Theodor W. Adorno

Theodor W. Adorno

1903 (Frankfurt/Main)–1969 (Brig, Schwitzerland)

"Every intellectual in emigration, without exception, is damaged (...) he has been dispossessed of his language, and the historical dimension from which his knowledge has drawn strength has vanished." That Adorno's exile, however, yielded the opposite, namely historical knowledge on a large scale, was the result of a tremendous, intellectual endeavor – but also of a formidable talent for interdisciplinary thought on the key human question: Why did modernism not only bring forth enlightened humanity but also unimaginable new barbarism?

In 1949, Adorno returned to Germany and at the University of Frankfurt, became a leading figure of the Federal Republic's "critical intellect". The master thinker on all cutural phenomena, who quickly became a legend within the young academic generation, formulated his pedagogical legacy thus: "The premier demand upon all education is that Auschwitz not happen again."