National Socialism and the Occult - Part IV - Heß, Hörbiger and Himmler

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
National Socialism and the Occult - Part IV
(Heß, Hörbiger and Himmler)

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

Rudolf Heß
Rudolf Heß has been painted by historians as weak and indecisive, characterless, passive, putty in the hands of a stronger man, eager to be rid of his personal identity, to give up his freedom to think and feel for himself to a totalitarian cause - in short, the perfect disciple loyal and obedient to the death.
Suffis - Alexandria - Egypt

Like Hitler, Heß had a penchant for occultism, having been steeped in it from his birth in Egypt
Heß, the eldest of three children, was born 26 April 1894 in Alexandria, Egypt, into the ethnic German family of Fritz Hess, a prosperous merchant from Bavaria, and Clara Hess (née Münch).
His brother, Alfred, was born in 1897 and his sister, Margarete, was born in 1908.
The family lived in a villa on the Egyptian coast near Alexandria, and visited Germany often from 1900, staying at their summer home in Reicholdsgrün in the Fichtel Mountains.

Street Scene - Alexandria - Egypt
Hess attended a German language Protestant school in Alexandria from 1900 to 1908, when he was sent back to Germany to study at a boarding school in Bad Godesberg.
He demonstrated an aptitude for science and mathematics, but his father wished him to join the family business, Heß & Co., so he sent him in 1911 to study at the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
After a year there, Heß took an apprenticeship at a trading company in Hamburg.

German machine Gunners
As soon as World War I started, he volunteered, and was placed in the 1st Company of the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment, named the List Regiment, after its original commander.
He was an officer in the same regiment as Hitler, who was a dispatch runner, but they never met.
The List Regiment was in the thick of the fighting at the front.
According to a letter which Hitler wrote to his old Munich landlord, they lost 2,900 men in four days.
Heß was wounded twice.

Fokker D.VII Biplane
While convalescing from his wounds, Heß had requested that he be allowed to enrol to train as a pilot, so after some Christmas leave with his family, he reported to Munich, where he passed the required tests and underwent aeronautical training.
By 14 October he had been assigned to Jagdstaffel 35b, a Bavarian fighter squadron equipped with Fokker D.VII biplanes.

The jagdstaffeln (often abbreviated to jastas) were specialized fighter squadrons in the Luftstreitkräfte during World War I. Towards the end of the war the German Flying Service  was greatly expanded, renamed the 'Deutschen Luftstreitkräfte' (reflecting a far greater degree of autonomy, although it remained an integral part of the army), and acquired a far greater number and variety of specialist units, including the first single-seater fighter units in German service, the jagdstaffeln (literally, "hunting squadrons").

He saw no action with Jagdstaffel 35b, as the war ended on 11 November 1918, before he had the opportunity.
When the war ended, Heß was twenty-two.

 Thule Gesellschaft
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
He went back to Munich and joined the Thule Gesellschaft.
He was one of the hundreds of veterans smuggled out of Munich by Sebottendorff, along with money and arms, to join the Friekorps.
Despite his hangdog look, he had a reputation for being a scrappy street fighter.
He participated wholeheartedly with the Friekorps in ridding Munich of the communist revolutionaries.

Hitler Spricht
Heß was in the audience when Hitler came to  Deutsche Arbeiterpartei meetings to deliver his grandiose plans for the future of the movement, predicting that the day would come 'when the banner of our movement will fly over the Reichstag, over the Castle in Berlin, yes, over every German house.'
Seeing the small audience and the pale, gesticulating speaker, Heß wondered, as he later reported, 'Was this thundering orator foolish or was he the Messiah ?'
Soon, his mind was made up.
As a student at the University of Munich, he was eligible to apply for a prize which a wealthy South American had endowed.
Competitors were to write a theme that posed the question 'How Must the Man Be Constituted Who Will Lead Germany Back to Her Old Heights ?'
Delirious with the Messianic hope of the time, Hess won.
Drawing a word portrait of Hitler, he wrote:

'Dieser Mann'
'Profound knowledge in all areas of political life and history, the capacity to draw the right lessons from this knowledge, belief in the purity of his own cause and in ultimate victory, and enormous power of will give him the power of thrilling oratory which evokes joyful enthusiasm from the masses. Where the salvation of the nation is in question, he does not disdain utilizing the weapons of the adversary, demagogy, slogans, processions, etc. Where all authority has vanished, only a man of the people can establish authority. This was shown in the case of Mussolini. The deeper the dictator was originally rooted in the broad masses, the better he understands how to treat them psychologically, the less the workers will distrust him, the more supporters he will win among these most energetic ranks of the people. He himself has nothing in common with the masses; he is all personality, like every great man.
If necessity commands it, he does not shrink from shedding blood. Great questions are always decided by blood and iron. And the question at stake is: Shall we rise or be destroyed ? Parliament may go babbling, or not the man acts. It transpires that despite his many speeches, he knows how to keep silent. Perhaps his own supporters are the most keenly disappointed. ... In order to reach his goal, he is prepared to trample on his closest friends. ... For the sake of the great ultimate goal, he must even be willing temporarily to appear a traitor against the nation in the eyes of the majority. The lawgiver proceeds with terrible hardness. . . . He knows the people and their influential individuals. As the need arises, he can trample them with the boots of a grenadier, or with cautious and sensitive fingers spin threads reaching as far as the Pacific Ocean. ... In either case, the treaties of enslavement will fall. One day we shall have our new, Greater Germany, embracing all those who are of German blood. . . . Thus we have the portrait of the dictator: keen of mind, clear and true, passionate and then again controlled, cold and bold, scrupulous in decision, fearless in rapid execution of his acts, ruthless toward himself and others, mercilessly hard and then again soft in his love for his people, tireless in work, with a steel fist in a velvet glove, capable ultimately of overcoming even himself.
We still do not know when he will intervene to save - Dieser Mann - (this man). But millions feel that he is coming.

Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterparte
Munich Putsch of 1923
By November 8, 1923, 'this man' had made his presence known to all Germany.
Hitler had already seized control of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterparte (NSDAP), and now planned to seize control of the Bavarian government as well.
Hess, intoxicated with his newly discovered Messiah, marched along with Hitler in the Munich Putsch of 1923.
Despite its dramatic effect, the Putsch was a fiasco.
Hess escaped across the border into Austria over a mountain pass.

Festung Landsberg
Hitler was imprisoned at Festung Landsberg, a prison fortress situated in a town just west of Munich.
The punishment was very mild, lasting less than nine months, and Hitler spoke of it afterwards as a much-needed 'vacation'.
Heß proved his devotion to Hitler by coming back from Austria, giving himself up, and joining Hitler in prison, in room No. 7.

Ernst Hanfstaengl
So steadfast was that devotion, in fact, that Ernst Hanfstaengl hints at an 'unnatural' relation- ship:
'It is probably not true to say there was a physical homosexual relationship between the two, but in a passive way the attraction was there. I certainly did not trust the manhood of either.'
- however, Hanfstaengl had fallen out with Hitler when he wrote this, and his comments are, therefore, far from being unbiased.
Shared prison life served to bind the two men together until a later fiasco severed the bond. 
Heß became Hitler's secretary, and helped him with 'Mein Kampf'.
Heß did more than take dictation and type the manuscript.
As the best educated of Hitler's disciples, he was able to provide Hitler with useful information, particularly on a new study which was called 'geopolitics'.

Heß and Professor Haushofer
He introduced Hitler to the professor (and ex-general) from whom he had learned about geopolitics, and, in fact, the professor was a frequent visitor to Festung Landsberg.
Writing in Current History and Forum in June 1941, Frederic Sondern, Jr., who had personal knowledge of the subject, reported:
'Dr. Haushofer and his associates dominate Hitler's thinking. That domination began 17 years ago when the World War general flattered the ex-corporal by paying him visits in prison. Haushofer saw possibilities in the hysterical agitator who had launched an unsuccessful beer-hall revolution. The prison visits became frequent; the distinguished soldier- scientist fascinated Hitler, then finally made him a disciple. The ascendancy has grown as Dr. Haushofer again and again has proved the accuracy of his knowledge and the wisdom of his advice.'

'Mein Kampf'
Geopolitical Globe
It was Haushofer who taught Hitler think in terms of continents and empires.
Haushofer virtually dictated the famous Chapter XVI of 'Mein Kampf' which Hitler's later foreign policy.
Haushofer's 'Lebensraum' (living space)  theory sought to justify Germany's world conquest by claiming that it was necessary to insure the German people room to preserve and expand their racial community.
Haushofer later developed an intelligence gathering organization which became the envy and model for all others.
He was called everything from 'Hitler's ideas man' to 'the man who will in the end take the Fuhrer's place,' yet he kept a very low profile.
But there is apparently much more to Haushofer than the 'geopolitician'.

Japanese Army  - 1900
War Flag of the Imperial Japanese Army
A love affair with the Orient began in 1908, when, as a field artillery officer in the Bavarian army, he was sent to Tokyo to study the Japanese army and to advise it as an artillery instructor.
The assignment changed the course of his life.
He travelled extensively in the Far East, and added the Japanese, Chinese, and Korean languages to his repertoire of English, French, and Russian.
He could not be accused - as other leading National Socialists were - of having a provincial background.
His four-year sojourn in the Far East also changed the course of German history.
Haushofer was able to make the acquaintance of influential Japanese, and to develop a rapport for the culture which helped account later for the German-Japanese alliance.
When he returned to Germany in 1912, he had no reason at all to know that the Chinese proverb of which he was so fond:

Arthur Schopenhauer
'He who rides a tiger cannot get off,' would one day have particular relevance for him.
Die Geheimlehre
Haushofer was introduced to Oriental teachings during his stay in the Far East.
He had been a devout student of Schopenhauer, and now he could drink directly from the source.
He became sufficiently conversant in Sanskrit to translate several Hindu and Buddhist texts, and he was an authority on Oriental mysticism and on every aspect of 'Die Geheimlehrethe' - (Secret Doctrine).

George Gurdjieff
Haushofer also belonged to George Gurdjieff's esoteric circle, which was as well versed in the difficult exercises of the Order of Bektashi Dervishes as Sebottendorff was, and that he was also a secret member of the Thule Society.

 Order of Bektashi Dervishes 
List's publishing house made a German translation of Gurdjieff s biography.
Gurdjieff traveled extensively through Asia, and possibly met Haushofer there.
A former disciple of Gurdjieff, Louis Pauwels, has stated that Haushofer was a member of 'one of the most important secret Buddhist societies', and was on a mission to restore the Indo-Germanic race, which he believed had originated in Central Asia, to its former greatness.
George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff was born in 1872 in the Caucasus region of Russia, of Russian, Greek, and Armenian ancestry.
Like Madame Blavatsky, he claimed to have met members of a Hidden Brotherhood while travelling in Asia, and they imparted to him the occult tradition.

George Gurdjieff
He started a school, first in Moscow and then in France, where disciples could open up higher levels of consciousness.
An enigmatic figure, he may have been sent to Tibet as a Russian secret agent.
He is believed by some people to have been known there as Dorjieff, the name of the man who taught the Dalai Lama, and there is a striking similarity in early photographs of both men.
Haushofer, however, had been imbued with the spirit of Gurdjieff's teaching, which held that men are asleep, and that great effort is needed for some of them to awaken and become, in effect, superhuman.
Gurdjieff believed in the legend of 'Masters of Wisdom', superhuman intelligences who keep a careful watch over the destiny of mankind.
Though this legend is common in Central Asia and the Near East, it is likely that Gurdjieff derived it from the Order of Bektashi Dervishes.
As we will see, it recurred in  völkisch  mythology.
Gurdjieff also believed that he himself was a source of higher energy from which his disciples could draw.
He hinted that he was in direct communication with a 'higher source', through which 'the work for which he was responsible would be able to spread and gain strength in the world,' and that 'an organization of a higher order was being established in the world which would be able to accept only those who had reached such a stage of spiritual development that they were able to generate higher energies.'

The Coming Race
He believed that his work was evolutionary, because it was 'against the stream of life,' that is to say, 'against nature and against God.'
Gurdjieff was not bound by traditional ideas of morality.
There was an air of the trickster about him, and he could often play the cruel despot.

Vril Society
Haushofer's name has also been linked with another esoteric group, the 'Vril Society,' or 'Luminous Lodge', a secret community of occultists in Weimar Berlin.
'Vril' derives from the novel 'The Coming Race', which has prophetic overtones.
It was written by an English occultist who is better known as the author of 'The Last Days of Pompeii': Baron Edward Bulwer-Lytton.

Baron Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Written in the nineteenth century, 'The Coming Race' details a superhuman subterranean race of beings living in huge caves in the bowels of the earth, who have developed a kind of psychic energy 'vril', with which they are made the equals of the gods.
They plan, one day, to take control of the earth and bring about a mutation among the existing human elite, subjugating, of course, the rest of slavish humanity.
Baron Lytton himself presumably believed that he was a storer of 'vril'.
He practiced ceremonial magic, and was claimed by Madame Blavatsky to be a Theosophist. 
Although he had examined mesmerism, he denied that 'vril' had anything to do with animal magnetism.
It was electricity whose properties were the same as the 'one great fluid' with which all of life was pervaded.
His 'Vril people' accumulated it through mental and physical exercises resembling yoga.

The uses of Vril in the novel amongst the Vril-ya vary from an agent of destruction to a healing substance.  Vril can be changed into the mightiest agency over all types of matter, both animate and inanimate. It can destroy like lightning or replenish life, heal, or cure. It is used to rend ways through solid matter. Its light is said to be steadier, softer and healthier than that from any flammable material. It can also be used as a power source for animating mechanisms. Vril can be harnessed by use of the Vril staff or mental concentration.

Vril Staff
A Vril staff is an object in the shape of a wand or a staff which is used as a channel for Vril. The narrator describes it as hollow with 'stops', 'keys', or 'springs' in which Vril can be altered, modified or directed to either destroy or heal. The staff is about the size of a walking stick but can be lengthened or shortened according to the user's preferences. The appearance and function of the Vril staff differs according to gender, age, etc. Some staves are more potent for destruction, others for healing.

The 'Vril Society' in Berlin apparently sought connection with the supernatural beings in the centre of the world, and practised the techniques which would eventually strengthen their mastery of the divine energy, so that they would have power over others and over events.
They believed that this attempt at mastery was the only thing which gave purpose to existence. 
Any other activity was meaningless.
One day, when the world was transformed, the beings in the centre of the earth would emerge and form an alliance with those initiates who had succeeded in adequately preparing themselves.

Willy Ley
Helena Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, endorsed the concept of the Vril in her book 'Isis Unveiled' (1877) and again in 'Die Geheimlehrehe' (The Secret Doctrine) (1888).  In Blavatsky, the Vril power and its attainment by a superhuman elite are worked into a mystical doctrine of race.
Willy Ley was a German rocket engineer published an article in which he mentions the Vril: "The group called itself Wahrheitsgesellschaft - Society for Truth - and which was localised in Berlin, devoted its time studying the Vril."
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

The Berlin Vril Society was in close contact with an English group known as the 'Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn', which was, for a time, headed by Aleister Crowley, and counted among its members such illustrious people as the poet William Butler Yeats.
The Golden Dawn created an even more exclusive inner group than its competitors, the Theosophists, with admission by invitation only, rule by secret chiefs who were dis-incarnate spirits existing only in the astral plane.

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was an organization devoted to the study and practice of the occult, metaphysics, and paranormal activities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Known as a magical order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was active in Great Britain and focused its practices on theurgy and spiritual development. Many present-day concepts of ritual and magic that are at the centre of contemporary traditions, such as Wicca and Thelema, were inspired by the Golden Dawn, which became one of the largest single influences on 20th-century Western occultism.

The group also practised ritual magic.
Such elitism made it the prototype of other magical groups throughout the continent.

Theosophical Society
The swastika was a key symbol to Golden Dawn, as it had been to Madame Blavatsky.
She had incorporated it into a mystical brooch which she wore.

Aleister Crowley 
Aleister Crowley had written about it in a tract published in 1910, and he later claimed that the National Socialists had stolen the sacred swastika from him.
Haushofer returned to his native country in 1912, and advanced to the rank of general in World War I.
He developed a reputation for clairvoyance, predicting the hour when the enemy would attack, the places where shells would fall, storms and political changes in countries about which he apparently knew nothing.
Rudolf Heß was made his aide-de-camp.
It was to remain a lasting relationship.
Haushofer the 'geopolitician' is a much more familiar and comprehensible figure than Haushofer the Secret Chief.

Karl Haushofer
With his Roman nose and patrician bearing, he made an imposing professor at war's end.
He had already distinguished himself in formulating ideas which were well received by the nationalists and Pan-Germans.
At the University of Munich, he taught that 'war is the father of all things', and that Japan and Germany had a common destiny: to appropriate more 'living space' from other nations.
He moved quite easily from military affairs to geopolitical statecraft, making good use of his Far Eastern travels.
Munich, the centre of revolutionary conspiracies, was the perfect intellectual climate for the father of geopolitics.
His disciples and pupils slavishly followed his theories and style, and evolved a strategy of German world conquest which presently had a unique opportunity of fulfilment.

Berlin Universität
His most famous disciple was Rudolf Heß.
He followed Haushofer to the University of Munich and sat at his feet, ardently drinking in the Professor's  political theories.
He was a frequent visitor to the Haushofer home.
Frau Haushofer was kind enough to give him English lessons.
But the professor described his pupil with merciless accuracy:
'He was one student among others, not particularly gifted, of slow intellectual grasp, and dull in his work. He was very dependent on emotions, and passionately liked to pursue fantastic ideas. He was only influenced by arguments of no importance at the very limits of human knowledge and superstition; he also believed in the influence of the stars on his personal and political life. I was always disconcerted by the expression of his clear eyes, which had something somnambulistic about it.'
Presumably, the professor was able to effect a change in his student, because he later claimed that it was only Hess who really understood his theories.

'Mein Kampf'
On Haushofer's visits to Landsberg, his geopolitical theories were eagerly discussed by all three men, and incorporated, probably unwisely, into 'Mein Kampf'.
Hess always remained loyal to both masters.
As for Hitler, he was released first, and wailed to Hanfstaengl about Heß, 'Ach, mein Rudi, mein Hesserl, ist es nicht erschreckend zu denken, er ist immer noch da' (isn't it appalling to think he's still there ?)
The common experience at Festung Landsberg may have sealed a mystical brotherhood between the two men.

Hitler, Maurice and Heß - Festung Landsberg
Both Hitler and Heß were practised in occult exercises.
In the relatively isolated conditions of their prison room, they could have surrendered to the 'Grand Work' of calling forth untapped powers in themselves.
Hanfstaengl believed that Hitler's mind had become 'impregnated with the limited doctrines of the Heß-Haushofer coterie', and that Hess had contributed to his 'gradual divorce from reality with the inception of the Fuhrer cult.'
Before the Putsch, 'Heil' was just an old Austrian custom which the National Socialists had appropriated as a way of saying 'Good day.'
After the Putsch, Party people used 'Heil Hitler' as a sort of password.

Die Hitler-Gruß
The oral greeting 'Heil' became popular in the pan-German movement around 1900. The Hitle-gruß (Hitler salute - literally Hitler Greeting) was a gesture of greeting instituted by the NSDAP. Usually, the person offering the salute would say "Heil Hitler !" (Hail Hitler !), "Heil, mein Führer !" (Hail, my leader !), or "Sieg Heil !" (Hail Victory !). The salute is performed by extending the right arm to at least eye level, and straightening the hand so that it is parallel to the arm. It was adopted in the 1930s by the NSDAP to signal obedience to the party's leader – Adolf Hitler – and to glorify the German nation. The salute was mandatory for civilians but mostly optional for military personnel, where the traditional military salute was retained until 1944.

Heß kept his job as secretary on his return from prison, only now it was secretary of the NSDAP.
After 1933, when the National Socialists came to power, he was made deputy leader, second in command under Hitler.

Rudolf Heß Spricht
He controlled the central political organization of the Party, supervised and coordinated policy throughout Germany, and was in charge of at least nineteen departments of the government.
Hess was given the rank of Obergruppenführer in the Schutzstaffel (SS) in 1934, the second-highest SS rank.
He was not popular with the other Party people.
Kurt Ludecke refers to him as a 'notorious' homosexual, and claims he was known as 'Fraulein Anna'.

Rudolf Heß - Vizeführer Flagge
He had married at Hitler's suggestion, and according to Goebbels' wife, for years Frau Heß announced that they were about to have a child, because some prophet had foreseen it.
They consulted cartomancers, astrologers, and other magicians, who urged on them combinations of drinks and potions, until in the end a son was born.
Hess was a man hungry for faith.
His fate was ruled entirely by the stars, by the pronouncements of soothsayers, by animal magnetism, the swings of pendulums, and terrestrial radiations.
Demons had a terrible reality for him.
Hanfstaengl says that Heß was considered highly peculiar, and went in for vegetarianism, nature cures and other weird beliefs.

Dr. Felix Kersten
It got to the point where he would not go to bed without testing with a divining-rod whether there were any subterranean water- courses which conflicted with the direction of his couch.
Himmler's Finnish physiotherapist, Dr. Felix Kersten, recalls finding Hess in bed under a huge magnet swinging over him from the ceiling.
There were twelve other magnets under his bed, to draw harmful substances out of his body and restore his strength.
Still, Hess was a valuable man to the Party, probably because 'Heß could be silent and keep secrets.'
Meanwhile, Heß's original master, Haushofer the geopolitician, was soon transformed into elder statesman.
He was made president of the 'Deutsch Academy' and of the 'Volkspartei Organisation für Auslandsdeutsche', and became an important member of the 'Akademie für Deutsches Recht' which originated the legislation binding on conquered countries.
Most impressive of all was his job as director of the 'Institut fur Geopolitik' of the University of Munich.
After Hitler came to power, he saw to it that Haushofer received unlimited funds for the expansion of his 'Institut'.
His was the head which conceived of the plan by which Germany was to conquer the world.
He had long believed that Germany would give birth to a leader who would rule the earth; and astrological predictions had convinced him that this leader would accomplish his mission in an alliance with Japan.
He often had premonitions, upon which he acted.
He convinced Hitler that the 'Institut' must find out everything about its enemies: strengths, weaknesses, impending famine, religious sensibilities, the personalities and tastes of officials, the morals and corruptibility of even minor bureaucrats, the views of opinion makers.
To collate, sift through, and interpret all this material on every country in the world, Haushofer enlisted a staff of more than a thousand students, historians, economists, statisticians, military strategists, psychologists, meteorologists, physicists, geographers, and other specialists, working in Germany and abroad.
The researches apparently paid off.
When, in 1938, the General Staff was worried that France would mobilize if Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, Haushofer assured them that it neither could nor would.
He turned out to be right.
He argued that Poland could be conquered in eighteen days.
The military disagreed.
They feared their armoured trucks would bog down in the Polish mud.
Haushofer said it was not likely to rain.
It did not.
The General Staff didn't believe Germany should invade Norway.
Haushofer prophesied that it would be easy.
The military wanted to invade France when war first started.
Haushofer urged that they wait until German propaganda had made its full impact on the people.
He also dictated when the campaigns in Africa and the Balkans would begin.
It was his idea that the Third Reich make temporary friends with Russia, despite widespread anxiety about collaborating with the Communists.
He wooed Latin America for its usefulness against America.
The National Socialists tried to keep foreign investigators from finding out how elaborate their new geopolitical machine was.
They deliberately led outsiders to believe that they were not themselves taking it seriously, and the deception worked.
Some observers believed that Haushofer's thinking dominated Hitler's.
Even American thought was influenced.
Said Hans W. Weigert in Foreign Affairs, July 1942: 'The highest eulogy a political writer could earn was to be called 'the American Haushofer' . . . colleges all over the country hurried to organize 'Institutes of Geopolitics.'
He became the geopolitical adviser to Japan, as well, and his house was the meeting-place for Japanese diplomats to come and talk over their alliance with German diplomats.
His eldest son, Albrecht, was also a geopolitician, and occupied the 'Chair of Political Geography' at the University of Berlin.
He worked closely with the Foreign Office, and was made Joachim von Ribbentrop's assistant.
Father and son kept up close contact with British members of the upper class 'Golden Dawn'.
The elder Haushofer used his influence with Heß to try to convince Hitler to make peace with England.
The same mystical thinking which advised the German army to enlarge the living space of the Third Reich 'by moving out from a powerful territorial hub and by accomplishing this conquest progressively, step by step, following the accelerating movement of a spiralling dextrogyre' urged Heß  in the spring of 1941, to embark on an adventure which was to make him the most ridiculous figure in the Third Reich.

14th Duke of Hamilton
The Haushofers had planned for some time a personal meeting between Hess and the Duke of Hamilton, a good friend of Albrecht's.
The duke had the ear of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and King George VI.
If he could be instrumental in passing on a German peace proposal, it would be worth risking a secret rendezvous.
The elder Haushofer told Heß that he had two dreams on two separate occasions.
In one, Hess flew a plane to an important destination.

Dungavel House
In another, Heß walked along the tartan-tapestried halls of a splendid castle (the Duke of Hamilton happened to be Scottish).
Twenty-four years earlier, Haushofer's premonitions had been celebrated for their accuracy.
Heß was now ready to fly whenever the stars  were propitious.

Messerschmitt bf 110
He took off for Scotland alone on May 10, 1941, in a Messerschmitt bf 110 that had been especially designed for him, with just a few possessions, including visiting cards from each of the Haushofers, an assortment of homoeopathic pills, a small hypodermic syringe, and a letter addressed to the duke.
Whether or not Hitler knew his plans, if not the specific date of his departure, is still a matter of debate.

Hess crash-landed in Scotland

Heß crash-landed in Scotland, but that was the only part of the trip which went as he and the Haushofers would have expected.
The British government did not leap at his peace offer.
The German government had to denounce him as mentally deranged, which caused it quite a bit of embarrassment, since Heß had been in a position of authority, with no one questioning his sanity.
Hess remained an uncomfortable subject in both countries.
British cabinet ministers sealed their lips so tightly that one Londoner quipped: 'Never has so much been kept from so many by so few.'
The British would not allow Heß to go home, warning that he would probably be executed if he did.
Heß sent Professor Haushofer a birthday greeting:
'Do not worry over me. You, less than anyone, need do this. That my present situation is not exactly agreeable goes without saying. But, in time of war, we have to put up with many things that are not agreeable. Let the waves like thunder break, Be your very life at stake; May you crash or may you land, E'er as your own pilot stand ! That I crashed is not to be denied, and it is equally certain that I was my own pilot ! In this matter I have nothing with which to reproach myself. It was I who took the controls. You know as well as I do that the compass which guides our affairs is influenced by forces that are infallible - even when we know them not. May those forces be favourable to you in the years to come !'
In the event, the 'forces' proved no more favourable to Professor Haushofer than to Heß himself.
Not only were hospitals and streets named 'Heß' ostentatiously changed after his unsuccessful attempt to end the war, but there was a wholesale routing of astrologers, seers, mediums, and nature therapists in the Third Reich.
Heß, meanwhile, grew increasingly paranoid.
He was being hypnotized by the Jews, he complained.
Furthermore, so were Churchill, Secretary of State Anthony Eden, and the king of Italy.
Karl and Albrecht Haushofer fell from grace.
A letter from Martin Bormann to Alfred Rosenberg dated June 17, 1942, suggests that the National Socialist Monthly gave the professor too much publicity, and that this should not happen in the future.
Albrecht Haushofer participated in a coup d'etat against Hitler on July 20, 1944.
The Führer escaped death.
Karl Haushofer was sent to Dachau, Albrecht to Moabite prison.
Before his execution, Albrecht composed eighty sonnets, entitled 'Moabiter Sonette'.
The collection was in his hands when he was shot on a street in Prussia.
Sonnet 39 is called 'Guilt':
'I should have seen my duty sooner and should have dared with louder voice to name as evil the thing my judgment knew as evil but held too long unspoken. ... I deceived my own conscience. I lied to myself and others. I early understood the whole sequence of the misery to come.
In Father's life, the die is cast. Once it was in the power of his will To push the demon back into his cell. My father held the seal and broke it. He did not sense the breath of evil And out into the world he let the devil.'
After the war Haushofer  was to testify at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, but he never testified because he committed suicide.
Heß did testify at Nuremberg.
He barely seemed to listen, and often dozed.
It was as if he were operating on another level of reality.
From 1947, he was Prisoner No. 7 at Spandau in Berlin.
He practiced yoga regularly, and though he wrote to his wife and son, he did not want to see them because it would make the rest of his life sentence too unbearable.
His wife kept a room for him in a mountain chalet.
'My husband's mouth is closed,' she said. 'He cannot utter the final word about his deed.'
Though she had not seen him since the day he left for England, they were never apart.
Frau Heß said, 'Telepathy, astrology and his letters keep us together. . . . My husband and I are in constant telepathic contact. People frequently turn up here that I have not seen for years, and inevitably in Rudolf's next letter there are questions about these very visitors. My husband and I receive and send to each other in this way.'
Rudolf Heß died mysteriously on 17 August 1987 at the age of 93 in a summer house that had been set up in the prison garden as a reading room.
The general consensus is that he was assassinated by British Secret Intelligence Service.

Hanns Hörbiger

Science hasn't yet been able to give us a completely satisfactory answer to the question of how the universe came to be.
The occultists are much bolder.
Always they have advanced different theories about the origin of the world and of human beings.
Many National Socialists favoured the occult cosmology of Hanns Hörbiger.

Hanns Hörbiger
Hanns Hörbiger (29 November 1860, in Atzgersdorf – 11 October 1931, in Mauer) was an Austrian engineer from Vienna with roots in Tyrol.
He took part in the construction of the Budapest subway, and in 1894 invented a new type of valve essential for compressors, still in widespread use today.
Two of Hörbiger's sons, Paul and Attila, were matineé idols in the interwar years, and Paul Hoerbiger's daughter Mavie Hörbiger also went on to become a celebrated actress.
His two other sons devoted themselves to promoting their father's theory.

Hanns Hörbiger studied engineering at the local Technical College. In 1894 Hörbiger had an idea for a new design of blast furnace blowing engine: he replaced the old and easily-damaged leather flap valves with a steel valve. Opening and closing automatically, and light and frictionless guided, the disk valve eliminated all the drawbacks of previous valve designs. Hörbiger registered a patent for his invention, which smoothed the way for efficient steel production and greater productivity in mining. High-pressure chemistry and the global network of gas exchange – none of these would be possible without the Hörbiger Valve.
In 1900, Hanns Hörbiger and the engineer Friedrich Wilhelm Rogler founded an engineer’s office in Budapest, which was moved to Vienna in 1903. By 1925 it had developed into the Hörbiger & Co. company. Alfred Hörbiger, one of Hörbiger’s sons, joined the company in 1925 and assumed the management, while Hanns Hörbiger devoted himself to scientific study until his death in 1931. The company developed rapidly under Alfred Hörbiger’s management: a production facility was taken into service in Vienna and an affiliated company was set up in Düsseldorf. Hörbiger expanded into England and concluded numerous licensing agreements with leading manufacturers of piston blowers, compressors and ships’ Diesel engines in Europe and North America. The success was driven by originality and inventive genius. The disk valve became more sophisticated: Hörbiger developed highlift or high-pressure valves, compressor control systems and damper plates. By 1937, 98 percent of production was destined for export. The name Hörbiger had become a dependable trademark in valve and control technology for compressors.

'The Moon was an Ocean of Ice'
As a boy, he was fond of lying out of doors at night and gazing up at the sky, and the intuition came to him that the moon was an ocean of ice.
He extended the vision as a young engineer, in the instant when he saw molten steel poured onto snow and the ground explode violently.
He took this as a microcosm for the kind of cataclysm that might have given birth to the universe.
In the next two decades, he explored the tension between cosmic ice and fire, which culminated in the publication of a 772-page book, 'Glazialkosmogonie', in 1913.

The 'World-ice Theory' (Welteislehre) is that the universe came into existence when a gigantic chunk of cosmic ice collided with the sun, causing an explosion whose continuing aftermath explains the Great Deluge, the Ice Age, and the differentiation of races.
This glacial cosmology went so far as to offer an entirely new theory about the origin of the moon - one which bears a striking similarity to Gurdjieff's.

The Moon - an Independent Planet
The moon, said rbiger, was originally an independent planet, circling the sun in an independent orbit.
It eventually trespassed on the earth's orbit, becoming earth's satellite.
The present moon, rbiger continued, was not the first to be captured by the earth; primary, secondary, and tertiary moons had already collided with our planet, and the present moon, captured about thirteen thousand years ago, will eventually crash into the earth too, billions of years hence.
rbiger's ideas were of interest to occultists, with good reason.
He believed that on the three previous occasions, when the moon had collided with the earth, the catastrophes which resulted were recorded in the legends about the Flood, about the lost continent of Atlantis, and about the 'Twilight of the Gods'.
Atlantis has always been one of the favourite places of occultists.
According to ancient tradition, it was a large island in the Atlantic Ocean.
Plato, in 'Timaeus', described it as larger than Libya and Asia Minor combined.
In 'Critias', he spoke of it glowingly as a powerful nation which later was completely engulfed by the sea.
Whether the continent of Atlantis ever really existed or was the product of human imagination, it has provided ample occasion for speculation.
To occultists, it became associated with man's search for hidden wisdom.
The Atlanteans, like the 'Vril' people, developed super- normal powers.
They were the models upon which esoteric groups patterned themselves, usually according to a blueprint envisioned by their masters in a trance-like state.
Atlantis provided these groups with many hours of lectures and workshops, and thousands of books have been written about it.
The latest theory, of course -  and this, too, has been rightly disputed - holds that Plato's Atlantis may have been confused with the real Aegean island of Thera, devastated by a tremendous volcanic explosion in about 1500 B.C.
Enthusiasts have sought Atlantis in all sorts of unlikely places.
The German völkisch occult groups placed it in 'Thule', the northernmost part of the earth, and made it the original home of the Aryan master race.
They were delighted to have rbiger explain why that home had disappeared.
The glaciers caused by the last falling moon, when they melted, engulfed the whole Atlantean civilization in a deluge, memories of which exist in the legends of all people.
This was the 'fall of man'; - from this period he degenerated.
The occult tradition teaches that some wise and powerful members of the highly developed race saved themselves from the Great Flood.
Disciples of rbiger were also pleased to point out that the age of giants, set forth in myth and legend, was fully explained by his theory.
When a satellite approaches nearer to the earth, the gravitational pull of the earth becomes greater, tides become stronger and, as a second consequence, human beings and creatures in general will become taller, and this is the only possible explanation of the huge species of plants and animals that have existed on earth, and of a race of giant men.
The increase of men's stature, and likewise of their intelligence, is also due, according to this theory, to an increase in the intensity of cosmic rays.
rbiger believed that cosmic events recur.
The Ice Age, which seemed to him to recur in cycles of six thousand years, was about to come again.
Only this time, supermen who had learned to control cosmic fire and ice would have the option to stop the cycle and make their civilization immortal.
But rbiger was not all cosmic ice and fire.
Indeed, his metaphysics also took in the view that there was a world apart from this one, where the laws of cosmic ice were not operable.
The Judeo-Christian notion of primitive man slowly inching his way up to civilization did not accord well with the völkisch rbigerians.
To them, it was precisely the other way round: - Moons ago, Aryan men had created a marvellous civilization which had been destroyed by the Ice Age; we had yet to approach their splendour.
Traces of the lost paradise existed, for those who had eyes to see, in ancient giant monuments, statues, and complex mathematical and engineering constructions.
rbiger was one of many in the scientific community who aligned themselves with the National Socialists.
After World War I, Jewish scientists and scholars were more readily accepted into the universities, since the republic no longer allowed them to be arbitrarily excluded.
The increase in Jewish participation in major universities, along with the anti-Semitic propaganda, accounted for the push among German scholars and scientists to 'purge' the Jews, and thus also advance their own careers.
Some, of course, were not just opportunistic, but really believed the völkisch arguments.
Hans rbiger was at the height of his fame in 1925 when he issued a declaration to Austrian and German scientists:
'You must choose, and right now, whether you want to be with us, or against us. While Hitler cleans up politics, Hans Hoerbiger will take care of the false sciences. The doctrine of the eternal ice will herald the regeneration of the German people. Watch out ! Come over to our side before it is too late !'
At sixty-five, rbiger had pitted himself against orthodox astronomy.
His appeal, obviously, was to emotion rather than reason.
With his white flowing beard, very much like that of his fellow Viennese, Guido von List, rbiger  too, played the role of mystical prophet, warning that 'objective' science is a pernicious invention, a totem of decadence.
He sought to replace it with an inspired piercing of the mysteries.
Illumination would come intuitively with the development of 'higher consciousness'.
In the post-World War I period, Albert Einstein was the most famous scientist in Germany. Hostility toward him increased in direct proportion to his growing fame.
German scientists were made acutely aware that he was a Jew, a pacifist, and a radical.
His theories posed a threat to some experimental physicists, who saw in them the eventual ascendancy of theoretical physics.
His theories were labelled 'meaningless', or 'unverifiable' abstractions, - or else he was accused of not being original.
Men who championed the National Socialist cause concentrated on him as their chief scapegoat.
rbiger was one of these men.
His success as an engineer had set him up well financially, and he started what amounted to a political campaign, trumpeting his visionary theories like a revolutionary agitator.
He wanted to wean people away from the 'uselessness' of mathematics, and to replace it with an enlightened 'knowing' (gnosis).
His propaganda spread through mass media, tracts, posters, meetings, and lectures.
A monthly periodical, 'The Key to World Events', went to German and Austrian rbigerians. His organization published many books, articles, and pamphlets.
rbiger was greatly helped in disseminating his propaganda by members of the Sturm Abteilung.
Dietrich Eckart introduced Hitler to rbiger's ideas, and it was a meeting of like minds.
Both men knew the importance of mythology in the lives of the masses.
Other scientists, at first, stood their ground and attacked rbiger's theories.
Gradually, as Hitler's suporters helped to swell rbiger s 'science' into a popular movement, they were silenced.
The system meshed well with the temper of the times and was perfectly tailored to National Socialist mythology.
rbiger died in 1931, before he could see some of the consequences of his teaching.
Hitler Youth were recruited to spread the word.
In 1935, Heinrich Himmler, an admirer, established the Ahnenerbe (Ancestral Research) branch of the SS, for the purpose of subsidizing researches into occult theories of ancestral origins of Aryanism.
He sent the German playwright Edmund Kiss to Abyssinia, to look for supporting evidence for rbiger s theories, and made another rbiger disciple, Dr. Hans Robert Scultetus, head of the Ahnenerbe branch which was to concentrate on weather forecasts resting on the world-ice cosmology.
Literature about this cosmology was handed out freely to high-ranking members of the NSDAP. A German expedition to Tibet tried to find fossilized remains of Aryans.
Anyone who attacked rbiger was promptly suppressed by the Ahnenerbe.
In 1936, despite unsubstantiated rumours that he was a Freemason and a Roman Catholic, rbiger s son, Hans Robert rbiger  was appointed 'Cosmic-Ice Fuhrer' by Himmler, who insisted that if the theory were shorn of its fantastic elements, which might hurt his flawless reputation, it would be scientific enough to constitute an 'Aryan intellectual treasure'.
National Socialist pamphlet announced that cosmic ice stood in the same relation to Einstein's theory of relativity as the Edda did to the Talmud.
No one was in a position to do more for rbiger's cosmology than Hitler.
He promised that when he built his ideal city in Linz, he would dedicate an observatory to rbiger.
After Hitler came to power, a number of celebrated engineers and scientists too up the cosmic-ice theory.
One tract drew attention to the natural affinity between the two self- made Austrians:
'Our Nordic ancestors grew strong amidst the ice and snow, and this is why a belief in a world of ice is the natural heritage of Nordic men. It was an Austrian, Hitler, who drove out the Jewish politicians, and another Austrian, rbiger  will drive out the Jewish scientists. By his own example Hitler has shown that an amateur is better than a professional; it was left to another amateur to give us a thorough understanding of the Universe.'
The few times that these two Messianic leaders met, rbiger actually out-talked Hitler in his harangue against modern science, which not only did not understand the why of anything but had managed to separate man from the spirit.
Jews like Einstein and Freud distinguished themselves in their fields and at the same time helped to destroy the belief in magic.
They were pacifists in the bargain.
Einstein had called World War I 'a fateful misunderstanding . . . an incomprehensible deception, and Freud went so far as to claim that all war was a mass regression to a primitive state, writing: 'Never has any event been destructive of so much that is valuable in the commonwealth of humanity, nor so debasing to the highest that we know.'
With rbiger, on the other hand, Hitler was comfortably in the realm of Wagner and Nietzsche.
The magic of myth would be re-established in Germany, with its giants and dwarfs, masters and slaves, transgressions, sacrifices, and punishments.
Hitler took great pride in being the enemy of 'Jewish, liberal' science.
He confessed to Rauschning:
'I thank my destiny for saving me from the State-granted privilege of acquiring blinkers in the form of a so-called scientific education. I have been able to steer clear of many naive assumptions. Now I am reaping the benefit. I approach everything with a vast, ice-cold freedom from prejudice.'
He often expounded on cosmic catastrophe at the dinner table, holding that 'we shall never raise the veil between our present world and that which preceded us unless intuition teaches exact science the path to follow.'
rbiger, said Hitler, ranked with Ptolemy and Copernicus.
rbiger was not accepted by the scientific establishment because 'the fact is', said Hitler, 'men do not wish to know'.
Hitler based some important decisions on rbigerian premises.
For example, cosmic ice experts caused delays, because they were concerned about the delicate balance between fire and ice.
They feared a rocket in space might cause a global disaster.
(The military head of the first German rocket tests, Walter Dornberger, also relates that the work was delayed for months at a time because Hitler dreamed that no V-2 rocket would reach England. As an occultist, Hitler took his dreams quite literally.)
rbiger's was not the only occult cosmological theory in which many National Socialists believed.
There was also the theory of the 'hollow earth', which received support in Germany after World War I.
A leading proponent, Karl Neupert, held that the earth was a spherical bubble, with humanity on the inside, not, as commonly supposed, on the outside.
In World War II, certain German naval circles tried to apply the hollow-earth theory.
They considered it helpful to locate the British fleet, because the curvature of the earth would not obstruct observation.
Visual rays were not suitable because of refraction; but infra-red rays had less refraction. 
Accordingly a party of about ten men under the scientific leadership of Dr. Heinz Fischer, an infra-red expert, was sent out from Berlin to the isle of Riigen to photograph the British fleet with infra-red equipment at an upward angle of some forty-five degrees.
The experiment did not work.
Teutonic mythology speaks of the end of all things, the 'twilight of gods and men', when the world will be consumed in flames because the age of evil has come.
Winter will follow winter, in a world chained in ice, and then a new age will come, with a regenerating race.
The apocalyptic vision within the occult tradition is similar.
The Fall, and the accompanying Flood, are punishments for man's transgressions, and will purge him of sin.
After the Deluge, a 'Second Coming'.
rbiger and Hitler believed in this mystique.
Modern man, in the twentieth century, had a chance to redeem the species.
rbiger and Hitler would point the way.
This combination of ideas offered a solution of sorts to the difficulty of applying traditional values to existing conditions. ... he could sustain his belief in the superiority of the class from which he came simply by equating the values of his own group with the characteristics of the dominant and moral man.

Heinrich Himmler

Familie Himmler
A searching study of Heinrich Himmler's early years helps us to understand the kind of mentality which yearned for the return of the Atlantean age.
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was born in Munich on 7 October 1900 to a conservative Roman Catholic middle-class family.
His father was Gebhard Himmler, a teacher, and his mother was Anna Maria Himmler (née Heyder), a devout Roman Catholic.

The Himmler Brothers
His older brother, Gebhard Ludwig, was born in July 1898, and his younger brother, Ernst, was born in 1905.
Himmler's first name, Heinrich, was the same as that of his godfather, Prince Heinrich of Bavaria of the royal family of Bavaria, who was tutored by Gebhard Himmler.
He attended a grammar school in Landshut where his father was deputy principal.
While he did well in his school-work he struggled in athletics.

Himmler as a Boy
His health was poor, with lifelong stomach complaints and other ailments.
He trained daily with weights as a youth, and exercised to become stronger.
Fellow students remembered him as studious, and awkward in social situations.
At nineteen, he was earnest enough about his religion to have noted in his diary an internal conflict over a common fraternity practice:
'During the sermon I had to endure an inner struggle more serious than any before. The dueling business constantly keeps cropping up. In the evening I prayed. I had, of course, earlier partly overcome it. God will continue to help me to overcome my doubts.'
He must have decided that God was not opposed to dueling, because he regularly practiced it. 
His diary entries recorded in meticulous detail the exact times of arrival and departure of buses and people, and the number of swims he took, impressions of books he read, pointing to a pedantic, assiduous character, prone to pontificating.
He was a collector of stamps and secrets.
He took it upon himself to spy on his elder brother's fiancée,  going so far as to hire a private detective to gather incriminating evidence of her disloyalty and succeeding in ending the betrothal.
Once he left the safe haven of his snug middle-class family, his rigid character structure could not bend to the raw winds blowing through Germany.
Never a careful thinker, he anguished over the impossibility of finding a respectable niche in the conventional society which gave him comfort.
In 1915, he began training with the Landshut Cadet Corps.
His father used his connections with the royal family to get Himmler accepted as an officer candidate, and he enlisted with the reserve battalion of the 11th Bavarian Regiment in December 1917.

Heinrich Himmler - 1918
His brother, Gebhard, served on the western front and saw combat; he received the Iron Cross and was eventually promoted to lieutenant.
In November 1918, while Himmler was still in training, the war ended with Germany's defeat, denying him the opportunity to become an officer or see combat. After his discharge on 18 December, he returned to Landshut where there were rumours about attacks on officers in Bavaria by Communist revolutionaries.
Himmler wrote to his parents, urging them to send civilian clothes so that he could travel unmolested.
He also begged them: 'Buy all of the coal you can and also all the food, even if you have to buy it by the pound. In 14 days there will be no more coal and no more electric light.
Father, you must join the Bayerisch Volkspartei, it is the only hope.'
A postscript, only for his father's eyes, cautioned: 'Don't let mother go out alone at night. Not without protection. Be careful in your letters. You can't be sure.'
In self-defense, Himmler slowly adopted more and more of the ideology of the radical right, to the distress of his moderate family.
Sentimental novels extolling the traditional virtues gave way, in his reading, to vitriolic accounts of the origin of World War I.
Like Sebottendorff, they blamed Germany's troubles on a Jewish-Freemasonic world conspiracy.
Some Catholics had long supported the view that Freemasons and Jews were liberal and potentially dangerous to the old order, but Himmler more and more withdrew from identification with the church which, though conservative, was not fanatical enough.
He read right-wing literature with delight, making terse comments in his diary:
'A book that explains everything and tells us whom we must fight against next time.
It is true and one has the impression that it is objective, not just hate-filled anti-Semitism. 
Because of this it has more effect.
These terrible Jews.
Even an initiate is shaken when he reads all this with understanding. If only some of the eternally blind could have it put before their eyes.'
Writers like Fritsch, Chamberlain, and Gobineau helped him to justify his own frustrations, while the whole culture's increasing infatuation with spiritualism made it possible for him to bridge the gap between the death of the old religious faith and his personal longing for evidence of the existence of the supernatural.
The books he read signified a deep involvement with, and leanings toward, spiritualism and the occult.
He labeled occult theories 'unbelievably deep and significant', and particularly enjoyed Karl du Prel's 'Der Spiritismus' (Spiritualism) because it 'really lets me believe in spiritualism and introduced me to it correctly for the first time'.
He was impressed by the arguments for transmigration of souls in a book on life after death, and noted that it gave him 'meaningful new grounds' for believing in it.
This interest in and sympathy with the occult endured throughout his life.
Without it, his role as Reichsfuhrer SS would have been played out quite differently.
As in the case of Lanz and Hitler, his occultism was bound up with eroticism.
To all three, sexuality was decadent, and the loose morality of Western Europe after the war seemed to them to travel like a plague, spread by the 'decadent' people, namely, the Jews. 
They believed Jews were bestial in their passions, corrupting pure German womanhood and making all women join the radical cause of feminism.
They also saw the Jews as cunning, practical pimps and pornographers, able to profit materially from prostitution and from the growing interest in 'filth.'
These were popular völkisch themes, and Himmler accepted them.
After the war, Himmler completed his grammar-school education.
From 1919–1922, he studied agronomy at the Munich Technische Hochschule (now Technical University Munich) following a brief apprenticeship on a farm and a subsequent illness.
He remained a devoted Catholic while a student, and spent most of his leisure time with members of his fencing fraternity, the "League of Apollo", the president of which was Jewish. 
Himmler maintained a polite demeanour with him, and with Jewish members of the fraternity, in spite of his growing antisemitism.
During his second year at university, Himmler redoubled his attempts to pursue a military career.
Although he was not successful, he was able to extend his involvement in the paramilitary scene in Munich.
It was at this time that he first met Ernst Röhm, an early member of the Nazi party and co-founder of the Sturmabteilung ("Storm Battalion"; SA).
Himmler admired Röhm because he was a decorated combat soldier, and at his suggestion, Himmler joined his antisemitic nationalist group, the Reichskriegsflagge.
Disappointed by his failure to make a career in the military and his parents' inability to finance his doctoral studies, he was forced to take a low-paying office job after obtaining his agricultural diploma.
He remained in this position until September 1923
At that time he joined the Friekorps, and he must have enjoyed the sense of participating in a grand design which was to lead Germany back to greatness.
In the same year Himmler joined the NSDAP; his Party number was 14,303.
As a member of Röhm's paramilitary unit, Himmler was involved in the Munich Putsch - an unsuccessful attempt by Hitler and the NSDAP to seize power in Munich.
This event would set Himmler on a life of politics.
He was questioned by the police about his role in the putsch, but was not charged because of insufficient evidence.
But he lost his job, was unable to find employment as an agronomist, and had to move in with his parents in Munich.
Frustrated by these failures, he became ever more irritable, aggressive, and opinionated, alienating both friends and family members.
He was welcome into the NSDAP because, as his superior, Gregor Strasser, put it, 'the fellow's doubly useful - he's got a motor-bike and he's full of frustrated ambition to be a soldier.'
Himmler soon realized that he had a penchant for secret service.
When, in 1925, the SS (Schutzstaffel) was formed as a special bodyguard for Hitler in each district, Himmler was put in charge of his local unit.
It brought him little glory at first.
Its petty duties included soliciting for Party newspaper subscriptions.
But in 1927, when the SS Order was nationalized, Himmler, because of his demonstrated administrative abilities, was made deputy leader, and in 1929, Reichsfuhrer SS.
The nature of the organization changed.
It became a central bureaucracy for dispensing terrorism, an elitist political police, giving Himmler powers second only to Hitler.
What fitted Himmler for the job were his skill at pigeon-holing people, and assigning categories to them, and especially, the rigid personality defences he had developed as a student.
The pose of omniscient hardness, which he developed early, made it possible for him to overcome his awkwardness in social encounters, and to impose himself on others, despite his lack of charisma.
His 'social mask' became a weapon habitually used to make others subordinate to his wishes. 
Thus, despite his colourlessness  he was able to compel his Black Guards to go against their own standards of morality and justify their actions as Utopian idealism.
Sometimes he saw his Black Guards as an elite cadre of Teutonic warriors, and sometimes as medieval knights protecting their lord, Adolf Hitler.
Himmler's interest in the Germanic past and in the Middle Ages went back to his youth, when he used to spend summer vacations looking for ancient stones and artefacts - a hobby he learned from his father.
His belief in the transmigration of souls led him to think he was then reincarnation of the tenth-century German king Heinrich I the Fowler, with whom he communicated in his sleep.
In 1937, he had the monarch's bones dug up and placed in the crypt of Quedlinburg Cathedral, after a holy procession.
He chose the town of Quedlinburg, in the Harz Mountains, because it had been founded by the king.
Himmler invited Germans to make a pilgrimage to the tomb to honor Heinrich the Fowler. 
Yearly, on July 2, the date of the king's death, Himmler held a midnight ritual in the crypt.
One of the great charms which the medieval monarch had for Himmler was his anti-Slav crusade.
On the thousandth anniversary of Heinrich's death, Himmler stood before Wehrmacht officers and braided and medaled SS dignitaries, and pledged to continue the crusade for German expansion in the east.
It was not clear whether he was really talking about himself or about his namesake when he praised him.
Like List and Lanz, Himmler was obsessed with the secret medieval society called the 'Order of the Teutonic Knights'.
There, a candidate had to prove pure noble German ancestry for eight generations on both sides of the family tree.
Himmler, in creating a secret order suitable for a mass society, naturally dispensed with the idea of social or economic aristocracy and made the whole Aryan race aristocratic, an idea which List and Lanz had popularized before him.
He admired the rigid organization of the 'Teutonic Knights', and the strictness of their rules.
But he must have admired their secrecy above everything else, given his personal propensity for secrets.
Even in his brief stint as orderly-room clerk in the army's officer candidates' school, he had collected odd bits of personal information about his fellow cadets, as if in apprenticeship for the job of secret police chief which lay in his future.
A few years later, Gregor Strasser laughed him to scorn when he heard about this, asking: 'Whatever use do you suppose will derive from knowing who did fatigue duties for insubordination in the 119th Bavarian Infantry Regiment in 1919 ?'
To which Himmler replied: 'One never knows.'
Himmler was so fanatical a spy that he noted about Party members:
'Schwarz was playing Mendelssohn (a Jewish composer) on his gramophone when I arrived.
It is as well to know of Semitic sympathies.'
'I noticed in Mucke's bookcase a copy of Chamberlain's 'Foundations of the 19th Century'.
He is well chosen for the Fuhrer's personal troop.'
And about citizens in general:
'In the fishmonger's there was a man who mentioned in a low voice to his wife that he suspected treachery in the ranks of the Party. I made it my business to find out his name from the shopkeeper. Such information might be useful in the future.'
Himmler knew what a powerful motivation a secret order, with difficult rules and a hierarchical structure, could be; its mere existence held members together in a common bond, subject to the same vows of silence on certain questions.
In trying to create a new 'Order of Teutonic Knight's out of his SS, Himmler was also mindful of the power of the Jesuits.
According to his assistant, Walter Schellenberg, he deliberately built the SS organization on the principles of the 'Society of Jesus', using their statutes and spiritual exercises.
In fact, Himmler was called 'the Black Jesuit' by his enemies, and compared with the order's founder, Ignatius Loyola, by Hitler, who was pleased to have his fanatical devotion.
Schellenberg stated that Himmler had the best and richest library on the Jesuit Order, whose literature he perused at night for years.
Thus he built up his SS organization according to Jesuit principles.
Its basis was the constitution and the exercises of Ignatius de Loyola: Its supreme law was absolute, blind obedience.
Himmler himself, as SS General, was the Order's General Commander.
In Westphalen, near Paderborn, he kept a medieval castle, the Wevelsburg, which served, so to say, as the SS monastery.
The roots of this attitude undoubtedly go back to his father's education, and his severe Catholic conduct of life.
The essential principle which Himmler borrowed from the Jesuits was the oath of absolute blind obedience.
In this, he outdid the Jesuits.
Though he sought to eliminate all competition to his own esoteric order, and officially abominated the Jesuits, they and the SS had a common enemy.
This enemy was the Freemason, who, in his resistance to the dogmas of 'Original Sin' and 'Grace', in his tolerance and humanism, became the symbol of the Enlightenment, with its belief in the possibility of human perfectibility on earth.
His was a rival universal superstate, which threatened to replace the less flexible Catholic Church.
It was rumored that the Jesuits had destroyed the eighteenth-century 'Order of the Illuminati' by infiltrating the group, a mystical association started by Adam Weishaupt, a former Jesuit student, and diverting it from its original aims.
The same suspicions were circulated about Jesuit intrigue in Masonic lodges.
The introduction of hierarchical 'higher degrees' into Freemasonry was scorned by some Masons as evidence of a Catholic spirit.
There were Papal Bulls of condemnation against the Freemasons, but their power and political influence continued to increase throughout the Enlightenment.
The new spirit, which was actually one of reason and an interest in material well-being, was viewed by the Church as a threat to the Faith.
The Jesuits used science in the service of faith, for their aim was never the dispassionate study of astronomy or biology, but the combating of 'Satan,' from the nineteenth century on, in the guise of materialism.
Germany was the home of the first Jesuit settlement.
In Bavaria, particularly, the order stood firm against Lutheranism and held that section of the country, so much so that Munich was called 'a German Rome.'
The Counter Reformation in Germany was greatly helped by the erection of numerous schools. 
The zeal of the Jesuits filled the Lutherans with fear and trembling, and a vicious battle ensued. It became more and more customary in Germany for men to express the strength of their religious convictions by filthy insults directed against their opponents.
It was in Bavaria, too, that the Jesuits introduced their unique system of 'spiritual exercises,' reporting to the Pope: 'No small benefit has accrued from the Exercises. Some who were falling away are now strengthened, and some who had fallen away are now restored.'
The exercises spread widely among the Bavarians, adapted to the working classes, under the directive never to 'lay too heavy a burden on a too little enlightened spirit or a too weak heart.' An 'exercise house' was created in Munich, where an efficient lay apostolate was produced.
The spiritual exercises of the Jesuits are designed to awaken the natural powers of the will, and connect them with the divine will; the penitent is enjoined to undergo a rigorous series of pictorial imaginings lasting four weeks, during which time he comes to see, hear, smell, and feel scenes of Heaven and Hell.
He strives to converse with Jesus, and pictures the 'Incarnation'.
In an exercise called 'composition: seeing the place,' the imagination is used to clothe ideas with a visible form.
There are prayers for a definite desire, and an exercise called 'fixing of the objects,' and in the end, the penitent's life is changed.
These exercises are considered the foundation of the order.
That Himmler practiced visualization is clear from Walter Schellenberg's account in his memoirs.
When General Werner von Fritsch was brought to trial on the false accusation of homosexuality, Schellenberg reports:
'I witnessed for the first time some of the rather strange practices resorted to by Himmler through his inclination toward mysticism. He assembled twelve of the most trusted SS leaders in a room next to the one in which von Fritsch was being questioned and ordered them all to concentrate their minds on exerting a suggestive influence over the General that would induce him to tell the truth. I happened to come into the room by accident, and to see these twelve SS leaders sitting in a circle, all sunk in deep and silent contemplation, was indeed a remarkable sight.'
Himmler had derived his 'Round Table' idea from the court of the twelfth-century Holy Roman emperor Frederick Barbarossa.
Under the influence of knightly thought compulsion, the object of the 'Round Table's' concentration had to submit his will to theirs.
The student of occultism will recognize in the projection of Himmler's picture the magical view that, through visualization, we can change reality.
This is how the occultist believes he exercises his power, by holding in his mind a mental picture of what he wishes to achieve.
Despite the fact that Himmler's ideas made him a somewhat ridiculous figure to some of his underlings, he ruled over them with an iron hand.
In a quieter time, he would have been a harmless crank, cultivating his herb garden, studying astrology, graphology, antiquity, mesmerism.
Through his decrees to SS men on marriage and procreation, he hoped to create a Herrenrasse.
The image that Himmler apparently had of himself was that of an idealistic man of science.
As fanatical and earnest as he was in the pursuit of his researches, they were convenient rationales for his ideology, as they were for Hitler.
As Himmler stated, 'We are only interested in one thing - to project into the dim and distant past the picture of our nation as we envisage it for the future.
Every bit of Tacitus, in his Germania, is tendentious stuff. Our teaching of German origins has depended for centuries on falsification. We are entitled to impose one of our own.
Prehistory is the doctrine of the eminence of the Germans at the dawn of civilization.'
If his reality was non-ordinary, it was not because he was crazy, but rather, as his masseur, Dr. Felix Kersten, tells us, because he was 'extremely superstitious.'
He believed in 'good and evil spirits' and was 'always afraid of an invisible power' to which he would 'one day have to give an account of himself.'
When Dr. Kersten asked him how, with this view, he could do the things he had to do, believing as he did that according to the doctrine of karma his deeds would determine his destiny in his next incarnation, Himmler answered:
'You oughtn't to look at things from such a limited and egotistical point of view; you have to consider the Germanic world as a whole - which also has its Karma.
A man has to sacrifice himself, even though it is often very hard for him; he oughtn't to think of himself.
Of course it's pleasanter to concern yourself with flower-beds rather than political dust- heaps and refuse-dumps, but flowers themselves won't thrive unless these things are seen to.
I try to reach a compromise in my own life; I try to help people and do good, relieve the oppressed and remove injustices wherever I can.
Do you think my heart's in all the things which have to be done simply from reasons of state Every cause has its idea of sacrifice, calling on the individual to give up his well-being for the sake of something greater.'
Himmler's idea of sacrifice was influenced by Eastern philosophy.
He had read the Bhagavad-Gita, the Vedas, the Rig-Vedas, the sayings of Buddha, the Visudi-Magga, and had learned to practice that detachment from his acts which were purifying to the wise.
Karma required only that the individual carry on his unavoidable duties, disregarding the consequences.
As it is written in the Bhagavad-Gita: 'One should not give up the activity to which one is born (sahajam karma: the duty incumbent on one through birth, caste, profession), even though this should be attended by evil; for all undertakings are enveloped by evil, as fire by smoke.'
The disengagement from the effects of fulfilling one's duties was self- sacrifice.
Himmler was particularly fond of the Bhagavad-Gita, and told Dr. Kersten that he 'never moved without it.'
He prized it for its 'great Aryan qualities.'
He was also an avid student of the 'Arthasastra', Hinduism's anticipation of Machiavelli.
This handbook of statecraft reached the West shortly before World War I.
It seemed to Christian scholars to embody pagan wickedness, and though it was no more cynical than Machiavelli, it was not redeemed by his Western spirit.
The Kautilya Arthasastra was especially cherished by Himmler.
Himmler began more and more to propagate occult ideas among the SS.
When several astronomers were courageous enough to call Hoerbiger's theory an outmoded concept, Himmler answered:
'I advocate unrestricted research of whatever kind and that includes unrestricted research into glacial cosmogony.
I intend to encourage that research and in so doing I find myself in the best of company . . . as the Führer, too, is a convinced supporter of this theory so much abominated by scientific hacks. ... the Ministry . . . must put these opinionated schoolmasters in their place.
There are a great many things we should like to see researched, even by non-scientists.'
Under his supervision in the SS, a great many things were researched

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