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Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin was a German Jewish philosopher, cultural critic, media theorist, and essayist. An eclectic thinker who combined elements of German idealism, Romanticism, Western Marxism, Jewish mysticism, and Neo-Kantianism, Benjamin made enduring and influential contributions to aesthetic theory, literary criticism, and historical materialism. He was associated with the Frankfurt School, and also maintained formative friendships with thinkers such as playwright Bertolt Brecht and Kabbalah scholar Gershom Scholem. He was related to German political theorist and philosopher Hannah Arendt through her first marriage to Benjamin's cousin Günther Anders though the friendship between Arendt and Benjamin outlasted her marriage to Anders. Both Arendt and Anders were students of Martin Heidegger, whom Benjamin considered a nemesis. <ABOUT THE GERMAN LANGUAGE