Walter Benjamin died on the night of 26-27 September 1940. 80 years later, what is left of Walter Benjamin? Friendship. It is only friendship – the friendship he had with Gershom Scholem, Theodor W. Adorno and Hannah Arendt, above all – which allows us to keep memories of Walter Benjamin today.
It was Adorno – with the help of Scholem’s scientific advice – who promoted Benjamin’s first collection of writings in 1955 in Germany; it was Hannah Arendt who worked on a second anthology of his writings in 1968, in English this time. As a result, the whole intellectual world – and not just Benjamin’s inner circle – started to take an interest in his work. It is not much nor does it change the ending, but it is a way for Walter Benjamin to be able to talk to and with us even to this day.
David Bidussa, social historian of ideas
Translated by Sara Facelli and revised by Mattia Stefani, students at the Advanced School for Interpreting and Translation of Trieste University and interns at the newspaper office of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities.