Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)


Complied Dr. Alfred Denker.

1889 Martin Heidegger is born on September 26 as son of Friedrich Heidegger, cooper and sexton in Meßkirch, and Johanna Heidegger-Kempf.

1892 Heidegger's sister Marie is born.

1894 Heidegger's brother Fritz is born.

1903-1906 Heidegger stays at the Konradihaus in Constance to continue his high school education and start preparations for the priesthood.

1906-1909 Heidegger continues his studies at the Gymnasium in Freiburg and stays at the seminary. In September 1907 Conrad Gröber presents him with a copy of Franz Brentano's dissertation, On the Several Senses of Being in Aristotle.

1909 On September 30 Heidegger begins his novitiate with the Jesuits in Tisis. Due to health problems he is released on October 13.

1909-1911 Heidegger studies theology and philosophy at the Uni-versity of Freiburg. He publishes his first articles and re-views and begins to study the writings of Edmund Husserl and Wilhelm Dilthey in 1910.

1911-1913 In the summer of 1911 Heidegger abandons his plans to become a priest and gives up his theology studies. He obtains an endowment to study Catholic philosophy. He also takes courses in natural science, mathematics, and history.

1913 Heidegger obtains the doctorate in philosophy with his inaugural dissertation The Doctrine of Judgment in Psychologism.

1915 Heidegger obtains his 'veni legendi' with his qualifying dissertation Duns Scotus' Theory of Categories and Meaning.

1915-1916 Heidegger gives his first lecture course on the basic trends of ancient and scholastic philosophy. During this course he meets his later wife, Elfride Petri, who studied political economy.

1915-1918 Heidegger serves in the army at the military Control Board of the Post Office in Freiburg and for the final months of the war as a meteorologist.

1917 Heidegger marries Elfride Petri on March 21 in a Catholic ceremony officiated by his friend Engelbert Krebs and a week later in a Protestant ceremony in the presence of her parents.

1918 Heidegger befriends Elisabeth Blochmann.

1919 In January Heidegger breaks with the system of Catholicism. His first child Jörg is born. Heidegger and Karl Jaspers meet for the first time on Husserl's birthday in Freiburg.

1919-1923 Heidegger teaches as an unsalaried lecturer and acts as Husserl's private assistant.

1920 Son Hermann is born.

1922 Heidegger writes the introduction to his projected book on Aristotle. Paul Natorp is so impressed with this short text that he gets Heidegger appointed to the junior position in philosophy at the University of Marburg in 1923. Elfride offers Heidegger the later famous wood cabin in Todtnauberg as a present.

1923 Heidegger moves to Marburg and befriends Rudolf Bultmann.

1924 Hannah Arendt comes to Marburg to study under Heidegger's supervision. They fall in love and start an extramarital love affair that would last five years. Heidegger's father dies at the age of 73.

1926 Arendt leaves Marburg to continue her studies under the direction of Karl Jaspers.

1927 Being and Time is published. Heidegger's mother dies at the age of 69.

1928 Heidegger is appointed as Husserl's successor to the chair of philosophy at the University of Freiburg.

1929 Heidegger delivers his important inaugural lecture, What Is Metaphysics?, and publishes his famous book, Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics.

1930 Heidegger rejects his nomination to the chair of philosophy at the University of Berlin.

1933 Heidegger is elected rector of the University of Freiburg on April 21. He becomes a member of the Nazi Party on May 3. In the summer he delivers several lectures in support of the National Socialist revolution and issues a number of statements in support of Hitler and his policies. He visits Jaspers for the last time. In October 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. He writes letters of recommendation for some of his Jewish students like Karl Löwith and friends like Elisabeth Blochmann.

1934 Heidegger hands in his resignation as rector on April 23.

1935 Heidegger delivers his famous lecture on the origin of the work of art in Freiburg for the first time.

1936 Heidegger and Jaspers break off their correspondence. In April he travels to Rome where he meets Löwith and delivers his lectures Hölderlin and the Essence of Poetry and Europe and German Philosophy.

1936-1938 Heidegger writes his second main work, Contributions to Philosophy.

1936-1940 Heidegger gives several lecture courses on Nietzsche in which he comments critically upon the National Socialist doctrine of power. The Gestapo observes his courses.

1944 Heidegger is drafted into the Volkssturm in November.

1945 In January and February Heidegger is in Meßkirch to order and safeguard his manuscripts. From April until June the philosophical faculty moves to Wildenstein Castle near Beuron. In July Heidegger faces the commission of de-Nazification. Heidegger asks Professor Fried-rich Oehlkers, a member of the de-Nazification committee, to ask Jaspers about his supposed anti-Semitism. In reply Jaspers writes a negative report that ultimately leads to Heidegger's forced retirement without license to teach.

1946 Jean Beaufret visits Heidegger for the first time. He would become a close friend and worked on Heidegger's behalf in France. Heidegger writes his Letter on Humanism in reply to Beaufret's questions and meets also Medard Boss who would later organize the famous seminars in Zollikon near Zurich. The French military government prohibits Heidegger from teaching on December 28.

1949 In July the French military government issues its final statement on Heidegger's Nazism, classifying him as "a fellow traveler without reconciliation". In September the prohibition against his teaching is lifted. In December Heidegger delivers his four famous lectures (The Thing-Enframing-The Danger-The Turning) in Bremen under the common title Insight Into That Which Is. The correspondence with Jaspers begins again.

1950 Heidegger delivers lectures at different occasions before the Bavaria Academy of Fine Arts and at Bühlerhöhe. Arendt visits Heidegger and they resume their friendship. Heidegger is granted his retirement and publishes Holzwege (Forest Trails).

1951-1952 Heidegger begins to teach again at the University of Freiburg and gives his first course under the title What Is Called Thinking? In 1951 the Baden government grants Heidegger emeritus status.

1952 Arendt visits Heidegger for the second time.

1953 Heidegger meets and becomes a friend of Erhard Kästner. He delivers his lecture The Question Concerning Technology before the Bavaria Academy of Fine Arts. Introduction to Metaphysics is published.

1954 Heidegger publishes Vorträge und Aufsätze (Lectures and Essays).

1955 Heidegger delivers his Memorial Address for Conradin Kreutzer in Meßkirch and What Is Philosophy? in Cé-risy-la-Salle in France. He also visits Paris and Georges Braque in Varengeville.

1958 Heidegger delivers his lecture Hegel and the Greeks in Aix-en-Provence where he meets René Char and in Heidelberg at the Academy of Sciences. He travels to Vienna and delivers his lecture Words on the poetry of George Trakl.

1959 Heidegger is named honorary citizen of Meßkirch on September 27. He is elected member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences.

1961 Heidegger publishes his two-volume work Nietzsche.

1962 Heidegger travels to Greece for the first time.

1964 Heidegger travels to Greece for the second time and visits Agina.

1966 Heidegger gives his first seminar in Le Thor, France. On September 23 Heidegger gives an interview to Der Spiegel (magazine) which would be published posthumously in 1976. He travels to Greece for the third time and visits Lesbos and also Istanbul in Turkey.

1967 Heidegger travels to Greece for the fourth time in April and delivers his lecture on the origin of art and the determination of thinking at the Academy of Sciences in Athens. In May he makes his fifth and final trip to Greece and visits the islands in the Aegean Sea. Arendt visits Heidegger and will continue to do so each year until her death in 1975. Heidegger's famous collection of essays, Pathmarks, is published.

1968 Second seminar in Le Thor.

1969 Third seminar in Le Thor.

1973 Seminar in Zähringen.

1975 The Summer Semester 1927 lecture course The Basic Problems of Phenomenology is published by Vittorio Klostermann as the first volume of the collected edition, the Gesamtausgabe, of Heidegger's works.

1976 On May 26 Heidegger dies at home in Freiburg and is buried on May 28 at the cemetery of Meßkirch.