A Nietzschean Hassid taken to Treblinka
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A Nietzschean Hassid taken to Treblinka book
Hillel Zeitlin (1871–1942) was one of the Jewish thinkers, writers, and cultural critics who thought and wrote in the period following the pogroms of 1881. These people were self-taught, eclectic, and unsystematic, “reproductive intellectuals”, to use the expression of Edward Shils, and they read Nietzsche in Russian, Yiddish, and German in Russia at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
In the perspective of 48 years full of agonies of soul, self-education, temporary encampment in intellectual stations from Spinoza to Nietzsche, and the search for a religious path suited to his nature, Zeitlin came to the conclusion that he had to leave the critical and skeptical stage in his life, “Nietzsche’s negative legacy”, and seek “the way to God”.