Historical Who is Who

ARENDT, Hannah

Germany + United States


A philosopher and social activist. Although her Jewish family background was secular, this provided no exemption from Nazi hostility, both in Germany and in exile in France, hence her escape to the USA. During and in the years immediately following the Second World War, she worked intensively with Jewish young people to achieve re-settlement, especially in Israel and America. Her personal experience of the crushing effect of power informed her scrutiny of how it is sourced and given moral legitimation. This strain runs through all her extensive writings. In 'Origins of Totalitarianism' she scrutinises the shared roots of both Stalinism and Nazism, and in 'Eichmann in Jerusalem: the Banality of Evil' she exposes the ordinariness of immoral action in everyday human behaviour. In her last writing she explored the notion of conscience as court of accountability for everyone in their own me-ness.




Papers at Library of Congess, some open access online http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/arendthtml/arendthome.html

The Human Condition http://www.free-ebooks.net/ebook/The-Human-Condition/pdf/view


Hannah Arendt interview (German with English subtitles) (60 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsoImQfVsO4

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