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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on Carl Schmitt’s years in post–World War II Germany. After being released from the Nuremberg prison for war criminals, Schmitt returned to his birthplace, Plettenberg, and named his house “San Casciano,” invoking a village in Tuscany where Machiavelli spent his final years. Like Schmitt, Machiavelli too was deprived of public office, in the Florentine city-state. While other intellectuals who had sympathized with the Nazis—Martin Heidegger, Gottfried Benn, and Ernst Jünger, among others—returned to the public sphere soon after 1945, Schmitt’s fate was different. This chapter reconstructs Schmitt’s Plettenberg years in letters, journals, and reports from companions and shows how his reputation changed from a “monster” to a myth. Even in his private years, Schmitt remained a public figure, fascinating to friends and foes. The controversies with his fiercest enemies in particular renewed his fame.

Keywords: Carl Schmitt, prison, San Casciano, Plettenberg, letters, journals

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