November 10, 2015
This commentary serves as an introduction to Salo Baron’s obituary of Hannah Arendt and surveys the relationship between the two. Despite their significantly different backgrounds and public image, Arendt and Baron shared a close personal and professional relationship that began in the early 1940s and lasted throughout Arendt’s life. Baron and Arendt played leading roles in the project of salvaging Jewish culture from Europe during and in the aftermath of World War II. Their work for Jewish cultural reconstruction was based on a shared outlook on the ‘Jewish Question’. Both Arendt and Baron were deeply alarmed by the dangers ethnic nationalism in Europe posed for the Jews and promoted political programs that sought to overcome the nation-state in Europe, Palestine and the United States.