S.L. Frank in the Third Reich: Notes for a Biography

 
PIIS023620070014186-1-1
DOI10.31857/S023620070014186-1
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Occupation: Senior Research Fellow, International Laboratory for the Study of Russian and European Intellectual Dialogue; Senior Research Fellow
Affiliation:
National Research University “Higher School of Economics”
RAS Institute of Philosophy
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Occupation: Prof. leading research fellow, International Laboratory for the Study of Russian and European Intellectual Dialogue; Head of the Department of Russian and Byzantine Philosophy
Affiliation:
National Research University “Higher School of Economics”
Pontifical University John Paul II
Address: Krakоw, Poland
Journal nameChelovek
EditionVolume 32 Issue №1
Pages109-127
AbstractThe article presents a historical and philosophical reconstruction of the life of the Russian emigrant philosopher Semyon Ludwigovich Frank in the National Socialist Germany. The history of the relationship of the philosopher with such institutions as the Russian Scientific Institute in Berlin and the Friedrich Wilhelm University (called Humboldt University of Berlin since 1949). By referring to archival materials and published correspondence of S.L. Frank the impact that the National Socialist Party had on the life of the Russian philosopher, has been established. A special attention is paid to unsuccessful attempts to publish the German-language manuscript of S.L. Frank “Incomprehensible” (“Das Unergründliche”), which could not find its publisher in Austria due to the fact among others that the thinker was of Jewish origin. In conclusion, an analysis of those assessments of the political and ideological movement of the German National Socialism, which can be found in the philosopher’s creative and epistolary heritage, has also been conducted. Typical for Frank’s thought is deduction of the spiritual sources of German National Socialism (as well as Soviet Bolshevism) from the crisis of European humanism in the second half of the 19th century, which found its embodiment in such ideological currents as revolutionary socialism and the philosophy of F. Nietzsche. However, ultimately the emergence of Nazism, according to the philosophy of S.L. Frank, is a natural consequence of the spiritual history of European mankind, which distorted the Christian idea of ​​the salvation of the world, replacing it with the idea of ​​an independent transformation of the world based solely on the forces of the person opposed to God himself. In other words, German National Socialism for S.L. Frank is a terrible consequence of human battle against God. As an appendix to the article, a Russian translation of a letter from the Austrian publishing house “Anton Pustet” dated July 11, 1938 is published, where the limitations that philosophical creativity faced under the yoke of German National Socialism eloquently make themselves felt.
KeywordsRussian religious philosophy, Russian emigration in Germany, Russian philosophers in the Third Reich, philosophical thought under National Socialism, philosophical biography of S.L. Franck, Das Unergründliche, Verlag Anton Pustet
Publication date19.03.2021
Number of characters26320
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