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Hitler

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Adolph Hitler - (1889-1945)

Hitler was the founder and leader of National Socialism (Nazism), and German dictator, b.
Braunau in Upper Austria.
The son of Alois Hitler (1837-1903), an Austrian customs official, Adolf Hitler dropped out of high
school, and after his mother's death in 1907 moved to Vienna. He twice failed the admission
examination for the academy of arts. His vicious anti-Semitism (perhaps influenced by that of
Karl Lueger ) and political harangues drove many acquaintances away. In 1913 he settled in
Munich, and on the outbreak of World War I he joined the Bavarian army. During the war he
was gassed and wounded; a corporal, he received the Iron Cross for bravery. The war hardened
his extreme nationalism, and he blamed the German defeat on betrayal by Jews and Marxists.
Upon his return to Munich he joined a handful of other nationalistic veterans in the German
Workers' party.
In 1920 the German Workers' party was renamed the National Socialist German Workers, or
Nazi, party; in 1921 it was reorganized with Hitler as chairman. He made it a paramilitary
organization and won the support of such prominent nationalists as Field Marshal Ludendorff .
On Nov. 8, 1923, Hitler attempted the beer-hall putsch, intended to overthrow the republican
government. Leading Bavarian officials (themselves discontented nationalists) were surrounded at
a meeting in a Munich beer hall by the Nazi militia, or storm troopers, and made to swear loyalty
to this revolution. On regaining their freedom they used the Reichswehr [army] to defeat the
coup. Hitler fled, but was soon arrested and sentenced to five years in the Landsberg fortress. He
served nine months.
The putsch made Hitler known throughout Germany. In prison he dictated to Rudolf Hess the
turgid Mein Kampf [my struggle], filled with anti-Semitic outpourings, worship of power, disdain
for civil morality, and strategy for world domination. It became the bible of National Socialism.
Under the tutelage of Hitler and Gregor Strasser , aided by Josef Goebbels and from 1928 by
Hermann Goering , the party grew slowly until the economic depression, beginning in 1929,
brought it mass support.
To Germans burdened by reparations payments to the victors of World War I, and threatened by
hyperinflation, political chaos, and a possible Communist takeover, Hitler, frenzied yet magnetic,
offered scapegoats and solutions. To the economically depressed he promised to despoil Jew

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financiers, to workers he promised security. He gained the financial support of bankers and
industrialists with his virulent anti-Communism and promises to control trade unionism.
Hitler had a keen and sinister insight into mass psychology, and he was a master of intrigue and
maneuver. After acquiring German citizenship through the state of Brunswick, he ran in the
presidential elections of 1932, losing to the popular war hero Paul von Hindenburg but
strengthening his position by falsely promising to support Chancellor Franz von Papen , who
lifted the ban on the storm troops (June, 1932).
When the Nazis were elected the largest party in the Reichstag (July, 1932), Hindenburg offered
Hitler a subordinate position in the cabinet. Hitler held out for the chief post and for sweeping
powers. The chancellorship went instead to Kurt von Schleicher , who resigned on Jan. 28, 1933.
Amid collapsing parliamentary government and pitched battles between Nazis and Communists,
Hindenburg, on the urging of von Papen, called Hitler to be chancellor of a coalition cabinet,
refusing him extraordinary powers. Supported by Alfred Hugenberg , Hitler took office on Jan.
30.
Germany's new ruler was a master of Machiavellian politics. Hitler feared plots, and firmly
believed in his mission to achieve the supremacy of the so-called Aryan race, which he termed the
master race. Having legally come to power, he used brutality and subversion to carry out a
creeping coup to transform the state into his dictatorship. He blamed the Communists for a fire
in the Reichstag on Feb. 27, and by fanning anti-Communist hysteria the Nazis and Nationalists
won a bare majority of Reichstag seats in the elections of Mar. 5. After the Communists had been
barred, and amid a display of storm trooper strength, the Reichstag voted to give Hitler
dictatorial powers.
From the first days of Hitler's Third Reich (for its history, see Germany ; National Socialism ;
World War II ) political opponents such as von Schleicher and Gregor Strasser (who had resigned
from the Nazis) were murdered or incarcerated, and some Nazis, among them Ernst Roehm , were
themselves purged. Jews, Socialists, Communists, and others were hounded, arrested, or
assassinated. Government, law, and education became appendages of National Socialism. After
Hindenburg's death in 1934 the chancellorship and presidency were united in the person of the
Fhrer [leader]. Heil Hitler! became the obligatory form of greeting, and a cult of Fhrer worship
was propagated.
In 1938, amid carefully nurtured scandal, Hitler dismissed top army commanders and divided
their power between himself and faithful subordinates such as Wilhelm Keitel . As Hitler
prepared for war he replaced professional diplomats with Nazis such as Joachim von Ribbentrop .
Many former doubters had been converted by Hitler's bold diplomatic coups, beginning with
German rearmament. Hitler bullied smaller nations into making territorial concessions and
played on the desire for peace and the fear of Communism among the larger European states to
achieve his expansionist goals. To forestall retaliation he claimed to be merely rectifying the
onerous Treaty of Versailles.
Benito Mussolini became his ally and Italy gradually became Germany's satellite. Hitler helped
Franco to establish a dictatorship in Spain. On Hitler's order the Austrian chancellor Engelbert
Dollfuss was assassinated, and the Anschluss amalgamated Austria with the Reich. Hitler used the
issue of persecuted Germans in Czechoslovakia to push through the Munich Pact , in which
England, France, and Italy agreed to German annexation of the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia
(1938).

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Hitler's nonaggression pact (Aug., 1939) with Stalin allowed him to invade Poland (Sept. 1),
beginning World War II, while Stalin annexed Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia to the USSR and
attacked eastern Poland; but Hitler honored the pact only until he found it convenient to attack
the USSR (June, 1941). In Dec., 1941, he assumed personal command of war strategy, leading to
disaster. In early 1943 he refused to admit defeat at the battle of Stalingrad (now Volgograd ),
bringing death to vast numbers of German troops. As the tide of war turned against Hitler, his
mass extermination of the Jews, overseen by Adolf Eichmann , was accelerated, and he gave
increasing power to Heinrich Himmler and the dread secret police , the Gestapo and SS
( Schutzstaffel ).
By July, 1944, the German military situation was desperate, and a group of high military and civil
officials (including Field Marshal Erwin von Witzleben and Karl Goerdeler) attempted an
assassination. Hitler escaped a bomb explosion with slight injuries; most of the plotters were
executed. Although the war was hopelessly lost by early 1945, Hitler insisted that Germans fight
on to the death. During the final German collapse in Apr., 1945, Hitler denounced Nazi leaders
who wished to negotiate, and remained in Berlin when it was stormed by the Russians.

On Apr. 29 Hitler married his long-time mistress, Eva Braun, and on April 30 they committed
suicide together in an underground bunker of the chancellery building, having ordered that their
bodies be burned. Hitler left Germany devastated; his legacy is the memory of the most dreadful
tyranny of modern times.
- Encyclopedia.com

Hitler's Forgotten Library


By Timothy W. Ryback - the director of the Salzburg Seminar, a forum for global dialogue on
issues of contemporary concern, and the author of The Last Survivor: Legacies of Dachau.

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The books that constitute the Hitler Library were discovered in a salt mine near Berchtesgaden
haphazardly stashed in schnapps crates with the Reich Chancellery address on them by soldiers of
the 101st Airborne Division in the spring of 1945. After a lengthy initial evaluation at the U.S.
military "collecting point" in Munich the books, numbering 3,000, were shipped to the United
States and transferred in January of 1952 to the Library of Congress, where an intern was
assigned to uncrate the collection.
"The intern did what we call 'duping out,'" says David Moore, a German-acquisition assistant at
the Library of Congress. "If a book was not one hundred percent sure, if there was no bookplate,
no inscription to the Fhrer, he didn't keep it." According to Moore, duplicate copies were sent to
the exchange-and-gift division and then either went to other libraries or found their way onto the
open market; the non-duplicate books that could not be fully authenticated were absorbed into the
Library of Congress's general collection.
The 1,200 volumes that survived the "duping out" joined the rare-book collection on the third
floor of the Jefferson Building, where they were unceremoniously identified by a large cardboard
signdangling on a string from a ceiling pipe that read, "Hitler Library. This bay only. Please
replace books to proper location."
The sign has since been removed, the books relocated several times, and the collection
euphemistically renamed the Third Reich Collection. The books can be ordered, five at a time,
from the main desk in the rare-book reading room. When I first visited the collection, in April of
2001, fewer than half of the 1,200 books had Library of Congress numbers, and only 200 of those
were listed in the online catalogue; the remaining thousand titles were listed alphabetically by
author on yellowing cards in an old-fashioned wooden card catalogue, many still identified by the
provisional numbers assigned them in the early 1950s. Jerry Wager, the head of the rare-book
reading room, told me at the time, "Processing this collection has not been a high priority for us";
he also said that the books had been relocated yet again in recent months.
"We routinely move collections to make better use of existing space and to accommodate new
acquisitions," he said. A genteel man in his mid-fifties with a flawlessly manicured white beard,
Wager is a master of discretion. When I asked about the Hitler collection's new location, he
replied, "For security reasons we don't reveal where collections are located in the vault." He is
equally circumspect about scholars who have previously studied the collection, simply noting that
the books are requested only a few times each year, and generally by people looking for specific

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volumes rather than for an opportunity to study the collection as a whole.


Scholarly neglect of the Hitler Library derives in good part from an early misperception that its
historical or biographical importance was limited. "Spotchecks revealed little in the way of
marginal notes, autographs, or other similar features of interest," an internal Library of Congress
review determined in January of 1952. "Indeed, it seems that most of the books have never been
perused by their owner." Gerhard Weinberg, a leading authority on the Nazi era and one of the
first scholars to explore the collection, confirms this initial assessment. "I was a newly minted
Ph.D., and this was my first job beyond graduate school," Weinberg told me not long ago. "I was
compiling information for the Guide to Captured German War Documents.
The books had only recently been uncrated, and I was intrigued by what I would find there." To
Weinberg's disappointment, the Hitler Library appeared to consist mostly of presentation copies
from authors or publishers. "There were few clues that many of these books had been part of his
personal library, and even less evidence that he had read any of them," Weinberg says.
In 2000 Philipp Gassert and Daniel Mattern reached a similar conclusion. Beginning in 1995
Gassert, an assistant professor of history at the University of Heidelberg, and Mattern, the senior
editor at the German Historical Institute, in Washington, D.C., systematically reviewed every
volume in the collection. In the spring of 2001 Greenwood Press published the results of their
research, The Hitler Library, a 550-page bibliography that lists each book alphabetically, with its
author, page count, and call number. Also included are transcriptions of all handwritten
dedications, some brief descriptions of marginalia, and an indication of which books contain the
Fhrer's bookplate an eagle, a swastika, and oak branches between the words EX LIBRIS and
ADOLF HITLER.
The Hitler Library provides the first comprehensive road map through the collection, but at times
it leads readers astray.
Most significant is overlooked marginalia. In one reference Mattern and Gassert note correctly
that the Hitler Library contains two identical copies of Paul de Lagarde's German Essays, but
they don't mention marginalia, despite the fact that in one volume fifty-eight pages have penciled
intrusions the first on page 16, the last on page 370. Given that Lagarde belongs to a circle of
nineteenth-century German nationalist writers who are believed to have had a formative influence
on Hitler's anti-Semitism, the marked passages are certainly worth noting.
Sometimes writing along the side of a page is recognizably in Hitler's jagged cursive hand. For the
most part, though, the marginalia are restricted to simple markings whose common "authorship"
is suggested by an intense vertical line in the margin and double or triple underlining in the text,
always in pencil; I found such markings repeatedly both in the Library of Congress collection and
in a cache of eighty Hitler books at Brown University.
Hitler's handwritten speeches, preserved in the Federal German Archives, show an identical
pattern of markings. In one anti-Semitic rant Hitler drew three lines under the words
Klassenkampf ("class struggle"), Weltherrschaft ("world domination"), and Der Jude als
Diktator ("the Jew as dictator"); one can almost hear his fevered tones.
Hitler's habit of highlighting key concepts and passages is consonant with his theory on the "art of
reading." In Chapter Two of Mein Kampf he observed,

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A man who possesses the art of correct reading will, in studying any book, magazine,
or pamphlet, instinctively and immediately perceive everything which in his opinion is
worth permanently remembering, either because it is suited to his purpose or
generally worth knowing ... Then, if life suddenly sets some question before us for
examination or answer, the memory, if this method of reading is observed ... will
derive all the individual items regarding these questions, assembled in the course of
decades, [and] submit them to the mind for examination and reconsideration, until the
question is clarified or answered.
In these marginalia one sees a man (who famously seemed never to listen to anyone, for whom
"conversation" was little more than a torrent of monologues) reading passages, reflecting on
them, and responding with penciled dashes, dots, question marks, exclamation points, and
underscoringsintellectual footprints across the page. Here is one of history's most complex figures
reduced merely to a reader with a book and a pencil.
Though Kubizek's reminiscences, first published in the 1950s, are in many ways suspect, his
depiction of the future Fhrer as a bibliophile has been amply corroborated. One of Hitler's first
cousins, Johann Schmidt, recounted for a Nazi Party history of the Fhrer that when Hitler spent
summers with relatives in the tiny Waldviertel hamlet of Spital, he invariably arrived with "lots of
books in which he was constantly busy reading and working."
Hans Frank, Hitler's personal lawyer and the "governor" of Nazi-occupied Poland, recalled
before his 1946 execution at Nuremberg that Hitler carried a copy of Schopenhauer's The World
as Will and Representation with him throughout World War I. During his incarceration after the
failed 1923 Munich putsch, Hitler was regularly supplied with reading materials by friends and
associates. He once referred to his time in Landsberg Prison as his "university paid for by the
state." During a bout of prison blues in December of 1924 he received a package from Winifred
Wagner, the daughter-in-law of the composer Richard Wagner and one of the few people who
addressed Hitler with the familiar du.
It contained a book of Goethe's poetry from the Wagner family library. The 358-page volume,
now at the Library of Congress, contains meditative classics such as "Across All Peaks" and
"Evening Song," accompanied by handsome full-page pen-and-ink drawings. The inside cover
bears a handwritten inscription: "Adolf Hitler, this picture book taken from the book garden of
Eva Chamberlain, for your enjoyment in serious lonely hours! Bayreuth, Christmas 1924."
Books seem to have been the gift of choice for Hitler on virtually every occasion. The Hitler
Library contains scores of books bearing inscriptions for Christmas, his birthday, and other
festive occasions. A book titled Death and Immortality in the World View of Indo-Germanic
Thinkers is inscribed for Hitler by the SS chief Heinrich Himmler on the occasion of "Julfest
1938" Nazi circumlocution for Christmas. I also discovered books from the controversial
filmmaker Leni Riefenstahltwo on the Berlin Olympics and an eight-volume set of the complete
works of the nineteenth-century German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte in a rare first
edition. Given that Hitler had charged Riefenstahl with filming the Olympic Games, the presence
of the first two volumes was understandable; the Fichte was more puzzling.
When I called on Riefenstahl, who lives outside Munich and had just marked her hundredth
birthday, she referred me to her published memoirs, in which she devotes a chapter to the Fichte
volumes. According to that account, in the spring of 1933 the thirty-year-old filmmaker
approached Hitler about the plight of several Jewish friends. "I have great esteem for you as an
artist, you have a rare talent," Hitler replied, according to Riefenstahl. "But I cannot discuss the

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Jewish problem with you." Mortified by his rebuke (Riefenstahl says she felt herself go faint), she
later sought to make amends by sending Hitler the Fichte. Bound in white leather with gold
embossing, the books bear the inscription "Meinem lieben Fhrer in tiefster Verehrung ['To my
dear Fhrer with deepest admiration'], Leni Riefenstahl."
Fed by gifts and his own acquisitions, Hitler's library swelled dramatically in the late 1920s and
early 1930s. In his 1925 tax declaration Hitler listed his total personal assets at a paltry 1,000
marks, and claimed "no property" other than "a writing table and two bookcases with books."
By 1930, however, as sales of Mein Kampf bolstered his income, book buying represented his third
largest tax deduction (after general travel and transportation): 1,692 marks in 1930, with similar
deductions in the two years following. More telling still is the five-year insurance policy Hitler
took out in October of 1934, with the Gladbacher Fire Insurance Company, on his six-room
apartment on the Prinzregentenplatz, in downtown Munich.
In the letter of agreement accompanying the policy Hitler valued his book collection, said to
consist of 6,000 volumes, at 150,000 marks half the value of the entire policy. The other half
represented his art holdings.
By the late 1930s Hitler had three separate libraries for his ever-expanding collection. At his
apartment he removed a wall between two rooms and installed bookshelves. For the Berghof, his
Alpine retreat near Berchtesgaden, Hitler built a second-floor study with handmade bookcases;
color photographs of the finished space show an elegant setting with Oriental carpets, two globes,
and bookcases fitted with glass doors and brass locks.
Herbert Dhring, who managed the Berghof from 1936 to 1943, told me that the library could
accommodate no more than 500 or 600 volumes. "He reserved this space for the books he really
cared about," says Dhring, who helped Hitler to sort the books. "He used to have me send the
rest to a storage facility in Munich or to the new Reich Chancellery in Berlin."
For his official Berlin residence Hitler had his architect, Albert Speer, design a vast library that
occupied the entire west wing. "Inventory records of the Reich Chancellery that we found at the
Hoover Institution at Stanford suggest that by the early 1940s Hitler was receiving as many as
four thousand books annually," Daniel Mattern told me. In Munich, Gassert and Mattern also
discovered architectural sketches for a library annex to the Berghof that was intended to
accommodate more than 60,000 volumes. "This was a man with a lot of books," Mattern says.

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Adolph Hitler

The Unknown Hitler: Nazi Roots in the Occult


On April 6, 1919, in Bavaria, left wing socialists and anarchists proclaimed the Bavarian Soviet
Republic. The brains of the revolution were a group of writers who had little idea of
administration. Life in munich grew chaotic. The counter-revolutionary forces, the whites,
composed of various groups of decommissioned soldiers known as "Frei Corps", equipped and
financed by the mysterious Thule Society, defeated the Bavarian Soviet within a matter of weeks.
Many other decommissioned soldiers waited out the turbulence in barracks, pfc Adolph Hitler
among them. After the Bavarian Republic had been defeated by the Whites, in May, Hitler's
superiors put him to work in the post revolution investigating commission. His indictments
injected ruthless efficiency into the kangaroo courts as he fingered hundreds of noncommissioned
officers and enlisted men who had sympathized with the communist and anarchists. He was
subsequently sent to attend special anticommunist training courses and seminars at the University
which were financed by the Reichswehr administration and by private donors from the Thule
Society. This led to an assignment in the intelligence division of the postwar German army, to
infiltrate groups that could organize the working classes while the communists were weak. On a
September evening, 1919, Hitler turned up in the Sternecker Beer Hall where members and
friends of the budding German Workers Party had gathered.
He quietly listened to the presentation by engineer Gottfried Feder, a Thule Society member, who
talked about jewish control over lending capital. When one of the other group members called for
Bavaria to break away from the rest of Germany, Hitler sprang into action. The astonished
audience stood by while his highly aggressive remarks and compelling oratory swept through the
room. After Hitler had finished his harangue, party chairman and founder, Anton Drexler,
immediately asked him to a meeting of the party's steering committee held a few days later. He
was asked to join the committee as its seventh member, responsible for advertising and
propaganda.
Back in 1912, several German occultists with radical anti-semitic inclinations decided to form a
"magic" lodge, which they named the Order of Teutons. the main founders were Theodor Fritsch,
a publisher of an anti-semitic journal; Philipp Stauff, pupil of the racist Guido Von List, and
Hermann Pohl, the order's chancellor. (Pohl would drop out three years later to found his own

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bizarre lodge, the 'Walvater Teutonic Order of the Holy Grail'.)


The Order of Teutons was organized along the lines of the Free Masons or the Rosicrucians,
having differing degrees of initiation, only persons who could fully document that they were of
pure "aryan" ancestry were allowed to join.
In 1915, Pohl was joined by Rudolf Blauer, who held a Turkish passport and practiced sufi
meditation. He also dabbled in astrology and was an admirer of Lanz Von Liebenfels and Guido
Von List, both pathologically anti-semitic. Blauer went by the name of Rudolf Freiherr Von
Seboottendorf. He was very wealthy, although the origin of his fortune is unknown. He became the
Grand Master of the Bavarian Order and he founded the Thule Society, with Pohl's approval, in
1918.
After the Bavarian communist revolution of 1918, the Thule Society became a center of thea
counterrevolutionary subculture. An espionage network and arms caches were organized. The
Thule Club rooms became a nest of resistance to the revolution and the Munich Soviet Republic.
Journalist Karl Harrer was given the job of founding a political "worker circle". He realized that
the workers would reject any program that was presented to them by a member of the
conservative "privileged" class. Harrer knew that the mechanic Anton Drexler, who was working
for the railroads, was a well-known anti-semite, chauvinist and proletarian. With drexler as
nominal chairman, Harrer founded the German Workers Party in January 1919
The German Workers Party was only one of many associations founded and controlled by the
Thule Society. The Thule was the "mother" to the German Socialist Party, led by Julius Streicher,
and the right-wing radical Oberland Free Corps. It published the Munich observer, which later
became the National Observer. Hitler became the most prominent personality in the party. He
caused Harrer to drop out, and he pushed Drexler, the nominal chairman, to the sidelines. He
filled key positions with his own friends from the Thule Society and the Army. During the summer
of 1920, upon his suggestion, the party was renamed the National Socialist German Worker Party
(NASDAP). The new name was intended to equally attract nationalists and proletarians.
To go along with the new name his mass movement also required a flag with a powerful symbol.
Among many designs under consideration, Hitler picked the one suggested by Thule member Dr.
Krohn: a red cloth with a white circle in the middle containing a black swastika.
Hitler wanted to turn the German Workers Party into a mass-conscious fighting party, but
Harrer and Drexler were hesitant, due in part to their woeful financial situation. The Thule
Society was not yet supplying very much money and no one seemed to know how to build up a
mass party. Hitler arranged two public meetings in obscure beer halls, and he drafted leaflets and
posters, but there was no real breakthrough.
All of this changed dramatically at the end of the 1919 when Hitler met Dietrich Eckart. Most
biographers have underestimated the influence that Eckart exerted on Hitler. He was the wealthy
publisher and editor-in-chief of an anti-semitic journal which he called In Plain German. Eckart
was also a committed occultist and a master of magic. As an initiate, Eckart belonged to the inner
circle of the Thule Society as well as other esoteric orders.
Briefly, the creed of the Thule Society inner circle is as follows: Thule was a legendary island in
the far north, similar to Atlantis, supposedly the center of a lost, high-level civilization. But not all

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secrets of that civilization had been completely wiped out. Those that remained were being
guarded by ancient, highly intelligent beings (similar to the "Masters" of Theosophy or the White
Brotherhood). The truly initiated could establish contact with these beings by means of magicmystical rituals. The "Masters" or "Ancients" allegedly would be able to endow the initiated with
supernatural strength and energy. With the help of these energies the goal of the initiated was to
create a race of Supermen of "Aryan" stock who would exterminate all "inferior" races.
There can be no doubt that Eckart - who had been alerted to Hitler by other Thulists - trained
Hitler in techniques of self confidence, self projection, persuasive oratory, body language and
discursive sophistry. With these tools, in a short period of time he was able to move the obscure
workers party from the club and beer hall atmosphere to a mass movement. The emotion charged
lay speaker became an expert orator, capable of mesmerizing a vast audience.
One should not underestimate occultism's influence on Hitler. His subsequent rejection of Free
Masons and esoteric movements, of Theosophy, of Anthrosophy, does not necessarily mean
otherwise. Occult circles have long been known as covers for espionage and influence peddling.
Hitler's spy apparatus under Canaris and Heydrich were well aware of these conduits,
particularly from the direction of Britain which had within its MI5 intelligence agency a
department known as the Occult Bureau. That these potential sources of trouble were purged
from Nazi life should not be taken to mean that Hitler and the Nazi secret societies were not
influenced by mystical and occult writers such as Madame Blavatsky, Houston Stewart
Chamberlain, Guido Von List, Lanz Von Liebenfels, Rudolf Steiner, George Gurdjieff, Karl
Haushofer and Theodor Fritsch. Although Hitler later denounced and ridiculed many of them, he
did dedicate his book Mein Kampf to his teacher Dietrich Eckart.
A frequent visitor to Landsberg Prison where Hitler was writing Mein Kampf with the help of
Rudolf Hess, was General Karl Haushofer, a university professor and director of the Munich
Institute of Geopolitics. Haushofer, Hitler, and Hess had long conversations together. Hess also
kept records of these conversations. Hitler's demands for German "Living Space" in the east at
the expense of the Slavic nations were based on the geopolitical theories of the learned professor.
Haushofer was also inclined toward the esoteric. as military attache in Japan, he had studied ZenBuddhism. He had also gone through initiations at the hands of Tibetan Lamas. He became
Hitler's second "esoteric mentor", replacing Dietrich Eckart.
In Berlin, Haushofer had founded the Luminous Lodge or the Vril Society. The lodge's objective
was to explore the origins of the Aryan race and to perform exercises in concentration to awaken
the forces of "Vril". Haushofer was a student of the Russian magician and metaphysician Gregor
Ivanovich Gurdyev (George Gurdjieff).
Both Gurdjeiff and Haushofer maintained that they had contacts with secret Tibetan Lodges that
possessed the secret of the "Superman". The lodge included Hitler, Alfred Rosenberg, Himmler,
Goring, and Hitler's subsequent personal physician Dr. Morell. It is also known that Aleister
Crowley and Gurdjieff sought contact with Hitler.
Hitler's unusual powers of suggestion become more understandable if one keeps in mind that he
had access to the "secret" psychological techniques of the esoteric lodges. Haushofer taught him
the techniques of Gurdjieff which, in turn, were based on the teachings of the Sufis and the
Tibetan Lamas- and familiarized him with the Zen teaching of the Japanese Society of the Green
Dragon.

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From The Unknown Hitler by Wulf Schwartzwaller, Berkeley Books, 1990

The Men Behind Hitler - excerpts from the book by Bernard Schreiber
Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) was an English political economist and historian who in 1796
published a book called "An Essay on the Principle of Population" in which he said that poverty,
and thereby vice and misery, are unavoidable because population growth always exceeds food
production. Checks on population growth were wars, famine, and diseases.
Malthus's ideas had great impact, only a few asked on what his claims were actually based. Yet
neither Malthus nor his later disciples ever managed to put forward any scientific proof for his
theory. Many scientists have disproved Malthus' theory and the ideology resulting from it.
However, with the book, Malthus created an atmosphere which moved his adherents in 1834 to
pass a new law providing for the institution of work- houses for the poor, in which the sexes were
strictly separated to curb the otherwise inevitable overbreeding. This kind of philosophy urged the
calling forth of drastic measures. The full title of Charles Darwin's famous book is not so famous:
The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the
Struggle for Life. In it he explains the development of life-forms as a struggle for existence. The
result of this struggle would be a natural selection of those species and races who were to triumph
over those weaker ones who would perish.
Francis Galton (1822-1911) was an english psychologist and a half-cousin of Darwin. Galton
extended Darwin's theory into a concept of deliberate social intervention, which he said was a
logical application of evolution to the human race. He called his theory "Eugenics", the principle
of which was that by encouraging better human stock to breed and discouraging the reproduction
of less desirable stock, the whole race could be improved.
Modern racism really began with Arthur Count de Gabon (1816-1882) who published his Essay on
the Inequality of Human Races. He wrote in of a fair-haired Aryan race that was superior to all the
others whose remnants constituted a tiny racial aristocracy decaying under the overwhelming
weight of inferior races. A revival of his work in Germany began ten years after his death by the
Pan-Germans, an extremely nationalistic and anti-jewish group.
In 1899, Gabon's disciple, Houston Stewart Chaimberlain (1844-1927), an Englishman, published
The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, in Germany. He upheld the German race to be the
purest and damned the inferior races, the jews and negroes, as degenerate. From this point on,
Eugenics, Social Darwinism and racial hygiene fused into a single concept.
In 1904 the first chairs in Eugenics were instituted at University College, London, followed by the
establishment of the Galton Laboratory for National Eugenics in 1907. In 1910 the Eugenic
Record Office was founded in the United States, both institutes used the research results of the
Galton Laboratory of National Eugenics to propose practical applications. Eugenics was used an
the "scientific" basis upon which racism was fused to politics.
Eugenicists believed that the child of a mentally-ill person and a mentally heathy person would be
a mentally-ill offspring. This led to a series of escalating regimens: separation from society,
restraint, separation of the sexes in defective's colonies, and sterilizations.

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In Great Britain one of the leaders of the mental hygiene movement was Miss Evelyn Fox. She had
been an active member of the Eugenics Society before the foundation of the National Council for
Mental Hygiene, of which she was an officer and founder. among the board members was Sir
Cyril Burt, who later founded Mensa, a high i.q. group which espoused eugenic principles. The
mental hygiene movement drew strongly from the eugenic movements of whatever country they
were in.
Shortly after the turn of the century eugenic organizations were set up throughout the world.
While the whole world was being prepared by propaganda for the sterilization of the insane, the
adherents of mental hygiene and eugenics were preparing their next step, euthanasia.
In the U.S.A., Dr. Alexis Carrel, a nobel prize winner who had been on the staff of the Rockefeller
Institute since its inception, published his bookMan the Unknown in 1935. In it he suggests the
removal of the mentally ill and the criminal by small euthanasia institutions equipped with
suitable gases.
In 1933 the Nazi party rapidly consolidated its power. In June of that year, Minister of the
Interior Wilhelm Frick put in motion the passage of the "Law for the Prevention of Hereditary
Diseases in Posterity"- the sterilization law. Architect of the law was Ernst Rudin, professor of
psychiatry at the Munich University, director of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute for Genealog, and of
the Research Institute for Psychiatry. A separate legal system was set up consisting of "Hereditary
Health Courts", which could decree sterilization against a person's will. By 1935 the "Nuremburg
Laws" intended to insure the racial purity of the nation and was aimed specifically at the Jews.
In 1934 the Institute for Heredity, Biology and Racial Research was founded at Frankfurt
University by professor Ernst Rudin's colleague at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, Dr. Otmar
Freiherr Von Verscheur. Von Verscheur's assistant there was Dr. Joseph Mengele.
In England, Dr. Charles Killick Millard, president of the Society of Medical Officers of Health,
brought up in 1931 the question of voluntary euthanasia and proposed a suitable law. Later he
became fellow founder of the Voluntary Euthanasia Legislation Society. In 1935 Lord Moynihan,
president of the Royal College of Surgeons, founded the Euthanasia Society .
Sterilization and euthanasia were not the ideas of the Nazis and never had been. They were ideas
which were supported and promoted throughout the world by groups with an interest in the
development of mental hygiene. Germany, however, was the only country in which the political
climate allowed materialization of the final goal of sterilization and euthanasia.
There is not a great deal known about "T4" compared to other aspects of Nazi Germany. T4 was
the Fuhrer Chancellery and the initials came from the full address which was Tiergartenstrasse 4,
Berlin. "Project T4" was fully integrated into the organizational structure of the Reich and fell
under section 11b. ("mercy-death") of the Chancellery of the Fuhrer. Four cover organizations
safeguarded the project T4: the Realms Work Committee in charge of collecting information on
candidates for euthanasia from questionnaires sent to hospitals, the Realms Committee for
Scientific Approach to Severe Illness Due to Heredity set up exclusively to apply euthanasia to
children, the charitable company for the transport of the sick which transported patients to the
killing centers, and the Charitable Foundation for Institutional Care, in charge of final disposition
of the victims' remains.
At the time the questionnaires went out a number of mental hospitals were being converted for

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use as killing centers and schools for murder. Death chambers were built disguised as showerbaths and crematoriums, which were identical to those later to be established in the death camps
in Poland.
Schooling of the personnel at Hadamar Mental Institution produced perfect murderers who were
used to the smell of burnt flesh, had been taught to trick people being led to their death and to
steel themselves against the crying and pleading of the victims. On arrival, the victims were
stripped, dressed in paper shirts and forthwith taken to a gas chamber where they were murdered
with hydrocyanic acid gas, and the bodies moved to crematoriums by conveyer belts, six bodies to
a furnace. The psychiatrist in charge at Hadamar was Dr. Adolf Wahlmann, an active member of
the German Mental Hygiene Movement.
After the state had been relieved of the burden of these undesireables, the operation, still under
the direction of eminent mental health psychiatrists in T4, was expanded under the code of 14F13.
From being limited to mental hospitals and institutions, it now embraced German and Austrian
inmates and Jews in concentration camps who were sick or invalid. At Dachau at the end of 1941 a
commission composed of 4 psychiatrists under professor Dr. Werner Heyde, SS Standartenfuhrer
and lecturer in neurology and psychiatry at Wurzburg University, arrived at the camp and
selected hundred of patients incapable of work who were transported to the gas chambers and
disposed of.
The extermination camps had followed a separate evolution from the concentration camps that
were opened a few months after the Nazi rise to power. These death camps had their
headquarters, not in Himmler's SS organization, but in the Fuhrer's Chancellory (T4). Franz
Stangl (Austrian Gestapo) said at the Nuremberg trials that his progression to builder and
commander of the Sobibor Extermination Camp went through the Hartheim and Bernberg
euthanasia centers. The original staff at Sobibor was taken from Hartheim.
During the war eugenics became associated with the Nazis and afterwards a global whitewashing
began. The first step was the reconstitution of the many National Councils of Mental Hygiene. The
first was the British Association for Mental Health. Lady Prescilla Norman, wife of Montagu
Norman, governor of the Bank of England, had been working in the mental hygiene movement
since the 20's. In 1944 they sponsored a congress held at the Ministry of Health in London where
they established the World Federation of Mental Health-WFMH.
The first elected president of the WFMH was Dr. John Rawlings Rees, a British psychiatrist
associated with the Tavistock Institute. In 1948 the WFMH was formally inaugurated at the Third
International Congress of Mental Health. A vice-president of the Congress was Dr. Carl G. Jung
who was described by fellow vice-president Dr. Conti as "representing German psychiatry under
the Nazis". Dr. Jung had been co-editor of the Journal for Psychotherapy with Dr. M. H. Goering,
the cousin of Marshal Hermann Goering.
It may be that the real key to the Third Reich lies buried in the history of Tibet, for it was here
that Karl Haushofer, the initiate who taught the youthful Hitler, first met in literal fact the
Superman of Nazi legend.
Origins of the swastika
By 1945 the Thousand Year Reich had become a smoking ruin. Russian soldiers pressed through
the rubble, fighting from house to house, from street to street in order to link up with their British

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and American allies who also pressed in inexorably on the heart of the dying capital. Before they
overran the eastern sector of Berlin, these Russian troops came across something very strange:
vast numbers of Tibetan corpses. The fact is mentioned by Maurice Bessy and again by Pauwels
and Bergier, who set the actual number of bodies at a thousand. They wore German uniform, but
without the usual insignia of rank.
The religion of Tibet is Buddhism, but like the Zen of Japan, it is a brand of Buddhism far
divorced from the Indian original. Many scholars prefer the term "Lamaism" to distinguish
between Tibetan Buddhism and its parent root. The religious life of the country is concentrated in
a multitude of monasteries, many of them built in almost inaccessible mountain regions. Side by
side with the state religion of Lamaism, and flourishing particularly in the rural districts, is
Tibet's aboriginal religion of Bon. The Bon-Pas follow a primitive, animistic creed, full of dark
rituals and spells. If the holy Lamas of the Buddhist sects were looked on as personifications of
spiritual wisdom, the priests of Bon had a potent reputation with the common people as
magicians.
The Nazi leaders were attracted to Tibet by those of its secret doctrines which filtered through to
the west. They believed, those members of the Thule group, the Luminous Lodge, and the various
other occult organizations which helped shape the Third Reich, in an esoteric history of mankind.
And it was in the archives of Tibetan monasteries that this history was preserved in its purest
form.
Already, in the latter half of the previous century, intriguing hints about Tibetan secret teachings
had been carried to the west by Helena Blavatsky, who claimed initiation at the hands of the Holy
Lamas themselves. Blavatsky taught that her "Hidden Masters" and "Secret Chiefs" had their
earthly residence in the Himalayan region. As soon as the Nazi movement had sufficient funds, it
began to organize a number of expeditions to Tibet and these succeeded one another practically
without interruption until 1943. One of the most tangible expressions of Nazi interest in Tibet was
the party`s adoption of its deepest and most mystical of symbols-the swastika.
The swastika is one of mankind's oldest symbols, and apart from the cross and the circle,
probably the most widely distributed. It is shown on pottery fragments from Greece dating back
to the eighth century BC. It was used in ancient Egypt, India and China. The Navaho indians of
North America have a traditional swastika pattern. Arab-Islamic sorcerers used it. In more recent
times, it was incorporated in the flags of certain baltic states.
The idea for the use of the swastika by the Nazis came from a dentist named Dr. Friedrich Krohn
who was a member of the secret Germanen order. Krohn produced the design for the actual form
in which the Nazis came to use the symbol, that is reversed, spinning in an anti-clockwise
direction. As a solar symbol, the swastika is properly thought of as spinning, and the Buddhists
have always believed the symbol attracted luck. The Sanskrit word "svastika" means good
fortune and well being. According to Cabbalistic lore and occult theory, chaotic force can be
evoked by revers- ing the symbol. And so the symbol appeared as the flag of Nazi Germany and
the insignia of the Nazi party, an indication for those who had eyes to see, as to the occult nature
of the Third Reich.
The Controversy off the Occult ReichBy John Roemer
One hundred years after Adolf Hitler's birth near Linz in Austria on April 20 1889, and decades
after his malign empire metastasized in Bavaria in Bavaria, the Hitler phenomenon remains to

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mainstream historians largely inexplicable, or at least unexplained. The man and his awful work
seem to stand outside history looking in. Perhaps our human fear of the irrational is so great that
we instinctively hold Hitler at a great remove in order that we need not admit him to our
company.
In light of this it isn't very surprising that an extensive literature exists seeking an occult rationale
for the otherwise baffling catastrophe Hitler represents. As Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier
point out in the Morning of the Magicians(1960), the Nazi era simply defies conventional analysis:
A self taught madman, surrounded by a handful of megalomaniacs,rejects Descartes, spurns the
whole humanist culture, tramples on reason, invokes Lucifer, conquers Europe, and nearly
conquers the world. The historian begins to feel anxious and to wonder whether his art is viable.
Pauwels and Bergier were among the first postwar proponents of a black magical explanation for
the Third Reich. About a quarter of their book is devoted to a region they call "The Absolute
Elsewhere," a neverland where Nazi pseudosciences and occult methodology held official sway.
They quote a Hitlerian pronouncement to demonstrate that the Fuhrer's intellectual development
was on a level wholly different from that understood by the Western tradition: "there is a Nordic
and National Socialist science which is opposed to Jewish-Liberal science".2 Reality was defined
by politics.
Nazi "science" has brought hoots of derision from those who hold to the Cartesian model. In place
of psychology there was an occult frappe composed of the mysticism of Gurdijeff, the theosophy of
Madame Blavatsky and the archetypes of Nordic mythology. In place of Newtonian physics stood
the cosmic force called vril, the bizarre geology known as the hollow earth theory, and the frigid
cosmology of Hans Horbiger's Welteislehre, the doctrine of eternal ice.
Nazi thought excluded psychoanalysis, which has in fact been not very helpful in explaining the
etiology of great evil, although Robert G.L. Waite's effort, quoted above and published in 1977 by
Basic Books, is good on several provocative subjects: Hitler's sadomasochistic sex life; the
possibility he had a Jewish grandfather; and his Viennese mentors, who are described at greater
length by the authors about to be mentioned.
Nazism officially rejected the theory of relativity as "Jewish science". Not only Freud but Einstein
too was forced to flee Hitler's Europe. He and other physicists eventually were able to ensure that
atomic secrets remained in the hands of the allies until they could be used spectacularly to climax
the Pacific war.
Horbiger's physics derived from an intuitive flash he experienced late in the nineteenth century. "
As a young engineer," he wrote, "I was watching one day some molten steel poured on wet ground
covered with snow: the ground exploded after some delay and with great violence."
This conflict of opposites, of fire and ice, is a theme that inspired Horbiger and resonated for
German nationalists because it recurs in the Icelandic Eddas, the sourcebooks of Teutonic
mythology. It all makes good sense in Iceland, since that island's peculiar geology feature
numerous volcanic rifts in the permafrost; fire and ice are commonly juxtaposed all over the
landscape. As grounds for a cosmology- the word implies universality- it is at best dubious. It
would be a hard sell in Hawaii.
Nevertheless, Nazi science was influential out of all proportion to its objective validity. Hoerbiger

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Unfortunately, Hitler never inventoried his books, and the only detailed accounting of his libraries
comes courtesy of the former United Press correspondent Frederick Oechsner, who met Hitler
repeatedly and was evidently able to acquaint himself intimately with the Fhrer's book
collections. "I found that his personal library, which is divided between his residence in the
Chancellery in Berlin and his country home on the Obersalzberg at Berchtesgaden, contains
roughly 16,300 books," Oechsner wrote in his best-selling book This Is the Enemy (1942).
According to Oechsner, the biggest single share of Hitler's library, some 7,000 books, was devoted
to military matters, in particular "the campaigns of Napoleon, the Prussian kings; the lives of all
German and Prussian potentates who ever played a military role; and books on virtually all the
well-known military campaigns in recorded history."
Another 1,500 volumes concerned architecture, theater, painting, and sculpture. "One book on the
Spanish theater has pornographic drawings and photographs, but there is no section on
pornography, as such, in Hitler's Library," Oechsner wrote. The balance of the collection
consisted of clusters of books on diverse themes ranging from nutrition and health to religion and
geography, with "eight hundred to a thousand books" of "simple, popular fiction, many of them
pure trash in anybody's language."
By his own admission, Hitler was not a big fan of novels, though he once ranked Gulliver's
Travels, Robinson Crusoe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Don Quixote (he had a special affection for
the edition illustrated by Gustave Dor) among the world's greatest works of literature.
The one novelist we know Hitler loved and read was Karl May, a German writer of cheap
American-style westerns. In the spring of 1933, just months after the Nazis seized power, Oskar
Achenbach, a Munich-based journalist, toured the Berghof in the Fhrer's absence and
discovered a shelf of Karl May novels at Hitler's bedside. "The bedroom of the Fhrer is of
spartan simplicity," Achenbach reported in the Sonntag Morgenpost. "Brass bed, closet, toiletries,
a few chairs, those are all the furnishings. On a bookshelf are works on politics and diplomacy, a
few brochures and books on the care of German shepherds, and then pay attention you German
boys! Then comes an entire row of books by Karl May! Winnetou, Old Surehand, Bad Guy, all
our dear old friends." During the war Hitler reportedly admonished his generals for their lack of
imagination and recommended that they all read Karl May. Albert Speer recounted in his
Spandau diaries,
Hitler was wont to say that he had always been deeply impressed by the tactical finesse
and circumspection that Karl May conferred upon his character Winnetou ... And he
would add that during his reading hours at night, when faced by seemingly hopeless
situations, he would still reach for those stories, that they gave him courage like works
of philosophy for others or the Bible for elderly people.
No one knows the exact extent of Hitler's library. Though Oechsner estimated the original
collection at 16,000 volumes, Gassert and Mattern assert that it is impossible to determine the
actual dimensions, especially since the majority of the books were either burned or plundered in
the final weeks of the war an assumption confirmed in part by Florian Beierl, the head of the
Archive for the Contemporary History of the Obersalzberg, in Berchtesgaden.
According to Beierl, Hitler's Berghof experienced successive waves of looters: first local residents,
then French and American soldiers, and eventually members of the U.S. Senate. Beierl showed me
archival film footage (taken by the legendary World War II photographer Walter Rosenblum) of

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a delegation of American senators Burton Wheeler, Homer Capehart, and Ernest McFarland
emerging from the Berghof ruins with books under their arms. "I doubt if they were taking them
to the Library of Congress," Beierl said.
I have also been told that a portion of the Hitler Library may have been seized by the Red Army.
"Stalin was so paranoid about Hitler that he sent trophy brigades to search for anything
connected with him," says Konstantin Akinsha, a former researcher for the Presidential Advisory
Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States. "His skull, his uniforms, Eva Braun's
dresses, her underwearthey are all in Moscow." Akinsha told me recently that in the early 1990s
he heard rumors about a depository in an abandoned church in Uzkoe, a suburb of Moscow, that
allegedly contained a huge quantity of "trophy books," including some that had belonged to
Hitler.
Grigory Kozlov, another "trophy" sleuth, confirms that a "secret depository" did indeed exist in
Uzkoe for more than four decades, with tens of thousands of books stacked from floor to ceiling.
"At the beginning of 1995 there was a big discussion about trophy books," Kozlov told me. "They
decided to remove these books from Uzkoe and destroy all traces that showed there had been
some sort of secret depository there." Now, he says, the books have been dispersed anonymously
in libraries and archives across Russia. "I don't know what's true or not," Kozlov told me. "Books
were evacuated without records, confiscated without records. I don't know if anyone is ready to
talk."
The 1,200 of Hitler's books in the Library of Congress most likely represent less than 10 percent
of the original collection. Nevertheless, when I first visited the Hitler Library, in April of 2001, I
was surprised to discover that despite the incompleteness of the collection, I could easily discern
the collector preserved within his books. In more than 200 World War I memoirs, including Ernst
Jnger's Fire and Blood, with a personal inscription to "the Fhrer," I encountered Hitler the
"Austrian corporal," with his bushy moustache, his somber demeanor, and his battlefield service,
during which he was twice wounded and for which he was twice decorated, once with the Iron
Cross first class.
In two olive-drab paperbacks, guidebooks to the cultural monuments of Brussels and Berlin,
published by Seemann Verlag and costing three marks each, I glimpsed Hitler the aspiring
Frontsoldat-cum-artist. The Berlin guide has Hitler's signature in faded purple ink on the inside
front cover, with the place and month of purchase: "Fournes, 22 November 1915." In the Brussels
guide Hitler simply scrawled "A. Hitler" in pencil; the last three letters trail downward like
unspooling ribbon. A chapter on Frederick the Great is especially worn, its pages tattered,
marked with fingerprints, and smeared with red candle wax. Tucked in the crease between pages
162 and 163 I found a three-quarter-inch strand of stiff black hair.
In dozens of books, with salutations from the likes of Prince August Wilhelm son of the last
German Kaiser and the heirs of the Bechstein piano dynasty, I saw Hitler the protg of
Germany's financial, social, and cultural elite. One book on Fhrertum "leadership" was
presented to Hitler by the industrialist Fritz Thyssen, who had introduced him to some of
Germany's leading businessmen at a decisive meeting in Dsseldorf in January of 1932.
"To the Fhrer, Adolf Hitler, in memory of his presentation to the Dsseldorf Industrial Club,"
Thyssen wrote on the inside cover. Several books are inscribed to Hitler from Richard Wagner's
youngest daughter, Eva, who had married Houston Stewart Chamberlain. Chamberlain was an
anti-Semitic Englishman best known for his book The Foundations of the 19th Century, in which
he advanced the thesis that Jesus was of Aryan rather than Semitic blood. Hitler read

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Chamberlain during his Vienna period, and had a brief audience with the aging anti-Semite at the
Wagner estate shortly before being sent to Landsberg Prison. "You know Goethe's differentiation
between force and force," Chamberlain wrote Hitler in October of 1923. "There is force which
comes from chaos and leads to chaos, and there is force which is destined to create a new world."
Chamberlain credited Hitler with the latter.
In a French vegetarian cookbook with an inscription from its author, Maa Charpentier, I
encountered Monsieur Hitler vgtarien. And I found hints of Hitler the future mass murderer in
a 1932 technical treatise on chemical warfare that explores the varying qualities of poison gas,
from chlorine to prussic acid (Blausure). The latter was produced commercially as Zyklon B,
which would be notorious for its use in the Nazi extermination camps.
I also found, however, a Hitler I had not anticipated: a man with a sustained interest in
spirituality. Among the piles of Nazi tripe (much of it printed on high-acid paper that is rapidly
deteriorating) are more than 130 books on religious and spiritual subjects, ranging from
Occidental occultism to Eastern mysticism to the teachings of Jesus Christ books with titles such
as Sunday Meditations; On Prayer; A Primer for Religious Questions, Large and Small; Large
Truths About Mankind, the World and God.
Also included were a German translation of E. Stanley Jones's 1931 best seller, The Christ of the
Mount; and a 500-page work on the life and teachings of Jesus, published in 1935 under the title
The Son: The Evangelical Sources and Pronouncements of Jesus of Nazareth in Their Original
Form and With the Jewish Influences. Some volumes date from the early 1920s, when Hitler was
an obscure rabble-rouser on the fringe of Munich political life; others from his last years, when he
dominated Europe.
One leather-bound tome with WORTE CHRISTI, or "Words of Christ," embossed in gold on the
cover was well worn, the silky, supple leather peeling upward in gentle curls along the edges.
Human hands had obviously spent a lot of time with this book. The inside cover bore a dedication:
"To our beloved Fhrer with gratitude and profound respect, Clara von Behl, born von Jansen
von den Osten. Christmas 1935."
Worte Christi was so fragile that when the attendant brought it to me, he placed it on a red-velvet
pad in a wooden reading stand, a beautifully finished oak contraption with two supports that
could be adjusted with small brass pegs to fit the dimensions of the book. No more than a foot
wide and eighteen inches long, the stand had a sacred air, as if it belonged on an altar.
I reviewed the table of contents "Belief and Prayer," "God and the Kingdom of God," "Priests
and Their Religious Practices," "The World and Its People" and skimmed the introduction; then
I scanned the book for marginalia that might suggest a close study of the text. A white-silk
bookmark, preserved in its original perfection between pages 22 and 23 (only the portion exposed
to the air had deteriorated), lay across a description of the Last Supper as related by Saint John.
A series of pages that followed contained only a single aphorism each: "Believe in God" (page 31),
"Have no fear, just believe" (page 52), "If you believe, anything is possible" (page 53), and so on,
all the way to page 95, which offers the solemn wisdom "Many are called but few are chosen."
On page 241 appears the passage "You should love God, your Lord, with all your heart, with all
your soul, with all your spirit: this is the foremost and greatest commandment. Another is equally
important: Love your neighbor as you would love yourself." Beside this passage is one brief
penciled line, the only mark in the entire book.

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Given Hitler's legendary disdain for organized religion in general and Christianity in particular, I
didn't expect him to have devoted much time to the teachings of Christ, let alone to have marked
this quintessential Christian virtue. Had this in fact been made by the pencil of Hitler's younger
sister, Paula, who occasionally visited her brother at the Berghof and remained a devout Catholic
until her dying day? Might some other Berghof guest have responded to this holy Scripture?
Possibly but though most of the spiritually oriented books in the Hitler Library were gifts sent to
the Fhrer by distant admirers, several, like Worte Christi, were obviously well read, and some
contained marginalia in Hitler's hand that suggested a serious exploration of spiritual matters. If
Hitler was as deeply engaged with spiritual issues as his books and their marginalia suggest, then
what was the purpose of this pursuit?
In the spring of 1943, while the outcome of World War II hung in the balance, the U.S. Office of
Strategic Services forerunner to the CIA commissioned Walter Langer, a Boston-based
psychoanalyst, to develop a "psychological profile" of Adolf Hitler. As Langer later recalled, this
was the first time the U.S. government had attempted to psychoanalyze a world leader in order to
determine "the things that make him tick."
Over the course of eight months, assisted by three field researchers and advised by three other
experts in psychology, Langer compiled more than a thousand typewritten, single-spaced pages of
material on his "patient": texts from speeches, excerpts from Mein Kampf, interviews with
former Hitler associates, and virtually every printed source available. Langer wrote,
A survey of all the evidence forces us to conclude that Hitler believes himself destined
to become an Immortal Hitler, chosen by God to be the New Deliverer of Germany
and the Founder of a new social order for the world. He firmly believes this and is
certain that in spite of all the trials and tribulations through which he must pass he
will finally attain that goal. The one condition is that he follow the dictates of the inner
voice that have guided and protected him in the past.
In his summary Langer outlined eight possible scenarios for Hitler's course of action in the face of
defeat. The most likely scenario, he suggested in a prescient moment, was that Hitler's belief in
divine protection would compel him to fight to the bitter end, "drag[ging] a world with us a world
in flames," and that ultimately he would take his own life.
Langer based his assessment not only on Hitler's repeated references to "divine providence," both
in speeches and in private conversations, but also on reports from some of Hitler's most intimate
associates that Hitler truly believed he was "predestined" for greatness and inspired by "divine
powers." After the war Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, one of Hitler's chief military advisers,
seemed to confirm the Langer thesis. "Looking back," he said, "I am inclined to think he was
literally obsessed with the idea of some miraculous salvation, that he clung to it like a drowning
man to a straw."
Experts since then have been of two minds on the matter of Hitler's spiritual beliefs. Ian Kershaw
argues that Hitler consciously constructed an image of himself as a messianic figure, and
eventually came to believe the very myth he had helped to fashion. "The more he succumbed to
the allure of his own Fhrer cult and came to believe in his own myth, the more his judgment
became impaired by faith in his own infallibility," Kershaw writes in The Hitler Myth (1987). But
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When I asked Kershaw in 2001 whether he thought Hitler actually believed in divine providence,
he dismissed the notion. "I don't think that he had any real belief in a deity of any sort, only in
himself as a 'man of destiny' who would bring about Germany's 'salvation,'" he declared.
Gerhard Weinberg, who helped sort through the Hitler Library back in the 1950s, likewise
dismisses the notion of Hitler as a religious believer, insisting that he was driven by the twin
passions of Blut und Boden racial purity and territorial expansion. "He didn't believe in anything
but himself," Weinberg told me last summer. Most historians tend to agree.
Some non-historians, however, have different views. In the 1960s Friedrich Heer, a prominent and
controversial Viennese theologian, identified Hitler as a misguided "Austrian Catholic," a man
whose faith was disastrously misplaced but nevertheless sincere. In a dense, 750-page treatise Heer
saw Hitler the Austrian Catholic at every turn: the nine-year-old choirboy catching his first
glimpse of a swastika in the coat of arms at the Lambach Monastery; the beer-hall orator whose
speeches resound with biblical allusions; the Fhrer of the Reich who re-created the splendor of
the Catholic mass at the annual Nuremberg rally.
Even his virulent hatred of Jewry found sustenance in those roots. Fritz Redlich, an eminent Yale
psychiatrist, asserts in his book, Hitler: Diagnosis of a Destructive Prophet, that Hitler acted from
a profound belief in God. Noting Hitler's own words "Man kommt um den Gottesbegriff nicht
um" ("You cannot get around the concept of God"), Redlich told me last summer that he was
certain Hitler believed in a "divine creature." He rejected suggestions that Hitler's invocations of
the divine were little more than cynical public posturing and insisted that we ought to take Hitler
at his word: "In a way, Hitler was a terrible liar, but he was a tactical liar. In his essential line of
thinking he was honest."
Traudl Junge, Hitler's former secretary, would not go so far as to say that Hitler believed in God,
but she did believe that Hitler's repeated references to the divine were more than just for show.
Junge who died of cancer in February of last year told me the previous summer that Hitler spoke
of such things in private as well as in public. After two and a half years of daily contact with
Hitler, she was convinced that he believed in some form of divine protection, especially after
surviving a dramatic assassination attempt in 1944. "After the July 1944 attack," she told me, "I
believe he felt himself to be an instrument of providence, and believed he had a mission to fulfill."

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In my hands I hold a book about Nostradamus, the sixteenth-century French mystic whose
predictions of epic calamities have fascinated generations, and whose stanza "From poor people a
child will be born/ who with his tongue will seduce many people" has been interpreted as
prophesying the rise of Adolf Hitler.
Printed on high-acid paper, this volume, with its 137 brittle, crumbling pages, bears a publication
date of 1921 but feels centuries older.
The book promises to "decypher and reveal for the first time the prophesies on the future of
Europe and the rise and fall of France from 1555 to 2200." Its final pages offer additional mystical
edification in a series of advertisements for related texts: Memoirs of a Spiritualist, The
Wandering Soul, How Can I Protect Myself From Suggestion and Hypnosis?, Soul and Cosmos,
The Realm of the Invisible, and Human Destiny and the Course of the Stars. Pasted inside this
moldering volume is one of Adolf Hitler's bookplates.
The Predictions of Nostradamus belongs to a cache of occult books that Hitler acquired in the early
1920s and that were discovered in the private quarters of his Berlin bunker by Colonel Albert
Aronson in May of 1945. As part of the Allied occupation forces, Aronson was among the first
Americans to enter Berlin after the collapse of the Nazi resistance. "When my uncle arrived, the
Russians took him on a tour of Hitler's bunker," one of Aronson's nephews recalls. "He said that
the Russians had pretty much picked the place clean, but there were some pictures and a pile of
books they let him take." According to the nephew, the books remained in Aronson's attic until
his death, at which point they were bequeathed to his nephew, who donated them to Brown
University in 1979.
Today the eighty volumes are housed in the basement vault of Brown's rare-book collection at the
John Hay Library, where they share shelf space with Walt Whitman's personal copy of a first
edition of Leaves of Grass and John James Audubon's original folios of Birds of America.
According to Samuel Streit, the associate librarian for special collections, the Hitler books have
attracted virtually no attention from scholars. Streit himself has examined the collection only
once, and his most vivid recollection was the Hitler bookplate. "I know this sounds strange," says
Streit, an amiable man in his mid-fifties, "but from the standpoint of bookplate design, it is quite
tastefully done."
Like the Library of Congress collection, Brown's eighty Hitler books constitute a hodgepodge:
picture books, art journals, an Italian libretto of Wagner's Walkre, a 1937 edition of Mein
Kampf, and two editions of Alfred Rosenberg's The Myth of the Twentieth Century.
The more than a dozen books on the occult include several devoted to Nordic runes, among them a
1922 history of the swastika, richly illustrated with nearly 500 diverse renderings in Egyptian
hieroglyphics, Greek pottery, Mayan temples, and Christian crosses.
The Dead Are Alive delivers "incontrovertible evidence on occultism, somnambulism, spiritualism,
with sixteen photographs of ghosts." Among the photographic images that fill the final pages of
the volume is one of five people levitating a table at an 1892 sance in Genoa and another allegedly
showing the ghost of a fifteen-year-old Polish girl, Stasia, being consumed by a "luminous, misty
substance." A picture of a rather stately-looking Englishman is captioned "The Phantom of the
English writer Charles Dickens who died in 1871 and is buried in Westminster Abbey. He
appeared in 1873 and was photographed."

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The canon of Hitler historiography declares that Hitler flirted with occultism in the early 1920s,
and that he recruited some of his closest ideological lieutenants Rudolf Hess, Martin Bormann,
Alfred Rosenberg, and Heinrich Himmlerfrom the Thule Society and similar Nordic cults.
"When I first knew Adolf Hitler in Munich, in 1921 and 1922, he was in touch with a circle that
believed firmly in the portents of the stars," Karl Wiegand, a former Hitler associate, recalled in
an article for Cosmopolitan in 1939.
"There was much whispering about the coming of 'another Charlemagne and a new
Reich.' How far Hitler believed in these astrological forecasts and prophesies in those
days I never could get out of the Fhrer. He neither denied nor affirmed belief. He was
not averse, however, to making use of the forecasts to advance popular faith in himself
and his then young and struggling movement."
Most scholars dismiss the notion that Hitler seriously entertained the ideas of these cults, but the
marginalia in several of his books confirm at least an intellectual engagement in the substance of
Weimar-era occultism. The Brown collection contains books by such figures as Adamant Rohm, a
"magnetopathic doctor" from Wiesbaden; Carl Ludwig Schleich, a Berlin physician who
pioneered the use of local anesthesia; and Joseph Anton Schneiderfranken, who wrote numerous
books on reincarnation and otherworldly phenomena under the pseudonym B Yin R.
One of the most heavily marked books is Magic: History, Theory and Practice (1923), by Ernst
Schertel. When I typed the author's name into one Internet search engine, I scored eight hits,
including sites on Satanism, eroticism, sadomasochism, and flagellation. When I typed his name
into Google, I scored twenty-six hits, including sites on parapsychology, astrology, and diverse
sexual practices. According to a Web site for Germany's sadomasochistic community, Schertel
wrote numerous books on flagellation and eroticism, and was "a central figure" in the German
nudist movement of the 1920s and 1930s.
Hitler's copy of Magic bears a handwritten dedication from Schertel, scrawled on the title page in
pencil. A 170-page softcover in large format, the book has been thoroughly read, and its margins
scored repeatedly. I found a particularly thick pencil line beside the passage "He who does not
carry demonic seeds within him will never give birth to a new world."
One of the oldest volumes of literature still in the Hitler Library is a 1917 German edition of Peer
Gynt, Henrik Ibsen's epic of a "Nordic Faust" who cuts a swath of human sufferingbetraying
friends, abandoning women, trading in slaves, and committing cold-blooded murderon his way to
becoming "emperor of the whole world." When challenged to account for his sundry trespasses,
Gynt declares that he would rather burn in hell for excessive sins than simmer in obscurity with
the rest of humanity. Edvard Grieg set this cruel play to beautiful music. Hitler's copy of Peer
Gynt handsomely illustrated by Otto Sager bears a simple inscription by its German translator:
"Intended for his dear friend Adolf Hitler. Dietrich Eckart. Munich, October 22, 1921."
Few people could call Hitler "Freund," and fewer still "lieber Freund." For Hitler, Eckart was
both friend and family, a mentor and a father figure. When the two men first met, late in 1919,
Hitler was a thirty-year-old political upstart a little more than a year out of the trenches, without
a penny to his name. Eckart was a fifty-one-year-old playwright with a runaway hit (his
adaptation of Peer Gynt), a paintbrush moustache, a morphine addiction, and a legendary hatred
of Jews; one Munich newspaper described him as a "raging anti-Semite" who would "ideally like
to consume a half dozen Jews daily with his sauerkraut."

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After working with Hitler at an early Nazi Party event, Eckart began grooming him for political
life. He bought Hitler his first trench coat, gave him instruction in public speaking, and
introduced him to members of Munich society, often with the icebreaker "This is the man who
will one day liberate Germany." Hitler once called Eckart the "polar star" of the Nazi movement,
and dedicated the first volume of Mein Kampf to him. "Follow Hitler!" Eckart allegedly exhorted
on his deathbed, in 1923. "He will dance, but the music to which he dances was composed by me."
For all the vitriol Hitler spewed upon Judaism, he came to hold Christianity in equal disdain.
"Christianity is the worst thing that ever happened to mankind," he declared during an afterdinner rant in July of 1941. "Bolshevism is the illegitimate child of Christianity. Both are an
outgrowth of the Jew."
Hitler was the classic apostate. He rebelled against the established theology in which he was born
and bred, all the while seeking to fill the resulting spiritual void. As the Hitler Library suggests, he
found no shortage of latter-day prophets peddling alternative theologies. Mathilde von Kemnitz,
the wife of Erich Ludendorff, the venerated World War I general who joined Hitler in the Munich
putsch, promoted a neo-Teutonic pagan cult that called for the destruction of churches and the
creation of forest temples and places of sacrifice. A 1922 volume of her writings, Triumph of the
Will to Immortality, bears a bizarre and cryptic inscription to Hitler.
Now don't forget you young, blessed soul,
If you never leave the afterlife
You will thus be a perfect God
For as long as you live.
Hitler tolerated Kemnitz's neo-pagan looniness until Ludendorff's death, in December of 1937. In
the autumn of 1939 the Nazi government, invoking wartime rationing, terminated paper supplies
for Kemnitz's publication At the Holy Well (Am Heiligen Quell), effectively silencing her
movement. Kemnitz, who survived the war, never forgave Hitler the betrayal.
Guida Diehl, a prolific Weimar writer who fancied herself the "female Fhrer," showered Hitler
with titles, including Burn! Holy Flame! and The Will of the German Woman. In a handbook on
how to conduct a German Christmas in "times of need and struggle," Diehl wrote to Hitler, "We
struggle for the German soul, which fashioned the German Christmas from Christ himself! Sieg
heil!" There is no indication that Hitler ever opened, let alone read, any of Diehl's books.
Unquestionably the most significant unread volume in the Hitler collection is a 1940 edition of
Alfred Rosenberg's The Myth of the Twentieth Century, the Nazi classic that, with more than a
million copies in print at the time, was second only to Mein Kampf for the Nazi movement.
In the course of its 800 pages Rosenberg delivered the theological framework for a National
German Church intended to subsume "the best of the protestant and catholic churches" and
eliminate the "Jew-infested Old Testament." Denouncing the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke,
and John as a "counterfeit of the great image of Christ," Rosenberg envisioned a "fifth gospel"
depicting Jesus as an Aryan superman"The powerful preacher and the raging prophet in the
temple, the man who inspired, and whom everyone followed, not the sacrificial lamb of the Jewish
prophets, not the man on the cross."
This particular edition of Rosenberg's legendary anti-Semitic screed has a handsome dark-blue
linen cover and contains a full-page black-and-white photograph of Rosenberg standing before a

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shelf of leather-bound books. Dressed in a three-piece suit, he looks more like a Boston banker
than the ideological fanatic who wrote some of the most offensive and impenetrable prose of the
Nazi era before being hanged in Nuremberg in 1946. The book bears the Hitler bookplate but is in
mint condition; the binding cracked when I opened the cover.
Despite Rosenberg's repeated attempts to establish his Myth as official party doctrine, Hitler
insisted that the book was a "private publication" that represented Rosenberg's personal
opinions. In conversations Hitler admitted that he had read only "small portions" of it and
described it as unreadable. Joseph Goebbels concurred, calling The Myth an "intellectual belch."
Hitler's selective reading or nonreading of the pseudo-theological texts in his library makes those
books he did read, and especially those in which he left marginalia, all the more significant. Here
is where the Hitler Library is most useful. In the Fichte volumes given to him by Riefenstahl, I
encountered a veritable blizzard of underlines, question marks, exclamation points, and marginal
strikes that sweeps across a hundred printed pages of dense theological prose.
Where Fichte peeled away the spiritual trappings of the Holy Trinity, positing the Father as "a
natural universal force," the Son as the "physical embodiment of this force," and the Holy Ghost
as an expression of the "light of reason," Hitler not only underlined the entire passage but placed
a thick vertical line in the margin, and added an exclamation point for good measure.
As I traced the penciled notations, I realized that Hitler was seeking a path to the divine that led to
just one place. Fichte asked, "Where did Jesus derive the power that has held his followers for all
eternity?" Hitler drew a dense line beneath the answer: "Through his absolute identification with
God." At another point Hitler highlighted a brief but revealing paragraph: "God and I are One.
Expressed simply in two identical sentences His life is mine; my life is his. My work is his work,
and his work my work."
Among the numerous volumes dealing with the spiritual, the mystical, and the occult I found a
typewritten manuscript that could well have served as a blueprint for Hitler's theology. This
bound 230-page treatise is titled The Law of the World: The Coming Religion and was written by
a Munich resident named Maximilian Riedel. During the first week of August 1939 the
manuscript was hand-delivered to Anni Winter, Hitler's longtime Munich housekeeper, with the
request that it be passed to Hitler personally. An accompanying letter read,
Mein Fhrer!
Based on a new discovery I have been able to prove, with incontrovertible scientific
evidence, the concept of the trinity of God as a natural law. One of the results of this
discovery is, among other things, the seamless relationship between the terms: TruthLaw-Duty-Honor. In essence, the origins of all science, philosophy and religion. The
significance of this discovery has led me to ask Frau Winter to hand to you personally
the enclosed manuscript.
Heil mein Fhrer!
Max Riedel
Grnwald
Oberhachingerweg 1
Riedel made a smart tactical move in delivering his manuscript to Hitler's Munich residence.

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Whereas at the Berghof, Hitler received hundreds of books, and at the Reich Chancellery all such
correspondence went through secretaries' hands, in Munich the only filter was Hitler's
housekeeper. Based on the marginalia, it seems that Hitler not only received the Riedel
manuscript but also read it carefully with pencil in hand. Individual sentences and entire
paragraphs are underlined, sometimes twice or even three times.
In this densely written treatise Riedel established the groundwork for his "new religion,"
replacing the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost with a new tripartite unity, the "Krper,
Geist und Seele" - "body, mind, and soul."
Riedel argued that traditionally mankind has recognized five senses, which relate only to the
physical aspects of our existence, and that this hinders our ability to perceive the true nature of
our relationship to God and the universe. He offered seven additional "senses" that every human
being possesses, which are related to the subjective perception of the world; among them Riedel
included our inherent sense of what is right and wrong, our emotional sense of another person,
our sense of self-preservation. On a two-page centerfold he illustrated his theory with a circular
diagram in which various concepts"soul," "space," "reality," "present," "past," "possibility,"
"transformation," "culture," "afterlife," "humanity," "infinity" are connected by a spider web of
lines. "The body, mind and soul do not belong to the individual, they belong to the universe," the
author explained.
Riedel's "trinity" seems to have attracted Hitler's particular attention. A dense penciled line
parallels the following passage: "The problem with being objective is that we use objective criteria
as the basis for human understanding in general, which means that the objective criteria, that is,
the rational criteria, end up serving as the basis for all human understanding, perception and
decision-making." By using the five traditional senses to achieve this "objectivity," Riedel
declared, human beings exclude the possibility of perceivingthrough the additional seven senses
he identifiedthe deeper forces of the world, and are thus unable to achieve that unity of body,
mind, and soul. "The human mind never decides things on its own, it is the result of a discourse
between the body and the soul," he claimed.
The sentence not only caught Hitler's attention beneath it is a thick line, and beside it in the
margin are three parallel pencil marks but was echoed two years later in one of his monologues.
"Mind and soul ultimately return to the collective being of the world," Hitler told some guests in
December of 1941. "If there is a God, then he gives us not only life but also consciousness and
awareness. If I live my life according to my God-given insights, then I cannot go wrong, and even
if I do, I know I have acted in good faith."
As I sat in the rarefied seclusion of the Jefferson Building's second-floor reading room one day,
listening to the muffled roar of traffic and the distant wail of police sirens in late-summer
Washington, I attempted to comprehend the full significance of this sentence to which Hitler
seems to have responded so emphatically. Back in 1943 Walter Langer had concluded correctly, to
my mind that in order to understand Hitler one had to understand his profound belief in divine
powers.
But Hitler believed that the mortal and the divine were one and the same: that the God he was
seeking was in fact himself.

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Hitler - Articles
Hitler's Clairvoyant
February 27, 2000 - Salon.com
In the weeks leading up to Adolf Hitler's appointment as Reichschancellor on Jan. 30, 1933, there
was nothing inevitable about the Austrian corporal's ascension to power. Results of the 1932
November Reichstag elections were disappointing for his National Socialist Party, with the Nazis
suffering losses in the German parliament while retaining about a third of the seats there.
Nazi coffers had been drained dry by the campaign. Hitler had endured significant defections
from his movement and threatened suicide. Some Nazis began to wonder if he had the right stuff
to be their Fhrer.
It was at this point that Hitler, falling back on his belief in the occult, called the most renowned
clairvoyant in the land to his headquarters at the Hotel Kaiserhof in Berlin for a private session.
The man Hitler met with that day is the subject of a recent biography (the first in the English
language), Erik Jan Hanussen: Hitler's Jewish Clairvoyant, by Mel Gordon.
Hanussen, 43 at the time of the Hotel Kaiserdorf session, was a man whose name was synonymous
with psychic phenomena in Central Europe. The Vienna-born con man/celebrity seer was known
for predicting the future, casting prescient horoscopes and astounding audiences with his feats of
hypnotism and mind reading. In Berlin, Hanussen was a rock star before there were rock stars,
with a vast business enterprise trading on the voracious German hunger for all things
paranormal.
Hitler became a Hanussenite when in March of 1932 the psychic's own weekly newspaper, Erik
Jan Hanussen's Berliner Wochenschau, printed the startling prophecy that within one year's time
the future Fhrer would become Reichschancellor. Most Berliners scoffed. For many, Hitler was a
megalomaniacal clown.
But if the average Berliner thought Hanussen's prognostication absurd, Hitler certainly didn't.
When Hanussen came to him that cold day in January, the Nazi leader was filled with dread
anticipation, and kept the meeting secret should the results be negative. Hanussen placed Hitler on
a seat in the middle of the room, examined his hands, counted the bumps on his head and sank
into a mystical trance. The words he spoke filled the Fhrer with elation, says Gordon.
"I see victory for you," Hanussen said. "It cannot be stopped."
By the end of the month, Hitler had cut a deal with his enemies and become titular head of a
coalition government. Hanussen's vision had given him hope in his hour of uncertainty. One can
only wonder the intensity of his rage, if the raving anti-Semite had known at the time that the man
he had adopted as his personal soothsayer, the chap nicknamed "the Prophet of the Third Reich,"
the decadent mystic who had just run his hands through his Aryan locks, was in fact ... a Jew.
According to Gordon, a professor of theater arts at the University of California at Berkeley and
author of such colorful tomes as "The Grand Guignol: The Theater of Horror and Terror," and
"Voluptuous Panic: the Erotic World of Weimar Berlin," Hanussen started life as Hermann
Steinschneider, with a birth certificate that read "Hebrew male." An unlikely beginning for one

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destined to become Hitler's favorite fortuneteller.


Gordon's complicated, fascinating tale is one familiar to many Germans, but completely unknown
to Americans, save for some devotees of magic who regard Hanussen's name, acquired while his
career was in its infancy, with a reverence second only to that of Harry Houdini's. Despite the
1988 film "Hanussen" by Hungarian director Istvan Szabo (starring Klaus Maria Brandauer in
the strangely Aryanized title role), and a number of articles written in English by German migrs
in the 1930s and '40s, Americans have had almost no exposure to this bizarre tale of a Jew who
played the part of psychic advisor to Hitler. No wonder the uninitiated roll their eyes when
Gordon starts to talk about it.
"It's like saying, 'Hitler's favorite rabbi,' people are waiting for the punch line," confesses
Gordon. "But it's not a joke. Hitler and Hanussen did meet about a dozen times between 1932 and
1933. Of course, if Hitler had known that Hanussen was Jewish, he would have disposed of him as
fast as he could have. But it's not so much later that he was disposed of. After the Reichstag fire,
everything changed."
The burning of the Reichstag on Feb. 27, 1933, for which German communists took the fall, paved
the way for the consolidation of power in Hitler's hands and the suspension of all civil liberties.
Eerily, the day before, Hanussen had predicted the event through a medium during the opening
soiree of his newly minted pagan temple, the Palace of the Occult, a marble and gold-decked Taj
Mahal of the black arts in Berlin decorated with astrological signs and religious statues.
There, in the presence of Nazi officials and assorted VIPs, the seer claimed to see a "great house"
in flames during a sance in his sanctum sanctorum, the Room of Glass. Hours later, the Reichstag
was engulfed in a mysterious conflagration. "The Reichstag fire is such a big story - the first
mystery of WWII. It's still not resolved to this day," says Gordon, "sort of like a European
Kennedy assassination question. Did Goebbels somehow have a communist patsy, Marinus van
der Lubbe, ignite the Reichstag? Did the communists do it, or is there some other story?
Something that started leaking out from the Nazi side from the very beginning was that Hanussen
was responsible for it or had something to do with it."
Despite his Semitic origins, Hanussen had extremely close ties to the Nazi party, especially since
his fateful augury that Hitler would somehow become Reichschancellor. He had lent hundreds of
thousands of marks to high-ranking leaders of the Nazis, like Hermann Goering, and held IOUs
from them. He had befriended Count Wolf Heinrich von Helldorf, the sadistic, depraved
commander of Berlin's SA, and referred to Hitler as "my pal Adolf." Certainly, Hanussen could
have had inside information of a Reichstag plot. Or perhaps he was even more directly involved.
Gordon relates that some conspiracy theorists believe Hanussen may have hypnotized the fall guy
van der Lubbe to do his bidding, either with or without the help of Nazi conspirators. As farfetched as the possibility sounds, one suddenly sees how the presence of Hanussen in this story
becomes an uncomfortable dilemma for historians. To dwell too much on Hanussen's involvement
smacks of indirectly tainting the primary victims of the Holocaust with assisting in Hitler's
takeover of Germany and, subsequently, their own destruction.
Perhaps this was the reason Istvan Szabo's cinematic treatment of the Hanussen tale conveniently
omits Hanussen's Jewishness. And it could account for the dearth of information on Hanussen in
English-language texts. However, Gordon, who is himself Jewish, asserts his belief that Hanussen
somehow participated in a plot to set fire to the Reichstag.

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There were other reasons why the Nazis wanted Hanussen dead. Goebbels and Goering both saw
him as an interloper and a potential rival for the Fhrer's attentions, and there was the little
matter of all those IOUs Hanussen had collected. Hanussen also, supposedly, had film footage of
SA members involved in homosexual orgies.
But perhaps more than anything, it was his Jewishness that made him a liability. The communist
press had long published reports that Hanussen was Jewish, but it wasn't until the Reichstag fire
bequeathed totalitarian powers to the Nazis and allowed them to eliminate the communists as a
threat that they had the time to focus on Hanussen's bloodline.
Hanussen's time was up, and he knew it. In a missive written in invisible ink, he informed a
colleague, "I always thought that business about the Jews was just an election trick of theirs. It
wasn't." On the morning of March 25, 1933, Hanussen was arrested by the SA and summarily
executed. His lifeless body was left in a field on the outskirts of Berlin.
So ended Europe's greatest oracle since Nostradamus. But questions endure. For instance, why
would any Jew, even an assimilated Jew, collaborate with a pack of power-mad racists filled with
hatred for his people? Moreover, is there some possibility that Hanussen possessed a sixth sense
that allowed him to correctly predict Hitler's rise and the Reichstag blaze while blinding him to
the inevitable consequences of his own dalliance with the fascists?
"One fellow Jewish clairvoyant Fred Marion asked Hanussen if he was afraid that if the Nazis
came to power they would kill him if they found out he was a Jew," says Gordon. "Hanussen told
him it was a problem, but that he wanted to convince Hitler that there are good Jews like us who
aren't communists or capitalists. A vain thought, but he believed Hitler just needed his friendship
to learn that there were good people everywhere."
As for Hanussen's purported extrasensory perception, Gordon ascribes Hanussen's psychic home
runs to an amazing perspicacity on the part of "the Prophet of the Third Reich," which evidently
failed him when it came to foreseeing his own demise. For Gordon, Hanussen also represents the
mania for the occult that swept Germany at this time, as well as the dilemma of assimilated Jews
when faced with the virulent anti-Semitism of Nazism.

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