World War II in the News is a review of WWII articles providing thought-provoking collection of hand-picked WW2 information.

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If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series.

Nazi Occult

Nazi Occult and Himmler's Wewelsburg castle.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Third Reich Tours, Ahnenerbe, Heinrich Himmler, WW2, Nazi Uniforms, Third Reich in Ruins, Nazi Daggers, Nazi Helmets.

Hitler`s Monsters: a Supernatural History of the Third Reich by Eric Kurlander
Himmler, it turns out, was an old hippy. The Reichsführer SS was, writes Eric Kurlander in this absorbing study, `obsessed with natural healing and rejected many aspects of modern medicine. Among various alternative medical practices, he studied herbalism, homeopathy, mesmerism and naturopathy. He also followed the advice of ariosophic thinkers... [who] believed that practising yoga could release cosmic energies tied to astral bodies...` In short old Heinrich believed in more woo than you`ll find in a Totnes yurt at summer solstice. The others in Hitler`s entourage weren`t much different.

Heinrich Himmler's stash of books on witchcraft discovered after being hidden for 50 years
A rare library of books on witches and the occult that was assembled by Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler in the war has been discovered in the Czech Republic. The books - part of a 13,000-strong collection - were found in a depot of the National Library of Czech Republic near Prague which has not been accessed since the 1950s. In 1935 Himmler founded the 'H Sonderkommando' - H standing for Hexe, the German word for witch - to collate as much material as possible on sorcery, the occult. The bulk of the collection was called the 'Witches Library' and concentrated on witches and their persecution in medieval Germany.

Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
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Wewelsburg: Inside Heinrich Himmler's Nazi Castle where he lived out medieval fantasies
Jackbooted SS thugs once paraded in Wewelsburg Castle as Heinrich Himmler held court wearing full medieval costume because he was convinced he was the reincarnation of a medieval king called Henry the Fowler. Even Adolf Hitler thought Himmler was a pfennig short of a Reichsmark. But the Fuhrer let the SS chief live out his fantasies in a castle that is now one of Germany`s top tourist attractions, along with the site of Hitler`s bunker in Berlin and the Nazi Party parade grounds in Nuremberg. Since a £5 million revamp completed in 2010 thousands of visitors have flocked to the SS`s spiritual home – till then a sealed, silent monument to mass murder.

The Nazi Seance: The Strange Story of the Jewish Psychic in Hitler's Circle by Arthur J. Magida (Book review)
Where else but in the annals of Jewish history does a boy born to a pair of impoverished runaways become a world-famous mind reader, psychic, astrologer, crime fighter, novelist and, if that's not enough, adviser to Hitler. The bizarre and tragic story of Erik Jan Hanussen, the famed mentalist born as Hermann Steinschneider in Vienna, is stranger than fiction. For example, to combat the boredom of army life during the First World War, he began to give mind-reading performances to his fellow soldiers, who were left stunned by his psychic skills. Little did they know, he'd been steaming open their mail to find out what was going on in their lives.

Crystal skull was owned by SS leader Heinrich Himmler found in Germany
Swiss journalist Luc Burgin reports that a crystal skull - thought to have belonged to Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler - has been found in a wooden and leather box hidden on a roof beam in the home of a woman who was once married to a high-ranking SS officer.

The box also contained, allegedly, a list of 35 treasures which the SS was seeking to bring back to Germany from Sudetenland as the Third Reich was about to collapse in 1945. Part of it reads: "Nr. 14; the crystal skull - 263-2 RFSS Collection Rahn, No 25592, leather case, crystal death's head, South America." (RFSS refers to Reichsfuehrer-SS)

It would be nice to see some photographs of this discovery by a reliable source to substantiate the story.


Hitler's Holy Relics: A True Story of Nazi Plunder by Sidney Kirkpatrick (WWII book review)
The Nazis were a strange hybrid: They reached into the future with a rockets, jet engines and atomic weapons - and at the same time they were obsessed with mythical Aryan roots, runes and the late 19th-century mystic religious revival. Although it was their science that was seized by the Allies at the end of the war, it is their weird beliefs which have fascinated the public and the entertainment industry. Kirkpatrick has unearthed an untold episode from the last days of the war: the fate of the ancient Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire and the Spear of Destiny ("Lance of Longinus").

Hilter's Alchemists - The Secret Attempts to manufacture gold in Dachau (book review)
SS chief Heinrich Himmler set up a secret unit in the Dachau after alchemist Karl Malchus convinced him he could turn sand into gold - which was vital for the Nazis to buy armaments from abroad. "Hilter's Alchemists" by academic Helmut Werner is the first account of this amazing trick pulled on the SS leader. Malchus told Himmler that: stones and the soil from the bed of the Isar River "will allow me to produce gold in abundance for the future and security of the Third Reich". Malchus was the second charlatan who fooled Himmler: The first was Heinrich Kurschildgen, who claimed to be able to make petrol from water.

Wewelsburg Castle: New exhibition explodes myths about Heinrich Himmler's SS Castle (17 photos)
Wewelsburg Castle, once a sanctum for Heinrich Himmler's SS, has been shrouded in mystery since 1945. Its echoing crypt and occult symbols have sparkled stories about the rituals held there - spread by the neo-Nazis ever since 1945. A new exhibition - including black SS uniform, rusty dagger, SS honor ring - dispels such myths and explores the careers of the leading SS members. The 17th century triangular building was converted in the 1930s by slave laborers according to Himmler's blueprint. The castle includes circular "Hall of SS Generals" - with the symbol of a "Black Sun" set into the marble floor.

The original Indiana Jones, Otto Rahn, worked with Heinrich Himmler
Not much is known about Otto Rahn. Like Indiana Jones, he was an archaeologist, like him he fell foul of the Nazis and like him he was obsessed with the Holy Grail. Rahn became confident that the Cathars held the secret to the Grail's location. He explored their Montsegur Castle in 1931. He didn't find the Grail, but he did find caves that the Cathars had used, and wrote "Crusade Against the Grail" about his quest. In 1933 Rahn got a telegram, from SS-chief Heinrich Himmler, offering him 1,000 reichsmarks a month to write the sequel to his book. Himmler was so sure of finding the Grail that he'd prepared Wewelsburg castle for its arrival.

Hitler And The Occult - Documentary on National Geographic
How did Hitler persuade an entire nation to follow him? This is a topic that has been explored many times in fiction (like Raiders Of The Lost Ark and horror writer James Herbert's The Spear). Based on Ken Anderson's book of the same name, this WW2 documentary shows how the Nazi party was made up of several occult groups that thought a messiah was on the way to save Germany. Adolf Hitler decided that he was that person and somehow got a whole nation to follow him. How did he do that? Were the reasons economic, social? And didn't he commit suicide on April 30, Walpurgis, the night of the witches in Germany?

Special Operations Executive used astrologer Louis de Wohl to beat Hitler
German astrologer Louis de Wohl claimed he could foretell the Fuhrer's war plans. Secret documents show that de Wohl was hired by the SOE so he could tell them what German astronomers would be telling the tyrant. After the start of war he was made a captain in the British Army and put in charge of the Psychological Research Bureau. De Wohl claimed that Hitler had been counseled by astrologers since 1923, but later Hitler's secretary confirmed that Hitler had no interest in horoscopes. The papers reveal that de Wohl had also began to write horoscopes for "high-placed British intelligence officers".

Helen Duncan: Witch in the wartime britain - Campaign: pardon her
Helen Duncan was one of the last people in Britain to be convicted under the 1735 Witchcraft Act. Recently the Scottish Parliament got a petition, calling for a posthumous pardon. During WW2 Helen Duncan made visits to Portsmouth where the desperate relatives of men killed or missing in action would flock to her sessions. At one seance, she claimed to have made contact with a sailor from HMS Barham, a ship which had not been officially sunk. When it was declared, several weeks later, that the ship had indeed gone down, some took it as evidence that Duncan was psychic. Others thought she was revealing naval secrets.

Inside Heinrich Himmler’s spooky Wewelsburg castle - SS Shrine
Wewelsburg Castle: Inside the guard house museum are displays of the plans Heinrich Himmler had for Wewelsburg. "He wanted to make Wewelsburg the centre of the SS world. appears he wanted to make the north tower of the castle into an SS shrine of some sort. Where people could remember the SS dead. It would be at the centre of a new SS village. This would be where the Germanic elite group would live." We stop at a cabinet with a copy of an SS "death head" ring, an SS belt buckle "My honour is my faith" written on it, and a copy of a letter written by Himmler signed off with "Heil Hitler!" Normally tours can’t come into the swastika crypt...

Heinrich Himmler's secret quest to locate the Aryan Holy Grail
Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi SS, made a secret wartime mission to Montserrat abbey in Spain in search of the Aryan Holy Grail. According to a book The Desecrated Abbey, by Montserrat Rico Góngora, the Reichsführer-SS thought if he could lay claim to the Holy Grail it would help Nazi Germany win the war and give him supernatural powers. A former monk Andreu Ripol Noble was ordered to greet Himmler during the visit in 1940. Ripol related how Himmler came to Montserrat inspired by Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal, which mentions the Holy Grail could be in kept in "the marvellous castle of Montsalvat in the Pyrenees".

Watch The Occult History of the Third Reich: Adolf Hitler film
Watch The Occult History of the Third Reich: Adolf Hitler - documentary.

Former Teutonic Knights claim Bouzov castle again   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The German Order, or former Teutonic Knights seeking the return of Bouzov castle, north Moravia, has come up with new arguments now and therefore the court dispute will continue. The Order lost its property before World War Two already, when it was confiscated by the Nazis and the Order was dissolved. After the war, the property was taken over by the state but the German Order launched a suit to receive it back.

Hitler and Stalin were greatly interested in the magic of ancient runes
Germany was the first European country that started to restore the knowledge of the runes back in the 19th century. A number of secret societies emerged. Hitler and Himmler were the members of the Thule Brotherhood. Later Nazi leaders set up a network of research institutions called Ananerbe. Swastika, a runic symbol of the Sun became the emblem of the Nazi Party and the Third Reich. Every military unit had a magus of its own. The SS structure was originally formed as a magic order. Up until 1940, every SS commissioned officer was to take a special course in the runic magic. The emblem “SS” is a double rune Sigel which is well known as a victory symbol.

The Master Plan -The use of pseudoscience in the Third Reich   (Article no longer available from the original source)
A tale of scholarly detection illuminating a little-explored corner of Third Reich history: the use of pseudoscience in the service of ideology. Heinrich Himmler seemed an unlikely choice to command the elite praetorian guard called the SS. He had a knack for shoring up fragments of Nazi ideology with fragments of half-learning that seemed self-evident to true believers. Thus, Himmler established a think tank that he called the Ahnenerbe. In time, the institute would employ more than 130 historians, linguists, geographers, agronomists, folklorists and classicists with an eye to producing evidence that the so-called Aryan peoples were the font of civilization.

Heinrich Harrer - mountaineer and explorer
A Mountaineer and explorer whose youthful idealism coincided with the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and Nazism, Heinrich Harrer became a controversial figure, dogged into old age by his membership of the SS. Harrer made no secret of his sympathy for National Socialism, and when in the same year Austria was absorbed into the Third Reich he was photographed with Hitler and, before cheering crowds, was congratulated by him on the successful climb. As well as Seven Years in Tibet, Harrer wrote The White Spider, a history of the north face of the Eiger, and Tibet is My Country.
(The Times)

Mountaineer ex-Nazi Heinrich Harrer - From Hitler's SS guard to years with Dalai Lama
Austrian explorer Heinrich Harrer's long and rocky life, from officer in Hitler's elite SS guard to his friendship with the Dalai Lama, drew peacefully to an end in eastern Austria. Harrer joined a disastrous expedition by a German Nazi team to the 8,114 metre Nanga Parbat mountain in Kashmir. But it was not until nearly 60 years later that Harrer confirmed that he had been a member of the Nazi Party and was made an officer in the feared Schutzstaffel regiment after meeting Hitler. The legend was forged in April 1944 when the mountaineer escaped from a British internment camp with Peter Aufschnaiter and they spent 2 years crossing the Himalayas by foot.

Nazis tried to steal Christmas as a part of re-paganize program   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The plan to take Christ out of Christmas was part of an overall program to re-paganize the German people during the rise of the Third Reich, in keeping with notions of Nazi "racial purity." The religion of Hitler's state was a "kind of murky pantheism," a thinly veiled attempt to overlay paganized, nationalistic fervor over Christianity. Traditional Christianity was seen as "foreign" and suspect to the sovereignty of the Third Reich. Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels said he wished to do away with celebrations of Weinachten (Christmas) altogether.
(Tribune-Herald writer)

The Nazi Expeditions- Himmler's search for the remnants of the original master race
Himmler founded the Ahnenerbe, the ancestral heritage research foundation, whose specific purpose was to furnish a scientific underpinning for the Nazi doctrine of racial superiority. The Ahnenerbe was a vast organisation with thousands of staff: 100 researchers were employed simply to look at the role of the forest in German culture. Soon, sycophant scholars were falling over themselves to find proof of the Nazis' Aryan superiority.

Wewelsburg Castle - Himmler's Fortress of Fear
Rumours of prominent Nazis' involvement with the realm of the occult have persisted for decades. Nick Brownlow and Jonathan Turner visited the SS headquarters at Wewelsburg Castle to unearth the truth behind SS-Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler's vision of an ancient and noble Aryan prehistory that verified the superiority of the Master Race.

The occult and the Third Reich
The first roots of Nazism can be traced back to 1900 when Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels founded a group called the Order of the New Templars. They chose the swastika as their sign, and covered topics such as race superiority, astrology, homeopathy. In 1908 Guido von List - the first popular writer to combine völkisch ideology with occultism - founded an organization known as the Armanen. Members included the mayor of Vienna, Karl Lueger, and were taught runic occultism by List. Membership between the Order of the New Templars and the Armanen was often overlapping, and in 1912 members of both cults came together and founded the Germanen Orden.

Karl Maria Wiligut, Himmler's Lord of the Runes
There is much speculation about the "occult roots" of National Socialism, yet little concrete documentation has been uncovered. Of the materials that do exist, almost nothing has been translated into English -- until now. This book, ten years in the making, contains the collected occult writings of Karl Maria Wiligut, the runic initiate and shadowy "Secret King" of Germany. Heinrich Himmler - the leader of the SS - commissioned Wiligut to write private reports on Runes, secret Germanic traditions, and prehistory. It was through this position of influence that Wiligut came to be known after his death as "Himmler’s Rasputin."

The Nazi Expedition - the search for a long-lost master race
In 1938, German scientists embarked on an extraordinary quest to the remote kingdom of Tibet. Officially they were undertaking zoological and anthropological research. But they were also members of Himmler's SS and their mission had a darker purpose – the search for a long-lost master race. philosophy that animated the Nazi Party's early ideologues and, crucially, the man who stood behind Hitler himself – Heinrich Himmler, chief of the SS. These beliefs were a curious mixture of ancient Teutonic myth, Eastern mysticism and late 19th-century anthropology. They lay at the heart of the SS empire he created and which became the most dreaded arm of the Nazi state.

Occult Secrets for VIPs
Political astrology reached its peak popularity in the time of the Third Reich. At the end of 1933, many astrologers started working for national socialists; they grasped very quickly what was welcomed forecasts in the new Reich and what wasn't. Adolf Hitler's private adviser Otto Hanussen was the best astrologer of that time. A secret conference of astrologers and clairvoyants of the Third Reich took place in the Wartburg Castle, they discussed Nazi Germany's future there. The conference was held on the initiative of Joseph Goebbels. A SS subdivision and a special group of Gestapo's radio- and radiotechnical prospecting were the guards at the conference.

Knights of the Hell   (Article no longer available from the original source)
In June of 1944 the whole of Paris saluted the liberators, but intelligence officers of the allies were active. The English came across something extraordinary in a disable peoples shelter. They saw an old fantastically shaped bowl in the center of a large round table. Knight’s armor, helmets, arm-bands with swastikas on them and black SS service caps were scattered everywhere. An aged colonel from intelligence department carefully drew the bowl up and smelt the contents, and said: "Well, lieutenant. This is not a performance, but a mystery. There was a session of the Teutonic order knights. There is blood mixed with wine in the bowl, the Saint Grail."

Wewelsburg Castle - Heinrich Himmler's SS Castle
In 1934 the castle was rented by Heinrich Himmler for 1 Reichsmark and its primary role was that of a SS officer's school. From 1936 onwards the castle's main purpose was to become a 'cult centre' as well a prestigious centre for SS Generals. From 1940 plans were developed, incorperating the village of Wewelsburg, for a new castle complex centered around the North Tower of the castle. Two days before the US forces liberated Wevelsburg (2nd april 1945), a special commando of the SS, blew up the castle leaving only the outer walls standing. The rebuilding of the castle began in 1949 and was finished in 1979.

Adolf Hitler's clairvoyant - Erik Jan Hanussen
Results of the 1932 November Reichstag elections were disappointing for his National Socialist Party. Nazi coffers had been drained dry by the campaign. It was at this point that Adolf Hitler called the most renowned clairvoyant in the land to his headquarters. The man Hitler met with that day is the subject of a biography, "Erik Jan Hanussen: Hitler's Jewish Clairvoyant," by Mel Gordon. Hanussen was a man whose name was synonymous with psychic phenomena. The Vienna-born con man/celebrity seer was known for predicting the future, casting prescient horoscopes and astounding audiences with his feats of hypnotism and mind reading.

The Occult History of the Third Reich: Himmler the Mystic
The second in a 3-part series of documentaries that explore the links between the Third Reich and its leaders and belief in occult powers and practices, this episode looks into the history of the SS. Originally organized as Hitler's elite bodyguards, the SS became a sinister military/spiritual order under Heinrich Himmler; this film examines the roots in German mystic and occult teachings which inspired Himmler in the creation of this murderous gang.