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" Arendt's experience as a Jew was sometimes that of an eyewitness and sometimes that of an actor and sufferer of events, all of which run the risk of partiality; but it was also always that of a judge, which means that she looked at those events and, insofar as she was in them, at herself from the outside. Her Jewish writings from more than thirty years are less exemplifications of Arendt's political ideas at work than the experiential ground from which those ideas grew and developed. It is in this sense that her experience as a Jew is literally the foundation of her thought: it supports her thinking even when she is not thinking about Jews or Jewish questions."
- From the preface by Jerome Kohn