The philosopher Hannah Arendt was one of the most profoundly original political thinkers of the twentieth century. A cultivated intellectual and scholar who had been educated in Weimar Germany, Arendt confronted in her work the abuses of power under both fascist and communist totalitarianism. Her unique approach to politics undertakes a phenomenological investigation of the fundamental conditions and possibilities of political life, and by way of this inquiry she shows these conditions to be a vital component of authentic human existence.

She was born Johanna Arendt on 14 October 1906 in Hannover. Her parents, Paul and Martha Arendt, were secular Jews and socialists from Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). Both her maternal and paternal grandparents, the Cohns and the

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Citation: Wood, Kelsey. "Hannah Arendt". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 January 2004 [, accessed 14 July 2024.]

143 Hannah Arendt 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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