Hannah Arendt: the Language remains. 1964

Hannah Arendt remains one of the leading German-American intellectuals from the last century. In this televised interview with German journalist Günter Gaus from October the 28th, 1964, Arendt (then 58) responds to a wide range of queries centering around philosophy, politics and gender, regarding herself more of a political theorist than a philosopher as she does hint at a ‘disdain’ of sorts for the circle of philosophers. She also reflects on Auschwitz, Germans, Jews and Judaism, assimilation, anti-Semitism, Zionism and Israel, Germany and German. At a particularly telling moment she says “What remains? The Language remains”. For Arendt, history is a chronicle of the exceeding of expectations. As one of Arendt’s formative influences, German philospher Martin Heidegger, stressed, individuals do matter. In this interview Arendt does come across as the charismatic public intellectual that she was, but at the same time, her states of tension over certain contradictions convey themselves as well. Towards the closure, she pays a loving tribute to her mentor, German philosopher and psychiatrist Karl Jaspers, with resonances from her genuinely uplifting work ‘The Human Condition’. Watch.

Hannah Arendt "Zur Person" Full Interview (with English subtitles)



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Candace Van Hout
Candace Van Hout
8 years ago

I enjoyed this interview very much. It was something I would have never found had it not been for your blog. I think I’ll watch it one more time with my daughters.