Hannah Arendt and the Twentieth Century

Biography Hannah Arendt

1906

On 14 October, Hannah Arendt is born in Linden, near Hanover. She is the daughter of Paul Arendt, an engineer, and his wife Martha (née Cohn). She grows up in Königsberg, in a home environment influenced by assimilated Jewish culture and social democratic politics.

1913

Early death of her father. In 1920, Martha Arendt marries Martin Beerwald, a widower with two daughters, Clara and Eva.

1924–1928

Studies philosophy, theology and classical philology in Marburg, Freiburg and Heidelberg under Martin Heidegger, Rudolf Bultmann and Karl Jaspers.

1924/25

Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger have an intense love affair.

1928

Gains her doctorate under Karl Jaspers in Heidelberg with a thesis on the concept of love in the works of St Augustine.

1929

Marries Günther Stern (Anders), a philosopher, in Babelsberg. Arendt and Stern live in Berlin and in Frankfurt am Main.

1930–1933

Arendt becomes interested in the problem of Jewish assimilation and researches the life story of Rahel Varnhagen.

1933

Hannah Arendt is persecuted by the National Socialists. After being arrested by the Gestapo for a short time, she flees Germany to join her husband in Paris. (

1935

First journey to Palestine in connection with social work for a Jewish organisation.

1938 

Hannah Arendt is stripped of her German citizenship.

1940

Three years after her divorce from Günther Stern in 1937, she marries Heinrich Blücher in Paris. In the same year, Arendt is detained for a few weeks in a French internment camp at Gurs.

1941

Hannah Arendt and Heinrich Blücher manage to escape to the U.S.A. via Lisbon. A little later, Arendt's mother Martha joins them in New York. Arendt writes political articles, for "Aufbau", a German-language magazine for Jewish emigrants.

1946–1948

Editor at Schocken Books publishing house, where she produces an edition of Franz Kafka's letters, among other things.

1949–1952

Managing director of Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, an organisation for salvaging Jewish cultural property.

1949/50

First visit to Germany after the war. Reunion with Karl Jaspers, Martin Heidegger and friends from her youth.

1951

Arendt is granted American citizenship.

1953–1961

Guest lecturer at the Princeton, Notre Dame, Berkeley, Chicago, Columbia, New York, Cornell and Wesleyan universities.

1955

Her major work "The Origins of Totalitarianism", published in the U.S.A. in 1951, appears in German.

1957

Arendt's article "Reflections on Little Rock" sets off a debate about the abolition of racial segregation in American schools.

1958

Delivers the speech in praise of Karl Jaspers at the award of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in St Paul's Church, Frankfurt am Main.

1959

Arendt receives the Lessing Prize of the City of Hamburg. Arendt and Blücher move to a larger apartment in New York, at 370 Riverside Drive.

1960

Arendt's book "The Human Condition", published in the U.S.A. in 1958, appears in German.

1963

The publication of her report on the Eichmann trial in The New Yorker weekly magazine leads to fierce controversy.

1963–1967

Arendt's book On Revolution, published in the U.S.A. in 1963, appears in German. In it she compares the American and the French revolutions.

1966–1971

In order to enforce her claims for compensation, Arendt files a complaint with the Federal German constitutional court. The decision in her favour creates a legal precedent in post-war West Germany.

1967–1975

Professor at the New School for Social Research, New York.

1967

Arendt receives the Sigmund Freud Prize for Scientific Prose from the German Academy of Language and Poetry.

1969–1975

Spends several weeks each summer in Tegna, Switzerland. She stays in the Pension Casa Barbaté and invites relatives and friends from every stage of her life to join her there.

1970

Death of her husband, Heinrich Blücher.

1973

Delivers the Gifford Lectures in Aberdeen, Scotland. These form the basis of her late work The Life of the Mind.

1975

On 4 December, Hannah Arendt dies of a heart attack in New York.

Opening hours

Zeughaus: open from 1 July 2020, daily 10 am to 6 pm

 

Pei building: Friday-Wednesday 10 am to 6 pm, Thursday 10 am to 8 pm

 

Special opening hours "Hannah Arendt and the Twentieth Century"

Admission

Permanent Exhibition:
Free entry

Temporary Exhibitions:
€ 8, reduced € 4, free up to 18 years

More information

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BUS  
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Contact

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info@dhm.de