Hannah Arendt


Picture of Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt (, US also , German: [ˌhana ˈaːʁənt] (listen); born Johanna Arendt; 14 October 1906 – 4 December 1975) was a German-born American historian and political philosopher. She was one of the most influential political theorists of the 20th century.Arendt was born to a Jewish family in Linden (now a district of Hanover) in 1906. When she was three, her family moved to the East Prussian capital of Königsberg for her father's health care. Paul Arendt had contracted syphilis in his youth, but was thought to be in remission when Arendt was born. He died when she was seven. Arendt was raised in a politically progressive, secular family, her mother being an ardent Social Democrat. After completing secondary education in Berlin, Arendt studied at the University of Marburg under Martin Heidegger, with whom she had a four-year affair. She obtained her doctorate in philosophy at the University of Heidelberg in 1929. Her dissertation was entitled Love and Saint Augustine and her supervisor was the existentialist philosopher Karl Jaspers.

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