National Socialism and the Occult - Part III - Thule and the New Messiah

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
National Socialism and the Occult - Part III
(Thule and the New Messiah)

please note: this blog is not intended to approve, condone or encourage any of the beliefs and/or ideologies described herein.

After the war, the democratic regime symbolized, to the völkisch mind, Jewish control.
The protest against economic, political, and social difficulties became an 'anti-Jewish revolution'.

German Troops Returning to Berlin

Shell-shocked Germans came home after the ordeal of the fighting, and the defeat, to find chaos and hunger in the streets. 
They remembered the anti-Semitic propaganda they had heard and read before the war.
It was reinforced by new propaganda: 'The Jew was the anarchist, the Communist, the one who had caused the defeat and would bring down the world'.
In such an atmosphere of terror, the Thule Gesellschaft prospered.
It was clear to Sebottendorff that the small room on the Zweigstrasse where the group had been meeting would no longer serve if it was to expand.

Vier Jahreszeiten Hotel
Now meetings were held every Saturday - the day of Saturn - in the elegant Munich hotel Vier Jahreszeiten ('Four Seasons'), whose proprietor was a member of Thule Gesellschaft. 

Vier Jahreszeiten Hotel is a luxury five-star hotel in Munich, Germany. It was built in 1858. It is situated in the centre of Munich on Maximilianstrasse.

Sebottendorff rented the rooms of a naval officers' club, and adorned them with the Society's arms - a curved swastika pointing right, plus sword and wreath. 
The rooms could accommodate up to three hundred people. 
'Here,' said Sebottendorff, 'objectives could be attained.' 
The consecration of the new meeting place was attended by the chairman and committee of the Germanen Orden's Berlin chapter.

Thule Gesellschaft
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014

They officially made Sebottendorff a representative of theirs, and a Master, and accepted the name Thule Gesellschaft as a cover for the 'Germanen Orden'. 
A week later, when thirty people were consecrated to the first grade, it was decided that every third Saturday of the month was to be dedicated as a consecration lodge, and on all other Saturdays, talks were to be held. 
The group was kept busy with meetings, initiations, and excursions at least once a week, as well as talks on such subjects as divining rods, mysticism, and bardic ritual.

Thule Pin
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014

Every member wore a bronze pin which was designed as a shield upon which were two spears crossing a Thule curved swastika. 
Sebottendorff bought the newspaper 'Der Munchener Beobachter', because he felt that proselytizing against the enemy could not be done as effectively through the spoken word as through the press.

The Münchener Beobachter was a völkisch newspaper edited by Rudolf von Sebottendorf. In the course of 1920 it became the official newspaper of the NSDAP, becoming the 'Völkischer Beobachter'   (People's Observer), and remained the leading Nazi party newspaper until 1945.
It was also edited by Dietrich Eckart, Karl Harrer and Alfred Rosenberg.

Though 'Der Munchener Beobachter' was a sports paper, Sebottendorff was attracted to it for several reasons.

'Der Munchener Beobachter'
The readership was young; it was impossible to start a new paper because of the paper shortage, and because the government did not allow new papers to appear; and, most important, 'The Jew had no interest in sports, if it did not have any monetary advantage, so the Jew would not buy and read the paper. Therefore, a sports paper could make propaganda without being detected.' 
The paper had been established in 1887. 
The former publisher, now deceased, had been a client of the attorney Gaubatz, a Thule member; and Sebottendorff bought the publishing rights from his widow, for five thousand marks. 
The paper had no subscribers and was distributed on the street. 
Sebottendorff himself was the editor.
The first edition was five thousand copies. 
Early issues were given over to the exhortation to 'keep your blood pure', and to propaganda about the Jew as 'parasitic capitalist', and participants in the black market. 
According to Sebottendorff: 'This was something Munich never heard of. . . . In addition to the big questions, we did not forget the details. We were very critical about everything.' 
By November 1, 1918, the Thule Gesellschaft had 1,500 members in all Bavaria, 250 of them in Munich. 
The paid membership journeyed to Berlin to be indoctrinated in further propaganda. 
The meeting on Saturday, November 9, 1918, was a crucial one. 
The war was ending, the monarchy collapsing.

Kurt Eisner
The Jew, Kurt Eisner, had taken control of the Bavarian government two days earlier. 

Kurt Eisner (14 May 1867 – 21 February 1919) was a Jewish politician and journalist. As a socialist journalist and statesman, he organized the Socialist Revolution that overthrew the Wittelsbach monarchy in Bavaria in November 1918.

A series of revolts had just broken out which promised chaos for the whole country. 
Munich, in fact, was engulfed in revolution. 
The old order had proven itself bankrupt, not only in Germany and Austria, but in Russia. 
The Bolshevism, which had triumphed there, was the big bugbear feared by the middle and upper classes in Germany and Austria. 
The toppled empire in Germany created a vacuum in which revolutionaries of the right and left fought for domination. 

Bayerische Räterepublik - München
Conspirators were everywhere. 
German radicals looked to Russia for guidance and financial support. 
Munich was one of the key cities for revolutionary activity, and the little anti-Semitic lodges now consolidated into something like a mass movement. 
At the November 9 meeting, Sebottendorff told the members: 
'Yesterday we lived through the whole breakdown of what was good and holy to us. Instead of our blood-related Kaiser, there now reigns Juda. We have to fight the Jew.... He who cannot follow me, despite his oath of loyalty to me - he should get out. I won't be angry about it. He who wants to stay with me, he should know that there is no going back, but only forward. He who wants to stay should remember his oath even until his death. I myself assure you and swear to you by the holy sign, listen to the victorious sun. I also will be loyal to you. Trust in me as you have trusted in me before.

Wotan, the All Father
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
He then lapsed into mythological metaphysics, reminding them that their god was Wotan, the All Father, the self-born power and spirit, whose rune was the Aarune (Aryan; fire; sun; eagle; sun-wheel; swastika). 

Wotan or Woden (Old English: Ƿōden, Old High German: Wôdan is a major deity of Anglo-Saxon and Continental Germanic polytheism. With his Norse counterpart, Odin, Woden represents a development of the Proto-Germanic god Wōdanaz.

What did this Norse mythology have to do with the revolution raging outside the Vier Jahreszeiten ? 
It provided a rationale for the dangerous mission the members were being called on to accomplish: 
'My friends, as of today, the eagle is our symbol. 
It should point to the fact that we may have to go through death to live'
With this pep talk, Sebottendorff cursed any member who procrastinated or compromised, who did not join in the eight o'clock consecration the following day, the birthday of Luther and Schiller. 
The Master adjourned the meeting with a poem by Philipp Stauff. 
No one, of course, dared to miss the meeting on November 10. 
The Armistice became official the next day, and the Thule Gesellschaft quietly prepared for counter-revolution. 
Its members could not accept the surrender of the German Army, nor the proclamations of the republican government. 

Communist Uprising - Germany 1919
Conditions after the war were intolerable. 
Food was almost impossible to get, and jobs even scarcer. 
It was not uncommon to see wounded war veterans begging in the streets. 
With production crippled and inflation rampant, the country became a vast starvation camp. 
In five years' time, from 1918 to 1923, the mark had sunk to one-fifth its value, which reduced the middle class to poverty. 
In the harsh winter, people searched everywhere for coal and kindling. 
One observer remarked: 'If a store offered dog biscuits a long line formed outside to procure them. People ate whatever they could find. Horsemeat became a delicacy, potato a luxury.' 
But for the Thule Gesellschaft there was a surprising upswing. 
Because of governmental suspicion about the possible conspiratorial nature of organizations, many Bunds were thrown out of their meeting rooms. 
Landlords wanted no trouble. 
The innocent appearing Thule Gesellschaft was left alone, and with its runic obsessions was able to play host to these other Bunds, who shared a similar ideology. 
Sebottendorff observed: 
'That was good, since for the first time single groups could be in proximity to each other, because it happened very often that two or three took place at one time.
In the Thule Society everything went well. 

Theodor Fritsch
Here was the 'National Liberal Party' under Hans Dahn. 
Here also were the 'All Germans' under editor Julius Lehmann, the 'German School Bund' under Rohmeder, the 'Riding Fellows', the 'Reichhammerbund' (founded by Theodor Fritsch). 

Theodor Fritsch (28 October 1852, in Wiedemar – 8 September 1933, in Markkleeberg), originally Emil Theodor Fritsche, was a German publisher and pundit. His anti-semitic writings did much to influence popular German opinion against Jews in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His writings also appeared under the pen names Thomas Frey, Fritz Thor, and Ferdinand Roderich-Stoltheim.

In short, there was not a society in Munich that somehow represented any nationalistic aim which could not be accommodated in the Thule Society. 
All these groups were made up, for the most part, of men who had fought in the war, and had returned to their country stunned to find that the pre-war world had been blasted away. 
In these secret meetings, what they worked for was a world better able to fulfil their longings. 

Gottfried Feder
It was to the Thule Gesellschaft that the civil engineer Gottfried Feder first came. 

Gottfried Feder (27 January 1883 – 24 September 1941) was an economist, and one of the early key members of the NSDAP. He was their economic theoretician. In 1919 Feder, together with Anton Drexler, Dietrich Eckart and Karl Harrer, was involved in the founding of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (German Workers' Party-DAP). Adolf Hitler met him in summer 1919, and Feder became his mentor in finance and economics. He was the inspirer of Hitler's opposition to "Jewish finance capitalism."

He was well known in Munich for a unique proposal for ridding the country of all its troubles. 
As an economist, he spoke about the machinations of 'Jewish high finance', which undercut German production.

Kampf gegen Hochfinanz
Gottfried Feder
His slogan became 'break the shackles of finance capital,' and the way to do it was by abolishing 'interest slavery.' 
He urged the Thule Gesellschaft to try to win over the workers, who were being wooed by the left. 
Anton Daumenlang, whose hobby was genealogy, worked on ancestral research. 
Walter Nauhaus, a sculptor, was in charge of Nordic culture. 
The editor Julius Lehmann argued for a coup d'etat, and brought weapons to store in Thule rooms. 
One night at dinner, Sebottendorff was seized with a premonition that the premises were going to be searched. 
He ran quickly and hid the arms. 
No sooner had he done this when an investigator came. 

Rudolf Steiner
In conjunction with plotting counterrevolution, the Thule Gesellschaft was busy fighting other groups, like Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophs.
German Theosophical Society
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Steiner had been head of Madame Blavatsky's German branch of the Theosophical Society, and had broken with it over a doctrinal dispute, and started his own group. 

Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner (25/27 February 1861 – 30 March 1925) was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, and occultist. Steiner gained initial recognition as a literary critic and cultural philosopher. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he founded a spiritual movement, Anthroposophy, as an esoteric philosophy with roots suposedly in German idealist philosophy and theosophy. Steiner attempted to find a synthesis between science and mysticism; his philosophical work of these years, which he termed 'spiritual science', sought to provide a connection between the cognitive path of Western philosophy and the inner and spiritual needs of the human being.

Steiner, observed Sebottendorff, 'wanted to become finance minister, and propagate his own system. 
Through his system, he sought to 'reform Com-munism' rather than destroy it. 
The influence of this 'degenerate man, this swindler and liar,' was all-encompassing. 
He had many disciples in Munich, but was set back, said Sebottendorff, 'due to the fact that there were so many suicides and sexually abused women' among them. 

General Helmuth von Moltke
Before the war, he had worked with 'a clairvoyant, Lisbeth Seidler, in Berlin'. 
The pair 'had connections with General Helmuth Johann Ludwig von Moltke and they were the ones who stopped the new recruits from going into the Marne battle when they were needed. 
That's how the battle was lost.' 
Sebottendorff did not miss an opportunity to attack them in his newspaper. 

Helmuth Johann Ludwig von Moltke  (23 May 1848, Biendorf – 18 June 1916), also known as Moltke the Younger, was a nephew of Field Marshal Count Moltke and served as the Chief of the German General Staff from 1906 to 1914. Moltke the Younger's role in the development of German war plans and the instigation of the First World War is extremely controversial.

The Thule itself was not without its influence.

Countess Heila von Westarp
Grafin Heila von Westarp was the Society's attractive young secretary. 
Another aristocratic member was Prince Gustav von Thurn und Taxis, a name prominent throughout Europe. 

Gustav Franz Maria, Prinz von Thurn und Taxis (22 August 1888, Dresden, Kingdom of Saxony – 30 April 1919, Munich, Bavarian Soviet Republic), was a member of the House of Thurn and Taxis and a Prince of Thurn and Taxis by birth. As a member of the Thule Society, Gustav was killed by the Bavarian Soviet Republic (German: Bayerische Räterepublik) government during the German Revolution of 1918–19.

Sebottendorff had ingratiated himself into Munich society, and large sums of money were at his disposal, and many of the most influential people in Munich were his disciples. 

Wittelsbach Wappen
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Ludwig III König von Bayern
This powerful occult circle included adepts, judges, lawyers, professors, leading industrialists, surgeons, scientists, and even former members of the royal entourage of the Wittelsbach kings.

The Wittelsbach family is a European royal family and a German dynasty from Bavaria. Members of the family reigned as Dukes, Electors and Kings of Bavaria (1180–1918), and Counts Palatine of the Rhine (1214–1803 and 1816–1918). The Wittlesbachs reigned as kings of Bavaria until Ludwig III issued the Anifer Erklärung on 12 November 1918 at Anif Palace, Austria, in which he released his soldiers and officials from their oath of loyalty to him and ended the 738-year rule of the House of Wittelsbach in Bavaria.

Ernst Pohner
Franz Gurtner

The Bavarian minister of justice, Franz Gurtner; the police president of Munich, Ernst Pohner; and the assistant police chief, Dr Wilhelm Frick, were active members. 

Franz Gürtner (26 August 1881 – 29 January 1941) was a German Minister of Justice in Adolf Hitler's cabinet, responsible for coordinating jurisprudence in the Third Reich.

Ernst Pöhner (January 11, 1870, Hof, Bavaria – April 11, 1925) was Munich's Chief of Police ) from 1919 to 1922. 

Dr Wilhelm Frick
He was vigorous, right-wing radical. He was closely linked to Gustav von Kahr, who had staged his own putsch in 1920, but who opposed the 1923 Hitler putsch. Pöhner was a central figure in the Hitler putsch being named as Bavaria's prime minister on the night. He was subsequently convicted with Hitler in 1924 for five years, but released three months later dying in a car accident in 1925. He is mentioned in 'Mein Kampf'.

Dr Wilhelm Frick (12 March 1877 – 16 October 1946) was a prominent German politician of the NSDAP, who served as Reich Minister of the Interior in Hitler's Cabinet from 1933 to 1943. In Munich, Frick witnessed the end of the war and the German Revolution of 1918–1919. He sympathized with Freikorps paramilitary units fighting against the Bavarian government of Premier Kurt Eisner. Chief of Police Ernst Pöhner introduced him to Adolf Hitler, whom he helped willingly with obtaining permissions to hold political rallies and demonstrations.

It was not surprising, then, that the Thule's hidden activities were held responsible for much of the cold-blooded terrorism in that turbulent time. 
In the beginning of December, Thule members planned to capture Kurt Eisner, the Jewish minister-president of Bavaria, who had led the revolt against the monarchy on November 7. 

Kurt Eisner
Sceau de la Société des Nations
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
To Thulists, Eisner, an ethereal looking intellectual, champion of the 'League of Nations', and conciliator of the Communists, represented everything odious. 
Eisner's hundred-day reign was tinged with Bohemianism. 
Symphony concerts preceded political speeches. 
Poetry was recited from a roving truck which toured the streets, as if, someone observed, 'a picnic and not a revolution were going on.
In executive sessions, Eisner expounded on the inner nature of politics, which he thought was as much 'of an art as painting pictures or composing string quartets.
Shortly after Eisner's assassination on February 21, police came to investigate the Thule Gesellschaft, and search for anti-Semitic flyers. 
Sebottendorff threatened that if his members were not granted immunity from arrest, they would 'take a Jew, drag him through the streets, and say that he stole a consecrated wafer. Then you will have a pogrom on your hands that will take you out of office at the same time.' 
When the police assured him he was crazy, he answered: 'Perhaps, but my craziness has a mouth.' 
He meant, presumably, that he was a man of influence, one who could not be silenced, which must have been the case, since no one from the Thule Gesellschaft was arrested. 
The main thrust of the Thule Gesellschaft was to consolidate the anti-Semitic organizations into militant action. 
Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP)
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Toward this end, the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP) was established on January 18, 1919, in the rooms of the hotel, and Karl Harrer, a sports-writer for the 'Munchener Beobachter', was made the first chairman. 

Karl Harrer
Karl Harrer (8 October 1890 - 5 September 1926) was a German journalist and politician, one of the founding members of the "Deutsche Arbeiterpartei" (German Workers' Party, DAP) in January 1919, the predecessor to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers Party – NSDAP). Harrer was "commissioned" by the German Army and the Thule Gesellschaft to politically influence German workers in Munich after the end of World War I. He and fellow Thule member Anton Drexler, and several others formed the Politischer Arbeiterzirkel (Political Workers' Circle) in 1918.

A small proportion of Thule members were also members of the DAP. 
Karl Harrer apparently still hankered after the original secret discussion meetings, where one could cultivate feelings of exclusiveness. 
His days as chairman were numbered, and so were Thule's as an officially recognized society. 
The last consecration took place on March 21, 1919. 
The government now insisted that groups had to be incorporated, and the only leaders they would recognize had to be elected. 
'One had to abandon the Führer principle', Sebottendorff wistfully noted. 
Thule members, however, did continue to meet informally. 
After the Eisner assassination, the new minister-president of Bavaria fled northward to the city of Bamberg with his cabinet, to avoid an imminent takeover by the Communists. 
He issued a proclamation that 'the regime of the Bavarian Free State has not resigned. It has transferred its seat from Munich. The regime is and will remain the single possessor of power in Bavaria.' 
The Thule Gesellschaft helped to set up a military group of anti-Communists, infiltrated Communist organizations, and was in touch with the legal Bavarian government in Bamberg. 
On April 13, Thule members participated in the Palm Sunday Putsch, which was intended to restore the Bamberg government to power in Munich, and prevent the Communist takeover. 
The Putsch, which was to have driven out the Communists, had the opposite effect. 
It opened the way for a an extreme left-wing, Jewish inspired, dictatorship of the proletariat
Virtual anarchy reigned in Munich. 

Members of the Bayerische Räterepublik
The Communists seized control on April 14, and began taking hostages in reprisal for the murder of other Communists. 

The Bavarian Soviet Republic, also known as the Bayerische Räterepublik or Münchner Räterepublik - was, as part of the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the short-lived attempt to establish a socialist state in the form of a democratic workers' council republic in the Free State of Bavaria. It sought independence from the also recently proclaimed Weimar Republic. Its capital was Munich.

Twelve days later, they invaded the Thule rooms, arresting the Countess von Westarp, Prince von Thurn und Taxis, a sculptor, a painter, a baron, a railroad official, and an industrial artist. Sebottendorff laid on Knauf the charge of failing to hide the membership lists. 
Sebottendorff himself had journeyed to Bamberg, in the hope of enlisting the help of the Freikorps, a paramilitary band of volunteers under the leadership of former army officers, supported by rich industrialists, and pledged to defend the Bamberg government-in-exile.

Freikorps - 1919
Freikorps (Free Corps) are German volunteer military or anti-communist paramilitary units. The term was originally applied to voluntary armies formed in German lands from the middle of the 18th century onwards. Between World War I and World War II the term was also used for the paramilitary organizations that arose during the Weimar Republic. An entire series of Freikorps awards also existed, mostly replaced in 1933 by the Honor Cross for World War I veterans.

Together with rightist politicians, and army officers, the Freikorps  was getting ready to overthrow the Communists.
Counter-revolutionaries in Munich helped by smuggling men, arms and money to the Freikorps.

Bavarian Friekorps - Munich 1919
The men in the Freikorps  unfit for civilian life, had a personal stake in the fight.
For them, the war had never ended.
Many were still intoxicated with it.
Some had come straight out of school into the trenches, where they had learned how to be hard, and how to make sacrifices.
Postwar Germany was despicable to these men, and they were with the Thulists in wanting to restore the past - or at least some aspects of the past.
They were joined by students, who felt superfluous in a society that was falling apart.
Four days after seizing the seven Thule members, the Communist leader in Munich, Rudolf Egelhofer, ordered them shot.
He claimed that they were counter-revolutionaries and, after all, accountable to civil law.

Rudolf Egelhofer
Thule members had, in fact, been smuggling men and information out of the city.
They had become especially gifted at forging documents, assembling caches of weapons, and recruiting men for the Freikorps, whose volunteers were laying plans to defeat the left.
While twenty thousand Freikorps men marched on the city, the hostages were taken to Luitpold High School, which the Communists were using as a barracks as well as a jail.
They were lined up against the courtyard wall and executed.
After the hostage murders, the Communists posted a notice that a 'band of criminals of the so-called upper classes' had been captured, 'arch- reactionaries' who forged official documents to get confiscated goods, agents for the counter-revolution.
The executions caused an unprecedented wave of outrage among the citizenry of Munich.
The anti-Semitic groups lost no opportunity to make effective propaganda, spreading rumours of fearful atrocities.

The civil strife, which had begun right after the war, came to a horrifying climax over these murders.

Tobias Axelrod
Max Levien

Three Jews in the Communist government - Eugen Levine-Nissen, Tobias Axelrod, and Max Levien - were alleged to be responsible for the deaths, as an act of vengeance against their anti-Semitic enemies.
The Freikorps, inflamed by the hostage murders, stormed through Munich, setting fire to a beer hall, and fighting with mortars and hand grenades.
One Freikorps unit marched through the streets singing its marching song:
'Swastika on helmet, Colours black-white-red.'
Soon, they would call themselves 'Storm Troopers'.

Eugen Levine-Nissen
During the civil war which followed, the Communists were defeated, and the nationalists received a great boost.
It was, in every way, a rehearsal and a preparation for what was to come later.
As to the Thule Gesellschaft, it seems to have come to an end along with the seven hostages
 Two days after their interment, there was a memorial service at the Thule rooms.
The pulpit was draped with a captured Communist flag, but instead of the hammer and sickle, there was a swastika.
The murder of the members had opened new possibilities. Sebottendorff disappeared from Munich.
He eventually returned to Istanbul, and then made his way to Mexico.
He reappeared in Munich in 1933, hoping to revive the Thule Gesellschaft, but by that time the NSDAP he had helped to launch was doing very well without him.
Some of the other Thule members were now in a position to implement what they had learned at those meetings on Saturdays at the Vier Jahreszeiten.
By 1933 the NSDAP had assumed power.
That power derived from one source:

'... a promise of reaching a transcendent reality, that they were the new men the age was waiting for, that they were endowed with a secret energy which would enable them to take over Germany and the world. If they were properly prepared, mysteries would be revealed to them which would give them superhuman powers.'

The members and guests of the Thule Society thought of themselves as potential masters of the earth, protected against all dangers.
Their reign would last for a thousand years, until the next Deluge.
Some of them became key figures in the NSDAP:
Max Ammann, business manager of the party's newspaper and publishing house; Dietrich Eckart, who introduced Hitler to Munich society; Hans Frank, governor general of Poland; Anton Drexler, first chairman of the German Workers' party; Gottfried Feder, economic adviser; Karl Harrer, first chairman of the NSDAP; Rudolf Hess, Hitler's secretary and first adjutant; Adolf Hitler; Dr. Heinz Kurz, SS leader; Friedrich Krohn, dentist who designed Nazi swastika insignia; Ernst Rohm, leader of Storm Troopers; Alfred Rosenberg, commissioner for Eastern Affairs; Julius Streicher, Gauleiter (party district-leader) of Franconia.
The philosophy behind this cult, never mentioned at the infamous Nuremberg Trials, sheds new light on much that was to come, - on the enthusiastic sanction of them by the German people, and on the Occult Messiah who led them.

The New Messiah

Sebottendorff's Führerprinzip is basic to esoteric cults.
The Führerprinzip - German for "leader principle", prescribed the fundamental basis of political authority in the governmental structures of the Third Reich. This principle can be most succinctly understood to mean that "the Führer's word is above all written law", and that governmental policies, decisions, and offices ought to work towards the realization of this end.
The Führerprinzip was not invented by the National Socialists.
Hermann Graf Keyserling, a German philosopher, was the first to use the term "Führerprinzip".
One of Keyserling's central claims was that certain 'gifted individuals' were "born to rule" on the basis of Social Darwinism.
The ideology of the Führerprinzip sees each organization as a hierarchy of leaders, where every leader (Führer, in German) has absolute responsibility in his own area, demands absolute obedience from those below him, and answers only to his superiors.
The supreme leader, Adolf Hitler, answered to God and the German people.
It has been argued that Hitler saw himself as an incarnation of auctoritas, and as the living law or highest law itself, effectively combining in his persona executive power, judicial power and legislative power.

Auctoritas is a Latin word and is the origin of English "authority." While historically its use in English was restricted to discussions of the political history of Rome, the beginning of phenomenological philosophy in the 20th century expanded the use of the word. In ancient Rome, Auctoritas referred to the general level of prestige a person had in Roman society, and, as a consequence, his clout, influence, and ability to rally support around his will. Auctoritas was not merely political, however; it had a numinous content and symbolized the mysterious "power of command" of heroic Roman figures.

The Führerprinzip became the law of the National Socialist German Worker's Party, and the SS, and was later transferred onto the whole German society.
Appointed mayors replaced elected local governments.
Schools lost elected parents councils and faculty advisory boards, with all authority being put in the headmaster's hands.
For example, after the campaign against the alleged Röhm Putsch, Hitler declared: "in this hour, I was responsible for the fate of the German nation and was therefore the supreme judge of the German people !"
It is easy to see how the Führerprinzip led, step by step, to the surrender of the will of the people to the will of the Führer.
A German did not need to be an occultist in order to long for a Messiah to save him. 
As  in  other difficult periods in  history, after  World War  I  the Messiah's coming was believed to be imminent.
A father-figure in a chaotic age, he would surely preserve and protect and make things bloom again in the desert, where men were daily losing their bearings.

Heinrich Heine - Arno Breker
Still, the poet Heinrich Heine's 'man whom the German people await, the man who will bring to them the life and happiness they have so long hoped for in their dreams,' was awaited with particular zeal by the members of the Thule Society.

Dietrich Eckart
Dietrich Eckart and a small inner core of Thulists had been prepared for the imminent appearance of the German Messiah in a whole series of spiritualistic seances.
All those present were terrified.
The spirit of the executed Prince von Thurn und Taxis had prophesied the coming of a German Messiah.
Sebottendorff ran from the room, but Eckart tackled him and knocked him down.

Wappen des Fürstenhauses von
Thurn und Taxis
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Eckart shared with Hitler a fascination with 'Ostara's' erotic philosophy; had, in fact, been charged with plagiarism by Lanz von Liebenfels himself.
After the NSDAP were swept into power, Lanz was to write that his Order of New Templars was

'the first manifestation of the Movement which now, in accordance with the law of God, is most powerful in history and unrestrainedly sweeping over the world.'

Adolf Hitler
Eckart already belonged to the Thule Society when Hitler appeared on the scene.
It was Eckart who first promoted Hitler as the long-awaited Messiah.
What do we know of Hitler's life before then ?

Klara Hitler
With certain important exceptions, only what he wanted us to know: that he was the son of a harsh man, a civil servant, who wanted his son to follow in his footsteps; that he adored his mother, who died a lingering death of cancer while he was struggling in Vienna; that he did not make it as an artist; that knowledge of his true vocation came to him in World War I.
But we can paint a fuller picture than this ?
A picture that rather complicates the popular image of Hitler as a practical realist, though he most certainly was a man who knew how to seize his opportunities.
He was also an occultist.
The Library of Congress in Washington contains thousands of books taken from Hitler's personal library after the Allied occupation of Germany.
One of them, 'Nationalismus', is by the Indian mystic Rabindranath Tagore.
It bears an inscription dated April 20, 1921, signed by the unfamiliar name B. Steininger:
'An Adolf Hitler, meinem lieben Armanen-bruder' (To Adolf Hitler, my dear Armanen-brother).

Guido  von  List
The  Armanen, Guido  von  List's esoteric  brotherhood, posited  an ancient race of Germanic priests.
Their wisdom was passed on through the centuries, not only through a secret brotherhood of initiates but also through clues which List, the last of the Armanen, was able to divine through intuition and clairvoyance. 
Sacred meanings were hidden away in words and signs.
This, of course, is perfectly understandable to the occultist.
But List apparently reached a wider audience by pioneering in the revival of pagan worship.
His theories were studied by the 'Germanen Orden' and, later, by the SS.
Emblem of the SS Ahnenerbe
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
His books, confiscated by the Allies, bear the SS mark, and are stamped Ahnenerbe, the Ancestral Research branch, and apparently were used in teaching candidates for the SS.

The Ahnenerbe was an SS institute that was to research the archaeological and cultural history of the "Aryan race." Founded on July 1, 1935, by Heinrich HimmlerHerman Wirth, and Richard Walther Darré, the Ahnenerbe later launched expeditions in an attempt to prove that prehistoric and mythological Nordic populations had once ruled the world. Its name came from an obscure German word, Ahnenerbe, meaning "something inherited from the forefathers." The official mission of the Ahnenerbe was to unearth "new evidence of the accomplishments and deeds of Germanic ancestors using exact scientific methods." Formally, the group was called Studiengesellschaft für Geistesurgeschichte‚ Deutsches Ahnenerbe e.V. ("Study society for primordial intellectual history, German Ancestral Heritage, registered society"), and was renamed in 1937, as Forschungs- und Lehrgemeinschaft das Ahnenerbe e.V. ("Research and Teaching Community of the Ancestral Heritage, registered society").

Das Buch der Psalmen Teutsch
Das Buch der Psalmen Teutsch
Hitler's library also contained one of Lanz von Liebenfel's books, 'Das Buch der Psalmen Teutsch: Das Gebetbuch der Ariosophen Rassen Mystiker' (The Book the Psalms Teach: The Prayerbook of Ariosophic Race Mystery).
Both List and Lanz were obsessed with blood purity, with the secret significance of the Grail Legend, with bringing about a new order.
Both took the swastika for their symbol.

The Grail
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Membership in cults of this type are usually kept secret, so it is not surprising that we have no documentation of Hitler's membership.
He may well have been a member of either the Armanen or the Order of New Templars, or both, however, for it is entirely in keeping with his character as presented by people who knew him in his younger days in Vienna.

Josef Greiner
Josef Greiner, the former colleague of Hitler, who published his reminiscences in 1947, describes Hitler as an explorer of ancient mysteries and a student of telepathy, knowledgeable about the rituals of the yogis and about fakirs who seem to control their heartbeats.
He was intrigued, according to Greiner, by the occult

Josef Greiner (Styria, 1886—Unknown (after 1947)) was an Austrian writer. He knew Adolf Hitler during Hitler's time in Vienna and later published two memoirs on this topic. He lived in the Meldemannstraße dormitory from January to April 1910; it was during this period that he first became acquainted with Adolf Hitler, who moved into the dormitory in February 1910 and stayed until 1913. 

Reinhold Hanisch
Reinhold Hanisch, who knew both Hitler and Greiner in this period, credited Greiner with leading Hitler into the occult but it may very well have been the other way around.

Reinhold Hanisch (January 27, 1884, Grünwald an der Neiße (Czech: Mšeno nad Nisou(de)) bei Gablonz/Neiße, northern Bohemia, Imperial & Royal Austria – February 2 ? (death date controversial), 1937, in Vienna, aged 53) was an Austrian migrant worker and sometime business partner of the young Adolf Hitler. Hanisch, who published articles on Hitler, with whom he had lived in 1910, is, next to August Kubizek, one of the few witnesses to Hitler's Vienna years. Hanisch stated that Hitler associated almost exclusively with Jews, and his best friend in Vienna was the Jewish copper cleaner Josef Neumann. Another Jewish friend was a one-eyed locksmith's assistant, Simon Robinsohn, who came from the town of Lisko in Galicia.

August Kubizek
Hitler had already expressed many of these ideas as a teenager to his young friend August Kubizek, in Linz.
Hitler had had visions of remodelling the whole town, and spent hours telling his plans to his patient friend.
Kubizek complied with all his dreams:
St. Georgen - Linz
'We would go to St. Georgen on the Gusen to find out what relics of that famous  battle  in  the  Peasants' War  still  remained.  When  we  were unsuccessful Adolf had a strange idea. He was convinced that the people who lived there would have some faint memory of that great battle. The following day he went again alone, after a vain attempt to get my father to give me the day off. He spent two days and two nights there, but I don't remember with what result.'
Hitler was more at home in German mythology than in his real world.
Kubizek says:

Götter der Edda
'From the Edda, a book that was sacred for him, he knew Iceland, the rugged island of the North, where the elements which formed the world meet now, as they did in the days of Creation.'

The term Edda (Old Norse Edda, plural Eddur) applies to the Old Norse Poetic Edda and Prose Edda, both of which were written down in Iceland during the 13th century in Icelandic, although they contain material from earlier traditional sources, reaching into the Viking Age. The books are the main sources of medieval skaldic tradition in Iceland and Norse mythology.

Kubizek and Greiner both testify that what especially intrigued Hitler was the power of the human will.
The Allies, apparently puzzled by the riddle of Adolf Hitler, who they considered to be a ne'er-do-well of humble origins, unprepossessing looks, and mediocre intellect, rising to such eminence, had secret psychiatric reports drawn up on him while the war was still in progress, which obviously did not help much to clear away the confusion about this complex personality.
They paint a portrait of sexual deviation, of adolescent overcompensation, of an indomitable will to power.
Die Runic Symbol des Willens
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
This will to power has not been given its proper due.
His admirers, and even reluctant observers, have testified to his spellbinding, hypnotic effect.
A romantic mystic, a visionary, a charismatic figure he is often acknowledged to be.
But this early will to power betrays the interests of a potential occultist.
The occultist is concerned with transcending everyday reality.
He makes use of myth, symbol, and ritual.
He tries to put himself in touch with forces which he believes to be beyond the reach of the senses, and to awaken higher powers in himself.
The Work, the Grand Work, is to transform oneself from an ordinary mortal into a superhuman - (Übermensch)

Friedrich Nietzsche
The Übermensch is a concept originally derived from the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche had his character Zarathustra posit the Übermensch as a goal for humanity to set for itself in his 1883 book 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' ('Thus Spoke Zarathustra'). The term Übermensch was used frequently by Hitler to describe the idea of a spiritually and biologically superior "Aryan"nrace; a form of Nietzsche's Übermensch became a philosophical foundation for the National Socialist ideas. In order to create the Übermensch, Hitler believed that he required a racial foundation - and that was 'die Herrenrasse' (the Master Race). It is very important to note that the 'Übermensch' and 'Herrenrasse' are not identical, and the former must be built on the latter. The  concept of the 'Herrenrasse' is purely biological, whereas the concept of the 'Übermensch' is occult.

To transform oneself into an Übermensch, the will must be developed - something the ordinary mortal neither knows nor cares about.
Hitler, from the time he was a young boy, was preoccupied with the matter of will, a concern not shared by his family or social milieu.

Richaerd Wagner
Though he could not will himself into art school, his childhood friend Kubizek was the recipient of confidences about his inner life which betray Wagnerian fantasies of another sort of strength.

After a performance of Wagner's opera, 'Rienzi - der Letzte der Tribunen', ('Rienzi - the Last Tribune'), both boys stood under the stars, and, says Kubizek:
'I was struck by something strange, which I had never noticed before, even when he had talked to me in moments of the greatest excitement. It was as if another being spoke out of his body, and moved him as much as it did me. It wasn't at all a case of a speaker being carried away by his own words. On the contrary: I rather felt as though he himself listened with astonishment and emotion to what burst forth from him with elementary force. I will not attempt to interpret this phenomenon, but it was a state of complete ecstasy and rapture, in which he transferred the character of Rienzi, without even mentioning him as  a  model or  example, with visionary power to the plane of his own ambitions. But it was more than a cheap adaptation. Indeed, the impact of the opera was rather a sheer external impulse which compelled him to speak. Like flood waters breaking their dykes, his words burst forth from him. He conjured up in grandiose, inspiring pictures his own future and that of his people.

'Rienzi - der Letzte der Tribunen
Hitherto I had been convinced that my friend wanted to become an artist, a painter, or perhaps an architect. Now this was no longer the case. Now he aspired to something higher, which I could not yet fully grasp. It rather surprised me, as I thought that the vocation of the artist was for him the highest, most desirable goal. But now he was talking of a mandate which, one day, he would receive from the people, to lead them out of servitude to the heights of freedom.
It was an unknown youth who spoke to me in that strange hour. He spoke of a special mission which one day would be entrusted to him'
Hitler later recalled the incident, too, and solemnly said: 'In that hour it began.'
Typical adolescent dreams ? A flight from harsh reality ? Of course.
But his grandiose plans for the future, unlikely as they were, did come to pass after all, and it is plausible that he should have worked on himself systematically, in obedience to occult teaching.

'Rienzi, der Letzte der Tribunen' is an early opera by Richard Wagner in five acts, with the libretto written by the composer after Bulwer-Lytton's novel of the same name (1835). The title is commonly shortened to Rienzi. Written between July 1838 and November 1840, it was first performed at the Hofoper, Dresden, on 20 October 1842, and was the composer's first success.
The opera is set in Rome and is based on the life of Cola di Rienzi (1313–1354), a late medieval Italian populist figure who succeeds in outwitting and then defeating the nobles and their followers and in raising the power of the people.
Magnanimous at first, he is forced by events to crush the nobles' rebellion against the people's power, but popular opinion changes and even the Church, which had urged him to assert himself, turns against him. In the end the populace burns the Capitol, in which Rienzi and a few adherents have made a last stand.

Madame Blavatsky
The occult tradition, as Madame Blavatsky pointed out, holds that what moves the world is
'that mysterious and divine power latent in the will of every man, and which, if not called to life, quickened and developed by occult training, remains dormant in 999,999 men out of a million, and gets atrophied.'
From the ancients to the most simplistic modern exponents of the magic power of thought, the doctrine is that one's attention and intense concentration can accomplish any desired end.
If the end is not reached, it is simply because the mind has not sufficiently projected it.

In Vienna, Hitler's political thinking had been influenced by Mayor Karl Lueger, who, according to the Anthroposophist, Johannes Tautz, came to the Armanen.
Lueger was in office from 1897 to 1910, and, in league with the Pan-German groups, found favour with the lower middle class by attacking liberals and Jews.

Guido von List
While List wrote erudite tracts on the esoteric meaning of words, Lueger knew that to gain power he had to win over the largest possible segment of society.
Hitler was seen as a 'peculiar' fellow to his World War I compatriots because he would sit listlessly by himself, and let nobody stir him out of his concentration.
He was apt to jump up abruptly, and move around agitatedly, predicting that the Germans would be defeated.

Adolf Hitler and Comrades - with Foxl
In October he was blinded in a gas attack at Ypres, and subsequently sent to a military hospital at Pasewalk, a small town north-east of Berlin.
In 'Mein Kampf' Hitler describes, in detail, his physical pain along with the anguish and despair he felt when he learned of Germany's defeat.

While initially the effects of his gassing must have caused him considerable pain, what he fails to tell us in 'Mein Kampf' is that once the physical pain had subsided, he found himself in a prolonged state of sensory deprivation; known to para-psychologists as 'the ganzfeld effect'; confined to his bed, unable to see, and in the hushed atmosphere of a hospital ward.
Compared to the living hell of the front, with its screaming shells combining with the screams of the mutilated and dying, and the everlasting thundering of the guns, Hitler's new environment was tailor-made for the psychic experience he sought
According to Hitler, he  experienced a 'vision' from 'another world' while at the hospital.
In that vision, Hitler was told that he would  lead Germany back to glory.
On his recovery, in November, he was posted back to Munich.
Writing of this experience in 'Mein Kampf', he said: I resolved that I would take up political work.'

Adolf Hitler
When he was discharged, he continued to work for the army, in the Munich branch, as a Bildungs-offizier (instructor) in the Press and News Bureau of the Political Department.
Captain Ernst Röhm
It was the Army, at the prompting of Dietrich Eckart and Ernst Röhm, that Hitler joined, and eventually took over the 'Deutsche Arbeiterpartei' (DAP).

Ernst Julius Günther Röhm (28 November 1887 – 2 July 1934) was a German officer in the Bavarian Army. He was a co-founder of the Sturmabteilung ("Storm Battalion"; SA), the militia of the NSDAP, and later was its commander. In 1934, as part of the Night of the Long Knives, he was executed on Adolf Hitler's orders as a potential rival.

Hitler's account of his initial contact with the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei is, like many biographical details in 'Mein Kampf', completely spurious.

Mitgliedskarte von Adolf Hitler
His membership number in the German Workers' party was originally
555, but for some reason (see below) it was changed to 7.
Drexler, outraged by distorted official radio 'history' of the party's origin, drafted a long, angry letter to Hitler late in January 1940. 
In it he stated:

'No one knows better than you yourself, my Führer, that you were never the seventh member of the party, but at most the seventh member of the committee, which I asked you join as propaganda chief.'

Anton Drexler
In this letter - never sent, since Drexler planned to forward it to Hitler after the war - are also statements about the size of the party in September 1919 and about the 'forging' of Hitler's party card.

Anton Drexler (13 June 1884 – 24 February 1942) was a German political leader of the 1920s, instrumental in the formation of the anti-communist German Workers' Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei - DAP), the antecedent of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei - NSDAP. Drexler served as mentor to Adolf Hitler during his early days in politics.

It is significant that someone, at some point, saw fit to change the number.
Seven, in occult terms, is a much more important number than 555.
List, for instance, expatiates on seven:
'The  seven is  developed from a  triangle - it  is  the  secret  of  the beginning, the development and the change into the All in all respects and so closes the circle of eternity. That is why all figures in geometry can be measured by the triangle and the square. The seven is a glyph (secret word and secret connotation) as well as a numerical value, because it can be arrived at only by symbols of the triangle and the square.'
To the occultists, numbers have curious properties which are not just utilitarian.

They all borrow from Pythagoras, who first gave mathematics a specialized meaning.
The occult properties of numbers form the basis for serious study, and  contain the keys to laws of human and cosmic life.
Whether through superstition or cognizance of cosmic laws, seven became Hitler's number.
The perfect number, in short, for the membership card of the future 'Messiah of Germany'.
But how is it that such an apparently unexceptional individual became the Messiah ?

Dietrich Eckart
Was he chosen by the group or by a single member - perhaps Dietrich Eckart - or did he create the role for himself  ?

Dietrich Eckart (23 March 1868 – 26 December 1923) was a German journalist and politician who, together with Adolf Hitler, was one of the early key members of the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP), and a participant of the 1923 Munich Putsch.

According to Kurt Ludecke, who knew both Hitler and Eckart in those early years, Eckart
'was something of a genius, and to a great degree the spiritual father of Hitler and grandfather of the National Socialist movement. Also, he was well-to-do, one of Hitler's first financial blessings.

Kurt Ludecke 
Kurt Ludecke (Berlin, 5 February 1890 – Prien am Chiemsee, 1960) was an ardent German nationalist and international traveler who joined the NSDAP in the early 1920s and who used his social connections to raise money for the NSDAP. Before attending a rally at which Adolf Hitler was a featured speaker, Ludecke had assumed that Hitler was simply "one more fanatic" but after hearing Hitler speak at a mass demonstration at the Konigsplatz in Munich, he had adopted Hitler as his hero: "His appeal to German manhood was like a call to arms, the gospel he preached a sacred truth." The next day, he spoke to Hitler for four hours and offered himself to Hitler and the National Socialist cause "without reservation"

It is more likely that Eckart himself was not so much 'well-to-do' as 'well connected'.
He had contact with rich members of Munich's social circle and was an accomplished fundraiser.
At any rate, it was he who afforded Hitler the entrée into that circle, with the grandiloquent announcement that here, at last, was the 'long-promised saviour.'

Alfred Rosenberg,
In fact, he is reported to have said to Alfred Rosenberg, after Thule's revolutionary activities: 
'Let it happen as it will and must, but I believe in Hitler; above him there hovers a star.'

Alfred Ernst Rosenberg (12 January 1893 – 16 October 1946) was an early and intellectually influential member of the NSDAP. Rosenberg was first introduced to Adolf Hitler by Dietrich Eckart; he later held several important posts in the government of the Third Reich. He is considered one of the main authors of key National Socialist ideological creeds, including its racial theory, Lebensraum, abrogation of the Treaty of Versailles, and opposition to "degenerate" modern art. 

Why Eckart believed particularly in Hitler remains something of a mystery - although is is quite reasonable to assume that Eckart had some occult insight into Hitler's true nature.
On the surface, however, Hitler apparently did have an uncanny knack for persuasive speaking.
His young friend Kubizek testified to that.
This talent initially  focused  the attention of the group on Hitler.

Dr Paul Joseph Goebbels
Its effect is admirably summed up by Dr Paul Joseph Goebbels, who wrote to Hitler after hearing him speak in Munich in June 1922:

'Like a rising star you appeared before our wondering eyes, you performed miracles to clear our minds and, in a world of scepticism and desperation, gave us faith. You towered above the masses, full of faith and certain of the future, and possessed by the will to free those masses with your unlimited love for all those who believe in the new Reich. For the first time we saw with shining eyes a man who tore off the mask from the faces distorted by greed, the faces of mediocre parliamentary busybodies. You expressed more than your own pain. You named the need of a whole generation, searching in confused longing for men and task.
What you said is the catechism of the new political belief, born out of the despair of a collapsing, Godless world. One day, Germany will thank you.'

Paul Joseph Goebbels (29 October 1897 – 1 May 1945) was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda for the Third Reich from 1933 to 1945. As one of Adolf Hitler's closest associates and most devout followers, he was known for his zealous orations. Goebbels earned a PhD from Heidelberg University in 1921, writing his doctoral thesis on 19th century romantic drama; he then went on to work as a journalist. He also wrote novels and plays. Goebbels came into contact with the National Socialist German Worker's Party (NSDAP) in 1923 during the French occupation of the Ruhr and became a member in 1924.

Whatever others thought of him, Hitler himself was not so ambitious as to proclaim himself the Messiah right from the outset.
At first, he was just a 'drummer', bringing glad tidings of the coming of the 'new man'.

Munich Putsch - 1923
The metaphor changed after the Putsch of 1923.
When the government was inactive in the face of Communist uprisings, Hitler and his Storm Troopers, on the evening of November 8, planned a coup to depose them.
The government met that night in one of Munich's many beer halls, and the National Socialists surrounded the building.
On a signal, they entered the hall and fired a shot at the ceiling, shouting that the national revolution had come and the government was deposed.

Festung Landsberg
The Putsch turned out to be a fiasco, and when it was over, Hitler was imprisoned at Festung Landsberg.
One of  the major defendants at  the Nuremberg Trials,  Baldur  von Schirach, the leader of the Hitler Youth, dated the change in Hitler's self- image from a later period.
'Before 1934 he was menschlich (human); from 1934 to 1938 he was übermenschlich (superhuman).'

Rudolf Heß
But the consensus does not seem to be that Hitler's confinement, and particularly, according to some commentators, his intimate exposure to Rudolf Heß in prison, occasioned the change.
Whatever the relationship between the two men may have been, Hitler did become something of a national idol by the very fact of his imprisonment.

Rudolf Walter Richard Heß, (26 April 1894 – 17 August 1987), was a prominent politician in Germany. Appointed Deputy Führer to Adolf Hitler in 1933, he served in this position until 1941, when he flew solo to Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom during World War II. Hess enlisted in the 7th Bavarian Field Artillery Regiment as an infantryman at the outbreak of World War I. He was wounded several times over the course of the war, and won the Iron Cross, second class, in 1915. In autumn 1919 Hess enrolled in the University of Munich, where he studied geopolitics under Karl Haushofer, a proponent of the concept of Lebensraum ("living space"), which later became one of the pillars of the National Socialist German Workers Party ideology. 

Hitler in Landsberg
He, of course, enjoyed the legend which began to grow up around him, and capitalized on it in every way that he could.
It is not uncommon, either, for breakthroughs to come to men as they meditate quietly in prison.
He certainly had lots of time to think in the nine months he was in Landsberg.

'Putzi' Hanfstaengl
It was only after this, according to his intimate acquaintance, 'Putzi' Hanfstaengl, that the Fuhrer cult began in earnest.

Ernst Franz Sedgwick Hanfstaengl (February 2, 1887 – November 6, 1975) was a Harvard-educated German businessman who was an intimate of Adolf Hitler before falling out of favour and defecting.  Hanfstaengl was so fascinated by Hitler that he became one of his most intimate followers, although he did not formally join the Nazi Party until 1931. "What Hitler was able to do to a crowd in 2½ hours will never be repeated in 10,000 years," Hanfstaengl said. 

Before then, he was 'Herr Hitler' to everyone.
At Hess's instigation, this now changed, first to 'der Chef' and then to 'Mein Führer'.
Hitler seemed to enjoy the transmutation.
In prison, he had written 'Mein Kampf', with the help of Heß.
When it was published, his absolute authority over the National Socialist German Workers' party was established.
Whereas before, Kurt Ludecke observes, 'people said he would be destroyed for loyalty to friends,' he was now no longer 'one of the boys', but increasingly authoritarian.
From here on, Hitler, whatever steps he took, continued to see himself as sent by Providence to save the German people.
This message communicated itself with striking power to his subalterns, to the masses, and even to his enemies.

Hermann Rauschning
Hermann Rauschning,  reports a typical conversation in which Hitler told Bernhard Forster that he ...
'would not reveal his unique mission until later. He permitted glimpses of it only to a few. When the time came, however, Hitler would bring the world a new religion. The blessed consciousness of eternal life in union with the great universal life, and in membership of an immortal people'.

Hermann Rauschning (7 August 1887 – February 8, 1982) was a German Conservative Revolutionary who briefly joined the NSDAP. Rauschning is chiefly known for his book 'Gespräche mit Hitler' (Conversations with Hitler) in which he described his many meetings and conversations with Hitler.

That was the message Hitler would impart to the world when the time came.
Hitler would be the first to achieve what Christianity was meant to have been, a joyous message that liberated men from the things that burdened their life.
We should no longer have any fear of death.
Hitler would restore men to the self-confident divinity with which nature had endowed them.
They would be able to trust their instincts, would no longer be citizens of two worlds, but would be rooted in the single, eternal life.
While Rauschning may well have taken these ideas as mere reflections of irrationality, they mean something else to the student of occultism.
Hitler's new religion was the same brand that Lanz and List had preached: a mixture of paganism, Gnosticismand magic.
Its true purpose could only be revealed to the initiated, and only at the proper time, because only they would really grasp its import, and only when the way had been prepared.
The time, of course, had also to be auspicious in an astrological sense.
And the initiated, whose consciousness was sufficiently expanded, would be in a position to help usher in the new religion.

Braunau an Inn
Many people have testified to Hitler's medium-like powers.
Much has been made of the fact that he was born in Braunau am Inn in Austria, a town which happens to have produced a disproportionately great number of people who went on to gain reputations as mediums, the most notable being Rudi and Willy Schneider.
Occultists point out that Hitler had shared with the psychic Schneider brothers their wet nurse.

Rudi and Willy Schneider and Parents
But even commentators who are not receptive to occult beliefs have drawn attention to Hitler's occasional lapses into trance-like states.
Ernst Hanfstaengl recalls 'his almost medium-like performances on a speaker's platform.'
Hermann Rauschning repeats what Bernhard Forster had told him about Hitler:

'God, or whatever we preferred to call it, life or the universal spirit, spoke to him in solitude. He drew his great power from intercourse with the eternal divine nature.'

Added Forster......
'I hear those voices when Hitler speaks. Then I feel strong, and know that we shall conquer and live for ever.'
Stephen H. Roberts, an Australian journalist covering Germany in the thirties, described the two most popular views of Hitler - either......
'as a mere ranting stump-orator, or as a victim of demoniacal possession, driven hither and thither by some occult force that makes him a power of evil, or the view of his believers that he is a demigod, revealing the path that Germany is to follow by some divine power.'

Hitler also had a particular fondness for Grail symbols.
Holy Grail
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
He put rehtorical questions to Rauschning:

'Should  we  create  an  elite  of  initiates ? 
An  order ?  A religious brotherhood of Templars to guard the Holy Grail, the august vessel containing the pure blood ?'

The quest for the Holy Grail is another of those talismans for the occultists, and Lanz and List, of course, had helped to kindle an interest in the real meaning of the Grail legend.

The Grail, to the occultist, is a symbol for hidden knowledge.
According to Hitler the Grail.......
'is a path leading from unthinking dullness, through doubt, to spiritual awakening,' and there were 'ascending grades on the way to the achievement of higher levels of consciousness. There were also various creatures which symbolized the different degrees, the highest being the eagle, emblem of the initiate who had attained the highest powers and faculties of which man was capable, and was at last in a position to assume a world-historic destiny.'

Hitler - Knight of the Grail
Der Bannerträger -1934 - Hubert Lanzinger
No one could accuse Hitler of false humility.
Stephen H. Roberts, the Australian journalist, describes a painting, which he saw displayed in Munich for a short time in the autumn of 1936: 'of Hitler in the actual silver garments of the Knight of the Grail.
Roberts believes the picture was withdrawn because 'it gave the show away - and was too near the truth of Hitler's mentality.'

The painting "Der Bannerträger"(ca. 1934), an oil on wood painting by Austrian painter Hubert Lanzinger (1880-1950), is one of nearly 10,000 works of art that were seized by the Americans after the war, supposedly as part of efforts to 'de-Nazify' into German society. This and 400 other works of art from the Third Reich period still considered politically "charged" remain under the "custody" of the U.S. military yet. This portrait depicts Hitler as a messianic figure, who provides a better future for Germany with the swastika flag waving behind him. It was first presented at the Great Exhibition of German Art in Munich in 1937.

'The Eternal Jew'
By then, Hitler's view of the Jew as the 'enemy of the light' had bedazzled the whole country.
It was the Jew who had to be cleared out of the way before the new man could arise.
Like his teachers, Hitler saw the Jew as the embodiment of all evil, but among the qualities he considered evil were virtues such as excessive intellect, conscience and intelligence. 
As  he  told Rauschning:

'We are now at the end of the Age of Reason. The intellect has grown autocratic, and has become a disease of life. Conscience is a Jewish invention. It is a blemish, like circumcision. A new age of a Magical interpretation of the world is coming, an interpretation in terms of the Will and not the intelligence. The new man will be the antithesis of the Jew.'

'Der neue Mensch'
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
'The new man,' Hitler told Rauschning, 'will be a mutation, a different biological species altogether from homo sapiens as we know him.'
This, Hitler believed, was the real power of National Socialism.
So fierce and terrible would the new men be that ordinary humans would hardly be able to look them in the face; they would be the true aristocracy, and all others would be subjects.
With the coming of the new man, the inequality that exists in human life would be heightened.
This was Hitler's antidote to democracy, - the restoration of insurmountable barriers between two breeds of people, as he presumed to have existed in ancient great civilizations.
Only the 'new man' would have rights.
Hitler had come to free them from 'the dirty and degrading chimera called conscience and morality, and from the demands of a freedom and personal independence which only a very few can bear.'
They would be beyond good and evil.
He would liberate them from 'the burden of  free will.'
He  opposed 'with icy  clarity' the significance 'of  individual and personal responsibility.'
Judging from Hitler's popularity, the suffering masses apparently found relief in this message.
Here, again, the voice of the occultist may be heard.

Charles Darwin
Since Darwin, esoteric groups have talked in terms of a mutation.
To betray the Fuhrer, then, was also to betray the new civilization which he was ushering in, and he managed to convince the people of this.
Over and over again, in  mass rallies  so  carefully staged that they left  no one immune, he drove home, with the force of a master magician such as has not been seen before or since, the startling doctrine that he and the people were one.

Hitler spricht auf dem Reichsparteitag
Through torch-lit night parades, striking military bands, cathedral-like arcs of light, and the patterns and colours of swastika flags, a religious fervour was created among audiences wearied with waiting for hours until he came before them, suddenly, late at night, thundered his oration, and left just as suddenly.
So skilled a psychologist was he that he knew that if he invited alienated mass man to 'step out of his workshop,' his smallness would disappear in the midst of the exaltation of the masses.
It worked.
Aryan Germans were finally  rid of anxiety, would strive together in the name of a greater humanity.
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Heß, Hörbiger and Himmler

1 comment:

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