Many things are known about the horrifying events and participants of WWII, in particular on the German side. The Jewish Genocide and many more crimes against humanity committed by the Third Reich are well documented throughout history.
The Third Reich and the Aryan Race
There are other parts of the story though, about how Hitler and his associates wanted to build their Third Reich around a superior Aryan race and the ideology they based their views upon while doing so.
Throughout three articles, we want to take a look at how the Nazis tried to force their beliefs on the German citizens and establish their own race centered cult. The first two articles will primarily look at how they accomplished this goal by the use of Occult theories, ancient history (both real and artificial) and rituals, building their religious substitute. The third article will focus on how they envisioned and tried to secure the rebuilding of this “superior” Aryan race throughout WWII and beyond in both Germany and conquered states.
When looking at the Occult influences on the Third Reich, two names pop up immediately. Heinrich Himmler and Hermann Wirth, two of the three founders of the Ahnenerbe, were most notably involved in researching and influencing the way Nazi Germany perceived the prospect of the Aryan race. The Ahnenerbe was founded in 1935 with the sole promise to study the archaeological and cultural history of the Aryan race. Both Himmler and Wirth had been known to be Atheists, being particularly invested in Occult theories and Astrological beliefs.
Atlantis, the Aryan Origin
Another name that might have been involuntarily sparking Nazi creativity, especially in Hermann Wirth, was the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. Plato wrote about the nation of Atlantis in his stories Timaeus and Critias more than 2,000 years before WWII. These stories, as we all know, went on to eventually become the source of many great mysteries and speculations as to the question if it indeed was purely fictional work or alluded to a real forgotten nation in the Atlantic Sea.
Wirth had the firm belief that, at some point in time, a superior Nordic Aryan race had existed. They supposedly ruled the world and sparked the first relevant civilizations, being responsible for significant inventions of humanity throughout history. He went as far as concluding this superior race had its origin on Atlantis, where all but a few people vanished with the submersion of the massive continent. Those who managed to escape settled over to other lands around the world. Wirth speculated Atlantis could’ve been situated west of continental Africa, with the Canary Islands and Cape Verde being leftover landmass of the otherwise submerged lost nation.
Building the History of the Aryan Race
Looking back at the efforts of the Nazi Regime, it is clear that Hitler and his accomplices tried very hard to establish their racial views as a fact and to unite the German citizens under one cause. To achieve this vision, the Regime had to provide both a unified belief and history to draw momentum from, a task which different people within Hitler’s circle tried to achieve differently.
Since 1935, Himmler had funded several excavations and countless studies examining possible remains of a long lost Aryan Race all over the globe, going as far as Tibet, including the securing of ancient artifacts believing they proved the existence of a white master race in Asia and all over Europe. Himmler was also in charge of the SS, the Third Reich’s elite combat group, which he lead like his cult. He was very fond of runes used by several old Nordic tribes and religions and incorporated those in the SS, hence the name and visual representation. The SS used runes wherever possible because Himmler did believe that runes could carry some mythical power.
The Holy Grail and Other Relics
Himmler’s obsession with magical artifacts didn’t end there though, as he was consistently trying to follow every lead that could potentially end in finding a powerful artifact or prove the existence of a superior Aryan race that ruled the world. Some may remember the portrayal of Nazi’s competing with Indiana Jones in the Movies of the same name. It turns out the underlying idea is not nearly as far fetched as it seems. Some sources even claim Himmler believed in the existence of the Holy Grail and that finding and possessing it would help the Third Reich and Germany to win the war.
This and Wirth’s previously mentioned idea the Canary Island could’ve been a part of Atlantis led Himmler to work with the Spanish Franco-Regime and Archaeologists, as Himmler was convinced to find the Grail in a monastery in Montserrat. There is even a letter Himmler’s instructing the SS to search for Thor’s electric Hammer, as he deemed it could be a very effective weapon to use in the war if found by Germany.
Pseudoarchaeology to Prove Territorial Claims
The excavations and studies performed by Himmler’s Ahnenerbe and SS were not only meant to search for precious artifacts and a unified past, but they were also used to verify territory claims in the occupied eastern regions of Europe. If the SS were to find proof that the area had belonged to an earlier race the Germans claimed to be direct ascendants of, it would make it easier to incorporate the land and justify the eviction of the Slavic population.
The occult roots in the Third Reich are deeper than we could portray them in any article. Laying the groundwork in proving an ancient master race through pseudoarchaeology and occult studies was primarily a means to an end, although it was one that the leading elite firmly believed in no matter what. So much so, that Hitler’s Deputy Fuehrer Rudolph Heß flew to Scotland on his own during the war to convince the Duke of Hamilton to overthrow Churchill and have peace talks with the UK. Why? Because the planets were aligned in a way that was favorable for political change. Throughout the war, especially once Germany‘s winning streak came to an abrupt end, Himmler researched many more pseudoscientific practices like determining the position of an enemy’s fleet per pendulum.
In the end, all efforts made into building a heritage weren’t graced with extraordinary results. Even Hitler wasn’t too sure Himmler’s studies and obsession were useful to the cause. Digging up clay huts while other civilizations, such as the Romans, were more evolved at the same time was logically negating any arguments of a superior race having been present there in the past.
But while proof of their central theory was nonexistent, the Nazi regime still managed to form its cult around their idea of the Aryan race by cleverly copying religious patterns and implementing them around their messiah: Adolf Hitler.
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