Heidegger will have kept silent. He will not have spoken a single word against the event that is for ever associated with Nazi barbarity. He will have never responded, whether in speech or in deed, to that event. He will not have left language find its way through the disaster. He will not have allowed thought to open onto the deadly and savage today. He, the thinker of remembrance, will not have provided a space for the memory and the mourning of those millions gone up in smoke. He never will have turned his gaze to the immense cloud of cinders hanging over the German soil. To those who, like Celan or Jaspers, approached him in the hope of a word, a sign, a movement of the eye, he will have remained inmovable. Not even a tear will have blurred the surface of his gaze. For when it has become impossible to speak, when words remain smothered, as though strangled at the back of one's throat, when, petrified and shocked, the voice cannot echo the pain, tears can yet come to water the gaze and bring one back to light. Tears are hungry for words, and yet they express nothing but the impossibility to speak, for in them speech drowns. Response without a response, sheer exposition, absolute nudity, tears bear testimony to the unspeakable trace of the Other, to the ineluctability of responsibility. Those tears could have bespoken grief, they could have
wept for those millions of eyes that went closed forever without having had a chance to cry. Heidegger could have dipped his quill into his teary eyes, he could have written with his tears.