My talk will explore—and attempt to further illuminate—why my father, Jacob Taubes, was both fascinated and perplexed by how, as he put it in his 1948 letter to Armin Mohler, “the two most important and intelligent men—the philosopher Heidegger and the constitutional Jurist Carl Schmitt, flirted with the Nazis.” It will also address the issue of whether Schmitt’s engagement with Nazism was merely that of an “intellectual adventurer” as he claimed at Nuremberg, or whether his anti-Semitic Weltanschauung—one where the Jew is, in his own words, the “providential enemy”—actually made him a true believer of that “glittering dross.”
Ethan Taubes worked for the Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Asylum and Refugee Corps of the U.S. Government for over 20 years, where he was em-ployed as an Asylum Officer, a Quality Assurance Trainer, and finally as a Supervi-sory Asylum Officer. Before that, he worked for various advocacy organizations representing asylum seekers in the U.S. He also served as the program director for The International League for Human Rights, where he coordinated projects on freedom of religion, the rights of the child, and refugee issues. He received a law degree in 1993 from the City University of New York School of Law and a master of law in International Human Rights and U.S. Constitutional Law in 1994 from New York University Law School. He currently works part time as a consultant representing asylum seekers. In a previous incarnation he attended the Yale School of Drama and enjoyed a 12-year career in the theater.