"THE TRUTH HAS COME HOME: THERE IS NO PROTECTION IN HEAVEN OR EARTH AGAINST BARE MURDER": RARE FIRST SEPARATE EDITION OF HANNAH ARENDT'S JEW AS PARIAH, A HIDDEN TRADITION, 1944, IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS
ARENDT, Hannah. The Jew as Pariah: A Hidden Tradition. New York: Conference on Jewish Relations, 1944. Slim octavo, original printed tan wrappers, staple bound as issued; pp. 99-122. $3800.
First separate edition of one of Arendt's first publications in English, delivered at New York's 1944 Conference on Jewish Relations, published the same year, barely three years after escaping imprisonment in Germany and France, containing foundational ideas developed n her three-volume Origins of Totalitarianism, a fine copy in original wrappers.
In 1933 Arendt was arrested on a Berlin street and imprisoned for over a week. "Upon her release she packed her bags… like others before her, and more after, Arendt fled to Paris." Following her subsequent escape from Gurs internment camp, Arendt finally made it to New York in May 1941, where she remained, for nearly two decades, "a refugee, a stateless person, a pariah" (Adelman, Pariah). In her war years in New York, Arendt "understood her tasks as a Jew to be to speak to the European emigrant Jews about Jewish identity… she called upon the Jews to resist new forms of the old assimiliationist mentalité." To Arendt, who long considered herself a "pariah,… the pariah's task… was to be alert to the unexpected, to look at how things and events appear without preconceptions about history's course or pattern… the personal ideal of pariahdom which Arendt framed in her youth was transformed in her later years into a political ideal" (Young-Bruehl, From the Pariah's Point of View, 11, 4). Not long after news of Nazi death camps reached New York, Arendt published this pivotal if over-looked work, developing concepts she explored further the same year when she began her three-part Origins of Totalitarianism, "written against a background of both reckless optimism and reckless despair" (Arendt, Preface, Antisemitism).
In Jew as Pariah, Arendt writes: "the status of the Jews in Europe has been not only that of an oppressed people but also what Max Weber has called a 'pariah people'… out of their personal experience Jewish poets, writers and artists… have been able to evolve the concept of the pariah as a human-type—a concept of supreme importance for the evaluation of mankind in our day." She looks closely at Heinrich Heine's "schlemihl," Bernard Lazare's "conscious pariah," Charlie Chaplin's "little man"—a "suspect" schlemihl with a "worried, careworn impudence—the kind so familiar to generations of Jews," and Franz Kafka's exhausted "man of good will": driven "into isolation like the Jew-stranger in the castle." Describing both the Jewish pariah and parvenu as "outlaws," she asserts: "the truth has come home: there is no protection in heaven or earth against bare murder… a man can no longer come to terms with a world in which the Jew cannot be a human being either as a parvenu… or as a pariah." First separate edition: preceded by same year's April 1944 serialization in Jewish Social Studies. Written while Arendt served as research director at the Conference on Jewish Relations, which was "a creation of the American Jewish Congress and of the World Jewish Congress" (Gorman, Holocaust in American Historical Writing, 253n). Tiny, barely visible checkmark in the margin of one page.
Staples with just a bit of rust. A fine copy.