Wednesday 6 March 2024

The Downfall of Hitler: His Personal, Social and Military Failings


The Downfall of Hitler: His Personal, Social and Political Failings is the latest book by Michael FitzGerald. Ir is due to be published in June 2024 by Pen and Sword.

He has authored a number of works on the Nazi era including “Adolf Hitler: A Portrait,” “Hitler’s Secret Weapons of Mass Destruction,” “Unsolved Mysteries of World War Two” and “Hitler’s War Beneath The Waves.’

It is too readily assumed that Hitler’s failure was inevitable. The Downfall of Hitler challenges this idea and shows how there were numerous opportunities for him to adopt a different course of action that might have led to a successful outcome.

In addition to his military blunders The Downfall of Hitler also focuses on the personal defects which made him unfit for high office, his reckless gambling in foreign policy and his dysfunctional economy and state structure. In all these area better choices could have been made that would have led to different and more favourable results.

He refused to listen to advice from his senior military officers, his Cabinet or scientists with predictably disastrous consequences. His ignorance of foreign affairs proved a serious problem and led directly to his nation becoming involved in a war for which Hitler had not made adequate preparations. His economic mismanagement merely slowed down Germany in peacetime but was a major handicap once the country was at war.


Saturday 27 August 2022

The Nazis and Allies and psychic warfare and esoteric practices during World War II


This article is about the Nazis andtheir involvement in a range of occult and esoteric ideas and practices wth a brief look at the Allied response.

·         Nazi Germany was not an “occult Reich” but occult ideas influenced its thinking to a greater extent than is often realized. Himmler spent more on his occult dreams than America spent on the atomic bomb. Goering believed that we lived inside a hollow earth and in 1942 wasted huge resources in order to prove the theory. Hess believed in every speculative idea imaginable. Hitler, though for tactical reasons choosing to distance himself publicly from the excesses of his lieutenants, was a firm adherent to numerous “alternative” theories. He and Goebbels were sufficiently good astrologers to be able to examine the horoscope of the German nation in the dying months of the war.

·         I will examine both the scope and limitations of the influence of occult ideas on Hitler and their impact upon the Third Reich in detail.

  • Let’s begin with Hitler. Hitler’s world view didn’t spring out of his own head. Both as a youth and as an adult he was influenced by ideas from other people. I’ll now talk about the men and ideas that influenced Hitler’s thinking and actions.
  • When he arrived in Vienna as a teenager Hitler was introduced to various occult ideas and practices by Joseph Greiner.

  • Greiner taught Hitler hypnotism, astrology, meditation, yoga, graphology, numerology, astral projection, dowsing and mediumship. Hitler spent hours dowsing in the woods around Vienna while he lived there. Perhaps the most important single thing Greiner taught Hitler was to develop his will as a means of controlling people and events, including psychokinesis.
  • Hitler also discovered the occult racism of Guido von List.

  • From von List he derived the belief that Aryans in general and Germans in particular were a superior race. He also adopted von List’s symbol of the swastika. He was much less interested in von List’s neo-paganism but his idiosyncratic interpretations of the runes were later to have profound influence on Himmler.
  • Von List believed that the runes were “the secret sacred language” of Aryan priests. They also, so he claimed, contained the secrets of alchemy. He believed that they were “words of power” that could connect the material world with the world of thought. Each letter of the runic alphabet, he claimed, rotated in a vibrating harmony with a particular star or planet. He even claimed that humans – by which of course he meant ‘Aryans’ - had originated on the Moon before settling on Earth.  He saw the swastika as both a symbol of the sun and of life, claiming that it possessed electromagnetic properties. It could also, he believed, develop powers of clairvoyance and “strengthen German blood.”

  • Von List’s advocacy of the pseudo-science of phrenology – a belief that character could be read from the bumps on a person’s head – also influenced both Hitler and Himmler, and in particular his belief that ‘Aryan’ skulls had innately superior ‘bumps’ reflecting their innate ‘superiority.’
  • An even more powerful influence on Hitler during his time in Vienna was the racial mythology of Adolf Lanz, a megalomaniac who liked to style himself Baron Lancz von Liebenfels.

  • From Lanz Hitler adopted the idea that Jews were subhuman, the product of mating between humans and apes. He also discovered the idea of the Final Solution, one that Lanz advocated strongly. Lanz added anti-Slavism to anti-Semitism, an idea that Hitler later adopted. Not only blonde hair and blue eyes but even small hands and feet and large heads were, in Lanz’s view, proofs of superior Aryan racial stock. Angels, in Lanz’s mythology, were coded references to “Aryan heroes.” In his distorted version of evolution, only Aryans were fully human. Jews, Slavs, blacks and other inferior races were the product of interbreeding between humans and apes.  Lanz was also a misogynist, declaring that “through woman, sin came into the world, and it is so over and over again because woman is especially susceptible to the love artifices of her animal-like inferiors.” His slogan was “race war until the castration knife.” Lanz also advocated nudism and believed that there once existed on Earth a lost paradise where nude Aryan men and women enjoyed racially pure sex. The Fall, in Lanz’s view, was the result of human women interbreeding with what Lanz called “the dark races.”  He called for “the extirpation of the animal man and the propagation of the higher New Man,” an idea that Hitler later embraced enthusiastically and attempted to carry out. Lanz met Hitler on several occasions when the future Nazi leader was living in Vienna. He also purchased copies of Lanz’s magazine Ostara in which he expounded his racial and occult fantasies.

  • Hitler left Vienna in 1913 and moved to Munich. He lived in Schwabing, the “artist’s quarter” of the city. There he discovered the ideas of Alfred Schuler

  • and Ludwig Derleth.

  • Both men belonged to a group known as the “Cosmic Circle” and their goal was to make Munich the centre of “cosmic consciousness.” They believed that all existing religions were false and sought to replace them with what they called the Urheimat – original home – of the soul. They despised reason and advocated following the instincts and the desires of the unconscious mind. This attitude to life later found its way into Nazi thought under the slogan of “thinking with the blood.” Schuler admired the Roman Empire and blamed the Jews and Christians for its collapse. He engaged in séances, healing and astral travel. His personal symbol was the swastika and he stressed what he called the “sacredness” of “pure blood.” Ironically, Schuler believed that the original state of society was one of a matriarchal society where unbridled promiscuity reigned and he wanted to revive the religious worship of the Mother Goddess. This aspect of his ideas had no appeal for Hitler but it certainly influenced Himmler and Hess. Hitler heard Schuler lecture in Vienna and developed an admiration for Rome as a result. He also became fascinated by the symbol of the swastika. Hitler later met Schuler in Munich.
  • Derleth may have been as fervently racist as Schuler and a fellow-member of the “Cosmic Circle” but the two men became bitter enemies. He denounced Schuler’s séances as “black magic rituals.” Derleth issued his notorious Proclamations in which he announced the imminent coming of “Christus Imperator Maximus.” This new world leader required “death-hardened troops for the conquest of the globe,” an idea that later appealed greatly to both Hitler and Himmler. Derleth wanted to establish an ideal city which he called the Rosenburg – rose town. Lanz admired Derleth and Himmler was greatly attracted by this fantasy city. Himmler also followed Derleth in his advocacy of organic farming, vegetarianism, alchemy, “spiritual development” and an “order” that fashioned and governed a “golden society.” Derleth was a greater influence on Himmler than Hitler but Hitler certainly knew his work and admired many of his ideas.
  • In 1919 Hitler joined what became the Nazi Party where he met Dietrich Eckart,

  • Alfred Rosenberg,

  • Gottfried Feder

  • and Rudolf Hess.

  •  Eckart, Rosenberg and Feder had a decisive influence on his thinking and his future development..
  • Eckart had been looking for a German Messiah ever since the defeat of Germany in 1918. Even before he met Hitler he was conducting séances with two anti-Semitic Russian former generals.
  • Like Lanz, Eckart hated women and Jews. His mythological fantasies differed slightly from those of Lanz and von List because Eckart was essentially a Gnostic. Like the Gnostics, he regarded the material world as evil and saw death as preferable to life. He believed that it was the destiny of human beings to “transcend” the physical plane and become purely “spiritual beings.”
  • Rosenberg, like his friend Eckart, was a racist and misogynist. He was not just anti-Semitic and anti-Communist but anti-capitalist, anti-Christian and anti-Freemasonry. He also harboured a fierce hatred for feminism and lesbianism. Rosenberg, like Eckart, saw the material world as evil and believed that humans should strive to evolve to a higher level where they could live on a “non-material plane of existence.” Before Rosenberg many people had accused the Masons of being politically subversive but he appears to have been the first one to accuse Masonry of being a specifically “Jewish conspiracy.” This idea was rapidly taken up by Hitler and others in his circle and quickly became the orthodox view in far right movements.
  • As with Eckart, the extent of Rosenberg’s influence on Hitler was downplayed once Hitler became Chancellor but because Rosenberg was a Minister in the Third Reich his influence continued to be felt and his work was not suppressed. There were two ways in which Rosenberg particularly helped to shape Hitler’s thinking. One was when he brought the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion to Germany in 1919.

  • This became a kind of Bible to the far right and remains so among neo-Nazis to this day. It was a forgery carried out in the late nineteenth century by an anti-Semitic Russian woman and which was seized on by the Tsarist secret police as a pretext for pogroms. Rosenberg showed the book to Eckart and it was translated into German where it quickly became a best-seller. Hitler was convinced that it represented the “truth” about a sinister Jewish conspiracy and even when he was challenged by Rauschning who told him bluntly that it was a forgery, Hitler’s reply was to say that it did not matter. What mattered to him was its “intrinsic truth.”
  • The other way in which Rosenberg influenced Hitler’s thinking was in his firm belief in a new stage in human evolution. The “higher man” would be as far above the Aryans as they were above the “subhuman lesser races.” Like many völkisch occultists, Rosenberg believed that civilization derived from a northern source, generally referred to as Thule, a land in the region of the North Pole and said to be a fragment of the lost continent of Atlantis.

  • (I’ll have more to say on Atlantis shortly.)  It was Rosenberg who convinced Hitler of the importance of the “higher man” as the next step in human evolution and it was he was convinced Himmler of the importance of a völkisch approach to history and of the relevance of a lost northern civilization and Atlantis to the Nazi project.
  • Karl Haushofer

  • created a whole new pseudo-science which he called geopolitics. This idea was not even invented by him but was stolen wholesale from the British imperialist Sir Halford Mackinder.

  • Mackinder believed that the territory stretching from the Rhine to Central Asia and in particular the areas of Tibet and Mongolia represented the “heartland” and claimed that whoever controlled the heartland could control the world. Haushofer adopted this idea and used it as a justification for his advocacy of lebensraum – living space – which he regarded as an ideological basis for German imperialism. Hitler, of course, swallowed Haushofer’s ideas whole and made them the basis of his foreign policy. In addition to his ‘geopolitical’ ideas, Haushofer was also deeply versed in Eastern occult and mystical traditions. He joined the Society of the Green Dragon in Japan and imported new strains of Eastern occultism to the West. Haushofer travelled extensively in the Far East and made contact with occultists from Japan, China, Tibet and Siberia. All these contacts influenced his own thinking and so, indirectly, the foundation of the Nazi Party.
  • At this point it’s worth taking a closer look at the Thule Group and the Vril Society. Thule took its name from a mythical country in Greek legend located in the far north. Many of the group’s members believed that Thule had been the last surviving remnant of the lost continent of Atlantis. It was founded in 1910 but until it moved to Munich in 1918 it was small and ineffective. In 1918 Rudolf von Sebottendorf

  • took control of Thule and transformed it into a force that changed the course of history.
  • Its members believed that Thule was the seat of a lost Hyperborean civilisation and that the Aryan races represented its surviving descendants. Johannes Hering was not an important member but because he recorded details of the meeting is the principal source of information on Thule.

·         Sebottendorf believed that mediaeval cathedral builders had been members of a secret society of craftsmen who also knew the secret of alchemy

·         He taught the members to repeat certain syllables during particular phases of the moon. They also learned to make signs which were supposed to capture ‘original force’ and to turn matter into energy.

·         There was an inner and outer circle but both attempted to raise their consciousness and to develop contacts with supernatural beings. The inner circle looked on themselves as lords of the earth, destined to usher in a new era in evolution when supermen would eventually supersede the Aryan race.

·         Thule’s non-political activities were primarily centred on meditation, concentration, developing the will and seeking to contact ancestors.

·         Sebottendorf was obsessed with astrology and the idea that – in his own words – ‘the Germans especially must give to the world a new species.’

·         Sebottendorf purchased the Münchener Beobachter – the ‘Munich Observer – in 1918 and turned it into a vehicle for racist and occult propaganda. He also acquired the Franz Eher publishing house. He renamed it the Volkische Beobachter - the People's Observer - and it became the main newspaper of the emerign Nazi Party.


·         Thule became highly active in politics as Bavaria was on the brink of going Communist and the Thulists actively worked to suppress ‘Soviet Bavaria.’

·         Its membership list contained most of the early leaders of the Nazi Party – Hess, Rosenberg, Frank, Feder, Eckart and other leading lights in the early years of the party.

·         Its members subscribed to a range of occult beliefs and some engaged in a variety of occult practices but its primary purpose soon became to establish an alternative political movement to Communism.

·         The Thule Group held a séance in 1919 with a Russian medium who allegedly produced ghostly apparitions from her vagina. At this séance she is said to have evoked the spirits of two murdered Thulists and to have prophesised the imminent arrival of Germany’s saviour.

·         The Thule Group became largely ineffective after the suppression of the Communist threat to Germany. Hitler’s political career continued to rise and as he began to contemplate the possibility of achieving political power he slowly pushed the occult groups like Thule into the background. On his appointment as Chancellor in 1933 he suppressed the group completely.

·         The result of this was an angry book by Sebottendorf, Bevor Hitler Kam (Before Hitler Came), in which Sebottendorf took too much credit for Hitler’s rise to power and exaggerated the influence of the Thule Group and of his own role within the organisation.


The Vril Society

·         The Vril Society was founded in 1919 by Karl Haushofer. It grew out of the Order of the Green Dragon, an Asian order to which Haushofer belonged. Green Dragon members tried to control the vital forces in the human body and to gain power over time. They also performed a ritual to control the vital energy in plants.


·         The original name of the organization was the Brothers of the Light. It was then renamed the Luminous Lodge but soon became known as the Vril Society.

·         The name Vril was taken from an 1871 novel by Bulwer-Lytton



·        who wrote a novel called  , The Coming Race


wwhich described a race of superior beings dwelling under the ground and who enjoyed the mastery of a mysterious force which Lytton called ‘Vril power.’

·         The Vril Society believed in the real existence of ‘Vril power.’ They were convinced that anyone who could master this force could dominate the world.

·         The Vril Society’s interest included research into Atlantis, the origins of the Aryan race and the awakening of the magical powers they believe lay dormant in those with Aryan blood.

·         In December 1919 the society met at a house near Berchtesgaden. It is alleged that two female mediums, one a Croatian called Maria Orsitsch and another known simply as Sigrun, received various messages from supernatural beings.



·         These claimed that the forthcoming saviour of Germany was ‘hard by the door’ and that he would be the next owner of the ‘Spear of Destiny’ – the lance held in the Hofburg Museum at Vienna which was claimed to be the spear that pierced the side of Christ on the cross.


·         Vril members performed rituals to ‘summon’ and ‘control’ Vril power as well as the usual meditation and visualization exercises.

·         Vril power has been identified with many different ‘forces.’ Lytton compared it to electricity while others have compared it to prana or kundalini. Some Vril Society members believed it to be ‘telluric energy’ from the Earth.

·         All the society’s members believed that control of Vril led to domination of the world and to advancing to the next stage in evolution. They saw it as the only proper and worthwhile goal in life. If it could be achieved they believed that when the subterranean dwellers from the Earth’s core emerge on to its surface they would greet humans had mastered Vril as their equals.

·         Haushofer was the founder and the dominant force in the Vril Society. He also allegedly possessed the gift of prophecy.

·         Haushofer emphasised not only the ‘racial purity’ of the subterranean ‘Aryans’ from Atlantis but also regarded them as masters of magic. He believed that Atlanteans were not purely human but partly spiritual beings with superhuman powers. They were so close to nature that they could, through certain words of power, heal the sick and aid the growth of plants.  What they lacked, Haushofer claimed, was reason. It was the latest branch of the Atlanteans, the Aryan race, who developed the power of thought. This gave them enormous new possibilities but meant that they lost their magical power and had to learn to adapt and improvise. These Aryans left Atlantis and went to Europe and Asia. Their leaders settled in Tibet and established ‘an oracle of the sun’ whose symbol was the swastika. Their main centre was known as Shamballah.



·          Haushofer introduced not only the legend of Shamballah but also that of Agarthi (also known as Agarti and Agharta) to the society. The name Shamballah means ‘quietness’ and the name Agarthi means ‘inaccessible.’ Shamballah was described, like the Norse ‘world tree Yggdrassil, as having its foundations beneath the earth as well as a visible section above ground.  Haushofer believed that Agarthi was the original ‘centre’ from which the Aryan race had started out.


·         Haushofer transferred the traditional location of Shamballah from Mongolia to Tibet.

·         The importance attached by the Vril Society to Tibet led to a number of expeditions to the country between 1926 and 1938. It is alleged that one final expedition took place between 1942-1943 bur this seems implausible.



·         Unlike the Thule Group, which became moribund after 1925, the Vril Society continued to exist and exert influence for some years. As with Thule, there is no evidence that Hitler became a member but he certainly knew and was influenced by key players within the society and undoubtedly shared most of their beliefs.

·         Hess had been a member of the Vril Society and an ardent disciple of Haushofer.

·         Following the failure of the Munich putsch in 1923, both Hitler and Hess were imprisoned in Landsberg prison. Hess introduced Hitler to Haushofer and Hitler became convinced of the truth of his teachings.

·         The first semi-public appearance of the Vril Society was in 1930 when it produced a book entitled Vril: Die kosmische Urkraft which claimed that the Atlanteans had possessed a ‘spiritual dynamic technology.’


·          Their second brochure, Weltdynamismus, appeared in 1931 and spoke of the possibilities of ‘free energy.’ After these two publications, both of which appeared during the final years of the Weimar Republic, open knowledge of the Vril Society ceased.


·         From 1933 onwards the picture is less clear. One of the first things the Nazis did on coming to power was to suppress or incorporate every occult or mystical group within Germany. A few managed to survive, mainly through becoming incorporated in the SS, but the story of the Vril Society’s fate is complex and contradictory.

·         On the one hand Vril Society members like Himmler, Hess, Rosenberg, Feder and others held high office and continued to be influential. On the other hand there is little or no evidence of any kind of occult activity by them except for Himmler’s rituals within Wewelsburg castle and his public neo-pagan ceremonies.

·         The first open mention of the Vril Society was in an article by the German rocket scientist Willy Ley in 1947. He gives few concrete details though the reality of the society has been confirmed by independent researchers. 


·         Ley’s account of the Vril Society states that among its members were Tibetan lamas with knowledge of Agarthi. The leader of the Tibetan monks was known simply as the Man with Green Gloves. He and his fellow lamas lived and died in the Third Reich, many of them through suicide as the Russians approached Berlin. The Man with the Green Gloves was alleged to ‘know the secrets of the entrance to Agarthi.


·         In spite of their small size and secretive nature, and the probability that Hitler never directly joined either organization, there is no doubt that both groups had a profound and decisive influence upon his thinking and his courses of action.

·         It has been alleged that either the Vril Society or the Thule Group designed, constructed and flew flying saucers during the 1930s and 1940s.  I’ll discuss that idea shortly when I take a look at the possible connections between UFOs and the Nazis.

·         There was considerable research into what would now be called ‘alternative energy’ under the Third Reich. Karl Schappeller, Hans Coler and Nikola Tesla are names often mentioned in this regard. Schappeller worked on a device that he believed exemplified ‘cold ether,’ what is nowadays referred to as ‘zero point energy.’ This idea was picked up by the Nazis and associated with Vril power.


·         Tesla claimed to have developed a ‘teleforce weapon’ which he refused to sell to the Nazis but which he at least discussed with Soviet scientists.


·         Coler began developing a ‘free energy’ device as early as 1923 but the Third Reich gave him funds and research facilities to turn his project into a reality. Successive German scientists and, after the war, British scientists examined his machine and discovered that it worked but neither Coler nor any of the scientists who examined it could find an explanation as to how and why it functioned. Coler suggested a new form of energy but no one has ever satisfactorily explained the mystery of this device.


·         Viktor Schauberger


·         believed that water was ‘the blood of Mother Earth’ and that it was alive and needed to be handled carefully to protect this precious resource.  He classified water into different categories – ‘juvenile’ water which is the name he gave to sterile or distilled water; ‘ripe’ water which he identified with spring water that had grown and developed in the forest and had the properties of being self-cooling, bubbling and full of energy. In his opinion deforestation caused a severe deterioration in the quality of water. He also believed that too great heat harmed water and that its optimum temperature was below 9 degrees Celsius (39.2 degrees Fahrenheit.) His worked attracted the interest of the Agriculture Minister Richard Darré and his ideas that water could be a source of energy also found some support. Ultimately the advent of war pushed Schauberger’s views into the background though curiously in 1952 an experiment in West Germany seemed to confirm his ideas.

·         The idea of ley lines was first consciously formulated by Alfred Watkins but built on the earlier work of R Hippisley Cox. It was taken up enthusiastically by the German ley line writer and researcher Joseph Heinsch. Heinsch enlarged and developed the ideas of Watkins to postulate not simply an extensive network of prehistoric roads (as Cox and Watkins had believed) but seeing them as generators of ‘telluric energy’ – the power believed to lie latent within the earth.  Heinsch also believed that churches and in particular cathedrals had been built on ley lines and were consequently themselves reservoirs of ‘telluric energy.’


  • The Welteislehre – World Ice Theory – was put forward by Hanns Hörbiger, an Austrian engineer. It claimed that there had been successive moons and each in turn had crashed down on Earth and destroyed former civilisations. Hitler was a firm believer in the theory and it played a part in his failure to equip his troops for the invasion of Russia because the Hörbigerian weather forecasters had predicted a mild winter.

  • Goering believed in an even more bizarre theory put forward by Peter Bender.  This former Luftwaffe pilot had read a magazine advocating the hollow earth theory while a prisoner of war and became converted to it. . While the concept of habitable layers beneath the Earth’s crust had been popular for centuries amongst occultists, Bender’s Hohlwelt-theorie argued that the Earth was a vault within an endless field of matter. The sun was somewhere in the middle of this vault, and the stars in the sky were the lights of cities from the other side.

  • “An infinite universe is a Jewish abstraction,” wrote Bender. “A finite, rounded universe is a thoroughly Aryan conception.”
  • Bender  persuaded Hermann Goering of its truth and many officers in the German navy.
  • Other German advocates of the idea were Johannes Lang and Karl Neupert.
  • Bender further developed Teed’s theory by claiming that the universe was extremely small and was entirely contained within the hollow earth. Humans lived within a hollow globe with the sun at its centre. However, points of light revolved around the sun, creating what Bender called ‘the phantom universe.’ Day and night were only illusions caused by the movement of the sun to the other side of the phantom universe. The hollow earth was the fixed centre of the cosmos and the sun, stars and planets revolve around it. All astronomical observations were simply our relative location to the sun and planets within the hollow earth.
  • Shortly after the National Socialist party came to power Bender convinced several Nazi leaders to fund an experiment to send a rocket from Magdeburg to New Zealand. Bender believed that if the rocket was fired directly into the sky it would be able to reach the other side of the world.  A series of tests was carried out but the project was abandoned fairly swiftly without a successful launch.

  • Bender declared that the Copernican theory was false. We did not live on the outside of a globe rotating around the sun but we lived inside the earth which was the true centre of the universe and the sun was inside our globe. What humans believed to be the surface of the earth was actually the inner section of the world we know.
  • Goering and the German navy were intensely interested in Bender’s theory. The navy hoped that it might help them to detect British ships. Bender and his fellow advocates suggested that aiming radar detection equipment at the sky would lead to light waves bouncing back from the exterior layer surrounding the centre which would pinpoint the positions of vessels.
  • For five years Bender and his supporters gained increasing support. Then in 1938 one of them, Johannes Lang, asked for permission to give a talk on the subject. Rosenberg not only refused permission but discovered that Lang had once published a horoscope of Hitler. This was illegal in Nazi Germany and led to the hollow earth advocates coming under suspicion.
  • As late as 1942 Goering wasted vast sums of money and scientific resources attempting to prove the truth of the idea. After the failure of the expedition Bender was thrown into a concentration camp and the hollow earth theory banned in Germany.
  • Atlantis was another myth that was hugely popular among the Nazi inner circle. There were various theories about its location, the most favoured ones being those that placed it in the north.

  • The swastika was claimed to be a symbol of the ‘northern sun’ and was said to be one of the sacred symbols of Atlantis. Several attempts to find relics of Atlantis were undertaken, one of them in collaboration with Franco’s Spain.

  • For a heady period of four years Hitler lived among these ideas and began to see himself as a new Messiah and National Socialism as a new religion for Germany. The failure of his attempted putsch in 1923 led him to adopt a more moderate public face but his Table Talk and various other accounts by associates shows clearly that he did not abandon these views but simply hid them from open view in the interests of his political career. At times he pretended to be an orthodox Catholic but his real views on the subject of religion were utterly contemptuous of all forms of Christianity. He did not take Himmler’s neo-paganism seriously but approved of his attempts to turn Nazi events into substitute quasi-religious ceremonies and his attempts to portray Hitler as a semi-divine being.
  • In 1923 the astrologer Elsbeth Ebertin

  • was asked by a Nazi Party woman member to cast a horoscope of an unknown man. It was of course Hitler and though she did not have the time of his birth she drew up a chart and it was published later that year. Among other things it described him as ‘a man of action’ who could ‘expose himself to danger for the future of Germany.’ When in November the Munich putsch occurred it made Ebertin famous and Hitler often referred to her prediction and how much it had helped his career. On the other hand, once he became Chancellor he suppressed all astrological activity that was not sponsored and controlled by the Nazis and after Hess’ flight to Britain in 1941 even most of the Nazi astrologers had to fall silent. Only the handful who enjoyed Himmler’s protection were able to continue working.
  • As well as astrology outright prophecy was popular among many Nazi leaders. Jan Erik Hanussen, a bizarre character who was actually a Jew named Herschel Steinschneider, took an interest in Hitler in the late 1920s and not only taught him the importance of gestures and body language but also successfully predicted several events, the most important of his prophecies being of the Reichstag fire.

  • In 1939 the Communist Georg Elser

  • attempted to assassinate Hitler by planting a bomb at the November meeting for ‘old fighters.’ It failed to kill Hitler by fifteen minutes and a number of other Nazis died. What is interesting is that before the event the Swiss astrologer Karl Krafft

  • sent a message to Hess warning that Hitler’s life would be in danger ‘from an explosion.’ Not surprisingly Krafft was arrested by the Gestapo after the bomb went off but was able to persuade them that his knowledge of the bomb plot had been arrived at purely through astrological deduction!
  • After Hitler became Chancellor he tolerated the occult excesses of his lieutenants like Hess, Goering and especially Himmler. Himmler was allowed to spend vast amounts of public money on his occult projects which failed to produce any results.
  • During the course of the Third Reich money was spent on all kinds of ‘alternative’ projects ranging from alternative sources of energy to unorthodox types of aircraft. A claim has been made in recent years that an extraterrestrial spacecraft crashed in the Black Forest in 1936 and was ‘back engineered’ by German scientists to produce a working flying saucer. This claim is wholly fictitious and was originated by neo-Nazi Holocaust deniers.

  • On the other hand, genuine research on flying discs was undertaken by Nazi scientists and aeronautical engineers. The best-known claims (apart from fantasy and fictitious ones like the Haunebu device

  • and the Vril ‘tachyonator’ machine)

  • are made for the Belluzo,

  • Schriever-Habermohl

  • Miethe

  • and Fleissner machines.

  •  Of all these various claims it is worth noting that none of them were made until the 1950s and that no trace of Habermohl has been discovered. Belluzo, Schriever and Miethe existed but none of them claimed their craft were successfully developed, still less that they flew. Fleissner is different; not only is there photographic evidence of a test flight in 1945 but he took out a patent for a flying saucer in the 1950s. Of all the claims for Nazi involvement with UFO projects his is by far the most plausible.
  • By 1945 when all rational people could see that Germany was defeated Hitler and Goebbels pored over the horoscope of the German nation. When they heard the news of the death of Roosevelt they foolishly imagined that the US would pull out of the war and they would be able to regroup. Both men were sufficiently skilled in astrology to be able to read and interpret the horoscopes themselves.
  • The Nazis may have been the nation most willing to use occult methods in an attempt to achieve victory but the Allies also used it to a lesser extent. Both the British and Germans forged Nostradamus prophecies as propaganda weapons.
  • Various individuals and groups in the West also attempted to use occult methods to fight against the Nazis. One such group was the Druids and I was privileged to hear from Ross Nicholls, one of the Druids involved in their campaign against the Nazis, about two rituals the Druids carried out in 1940 to try and prevent a German invasion.
  • Another one was the witches and Gerald Gardner has recorded details of how they too carried out rituals in an attempt to stop the Germans from landing. The Druid Lewis Spence was also involved in secret contacts with anti-Nazi disciples of Hörbiger which may have been partly responsible for the poor state of equipment of the German Army when they attacked Russia. Dion Fortune was heavily involved in what she called ‘the magical Battle of Britain’ and sent out a series of projections designed to affect the course of the war, to lower German morale and to assist the Allies.
  • The Americans attempted to use hypnotism to reduce the effect of German U-boats and, according to various accounts, tried to dematerialise either one of their own ships or one of their own submarines.
  • Even Stalin employed his own psychic, Wolf Messing, who predicted both the date of the invasion of the Soviet Union and the end of the war. The Russians also attempted to use remote viewing and telepathy to gain intelligence about German plans.
  • Probably never before or since has so much money been spent by governments on occult experiments and research. How effective all this effort was is open to question but it is a fascinating sidelight on one of the most decisive periods in human historyBottom of Form