Martin Heidegger, who died in 1976, was a well-known and influential German existential philosopher. While his works are studied today, his membership in the Nazi Party and ardent support for Hitler are a cause of embarrassment, to put it mildly. In an open letter dated 3 November 1933 to the students of the University of Freiburg, Professor Heidegger spoke of the recent seizure of power by Hitler.
This is hardly a recipe for examining one’s life and beliefs or discussing ideas in an open minded way; the type of thing one hopes occurs at a university. While looking up this quote from Heidegger I came across another quote, this one from Frederick the Great, which makes an amusing commentary: