Candles burn at a memorial of shoes in remembrance of Holocaust victims
Candles burn at a memorial of shoes in remembrance of Holocaust victimsReuters

German philosopher Martin Heidegger wrote that Jews destroyed themselves in the Holocaust.

Citing volume 97 of the Black Notebooks, the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera said the philosopher argued that blame for the genocide should be directed at Jewish people.

"The argument is that the Jews destroyed themselves and no fingers should be pointed at anyone except the Jews themselves," the newspaper said.

Heidegger is a respected and celebrated figure in twentieth century European philosophy who was also a member of the Nazi party and an anti-Semite.

The Black Notebooks are a series of Heidegger's philosophical diaries that he requested be withheld until his complete works were already published.

They began to be published last year and the latest revelation comes from the next volume to be published later in 2015.

The 2014 publications of earlier Black Notebooks volumes sparked a furious debate over whether Heidegger's anti-Semitism was a flaw in his personal character, or whether it permeated his entire body of work.

Heidegger portrayed Jews as the embodiment of a technological world, one that was destroying the European world. He argued Jews were the principal agents of modernity who were responsible for spreading it throughout Europe.

"Only Germany, with her people's iron cohesion, could stem the devastating impact of technology," Corriere Della Sera wrote, describing Volume 97 of the Black Notebooks which is due to be published this year.

"This is why the global conflict was primarily a war of Germans against Jews. If the Jews were annihilated in the death camps, it was because of the mechanism that they fomented by plotting to achieve world domination," Heidegger's argument goes, according to Corriere Della Sera.

Heidegger's anti-Semitism was well known within academic circles before the publication of the Black Notebooks, although the diaries have revealed his racism to be more pronounced than previously thought.