- born Oct. 14, 1906, Hannover, Ger.died Dec. 4, 1975, New York, N.Y., U.S.German-born U.S. political theorist.She obtained her doctorate from the University of Heidelberg. Forced to flee the Nazis in 1933, she became a social worker in Paris and then fled again, to New York, in 1941. Her major work, Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), traced totalitarianism to 19th-century anti-Semitism, imperialism, and the disintegration of the traditional nation-state. She taught at the University of Chicago (1963–67) and thereafter at the New School for Social Research. Her controversial Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963) suggested that Adolf Eichmann, the SS leader who was chiefly responsible for the extermination of the Jews, was a banal figure rather than a demonic one.
* * *▪ American political scientistborn October 14, 1906, Hannover, Germanydied December 4, 1975, New York, New York, U.S.German-born American political scientist and philosopher known for her critical writing on Jewish affairs and her study of totalitarianism.Arendt grew up in Hannover, Germany, and in Königsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). Beginning in 1924 she studied philosophy at the Universities of Marburg, Freiburg, and Heidelberg; she received a doctoral degree in philosophy at Heidelberg in 1928. At Marburg she began a romantic relationship with her teacher, Martin Heidegger (Heidegger, Martin), that lasted until 1928. In 1933, when Heidegger joined the Nazi Party and began implementing Nazi educational policies as rector of Freiburg, Arendt, who was Jewish, was forced to flee to Paris. She married Heinrich Blücher, a philosophy professor, in 1940. She again became a fugitive from the Nazis in 1941, when she and her husband immigrated to the United States.Settling in New York City, she became research director of the Conference on Jewish Relations (1944–46), chief editor of Schocken Books (1946–48), and executive director (1949–52) of Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc., which sought to salvage Jewish writings dispersed by the Nazis. She was naturalized as an American citizen in 1951. She taught at the University of Chicago from 1963 to 1967 and thereafter at the New School for Social Research in New York City.Arendt's reputation as a major political thinker was established by her Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), which also treated 19th-century anti-Semitism, imperialism, and racism. Arendt viewed the growth of totalitarianism as the outcome of the disintegration of the traditional nation-state. She argued that totalitarian regimes, through their pursuit of raw political power and their neglect of material or utilitarian considerations, had revolutionized the social structure and made contemporary politics nearly impossible to predict.The Human Condition, published in 1958, was a wide-ranging and systematic treatment of what Arendt called the vita activa (Latin: “active life”). She defended the classical ideals of work, citizenship, and political action against what she considered a debased obsession with mere welfare. Like most of her work, it owed a great deal to the philosophical style of Heidegger.In a highly controversial work, Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963), based on her reportage of the trial of the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann (Eichmann, Adolf) in 1961, Arendt argued that Eichmann's crimes resulted not from a wicked or depraved character but from sheer “thoughtlessness”: he was simply an ambitious bureaucrat who failed to reflect on the enormity of what he was doing. His role in the mass extermination of Jews epitomized “the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil” that had spread across Europe at the time. Arendt's refusal to recognize Eichmann as “inwardly” evil prompted fierce denunciations from both Jewish and non-Jewish intellectuals.Arendt resumed contact with Heidegger in 1950, and in subsequent essays and lectures she defended him by claiming that his Nazi involvement had been the “mistake” of a great philosopher. In the late 20th century, following the publication of a volume of letters between Arendt and Heidegger written between 1925 and 1975, some scholars suggested that Arendt's personal and intellectual attachment to her former teacher had led her to adopt a lenient assessment of him that was inconsistent with her condemnation of the collaboration of others and with her insistence in various writings that any act of compromise with evil is wholly immoral.Arendt's other works include Between Past and Future (1961), On Revolution (1963), Men in Dark Times (1968), On Violence (1970), and Crises of the Republic (1972). Her unfinished manuscript The Life of the Mind was edited by her friend and correspondent Mary McCarthy (McCarthy, Mary) and published in 1978. Responsibility and Judgment, published in 2003, collects essays and lectures on moral topics from the years following publication of Eichmann in Jerusalem.Additional ReadingElisabeth Young-Bruehl, Hannah Arendt: For the Love of the World (1982), is a biography. Analyses of her work include Margaret Canovan, Hannah Arendt: A Reinterpretation of Her Political Thought (1992); Lewis P. Hinchman and Sandra K. Hinchman (eds.), Hannah Arendt: Critical Essays (1994); Bonnie Honig (ed.), Feminist Interpretations of Hannah Arendt (1995); Richard J. Bernstein, Hannah Arendt and the Jewish Question (1996); Larry May and Jerome Kohn (eds.), Hannah Arendt: Twenty Years Later (1996); and Richard Wolin, Heidegger's Children: Hannah Arendt, Karl Löwith, Hans Jonas, and Herbert Marcuse (2001). Most of Arendt's correspondence with Heidegger is published in Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger, Letters, 1925–1975, ed. by Ursula Ludz, trans. from the German by Andrew Shields.
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ARENDT, HANNAH — (1906–1975), political and social philosopher. Born in Hanover, Germany, she studied at the universities of Marburg, Freiburg, and Heidelberg. In the 1930s Arendt married Gunther Stern, a young Jewish philosopher. In 1933, fearing Nazi… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Arendt, Hannah — (1906–1975) Hannah Arendt was born on 14 October 1906, in Hanover, in Wilhelmine, Germany. After graduating from high school in Koenigsberg in 1924, Arendt began to study theology at the University of Marburg, where she became a student of the … Historical dictionary of the Holocaust
Arendt, Hannah — (1906–1975) Political philosopher. Born in Hanover into a Jewish family, Arendt studied in the German existentialist tradition of Jaspers and Heidegger . She moved to Paris in 1933, and escaped the Nazi occupation to America in 1940. Her first… … Philosophy dictionary
Arendt, Hannah — (1906–75) American philosopher. Arendt was born in Hanover and educated at the Universities of Koenigsberg, Marburg and Heidelberg where she was taught by Martin Heidegger. When Jewish existence became intolerable in Germany, she moved first… … Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament
Arendt,Hannah — A·rendt (ârʹənt, ärʹ ), Hannah. 1906 1975. German born American historian and political theorist whose major published works include The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) and On Revolution (1963). * * * … Universalium
Arendt, Hannah — (1906 75) Amerian political and social philosopher of German origin. Born in Hanover, she lived in Paris after Adolf Hitler came to power. In 1941 she escaped to the US. From 1963 to 1967 she taught at the University of Chicago, and then at… … Dictionary of Jewish Biography
Arendt, Hannah — (14 oct. 1906, Hannover, Alemania–4 dic. 1975, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Teórica política estadounidense nacida en Alemania. Obtuvo su doctorado en la Universidad de Heidelberg. Forzada a huir de los nazis en 1933, fue en una asistente social en … Enciclopedia Universal
ARENDT (H.) — ARENDT HANNAH (1906 1975) Aménager, dans l’esprit de ses contemporains, un espace de mémoire pour la lumière oubliée du politique, tel est le souci ou l’ambition unique qui inspire l’œuvre de Hannah Arendt. Juive allemande et philosophe, née à… … Encyclopédie Universelle
Arendt — (Hannah) (1906 1975) philosophe américaine d origine allemande: les Origines du totalitarisme (1951) … Encyclopédie Universelle
Arendt — Arendt, Hannah (amerikanische Philosophin und Publizistin deutscher Herkunft) … Die deutsche Rechtschreibung