Van assimilatie naar zionisme. Hannah Arendt en de moderne Joodse geschiedenis
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Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was a political theorist who became famous for her characterization of totalitarianism and the banality of evil. She has also written extensively on the Jewish question, starting with her biography of the nineteenth-century German-Jewish salonnière Rahel Varnhagen, via short columns in which she criticized the Zionist ambitions, to her report of the trial of Nazi-criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. In all of these works, Arendt showed an original insight in the workings of European society, in which a distinct group such as the Jews are caught in conflicting interests and desires. She searched for an political alternative wherein different groups could co-operate on an equal base. This thesis demonstrates how recurring themes in Arendts thought, such as her aversion to all-explaining ideologies or theories, her emphasis on independent thinking and the need for an free, open political space, originate in her thinking on the history of European Jewry and Zionism.