MARTIN HEIDEGGER: A CHRONOLOGY (1889 – 1976)
1889: Martin Heidegger is born on 26 September, the son of Friedrich Heidegger (1851–1924), a master cooper and sexton in Meßkirch, Baden, southern Germany, and his wife, Johanna Heidegger, née Kempf (1858–1927).
1892: Heidegger’s sister Marie (1892–1956) is born.
1894: Heidegger’s brother Fritz (1894–1980) is born.
1895–1903: Heidegger attends the state primary and middle schools in Meßkirch.
1901: Heidegger receives private tuition in Latin from the local priest, Camillo Brandhuber, to allow him to undertake studies at a gymnasium.
1903–1906: In October 1903, Heidegger goes to study at the gymnasium (grammar school) in Constance, and becomes a boarder at the local seminary, the Archbishop’s Student Home Saint Conrad (“Erzbischöflichen Studienheim St. Konrad”), locally known as the “Konradihaus”, to continue his high school education and begin preparations for the priesthood.
1906–1909: Heidegger transfers to the Bertholds Gymnasium (a former Jesuit college) in Freiburg, so that he will be able to qualify for a grant from the Catholic Eliner foundation. He becomes a border at the seminary of St. Georg (“Saint George”).
1907: Conrad Gröber (1872–1948), former rector at the “Konradihaus” and future Archbishop of Freiburg, presents Heidegger with a copy of On the Manifold Meaning of Being according to Aristotle (1862) by Franz Brentano (1838–1917), who had taught Edmund Husserl in Vienna.
1909: In July, Heidegger is awarded his school-leaving certificate “cum laude” (“with distinction”). In September, he enters the novitiate of the Jesuit Society of Jesus at Tisis near Feldkirch in Austria, but leaves after two weeks, ostensibly for medical reasons. In October, he begins studying Catholic philosophy at the Albert-Ludwig University, becoming a boarder at the Collegium Borromaeum, the seminary of the Archdiocese in Freiburg. He takes courses, amongst others, by Carl Braig (1852–1923), with whose On Being: An Outline of Ontology (1896), Heidegger was already familiar. He begins to write articles and reviews for Der Akademiker (the journal of the German Association of Catholic Graduates), including his first ever publication, the religious narrative “All Souls’ Day”. He also studies Husserl’s Logical Investigations (published in two volumes in 1900 and 1901).
1910: In August, Heidegger gives a talk on the seventeenth-century Augustinian monk, Abraham a Santa Clara, in Kreenheinstetten, in the latter’s birthplace near Meßkirch. The poem “Dying Splendour” is published in the Allgemeine Rundschau in October. During this period, Heidegger reads widely in Nietzsche and Kierkegaard.
1911: In February, suffering from asthma and a heart condition, Heidegger returns to Meßkirch to spend the summer semester at home. He abandons his plans to become a priest and gives up his study of Theology, moving out of the Collegium Borromaeum and into private lodgings at No. 1 Hohenzollernstrasse. He changes his studies to mathematics and philosophy, but continues to take courses in theology because this is a stipulation of his Church stipend. He undertakes a serious reading of Hölderlin for the first time, after discovering the recently published edition by Norbert von Hellengrath. The poem “Gethsemane Hours”, depicting a spiritual crisis in his religious faith, is published in March.
1912: Heidegger takes the courses of the Professor of Philosophy, the Neo-Kantian, Heinrich Rickert (1863–1936). He publishes scholarly articles, “The problem of Reality in Modern Philosophy” and “Recent Research in Logic”. In April, the university votes him a grant of 400 marks a year for three years.
1913: In June, Heidegger obtains his doctorate in philosophy “summa cum laude” (“with distinction”) after submitting the dissertation The Doctrine of Judgment in Psychologism: A Critical-positivistic Contribution to Logic. He is examined by Professor Arthur Schneider (1875-1945) (his supervisor) and Professor Rickert. In July, he begins a friendship with Engelbert Krebs (1881–1950), a priest and lecturer in Dogmatics in the Faculty of Theology at Freiburg. Heidegger is awarded a stipend from the Schaezler Foundation to continue work in Catholic Theology.
1914: In August, the First World War breaks out. In the same month, Heidegger volunteers and is assigned to the Infantry Reserve Battalion 113. In October, he is discharged on medical grounds. Heidegger’s dissertation on The Doctrine of Judgment in Psychologism is published (Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth). In November, he starts work on his post-doctoral dissertation.
1915: In July, Heidegger obtains his “Habilitation” (post doctorate) with the dissertation Duns Scotus’ Theory of Categories and Meaning. The Philosophy Faculty awards him a venia legendi (permission to teach at university level as a tutor, a Privatdozent). In August, he is drafted into the army, and trains in Müllheim (Baden) with Reserve Battalion 142, before being discharged for health reasons in October. He returns to Freiburg to work at the military censor board of the post office as a “Landsturmmann” (member of the Home Guard). At this time, he assists Professor Engelbert Krebs, who is lecturing theology students in philosophy. In the winter semester, Heidegger gives his first lecture course, “Ancient and Scholastic Philosophy”, and a seminar on Kant. He becomes romantically involved with the twenty-two-year-old student, Thea Elfride Petri (1893–1992), who is studying economics at Freiburg and attending Heidegger’s seminar on Kant.
1916: Edmund Husserl (1859–1938), the noted phenomenologist and Professor of Philosophy at Göttingen, is appointed to the Chair of Philosophy at Freiburg. In June, Heidegger is passed over in favour of Josef Geyser (1869–1948), a progressive theologian from Münster, for the Chair in Catholic Philosophy at Freiburg. Heidegger publishes his dissertation on Scotus with J.C.B. Mohr Verlag, Tübingen. In August, Heidegger becomes engaged to Elfride Petri. In the summer semester, Heidegger receives a “Lehrauftrag” (junior lectureship) and teaches a course on German Idealist philosophy. In the winter semester, November 1916–March 1917, he gives a lecture on “Basic Issues in Logic”.
1917: In March, Heidegger marries Elfride Petri in a local registry office. A Catholic ceremony, officiated by his friend Engelbert Krebs, is held the next day, followed one week later by a Protestant ceremony. In August, Heidegger gives a talk on “The Essence of Religion” in Freiburg. Due to his military service, he does not teach between the summer semester (SS) 1917–1918 and the winter semester (WS) 1918–1919.
1918: In January, Heidegger reports to the Karl barracks in Freiburg. In March, he is transferred to a training camp at Heuberg, near Meßkirch. In June, he meets Elisabeth Blochmann (1892–1972), a student friend of his wife, and sends his first letter to her that month. Between June and August, Heidegger serves at a meteorological station in Berlin-Charlottenburg and, from the end of August to the middle of November, at a weather station near Verdun on the French border. He is promoted to lance corporal. In December, he is discharged and returns to Freiburg.
1919: In January, Husserl successfully applies for a teaching position for Heidegger as his assistant. In the same month, Heidegger’s first child, Jörg, is born. Later in the month, Heidegger writes to Krebs breaking with Catholicism. In April, Heidegger and Karl Jaspers (1883–1969), Professor of Psychology at Heidelberg, meet for the first time on Husserl’s birthday in Freiburg. In the “War Emergency” Semester, which extends from 25 January to 16 April, Heidegger teaches “The Idea of Philosophy and the Problem of the Worldview” (“Die Idee der Philosophie und das Weltanschauungsproblem”), and published as The Concept of Philosophy and the Problem of Worldview (Zur Bestimmung der Philosophie), the earliest lecture course to appear in his Collected Works (Gesamtausgabe). Tensions in his marriage with Elfride emerge. In the summer semester, Heidegger gives lectures on “Phenomenology and the Transcendental Philosophy of Value” and “On the Essence of the University and Academic Studies”.
1920: In April, Heidegger gives a talk in Wiesbaden on Oswald Spengler. In the same month, he sends his first letter to Jaspers, meeting him subsequently in Heidelberg. In August, Heidegger’s second son, Hermann, is born (although Heidegger is not the natural father). During this year, Heidegger registers a growing critical distance from Husserl’s philosophy. In the winter semester (WS) 1919–1920, Heidegger lectures on “Basic Problems of Phenomenology”, and in the summer semester (SS) on “The Phenomenology of Intuition and Expression”.
1921: In June, Heidegger sends Jaspers a critical review of his book, The Psychology of Worldviews (1919). In September 1921, Heidegger visits Husserl at his house in Sankt Märgen. In WS 1920–1921, Heidegger gives his “Introduction to the Phenomenology of Religion”, and in SS 1921 lectures on “Augustine and Neo-Platonism”. Amongst his students are Karl Löwith and Max Horkheimer.
1922: In August, the Heideggers build a mountain cabin near Todtnauberg in southern Baden for their skiing holidays. It will effectively become their second home. Heidegger writes “Aristotle, Phenomenological Interpretations in connection with Aristotle: An Indication of the Hermeneutical Situation” (known as the “Natorp” document), and sends it to professors Paul Natorp in Marburg and Georg Milch in Göttingen. In September, Husserl informs Heidegger that the Philosophy Faculty at Marburg wishes to appoint him. In WS 1921–1922, he lectures on “Phenomenological interpretations of Aristotle: Introduction to Phenomenological Research”. I “Phenomenological Interpretations of Aristotle”, and in SS 1922 on “Phenomenological Interpretations of Aristotle: Ontology and Logic”.
1923: Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900–2002) attends Heidegger’s seminar on Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics. In SS 1923, Heidegger lectures on “The Ontological Hermeneutics of Facticity”. In May, he is offered an associate professorship at the University of Marburg commencing in October. In July, Heidegger writes to Jaspers with further criticism of Husserl. In December, Heidegger gives a talk at the Kant Society in Hamburg. In WS 1923–1924, he gives his first lecture course at Marburg: an “Introduction to Phenomenological Research”.
1924: In Marburg, Heidegger becomes friends with Rudolf Bultmann (1884–1976), a Lutheran theologian and Professor of New Testament Studies. Heidegger writes in June, “beyond [in the countryside] it is wonderful, but there is nothing going on at the university. It is sluggish, mediocre, without energy, without stimulation”. In February, Heidegger presents a paper at Bultmann’s seminar on “The Problem of Sin in Luther”. In May, Heidegger’s father dies at the age of seventy-three. In October, Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) comes to Marburg to study with Heidegger. Amongst his other students are Hans Jonas (1903–1993) and Karl Löwith, who follows Heidegger from Freiburg. In July, Heidegger gives a talk on “The Concept of Time” (an early partial draft of Being and Time) to the Department of Theology in Marburg. In November, its publication is rejected by the Die Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte on account of its length and obscurity of language. In December, Heidegger gives talks to groups in Elberfeld-Barmen, Cologne and Dortmund on Aristotle. In SS 1924, he lectures on the “Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy” and in WS 1924–1925 on “Interpretations of Plato’s Dialogues, Sophists, Philebus”.
1925: In February, Heidegger begins a relationship with Hannah Arendt. In March, he visits Husserl, who is on holiday in Switzerland, to discuss an early draft of Being and Time. In April, Heidegger gives lectures in Kassel and Fritzlar on “Wilhelm Dilthey’s Research and the Struggle for a Historical Worldview”. In August, the philosophy faculty in Marburg puts Heidegger’s name forward for the Chair of Philosophy as the replacement for Nicolai Hartmann (1882–1950), who has received the Chair in Cologne. In SS 1925, Heidegger lectures on “History of the Concept of Time”, and in WS on “Logic: The Question of Truth”.
1926: In January, the philosophy faculty at Marburg apply to Carl Heinrich Becker, the Prussian Minister for Science, Art and Public Education in Berlin, to have Heidegger made a full professor. The application is rejected because of Heidegger’s lack of publications. In the same month, Hannah Arendt leaves Marburg to continue her studies under the direction of Karl Jaspers in Heidelberg. In April, Heidegger presents sections of his manuscript of Being and Time to Husserl on the occasion of the latter’s sixty-seventh birthday. Heidegger relationship with Hannah Arendt ends. In May, Heidegger gives a talk in Switzerland on “The Essence of Truth”. In September, Husserl visits Heidegger in Todtnauberg to discuss the manuscript of Being and Time. In SS 1926, Heidegger lectures on “Basic Concepts of Ancient Philosophy”, and WS 1926–1927 on “History of Philosophy from Thomas Aquinas to Kant”.
1927: In April, Being and Time (Sein und Zeit) is published as a supplement to Husserl’s Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung, vol. 8, and later that year as a book by Max Niemeyer Verlag in Tübingen. In May, Heidegger’s mother dies at the age of sixty-nine. At Husserl’s home, Heidegger meets Count Kuki Shuzo (1888–1941), who is a Japanese student of Husserl in Freiburg and a future philosopher and promoter of Heidegger’s ideas in Japan. In July, Heidegger gives a talk on “Phenomenology and Theology” at the Evangelical Theologians’ Society in Tübingen. In October, he is promoted to a full professorship in Marburg, following the submission of Being and Time to the Prussian Ministry for Science, Art and Public Education in Berlin. In the same month, Heidegger visits Husserl in Freiburg to discuss the first draft of an article on a phenomenology for the Encyclopaedia-Britannica. In SS 1927, he lectures on “Basic Problems in Phenomenology”, and in WS 1927–1928 on “Phenomenological Interpretations of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason”.
1928: In February, Heidegger, on the eve of Husserl’s retirement, is called to the Chair of Philosophy at the University of Freiburg. Land is acquired to build a house in the Rötebuck area of the Freiburg district of Zähringen, and Heidegger and his family move into the new house in October. In September, Heidegger gives a talk in Riga on “Kant and Metaphysics”. In SS 1928, he lectures on “The Metaphysical Origins of Logic in its Foundations in Leibniz”, and in WS 1928–1929 (his first lecture course in Freiburg) he gives an “Introduction to Philosophy”.
1929: In January, Heidegger gives a talk to the Kant Society in Frankfurt. In March, he takes part in a debate with Ernst Cassirer (1874–1945), Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hamburg and author of The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms (1923), at Davos, Switzerland, on the relevance of Kant to the modern period. In April, Heidegger presents his paper “On the Essence of Reason” to the Festschrift for Edmund Husserl to commemorate the latter’s seventieth birthday. In July, Heidegger delivers his inaugural lecture, What Is Metaphysics? in the auditorium of Freiburg University. In December, he gives a talk on “The Problematic of Philosophy” in Karlsruhe. Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics is published (Bonn: F. Cohen). In SS 1929, he lectures on “German Idealism (Fichte, Hegel, Schelling) and the Philosophical Problematic of the Present age”, and in WS 1929–1930 on “Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World-Finitude-Solitude”.
1930: In March, Heidegger speaks on “The Present Problematic of Philosophy” and “Hegel and the Problem of Metaphysics” at the Scientific Union in Amsterdam. In the same month, he is offered the Chair of Philosophy at Berlin University, which he declines in May. In October, he gives a talk on “The Essence of Truth” in Bremen. Later that month, he spends time at the monastery of Beuron. In SS 1930, he lectures “On the Essence of Human Freedom: An Introduction to Philosophy”, and in WS 1930–1931 on “Hegel’s Phenomenology of the Spirit”.
1931: In August, Heidegger goes on a lecture tour of Holland, where he views Dutch art including paintings by Vincent van Gogh, which later supplies inspiration for his essay on the “Origins of the Work of Art”. In October, he stays at the Abbey of Beuron. In SS, Heidegger lectures on “Aristotle: Metaphysics Book IX”, and in the WS 1931–1932 on “The Essence of Truth: On Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and the Theaetetus”.
1932: In June, Heidegger gives a talk in Dresden “On the Essence of Truth”. The Nazi Party continues to attract popularity in the elections. In June, the article “Martin Heidegger et l’ontologie” by Emmanuel Levinas (1906–1995) (a student of Heidegger in Freiburg) appears in Revue philosophique. Heidegger writes to Blochmann in September explaining that he has reached an impasse in his writing: “In SS 1932, Heidegger lectures on “The Beginnings of Western Philosophy: Anaximander und Parmenides”. In the winter semester 1932–1933, he takes sabbatical leave.
1933: In March, Heidegger writes to Blochmann saying that he has committed himself to politics of the new Germany. In April, he is elected Rector of the University of Freiburg, and in May he joins the Nazi Party. In the same month, he gives his speech on “The Self-determination of the German University”. In June, he attends a meeting of the Congress of Rectors in Berlin. Later in that month, he gives a talk in Freiburg on “The University in the New Reich”, which leads to a confrontation with Jaspers that results in a serious diminution in their correspondence. In August, Heidegger is elected “Führer-Rektor” by the education authorities in Baden. In July, he attends a two-day conference in Berlin sponsored by the “Deutsche Studentenschaft”. In September, he rejects his second nomination to the Chair of Philosophy at the University of Berlin and a nomination to the Chair of Philosophy at the University of Munich. In October, he organises a camp at Todtnauberg for youth who support the new state. In November, he addresses a meeting of German scholars in Leipzig. In SS 1933, he lectures on “Being and Truth: 1: The Basic Questions of Philosophy”, and in WS 1933–1934 on “Being and truth 2: On the Essence of Truth”.
1934: In January, Heidegger attends the newly founded “National Socialist College for Knowledge” in Freiburg. In March, he visits the Nietzsche archive in Weimar and meets the pro-Nazi Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. In April, Heidegger is embroiled in a personnel controversy at Freiburg University, which leads to a serious altercation with his superiors in the Prussian Ministry for Science, Art and Public Education in Berlin. He judges his authority to have been undermined and resigns as Rector of Freiburg University. He becomes subject to criticism by Nazi radicals such as professors Ernst Krieck (Frankfurt) and Erich Jaensch (Marburg) in the journal Volk im Werden. Heidegger, nevertheless, continues to support the “German revolution”. In August, he gives a speech in Freiburg on “The German University” and in November talks in Constance on “The Present Situation and the Future Task of German philosophy”. In SS 1934, he lectures on “Logic as the Questioning of the Essence of Language” and in WS 1934–1936 on “Hölderlins Hymns ‘Germanien’ und ‘Der Rhein’ ”.
1935: In July, a fourteen-year-old Brazilian girl of German descent, Erika Birle, becomes a foster daughter of the Heidegger family. In October, Werner Heisenberg visits Heidegger at Todtnauberg. In November, Heidegger gives a talk on “The Origin of the Work of Art” in the “Kunstwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft” in Freiburg. In SS 1935, he gives a lecture course “Introduction to Metaphysics”, where he talks of the “failed philosophy of National Socialism” (EM, p. 152). In WS 1935–1936, he lectures on “The Question of the Thing: On Kant’s Doctrine of Transcendental Principles”
1936: In January, Heidegger gives a public lecture on “The Origin of the Work of Art” at the University of Zurich, which he repeats at the “Freies Deutsches Hochstift” in Frankfurt in November and December. In April, he travels to Rome where he talks on “Hölderlin and the Essence of Poetry” at the Italian Institute of German Studies in Rome, and “Europe and German Philosophy” at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (Biblioteca Hertziana). On account of their diverging political philosophies, Heidegger’s correspondence with Jaspers ceases. “Hölderlin und the Essence of Poetry” is published in Das innere Reich. In SS 1936, Heidegger lectures on “Schelling: On the Essence of Human Freedom (1809)”, and in WS 1936–1937 on “Nietzsche: The Will to Power as Art”.
1936–1938: Heidegger writes Contributions to Philosophy (from Ereignis)
1937: In July, Heidegger cancels his attendance at the Descartes conference in Paris for health reasons, an action that reflects his growing distance from German academic life. He defends unsuccessfully his “Habilatation” student, the Catholic Max Müller, against attacks made by Nazi academics in Freiburg. In December, he publishes his Rome lecture on “Hölderlin and the Essence of Poetry” (Langen Müller: Munich). In SS 1937, Heidegger lectures on “Nietzsche’s Metaphysical Position in Western Thought: The Eternal Return of the Same”. During this semester, Heidegger discovers he is being spied upon by a Nazi colleague. In WS 1937–1938, he lectures on “Basic Questions in Philosophy: Selected Problems in Logic”.
1938: In June, Heidegger gives a talk in Freiburg on “The Founding by Metaphysics of the Modern World Picture”. He completes Contributions to Philosophy (On Ereignis). The first work of Heidegger in French appears: “Was ist das – die Metaphysik?” translated by Henry Corbin as Qu’est ce que la Métaphysique? In April, Husserl dies. Heidegger does not attend his funeral. In September, Elfride’s father dies. In WS 1938–1939, Heidegger lectures on “An Analysis of Nietzsche’s Second Untimely Meditations”.
1939: Heidegger gives his lecture on “Hölderlin’s Hymn ‘Wie wenn am Feiertage’ ” on a number of occasions throughout the year. In June, he talks “On the Essential Determination of Knowing” in Freiburg. In September, the Second World War begins. Heidegger’s son, Hermann, is called up for duty to an infantry battalion in Meßkirch. Freiburg University is temporarily closed. In Meßkirch, Heidegger works on his manuscripts, which are typed up by his brother Fritz. In November, Heidegger’s other son, Jörg, is drafted. In SS 1939, Heidegger lectures on “Nietzsche’s Doctrine of the Will to Power as Knowledge”.
1940: At Easter, Heidegger goes to Meßkirch again to work on his manuscripts. The academic year is now divided into trimesters, and in the second trimester, Heidegger lectures on “Nietzsche: European nihilism”, and in June he gives the lecture “The Saying of Parmenides” in Freiburg. He writes to his wife in May arguing that the continuation of university work is pointless.
1941: In June, Heidegger gives a talk in Freiburg on “The History of the Concept of Existence”. The fifth edition of Being and Time appears with the dedication to Husserl removed. The poetry volume Winke is published in the Heuberg-Druckerei in Meßkirch. In the SS 1941, Heidegger lectures on “Basic Concepts”, and in the WS 1941–1942 on “Hölderlin’s Hymn ‘Andenken’ ”.
1942: On the Essence of Truth is published by Vittorio Klostermann (Frankfurt am Main). In December, Heidegger’s son, Jörg, marries Dorothee Kurrer. In the WS 1941–1942, Heidegger lectures on “Hölderlin’s hymn ‘der Ister’ ”, and in the SS 1942 on “Parmenides”. Princess Margot von Sachsen-Meiningen (1911-1998) is one of Heidegger’s students in Freiburg and a long standing friendship develops between them.
1943: In June, Heidegger lectures on Hölderlin’s poems “Homecoming” and “To those who are related”, commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of Hölderlin’s death. In SS 1943, he lectures on “Heraclitus: 1. The Beginning of Western Thought (‘Heraclitus’)”. Amongst Heidegger’s students are Walter Biemel and Walter Jens.
1944: In August, Heidegger visits Graf Douglas in Hausen, where he meets up again with Margot von Sachsen-Meiningen. In November, Heidegger is drafted into the Volkssturm (“People’s Militia”) as a sapper and sent to Alsace. In December, he goes to Meßkirch following a bombing of Freiburg and soon after is discharged from the army. In December, the philosophy faculty at Freiburg moves to Schloss Wildenstein in the Upper Danube. In WS 1944–1945, Heidegger gives his “Introduction to Philosophy: Thinking and Writing” (the course is terminated after a few weeks because of the worsening military situation), and in SS 1945 he lectures on “Logic: Heraclitus’ doctrine of Logos”. He also writes at this time a number of his “Country Path Conversations”. Elucidations of Hölderlin’s poetry, containing “Homecoming”: Remembrance of the Poet” and “Hölderlin and the Essence of Poetry”, is published (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann).
1945: Heidegger spends January in Meßkirch, putting his manuscripts in order, which are eventually stored in a local church for safety. Towards the end of the month, the senate of the University of Freiburg decides to relocate university classes to Burg Wildenstein in the Donautal. Heidegger accompanies them. In June, he lectures on Hölderlin, returning later that month to Freiburg. Freiburg is occupied by the French Army, and Heidegger must share his home with a French sergeant and his family. In July, he faces a de-Nazification commission of the university senate. The French officer in charge of cultural affairs sends Frédéric de Towarnicki (1920–2008), a French interpreter with the Allies, to make contact with Heidegger. He sends Heidegger greetings from Jean-Paul Sartre and a copy of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. In the same month, Heidegger is proscribed from teaching by the French Military Government. In December, the Freiburg Faculty of Philosophy debates Heidegger’s case. Heidegger requests the senate to write to Jaspers, who returns a negative report. Heidegger’s son, Jörg, is incarcerated as a prisoner of war in Czechoslovakia, and Hermann in Russia.
1946: In January, the Freiburg University senate makes Heidegger an emeritus professor without teaching rights. In February, he suffers a nervous breakdown on account of his professional demise and because of a crisis in his marriage brought about by his affair with Margot von Sachsen-Meiningen. He undergoes treatment in the Schloss Hausbaden sanatorium in Badenweiler (Baden) until May. In September, the French philosopher and academic Jean Beaufret (1907–1982) visits Heidegger. Beaufret becomes a close friend and acts to promote Heidegger’s reputation in France. In November, Heidegger sends his “Letter on Humanism” to Beaufret. In December, the French Military Government bars Heidegger from any future teaching.
1947: Heidegger’s “Letter on Humanism” is published (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann). The Swiss psychologist, Medard Boss (1903–1990) contacts Heidegger with questions regarding Being and Time. In August, a friendship is established, which leads to Boss hosting between 1959 and 1969 the Zollikon seminars (named after his home town in Switzerland). In August, Herbert Marcuse writes to Heidegger asking him to account for his Nazi past. In December, Jean Beaufret visits Todtnauberg, with some of his students, including Jean-François Lyotard. In September, Heidegger’s son, Hermann, is released from Russian captivity.
1948: In January, Heidegger sends a letter to Marcuse, arguing that the extermination of the Jews was comparable to the Russian annihilation of Germans in Eastern Europe. There is further contact with Medard Boss. Ernst Jünger visits Heidegger for the first time in Todtnauberg at the end of the year.
1949: In February, Jaspers resumes his correspondence with Heidegger. In March, Heidegger is judged by the authorities to have been only a “fellow traveller” of the Nazi Party. Wilhelm Szilasi edits a volume of essays on Martin Heidegger’s Influence on the Sciences. In December, Heidegger gives the lecture series Insight Into That Which Is (which includes “The Thing”, “Enframing”, “The Danger” and “The Turning”) in the Bremen Club. Medard Boss visits Todtnauberg.
1950: In February, Hannah Arendt visits Heidegger. He writes a letter to her later that month with an appendix of his own poems. In March, Heidegger writes to the wife of Edmund Husserl, Malvine, asking for forgiveness for his behaviour during the Third Reich. In the same month, Arendt returns to Freiburg for a second visit. In April, Heidegger writes to Jaspers expressing his “shame” at being carried along by the “intoxication” of the Nazi movement. In June, Heidegger gives a talk on “The Thing” in Munich, and in October, on “Language” at the Bühlerhöhe. Anteile, a Festschrift for Heidegger, edited by Hans Gadamer, is published (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann), as is Heidegger’s Forest Paths with the same publisher.
1951: In September, Heidegger’s emeritus status takes effect, allowing him to teach again at the University of Freiburg. Emil Staiger publishes “On a poem by Mörike: An Exchange of letters with Martin Heidegger”. In May, Heidegger gives a talk on “Logos (Heraclitus, Fragment B 50)” to the Bremen Club. Further talks are given throughout the year in Darmstadt, the Bühlerhöhe, Zurich and Kassel. In WS 1951–1952, Heidegger lectures at Freiburg on “What is called Thinking?” Part I, and in SS 1952 Part II.
1952: In April, Heidegger records “What is called Thinking?” for Bavarian Radio. In May, Hanna Arendt pays him another visit. In July, he meets Sophie Dorothee von Podewils (1909–1979) and a relationship develops. In October, he gives a talk on Trakl in Bühlerhöhe. Jean-Paul Sartre visits him in Freiburg. In WS 1951–1952, Heidegger lectures on “What is called Thinking?”
1953: In May, Heidegger gives a talk on “Who is Nietzsche’s Zarathustra?” in Bremen, and in the same month on “Science and Reflection” in Schauinsland, Baden. In August, he meets with Heisenberg. In November, he stays with Sophie Dorothee von Podewils in Altreute, near Lake Constance. Karl Löwith’s critical book, Heidegger: A Thinker in a Time of Need, is published. In November, Heidegger delivers his lecture “The Question Concerning Technology” in Munich. Introduction to Metaphysics is published (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag).
1954: In February, he gives the lecture “The Question concerning Technology” in Freiburg. Further presentations of this lecture are given later in the year. In October, Heidegger regains contact with Rudolf Bultmann. Lectures and Essays and From the Experience of Thought are published (both Pfullingen: Günther Neske Verlag), as is What is called Thinking? (Tubingen: Max Niemeyer).
1955: In September, Heidegger is invited by Jean Beaufret to speak on What Is Philosophy? in Cerisy-la-Salle, France. He visits Georges Braque in Varengeville-sur-Mer, and at Jean Beaufret’s home in Ménilmontant, Paris, meets the Surrealist poet, René Char, with whom a friendship develops. In October, Heidegger delivers his talk “Discourse on Thinking” (“Gelassenheit”), as a memorial address for Conradin Kreutzer, in Meßkirch. In November, Heidegger talks about the local Swabian poet, Johann Peter Hebel, in Goppingen. In WS 1955–1956, Heidegger lectures in Freiburg on “The Principle of Reason”.
1956: In April, Heidegger writes to Arendt telling her he has decided to cease teaching. In May, he gives the talk “The Principle of Reason” in Bremen, which is repeated in Vienna in October. In spite of marital problems due to his affair with Marielene Putscher (1919–1997), he travels to Provence with Elfride in September. What is that – Philosophy? (Pfullingen: Günther Neske Verlag) and On the Question of Being (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann) are published. Werner Marx (1910–1994) becomes Heidegger’s successor in Freiburg.
1957: In February, Heidegger gives a talk on “The Onto-Theological Constitution of Metaphysics” in Todtnauberg. In May, he visits Darmstadt, where he holds a seminar, and in June gives a talk on ‘The Principle of Identity” at the celebration of the 500th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the University of Freiburg. In July, Heidegger is elected to the Prussian Academy of the Arts. In September, he visits Aix-en-Provence. In December, he gives a lecture on “The Essence of Language” at Freiburg University. The Principle of Reason, Hebel – the House Friend and Identity and Difference are published (Pfullingen: Günther Neske Verlag).
1958: In February, Heidegger gives the second part of his lecture on “The Essence of Language” at Freiburg University. In March, he talks on “Hegel and the Greeks” in Thor, Aix-en-Provence, where he makes contact again with René Char. The lecture is repeated in Heidelberg in July. In May, he lectures on Stefan George’s poem “The Word” in Vienna, where he meets Trakl’s friend, Ludwig von Ficker. In the same month, he gives a talk in Freiburg on “Art and Thought”. In October, he travels to Munich where he visits Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker and Werner Heisenberg.
1959: In January, Heidegger gives a lecture “On the Way to Language” at the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. In May, he speaks on the theme of “The Determination of the Arts in the Present Age” in Baden-Baden. In June, he gives his paper on “Hölderlin’s Earth and Heaven” at a symposium in Munich, (a lecture that he repeats in Stuttgart in July). He meets Imma von Bodmershof, the partner of the noted Hölderlin editor, Norbert von Hellingrath, and a friendship develops. In September, the first Zollikon seminar takes place under the guidance of Medard Boss. In the same month, Heidegger is made an honorary citizen of his home town, Meßkirch. The books On the Way to Language and Discourse on Thinking (whose German title is Gelassenheit) are published (both Pfullingen: Günther Neske Verlag).
1960: In January, Heidegger visits Gadamer in Heidelberg in advance of Gadamer’s sixtieth birthday in February, and contributes an essay “Hegel and the Greeks” to the latter’s Festschrift, The Presence of the Greeks in contemporary Thought (Tubingen: Mohr). In February, Heidegger participates in a seminar in Zollikon. Over February and March, Elfride is treated for depression by the Swiss psychiatrist, Medard Boss (1903–1990), who would soon become a close friend and collaborator of Heidegger. In May, Heidegger receives the Johann Peter Hebel Prize. In July, he gives a speech “Language and Homeland” in Wesselburen, Schleswig-Holstein, and in October he meets with Rudolf Bultmann at the reunion of Old Marburgers in Bethel.
1961: In March, Heidegger participates in a seminar in Zollikon. In May, he gives a talk on “Kant’s Thesis on Being” in Kiel, and in July speaks in Meßkirch on the subject of “700 Years of Meßkirch”. In November, he pays another visit to Zollikon. The two-volume work on Nietzsche (Pfullingen: Günther Neske Verlag) is published.
1962: In January, Heidegger gives a radio talk on “Time and Being”. In April, Heidegger and Elfride make their first trip to Greece. In February, he attends the Feast of the Captains (a fraternity dinner for businessmen) in Bremen. In the same month, he gives a speech at the Max Kommerell memorial service in Berlin, and participates in a discussion at the Academy of Arts. In July, he gives a talk on “Traditional Language and Technological Language” at Comburg. “The Question of the Thing: Kant’s Thesis on Being”, a contribution to the Festschrift for Eric Wolf, and Technology and the Turning are published (both Pfullingen: Neske). Sein und Zeit is translated as Being and Time by John Macquarie and Edward Robinson (New York: Harper Row).
1963: In April, Heidegger and Elfride visit Sicily with Medard Boss and his wife. In July, Heidegger goes to Tübingen to make a recording of a poem by Hölderlin. In August, Jean Beaufret visits him in Meßkirch. They spend some time in Beuron.
1964: In April, Heidegger presents a paper on “The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking” (“La fin de la Philosophie et la tache de la pensée”) at a colloquium organised by UNESCO in Paris. In May, he gives the talk “On Abraham a Santa Clara” in the St. Martin’s church hall in Meßkirch. In the same month, the Heideggers fly to Athens and spend a fortnight on Aegina. In July, Heidegger participates in a seminar in Zollikon, and in October, lectures on “Observations on Art – Sculpture – Space” in St. Gallen, Switzerland. In November, he participates in a further seminar in Zollikon.
1965: In January, May July and November Heidegger participates in seminars in Zollikon. In March, he goes to Meßkirch to work on his manuscripts. In October, he lectures on “The End of Thinking in the Form of Philosophy” in Amriswil in Switzerland.
1966: In February, Heidegger goes to stay with Boss in Zollikon, and in April, he and Elfride travel with Boss and his wife to Greece for the third time. In July, Heidegger gives “A Ceremonial Talk at a regional Celebration” in Todtnauberg. In September, he participates in his first seminar in Le Thor in Provence, organised by Roger Munier (1923–2010), where he meets René Char once again. In the same month, Heidegger gives an interview to Der Spiegel that would be published posthumously in 1976. In the winter semester 1966–1967, he participates in a seminar on Heraclitus with Eugen Fink (1905–1975) at the University of Freiburg.
1967: In January, Heidegger visits Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, Professor of Philosophy at Hamburg University, where he gives a seminar. In April, Heidegger travels to Greece and delivers his lecture on “The Origin of Art and the Purpose of Thinking” at the Academy of Sciences in Athens. In May, Heidegger and Elfride make their fifth and final trip to Greece, visiting the islands in the Aegean Sea. Arendt visits Heidegger and continues to do so each year until her death in 1975. In July, he meets the Romanian poet, Paul Celan (1920–1950), in Freiburg. Celan visits Todtnauberg and writes his poem “Todtnauberg”. In the same month, Hannah Arendt comes to Freiburg and gives a lecture on Walter Benjamin. Heidegger’s collection of essays, Pathmarks, is published (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann).
1968: In March, Heidegger resigns from the Hölderlin-Gesellschaft, provoked by a critical paper delivered by Robert Minder. Later that month, suffering from stress and anxiety, he goes to the sanatorium in Badenweiler to recuperate. Im May, he visits Zollikon. In September, the second Le Thor seminar is held on “Hegel: Differences between the Systems of Fichte and Schelling”. Heidegger visits the atelier of Cezanne in Chemin des Lauves in Provence.
1969: In March, Heidegger goes to Zollikon, and in June gives seminars at Heidelberg University, where he meets up with Karl Löwith. In July, Heidegger works with Boss in Zollikon and is visited by Hans Jonas. In August, he contacts the National Schiller Museum in Marbach am Neckar regarding their wish to purchase the manuscript of Being and Time. In September, the third Le Thor seminar takes place on “Kant: On the only possible Evidence for the Existence of God”. Meßkirch celebrates Heidegger’s eightieth birthday. In September, he gives a television interview with Richard Wisser, and in the same month is made a member of the Bavarian Academy of the Arts. On the Matter of Thinking is published (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer).
1970: In March, Heidegger meets Celan in Freiburg. In April, Celan commits suicide in Paris. In the same month, Heidegger gives a talk on “The Question of the Determination of Art” in Munich. He suffers a stroke in Augsburg and is brought back to Freiburg where he recovers. Phenomenology and Theology, and Heraclitus Seminar, co-authored with Eugen Fink, are published (both Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann).
1971: In April, Arendt visits Heidegger in Freiburg. In August, he writes to tell her that he is organising and sifting through his manuscripts. In September, because of Heidegger’s declining health, he and Elfride move into their retirement apartment at the rear of their home in Rötebuck.
1972: In March, Heidegger writes to Arendt, saying that he is thinking about a Collected Works. In September, she visits Heidegger in Freiburg. Early Writings is published (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann).
1973: In September, Heidegger participates in the fourth and final Thor seminar, this time in Zähringen, a suburb of Freiburg. In the same month, he agrees to the proposal to produce his Collected Works (Gesamtausgabe)
1974: In June, Heidegger writes to Arendt with details regarding the desired direction of his Collected Works.
1975: In August, Hannah Arendt visits Heidegger for the last time; she dies on 4 December in New York. Heidegger’s Basic Problems of Phenomenology, edited by Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann, is published by Vittorio Klostermann as the first volume of Heidegger’s Collected Works.
1976: On May 26, Martin Heidegger dies at his home in Freiburg, and is buried on May 28 at the cemetery in Meßkirch. Later that month, the Der Spiegel interview given in September 1966 is published. Elfride Heidegger dies in March 1992.