Heidegger, History and the Holocaust is an important contribution to the longstanding debate concerning Martin Heidegger''s association with National Socialism
Although a difficult topic, this ambitious new work moves the entire debate on the Heidegger controversy forward.Following Being and Time Heidegger expands on his notion of authenticity and related notions such as historicity and makes repeated references to the authentic Dasein (presence or existence) of a people. He discusses the possibility of an authentic Dasein of a people along structurally consistent lines to the account of authenticity in Being and Time. O''Brien argues that the same difficulties which appear to hamstring the early account of authenticity further affect the notion of an authentic Dasein of a people. Ultimately, we may be forced to attribute Heidegger''s political myopia in the thirties to an underlying failure to come to terms with some of the difficulties discussed in this study. O''Brien concedes that Heidegger''s philosophy is influenced by its historical period and context but argues that - however inflammatory - Heidegger''s rhetoric was not simply crude Nazi jingoism. Heidegger''s philosophy on technology (in particular it''s essence - Gestell) can be understood as a profound engagement with the atrocities of the Holocaust, and that his philosophy suggests that such an event is not an anomaly in Western history but remains an ongoing possibility. This book is a genuinely philosophical approach to the Heidegger controversy and a much-needed re-examination of his ideas and influences.