The Order of the SS

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013

'The hierarchical organization and the initiation through symbolic rites, that is to say, without bothering the brain but by working on the imagination through magic and the symbols of a cult, all this is the dangerous element, and the element I have taken over.'

Das Ahnenerbe
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
While the Gestapo was busy mopping up cultic opposition to the Third Reich, from Freemasons to astrologers to Thelemites, Himmler was fully engaged in turning the Schutzstaffel (SS) into the official state cult, with all the "dangerous elements" that Hitler described in the above extract from his table talk concerning Freemasonry.
In this section, we will not only review the history of this powerful organization but we will also examine some documents of the Ahnenerbe: Studiengesellschaft für Geistesurgeschichte‚ Deutsches Ahnenerbe e.V. - (the Ancestral Heritage Research and Teaching Society) - which became incorporated entire into the SS.
These documents have never before been published in the English language.


The SS (initials that stand for Schutzstaffel or Guard Detachment) was originally intended to be Hitler's personal bodyguard.

Die Thule-Gesellschaft
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Die Sturmabteilung
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013

The early history of the Party was such that the SA (Die Sturmabteilung) or Brown-shirts, were really the first shock troops - "Storm Troopers" - of the NSDAP: enforcers in uniform that intimidated the opposition and acted as a kind of private army for the Party (a type of Friekorps, such as that supported by the Thule; indeed the leader of the SA, Ernst Röhm, had been a Friekorps leader, who was closely associated with theThule Gesellschaft).

As the SA grew in importance and size, it became an actual threat to Hitler's complete control of the state apparatus.
Ernst Röhm
Elements within the Party wanted Röhm out of the way, and presented Hitler with enough trumped-up evidence to warrant Röhm's arrest and speedy execution on June 30, 1934.
On July 1 the entire SA was to go on a month's holiday to prove that they had no intention to overthrow the government; Hitler's advisers, however, counselled a pre-emptive first strike against the SA.
As we have seen, the blood-letting did not stop with Röhm but was extended to include a wide range of persons and organizations (both of the Left and the Right) deemed hostile to the regime Hitler and his party had envisioned.
It was not the first time in politics, nor the last, that the existence of an alleged conspiracy was used as the excuse for the elimination of dangerous enemies.
Before this time, the SS functioned as a kind of elite corps of pure-blooded Aryans.

Heinrich Himmler
Himmler - Munich Putsch - 1923
Himmler joined the SS when it was still a bodyguard unit with no more than about three hundred members, and he marched with Hitler's men during the Munich Putsch of 1923, carrying the Reichskrieg flag.
After he became the head of the SS in 1929, however, he began to reform it along lines that can only be described as 'cultic', while its membership rose from three hundred to fifty-two thousand by 1933.
The very selection of the double Sig rune as its emblem had its roots in the doctrines of List and Liebenfels.
(German typewriters manufactured during the Nazi era included the double Sig rune as one of their characters.)
Der Lebensborn
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
SS Grave Marker
Even the graves of dead SS men were adorned - not with crosses or other more traditional tombstones - but with a German rune symbol (the "mensch" rune) made out of wood.
This same rune was used on the cover of the articles of the Lebensborn society, operated by the SS, thus making a statement about the life and death cycle as perceived by the official pagans of the Reich.

Once Röhm was out of the way, however, Himmler came to a position of even greater importance.

Geheime Staatspolizei
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Eventually even the Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police) - or Gestapo - came under his jurisdiction, making Himmler one of the most powerful men in the German Reich, and second only to Hitler himself in authority, and enjoying the fear which the black uniforms of his elite SS aroused in the populace.
While it is known that he consulted astrologers, and was interested in various forms of alternative medicine, alternative science, and alternative religion, what is not generally known is the extent to which the government of the Third Reich became committed to serious support of such practices.
Nor is it generally understood just how thoroughly Himmler's ideas of race, ritual, and mysticism came to infuse the entire phenomenon of the Third Reich, thus coalescing it into one of the most dangerous cults in the world.
Much of what has been written before on this subject is either unavailable in English or, worse, the stuff of such tabloid-style journalism that serious historians are forced to laugh it off as the result of wild imaginations and the woeful lack of "primary sources."
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
We will attempt to rectify that situation as much as we can in the space allotted, with constant reference to supporting documentation, beginning in this section with the strangest of all modern governmental agencies, the mysterious Ahnenerbe: - Studiengesellschaft für Geistesurgeschichte‚ Deutsches Ahnenerbe e.V.
So, how to describe the Ahnenerbe?
Its name came from a rather obscure German word, Ahnenerbe, meaning "something inherited from the forefathers."
The official mission of the Ahnenerbe was to unearth "new evidence of the accomplishments and deeds of Germanic ancestors using exact scientific methods."
Imagine that the evening adult education program had suddenly become an independent government agency, with a budget as big as the Defense Department.
Then one might have some idea of what the Ahnenerbe was, and of the type of people it first attracted to its ranks.
The roots of the Ahnenerbe are a tangled mass of various special interests.
Richard Walther Darre
Depending on the source consulted, it was either founded by Himmler, and the pagan ideologue Richard Walther Darre, in 1935, or it had existed before that time as an independent institute, and was only absorbed into the SS much later.
Whatever source is considered the most reliable, one thing is certain: the Ahnenerbe was not founded as an SS unit.
Something calling itself the Ahnenerbe Society ("an association for clan and heraldry research assistance, heredity science and race-cultivation") had existed as early as 1928.

Hermann Wirth

But on the first of July, 1935, a "Deutsches Ahnenerbe Verein" was formally established in Berlin by Heinrich Himmler and Hermann Wirth, along with some associates of Darre.
According to documents available to the Nürnberg Tribunal, it was formally incorporated within the SS only on April 1, 1940, even though for years previously its leadership was largely composed of both honorary and career SS officers.

Wolfram Sievers
Indeed, according to the available records it is obvious that Wolfram Sievers already held the position of Reichsgeschaftsfuhrer, or Reich's Manager, of the Ahnenerbe with a rank of Obersturmfuhrer-SS by 1937 and had been associated with the Ahnenerbe as early as August of 1935.
So Sievers's insistence that it only became part of the SS in 1940 is disingenuous, to say the least.
In any event, the Ahnenerbe existed as an independent agency prior to its incorporation into the SS, and may have had its earliest roots as a research bureau formed by a number of German intellectuals, (and outright occultists, such as Hermann Wirth), who had been inspired both by the works of the völkisch writers of previous years, and by the exploits of a generation of romantic adventurers and amateur archaeologists and anthropologists, a generation that included Wolfram Sievers's defence witness Friederich Hielscher, and the internationally famous Swedish explorer Sven Hedin.

Sven Hedin
Hedin, a native of Stockholm, left Sweden in 1885 at the age of twenty on his first trip abroad, to Baku on the Caspian Sea.
From that time on, Hedin managed to visit most of Asia from the Caucasus to the South China Sea, but with a special emphasis on Tibet.
In 1925 (at the age of sixty) he published a memoir of his travels - 'My Life as an Explorer' - which was very well received in Europe and America, as were other travel books he had written on Tibet and China.
(As previously noted, at least one of these was in Hitler's small collection of books in his early, pre-Putsch Munich apartment.)
Hedin's tales of trekking through snow-choked Himalayan passes in search of fabled Asian cities, while both camels and guides perished in grisly profusion along the route contributed to the general fascination the public had for anything to do with the mysterious East, a fascination due at least in part to the writings of Mme. Blavatsky and her followers in the Theosophical Society, who saw the East (and particularly India and Tibet) as the repository of arcane knowledge hidden from the rest of the world for centuries.

Sven Hedin - Tibet
The Germans could not help but be charmed by Hedin's accounts of his adventures in Asia.
In 'My Life as an Explorer' he describes his discovery of the ancient Chinese city of Lou-lan in the Taklimakan Desert, and of the artefacts he uncovered there which included an ancient, swastika-decorated rug nearly two thousand years old, along with some of the earliest examples in the world of writing on paper.
What must have bothered at least some of his völkisch audience, however, was his statement that "... not a single one of our ancient Swedish runestones is older than the fragile wooden staffs and paper fragments that I found in Lou-lan."
(Hedin revisited Lou-lan in 1934, at the ripe age of sixty-nine.
Now, in the years since the Chinese Revolution, the entire area has become a restricted military zone where atomic testing is carried out and Lou-Ian is lost once more to the shifting desert sand.)

Dr. Friedrich Hielscher
There is evidence to suggest that the Ahnenerbe itself was formed as a private institution by several friends and admirers of Sven Hedin, including Wolfram Sievers and Dr. Friedrich Hielscher who, according to the records of the Nürnberg Trial of November 1946, had been responsible for recruiting Sievers into the Ahnenerbe.
In fact, there was a Sven Hedin Institute for Inner Asian Research in Munich that was part of the Ahnenerbe, and as late as 1942 Hedin himself (then about seventy-seven years old) was in friendly communication with such important Ahnenerbe personnel as Dr. Ernst Schafer from his residence in Stockholm.
Moreover, on January 16, 1943, the 'Sven Hedin Institute for Inner Asian (i.e. Mongolian) Research and Expeditions' was formally inaugurated in Munich with "great pomp," a ceremony at which Hedin was in attendance as he was awarded with an honorary doctorate for the occasion.

Karl Haushofer
It has even been claimed that Sven Hedin and Karl Haushofer were friends, a claim that is not completely unlikely, as the two had spent considerable time in the Far East during the same period: Hedin as an explorer and sometime ambassador-at-large for the Swedish government, and Haushofer as military attaché for the Germans.
Given Haushofer's excessive interest in political geography, and his establishment of the Deutsche Akademie all over Asia (including China and India, Hedin's old stomping grounds), it would actually be odd if the two hadn't met.
Later, as the Ahnenerbe was formally absorbed into the SS, and made an official agency of the Reich, Hedin still maintained contact with all his old friends there.
Indeed, by 1941 it was already clear that Haushofer's 'Deutsche Akademie' and Sievers's Ahnenerbe were virtually parallel organizations.
Letters and newspaper clippings from that period - including Deutsche Akademie correspondence seized after the war - show that Dr. Walther Wirth, who was the "Humanities" chairperson at the Ahnenerbe and, with Sievers, part of its ruling administration, was also acting president of the Deutsche Akademie.
As the Ahnenerbe was also at this time an agency of the SS, Professor Wust - Rektor of the University of Munich and an expert on Sanskrit, the Aryan Ur- tongue - enjoyed the distinction of the SS rank of Oberfuhrer, or Brigadier.


Once Himmler was fully in control of the SS, he began its transformation into a pagan religious order.

Wewelsburg - Paderborn
The headquarters for this cult was situated at the medieval castle of Wewelsburg, near the towns of Paderborn and Detmold in the German province of Westphalia, close by the site in the Teutoburg Forest where Arminius made his stand with its famous, Stonehenge-like stone monument known as Externsteine.

Here the secret Chapter of the Order assembled once a year.
Each member had his own chair with an engraved silver nameplate, and each had to devote himself to a ritual of spiritual exercises aimed mainly at mental concentration.
Himmler kept his Order Castle extremely private.

Wewelsburg - Großer Saal
No one was allowed inside who was not expressly invited by Himmler himself; thus, only the Inner Twelve and occasionally a select general or two, a Reichsleiter, or some other official would be welcomed, but only at Himmler's convenience.
Secrecy was the key element in the SS and most especially at Wewelsburg.
The focal point of Wewelsburg, evidently owing much to the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, was a great dining hall (Großer Saal) with an oaken table to seat twelve picked from the senior Gruppenfuhrers.
The walls were to be adorned with their coats of arms; designed by Professor Diebitsch and experts from Ahnenerbe.

Professor Karl Diebitsch
Professor Karl Diebitsch (January 3, 1899 – August 6, 1985) was an artist and soldier responsible for much of the Third Reich SS regalia, including the Chained SS Officer's dagger scabbard. Diebitsch enrolled in the Design School of the Academy of Plastic and Graphic Arts in Munich on October 29, 1919.
SS Runes
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
On May 1, 1920, Diebitsch joined the Nazi Party or NSDAP. His membership number was 1,436. From 1920 to 1923 he was a member of the Freikorps. He went on to complete his formal art training in 1925, followed by several years of living and working in Munich as a painter and graphic artist. When the NSDAP came to power in 1933, Diebitsch moved his family to Berlin and there joined the Reichsverband Bildenden Künstler Deutschlands (National Association of German Visual Artists). In November 1933, he joined the SS. Later in 1937, he rejoined the NSDAP with a membership number of 4,690,956.
Diebitsch worked with graphic designer Walter Heck to design the all-black SS uniform - produced by Hugo Boss. Also with his business partner, industrialist Franz Nagy, Diebitsch began the production of art porcelain at the porcelain factory Porzellan Manufaktur Allach. 

SS Black Uniform
Hugo Boss
Hugo Ferdinand Boss (8 July 1885 – 9 August 1948) was the founder of the clothing company Hugo Boss.
Boss was born in Metzingen, in the Kingdom of Württemberg, the youngest of five children. He was involved in an apprenticeship as a merchant, prior to his enlistment in the army during World War I. After one year of employment, he founded his own company in Metzingen in 1923 and then a factory in 1924. Boss joined the NSDAP in 1931. Hugo Boss company produced these black uniforms along with the brown SA shirts and the black-and-brown uniforms of the Hitler Youth. Boss died of a tooth abscess in 1948.

Underneath the dining hall with its Round Table in a sunken chamber was to be found the "realm of the dead": a circular room which contained a shallow stone well.

Wewelsburg Crypt
In this well, the coat of arms of the deceased "Knight" of the Black Order was to be ceremoniously burned.
Each of the Inner Circle of Twelve had his own room, decorated in accordance with one of the great ancestors of Aryan majesty.
In Himmler's case, his room was designed to reflect his hero, King Henry the Fowler, a Saxon king responsible for the first German "Drive to the East."
Although some writers have argued that Himmler saw himself as King Henry's reincarnation, there is also testimony that he admitted to speaking with the dead king's ghost at night.

Heinrich Himmler - Quedlinburg
In any event, Himmler created the King Heinrich Memorial Institute in 1938 in Quedlinburg.
It was within the great dining hall with its Round Table that Himmler and his Inner Circle of Twelve Gruppenfuhrers would engage in mystic communication with the realm of the dead Teutons and perform other spiritual exercises.
SS men were discouraged from participating in Christian religious ceremonies of any kind and were actively encouraged to formally break with the Church.

Allach Julleuchter
New religious ceremonies were developed to take the place of Christian ones; for instance, a winter solstice ceremony was designed to replace Christmas (starting in 1939 the word "Christmas" was forbidden to appear on any official SS document), and another ceremony for the summer solstice.
Gifts were to be given at the summer solstice ceremony rather than at the winter solstice, and a special factory was established for the manufacture of such gifts.

A possible, though by no means documented, cause for this switch of gift-giving to the summer solstice is the death of Hitler's mother on the winter solstice, and all the grief and complex emotions this event represented for Hitler.
It is understandable that Hitler - as the Führer, would have wanted to remove every vestige of "Christmas" from the pagan winter solstice festival.
As a means of denying his grief ? Or as an act of defiance against the god whose birth is celebrated on that day, - a god who robbed Hitler of his beloved mother ? It's worthwhile to note in this context that for a national "Day of the German Mother" Hitler chose his own mother's birthday.

These ceremonies were replete with sacred fires, torchlight processions, and invocations of Teutonic deities, all performed by files of young, blond-haired, blue-eyed Aryan SS men.
It is ironic that the establishment of Christmas on December 25 was itself an attempt of the Church to identify the birth of Jesus with the winter solstice ceremonies of the pagans since Christ was most probably not born in December at all; hence, all Himmler was doing was reinstating a holiday that the Christians themselves had usurped for their own purposes, as indeed the rune manuscript - quoted below - suggests.

Lebensborn Ceremony
Weddings and "christenings" (especially at the Lebensborn communities) were replaced by pagan SS rituals and, gradually, the entire Christian liturgical rubric was in the process of being replaced by a completely pagan version.
Even the Hitler Youth were not immune.
A so-called "National Socialist Primer" published during the war contains many examples of pagan ideology and anti-Christian sentiment designed for its youthful readership.
Even the selection of Wewelsburg as the cult centre was far from accidental.
According to Teutonic legend, an apocalyptic battle would be fought in that area between the forces of East and West, and the Eastern hordes would be defeated by a mighty storm.
Himmler - who highly valued such old German myths - evidently believed he would have a ringside seat at the conflagration that would consume his enemies.
Paderborn and Detmold were also important archaeological sites in the view of the Ahnenerbe, for they contained important relics of Germany's ancient glory.

Yggdrasil - Irminsul
It was even suggested that the Nordic World-Tree - Yggdrasil - had its roots in that region on the border of Westphalia and Lower Saxony and might still be located, perhaps at the Externsteine site.
A typescript copy of an article that appeared in a monthly magazine called 'Lower Saxony' in 1903/1904 was preserved in Ahnenerbe files.

Devoted to this pagan cult centre located in the same region as Wewelsburg, it refers to the summer solstice celebrations that took place there as late as the middle of the nineteenth century:
'They are like giants from a prehistoric world which, during the furious creation of the Earth, were placed there by God as eternal monuments . . . Many of our Völk are known to have preserved pagan beliefs and their rituals, and I remember that some sixty years ago, in my earliest childhood days ... the custom was to undertake a long, continuous journey that lasted for whole days and which only ended on St. John's Day, to see those ancient "Holy Stones" and to celebrate there, with the sunrise, the Festival of the Summer Solstice ...'

And as Goethe says, "Nobody can overcome the impressions of his earliest childhood,"

The summer solstice festival, of course, was kept sacred by the NSDAP.
But to tie in this prehistoric monument to twentieth century Aryan mysticism, the author - one A.E. Muller - goes on to say:

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
'Especially included for your consideration are the sculptures found on the reverse of the Externsteine on which were thus originally discovered the image of the tree Ydragsil, the World-Ash, whose melancholy myth embraces the Origin, the Life, and the Death of the Earth and its generations.'

Muller goes on to describe how images of a human couple seen within the form of the root of the World-Ash, Ydragsil, and embraced by the Serpent, Nidhogur (the symbol of a devouring Death), were used by the Church to substantiate its own legend of the "Biblical- Babylonian legend of the first human couple, Adam and Eve, and their fall into sin as a result" of the Serpent.

The Norns
Muller complains that the essentially pagan iconography of the four Norns and associated images were co-opted by the Church into representing other Biblical stories and that the whole monument was exploited for the purposes of converting the pagan population of Lower Saxony to that Semitic interloper, Christianity.
Concerning the cultic significance of Paderborn itself, we may refer to a letter addressed to Wolfram Sievers by one Von Motz that is to be found in the Ahnenerbe files.
Dated January 29, 1937 - from Detmold no less - the author begins by referring to a recent issue of the official SS magazine, 'Das Schwarze Korps':

'I am sending to you now ... six photographs with explanatory text.
Maybe these can appear in one of the next issues of 'Schwarze Korps' in order to show that it is to some extent a favoured practice of the church on images of its saints and so forth to illustrate the defeat of adversaries by [having them] step on them.
The referenced essay also mentioned that there are depictions of the serpent's head, as the symbol of original sin, being stepped on [by the saints].
These depictions are quite uncommonly prevalent. It is always Mary who treads on original sin.
Now these pictures appear to me particularly interesting because the serpent refers to an ancient symbol of Germanic belief. At the Battle of Hastings the flag of the Saxons shows a golden serpent on a blue field....
The Mary Statue at Paderborn was erected in the middle of the past century in the courtyard of the former Jesuit College. As professor Alois Fuchs related several times before in lectures concerning the Paderborn art monuments, the artist that created the Mary Statue must have been a Protestant. This is for me completely proven because the face in the moon-sickle in every case represents Luther.
It is well known that Rome and Judah, preferring thus to take advantage of their own victims, created victory monuments for them.'

These are motifs which we find throughout the völkisch and occult impulses in national Socialism: that the serpent, which represents Satan to Christians, was considered a sacred symbol for the Aryans; and that "Rome and Judah" shamelessly exploited the suffering of their own people by depicting them as heroes or as vanquishers of evil through their agonies (thus reinforcing weak, non-Aryan suicidal tendencies among the oppressed populations of Europe).

In a related context, Himmler - in conversations with Schellenberg - also discussed such subjects as European witchcraft and the Holy Inquisition at length.

Margaret Murray
Himmler evidently subscribed to the belief - made popular across the Channel by British anthropologist Margaret Murray in 'The Witch Cult in Western Europe' (1921) and 'The God of the Witches' (1933) - that the medieval witches burned at the stake by the Church were pagans; he particularly stressed the fact that "so much good German blood" was "stupidly destroyed" when thousands of German witches were murdered by the Inquisition.

Society of Jesus
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
The SS organization had been built up by Himmler on the principles of the Order of the Jesuits.
The service statutes and spiritual exercises prescribed by Ignatius Loyola formed a pattern which Himmler assiduously tried to copy.
Absolute obedience was the supreme rule; each and every order had to be accepted without question.

Ex Libris - Adolf Hitler
One of the books recovered from the so-called 'Hitler Library' at Berchtesgaden after the war comes under the heading of "pagan rituals," and deserves a brief mention here.
Of the some two thousand volumes that were recovered (and which are now stored in the 'Rare Book Room' of the 'Library of Congress' in Washington, D.C.) many were of the occult sciences.
One in particular concerns us at the moment, and that is 'Das Buch der Psalmen Deutsch: das Gebetbuch der Ariosophen Rassen-mystiker und Antisemiten'.
This can be translated as 'The Book of German Psalms: The Prayerbook of the Ariosophist Race-Mystics and Anti-Semites'.

Lanz von Liebenfels
It was written by none other than Lanz von Liebenfels, he of the Order of New Templars.
To give the reader an idea of what, typically, the Ahnenerbe thought valuable and worth salvaging in the spiritual legacy of the world, one only has to glance down the list of works cited in 'Tod und Unsterblichkeit im Weltbild Indogermanischer Denker' ('Death and Immortality in the Indo-Germanic Thinker's Worldview') co-authored by R. Schrotter and Ahnenerhe Kurator Walther Wust and published in Berlin in 1938, bearing a foreword by Himmler.

Chariot of Krishna and Arjuna - Bhagavad Gita
This official Deutsches Ahnenerbe publication contains appropriate quotations from the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad-Gita but doesn't stop there.
It goes on to include everyone from Homer, Socrates, Plato, Cicero, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Empedocles to the Eddas, Meister Eckhardt (the darling of the Pan-German mystics), Jacob Bohme, one of Dietrich Eckart's favorite philosophers Angelus Silesius and Giordano Bruno (who was burned at the stake by the Inquisition for his heretical - mystical – views).
The collection also contains selections from Omar Khayyam and that other Persian philosopher-poet Rumi.
This amounts to nothing less than a Nazi "canon" of important and accepted texts, appropriate for meditational reflection by prospective SS recruits and the general public alike.
Of course, neither the Old nor the New Testament appears in the above collection.
It was not enough for National Socialism to assume a pagan stance; it had to prove that it was historically justified.
Himmler wanted nothing so much as to be able to prove to the world that his personal beliefs were the stuff of reality.
In order to do this, he enlisted the help of an organization that, by its very name, was devoted to restoring the ancient knowledge of the Aryan forefathers to contemporary awe: the Ahnenerbe Forschungs-und Lehrgemeinschaft: the Ancestral Heritage Research and Teaching Society.
Himmler gave the Ahnenerbe official status within the Reich in 1935 (thus protecting it and its members from the spate of new laws that were designed to ban occult-related activity); in 1940 it became a formal division of the SS.
With over fifty separate sections devoted to a wide range of scientific research, the Ahnenerbe became a centre for German scholars of every description.

Ernst Schäfer 
Celtic Art

There was a Celtic Studies group within the Ahnenerbe; a group to study the Teutonic cult centre at Externsteine (near Wewelsberg), which as we have seen was believed to be the site of the famous World-Tree, Ydragsil or Yggdrasil; a group devoted to Icelandic research (as the Eddas were sacred to the Teuton myth, and since Iceland was considered to be the location of Thule itself); a group that was formed around Ernst Schäfer  and his Tibet expeditions.

Otto Rahn
 Hanns Horbiger - Welteislehre
Also a runic studies group; a "World Ice Theory" division; an archaeological research group that scoured the earth for evidence of Aryan presence in lands as remote from Germany as the Far East and South America (an idea possibly inspired by the writings of Blavatsky and by contemporary research "proving" that the Aryan Norsemen had discovered America hundreds of years before Columbus); the list goes on and on.
In fact, it was just such a servant of the Ahnenerbe, SS-Obersturmfuhrer Otto Rahn, who credited the belief of some Nazis that even Latin America held promise as a land of the Aryans, a view sacred to contemporary Chilean author Miguel Serrano.
In Rahn's book 'Lucifer's Servants' he describes a Mexican legend concerning the mystical Thule:

'In the wake of Columbus ... the sails of Ferdinand Cortez crossed the seas. It was he who conquered the kingdom of the Aztecs and Mexico for the benefit of Spain. In an account that he sent to the imperial court one reads that the king of the Aztecs had bowed to the Emperor because he held [the Emperor] to be the same Lord of luminous beings and superior essence "from which had issued his own ancestors." Montezuma had also been about to permit Cortez to appropriate all the idols ... that is until he, the king - imprisoned by the gold-hungry conquerors and mortally wounded by them - understood who they really were. He refused to allow them to treat his wounds and, energetically resisting the idea of converting to Christianity, wished for nothing more than death. And he did die, the victim of a frightful mistake. Cortez was the envoy of the Pope and the Catholic emperor and not at all of the "White God" for whom [the king] and his people had been waiting so long. This White God was to have come from the ancient land of Tulla or Tullan (which, according to their beliefs, had once been "a country of the sun" but "where now ice reigned" and where "the sun had disappeared") - that is to say: from Thule. Rather than the servants of Lucifer, those whom they had greeted ... were the representatives of that "ilk" which, shamelessly, dishonors the face of our mother the Earth with its filth and its horrors.'

That "ilk," of course, is the Catholic Church.
There has been no complete and comprehensive study of the Ahnenerbe in English so far, and we will not attempt to do so here, however, let us examine several of the separate sections of this operation by studying the documents that were saved from destruction after the war.
By doing so, we will find that the Ahnenerbe is really the best evidence we have that the SS was a fully constituted cult.
If the SS was Himmler's pagan answer to the Jesuits - as has been suggested many times, -  then the Ahnenerbe was a kind of seminary and teaching college for the future leaders of the Thousand Year Reich.


Among the documents that comprise the Ahnenerbe collection at the National Archives is an undated manuscript that was evidently intended to accompany Himmler's most famous "Christmas" gift: the red clay candlestick that was to be burned on the night of the winter solstice by all faithful SS leaders.

Allach Julleuchter
There is no space here to quote the document completely, and indeed it was meant to accompany some ninety-three illustrations which have not survived with the document, however, parts of this interesting work are worthy of translation here as they represent nothing less than a complete introduction to the subject of runes, from the point of view of a Nazi scholar working for the Ahnenerbe-SS.
The document begins:

'The Reichsfuhrer-SS has sent to all SS Leaders the beautiful Swedish peasant candlestick, fired in red clay, that stands here before us as a symbolical Christmas - or Yule – offering.
It is a replica of a piece that is located in the collection of the Deutsche Ahnenerbe in Berlin which, on the other hand, is itself a replica of the original that was stored in the Staten Historik Museum in Stockholm and which came from Hallands Province.
Such peasant candlesticks in fired clay in the shape of a tower we find not only in Sweden, in Scandinavia and in North Germania, but likewise in South Germania here in Germany, for instance in Westphalia.'

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
It is worthwhile to point out that the use of the word "Germania" refers to the ancient Teutonic kingdom and not to Germany proper, which is referred to as Deutschland in the original.
The anonymous author then goes on for thirty-five, single-spaced pages to describe not only the candlestick itself but the whole history of the runes.
Some of this will be incomprehensible to those not well versed in runic symbols, but a few paragraphs will give one a taste of the type of scholarship-cum-ideology that is the hallmark of Ahnenerbe publications:
Both the Germanic God-Runes and God-Names - hagal and man, mensch - become, at the Christianizing of the Rune Calendar, Christus, translated as the God-Son, which in the Germanic meaning is represented as hagal for "the creators of the most ancient world," i.e., of Time and Space.
This old German deity, Tuisco ("from God" or "from heaven descended") as well as Tuisto ("the Twofold Name") as the Roman Tacitus in the First Century relates in his book about Germania, comes from a word meaning "Earth Born."
The hagal rune had a life of its own, of course.

Dietrich Eckart
Hagal Rune
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
It became the title of a runic magazine published by Rudolf John Gorsleben, a friend of Dietrich Eckart and one-time lecturer at Thule Society headquarters in Munich, and later managed by Werner von Bulow after Gorsleben's death in 1930.
(Gorsleben had served during the First World War with a Turkish regiment in Arabia, and thus was probably on the receiving end of the Arab forces under that brilliant military strategist, T.E. Lawrence.)
The hagal rune accumulated a wealth of mystical and magical associations under Gorsleben's scholarship.
It became the mother of all runes, as each of the individual runes could be discovered hidden within it.

Rudolf John Gorsleben
To Gorsleben, the hagal rune signified nothing less than a mystical diagram for attaining unity with God through the 'True Will' – and thus became a symbol of the 'True Will'.
It is also owing to Gorsleben that we first encounter an occult tradition concerning crystals, something that is enjoying a rebirth among the New Agers of today.
Later, concerning a different rune we read:

'And a thousand years afterwards we discover this "Son of the All-Father and the Earth": Thor or Donar ... He, the Born-Again, who overcomes the wintry power of darkness and death, rousing all life from the tombs once more, is represented as a figure with upraised arms.
His rune therefore is the symbolic sign of the upraised arms, two-or three-pointed; the former, the two-pointed the rune k, Anglo- axon name cen or "Light", and the latter the  three-pointed m rune, called "Man" (Old Nordic madhr, Anglo-Saxon man), and an Old Nordic peasant rune-song says of this rune that it "gladdens man and makes the earth increase”.'

Germanenorden All-Father (Walvater)
And The Holy Grail
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013

The "All-Father" is, of course, a Teutonic pagan term for God.
It may be remembered that Sebottendorff's secret Order was called the Germanenorden All-Father (Walvater) And The Holy Grail, and that Sebottendorff's Order publication was (under the influence of Gorsleben and other Aryan cultists) entitled 'Runes'.
Further along, we find a slanting attack on the Church:

'This is the legacy of the Celtic Old Ones, of the most supreme Heaven-Father and Earth-Mother, which depict the Year-Wheel and the Soul; the Aryan, Germanic ancestral legacy, the former Christmas when the Yule Candlestick - reaching to the Year-Wheel God - stands silent next to the Soul of the Earth Mother which, revolving, spins upward.
Now, in conclusion, it remains only to clarify a final symbol. Whence comes this "Soul" that belongs to the Earth-Mother which, according to the ancient Aryan myth becomes the Heaven-Son, the "Joy of Man"? What is the origin of those "Red Hearts" which later become prominent on images of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of the Son of God Jesus Christ whose festival the Roman Church only decided in the Fourth Century AD to celebrate on December 25th, the ancient Aryan Winter Solstice festival? ... We must turn our gaze back to that 'Ur-time' when our Nordic, peasant ancestors of the New Stone Age erected those mighty clan dolmens three to four millennia before Christ: the "Giants' Beds" of which only a few in north Germany have survived the irreverent vandalism and brutal profiteering of the past two centuries.'

Much of the foregoing would find a respectable home in any New Age or pagan publication today.
Much of it is familiar to students of mythology and the occult.
But as we reach the conclusion of this monologue we once again come to a reminder of just who is writing this thesis, and why:

Reichsbauerntag - Goslar - 1936
Digitally restored
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
'Long ago our ancestor, that noble Nordic wife and mother, guardian of her family and of the meaning of the Homeland, was sacred; she to whom one could go - Seeress and Race-Mother - in order to know what was fit and proper. "We bow in reverence before the image of the German mother," said our Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler on the last 'Reich's Peasantry Day' in Goslar.
And so a German doctor once recognized the most-sacred image of our ancestral legacy, Earth Mother and Race-Mother, the miracle of the love of the Nordic Mother-Soul: that the sacred and eternal Homeland is renewed from her womb, embracing life, as she preserves and protects unsullied the most sacred spiritual and mental values of Family and Race.

Reichsbauerntag - Walther Darré 
And Frigga, Isis, Mary are merely names,
Transient veils of the hallowed womb.
The stars, suns and men's souls ...
No mortal lips can praise your Majesty enough.
O incline, Mother, your divine countenance
And guide us to our sweet home in the Eternal Light.
We but wish to stand in faithful watch on the soul
of the Homeland, on the Living Tree of our Race,
and by its Führer. '


Ahnenerbe Iceland Project
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Ultima Thule

As we have seen, the German Occultists viewed Iceland as the last surviving link to their ancestral homeland, Thule.
This was an inheritance from their Sebottendorff, who understood Ultima Thule, the famous destination of Pytheas in the fourth century BC, to be identical to Iceland.

Descent of Aryan Man
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
For them, Thule corresponded to their own Atlantis myth; while the rest of the human race might have descended from the apes, the Thulists were convinced that the Aryan race descended from heaven.
(Hence that discussion of the Mensch and Hagal runes as symbolic of a "descent from heaven" of the real "Menschen," the Aryan Man.)

Iceland Landscape
They believed that the Icelandic Eddas contained secret keys to their own history, and that possibly more clues still existed on that tiny island in the form of dolmens, ancient caves, and prehistoric monuments, etc.

To galvanize support for a pan-Nordic union against the sub-humans, they arranged for the formation of something called the 'Nordic Gesellschaft', or Nordic Society: an organization head-quartered in Lubeck that was a pet project of mystic race theorist Alfred Rosenberg, by now a Reichsleiter, and member of Hitler's innermost circle.

Alfred Rosenberg
Year after year Rosenberg would address this society composed of members from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and, of course, Iceland to warn them of the immediate danger to the "white race" coming from the East, and of the essential unity of the Nordic peoples - based on race and mystic ancestry - demanded by the combined Soviet, Jewish, and Masonic threat.
To get an idea of who attended such meetings, and of what was discussed, we only have to read an article in the official Nazi newspaper, 'Völkischer Beobachter,' concerning one such event, attended by both Rosenberg and Darre (a co-founder of the Ahnenerbe):

'The conclusion of the 5th Reichs-Convention of the Nordic Society in Lubeck gained special importance from a grand speech by Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg ...
. . . the first speaker, National Librarian Dr. Gudmundur Finbogason of Rekjavik, presented a lecture about Icelandic-German cooperation in the field of Nordic Science.
Subsequently State Council Johann E. Mellye, the president of the Norwegian Peasantry Association, spoke concerning the Norwegian Peasant Movement. Protocol Secretary Carl Patric Ossbahr, Stockholm, then spoke concerning Sweden's North-European mission ...
Icelandic Swastika

Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg heartily greeted the German and Northern country participants and then began to speak ...
The Reichsleiter reminded us ... of the grave military and revolutionary events taking place in the Far East, the Near East, and in Spain. If the Scandinavian north and the Baltic states have been spared to some extent from political earthquake tremors, such signifies no more than a temporary reassuring moment for these people and for Europe altogether, and is not to be understood as a sign that these people and these nations themselves are able to escape the larger problems forever. The struggle between Tradition in its various forms and another Breed coming forth for a New Era shall become everyone's destiny.
"Germany stands since 1933," so the Reichsleiter drove home, "before the question: whether historical survival has come to an end or if the gravity of these events directly constitutes the makings for a renaissance.
"After a great struggle within the soul of the German people, the entire nation finally agrees about the personality of the Fuhrer ... In only a few years Adolf Hitler's Germany has reaped the harvest of an entire millennium.
"This historical fact is big enough to demand attention. It must naturally extend widely beyond political limits because German problems, the first of which are the immediate social-political ones, are also the problems of the remaining peoples. The evolution of the other nations might go more gradually since they are not under an immediate force of destiny; still these problems are also theirs.
"We all stand under the same European destiny, and must feel obliged to this common destiny, because finally the existence of the white man depends altogether upon the unity of the European continent! Unanimous must we oppose that terrible attempt by Moscow to destroy the world, that sea of blood into which already many people have dived!"

Dr. Alfred Ploetz
The 'Nordic Gesellschaft' even made the ailing Dr. Alfred Ploetz - founder of the 'Institute for Race Hygiene' and the National Socialist's most prestigious race theorist - an honorary member about a year before he died.

Alfred Ploetz (August 22, 1860 – March 20, 1940) was a German physician, biologist, eugenicist known for coining the term racial hygiene (Rassenhygiene) and promoting the concept in Germany. Rassenhygiene is a form of eugenics. Along with many other eugenicists in Europe and America, Ploetz believed in the superiority of the Nordic race. His writings were a major influence on National Socialist ideology. 

Thus were the worlds of scientific racism, Social Darwinist eugenics, mystical Nordic paganism and anthropology linked, and to them both the political agenda of the Third Reich, which involved not only 'Lebensraum' - (living space) and a 'drang nach Osten' (drive to the East), but also the removal of the indigenous populations of the Eastern countries.
That Rosenberg and Darre would both attend these meetings is significant, for these men were the première pagans in Hider's inner circle.
Heinrich Himmler
Where Himmler wished to surround himself with the trappings of a twentieth-century secret society based partly on the Jesuits, partly on the Masons, and partly on the Templars, Rosenberg and Darre eschewed secret societies and occult lodges for a more general, more popular state-organized pagan religion designed to replace Christianity forever.
While Himmler shared these ideas to a large extent, he was not likely to be seen campaigning from town to town for state paganism.
He wanted to conduct his rituals in secret, far from the prying eyes of the profane.
Thus, while Rosenberg and Darre were doing their best to create a pan-Nordic community, Himmler was authorizing missions to Iceland - under Ahnenerbe auspices - to search for pagan relics.
Thus we read - in a document addressed to the Ahnenerbe from Dr. Bruno Schweizer at Detmold, dated March 10, 1938 - of a proposed research trip to Iceland that summer:

'Plan for an Iceland Research Journey

From year to year it becomes more difficult to meet living witnesses of Germanic cultural feelings and Germanic soul attitudes on the classical Icelandic soil uninfluenced by the overpowerful grasp of western civilization. In only a few years has the natural look of the country, which since the Ur-time has remained mostly untouched in stone and meadow, in desert and untamed mountain torrents, revealed its open countenance to man and has fundamentally changed from mountainsides and rock slabs to manicured lawns, nurseries and pasture grounds, almost as far from Reykjavik as the barren coast section, a feat accomplished by the hand of man; the city itself expands with almost American speed as roadways and bridges, power stations and factories emerge and the density of the traffic in Reykjavik corresponds with that of a European city.

. . . the people forget such ancient techniques as ... the forge-and woodworker's art, the methods of grass-and milk-cultivation, spinning, weaving, dyeing; they forget the old legends and myths that were once narrated on long winter evenings, the songs and the art of the old verses; they lost the belief in a transcendent nature ... Their innate Germanic sobriety becomes cold calculation; pure material interests then step to the foreground; the intelligentsia migrates to the capital and from there swiftly assimilates international tendencies. Genuine Germanic vigour in Iceland is also often transformed into speculation and not at all through real trade; excessive pride of homeland drives them to want to be 150% more modern and progressive than the rest of Europe. This then often permits the present-day Icelander to appear in an unfavourable light and thus can not usually avoid giving a good German visitor a bad first impression.
These situations determine our research plan.
Every year that we wait quietly means damage to a number of objects, and other objects become ruined for camera and film due to newfangled public buildings in the modern style. For the work in question only the summer is appropriate, that is, the months of June through August. Furthermore, one must reckon that occasionally several rainy days can occur, delaying thereby certain photographic work. The ship connections are such that it is perhaps only possible to go to and from the Continent once a week.
All this means a minimum period of from 5-6 weeks for the framework of the trip.
The possible tasks of an Iceland research trip with a cultural knowledge mission are greatly variegated. Therefore it remains for us to select only the most immediate and most realizable. A variety of other tasks ... should be considered as additional assignments.
Thus the recording of human images (race-measurements) and the investigation of museum treasures are considered to be additional assignments.'

Racial Measurements
The following year, Dr. Schweizer proposed the creation of an Icelandic-German dictionary to help those future researchers in their endeavours, and was joined in this concept by other men of science.
It is not known just to what extent the Icelandic people welcomed this quiet invasion of German scholars bent on performing "race measurements" on their citizens, or photographing valuable museum pieces.
But Iceland - Ultima Thule - was not the only piece of real estate to which the  researchers of the Ahnenerbe associated a peculiar Aryan heritage.
One of the most important was Tibet.


'At dinner Himmler talked to me on various scientific questions and told me about an expedition to Tibet.'
The Tibet Expedition
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
One of the more controversial stories circulating about the occult activities and interests of the Third Reich concerns Tibet.

'The Dawn of Magic'
Pauwels and Bergier
Much is made of the connection between the Third Reich and Tibet in Pauwels and Bergier's 'The Dawn of Magic' (Le matin des magiciens), a sixties international best-seller, whose claims of magical forces and sinister conspiracies overshadowed a more serious message that discovers in the occult underworld of the Third Reich the seeds of a spiritual crisis about to be born.

The 'Dawn of Magic', first published as 'Le Matin des Magiciens', was written by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier in 1960. It became a best seller, first in French, then translated into English in 1963 as The Dawn of Magic. A German edition was published with the title 'Aufbruch ins dritte Jahrtausend' (Departure into the third Millennium). It featured some of the first speculations regarding National Socialist occultism, including references to the Vril Society and the Thule Society - suggesting that they were philosophical precursors to the NSDAP.

Ernst Schäfer 
It would seem that Schäfer's primary goal in trekking through the Himalayas was scientific in nature - after all, much of Schafer's reporting has less to do with concerns of a military value than it does with the flora and fauna of this inaccessible land.
Schäfer's academic credentials were in zoology and botany, with some courses in geology, geography, and ethnology.

Sven Hedin
He seems to have been marching in Sven Hedin's footsteps, and was indeed for a time the head of the 'Sven Hedin Institute', the organization based in Munich that also became a "Reichs Institute" and eventually a separate section of the Ahnenerbe SS.
There is also correspondence from Hedin to Schäfer as late as July 27, 1942, in which Hedin signs himself as 'Ihr treu und aufrichtig ergebener' ("Your faithful and sincerely devoted ...") after forwarding greetings from his sister, to Schäfer's wife, and to the Kurator of the Ahnenerbe, Dr. Wust.
Schäfer's SS personnel file shows one trip to East and Central Tibet from 1934-1936, and another to Tibet (the official SS-Tibet Expedition referred to in the press) from April 1938 to August 1939 ... in other words, during the period of the so-called "phony war" that pre-dated the invasion of Poland in September of 1939.
Thus, we cannot rule out the hypothesis that Schäfer was involved in something more than butterfly gathering in this historic and official trek to the Himalayas at a time of great international crisis and global tensions.
To be sure, Schafer was not back in Germany two months before preparations were being made to organize a Tibetan-North Indian strike force to oust the British from their rule in India.

Ernst Schäfer
Ernst Schäfer was born in Köln (Cologne) on March 14, 1910, the son of an important industrialist and director of the Phoenix Rubber Company, and attended school in Heidelberg and Gottingen before becoming part of a Tibet expedition organized by the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia in 1930, when Schafer was only twenty years old.
He then became a member of the American Brooke Dolan expedition to Siberia, China, and Tibet in 1931.
In 1933, Hitler became chancellor of Germany and it appears as if Schafer was one of the "March violets" who got on the National Socialist bandwagon after Hitler consolidated his political power that spring.
His membership number in the NSDAP was 4690995, and his personnel record shows membership in the SS as beginning in the summer of 1933, rising in rank to Untersturmfuhrer in 1936, Obersturmfuhrer in 1937, Hauptsturmfuhrer in 1938 and finally to Sturmbannfuhrer in 1942.

SS Totenkopfring
He had also been awarded the coveted 'Totenkopfring', or 'Death's Head Ring', which was the rune-inscribed piece of SS jewelry designed by völkisch occultist Karl Wiligut , and was a member of Himmler's Personal Staff (as was Wiligut).
All of this is mentioned to demonstrate that Dr. Schäfer was nothing if not the ideal SS man, at least on paper.
The orders raising him in rank were signed by Himmler, and his fiancée had to undergo the usual investigation of her racial background as the prospective spouse of an SS officer. (They were married - evidently with the blessing of the Reichsfuhrer-SS - in December of 1939, and were busy dutifully producing Aryan offspring; three daughters by 1944.)

Potala Palace - Lhasa - Tibet
But as an academic, Schäfer's published works include - according to his SS dossier - 'Berge, Buddhas und Baren' (Mountains, Buddhas and Bears), 'Unbekanntes Tibet' (Unknown Tibet), and 'Dach der Erde' (Roof of the World).
Among his articles can be found this typical one in English: "Four New Birds from Tibet" in the 1937 Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia.
So, Ernst Schäfer  was also a scientist who published regularly in respected journals on his discoveries, and an explorer who emulated the master, Sven Hedin, by writing books about his travels in the mysterious East.
Thus, we have established that Dr. Schäfer was a man of many parts: one part SS officer and one part scholar, one part explorer and one part scientist.

 Tibet Expedition
Schäfer was a career scientist who does not seem to have been interested only in the possible military potential of his travels in Tibet but kept meticulous notes on the religious and cultural practices of the Tibetans, from their various colourful lamaistic festivals, to Tibetan attitudes toward marriage, rape, menstruation, childbirth, homosexuality (and even masturbation).
For instance, in his account of Tibetan homosexuality he goes so far as to describe the various positions taken by older lamas with younger boys, and then proceeds to inform his audience how homosexuality played a significant role in the higher politics of Tibet.
There are pages of such careful observation of the local people engaged in a variety of intimate acts that would otherwise have been performed privately had it not been for the ever-present and watchful eyes of the Schäfer and his associates.
Happily, not all of Schäfer s observations were of the sexual habits of the Lachung and other Himalayan peoples, nor of the flora and fauna, as the following article from the 'Volkischer Beobachter' of July 29, 1939, relates:

'Dr. Ernst Schäfer  SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer, has now completed the first German SS- Tibet Expedition with extraordinarily great success and will soon return to Germany with his guides. The participants of the expedition visited, as the first Germans, the capital of Tibet, Lhasa, the seat of the Dalai Lama, as well as Tibet's second- largest city, Shigatse, the capital of the Panchen Lama, and visited the huge monastery of Taschtimmps first visited in 1907 by Sven Hedin. By comparison, Sven Hedin's Trans-Himalaya's discoveries required several trips to accomplish. The harvest of the expedition regarding botanical and zoological collections is uncommonly rich and rare and of great value.'

Tibetan Swastika
And an article from 'Der Neue Tag' dated July 21, 1939, is even more informative:

'Sacred Tibetan Scripture Acquired by the Dr. Schäfer-Expedition on Nine Animal Loads Across the High-Country
(SPECIAL) FRANKFURT-20 JULY The Tibet Expedition of Dr. Ernst Schäfer  which during its expedition through Tibet stayed a long time in Lhasa and in the capital of the Panchen Lama, Shigatse, is presently on its return trip to Germany. Since the monsoons began unusually early, the return march of the expedition was hastened in order to secure the shipment of the precious collections. The expedition has singularly valuable scientific research results to inventory. In addition to outstanding accomplishments in the areas of geophysical and earth-magnetic research they succeeded in obtaining an extra rich ethnological collection including, along with cult objects, many articles and tools of daily life.
With the help of the regent of Lhasa it was Dr. Schäfer who also succeeded in obtaining the Kangschur, the extensive, 108-volume sacred script of the Tibetans, which required nine animal loads to transport.
Also especially extensive are the zoological and botanical collections that the expedition has already shipped, in part, to Germany the remainder of which they will bring themselves. The zoological collection includes the total bird-fauna of the research area. Dr. Schäfer was also able, for the first time, to bag a Schapi, a hitherto unknown wild goat. About 50 live animals are on the way to Germany, while numerous other live animals are still with the expedition. An extensive herbarium of all existing plants is also on its way. Furthermore, valuable geographical and earth-historical accomplishments were made. Difficulties encountered due to political tensions with the English authorities were eliminated due to personal contact between Dr. Schäfer and members of the British authorities in Shangtse, so that the unimpeded return of the expedition out of Tibet with its valuable collections was guaranteed.'

 Tibet Expedition
No further mention is made of the sacred scriptures, the Kangschur, which is the core document of Tibetan Buddhism, and we have been unable to discover what happened to it after the war, though (for reasons too complex to discuss here) we suspect it wound up in a museum in Vienna.
It is worthwhile noting that nowhere in the above mentioned article does the term "SS" appear, or "National Socialism."
'Der Neue Tag' was a newspaper published in Prague, and the article was printed only two months before Blitzkrieg began.
In an identical article published the following day in the 'Hannoversches Tageblatt'- a German newspaper - the missing "SS" in "SS-Tibet Expedition" is faithfully restored.)
Sadly, a search of other articles from the same period do not reveal the disposition of the 108 volumes of sacred scripture.
Much has been made of this expedition, and elsewhere it has been suggested that the "earth-magnetic" and "geophysical" studies - undertaken in the inhospitable terrain of the Himalayas during a time of the greatest international crisis - were actually experiments conducted by order of the Reichsfuhrer-SS himself; that is, that they were scientific attempts to prove the 'Welteislehre' - (World Ice Theory), a theory which - had it been proven - would have provided the Third Reich with an invaluable weapon against its enemies.


Among the intimidatingly vast accumulation of Ahnenerbe documents available are manuscripts, journal articles, and newspaper clippings concerning the 'Welteislehre' or 'World Ice Theory' once popularized by Austrian engineer Hanns Hörbiger, a favorite of both Eckart and Hitler.

Madame Blavatsky
Hanns Hörbiger
Hörbiger's vision of a universe composed of spinning balls and particles of ice managed to account for every cosmological theory from Atlantis to Lemuria and obviously owed a great deal to Madame Blavatsky's idea that the Earth is far older than the geologists tell us it is, and that it once had multiple moons and - multiple root-races.
The 'World Ice Theory', stated briefly, suggests that the concept of a universe composed of little more than ice crystals in various stages of formation and deformation corresponded neatly with völkisch instincts.
After all, Nordic Man was a creature of the ice fields, and thus the natural ancestor of the human race: the being most fit to rule in a universe composed entirely of snow.
Did not the ancient Nordic legends refer to the land of ice at the top of the world, the Teutonic Atlantis or Ultima Thule, as the origin of all Life ?
And doesn't the very whiteness of ice and snow itself suggest certain racial characteristics consonant with the divine source of the universe?

Hanns Hörbiger
Ottocar Prohaszka
It was probably no accident that Hörbiger counted among his closest friends Ottocar Prohaszka, the Catholic bishop, who acted as ideologue for the Arrow Cross Party of Hungary.
The real value of the World Ice Theory to the Third Reich - aside from the fact that it represented an alternative science, was its supposed utility in weather forecasting.
The nation that could accurately predict the weather far into the future was obviously the nation with an edge in military strategy.
One need only recall how weather patterns disrupted many German campaigns - from the freak flood that destroyed much of Rommel's materiel in North Africa to the severe winter that blocked Nazi victory in Russia - to know how important it was for the Reich to have a corner on meteorology.
For instance, a publication entitled 'Zur Welteismeteorologie' (On World Ice Meteorology) by a Dr. E. Dinies, published by the Reichs Office for Weather Service in Berlin in 1938, quotes from Hörbiger's "epic work" 'Glazialkosmogonie' (Glacial Cosmology) and provides tables of data comparing ice temperature and air temperature for relative humidity values.
With some irony, the editors of the National Socialist student newspaper 'Rhein- ainische Studentenzeitung' summed up the problem best in their lead for a series of brief articles on the World Ice Theory.
Dated June 1, 1938, the lead-in reads:

'Our time is rich in theories about the formation and structure of the world. Frequently these days such matters are dealt with by laymen.
In our opinion only scientists and experts can successfully answer these kinds of questions.
For instance, there has been a great deal of talk in recent years about the World Ice Theory.
We have asked therefore a variety of scientists to tell us their position on the questions piling up concerning the World Ice Theory and we offer them now to the public.'

Phillipp Fauth
And the paper goes on to compare the theories of Hörbiger and his co-author Fauth to those of Galileo!
As the Reichsfuhrer-SS himself first spoke out in support of the Viennese engineer Hans Hörbiger's World Ice Theory, he offered, by way of substantiation, the following: "Hans Hörbiger's monument doesn't need to wait a hundred years before it is built; one can employ these ideas even today."
Of course, the implementation of the World Ice Theory ordered by the Reichsfuhrer-SS must be planned in accord with scientific methodology.
Thus is the manner of working in the Administration for Scientific Research in the Ahnenerbe unambiguously set forth.
At the same time, however, a change from the usual method of implementing the World Ice Theory has been decided upon as well:

A scientifically thorough study of the World Ice Theory, together with a proof of its veracity, should be preserved from false teachers. This is only what official science attempts to do itself.'

 Hermann Wirth
Do we note the presence of a slight inferiority complex ? Or was there some internecine conflict over the manner in which the World Ice Theory was being handled by nonscientists within the Ahnenerbe ?
After all, the theory was a pet project of many occultists and believers in Atlantis, including one of the founders of the Ahnenerbe, Hermann Wirth.
This document, dated December 9, 1937, might have been part of the ammunition used by a faction within the World Ice department of the Ahnenerbe (probably being led by Dr. Scultetus, who wanted the occultists out of the World Ice department so that he could conduct appropriately scientific experiments proving its validity) that eventually convinced Himmler to put the theory to the test in the frozen wastes of the Himalayas, where variations in altitude, humidity, and temperature could be meticulously recorded with the same vivid intensity that Lachung sexual practices were observed and logged and the truth - or myth - of the World Ice Theory established at last.
Schafer returned home from Tibet in the summer of 1939.
 Walter Rathenau
By September, the world had changed forever, and on the summer solstice of 1941 - a date sacred to the pagan calendar, to the cultists at Paderborn, Detmold, and Externsteine, and to the memory of the sacrificial lamb, Walter Rathenau - Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, thus ripping the veil from before the tabernacle of the Jewish-Masonic-Bolshevik cabal.
Only a month later, and he was two hundred miles outside Moscow, within easy striking distance of total victory in Russia.
And then - inexplicably, astoundingly - he decided to wait.
Historians will never agree on why Hitler chose this disastrous strategy.
He sent crucial divisions to Leningrad and the Ukraine while the main army waited in position for two months before moving on Moscow.
It bought the Soviets all the time they needed, for in October the snow began to fall.

Hanns Hörbiger

Six months later, the Nazis had lost over one million dead in the freezing wastelands outside Moscow.
In summer uniforms, light boots, no winter clothing at all of any kind, the Germans lost more men to the ravages of winter than to Soviet machine guns.
Out of the 162 divisions thrown against the Red Army, only eight were combat-ready in the spring of 1942.
Why did Hitler wait?
Because the Hörbigerians - under the auspices of the Ahnenerbe's meteorological division - had predicted a mild winter !

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The SS-Tibet Expedition was not composed simply of a handful of academics who got caught up in the war, but of dedicated scientists with their own agenda.
In the Third Reich the State became an occult organization, and the secret beliefs and practices of a select group of occultists became the official policy of the nation.
Science was still expected to carry on, however, and scientists found themselves making their knowledge and method subservient to the 'New Religion'.

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© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013