Jürgen Habermas (1929– ) is frequently described as one of the most prominent and influential philosophers of the post–World War II period. Born in Düsseldorf, Germany, on June 18, 1929, Habermas was raised in a family that remained unopposed to Nazi rule throughout the war but was not actively supportive of the regime. During the course of the war, like many young boys his age, he joined the Hitler Youth. He was soon sent to the Western Front in an effort to strengthen its defenses. When Germany finally surrendered to the Allied Forces in May 1945, Habermas was a month shy of his 16th birthday. It was after the war that he became aware of the terrible atrocities committed by the Nazis and the total ...

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