Die Verlorene Arische Heimat - The Lost Aryan Homeland

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013

The Lost Aryan Homeland

The idea of a fabulous and mysterious homeland of the Aryan people, lying hidden somewhere in the far northern latitudes had a rich provenance not only in the tradition of Western occultism, but also in the burgeoning science of anthropology.
(Indeed, the very concept of an Aryan Race owed its existence as much to philology as any other branch of enquiry.)
Until the Enlightenment, of course, biblical tradition had been assumed to be the ultimate authority on the origin and history of humanity, that origin being Mount Ararat on which Noah's Ark made landfall after the Deluge.
This idea made sense even to those scientists of the Enlightenment who rejected biblical authority, since mountainous regions would have provided the only possible protection against natural disasters such as the putative prehistoric flood.
The German Romantics were greatly attracted to Oriental philosophy and mysticism, in particular the Zend-Avesta, the sacred text of the ancient Persians.

Arthur Schopenhauer 
Thinkers of the calibre of Goethe, Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer and Richard Wagner found in the Orient a system of philosophy and historiography that allowed them to abandon the unsatisfactory world view of Judeo- Christianity.

Richard Wagner
Allied with this admiration for the Orient was a rediscovery of the German Volk, the pre-Christian Teutonic tribes whose descendants, the Goths, had brought about the final destruction of the decadent Roman Empire.
The problem faced by the German Romantics was how to forge a historical connection between themselves and the Orient, which they considered to be the cradle of humanity and the origin of the highest human ideals.
The question was where had those noble and gifted tribes come from ?
Were they, too, sons of Noah, or dared one sunder them from the biblical genealogy ?
Hebrew Scriptures 
The time was ripe to do so.
The French Encyclopedists had set the precedent of contempt for the Hebrew scriptures as a source of accurate information.
The British School of Calcutta, with their Asiatic Researches, had revealed another world, surely more learned, and to many minds philosophically and morally superior to that of Moses.
If the Germans could link their origins to India, then they would be forever free from their Semitic and Mediterranean bondage.
Of course, in order to establish and strengthen the link between the Germans and the Orient, Hebrew had to be abandoned as the original language of humanity, to be replaced by Sanskrit, the language of classical Hinduism.

Friedrich von Schlegel 
Instrumental in the forging of this link was the classical scholar Friedrich von Schlegel (1772-1829), who attempted to establish a historical and cultural contact between the Indians and the Scandinavians through which the Scandinavian languages could have been influenced by the Indian. Schlegel solved this problem by stating that the ancient Aryans had travelled to the far north, as a result of their veneration for the sacred mountain, Meru, which they believed to constitute the spiritual centre of the world.
It was actually Schlegel who coined the term Aryan in 1819, to denote a distinct racial group. Schlegel took the word Aryan, which had already been derived from the ancient Greek historian Herodotus.
At that point, the word Aryan came to denote the highest, purest and most honourable racial group.
This historical scheme was added to by other thinkers such as Christian Lassen, who stated that the Indo- Germans were inherently biologically superior to the Semites.

Friedrich Max Müller 
The philologist Max Muller would later encourage the adoption of the term Aryan, instead of 'Indo- Germanic'.

Friedrich Max Müller (December 6, 1823 – October 28, 1900), generally known as Max Müller, was a German-born philologist and Orientalist, who lived and studied in Britain for most of his life. He was one of the founders of the western academic field of Indian studies and the discipline of comparative religion.
Müller wrote both scholarly and popular works on the subject of Indology and the Sacred Books of the East, a 50-volume set of English translations, was prepared under his direction. Aspects of Müller's thinking closely resembled the later ideas of Nietzsche. Müller was also influenced by the Kantian Transcendentalist model of spirituality, and was opposed to Darwinian ideas of human development, arguing that "language forms an impassable barrier between man and beast." Müller's work contributed to the developing interest in Aryan culture which set Indo-European ('Aryan') traditions in opposition to Semitic religions.

According to the historian Leon Poliakov, by 1860 cultivated Europeans had come to accept that there was a fundamental division between Aryans and Semites.
In this scheme, Nordic Europeans were of the Aryan Race,  an this race had come from the high plateaus of Asia.
There had dwelt together the ancestors of the Indians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Germans, and Celts, before setting off to populate Europe.

Charles Darwin
The ideas of Charles Darwin were also included at this time by the proponents of Aryan racial superiority, and the concept of the survival of the fittest was readily applied to the interaction between racial groups.
Darwin's assumption that evolution through natural selection could result in gradual improvements to each species was inverted by proponents Aryanism, which maintained that the Nordic Race had long ago reached a certain level of perfection, and was being corrupted and undermined through miscegenation with inferior races.
Int the light of these facts, plans were being laid in some quarters for the biological improvement of the human race back in the late nineteenth century.

Joseph Ernest Renan 
The French writer Ernest Renan believed that selective breeding in the future would result in the eventual creation of 'gods and devas'.

Joseph Ernest Renan (28 February 1823 – 2 October 1892) was a French expert of Middle East ancient languages and civilizations, philosopher and writer, devoted to his native province of Brittany. He is best known for his influential historical works on early Christianity, and his political theories, especially concerning nationalism and national identity. His many exchanges of views with Auguste Comte led to philosophic essays he wrote. Hugely influential in his lifetime, Renan was eulogised after his death as the embodiment of the progressive spirit in western culture. Anatole France wrote that Renan was the incarnation of modernity. In his 1932 document "The Doctrine of Fascism", Italian dictator Benito Mussolini also applauded the "prefascist intuitions" in a section of Renan's "Meditations" that argued against democracy and individual rights as "chimerical" and intrinsically opposed to "nature's plans".

It was proposed that the breeding of heroes might be developed in the center of Asia.
If one dislikes such ideas, one should consider how bees and ants breed individuals for certain functions, or how botanists make hybrids.
Such a project could concentrate all the nervous energy in the brain ... It seemed to those concerned that if such a solution should be at all realizable on the planet Earth, it would be  through the Nordic Aryan that it would be achieved.

The Polar Paradise

Thule - The Polar Paradise
In the desire to rediscover the ultimate mythical and cultural roots of the master race, the proponents of Aryanism turned away from the heat of the biblical Mesopotamian Eden, and looked instead to the cool and pristine fastness of the Far North.
The eighteenth-century polymath Jean-Sylvain Bailly (1736-1793) had already done much of the groundwork for a radical re-interpretation of humanity's origin with his highly original combination of Eastern mysticism and astronomy.
According to Bailly, the ancient cultures of Egypt and Chaldea, and India were actually the heirs of a far older body of knowledge, possessed in the distant past by a long-lost superior culture living in the antediluvian North.
Bailly believed that it was this ancient culture that invented the zodiac in around 4600 BC.
Members of this civilisation had then moved from northern Asia to India.
For Bailly, this assertion was supported by the similarity of certain legends in later cultures living far from each other: for example, the legend of the Phoenix, which is found both in Egypt and in the Scandinavian Eddas.

Annual Disappearance of the Sun
Bailly equated the details of the Phoenix's death and rebirth with the annual disappearance of the Sun for 65 days at 71° North latitude.
He went on to compare the Phoenix with the Roman god Janus, the god of time, who is represented with the number 300 in his right hand, and the number 65 in his left (corresponding, of course, with the 300 days of daylight and 65 days of darkness each year in the far northern latitudes).

Legend of Adonis
Bailly thus concluded that Janus was actually a northern god who had moved south with his original worshippers in the distant past.
In support of his theory, Bailly also cited the legend of Adonis, who was required by Jupiter to spend one third of each year on Mount Olympus, one third with Venus and one third in Hades with Persephone.
Bailly connected this legend with conditions in the geographical area at 79° North latitude, where the Sun disappears for four months (one third) of the year.
To Bailly, this strongly suggested the preservation of the ancient knowledge of a Nordic civilisation, which had been encoded in numerous legends passed down to subsequent cultures.

Georges-Louis Leclerc,
Comte de Buffon

These ideas corresponded somewhat with the work of one Comte de Buffon, who had concluded in 1749 that the Earth had formed much earlier than the Christian date of 4004 BC. 

Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (7 September 1707 – 16 April 1788) was a French naturalist, mathematician, cosmologist, and encyclopedic author. His works influenced the next two generations of naturalists, including Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Georges Cuvier. Buffon published thirty-six quarto volumes of his Histoire naturelle during his lifetime; with additional volumes based on his notes and further research being published in the two decades following his death. It has been said that "Buffon was the father of all thought in natural history in the second half of the 18th century".

Buffon made the logical suggestion (within his scheme of creation) that the polar regions would have been the first to cool sufficiently to allow the development of life, and therefore placed the first human civilisation in the far northern latitudes.
For Bailly, this was ample justification for his own ideas concerning the Arctic region as the cradle of humanity.
The reason for the southerly migration of this first civilisation became obvious: since temperate climates are the most conducive to social, intellectual and scientific advancement, it clearly became necessary to move away gradually from the polar regions as they became too cold and the temperatures in the southern latitudes cooled from arid to temperate.
The migration was finally complete when Chaldea, India and China were reached.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak
The idea of a polar homeland for humanity was also elaborately developed by the Indian Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1856-1920) who wrote an epic work, 'The Arctic Home in the Vedas', while in prison in 1897 for publishing anti-British material in his newspaper, 'The Kesan'.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak (23 July 1856 – 1 August 1920), was an Indian nationalist, journalist, teacher, social reformer, lawyer and an independence activist who was the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement. He was also conferred with the honorary title of "Lokmanya", which literally means "Accepted by the people (as their leader)".

Published in 1903, Tilak's book concentrates on the age and original location of the Indian Vedic civilisation, from its origin in the Arctic around 10,000 BC, through its destruction in the last Ice Age; the migration to northern Europe and Asia in 8000-5000 BC and the composition of the Vedic hymns; the loss of the Arctic traditions around 3000-1400 BC; to the Pre-Buddhistic period in 1400-500 BC.

Vedic Texts
Tilak's reading of the ancient Vedic texts supported his assertion of a prehistoric homeland in the far north, describing as they did a realm inhabited by the gods where the sun rose and fell once a year. 
It should be noted that the Vedic hymns are full of images that make nonsense in the context of a daily sunrise, such as the Thirty Dawn-Sisters circling like a wheel, and the 'Dawn of Many Days' preceding the rising of the sun.
If, however, they are applied to the Pole, they fall perfectly into place.
The light of the sun circling beneath the horizon would be visible for at least thirty days before its annual rising.
One can imagine the sense of anticipation felt by the inhabitants, as the wheeling light became ever brighter and the long winter's night came to an end.

Ice Age
The date for the first appearance of the Aryans in the polar regions at 25,628 BC, was during the Interglacial Age.
The Aryans were forced to leave their homeland as the environment grew steadily colder and more hostile.
The advent of the Ice Age that scattered the Aryans from their pleasant homeland was just one of a number of global catastrophes that proved the downfall of at least three other ancient civilisations: Atlantis, Lemuria and the culture occupying what is now the Gobi Desert.
From that point the Aryan tradition influenced the great civilisations of Egypt, Sumer and Babylon.

From Hyperborea to Atlantis

The Legend of Hyperborea
The great Russian occultist Helena Blavatsky, had considerable information to divulge on the nature of the lost civilisations whose philosophy and knowledge were passed down, in frequently garbled form, to the great civilisations of the Middle and Far East.

'Stanzas of Dzyan'
According to Blavatsky, who had consulted a fantastically old document entitled the 'Stanzas of Dzyan' while in Tibet, our remote ancestors occupied a number of lost continents, the first of which she describes as 'The Imperishable Sacred Land', an eternal place unencumbered by the sometimes violent fates reserved for other continents, that was the home of the first human and also of 'the last divine mortals'.

The Second Continent was Hyperborea, the land which stretched out its promontories southward and westward from the North Pole to receive the Second Race, and comprised the whole of what is now known as Northern Asia.
The 'Second Race' refers to one of the Root Races.
Blavatsky continues:
'The land of the Hyperboreans, the country that extended beyond Boreas, the frozen-hearted god of snows and hurricanes, who loved to slumber heavily on the chain of Mount Riphaeus, was neither an ideal country, as surmised by the mythologists, nor yet a land in the neighbourhood of Scythia and the Danube. It was a real continent, a bond-fide land which knew no winter in those early days, nor have its remains more than one night and day during the year, even now. The nocturnal shadows never fall upon it, said the Greeks; for it is the land of the Gods, the favourite abode of Apollo, the god of light, and its inhabitants are his beloved priests and servants. This may be regarded as poetised fiction now; but it was poetised truth then.'
The Third Continent was Lemuria (so called by the zoologist P. L. Sclater in reference to a hypothetical sunken continent extending from Madagascar to Sri Lanka and Sumatra). 
The Fourth Continent was Atlantis.
'It would be the first historical land, were the traditions of the ancients to receive more attention than they have hitherto. The famous island of Plato of that name was but a fragment of this great Continent.'
In her description of the Fifth Continent, Blavatsky evokes images of cataclysmic seismic shifts in the land mass of the Earth:
The Fifth Continent is Europe and Asia Minor.
The 'Secret Doctrine' takes no account of islands and peninsulas, nor does it follow the modern geographical distribution of land and sea.
Since the day of its earliest teachings and the destruction of the great Atlantis, the face of the earth has changed more than once.
There was a time when the delta of Egypt and Northern Africa belonged to Europe, before the formation of the Straits of Gibraltar, and a further upheaval of the continent, changed entirely the face of the map of Europe.
The last serious change occurred some 12,000 years ago, and was followed by the submersion of Plato's little Atlantic island, which he calls 'Atlantis' after its parent continent.
Blavatsky read in the 'Stanzas of Dzyan' that the Earth contained seven great continents, 'four of which have already lived their day, the fifth still exists, and two are to appear in the future.' 
Aside from the Stanzas of Dzyan, Blavatsky drew on a huge number of religious texts, including the Hindu Puranas, which speak of a land called Svita-Dvipa (Hyperborea), or the White Island,
at the centre of which is Mount Meru, the spiritual centre of the world
 If we accept the attributes given to Mount Meru in the sacred texts of the Hindus - it must be conceded that the mountain does not exist anywhere on the physical Earth.
This has led Orientalists to speculate that the White Island and Mount Meru are situated in another dimension occupying that same apparent space as Earth, and which is visible (and reachable) to beings possessing a sufficiently advanced spirituality.
The legendary realm of 'Hyperborea' also formed a centrepiece in the writings of the French occultist Rene Guenon (1886-1951) who, like Blavatsky, claimed to have received his information from hidden Oriental sources.
Guenon's Hyperborea is very similar to Blavatsky's.
Along with the later Atlantean civilisation, Hyperborea was the origin of all religious and spiritual tradition in our own modern world.
Guenon also wrote of Mount Meru, although in symbolic terms.
It seems from his essays on symbology that Guenon did not regard Meru as an actual mountain situated at the North Pole, but rather as a symbol of the earth's axis that passes through the pole and points to the Arktoi, the constellations of the Great and Little Bears.
At this point, we should pause to consider a question that may have occurred to the reader: assuming the existence of the prehistoric Root Races of humanity, why have none of their remains ever been discovered and excavated by archaeologists and palaeontologists? Apart from the obvious but not particularly satisfactory answer that the vast majority of the Earth's fossil record has yet to be discovered, it should be remembered that, according to Guenon, Blavatsky and the other Theosophists, the early Earth and its fabulous primordial inhabitants were not solid, corporeal entities, but were composed of a rarefied spiritual substance that only later descended into the material state. It is for this reason that their remains have never been discovered.
It is easy to see how the central tenets of Theosophy - the ancient civilisations, the origins of the Aryan race, and that race's position of high nobility - were attractive to the German occultists and nationalists, who so hated the modern world of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Modernism in general was seen as being largely an urban, sophisticated, Jewish phenomenon, and this included certain aspects of science, technology, the Industrial Revolution, and of course capitalism.
The doctrines of the Theosophists successfully fused science and mysticism, taking Darwin's theories regarding natural selection, and the survival of the fittest, and applying them to the concept of a spiritual struggle between the races of Earth (resulting in the Aryan race), which was a necessary component in the evolution of the spirit
It should be remembered that Blavatsky's works appear to be the result of prodigious scholarship and were extremely convincing.
The rationale behind many later völkisch  projects can be traced back - through the writings of von List, von Sebottendorff, and von Liebenfels - to ideas first popularized by Blavatsky.
A caste system of races, the importance of ancient alphabets (notably the runes), the superiority of the Aryans (a white race with its origins in the Himalayas), an version of astrology and astronomy, the cosmic truths coded within pagan myths ... all of these and more can be found both in Blavatsky and in National Socialism itself, specifically in the ideology of the SS.
It was, after all, Blavatsky who pointed out the supreme occult significance of the swastika.
In spite of its proclamation of the supremacy of the Aryan race Theosophy did not see itself as inherently 'right wing', and Blavatsky herself did not become overtly involved in politics.
Although it had inspired a large number of German occultists and nationalists at the turn of the century, Theosophy would later be suppressed in the Third Reich.

Iceland and Antarctica

It is a matter of historical record that the Third Reich mounted expeditions to Iceland, Antarctica and Tibet.
The true reasons for these expeditions, however, have been the subject of considerable debate throughout the decades since the end of the war.
The völkisch concept of Thule can be traced to Guido von List, Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels and Rudolf von Sebottendorff, who conceived of it as the ancient homeland of the Aryan race.

(At some time between the third and fourth centuries BC, Pytheas of Massilia undertook a voyage to the north. He reached Scotland, and sailed on for six more days, probably reaching the North Shetland Islands. He then claimed to have reached the land of Thule, which may have been Iceland, or perhaps Norway, before encountering a frozen sea.)

The volkisch fascination with the Scandinavian Eddas led von Sebottendorff to conclude that the supposedly long-vanished land of Thule was actually Iceland.
This link with the lost Aryan homeland prompted an intense interest in the possibility of discovering further clues to their remote history, indeed, to their very origin, among the caves and prehistoric monuments of the island. 
An organisation called the Nordic Society was established at Lubeck by Alfred Rosenberg (1893-1945), the völkisch mystic, philosopher, and editor of the 'Volkischer Beobachter'.

The society counted among its members representatives from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland, who were drawn together in order to defend the Nordic nations against the Soviet, Jewish and Masonic threat.
Rosenberg explained his Thulean mythology in his book 'Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts' (The Myth of the Twentieth Century), published in 1930, which was a massive best-seller in Germany.
In the first chapter of the book, Rosenberg explains the basis of his belief in an ancient Aryan homeland in the north:

'The geologists show us a continent between North America and Europe, whose remains we can see today in Greenland and Iceland. They tell us that islands on the other side of the Far North (Novaia Zemlya) display former tide marks over 100 metres higher than today's; they make it probable that the North Pole has wandered, and that a much milder climate once reigned in the present Arctic. All this allows the ancient legend of Atlantis to appear in a new light. It seems not impossible that where the waves of the Atlantic Ocean now crash and pull off giant icebergs, once a blooming continent rose out of the water, on which a creative race raised a mighty, wide- ranging culture, and sent its children out into the world as seafarers and warriors. But even if this Atlantean hypothesis is not thought tenable, one has to assume that there was a prehistoric northern center of culture.'

The expiditions were authorised by Heinrich Himmler under the auspices of the Ahnenerbe - the SS Association for Research and Teaching on Heredity.
German interest in Antarctic exploration goes back to 1873, when Eduard Dallman mounted an expedition in his steamship Gronland on behalf of the newly founded German Society of Polar Research.

Wilhelm Filchner
Less than 60 years later, the Swiss explorer Wilhelm Filchner, who had already led an expedition to Tibet in 1903-05, planned to lead two expeditions to Antarctica with the intention of determining if the continent was a single piece of land.
Filchner's plans called for two ships, one to enter the Weddell Sea and one to enter the Ross Sea.
Two groups would then embark on a land journey and attempt to meet at the centre of the continent.

The 'Deutschland'
This plan, however, proved too expensive, and so a single ship, the 'Deutschland', was used. The 'Deutschland' was a Norwegian ship specifically designed for work in polar regions, and was acquired with the help of Ernest Shackleton, Otto Nordenskjold and Fridtjof Nansen.
The expedition reached the Weddell Sea in December 1911.
Another expedition was mounted in 1925 with the polar expedition ship 'Meteor' under the command of Dr Albert Merz.

Prior to World War II German scientists were obsessed with Antarctica.
Far from finding a desolate wasteland covered with ice, the Germans discovered ice-free areas, warm water lakes and cavern systems.
The Germans also got interested in Queen Maud land (or "Neuschwabenland" as referred to by the Germans - Germany was called "Schwabenland" before it was called Germany - so Neuschwabenland means "New Germany").
Neuschwabenland is dominated by the giant shelf of ice, flowing slowly from King Haakon VII - plateau over the South Pole, down to the ocean.
This area is called "Fenriskjeften" after the mouth of the giant Devil-wolf in Norse mythology. According to this mythology Fenris' (the wolf) teeth were very sharp, and they would kill all people on Earth during Ragnarok - the end of the world.

Most of the mountains in Fenriskjeften have names with analogies to teeth, or to other parts of the Norse.

The use of wolf symbology is interesting as it touches upon a theme in  völkisch symbology which used the wolf as a totem of the hunter: Hitler's retreat in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria was nicknamed "Wolf's Lair", and the tactic used by German U-Boats to defeat convoys during the War was called "Wolfpack."
Hitler, of course, also used the alias 'Wolf' or 'Herr Wolf'

In the years running up to the Second World War, Germany wanted a foothold in Antarctica, both for the propaganda value of demonstrating the power of the Third Reich and also because of the territory's strategic significance in the South Atlantic.
On 17 December 1938, an expedition was despatched under the command of Captain Alfred Ritscher to the South Atlantic coast of Antarctica and arrived there on 19 January 1939.

Aircraft Carrier 'Schwabenland'
The expedition's ship was the 'Schwabenland', an aircraft carrier that had been used since 1934 for transatlantic mail delivery.
The 'Schwabenland', which had been prepared for the expedition in the Hamburg shipyards at a cost of one million Reichsmarks, was equipped with two Dornier seaplanes, the 'Passat' and the 'Boreas', which were launched from its flight deck by steam catapults and which made fifteen flights over the territory which Norwegian explorers had named 'Queen Maud Land'.
The aircraft covered approximately 600,000 square kilometres, took more than 11,000 photographs of the 'Princess Astrid' and 'Princess Martha' coasts of western 'Queen Maud Land', and dropped several thousand drop-flags (metal poles with swastikas).

Flag of Neu Schwabenland
The area was claimed for the Third Reich, and was renamed 'Neu Schwabenland'.
Perhaps the most surprising discovery made by this expedition was a number of large, ice-free areas, containing lakes and sparse vegetation.
The expedition geologists suggested that this might have been due to underground heat sources.

Ahnenerbe Expedition to Neu Schwabenland
In mid-February 1939, the 'Schwabenland' left Antarctica and returned to Hamburg.

The secret expedition had 33 members plus the Schwabenland's crew of 24.
On 19 January 1939 the ship arrived at the Princess Martha Coast and began charting the region.
German flags were placed on the sea ice along the coast.
Naming the area 'Neu-Schwabenland' after the ship, the expedition established a base, and in the following weeks teams walked along the coast recording claim reservations on hills and other significant landmarks. 

Dornier Do J 'Wal'
Seven photographic survey flights were made by the ship’s two Dornier Wal seaplanes named Passat and Boreas.

The Dornier Do J Wal ("whale") was a twin-engine German flying boat of the 1920s designed by Dornier Flugzeugwerke. The Do J was designated the Do 16 by the Reich Air Ministry (RLM) under its aircraft designation system of 1933.

About a dozen 1.2 meter-long aluminum arrows, with 30 centimeter steel cones and three upper stabilizer wings embossed with swastikas, were air dropped onto the ice at turning points of the flight polygons (these arrows had been tested on the Pasterze glacier in Austria before the expedition).
Eight more flights were made to areas of keen interest, and on these trips some of the photos were taken with colour film.
Altogether they flew over hundreds of thousands of square kilometres, and took more than 16,000 aerial photographs, some of which were published after the war by Ritscher.

Neu Schwabenland' Emblem
On its return trip to Germany the expedition made oceanographic studies near Bouvet Island and Fernando de Noronha, arriving back in Hamburg on 11 April 1939.
Ritscher was surprised at the findings of the expedition, particularly the ice-free areas, and immediately began to plan another journey upon his arrival home.
These plans, however, were apparently abandoned with the outbreak of war.

Large, Cargo Carrying Submarines - Type XXI - Elektroboot 
It has been suggested, however, that the 1938-39 expedition had been to look for a suitable ice-free region on the continent that could be used for a secret  base after the war.

Großadmiral Karl Dönitz
There is evidence that throughout the war, the Third Reich sent ships, (an in particular large, cargo carrying submarines), and aircraft to 'Neu Schwabenland' with enough equipment and manpower to build massive complexes under the ice, or in well-hidden ice-free areas, and at the close of the war selected scientists and SS troops left Europe and went to Antarctica.
As Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz stated in 1943:
"Germany's submarine fleet is proud that it created an unassailable fortress for the Führer on the other end of the world."

 Advanced Aircraft Technology.
Rumours began to circulate that, whilst Germany had been defeated, a selection of military personnel, Hitler Youth and scientists had left the fatherland, as allied troops swept across mainland Europe, and had established themselves at a secret base on the Antarctic continent, from where they continued to develop their advanced aircraft technology.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that at the end of the war, the allies determined that there were 250,000 Germans unaccounted for - even taking into account casualties and deaths.
In addition, until today more than 100 submarines of the German fleet are missing.
Among those are many of the highly technological XXI class equipped with the so-called 'Walterschnorkel', a special designed and coated Schnorkel enabling submarines in combination with their new developed engines to dive for many thousand miles.
A 'trip' to the base without recognition becomes more than possible with this technology.
Could Neu Schwabenland have been a permanently manned German base at that time ?
The brackish water of the warm (30 degrees) lakes virtually confirmed that all had an outlet to the sea and would thus have been a haven for U-boats. The two ice-free mountain ranges in Neu Schwabenland presented no worse an underground tunneling project for Organization Todt than anything they had encountered and overcome in Norway, and the Germans were the world's experts at building and inhabiting underground metropolis.
At the end of the war the United States gave anything concerning Ohrdruf a top secret classification for 100 years upwards. The fact that there had been substantial underground workings there, and Ohrdruf was the location of the last Redoubt, was concealed absolutely. Fortunately for researchers, in 1962 the DDR had taken sworn depositions from all local residents during an investigation into wartime Ohrdruf, and upon the reunification of the two Germanys in 1989, these documents became available to all and sundry at Arnstadt municipal archive.
From the Arnstadt documents it is clear that the Charite Anlage unit operated in a three-story underground bunker with floors 70 by 20 meters.
When working, the device emitted some kind of energy field which shut down all electrical equipment and non-diesel engines within a range of about eight miles.
For this reason, even though Ohrdruf was crawling with SS, it was never photographed from the air nor bombed.
Declassified USAF documents dated early 1945 admit the existence of an unknown energy field over Frankfurt/Main "and other locations" which were able to "interfere with our aircraft engines at 30,000 feet."
Ohrdruf, rebuilt below Neu Schwabenland during the last two years of the war, would not have been difficult, and since Charite Anlage had the highest priority of anything in the Third Reich, it seems likely that it must have been.
Such a base would have been impregnable, for the suggestion is that the force-field worked in various ways favourable to the occupants.