The twentieth century simply cannot be understood without Hannah Arendt, wrote the author Amos Elon. Arendt significantly influenced two concepts that are essential for the understanding of the twentieth century: “totalitarianism” and the “banality of evil”. Arendt’s insights were rarely left unchallenged.
The exhibition “Hannah Arendt and the Twentieth Century” aims to trace Arendt’s observations on contemporary history and introduce to the public a life and work that mirrors the history of the twentieth century: totalitarianism, anti-Semitism, the situation of refugees, the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, the political system and the racial segregation in the U. S., the student movement and feminism. Arendt frequently expressed her views on current events as a public intellectual, often sparking fierce controversy.
As the exhibition will show this diagnostic appraisal makes the question of the power of judgement particularly urgent today against the backdrop of pluralization, the accelerated change in values and growing populism.
German History Museum 10am until 8pm.
(Picture: Hannah Arendt in der Wesleyan University
1961/62, Middletown, Conneticut
© Middletown, Conneticut, Wesleyan University Library, Special Collections & Archives)