Heidegger’s philosophy is shrouded in confusion and controversy. His support for National Socialism poses some serious questions about Heidegger’s thought in particular and philosophy in general. Was he a profound thinker or was he a petty bourgeois from the province whose thought sprang from the Blut und Boden of the humble origins of his arch-conservative Catholic youth? Or both?
We now know that Heidegger’s “flirtation” with Nazism was actually a life-long commitment propelled by ideas in his own philosophy. In his “Introduction To Metaphysics” published in 1953, one cannot fail to notice his incriminating insistence on the intrinsic “saving power and greatness” of National Socialism. More scandalous than his backing of Hitler, however, was his silence about the Holocaust. Karl Jaspers and Herbert Marcuse made attempts to get Heidegger to refute his Nazi past. In 1947, like the poet Paul Celan, Marcuse travelled to Heidegger’s hut in Todtnauberg in the
Many scholars have displayed dangerous failures of political judgement by promoting uncritically Heidegger’s thought. This film offers an extraordinary response and radical challenge to Heidegger’s rejection of democracy and his support of Nazism.
In the 1976 interview with Der Spiegel, Heidegger reiterated his distaste for democratic society, his aversion of things modern, his complaint about hardships he had to suffer, yet he was able to live in a villa in
Director : Jeffrey van Davis
Producer : Terrance E. Davis
Camera : Carl Herse
“Only A God Can Save Us”
Length: 118 min.
Shot in 16mm, mini DV
Country of Origin:
Persons featured in film:
Kardinal Karl Lehmann, Bishop of Mainz
Alfred Denker, Heidegger Biographer
Victor Farias, Free
Richard Wolin, City
Ted Kisiel, Northern
Rainer Marten, Freiburg University
Emmanuel Faye, University of Paris
Bernd Martin, Freiburg University
Jürgen Paul, Dresden University
Silke Seemann, Freiburg University
Axel Graf Douglas, Schloss Langenstein
Some of the topics covered in the documentary: