"What you think wrong,
you have to live wrong."
"The rights are equal,
because people are unequal."
"I am for many times
or for individuals
of many coming times."
Philosopher, Wisdom Teacher and Visionary
- Voices about Brunner -
"It comforts me that you are there. The time seems to be habitable again."
– Walther Rathenau
"Here, finally, is one who stretches his arms far over the world."
– Gustav Landauer
"It is a pleasure for me to confirm my worship for the great thinker Constantin Brunner."
– Max Horkheimer
"Here it is again, the deep true humanity."
– Yehudi Menuhin
- News -
Our latest video digitization: Hans Raphael Goetz (1921-2013) was a Danish musician and philosopher of German and especially German-Jewish origin. His father was George Goetz (1892-1968), the General Secretary of the "Association for Liberal Judaism in Germany" and Editor-in-Chief of the "Jewish-Liberal Newspaper", who had once fled to Denmark to escape the Nazis. After the death of George Goetz, who had been a friend of Constantin Brunner, his son Hans also became active in the International Constantin Brunner Institute (ICBI) and was its chairman from 1992 to 2006. This interview, which was digitized and made public for the first time, is from this period. In it, Goetz talks about his family and its relationship to Brunner, as well as Brunner's philosophy and political theory. Goetz also discusses the various Brunner discussion groups such as the "Czernowitz Circle". The interview was conducted in German.
This video shows Brunner's last study room from his exile in The Hague. The previously unpublished recordings date from the 90s and were re-edited by us in 2019. The room, which had been untouched for a long time, was later dissolved and the majority of the objects and books were given to the Leo Baeck Institute in Berlin.
This interview in German with the well-known violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999), in which he is talking about his fascination for Brunner's philosophy and about other topics, was conducted in London in 1994 and digitized for the first time by our foundation in 2018.
Hentrich & Hentrich: Berlin 2022
Renate Stolte-Batta, member of the ICBI Foundation Board, presents an interesting personality from the Brunner circle in the well-known series "Jüdische Miniaturen" ("Jewish Miniatures"):
"Fritz (Frederick) Ritter (1896-1987) was an actor and in 1928 engaged in Brecht's "Dreigroschenoper" ("Threepenny Opera") in Berlin. At the same time he wrote novels with passion. As a Jewish emigrant in the U.S., he even received a professorship in German and Latin, made a name for himself in the academic world as an interpreter of Hofmannsthal and as benefactor. He also performed as a reciter, especially in the U.S., and delighted audiences with songs, such as those by Kurt Weill or the Vienna Volkstheater. He had experienced the exclusion and disenfranchisement of Jews firsthand in Berlin. Throughout his life he studied the German-Jewish philosopher Constantin Brunner, to whose circle he belonged. He had been married to the painter Ida (Adi) Ritter since 1935. [...]"
Hans Werner, a member of the ICBI Foundation Board, has written a summary of Brunner's philosophy in Dutch:
De leer van de geestelijke denkers en van het volk
The book was published in October 2022, ISBN: 9789464436488. It can be purchased in bookstores, for example, here.
It is good that a selection of excerpts from Brunner's "Die Lehre von dem Geistigen und vom Volke" is now available in Dutch in Hans Werner's translation. Brunner writes at great length and gives little explanation. The present selection overcomes these obstacles so that the modern reader of Dutch can gain access to Brunner's exciting thought.
The newest volume of the journal "Aschkenas" has been published as a special about Constantin Brunner! It includes the following texts in German language:
For online access of this publication on the website of de Gruyter see here.
In the publishing house Königshausen & Neumann a Brunner reader was published in April 2019, that eliminates a deficiency that probably felt all those who have previously dealt with Brunner or wanted to inform themselves about Brunner's work: Robert Zimmer and Jürgen Stenzel have selected the most relevant text passages from Brunner's extensive work and assembled them in a single volume so that a concentrated overview of his philosophy becomes possible.
Hans-Rüdiger Schwab, „Was du nicht richtig denkst, das musst du verkehrt leben“. Ein Constantin Brunner-Lesebuch, in: Jahrbuch für Lebensphilosophie IX (2018/19), p. 395–399.
Brunner's most comprehensive book on anti-Semitism (original title "Der Judenhaß und die Juden", 1919) is now available in French thanks to the translation by Jacques Aron, who also wrote a preface to it.
LA HAINE DES JUIFS ET LES JUIFS
Un bilan de l'antisémitisme pré-nazi
Traduction de l'allemand et introduction par Jacques Aron
Publisher's book description:
"Over the years, the German philosopher of Jewish origin Constantin Brunner (1862-1937) has emerged as a singular figure at the crossroads of classical thought (Spinoza, Kant, Hegel) and Judaic monism, articulating a unitary speculative theory with knowledge of natural and historical facts. The questioning of his dual Jewish and German condition forced him to draw up an analysis of the political anti-Semitism that developed from 1880 onwards. In it, he combats this form of resistance by civil society to the rule of law for all citizens, whatever their beliefs or cultural traditions. In 1919, he drew up the most complete synthesis, before National Socialism radicalized anti-Semitism into a program of Jewish exclusion."
Jacques Aron has collected all of Brunner's poems in a French-German volume, with his own translations of the poems into French:
LA PHILOSOPHIE POÉTIQUE DE CONSTANTIN BRUNNER
Avec les poésies complètes du philosophe en version bilingue, traduites par l'auteur (2022)
Publisher's book description:
"Constantin Brunner (1862-1937), a German philosopher of Jewish origin, inspired by the work of Spinoza, first attempted a synthesis of Hegelian dialectics and a current of Judaic philosophy based on the fundamental unity of existence and thought. From 1928 onwards, he asserted in Materialism and Idealism that these two approaches are fundamentally inseparable. Therefore, he intends to translate this monistic principle in all possible ways, including the poetic form. With the translation of his poems, we approach this singular problematic."
What makes Europe? And what does it mean to be European? The author goes in search of the spiritual roots of Europe, which is not a geographical size, but above all a culture and civilization. He finds them in the great minds, in those geniuses such as Moses, Jesus, Homer or Socrates, who embodied and proclaimed the values of our civilization. He is accompanied by his helpers and advisors - among them his computer, his encyclopedia, his refrigerator, his slide projector and the inflatable doll Amora. He makes a bet with the first two: If he can convincingly demonstrate his knowledge of European culture, he will receive a European passport. With literary finesse, philosophical depth, and a comprehensive knowledge of cultural history, he leads the reader into the three great culture-forming epochs of Europe: antiquity, the biblical culture of the Holy Land, and into the culture of modern Europe, which draws from the other two epochs. An erudite as well as enjoyable and stimulating journey into the continent that is so familiar and yet so unknown to us.
This is a German language edition translated from the French.
Hentrich & Hentrich: Berlin 2017
Robert Zimmer is introducing to Brunner's biography, life work and thinking (in German). Brunner's main work „Die Lehre von den Geistigen und vom Volke“ (1908) is being described and Zimmer refers to its connection between a rational interpretation of the world, mystical unity philosophy and enlightened political and social theory. Brunner linked the systematic claim of the theorist with the practical life aspirations of a wisdom teacher. To discover is an original and productive thinker who has made a very own contribution to the philosophy of modernity.
Constantin Brunner im Kontext. Ein Intellektueller zwischen Kaiserreich und Exil.
De Gruyter: Berlin 2014