Emil Fackenheim was born in Halle, Germany, and ordained at the Hochschule fur die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin in 1939. In 1940 he went to Canada, narrowly escaping the devastation of the Holocaust. Fackenheim became a professor at the University of Toronto, where he made important contributions to the study of Georg Hegel and German idealism. The 1960s saw a radical change in Fackenheim's philosophy as he attempted to come to terms with the horror of the Holocaust. Arguing that the murder of Jews by the Nazis was qualitatively unique, a "novum" in history, he found that he no longer could think in terms of timeless and abstract philosophic systems, which do not account for the possibility of this radical evil. Fackenheim claims that Jews must not allow the Holocaust to weaken their faith, lest Hitler be given a posthumous victory. He sees the establishment of the State of Israel as a testimony to Jewish defiance in the face of Nazi oppression. Fackenheim recently moved to Jerusalem, where he articulates a Zionist view that Jewish life can be lived authentically once one is in the state of Israel.