A Crisis of Consciousness

Permanent Link:

Material Information

Title: A Crisis of Consciousness Volkisch Occultism in Austria and Germany, 1890-1933
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Turner, Shanna
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2010
Publication Date: 2010


Subjects / Keywords: Occult
Nineteenth Century
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: The nineteenth century saw an occult revival throughout the Western world, but this occult revival impacted Germany uniquely. In the rest of Europe interest in the occult was a fad that died out within a few short years. This was not the case in the German-speaking world, where the social, political and economic atmosphere created conditions particularly well suited to fostering the occult. This thesis analyzes the unique conditions in nineteenth century Austria and Germany that resulted in the v�lkisch occult movement and the writers and thinkers who created the ideologies of the movement. One cannot address German occultism without, to some extent, addressing the relationship between the occult and the Third Reich. To those ends, this thesis discusses the tenuous relationship between the v�lkisch occultists, Guido von List, Lanz von Liebenfels and Rudolf von Sebottendorff, and National Socialism, concluding that National Socialism was not a product of the occult, but rather both were products of the nineteenth century culture of despair and irrationality prevalent in Germany.
Statement of Responsibility: by Shanna Turner
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2010
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Harvey, David

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2010 T9
System ID: NCFE004339:00001

Permanent Link:

Material Information

Title: A Crisis of Consciousness Volkisch Occultism in Austria and Germany, 1890-1933
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Turner, Shanna
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2010
Publication Date: 2010


Subjects / Keywords: Occult
Nineteenth Century
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: The nineteenth century saw an occult revival throughout the Western world, but this occult revival impacted Germany uniquely. In the rest of Europe interest in the occult was a fad that died out within a few short years. This was not the case in the German-speaking world, where the social, political and economic atmosphere created conditions particularly well suited to fostering the occult. This thesis analyzes the unique conditions in nineteenth century Austria and Germany that resulted in the v�lkisch occult movement and the writers and thinkers who created the ideologies of the movement. One cannot address German occultism without, to some extent, addressing the relationship between the occult and the Third Reich. To those ends, this thesis discusses the tenuous relationship between the v�lkisch occultists, Guido von List, Lanz von Liebenfels and Rudolf von Sebottendorff, and National Socialism, concluding that National Socialism was not a product of the occult, but rather both were products of the nineteenth century culture of despair and irrationality prevalent in Germany.
Statement of Responsibility: by Shanna Turner
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2010
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Harvey, David

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2010 T9
System ID: NCFE004339:00001

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text


A CRISIS OF CONSCIOUSNESS: VLKISCH OCCULTISM IN AU STRIA AND GERMANY, 1890-1933 BY SHANNA TURNER A THESIS Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida In partial fulfillment of the requirements for a degree in Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. David Harvey Sarasota, Florida April, 2010


DEDICATION This work is dedicated to my dad, Christoph er Turner, who is ever ything a father should be and more. Thank you, always. And to my very own cult: Mary Barnes, Sarah Brown, M itchell Hearn, Sarah Thompson and Hannah Woerner. All of you made these past years some of the greatest. Thank you for everything, I could not have done it without your support. And to Allison Miller, who has been there for me since the tenth grade and who spent the past year patiently listening to me moan and cry about this process.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First I must acknowledge Dr. David Harvey, w ho has guided me through my four years at New College and who patiently supported and shepherded me through the long and taxing process of writing this thesis. You have my eternal thanks. I must also extend my thanks to my co mmittee members, Dr. We ndy Sutherland and Dr. Robert Johnson for their time and effort.


CONTENTS Dedica tion..................................................................................................................... ........................ii Acknowledgments................................................................................................................ .............iii Table of Contents....................................................................................................................... ........iv List of Figures and Tables................................................................................................................v Introduction ChapterI: The Austrian Atmosphere .5 ChapterII: Early Ariosophy...26 Chapter III: Later Ariosophy .50 Chapter IV: Occultism under the Third Reich..70 Epilogue ..88 Conclusion .92 Appendix.95 Bibliography .98


LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES Figure 1.1 Austria HungaryEthnicDemographic Map.14 Table 1.2 Linguistic Distribution of AustriaHungary..15 Table 1.3 Languages in Cisleithania ...17 Table 2.1 Occult Clubs ..42 Figure 4.1 Map of Germany .....78 Figure A.1 Map of Cisleithania 5 Figure A.2 Map of Austria Hungary with Provinces6 Figure A.3 Proportion of Hungariansin Hungary7


A CRISIS OF CONSCIOUSNESS: VLKISCH OCCULTISM IN AUSTR IA AND GERM ANY, 1890-1933 Shanna Turner New College of Florida, 2010 ABSTRACT The nineteenth century saw an occult revival throughout the Western world, but this occult revival impacted Germany uniquely. In the rest of Europe interest in the occult was a fad that died out within a few short years. This was not the case in the Germanspeaking world, where the social, political and economic atmosphere created conditions particularly well suited to fost ering the occult. This thesis analyzes the unique conditions in nineteenth century Austria and Germany th at resulted in the vlkisch occult movement and the writers and thinkers who created th e ideologies of the movement. One cannot address German occultism without, to some extent, addressing the relationship between the occult and the Third Reic h. To those ends, this thes is discusses the tenuous relationship between the vlkisch occultists Guido von List, Lanz von Liebenfels and Rudolf von Sebottendorff, and National Socialis m, concluding that National Socialism was not a product of the occult, but rather bo th were products of the nineteenth century culture of despair and irrationa lity prevalent in Germany. Dr. David Harvey Division of Social Sciences


Introduction: Teuflische Menschenbestien drcken von oben, schlachten gewissenlos Millionen Menschen in mrderischen Kriegen, die zur Bereicherung ihres persnlichen Geldbeutels gefhrt werd en. Wilde Menschenbestien rtteln von unten her an den festen Sulen der Kultur Was wollt ihr da noch eine Hlle im Jenseits! Ist die, in der wir leben, und die in uns brennt, nicht schauerlich genug?1 [Demonic beast-men oppress us from above, slaughtering without conscience millions of people in murderous wars waged for their own personal gain. Wild beast-men shake th e pillars of culture from below Why do you seek a hell in the next worl d! Is not the hell in which we live and which burns inside us sufficiently dreadful?]2 Jrg Lanz von Liebenfels Jrg Lanz von Liebenfels was a nineteenth century German occultist whose racist theories concerning the religious nature of what it means to be Aryan, and thus human, were at the center of the German occult revival, which combined vlkisch racism with occultism to define ethnicity, and Deutschtum (Germanness) in particular, as a spiritual matter. This thesis began as a project to study the unusual ideologies emerging from the nineteenth century occult revival, largel y focusing on the works of German national occultists such as Guido von List, Lanz von Liebenfels, Rudolf von Sebottendorff and 1 Jrg Lanz von Liebenfels, Theozoologie oder die Kunde von den Sodoms-fflingen und dem Gtter-Elektron (Vienna, 1905), 26.2 Translated by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke.


Karl Maria Wiligut. As interesting as it was to read the fascinating and somewhat nauseating theories put forth by these men, I fo und the social conditions that created them to be perhaps even more interesting. The occult movement and those that comp rised it did not spring up from nowhere; there were deep political, soci al and economic forces at wo rk. The nineteenth century was a time for great change, perhaps more so for Germany and Austria than for most societies. Germany had been an agricultu ral society whose mos tly peasant population was crushed during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). The industrial revolution hit Germany faster and harder than any other na tion and the agrarian so ciety rapidly became a modern industrial society. The popul ation skyrocketed and there were mass movements of people heading from the country side to the cities, displacing traditional ties and uprooting communities. Religious faith was on the decline and science was taking its place, leaving a frightening sense of purposelessness in the spiritual void left behind. It was in this context that many of the fin-de-sicle occult ists sought to strip away the soulless trappings of the modern, materialist world that had caused their national crisis of consciousness. In doing so they reached for the i rrational to counter the soulless, heartless Reason of the modern age that had stolen from them their sense of identity, purpose and faith. The men on whom this work is primarily focused were obsessed with filling that void. The first chapter of this thesis focuses on the unique atmosphere in Austria that gave birth to the vlkisch occultist movement. This chap ter explores nineteenth century Austria, which saw the rise of Pan-Germanism, drawing from the same conditions of dissatisfaction and resentment from which the Viennese occultists arose. These vlkisch


nationalists and occultists combined esotericism with anti-clericalism and created a unique Aryan, racist, occultist nationalism. The next chapter focuses on early Ariosophy and Guido von List, the first occul tist to synthesize occultism, vlkisch ideology and Theosophy into what would later be known as Ariosophy. It also addresses the manner in which vlkisch ideology became entangled with Theo sophy and Spiritualism. The third chapter concerns later Arios ophy and its major ideologues, Jrg Lanz von Liebenfels and Rudolf von Sebottendorff and it addresses thei r organizations and contributions to German occultism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The final chapter addresses occultism and its role in the forma tion of the Nazi Party and its influences on Hitler and the Third Reich. The thesis concludes with the pagan revival in contemporary Western society, which draws heavily upon the th inkers and writers of the German occult revival. The German occult movement that this thesis addresses was largely a combination of racism, German nationalism a nd esotericism used to prophesy the coming of a new Germanic world domination. Ariosoph y, in this case primarily the doctrines of Guido von List and Lanz von Liebenfels, was one of the most prominent examples of this occult movement; the Ariosophists sought, perh aps unconsciously, to combat the feeling of helplessness and meaninglessness that had descended over many young Germans at the end of the nineteenth cen tury. This combination of nationalism and occultism was a product of unique anxieties and insecurities felt at the end of the century. These nineteenth century issues of modernity, id entity, and spirituality were particularly troublesome in Vienna, where urbanism a nd ethnic tensions exasperated developing conflicts, but would spread to Germany follo wing the shocking defeat in the First World


War and the wretched social and economical conditions under which Germans suffered thereafter. The nineteenth century crisis of consciousness was largely a spiritual conflict, while the twentieth century flight from reason wa s an issue of a social and ethical nature, which is reborn within the racist, pagan movement seen in the twenty-first century.


Chapter I: The Austrian Atmosphere Austria in the Nineteenth Century: The German occult revival was born in Aust ria during an age of radical political and social change. Absolutism was giving wa y to democracy. Habsburg defeat at the hands of the French in 1859 and by the Pr ussians in 1866 resulted in the Habsburgs retreat from absolutism and an internal transition to cons titutionalism and the introduction to representative government in 1867. With the increased size of the voting class came a rise in nationalism and Pa n-Germanism among Germans in the Habsburg Empire. The Habsburg Empire in the late r half of the nineteenth century was a disconcertingly diverse stat e, having within its borders some twelve different nationalities, including Croats, Czechs, Germans, Magyars (Hungarians), Poles, Romanians, Ukrainians, Slovaks, and Slovenes.3 The hodgepodge of different ethnic groups and nationalities under Habsburg rule wo uld come to undermine the stability of the empire. Much of the political and soci al unrest came from the Germans within the empire; Austrian Germans had been barred from joining with their ethnic brethren to the north after the Prussian-Austrian war, and from that point on they were forced, with great resentment, to remain one nationality among many in the melting pot of the Habsburg Empire. As Austria began to democratize many Germans feared that the supremacy of 3 Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke. The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology (New York: New York University Press, 1985), 8.


German language and culture, and thus Germ an political dominance, would begin to wane in the multi-national empire. This rising fear led to the creation of the Pan-German nationalist movement dedicate d to the unification and poli tical advancement of ethnic Germans. All of this was coming to prominence fo llowing the Austrian defeat by Napoleon III in 1859, which paved the way for constitution alism within the historically absolute monarchy. Austria was facing threats from three sides: Napoleon III was championing Italian nationalism; Russia wanted to revers e the verdict of the Crimean War of 1856, which prevented Russia from establishing nava l bases on the Black Sea; and Prussia was courting liberal national backing within th e German states. The Habsburg Monarchy needed to secure one of these powers as an ally. Unable to compromise with France, Austria was torn between conservatism and liberalism and te etered between the two. The outcome would be decided in 1866;4 the decision was not made by statesmanship but rather by defeat in war. Little by little Habsburg Emperor Franz Jo seph was forced to yield concessions to the clamoring small-nation nationalists who we re chafing under his prior neo-absolutist policies. Revolutionary fervor swept thr ough Hungary in March of 1848 with the wave of revolutionary wars. The Hungarian Re volution was unsuccessful, but victory was costly to the Habsburgsand to all other nati onalities in the Empire. Alexander Bach, the Minister of the Interior (1849-1859), became th e virtual dictator over Hungary. Hungary, according to Bach, had lost her right to a constitution when she deposed the House of Habsburg. All other states lost with Hungar y. The Diets were dissolved and the Empire, for the first and only time, wa s truly unified. Administrati on, laws, taxes, and trade 4 A.J.P Taylor, The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918 (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1948), 95.


system became unified, as Bach tore down th e barriers between Hungary and the rest of the empire. The empires constitution, established some two years before by Count Franz Stadion, was abolished and Franz Joseph became an absolute monarch in 1851. This policy was described by A.J.P. Taylor as absolutism without promise.5 Before the Kbeck Patent in 1851 introduced the absoluti st monarchy there had been hope that the emperor would agree to a solution acceptable to those who saw probl ems within the Bach system. The Kbeck Patent, though largely symbolic, ended any such hope of liberalization at the hand of the emperor.6 Kbeck abolished the constitution set up under Stadion and made the ministers solely respons ible to the emperor, rather than to the parliament.7 After the Kbeck Patent all nations u nder Habsburg rule were equal, and all were equally unhappy. Not even the Germans were content with Franz Josephs absolutist rule. The Germans made up the most educated and wealth iest nation in the empire, and as a result they desired a constitution and resented the financial burden they were under to support the army. The Crimean War further isolat ed Austria and only reinforced Austrias growing irrelevance and declin ing political power on the con tinent. Poor foreign policy and economic crisis following the war combin ed to cause the necessary retreat from military absolutism, and martial law was ended in many of the Austrian territories. The Habsburg Monarchy had isolated itself both in ternally and externally. The Austrian 5 Taylor, The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918, 89.6 Ibid, 88.7 Robin Okey, The Habsburg Monarchy: From Enlightenment to Eclipse (New York: Palgrave MacMillian, 2001), 161.


Empires decline in power made the em pire vulnerable to her many enemies. Compromise was needed for the survival of the empire.8 In October of 1860 Franz Joseph began the constitutional era by granting the October Diploma, the principal features of which included the creation of a pan-imperial Reichsrat that, along with the Diets, was to be consulted in the passage of laws; the rights and legislative powers not specifically rese rved for the Reichsrat were to be the providence of the provincial Di ets; and the acknowledgement of Hungarys special status by having non-Hungarian delegates meet sepa rately to discuss non-Hungarian matters.9 Unfortunately, the October Diploma did not satisfy the Germans, who wanted a more centralized government, or the Hungari ans, who were not granted enough freedom from the emperor. The October Diploma was stillborn almost from the moment of conception and by the next year the February Patent had reversed the October Diploma. The Patent was needed to pacify the German liberal bourgeoisie, who found the federalizing Diploma repugnant. The powers granted to the Diets under the Diploma were revoked and the parliament took on a more traditional function. The Hungarians were outraged by the centralizing changes impl emented in the February Patent and they expressed their displeasur e by boycotting the Reichsrat.10 Hungarys stand against Vienna inspired the Slavs and the Romanians to follow their example. The empire was now torn between the Magyars demanding their historical rights, the German centralists, and the Slav federalists. Franz Josephs journey down the road of constitutionalism culminated in what was known as The Compromise in 1867 when he was crowned King of Hungary8 Taylor, The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918, 96.9 Robin Oke, The Habsburg Monarchy: From Enlightenment to Eclipse 178. y10 Ibid, 180.


creating the Dual Monarchy of Austria-H ungary. Following Habsburg defeat in 1866 it was Hungary that offered a partnership betw een the Magyars and the emperor, who was in desperate need of allies. Franz Joseph was forced to make concessions to the Magyars in order to avoid making concessions to a ny of the other ethnic groups seeking greater autonomy.11 Franz Joseph, obsessed with his own dynastic power, found Hungarys demands, which had not changed since the October Diploma, easier to stomach than surrendering power to the German liberals, w ho sought to interfere with his autocratic rule. The compromise made by the emperor to the Hungarians gave the Hungarians control of the internal affairs of the M agyar nation while leaving Franz Joseph in control of foreign affairs. The emperor was playing a dangerous balancing game; he sought to keep German liberal power at ba y through the advancem ent of the Magyars, and Magyar supremacy could only be challe nged by the united power of the Czechs and Germanswhom the emperor kept at odds.12 Franz Joseph was willing to tolerate Magyar power to maintain his own supremacy and made his concessions to the Hungarians out of fear rath er than conviction, which w ould ultimately lead to the destruction of the Habsburg Monarchy. German subservience to the emperor and humiliation by the Hungarians combined with economic crisis and exclus ion from foreign affairs to breed deep resentment. Somewhat ironica lly, the February Patent, crea ted largely in response to German objections to the October Diploma, created a Parliamentary system that would mark the downward trend of German power in the Empire. The equalizing principles of 11 Taylor, The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918, 130.12 Ibid, 141.


the Parliamentary system would force Germans to take their place among that other peoples of the empire. Much to the dissati sfaction of the Germans the new parliamentary empire was a place without privileges for ethnic Germans.13 The tides of foreign politics were also against Austrian Germans. Bismarck had broken with the liberals and he preferred a powerful Habsburg nation to the dangers of Pan-Germanism. Bismarck sought to avoid a situation where Austria-Hungary would look to England or France for support against Russia, leaving Germany isolated with Russia on one side and France, England and Austria-Hungary on the other. Despite German support for a strong Habsburg Monarchy, Germany did not support Habsburg action in the Balkans. Bi smarck desired to preserve the Turkish Empire and to those aims he initiated a conservative alliance with the Dual Monarchy that gave up on the idea of a Greater Germany, which would have incorporated Hungary. To strengthen the Habsburgs, who were trying to balance out the competing ethnic groups in their empire, Bismarck became a s upporter of Czech interests, resulting in increased German disunity and promoted Hungarian independence. Because of Bismarcks support of small-nation interests, the Hungarians shifted their loyalties to the more reliable Germans of the Hohenzollern German Empire. During the elections of 1879 Imperial influence was used against the Ge rmans and they lost their majority in the Reichsrat.14 Austrian Germans had been aba ndoned by both Germany and by Hungary. German hegemony in the empire was lost. 13 C. A. MaCartney, The Habsburg Empire 1790-1918 (New York: Macmillan, 1969), 521.14 Taylor, The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918, 155.


Pan-German Awakening: The Pan-German movement was first popular ized in the 1860s within the same atmosphere rife with liberal-conservative political tension that created the Dual Monarchy. The movement first found a hom e among university students in Vienna, Graz, and Prague. These Austrian fratern ities had an organization very similar to German Burschenshaften formed during the Vormrz period.15 The German Vormrz period (1815-1848) saw the development of traditional nationalism and romanticized ritual and secrecy, aspects that made German student fraternities in Austrian universities the perfect launching point for the Pan-German movement.16 Issues of German nationalism, which lingered after the failed A ssembly of Frankfurt in 1848-49 and were exasperated by the preemptive exclusion of Austria from the German union after the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, frustrated many of the students in th ese fraternities. Grossdeutsch nationalism became popular amongs t these fraternity members, who formed a cult of prussophilia, glor ifying Bismarck and worshiping force and aggressive militarism. Kleindeutsch nationalism sought to exclude Austria from the German state, as opposed to grossdeutsch nationalism, which argued for the inclusion of the ethnically German lands of the Habsburg Empire,17 or the even broader solution of Mitteleuropa which argued for the inclusion of all German-speaking peoples. Some took Mitteleurop a further, wanting to include all Ge rmanic peoples, such as the Dutch, 15 George Mosse, The Crisis of German Ideology (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1971), 5.16 Paula Sutter Fichtner, History, Religion, and Politics in the Austrian Vormrz. History and Theory 10 (1971): 34.17 Lawrence Birken, Volkish Nationalism in Perspective. The History Teacher 27 (1994): 135.


Flemish, and even Anglo-Saxons.18 Following the Austrian-Prussian war in 1866 Grossdeutschland would have been politically impo ssible, yet it remained a founding principle of Pan-Germanism. Georg von Schnerer shaped Austrian Pan-Germanism into a true political force. Schnerer became involved with the Pan-German movement in 1876 when he joined a federation of nationalistic fr aternities in Vienna. Sc hnerer changed Austrian PanGermanism from a loose group of naive a nd politically disorg anized students and working-class men into an anti-liberal, an ti-capitalist, and anti-Semitic revolutionary nationalist movement.19 By 1878 he was loudly demandi ng the economic and political union of German-Austria with the German Reich. Schnerers movement shared many qualities with other radical national movements, but he left a potent and lasting mark on Pan-Germanism, and on Austrian universities and fraternities, in the form of racism.20 In 1888 Schnerer was convicted of assault and imprisoned for five years, during which time Pan-Germanism lost much of its political clout. The Pan-Germanism movement regained it s status in the 1890s with the PanGerman Association, which was organized in th e last decade of the ni neteenth century in Germany largely in protest of the potentia l release of the Hel goland (Heligoland) archipelago to the English.21 The Pan-German Association very quickly became a permanent organization concerned with Germ an imperialism and ethnic promotion. It 18 Roger Chickering, We Men who Feel Most German (Boston: George Allen and Unwin, 1984), 79.19 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 10.20 Mosse, The Crisis of German Ideology 195.21 Ibid, 219.


spread to Austria to protest the introducti on of Slovene-language cl asses in exclusively German schools in Carniola, modern-day Slovenia.22 Tensions between Germans and other ethni c groups were particularly high in Cisleithania, the Austrian half of the Ha bsburg Monarchy. Germans were the single largest ethnic group, making up roughly 24 percen t of the population of the empire, with the Magyars following at 20.2 percent. In the Austrian half of the empire Germans made up 35 percent of the population and Czechs made up 23 percent.23 Most of these conflicts were between Germans and Czechs in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia, where Germans did not hold a clear majority. Table 1.2 Linguistic distributio n of AustriaHungary:24 Language: % of Total Population: German 24% Hungarian 20% Czech 13% Polish 10% Ruthenian25 8% Romanian 6% Croat 5% Slovak 4% Serb 4% Slovene 3% Italian 3 22 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 11.23 Robert Kann, The Mulitnational Empire: Nationalism and National Reform in the Habsburg Monarchy 1848-1819, Volume II, (New York: Octagon Books, 1950), 305.24 Anstalt G. Freytag & Berndt (1911). Geogr aphischer Atlas zur Vaterlandskunde an der sterreichischen Mittelschulen. Vienna: K. u. k. Hof-Kartographische. "Census December 31st 1910.25 Note that Ruthenian includes Rusyn and Ukrainian.




The conflict was fuelled by developments in coal and textile industries, sectors where Germans tended to be owners and managers.26 These industries attracted a great deal of cheap labor, mostly Czech, from centr al Europe. Conflicts between Germans and Czechs were not restricted to Czech laborers and German managers. Conflicts could also be seen between Czech farm-workers and German landowners, between merchants of both nationalities and between educated Germans and Czechs seeking public and administrative positions. The most significan t issue in these conf licts was languagethe most obvious mark of ethnic id entity in the empire. Langua ge caused ethnic conflicts concerning schools, local governance, elections land sales and property rights, and in mixed marriages. The Austrian Pan-German organization s oon adopted the characteristic imperialist ideals based on a vlkisch rationale and supported German territorial expansion both in the colonies and in Europe. Vlkisch which means ethnic or national, comes from the German word Volk meaning people but it also carries more complicated connotations of race and tribe.27 Volk signified the union of a people possessing a specific German essence that spoke to the co re of ones deepest na ture, inspiring ones creativity, emotion, understanding, and unity with other members of the Volk .28 To many German thinkers of the time exclusion from the Volk was synonymous with soullessness. Vlkisch unity became an obsession for some Ge rmans and the cornerstone of the PanGerman movement remained the demand that Germanys borders refl ect the racial and cultural unification of et hnic Germans. The idea of a national community 26 Chickering, We Men who Feel Most German 27.27 James Webb, The Occult Establishment (Illinois: Open Court, 1979) 276.28 Mosse, The Crisis of German Ideology 4.


( Volksgemeinschaft ) needed an anti-thesis, an o ther, to aid in distinguishing Volk versus alien or foreign. It was the Je ws who played this role of the other who threatened the values an d racial purity of the Volk .29 Other aspects of the German nationalist movement focused more heavily on vlkisch -culture and the creation of defense leagues (called Vereine ) to protect and foster German identity. The Germanenbund, and later its successor, the Bund der Germanen, consisted of a federation of nationalistic Vereine involved in th e institution of vlkisch community activities such as festivals, recreation of Germ an mythology and ritual, and the promotion of Germanic Volkstum By the year 1900 the Bund der Germanen claimed 160 Vereine in its federation.30 German nationalist discontent grew throughout the decade of the 1890s, especially in 1897, when the Austrian premie r introduced language decrees requiring all officials in Bohemia and Moravia to speak both Czech and German as most Czech officials already spoke German, the decree w ould discriminate against Germans, though German officials were given four years to learn Czech. German peasants now faced the difficulty of deciphering Czech if they wish ed to bring legal grievances against a Czech.31 29 Petteri Pietikainen, The Volk and Its Uncon scious: Jung, Hauer and the 'German Revolution', Journal of Contemporary History 35 (2000): 525. 30 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology 9.31 Helmut Walser Smith, German Nationalism and Religious C onflict: Culture, Ideology, Politics 1870-1914 (Princeton: University Press, 1995) 207.


Table 1.3 Languages in Cisleithania: (1910 census)32 Land: Most common language: Other languages (more than 2%): Bohemia 63.2% Czech 36.8% German Dalmatia 96.2% Croatian 2.8% Italian Galicia 58.6% Polish 40.2% Ukrainian Lower Austria 95.9% German 3.8% Czech Upper Austria 99.7% German Bucovina 38.4% Ukrainian 34.4% Romanian, 21.2% German, 4.6% Polish Carinthia 78.6% German 21.2% Slovene Carniola 94.4% Slovene 5.4% German Salzburg 99.7% German Silesia 43.9% German 31.7% Polish, 24.3% Czech Styria 70.5% German 29.4% Slovene Moravia 71.8% Czech 27.6% German Tyrol 57.3% German 42.1% Italian Kstenland 37.3% Slovene 34.5% Italian, 24.4% Croatian, 2.5% German Vorarlberg 95.4% German 4.4% Italian As a result nationalist outrag e erupted throughout the empire.33 Pan-Germanists, unable otherwise to prevent the passing of the language decree, purposely interfered with and slowed parliamentary business. Attemp ts by later premiers to establish control exasperated the situation and in 1897 the diso rder erupted into outright violence as mobs took to the streets and clashed with the police and army. Hundreds of Vereine were shut down in the name of public order. From the combination of electoral gains by PanGermanists and public and parliamentary disorder came the source of a violently nationalistic mood that w ould see the birth of esoteric nationalism. It was within this atmosphere that many of the prominent esot eric writers and thinkers came of age. 32 Anstalt G. Freytag & Berndt (1911). Geogr aphischer Atlas zur Vaterlandskunde an der sterreichischen Mittelschulen. Vienna: K. u. k. Hof-Kartographische. "Census December 31st 1910. 33 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology 10.


The Changing City: Vienna, the birthplace of List and Lanz, was historically a predominately German city, but by the start of the twentieth century the increasi ng immigration of non-Germans to the city began changing its ethnic dem ographics. The rapid urbanization of the commercial and cultural center of Vienna wa s alarming to many of her inhabitants. Viennas Ringstrasse, thought to be a testam ent of liberal triumph, in many ways began as an expression of dynastic neo-absolutist values.34 Long after other cities had dismantled their medieval fortifications Vie nnas remained. While the defense zone was no longer needed to protect Vienna from the Turks there was a new enemy to consider, not an invading force, rather a revoluti onary people. The Revolution of 1848 had increased the political demand by civilians for the public use of the defense zone while at the same time Austrian military leaders felt that the imperial court needed to be protected from revolutionary threats. It would turn out that economic needs were greater than fears of revolution. In 1857 Emperor Franz Joseph open ed the military zone to civilian use. Where Viennas great walls once stood now lies the Ringstrasse, a monument to the doubts and insecurities of the end of the nineteenth century. The first allocation of the newly availabl e space went to the Votivkirche, a great church built to celebrate the emperors escape from a Hungarian nationalists assassination attempt. The church would al so stand as a representation of the closer relationship between the Imperial cr own and the Catholic Church; the Neue Freie Presse 34 Carl Schorske, Fin-DeSicle Vienna: Politics and Culture (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980), 30.


called the church a symbol of the Sbelund Kultenregiment, 35 a troubling combination to the Pan-Germanists.36 The military, despite their reluctance to see the fortifications dismantled, gained from the remo val of the fortifications as well. Shortly after the building of the Votivkirche two barracks and an arsena l complex were built near railstations to facilitate troop movements to troublesome provinces. The new broad boulevard also aided troop mobility and prev ented barricading by potential rebels and revolutionaries. Civilian and military desires combined to create the imposing scale and form of the Ringstrasse. Political changes in Vienna widened the contrast between the old inner city with its imperial center and the new third estate centers of constitutional government and culture found around the Ring. The inner city, pr eviously enclosed in protective military isolation, was now sociologically isolated. In many ways reconstructed Vienna was symbolic of the bourgeois rise to power. It was this new Vienna that would enchant a young Adolf Hitler; and it was this Vienna th at would later be conquered by an older, angrier and disillusioned Hitler. The Ringstrasse also inspired many intell ectual debates concer ning social issues within the liberal bourgeois society. Ma ny intellectuals at th e time felt that the Ringstrasses style and aesthe tics represented the sacrifice of tradition on the altar of modernity. Camillo Sitte, a major critic of th e Ringstrasse, argued that cities planned on grids were unnatural, suffocating and even claimed that they induced neurosis.37 Sitte, and those intellectuals like him, were d eeply nostalgic for a vanished past that represented the sense of comm unity lost to the function and convenience of the heartless 35 the rule of the saber and religion 36 Ibid, 30.37 Elbert Peets, Town Planners: II. Camillo Sitte, The Town Planning Review 12 (1927): 251.


modern city. Richard Wagner was a gr eat influence on Sitte and many other young intellectuals in the 1870s. Wagne r glorified the medieval Germ anic past in comparison to cold, modern capitalism in a time when ma ny young Germans were di ssatisfied with the economic situation of the 1870s. The Wagnerian nationalism that had such tremendous appeal to Sitte and to Pan-Germanists em phasized the importance of an integrating national myth to provide roots for the Volk a theme that will be of great importance to many nationalistic occultist writers. Duri ng the period of Wagners later work many young Austrian men were still flush with excite ment after Prussias defeat of France in 1870 and Germanys subsequent unification; as a result Wagners nationalism spread like wildfire among Viennas young intellectual elite. The same Vienna that charmed Hitler and frustrated Sitte was also undergoing ethnic demographic changes that in spired Hitler to remark that Mir erschien die Riesenstadt als die Verk rperung der Blutschande .38 The rapid population growth could be seen most clearly in the housing sector. The very city that was building Baroque style Adelspalste was also producing working class Mietkaserne, massive housing tenements for the increasingly dow nwardly mobile, and often non-German, industrial workers.39 Between 1840 and 1870 the population of Vienna had doubled, and by 1900 the population of Vienna was three times what it was in 1860.40 Poverty, overcrowding and slums became widespread. Many of the new residents of these urban 38 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Munich, 1934), 59. Translation the city appeared to me to be the very embodiment of racial infamy.39 Schorske, Fin-De-Sicle Vienna: Politics and Culture, 47.40 Ibid, 27.


slums were Jewish immigrants from Galicia, who now made up eight pe rcent of the citys population.41 Considering the Pan-Germanists obse ssion with the growing power of nonGerman nationalities in the empire, the change s seen in Vienna would have been all the proof they needed of the growing problem. In the nineteenth century anti-modernism, anti-Catholic, and vlkisch racist sentiments developed in the increasingly backwardslooking Austria to create a particular form of nationalism that would collide with the reviving esoteric tradition. Pan-Germanists and the Church: Guido von List was one such author who bega n to form his ideas in Vienna in the latter half of the nineteenth century. He was a contribu tor to many journals of the vlkisch movement such as Neue Welt Heimat and Prana,42 and was a member of various Pan-Germanist cultural organizations such as Deutsche Geschichte, the Deutscher Turnverein Donauhort and Deutsches Haus. List was influenced by the German-Slav conflict surrounding late nineteenth century Au stria. The anti-Catholic aspects of Ariosophy can also be traced to the Pan-German movement. In 1855 Austria gave way to the Holy See and the demands of the Pope. A Concordat was signed that gave the Church nearly unlimited freedom to conduct its own affairs. The Church was also given complete control over the prim ary schooling of Catholic children, meaning most subjects of the empire. Church prope rty was declared sacrosanct, and the emperor 41 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Inflence on Nazi Ideology, 14.u42 George Mosse, The Fascist Revolution, (New York: Howard Fertig, 1999), 124.


promised not to tolerate any derogatory wo rd against the Church or its institutions,43 all concessions that vlkisch Pan-Germanists resented. Th e Catholic Church was thought by some to be foreign to Germandom and many Pa n-Germanists felt that a new, or rather old, religion was needed to counter the hol d of the Church. Schnerer himself was already involved in emphasizing paganism as the natural religion of the Germans due to his involvement in the Germanenbund. Many Germans during th ese turbulent years felt that the Catholic Church was pro-Slav and anti-German. The issue of religion was particularly complicated amongst Germans; while Germans in Austria and in imperial Germa ny shared a linguistic, cultural, and ethnic identity, they were divided on the issue of religion. Imperial Germans were largely Protestants while Germans in the Habsburg Mo narchy were almost exclusively Catholic. Protestant Pan-Germanists felt that Catho licism was a force that would weaken the German nation and the issue could only be resolved by converting Catholic Germans to Protestantism.44 Protestant Germans in the Reich could claim Martin Luther as their own, thus supporting the idea that Protestantism is itself German. The idea of Germanic paganism had greater strength in Austria where there was no positive association between the Church and Germandom and Catholicism wa s furthermore seen as foreign and antiGerman. Within this atmosphere of animosity Schnerer created his Los von Rom campaign, which, though largely unsuccessful highlights the growing anti-Catholic sentiments of Austrian Germans. Schnerer, along with many Germans, was agitated and infuriated by Austrian Prime Minister Badenis la nguage decree in Bohemia and Moravia. Austrian Pan43 MacCartney, The Habsburg Empire 1790-1918, 458.44 Smith, German Nationalism and Religious Con flict: Culture, Ideology, Politics 1870-1914, 206.


Germans called for a break from the Slavophile Catholic Church a nd the call Los von Rom (break from Rome) struck a chord with Germans in the borderlands, where the clergy was mostly Czech. Ultimately, Los von Rom appealed to Germans in Vienna and in nationally mixed areas such as Bohemia, St yria, and Carinthia but most other Catholics in Austria did not see any tension between their religion and their nationality. Anti-Catholicism was an important asp ect to the formation and growth of occultist national movements such as Lanz s Ariosophy and Lists earlier Armanism. Guido von List used the Catholic Church as one of the central villains in his recreation of the Germanic past. In his mind the Austrian government had fallen under the control of Catholicism and conservative Slav interests, which fueled the governments anti-German aims. Racism, supported by Social Darwinis t theory, was another defining aspect of Ariosophy and movements like it.45 A particular brand of racist social Darwinism, promoted by Otto Ammon, Ernst Krause, Ludwig Wilser, and Ludwig Woltmann, strengthened vlkisch nationalism by lending scientific jus tifications to racial prejudices against interracial mixing in Germany and Austria. Enlightenment, Irrationality, and Esoteric Nationalism: The fifteenth to seventeenth centuries saw much of the first occult revival, during which time there was a great interest in the Middle Ages; alchemy, astrology and other esoteric practices came back in vogue. This revival was ended by the introduction of the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason in the la tter half of the seve nteenth century. By eighteenth century there was a backlash agains t the rationalist Enlightenment and interest 45 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 14.


in the occult returned. The end of the Enlightenment era precedes what James Webb calls the flight from reason in the late nine teenth century. The flight from reason is a reactionary product of an ag e of uncertainty characteri zed by political and social change.46 Scientific and philosophical advancements challenged the prev ious certainty of the divine origin of man and placed in its stead the theory of e volution, resulting in a great societal crisis of faith. The effect s of industrial revolution and modernity on a society torn between remaining true to what it considers to be its soul and modernization resulted in a deep conflict between tec hnology and culture, scien ce and religion, reason and irrationality.47 These conflicts created a unique combination of occultism and science that became a basis for racist esoteric nationalismirrational occultist religion using pseudoscience as a justification. Jame s Webb described this conflict as: [A] problem [that] is always f aced by those dissatisfied with their present conditions. But because the crisis of consciousness was occasioned so greatly by the conscious or unconscious perceptions of change, the ultimate possible change began to appear to many reformers the only fruitful method of attack. This wa s the changing of man himselfthe perfection of the human being, so palpably imperfect and selfdestructive.48 Political and social conditions in Au stria, including issues brought on by modernity, Pan-Germanism, social Darwinis m, and increasing urbanism, created the perfect environment for nationalis tic esoteric movements. Vienna is where all of these issues merged. The rapid population growth and urbanization experienced in Vienna in the la te nineteenth and early twentieth centuries 46 Webb, The Occult Establishment 8.47 Jeffrey Herf, The Engineer as Ideologue: R eactionary Modernists in Weimar and Nazi Germany, Journal of Contemporary History 19 (1984): 635.48 Webb, The Occult Establishment 16.


resulted in the creation of urban slums, overcrowding and exasperated ethnic tensions between ethnic Germans and other ethnic gr oups of the Habsburg Monarchy. As a result Pan-Germanism gained a strong foothold in the Habsburg capital, where anti-Catholicism met with a religious crisis of consciousness. Irrationalism collided with scientific empiricism left over from the Age of R eason and these features, Pan-Germanism, occultism, and bastardized scientific justifi cation, culminated in the creation of racist, Aryan, esoteric nationalism. Vienna, and its particular atmosphere, played a significant role in formation of the ideologies, writings, and organizations of many young German thinkers including Guido von List, Lanz von Liebenfels, and Rudolf von Se bottendorff. We now turn to consider their works and the emergence of Ariosophy.


Chapter II: Early Ariosophy The Esoteric Tradition: Western esotericism has seen a number of revivals throughout the medieval, early modern, and modern ages of European history. The roots of esotericism stretch back to antiquity encompassing Gnosticis m, Hermeticism, Neoplatonism and many occult sciences.49 Gnosticism encompasses the belie fs of early Christian sects that claimed to have special knowledge of spiritual matters, called gnosis These Gnostic sects disappeared around the fourth century bu t their dualistic concep ts and perception of the evil nature of mate rialism lingered on in the Hermetica a collection of texts that also included a synthesis of Neoplat onic and other mystic ideas written during the third and fourth centuries. The Renaissa nce saw a brief revival of th ese esoteric traditions, during which time intellectuals edited classical te xts to create many of the philosophical and religious ideas that resulted in the modern shape of occultism. Many of these Gnostic, Neoplatonic and Hermatic ideas in the eighteen th century became the basis for what we now consider to be the occult, largely b ecause such ideas existed outside the accepted body of knowledge and reason. The eighteenth century also saw a backlash against Enlightenment thinking, which stressed rati onalism and, in the opinion of some later 49 James Lewis, The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements (Oxford, 2004), 447.


thinkers, stifled the romantic soul. As a result there was a revival of mysticism and occultism towards the end of the centu ry, mostly in America and England. Large-scale revival of occultism was seen at the decline of th e Roman Empire and towards the end of the Middle Ages, coinciding with rapid social and political changes, conditions replicated in ninete enth century Germany and Austria. During particularly turbulent and distressing times members of the society in flux often turn to the irrational for explanation and assurance. The extent to which the occult revival was popularized in the German-speaking world during the nineteenth century was largely due to the rise of Theosophy in the Anglo-Saxon world. Theosophy was made popular internationally by the Russian occultist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who founded the Theosophical Society in New York in 1875. Blavatsky combined ancient religious ideas w ith Darwinist theories, a combination that was very appealing to ninet eenth century Americans and Europeans who were searching for something to fill the spiritual void crea ted by a rationalist, materialistic society. Theosophy also made a particular impression in Austria and Germany in conjecture with the Lebensreform movement, which was largely a backlash lead by the middleclass against the ills of modern existence.50 The anti-positivist aspect of Theosophy was well received in Europe and especi ally in central Europeans countries rife with social and economic conflict. Lebensreform Theosophy and the vlkisch movement all had a number of aspects in common: all meant to return followers to a state of purer, natural spiritual existence. Theosophy fed into the Wilhelmine Lebensreform movement and provided rationale for many Lebensreform and vlkisch groups. 50 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 24.


In 1884 the first German Theosophical Soci ety was established and with it came the periodical, Die Sphinx. Though the scholarly periodical wa s not itself Theosophical it published contributions from prominent psyc hologists, historians, and philosophers on topics relevant to Theosophy. All of the c ontributors discussed sc ientific aspects of occultism and aided in bringing awareness of the occult to the German-speaking public. Though Die Sphinx stopped publishing in 1895 a number of other esoteric periodicals had sprung up, including Lotusblthen and Metaphysische Rundschau. Paul Zillmann, publisher of the Metaphysische Rundschau provided an important link between the occult underground and the Ariosophists, whose writings he published in his periodical. Zillmann was the first to publish Lists and La nz works concerning esoteric subjects. Branches of the Theosophical Society sprang up in a number of locations in Germany and Austria, including Berli n, Leipzig, Dresden, Essen, and Graz.51 The Theosophical Society branch in Berlin ha d as its general se cretary a young Rudolf Steiner, who was also the publisher of the periodical Luzifer Steiner would eventually break from the Theosophists and create th e Anthroposophical Society in 1912, which had a stronger basis in Western philosophy than the original Theosophy. Steiners influence in the occult world resulted in the creation of a number of other periodicals and books, including Prana, Theosophie and Der Wanderer, which would serve to introduce occultist ideas to a broader German public. Germany and Austria saw surges in public ations addressing the occult in the period before the First World War and Vienna was especially ripe w ith occult interest. Vienna was the home of the Association for Occultism and the First Viennese 51 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 26.


Astrological Society. The vibrant Viennese occult subculture fed the movements Guido von List and Lanz von Liebenfels created duri ng the occult revival. Vienna produced a particular form of Theosophy that was influe nced by disenchantment with Catholicism, Germanic mythology, and vlkisch ideology. Guido von List: Guido von List was the first to combine vlkisch ideology, occultism and Theosophy into a synthesized ideology. He de dicated some forty years of his life to researching German history and to the recreation of what he claimed to be the original pagan religion of the ancient Germanic tribes. List was a native of Vienna, born there in 1848 to an affluent, middle-class merchant famil y. List, like most Austrians, was raised a Roman Catholic, though later ev ents would reveal a tendency to stray from orthodox Christianity. In 1862 List accompanied his father on a visit to the catacombs beneath St. Stephens Cathedral, which he regarded as a pre-Christian shrine to an ancient Germanic deity.52 List considered his childhood visit to the catacombs to be the marker of his conversion to Germanic paganism. As an adolescent List spent much of his time hiking and wandering in the Viennese countryside, where his lone excurs ions and midsummer solstice rituals earned him a reputation as a mystic. On midsu mmer solstice in 1875 he celebrated the 1,500th anniversary of the tribal Ge rman victory over Rome by burning wine bottles laid out in the shape of a swastika beneath the ruins of Carnuntums Pagan Gate.53 Lists wanderings and rituals were an escape from the modernizing, metropolitan Vienna, with which he, like many young Viennese of th e time, was deeply dissatisfied. 52 Stephen E. Flowers, The Secret of the Runes (Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1988), 1. 53 Ibid, 5.


List combined history with nature-worshi p, believing that whatever was closest to nature was closest to truth.54 He believed that rationa lism and modernism were evil afflictions of modernity and had held no place in the Germanic past. Nature, in the mind of Guido von List, was the guide to the di vine and to truly embrace nature one must become one with the historical past of the Volk The ancient Germanic wisdom that was needed in order to be able to truly ap preciate nature was, however, suppressed by Christianity, which had in fact made an effo rt to eradicate Germanic paganism and the truth associated with it. Li st believed that ancient Germ anic wisdom needed to be rediscovered. It was the task of scholars and historians to discover and decipher ancient scripts and symbols to uncover their meaning for modern-day Ge rmans. To this end List studied runic symbols and published Deutsch-mythologische Landschaftsbilder (1891), in which he explores Austrias Aryan past and the lingering traces of the Germanic religion that remain in Vienna.55 The Deutsch-mythologische Landschaftsbilder was not the first time that List tried to place Austrias pagan past within a m odern setting. In the 1870s and 1880s List published a number of articles in pe riodicals with nationalist leanings.56 Many of the articles studied landscapes colored by a pa gan interpretation, the subject of which was often Germanic religious site s throughout Vienna and the su rrounding countryside. List, along with many Pan-Germanists, was a member of the Austrian Alpine Association, which became a German-Austrian transnationa l organization in 1874. List established a national identity for the Alps and the Da nube through the use of Teutonic myth and Germanic folklore, much to the saisfaction of the Pan-Germanist members of the t 54 Mosse, The Fascist Revolution 73.55 Mosse, The Crisis of German Ideology 74.56 Flowers, The Secret of the Runes, 4.


Association. These vlkisch articles were published in the newspapers Heimat Neue Welt and Deutsche Zeitung .57 A strong anti-Christian theme is seen th roughout Lists work, even in his first novel, Carnuntum List claimed that the Germanic civilization in Austria had been interrupted only two times, once by Roman forces (100-375 AD) and then again by Christianity, which had suppressed Germanic culture in earlier centuries. Lists publications in the 1890s, starting with Deutsch-mythologische Landschaftsbilder, revealed his obsession with recreating the anci ent, national and pagan Germanic Austrian past.58 Throughout the 1890s List gave lectures and wrote dramatic plays in addition to articles and novels set in tribal Germany. His plays generally focused on young Teutons in ancient Germany overthrowing Roman or Christian conquerors and returning home to their original sun-worshiping religion. His literary works ear ned him praise and celebrity status among Pan-Germanists who reveled in any works that glorified Germanys past. The turn of the century saw a shift in Lists work. In the 1880s and 90s List focused largely on recreating a nationalistic, pa gan past for Austria, but in 1902 List was left blind for eleven months following catar act surgery and the experience added a new element to his ideologythe occult. Fin de Sicle Occult Tradition: Guido von Lists turn to the occult in the 1880s and 1890s was a reflection of a broader cultural trend well underway in Austri a and Germany during th e latter decades of the nineteenth century. List was stepping into a pre-existing fin-de-sicle occult tradition 57 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots f Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 36.o58 Flowers, The Secret of the Runes, 7.


that had been forming since the mid-ninete enth century in an attempt to address challenges presented to a disenchanted mode rn German society. After nearly half a century of attempted unification, the semi-feuda l collection of princi palities were united into a large and powerful nation-state, whic h coincided with a switch from a largely agrarian culture to an industrial economy.59 The sudden economic and political changes were even more shocking considering the prol onged yearning for unity felt in the German states. For decades many of the best minds in these German states were preoccupied with questions concerning national destiny. Con tinual political failur e to unite Germany resulted in many of these intellectuals turni ng towards social cohesi on as a binding force rather than attempting to find a unifying political solution. This cultural identity was defined largely in terms of nationa l roots and after the revolutions of 1848 this was increasingly acco mpanied by anti-modernist sentiments, as many Germans felt that the strength to unite Germany could only be drawn from distant times rather than the failed strength of the modern age.60 Achieving political unification was not satisfactory in the face of decades of anticipation resulting in a near-religious preoccupation with Germanys unity, ident ity and past. Unfortunately, political unification was soon followed by a crisis of Germanys emerging industrial economy, the consequences of which resulted in de ep disappointment and discontentment, compounding the dissatisfaction felt concerning the unification. The crisis resulting from unification and industrializati on was exasperated by economic crisis in 1873, increasing the backlash against modernity and materialism and deepening the longing for a greater unity of the Volk 59 Mosse, he Crisis of German Ideology 2. T60 Ibid, 3.


The Volk represented an idealized, transcende nt unity. It was through the essence of the Volk, a life force uniting Germans to one a nother on a cosmic level, that man becomes one with the universe. A large pa rt of the romantic envisioning of the Volk was the concept of nature as possessing a soul, which connected nature to the Volk and to the individual. The increasing fo cus on the connection between Volk and nature increased German resentment of urbanization and indus trialization, which were thought to uproot the German soul from its place in nature. Landscape and the countryside became the setting in which man could unite with nature and the Volk leading to many natureoriented activities such camping, hiking and Lists countryside wanderings. Vlkisch Ideology and Theosophy: Alongside and intertwined with the devel opment of Germanic paganism were the spiritualist and occultist movements, much of which became tangled with vlkisch ideology. The latter half of the nineteenth cen tury saw a nearly obsessive interest in the unconscious as a comfortable middle ground fo r the modern German educated class, which was grounded in the empirical science of the modern age, but still uncomfortable with metaphysics of a materialistic philosophy that rejected a tran scendent world. The German occultists coming of age in the 1870s and 1880s were inspired and influenced by intellectual icons of the mode rn age such as Friedrich Nietzsche, who explored the unconscious and its role in forming the human personality and will.61 The 1850s also marked the beginning of the German interest in the Americanoriginated spiritualist movement. The impetus for the spiritualist movement in the 61 Corinna Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern (London: John Hopkins University Press, 2004), 36.


English-speaking world can largely be attrib uted to backlash ag ainst positivist and rationalist ideas in the indus trial cultures of America a nd England. The spiritualist movement began in 1848 in upstate New Yo rk at the home of the Fox family, who offered proof visible to the eye and audible to the ear of some fo rm of existence after death to the practically minde d American society. The Fox family claimed that their house was being haunted by spirits of the dead who shook tables and chairs and communicated through snapping noises. It was in that small cottage in Hydesville that mediumship was born. The Fox family medium s were eventually discredited, but despite proof of their deception, by 1851 there we re 100 mediums in New York City.62 Spiritualist phenomena soon moved beyond s ance-room table rapping into more complicated ghost shows and conjuring pe rformances. No matter what proof was offered concerning the fraudulent nature of th e mediums performances, the Spiritualist movement continued to gain followers a nd believers throughout America and Europe desperate for evidence of life beyond death. Western society, amidst a crisis of consciousness, longed for evidence of the immo rtality of the human soul. Spiritualism offered a sort of scientific proof that humans were more than the cold, accidental outcome of a biological process. Spiritu alism began as a prank perpetrated by two mischievous girls but appealed to the insecurity and irrational ity growing in the hearts of Western man. Spiritualism in the nineteenth century shared many common ideas and interpretations with vlkisch ideology. Belief in the extrasensory world and the existence of a mysterious, binding ether connecting man to nature were ideas shared by vlkisch 62 James Webb, The Occult Underground (La Salle, Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company, 1974), 17.


ideology and by Theosophy.63 Theosophy and mysticism continued to influence vlkisch development and helped define the mystical connection between the individual and the cosmos. Madame Blavatsky, the foremost writer and thinker of the Theosophical Society, combined Western occultist thought, Eastern re ligion, and modern science64 to create a new worldview that would deeply in fluence the racist, na tionalistic occultist thesis created by List and Lanz. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a Russian o ccultist and adventurer, is the most defining figure of the Theosophical moveme nt. In 1877 Blavatsky published her first book, Isis Unveiled which spent more time rambling against the evils of modern Western society than it did defining her new religion. Blavatsky drew upon arcane Renaissance lore, Gnosticism, and secondary sources concerning pagan mythology and religion in an attempt to discredit modern-day religious be liefs and find instead some form of ancient religious truth. She found much of her inspiration in the lore of ancient Egypt. Her fascination with ancient Egypt was a conseque nce of reading works of occultist fiction by the English author Sir Edward Bulw er-Lytton, who was the author of The Last Days of Pompeii Zanoni A Strange Story and The Coming Race works that focused on secret occult fraternities that gathered occult knowledge65. In 1879 Madame Blavatsky and many of her followers moved to India, where Theosophy began to take its shape. In 1888, while in India, Blavatsky wrote The Secret Doctrine This work incorporated modern science and Hinduism. Her focus shifted from Egypt as the source of ancient wisdom to the East. The Victorian eras crisis of faith 63 Mosse, The Crisis of German Ideology 50.64 Dan Burton and David Grandy, Magic, Mystery, and Science: the Occult in Western Civilization Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2004), 209.(65 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 19.


resulted in Western society turn ing to the East for spiritual guidance. The East was often associated with deep spirituality and a lack of materialism, which was seen as plaguing Western society.66 Blavasky sought to combine her occult background with Eastern religious dogmatism. The Secret Doctrine describes a cyclical, in finite process of the birth and death of the universe. Blavatskys story claims to describe how this universe was born and the powers that created it. Her book contains many illustrated esoteric symbols, including triskelions and swastikas, meant to represent the stages of cosmic creation. The force employed to create and maintain the universe was described as electricity and solar energy; the concept of an electro-spiritual for ce holding together the universe was an idea that resonated with mode rn scientific thought. Blavatsky also aimed to fit man into the story of cosmic creati on. Paleontology and racial theories of human evolution contributed to her theories concerning mans place in the cosmos. Blavatsky developed these theories concer ning racial human evolution into a scale of human races ascending in spiritual devel opment. Her concept of a cyclical creation, destruction and recreation of the cosmos also included seven root-races that would rise and fall consecutively, each new race superior to the one that came before. The current manifestation of humanity constitutes the fift h race, existing within the fourth cycle or round of the universe.67 The fifth root-race, the Arya ns, follows the Atlanteans and three earlier proto-human races. In addition to the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth of the universe and of the races inhabiting the planet, Theosophy also embraces the Hindu concepts of reincarnation and karma, wh ere a persons good deeds would allow him or 66 Mark Bevir, The West Turns Eastward: Madame Blavatsky and the Transformation of the Occult Tradition Journal of the American Academy of Religion 62 (1994) 747.67 Goorick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 21.


her to achieve a superior reincarnation upon death in an endless cycle of root-races striving for redemption and salvation in the form of the ultimate reincarnation as a member of the final root-race. Blavatskys hybrid religion of anci ent Egyptian myth, Ea stern religion, and American spiritualism became popular in Eur ope and America but it was particularly well received in Austria and Germany. Many of these spiritualist a nd Theosophical ideas could be re-imagined with the Volk playing a vital role as th e intermediary between the soul, which only the Germans possessed, and the spiritual world, aiding the merger between spiritualists and those embracing vlkisch ideology. Theosophy lent sun worship, among many things, to vlkisch custom, resulting in further merging between spiritualism and the Volk Vlkisch groups often celebrate th e changing sun as a more authentic expression of Germanic spirituality and unity with the cosmos and in later years this emerging solar occultism would become a prominent feature in developing Germanic paganism. The fixation with Germanic roots and connectivity to the Volk resulted in an obsession with tribal Germany in an attempt to solidify an ideological base in history. One of the favorite authorities on ancient Germanic history wa s Tacitus; who, in his work Germania, described the tribal Germans as a stro ng and virile people. Though Tacituss purpose was to critique decaying Roman society by comparing it to the German tribes, vlkisch writers took Tacituss desc riptions as evidence of Germanic purity, which was aided by Tacituss description of the German s as a people who did not mix with other tribes and had, in essence, remained a pure and distinct Volk .68 Tacitus also aided the vlkisch view of history through his demeaning depiction of Jews, which reinforced the 68 Bernard Mees, Hitler and Germanentum, Journal of Contemporary History 33 (2004) 264.


belief that Germans and Jews had always been in conflict and that this conflict between good and evil, Germans and Jews, light and dark, was grounded in antiquity and thus must be part of the modern Volk 69 The ancient Germans were viewed as a ri ghteous and heroic peasant force that defeated the decadent, corrupt, and decayi ng Roman civilization, saving humanity from its taint. This concept of Germans bei ng a peasant people rooted in nature, honesty, loyalty, and righteousness resu lted in a predictable consequence of idealizing ancient German history; if the ancient Germans a nd their way of life was more true to the Volk then so must the ancient Germanic religion be. Interest in Germanic runes, legends, symbols, and religion grew and with it interest in solar occultism increased. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century saw the growth of solar occultism as part of the expanding inte rest in Germanic paganism. A common explanation for solar occultism was that north ern peoples, due to their foggy climate and long nights in winter, experience a natural long ing for the sun, which was, in addition to the center of the cosmos, the embodiment of hope and light.70 This solar occultism came to include a racial division as well; it wa s thought that some races had more positive relationships with the sun, explaining why so me races were superior to others. The Nordic peoples in particular ha d a special relationship with the sun; the souls of Nordic peoples would become troubled and broody wh en the sun was absent and experience great joy when the sun rose again. The s un became synonymous of life and rebirth. The sun, symbolic of rebirth and rene wal, and the concept of karma became sought-after central themes of ancient sagas. Collections of ancient legends, such as the 69 Mosse, The Crisis of German Ideology 68.70 Ibid, 72.


Edda, a thirteenth century Icelandic text containing medieval Norse mythology,71 became very popular among those with vlkisch ideologies. Where anti-modernist sentiments went, irrationalism and romanticism flourishe d, giving rise to outla ndish occult beliefs and supported vlkisch ideology concerning race, religion and nationalism. Occultism became the means by which to bridge the present and the past, which Christianity had tried to destroy. Of these occult groups Gu ido von Lists was one of the most important and influential. List and his followers comb ined nature and histor y, believing that the Aryan past was closest to truth and to nature. The Spiritualist Movement in Germany: German spiritualism and occultism began to differ from American spiritualism in the 1880s after the introducti on of Theosophy. From the 1850s on a number of groups and organizations devoted to animal magnetism, Naturphilosophie and other spiritual concerns developed across the German-speaking world, many focused on proving that the human soul, in contradiction to the materi alist philosophy, is inde pendent of the body. Spiritualism was applied to the increasingl y influential field of psychology and many who studied transcendent ps ychology considered the in creased crime rate among the lower class and higher rates of insanity and suicide among educated classes to be the result of spiritual decay caused by the increasi ng influence of scientific materialists since midcentury. Transcendental psychology was coined by philosopher Carl du Prel, who formed the Gesellschaft fr Experimentalpsychologie to study the shadowy side of the human 71 Snorri Sturluson. The Prose Edda: Tales from Norse Mythology translated by Jean I. Young (University of California Press, 1964), 8.


consciousness. To that end du Pr el also founded the social club Die Hoffnungslosen (Those Without Hope).72 Du Prel and his followers were modern science enthusiasts and mourned a world devoid of God and divine m eaning, yet at the same time many of these occultists were concerned about the modern im plications of scientific advances. They did not seek a return to a Chri stian past; rather, du Prel and his followers were critical of both traditional Christian belief and of scientif ic materialism. Du Prels transcendental psychology was the alternative to religions bl ind faith and materialisms soullessness; it combined the best of science and religion to create a scientifically grounded but soulful worldview. The Psychologische Gesellschaft, of which du Prel was a member, was significant to both the development of psychology and modern German occultism and to the creation of the fi eld of para-psychology in the late 1880s. Experimental psychology lent scientific legitimacy to occult-rooted fields studying the human consciousness. Psychiatrists with occult sympathies, such as Freud and Jung, tightened the bonds between emerging scientific fields a nd the occult. Du Prels combination of modern science subor dinated to human spiritual needs became a central theme of German occult ism. The association of spir itual desolation with fin-desicle modernity was not unique to either du Prel or to the occult movement, but to respond to the challenges of modernity w ith a psychological solution was a uniquely occult feature.73 The last decade of the nineteenth century saw a shift from du Prels scholarly occultism to a popularized, more accessible o ccultism presented to the German-speaking world by Paul Zillmann, editor of th e unapologetically oc cultist journal Neue 72 Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern 41.73 Ibid, 51.


Metaphysische Rundschau One of the interesting as pects of the German publics relationship with the occult was, contradictor y to the nature of th e occult, how open the German occult movement was. The occult, by definition, is a system of thought that is hidden or secret. Occult knowledge is th at which is unknown by the general population though it had come to mean more simply that which is outside the mainstream.74 The occult movement in Germany was not small or hidden; rather, it was fairly significant in size. Munich and Berlin were particularly notable for spiritualist activities but the occult movement was by no means limited to those two cities. Some estimates place the number of Germans involved in the occu lt movement in the tens of thousands.75 Until 1937 there were more than 200 occult-oriented clubs in Germany, with most major cities hosting occult organizations. These clubs could be focuse d on anything from astrology and parapsychology to Ariosophy and Theosophy. Large urban cities tended to be hotspots of occultism due to their educated and bohemian population and infrastructure that could support occult even ts, but occult clubs were by no means limited to large cities. Ma ny small towns contained spiritualist circles and occult organizations. Not only was the geographical range of the occult movement wide; the social make-up was equally varied. The occult movements followers included lower-class labors and highly educated in tellectuals. The members of occult organizations were aristocrats, housewives, artists, teachers, and shoemakers, and included both men and women. The petty bourg eoisie in particular embraced the occult. 74 Flowers, The Secret King, 17. 75 Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern, 57.


Table 2.1 Occult Clubs: Number by Type of Club76 City Total by City Ariosophy Occultism Theosophy Other77 Bad 2 1 1 Schmiedeberg Berlin 52 1 11 12 28 Breslau 4 1 3 Cologne 3 1 2 Dresden 6 1 4 1 Dsseldorf 8 1 2 3 2 Frankfurt 3 1 1 1 Hamburg 13 1 4 3 5 Hannover 9 5 4 Leipzig 15 6 3 6 Munich 27 6 6 15 Stuttgart 4 2 1 1 Other 63 4 9 22 28 Total 209 9 41 62 97 Many Germans not only embraced the occult bu t also relied on it to make a living. The police department in Munich clai med that in 1924 over three hundred people working as fortune tellers, mostly young wo rking class women but also men who were formerly tailors and shoemakers.78 The lower classes tended to dominate the spiritualist circles while the educated, wealthy and pr opertied classes gravitated more towards Theosophy and para-psychology. While the prof essional element of the German occult movement tended to be male-dominate d, bourgeois women founded and led occult organizations as well. Astrology and mediumsh ip tended to be female dominated fields. The diversity of the German occult movement speaks to its mass character and the depth 76 Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern, 59 .77 Other including astrology, dowsing, graphol ogy, palmistry, pendulum, psychical research, parapsychology, spiritualism, magnetism, and mesmerism.78 Ibid, 61.


to which it appealed to the troubled German soul seeking answers th at science and reason were unable to provide. In many ways Guido von List embodied th e spirit of the fi n-de-sicle occult revival. His development of Ariosophy in many respects mirrors the historical development of the occult. His interest began as a young man deep in the depths of a Catholic cathedral where he viewed the catacombs as a shrine to an older Germanic presence. As he grew into an adolescent he turned to art and na ture, painting landscapes while on long hikes in the countryside. He began to combine nature-worship with nationalistic vlkisch concepts of history and added to the mix re-imagined Germanic pagan rituals. In later years his pagan a nd spiritualist beliefs collided with Madame Blavatskys Theosophical ideas and other occu lt ideologies. It was this particular combination that helped to shape later Ariosophy. At the time List referred to his doctrine as Armanism. Theosophical Origins of Ariosophy: While the differences are great, there ar e a number of parallels and similarities between Blavatskys Theosophy and Lists emer ging ideas. List began to refer to the ancient Germanic tribes not as a people but as a race and shifte d to calling Germans Ario-Germans. This distinction underlin ed an association between Germans and Blavatskys fifth-race. List, like Blavats ky, claimed to have knowledge of a secret science that by means of a life force (in List s case a uniquely German one) could unveil the past. List also fell in line with a number of other Theosophical beliefs, such as the existence of a supernatural world and occult sciences. Even the word Ariosophy is a


play off of the word Theosophy, Theos ophy meaning wisdom of God and Ariosophy meaning wisdom of the Aryans.79 Another commonality between Ariosophy and Theosophy was their joint assertion of the existence of spirit ual masters who possessed occult knowledge. According to Ariosophists this knowledge was held by an elite priesthood similar to the Theosophists Great White Brotherhood. The mo st important feature that distinguished Ariosophy from Theosophy is the ends to which these different groups aspired. Theosophy was largely concerned with shari ng spiritual enlightenment with humanity through the use of occult knowledge wher eas Ariosophy was less concerned with enlightening humanity and more concerned with constructing a racially pure society. Just as Ariosophy and Theosophy share some of the same ideas, they also shared many of the same members, who seemed unconcerned by the ideological differences between the two movements. Many of th e founding members of the Guido von List Society were also prominent Th eosophical thinkers and writers.80 The movement of people between the two groups is also re flected in periodicals publishing on occult matters. Guido von Lists work was pr aised in the Theo sophical periodical Neue Lotusblthen and similar Theosophical publishings would introduce the Ariosophist writer and thinker Lanz von Liebenfels to Germany. Paul Zillman was one editor who managed to balance Theosophy and Ariosophy, and his journal, Neue Metaphysische Rundschau, published works by authors from both camps. List began to read important Theosophical writings and his obsession with the ancient Germanic runes and language 79 Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern, 104.80 Mosse, The Crisis of German Ideology 74.


grew.81 It was at this time that he bega n a decade of research concerning occultnationalism. List, using information from the Edda and from ancient runes, imagined that the ancient Teutons had practiced a Gnostic religion that he named Wotanism after the main god of the Germanic pantheon. List was the pioneer of vlkisch rune occultism and applied his study of ancient runes to Wotanism He used his knowledge of ancient runes to decipher what he believed to be ancien t mottoes and maxims of Wotanism, many of which stressed the union of man and the universe and the cy clical laws of nature dictating movement from birth, life, death, and rebirth.82 Unity with ones race was seen as a byproduct of an individuals closeness to nature. Lists obsession with the re ligious significance of racial purity resulted in an interest in sexology, the sexual-re ligion of the Aryans, and what was viewed as the sacred practice of eugenics. Authors such as Max Ferdinand Sebaldt von Werth combined racial doctrine with the occult and Germanic pagani sm. Sebaldt proposed that eugenics was needed to ensure Aryan r acial purity and superiority.83 Many of his ideas were incorporated into Lists ideology. By the tu rn of the century it became apparent that Sebaldts ideas had helped List form a Ge rmanic occult religion that was primarily concerned with racial purity. In the follo wing years List combined Theosophy into the mix. The extent to which List incorporated Theosophy into hi s ideology is largely due to the members of the List Society who were inte rested in the occult. First and foremost among those members was Jrg Lanz von Lieb enfels, whose developing ideas concerning 81 Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern, 104.82 Flowers, The Secret of the Runes 29.83 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 51.


racist occultism owe much to Theosophy and who deeply influenced his older mentor, Guido von List. The Guido von List Society ( Guido-von-List-Gesellschaft ) was officially founded in 1908 by Pan-Germanists and occultists who wanted to finance and publish Lists research projects into Austrias nationalist Germanic past.84 Among the supporters of the founding of the List Society were Lanz von Li ebenfels, a prominent Ariosophist who will be discussed later, and a number of Austrian public officials such as the mayor of Vienna, Karl Lueger, and Ludwig von Bernuth, who chaired a vlkisch health organization. In addition to a long list of distinguished Pan-Germanists the List Society had a large number of occultist figures am ong its founding members, including Metaphysische Rundschau editor Paul Zillmann.85 Membership to the List Society after 1908 continued to attract powerful and prominen t nationalists and occultists. With the support of his self-named so ciety Guido von List researched and published a number of works on the magic and meaning of ancient r unes, esoteric revisioning of folklore, and a st udy of the Wotanist priesthood.86 During this time List developed the concept of the Armanenschaft which he claimed was the estate body of priest-kings who ruled over the ancient Ge rman tribes. He took his account from Tacituss Germania and Germanized the word Hermiones, originally the Latin name pertaining to the Germanic tribes of interi or Germany, to Armanen, which meant heirs to the sun-king. List was also drawn to the connection to Arminius (Hermann) who destroyed three Roman legions attempting to take German lands across the Elbe in 9 84 Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern, 104.85 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 43.86 Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern, 104.


A.D.87 List drew heavily from Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism when describing the structure of the Armanenschaft. List claime d that the Armanenschaft survives even today within these secret societies. This claim a llowed List to associate his own cult with the Armanenschaft by suggesting that the Armane nschaft had never been destroyed but had survived Christianization within these secr et organizations, to which List and his followers belonged. List imagined a revived Armanenschaf t that would establish a Pan-German European empire. For this to happen non-Aryan races needed to be suppressed and subjugated within the strict hier archal society. All positions of power in this new society would be legitimated by a candidates racial purity. Non-Aryan peoples would become slave labor. List imagined a st rict patriarchal society with strict racial and marital laws where only males had authority in society a nd only Ario-Germans had civil rights. Genealogical records were to be kept to atte st to racial purity a nd estates were to be inherited by first-born male children. Lists imagined so ciety, accounts of which were published as early as 1911, deeply resembles th e Nazi vision of the future put into place in 1935 with the Nuremberg racial laws. The works List published concerning ancient runes, folklore, and the Armanenschaft enhanced Lists notoriety among vlkisch groups and the nationalist community in general. It was often the members of the List Society with strong vlkisch sympathies who had a hand in spreading List s ideas across the border, increasing his popularity in Germany.88 During the First World War Lists ideas became even more attractive to young Germans suffering through the hardships of war. Lists ideology was 87 Herbert W. Benario, Roman Germany. Three Sites, The Classical Journal 51 (1956): 317. 88 Flowers, The Secret of the Runes 33.


deeply rooted in the Slav-German conflict of the Habsburg Empire and vlkisch groups desire to defend Germandom from liberals, Jews and socialists aided the spread of that ideology. Members of pre-war, anti-Semitic vlkisch leagues such as the Germanenorden and the Thule Society were particularly interested in spread ing Lists ideology.89 Another of Lists influences on Germany came in the form of the individual Germans who built upon and spread Lists idea s and ideologies. Writers and thinkers deeply influenced by Lists ideology continued on to shape Ariosophy in the decades after Lists death. Hoher Armanen-Orden (High Armanen-Order) was the innermost ring of the List Society. Member of the HAO th roughout Germany travelled to Vienna to go on a pilgrimage with List. The group visited the catacombs at St. Stephens where List believed he first encountered the essence of the pagan gods. They continued on to other pagan holy sites at Klosterneuburg, Br hl, Burg Kreuzenstein, and Carnuntum.90 List relished the idea of a secret elite and imagin ed a secret, mysterious occult chapter to an ideal state that remarkably resembles Himm lers SS. While the HAO died out without achieving anything of great historical significance, individuals throughout the war era continued to be influenced by Lists ideas and the compelling concept of an occult elite, an idea present throughout post-Enlightenment occultism, aide d followers in the belief of a coming golden age for Germany. Lists books were passed around in the trenches where tales of ancient Aryan victories gave hope for Ario-G erman triumph in war and for the creation of a Pan-German empire. List envisioned a great German victor y over the Allies but the 1918 blockade of Europe brought food shortages and hardship to Vienna. List took German defeat in 89 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 45.90 Flowers, The Secret of the Runes 11.


stride, believing that the hardship was necessary before the salvation of the ArioGermans. List survived the disappointment of German defeat in World War One but did not live to see Hitlers rise to power. List fell ill due to th e food shortages in Vienna and in 1919 he died, but within a few short decades Lists vision of the future was part of the foreign policy of Hitlers Germany.


Chapter III: Later Ariosophy Jrg Lanz von Liebenfels: Lanz was one of Lists earliest support ers, Lanz having met the older man in the early 1890s. The man calling himself Jrg La nz von Liebenfels was actually born Adolf Josef. He was born on July 19, 1874 in Vienna to a middle class schoolmaster, though he claimed to be the son of a baron born on the May 1, 1872 at Messina. From a young age Lanz had an interest in mediev al religious orders, which insp ired him to become a novice at Heiligenfreuz Abbey, where he became Br other Georg in 1893. Lanz time at the abbey deepened his romantic sense of medieval history and religious elites. He was also well educated in Old Testament scholarship a nd in oriental language s, which influenced his later Gnostic Christian doctrines. During his time at the abbey Lanz studie d a tombstone that he believed depicted an allegorical battle between good and evil, wher e evil was represented by a great beast. He came to interpret evil as being subhuman in nature and developed an interest in zoology, which he began to synthesize into a religion. Race was at the center of Lanz developing religion. In a very Manichaean view of the world Lanz saw Aryans, being fair and light-skinned, as representing good, while darker races represented evil. Lanz developing pseudo-scientific raci al-religion led to the study of what Lanz believed to be


the perfect life force that was manifest ed in blond-haired, bl ue-eyed Aryan races.91 Racial science, a field of great interest during the Enlightenment that continued to develop in the Age of the Irrational92 was combined with Gnostic doctrine to describe blond and dark races battling for order and chaos in the universe, respectively. Gnosticism, to which many vlkisch occultists subscribed, is characterized by a negative view of the physical world and by a belief th at mans divine esse nce was trapped in a material body as a result of so me pre-cosmic tragedy and the only means of salvation and return to the divine state is through gnosisthe acquisition of the knowledge of the divine mysteries.93 Due to conflict concerning his unorthodox ideas, Lanz left the abbey in 1899 and thereafter was free to develop his doctrine. While Lanz ideologies were similar to Li sts in many ways, they at first lacked the vlkisch undertones common to Lists doc trine. List began with vlkisch pagan leanings and added occult sentiments to his ideology later. As Lanz ideas and ideologies developed he joined intellectual societies a nd published articles in many of the same vlkisch periodicals and journals that introduced List to the German-speaking world. Lanz, from the start, focused on a kind of radi cal theology with a stra nge view of history that reinvented the Germanic past to include a prehistoric world of superhuman Aryans, a medieval Germany controlled by military organizations and a coming new world inhabited by racist, yet n oble, knights and visionaries. Lanz took to studying anthropology, paleontology, and mythology to pr ovide evidence for his ideologies. It was characteristic of this time in Germany to blur the lines between religion, nationalism 91 Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern, 25.92 Webb, The Occult Underground 5.93 Roelof van den Broek, Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times (New York: State University of New York Press, 1998), 4.


and science. Figures such as Richard Wagner and Paul de Lagarde were influential in the creation of the Aryan myth and the deve lopment of a German religion, which was supported by Christian religious traditi on on one hand and by racism on the other.94 De Lagarde believed that the German na tion needed its own religion and to find such was to find the path to true liberty. De Lagarde, like Lanz and Himmler, was among those who wanted the Jews shipped to Madaga scar. He believed that every Jew is a proof of the weakness of our national life a nd of the small worth of what we call the Christian religion.95 De Lagarde was once a religious man who lost his faith; he was a conservative who broke with Prussian conserva tism and reactionary politics, and a patriot who prophesied Germanys ruin through moral d ecline. De Lagarde came of age in the time between the failed revolution and Bismarck s rise to power, a period that deeply influenced his worldview. The particular time in which he grew up left him with a deep sense of pessimism concerning the fate of th e German people, whose destruction, due to faithlessness and failing endurance, was a pproaching. Despite his gloomy outlook de Lagarde was more than a prophet of doom. He did believe that Germany could be reborn if a new Germanic religion could fuel Germanys spiritual renewal.96 De Lagarde was born Paul Anton Btti cher on November 2, 1827, in Saxony. His eighteen-year-old mother died soon after his bi rth, leaving the infant in the hands of a father who hated and blamed his son for his wifes death. De Lagardes father was a deeply religious man who felt that coldness, joylessness and gloominess reflected the appropriate atmosphere for a Christian home. De Lagarde, at his fathers insistence, 94 Leon Poliakov, The Aryan Myth (New York: Basic Books, 1971), 305. ,95 Poliakov, The Aryan Myth, 309.96 Fritz Stern, The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Stud y in the Rise of the German Ideology (New York: Anchor Books, 1961), 27.


studied theology at the University of Ber lin, where he studied under an aggressively conservative orthodox Protestant leader, Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg. At the University of Berlin de Lagarde developed many of th e beliefs that would shape his scholarly concerns, including his emphasis on the Ol d Testament, philosophy and poetry. De Lagarde abandoned his loyalty to Prussian cons ervatism after the conservatives fabricated evidence in a trial against Benedikt Wa ldeck, a liberal charged with treason.97 De Lagarde was infuriated by the conservatives and priests who supported the fraud. The injustice against Waldeck marked de Lagard es breaking point with conservatism and with orthodox Christianity. De Lagardes continual failure to secure a professional position at a university fed his accusations of conspiracy. It was not until 1869 that he was granted professorship at the University of Gttingen.98 It was at Gttingen in the 1870s that de Lagarde began his career as a prophet of doom and despair. De Lagarde believed that while Germans had fallen to evils and temptation they were a uni quely gifted people meant to live a heroic and moral life if they could conquer their en emies and recover the greatness of the past. De Lagarde, in his typical arrogance, felt th at he was just the man to lead the German people to their rebirth and thought of himself as a prophet of the Volkstum not just a prophet of God. De Lagarde saw materialism, progress and positivism as destroying the traditional virtues of the German people. Af ter twenty years of considering the issues plaguing Germany, de Lagarde discovered that Jews, liberals and academics were the chief cause for the decline and despair ruining German society.99 The cure to the cultural 97 Stern, 30.98 Ibid, 40.99 Ibid, 59.


illness was a new education system, new political system, new nobility and a new religion. De Lagarde attacked both Cat holicism and Protestantism, declaring Protestantism to be weak and spineless and Ca tholicism to be anti-German. He sought to replace these inadequate faiths with a new Germanic-Christian faith. To do this Christianity needed to be divorced from Juda ism. De Lagarde imagined that the major sacraments (confirmation, baptism, marriage and penance) would remain and that the Eucharist would be given new symbolic meani ng to conform to the national character of the Germans and their new religion. He felt th at religion was not universal and needed to meet the needs of individual national characteristics. To that point de Lagarde declared: The basic principle of the new community must be that religion is the consciousness of the plan and purpose of the education of the individual, of peoples, and of humanity.100 The new German religion would have to halt the decline of German culture and recover German virtues. This new religion would al so have to come soon because if it came too late we may as well renounce th e future of the fatherland. Germany then would exist for a while longer, but would then cease to live almost at once. Germany in the future will be a secular state in a heavenly dress, a despotism that calls itself freedom.101 The perceived need for a German religion for a German state became something of a national philosophical psychosis as many of the nation s brightest minds grappled with issues of God, faith and religion. There was a bandwagon of scholars trying to reincarnate Tacituss Germany while adding a nationalistic, pagan spin. Richard Wagner was among those who compared Christ with th e Germanic deity Wotan and he began to 100 Paul de Lagarde, Die Religion der Zukunft, Deutsche Schriften, 3, (1937) 270.101 Ibid, 274.


introduce Europe to Germanic legends through his operas and essays. Wagner envisioned an ancient German past where, during a golden age, men lived as vegetarians in state of primitive innocence somewhere in Asia. They were eventually tainted by original sin after they killed the first anim al, awakening the thirst for blood that would drive men to murder and make war.102 Christ, an Aryan, tried to show man the path back to innocence, symbolized by turning flesh into bread to signify that we should not be killing and eating the flesh of animals. In Wagners opinion it was the Church, controlled by Jews, which perverted Christs message. Lanz was also swept up in the need to create a German religion and sought to piece together his retelling of the Christian myth with the incorporation of occult scien ce, Eastern religion, and racism. Lanz, like Blavatsky, was fascinated with an cient cults in Europe and in the Near East. Both Blavatsky and Lanz were inte rested in reading Darwinism into Eastern religions, though Blavatsky was more interested in combining Eastern spiritualism with Western scientific and occultist thought103 while Lanz racial focus was significantly stronger. There was nothing inherently racist about Blavatskys Th eosophy, at least not in the same manner as Lanz theories, though Lanz did find it convenient to interpret Blavatskys theories concerning the cycle of root-races in a vlkisch -racist light. While Lanz was concerned with race in the traditio nal sense, Blavatsky was not speaking of skin-color or ethnic races but rather of entirely different past and future species of men. Lanz was aided by much of Blavatskys theorizing in Secret Doctrine where she claims: The world of to-day, in its mad career towards the unknownwhich it is too ready to confound with the unknowable, whenever the problem eludes the grasp of the physic istis rapidly progressing on the 102 Poliakov, The Aryan Myth, 313.103 Mark Bevir, The West Turns Eastward: Madame Blavatsky and the Transformation of the Occult Tradition, Journal of the American Academy of Religion 62 (1994): 748.


reverse, material plane of spirituality. It has become a vast arenaa true valley of discord and of eternal stri fea necropolis, wherein lie buried the highest and most holy aspi rations of our Spirit-Soul. That soul becomes with every new generation mo re paralyzed and atrophied. We have not long to wait, and many of us will witness the Dawn of the New Cycle, at the end of which not a few accounts will be settled and squared between races.104 One of Lanz most important claims was that the Aryans had committed bestiality with lower species, the interbreed ing of which resulted in lower races of subhumans. Lanz Ario-Christianity describes a battle between good a nd evil, Aryans and inferior races, where Frauja, the Gothic name for Jesus, demands the extermination of all sub-races, the apelings.105 He rewrote traditional bible stories, explaining that Adam was not the first man but rather the first pygm y. He re-envisioned the Passion to be the attempted rape of Christ by pygmies who were part of a satanic cult that wanted to encourage bestiality and interbreeding. La nz named his idiosyncratic combination of Judeo-Christian thought and ra cial science theo-zoology.106 In the manner of JudeoChristianity Lanz embraced the concept of lin ear history with a gr eat apocalypse at the end, in which the Aryans are the chosen pe ople of God. Like many dissatisfied men of his generation, Lanz viewed the modern world as a product of evil and the social disorder of the age as the result of the as cendancy of the inferior races. In Lanz view, to combat the ascendancy of sub-humans, those inferior races and the lower classes that were tainted by them needed to be exterminated. He spoke out against compassion and mercy for the weak and inferior. He considered feminism, socialism, and democracy to be among the biggest contributors to modern-day evil. 104 H.P. Blavatsky, Secret Doctrine (London, 1888), 22. 105 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 90.106 Dan Burton and David Grandy, Magic, Mystery, and Science: the Occult in Western Civilization, 267.


Women, he thought, were a partic ular problem as they were more prone to bestial lust and as a result they need to be under the aut hority of Aryan husbands to secure the purity of the race. Racial purity could also be ensu red by extermination or castration of inferior races, a line of thinking that reflected Lanz, and many Western thinkers, interest in eugenics. The concepts of racial hygiene and eugenics were popular throughout Western society; however, the aims of Aryan eugeni cists were not the same as those of the movement as a whole. Shelia Faith Weiss describes German eugenics as a sometimes conscious, often unconscious strategy to buttress the supposedly d eclining cultural and political hegemony of Germany and the West through the rational management and control of the reproduct ive capacities of various groups and classes.107 German eugenicists were united in the belief that the survival of the superior German culture depended on the implementation of eugenics The spread and popularization of the eugenics movement in Germany is largely a re sult of a combination of factors including social conflict coming from rapid industriali zation, the traditions of the German medical community, and the popularity of soci al Darwinist theories among German intellectuals.108 The rapid transition from an agricultural society to an industrial society within an authoritarian political system resulted in deep social disruption. Rapid social change combined with political and social immobility led to the rise of the radical labor movement. Labor unrest and growing Marxism resulted in rising fear and anxiety within 107 Shelia Faith Weiss. The Race Hygien e Movement in Germany, 1904-1945 in The Wellborn Science: Eugenics in Germany, France, Brazil, and Russia, ed. Mark B. Adams (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), 11. 108 Ibid.


the German middle-class. The middleand upper classes were also greatly concerned with increasing criminal activity, prostitution, suicides, alcoholism, and were more aware of the existence of the insane or feeble-minded. These mental defectives were singled out as a great financial and social burden falling upon the fragile new Reich. German social scientists debated the dilemma presente d by the new social question and the best ways to integrate the proletariat into the German Reich. Most agreed that a new Sozialpolitik (social policy) was desperately needed to soothe the unrest before the social disorder disturbed the new Reich. To early German eugenicists, the best way to defend against the collapse of the state from social disruption caused by th e increasingly visible numbers of asocial and non-producti ve people was a new form of Sozialpolitik racial hygiene. The leading members of the German racial hygiene movement were also members of the German medical and inte llectual community, which uniquely shaped German eugenics. These medically tr ained, middle classes eugenicists were indoctrinated into the prejudices of the middl e class and the assumptions of the medical community concerning the here dity nature of disease.109 Complicating these assumptions was the belief, widely held by the German medical community, that it was a physicians duty and responsibility to defend the h ealth of the nation. Many young medical professionals of the time were focusing on the idea of heredity, and ra cial hygienists were convinced that many disorders, including mental illnesses, criminal behavior, and feeblemindedness, were hereditary conditions. These eugenicists believed that the best way to guard the health of the state as a whol e was to improve the general level of health of individuals by removing the hereditary likeliness of unwan ted disorders. 109 Ibid.


The eugenics movement gained popula rity in Germany throughout the early twentieth century, with an increasing emphasi s on the social cost and damage caused by the unproductive. Eugenicists during the Weim ar Republic were directly concerned with preventing the decline of the German Volk unlike earlier eugenics advocates who spoke in more theoretical terms.110 Eugenic policies became more important to those with vlkisch ideologies as physicians an d scientists used racial sc ience to support the idea of the dangers that inferior peoples represented to the fatherland. Lanz eagerly used the scientific findings and theories of eugeni cists to support his worldview. Lanz vision called for the widespread use of eugenics in a worldwide apocalyptic battle against the racially inferior people who threatened to degenerate the German race; Lanz ultimate aim was to create an Aryan Pan-German para dise once the danger of the inferior races was eliminated. The bulk of Lanz doctrine was published in 1905 under the title Theozoologie oder die Kunde von den Sodoms-fflingen und dem Gtter-Elektron (Theozoology, or the Science of the Sodomite-A pelings and the Divine Electron). Here Lanz added modern day scientific discoveries to the historical fr amework by claiming that the interstellar higher-beings bred electrically. He also made many shocking claims of a sexual natureinsisting that in antiquity de viant sexual desires were met by love-pygmies bred for such a purpose and capitalizing on the image of white Aryan women being sexually abused by racially inferior ape-men.111 Following the establishment of the List Society in 1908 Lanz became increasingly more involved in the vlkisch community. Lanz publishe d nume Ostara a rous articles in 110 Weiss. The Race Hygiene Movement in Germany 1904-1945.,111 Bradley S. Smith, Adolf Hitler: His Family, Childhood and Youth, (Stanford: The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, 1967), 124.


magazine that would later influence a young A dolf Hitler, to promote and circulate his ideas.112 He corresponded with many vlkisch writers and became involved with the occult and Theosophical subcultures. Within Blavatskys writings he found confirmation of his peculiar vision of the Fall as that of the corruption of man being a result of bestiality and racial impurity. He divided Blavatskys fourth root -race, the Atlanteans, into two different groupsthe pure and the be stial. He also included occult ideas concerning astrology, which he used to predict the coming apocalypse. Like many of Lists ideologies and visions for the future, Lanz ideas can be seen in later Nazi policy, some of which were onl y theoretical and some actualized. Heinrich Himmler imagined Aryan women chosen to be bred like horses in maternity homes, which fell in line with Lanz vision of Aryan women controlled by their husbands for the sake of breeding racially pure children. La nz proposals for ridding Germany of the Jews included plans to ship them to Madagascar, which was briefly considered in the Third Reich, or use as slave labor which would be the fate of many European Jews two decades later; Lanz even proposed that Jews be used as live sacrifices to God. Order of the New Templars: Lanz ideology was largely formed by 1905 but he was still developing the historical basis for his ideol ogy beyond a conflict between the Israelites and Christians. Like List he felt the need to reach back in to the past and provide a connection between himself, his ideologies, and some historical pr ecedent, which is reflected in his desire to cement his identity with the Church and later with the German aristocracy. In List the desire to provide a stronger historical legitimization was manifested in th creation of e 112 Dusty Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult, (New York: Dorest Press, 1977), 18.


fictional connections between secret orga nizations, including his own, and ancient religious bodies of authority. In Lanz this desire is seen in his fictionalized aristocratic ancestry. Obsession with the Knights Templa r fed into his romantic view of the aristocracy and of holy orders, likely motivating his initiation into the Cistercian order. These romantic views were easily reinforced as Richard Wagners operas were reviving interest in the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail across Germany.113 Lanz fancied that the Knights Templar had followed a similar racist doctrine in the Middle Ages to that which he was proposing. The Knights Templar became a historical focal point of Lanz doctrine. He retold the story of the Templars to reframe them as an order fighting for the creation of a greater German state. Lanz also claimed that the Grail was a symbol of Aryan psyc hic powers and the Templars quest for the Grail was a metaphor for eugenic practices m eant to bring about a breed of pure god-like Aryan men. The suppression of the Knights Templar became synonymous with the triumph of the racially inferior, the corrupt ion of pure Aryan culture and the creation of the corrupt modern world. Lanz decided to found an order of his own in honor of the Knights Templar, which he called Ordo Novi Templi, to fight the new crusade. In 1907 Lanz and his friends bought Burg Werfenstein in the Austria town of Mhlviertel to be the hea dquarters of his new order.114 Lanz presented his Order of New Templars as a German mutual-aid society meant to encourage racial consciousness through beauty contests, genealogical resear ch and the creation of Aryan utopias. A number of large and well-publicized festivals were held at Burg Werfenstein. The large attendance and media attention garnered by the Orders festivals contributed to the spread 113 Poliakov, The Aryan Myth, 311.114 Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult, 20.


of vlkisch nationalistic ideas among the German-speaki ng public. It was at this time that Lanz formalized the structure of the Ordo N ovi Templi. He wrote up a document laying out a disciplinary code similar to what might be found amongst other religious orders. The documents described the rituals, right s and duties of the orders members. He also laid out the orders hierarchy, which was divided into seven different orders based on racial purity and seni ority. There were Servers, th e lowest rank, consisting of those who were considered fifty percent or more racially impure or were under twentyfour years of age.115 After Severs there were Familiars, followed by Novices, those who were more than fifty percent racially pure a nd over twenty-four year s old. The superior orders consisted of Masters, fifty to sevent y-five percent racially pure, Canons, who were seventy-five to one hundred percent pure, a nd the two highest ranks the Presbyter and the Prior.116 This hierarchy played a significan t role in the orders rituals and ceremonies, which promoted devotion and commitment to the Order. German defeat in the First World War confirmed Lanz worst fear concerning Jewish corruption. The Habsburg Empire was dissolving and in Carn iola, Bohemia, and Moravia there were riots and revolts in the wake of the empires waning power. Lanz abandoned Vienna and left for Hungary and from the end of the war on his ideology was violently anti-Semitic and based around a belief in a Jewish-Bolshevik-Masonic conspiracy.117 His anti-Semitic and anti-Bolshevist ideologies were further strengthened by involvement in counter-revol utionary activities in Budape st immediately following the war. The ceremonies and rituals of the Orde r became particularly im portant after the war 115 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 11.1117 Ibid, 119.116 Ibid.


when the New Templar doctrine offered a means of fighting the sense of chaos and darkness that seemed to permeate the postwar German society. The Order of New Templars was a product of discontent and anxi ety in German and Austrian society, which was strengthened and validated by defeat in World War One. Lanz goal, expressed through the Order, was salvation and redemption through eugenics and racial cleansing, a goal that struck a chord with much of the German elite. The Germanenorden and the Thule Society: In 1912 two groups were formed in Wilhelmine Germany to promote antiSemitism, vlkisch ideology, anti-socialism, and imperialism among Germans. These groups, the Reichshammerbund and the Germanenorden, were both heavily influenced by Lanz and Lists ideologies, though the German enorden is of more historic importance.118 The Reichshammerbund had a short life and a membership that never grew beyond a few hundred. The Germanenorden was created to be the secret twin organization of the Reichshammerbund, which fed into the long established notion of secret anti-Semitic, Masonic-like organizations that had been spread among vlkisch groups since the early twentieth century. The goal of the Germanenorden was to: stimulate co-operation towards the rebi rth of a racially and morally pure Germandom; a ruthless defence against all enemies; a return to the blond, pure German bonds between woman and ma n; relentless eradication of the Hebrews and nomadic races, of the revol utionary mobs, of the hereditarily defective as well as the spiritually and physically degenerate from the German mass and the Germanic territories. This includes the reattainment and securing of a Germanic mastery over all other races, the pursuit of a spiritual God-Man with a Germanic-b ased world view, [] advancement and ascent of all Germanic comrades in all aspects of life. Pure-bred nations thrive, while racial interb reeding disturbs the harmony between 118 Reginald H. Phelps, Before Hitler Came : Thule Society and Germanen Orden, The Journal of Modern History 35 (1963): 250.


spirit, soul and body, thus giving rise to imbalance and consequently disease and invalidism, degeneration and decline. In the end this will lead to the massification and disfiguration of the human race and ultimatelyto the Jews. As you might assume, a large part of our nations ailments are due to the natural result of racial interbreeding. [] The most intelligent race and the race most capable of de velopment is the northern Germanic Aryan, whose main characteristics in their purest forms distinguish them from all other racesthese characteris tics include: light blond hair, blue eyes, reddish and milky white skin co lour, as well as a tall and superior physique; the Aryans are from the days of old the exclusive founders and bearers of noble morals and high culture. The Germanic race is the ancient, noble master race of humanity which for its natural born merits of true piety, temperament and honour, has been called to lead the human race in light of its righteousness, creativeness and drive.119 The 1916 propaganda flyer perfectly illustra tes the ideological blend of racism, vlkisch nationalism, racial science, and Arya n occultism that permeated nearly all vlkisch and occult organizations in Austria and Ge rman in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many vlkisch nationalists believed in a secret worldwide Jewish conspiracy to destroy the righ teous Aryan society and saw a nother secret organization as the best means to fight off the conspiracy. Germanenorden lodges spread throughout northern and eastern Germany and its membership increased rapidly. A main goal of the Germanenorden was the circulation of vlkisch journals; many of the articles publis hed by the Germanenorden betrayed an Ariosophical leaning. All applicants of pure Germanic decent were eligible to become members of the Order. As one might expect from the rhetoric of the propaganda flyer, the forms potential members filled out aske d detailed questions a bout the color of the applicants hair, eyes, skin, and details concerning the applicants grandparents, parents, 119 Jay Hatheway, The pre-1920 Origins of the National Socialist German Workers Party. Journal of Contemporary History 29, (1994): 453.


and spouse.120 A great importance was placed upon looking like an ideal Aryan and handicapped and unpleasant l ooking people were barred from the Order. The Order also used Ariosophical symbols; the emblem of the Order was a swastika with a cross superimposed on top. The Germanenorden a nd the Thule Society fi rst popularized the swastika, though they were not the first to use it, and it was thr ough those organizations that the National Socialists adopted the symbol.121 The Germanenorden, like many vlkisch occult groups, combined Masonic, racist and Wagnerian ideology, much of which is apparent in thei r rituals and ceremonies. A phrenologist confirmed racial purity of initiates before they were allowed to continue to the next stage of the initiation. The novi ces would be brought to a ceremonial room where the lodge brothers waited dressed in robes and Masonic sa shes. At the back of the room was the grove of the Grail and a piano which was to be accompanied by a choir of forest elves.122 The brothers would sing the chorus from Wagners Tannhuser while the Master would wield Wotans spear. The initiation rituals sought to personify Order officials as Germanic gods and mythic figures. The war was incredibly disruptive to th e Order. Nearly half of the members were called away to war and many were killed in action.123 There was much confusion and dissatisfaction in the Order, and the Ber lin lodge started a se paratist schism. The strange and childish rituals began to annoy and frustrate many members of the disorganized and confused Order. In 1916 Hermann Pohl was removed as Chancellor of 120 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 129.121 Phelps, Before Hitler Came: Thule Society and Germanen Orden, 250.122 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 130.123 Phelps, Before Hitler Came: Thule Society and Germanen Orden, 250.


the Order. The upper-level members were also increasingly paranoid; some insisted that they only be referred to by anonymous runes in any correspondence. The disruption and confusion of the war resulted in the assume d extinction of the Order by 1917. After the armistice the remaining brothers set out to revive the Order, whereupon Rudolf von Sebottendorff became the head of the Order in the Bavarian province.124 After the defeat in war the Germanenorde n became more deeply involved with militant vlkisch groups. The Order became a cover for the recruitm ent of political assassins meant to target public officials of the new German Republic.125 Lorenz Mesch, the leader of the Regensburg Germanenorden, met with Heinrich Schulz and Heinrich Tillessen, who later travelled to Munich and re portedly received instructions from an Order official to assassinate Matthias Erzb erger, the former Finance Minister and armistice signatory.126 They carried out the assassination in May of 1921. The attempted assassination of Maximilian Harden is also connected to the Order. In 1921 the different fractions of the Germanenorden became a single organization, though without the involvemen t of Rudolf von Sebotte ndorff it is unlikely that the Germanenorden would have made such a deep impact on vlkisch ideology and National Socialism. Sebottendorff can be credited with the survival of the Germanenorden, Ariosophy and with creating much of the vlkisch nationalistic environment within which National Socialism thrived. Rudolf von Sebottendorff, like many of the Ario sophists, claimed a fictional tie to nobility. He was born Adam Alfred Rudolf Gl auer but called himself Baron Rudolf von 124 Phelps, Before Hitler Came: Thule Society and Germanen Orden, 251.125 Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult, 7.126 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 133.


Sebottendorff.127 Sebottendorff became involved in vlkisch activities late in the war and joined the Germanenorden in 1916. His involve ment in the Order increased after he met with Hermann Pohl, the future ex-chancellor of the Order. From that point on Sebottendorffs involvement increased; Sebot tendorff organized lectures and group meetings and published a monthly Order periodi cal. In 1917 he became the Master of the Bavarian Order province. He began using th e term Thule Society to mask the Orders meetings as the Germanenorden began to become a cover for radical right-wing activities that were attracting the attention of th e socialists and pro-Republican element.128 In November 1918, at the end of World War On e, there was a bloodless revolution in Bavaria, followed by a revolution in Berlin. Kurt Eisner, a Jewish journalist and the leader of the Independent Social Democrats in Munich, declared a Socialist Republic in the wake of post-war domestic collapse. As far as the Thule Society was concerned, the vlkisch fatherland was in ruins and Germany had been taken over by Jewish socialists. Members of the Thule Society hoped to keep the vlkisch nationalist ideology alive in the atmosphere of confusion, fear, and revolution that comprised post-war Germ any. Sebottendorff gave a speech to the Thule Society, which displayed a combina tion of anti-Semitic, monarchical, and Ariosophical notions. Sebottendor ff declared to the Society: Wir erlebten gestern den Zusammenbru ch alles dessen, was uns vertraut, was uns lieb und wert war. An stelle unserer blutsverwandten Frsten herrscht unser Todfeind: Juda. Was sich aus dem Chaos entwickeln wird, wissen wir noch nicht. Wir knnen es ahnen. Eine Zeit wird kommen des Kampfes, der bittersten Not, eine Zeit der Gefahr!... So lange ich hier den eisernen Hammer halte, bin ich gewillt die Thule in diesen Kampf einzusetzen!... Unser Orden ist ei n Germanenorden, Germanisch ist die Treue. Unser Gott ist Walvater, se ine Rune ist die Aarrune. Und die 127 Phelps, Before Hitler Came: Thule Society and Germanen Orden, 246.128 Phelps, Before Hitler Came: Thule Society and Germanen Orden, 251.


Dreiheit: Wodan, Wili, We ist die Einheit der Dreiheit Die Aarrune bedeute Arier, Urfeuer, Sonne, Adler. Und der Adler ist das Symbol der Arier. Um die Fhigkeit der Selbst verbrennung des Adlers zu bezeichnen, wurde er rot ausgefhrt von heut ab ist der rote Adker unser Symbol, er soll uns mahnen, dass wir durch den Tod gehen mssen, um leben zu knnen.129 [Yesterday we experienced the collapse of everything which was familiar, dear and valuable to us. In the place of our princes of Germanic blood rules our deadly enemy: Judah. What will co me of this chaos, we do not know yet. But we can guess. A time will come of struggle, the most bitter need, a time of dangerAs long as I hold th e iron hammer, I am determined to pledge the Thule to this struggle. Our Order is a Germanic Order, loyalty is also Germanic. Our god is Walvater, his rune is the Ar-rune. And the trinity: Wotan, Wili, We is the unity of the trinity. The Ar-rune signifies Aryan, primal fire, the sun and eagle. And the eagle is th e symbol of the Aryans. In order to depict the eagle s capacity for self-immolation by fire, it is colored red. From today our sym bol is the red eagle, which warns us that we must die in order to live.]130 Sebottendorff and his followers became i nvolved in the counterrevolution, even attempting a failed assassination and kidnappi ng of Eisner and participating in the unsuccessful Palm Sunday Putsch on April 13. 131 On April 26 Thule headquarters in Munich were raided and seven members arrested and executed by Red troops on April 30.132 After this event Sebottendorff was c onvinced that the execution of the Thule members was an act of revenge by Jewish s oviet leaders and his anti-Jewish rhetoric became more impassioned. Sebottendorffs vlkisch nationalistic anti-Semitism was very much in line with the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, the Deutschsoz ialistische Partei a nd predated and likely helped to form Hitlers Nationalsozialistisch e Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), if only 129 Rudolf von Sebottendorff, Bevor Hitler kam Urkundliches aus der Frhzeit der nationalsozialistischen Bewegung, second edition (Munich, 1934).130 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 145.131 Hatheway, The pre-1920 Origins of the Nati onal Socialist German Workers Party. 454.132 Phelps, Before Hitler Came: Thule Society and Germanen Orden, 253.


in a minor way. This is most prevalent wh en examining the journalistic basis for the Nazi Party. Sebottendorff bought a w eekly paper, which he named Mnchener Beobachter und Sportblatt. The anti-Semitic paper was gradually bought up by the National Socialist Party. Th e Thule Society hosted Gottfried Feder, Rudolf Hess, Alfred Rosenberg and Dietrich Eckart, all future prominent members of the Nazi Party, at Thule headquarters in the Hotel Vierjahreszeiten.133 In addition to Pan-Germanism and antiSemitism Sebottendorff promoted Ariosophy and sought to spread it among the working classes and labor parties, in cluding the National Socialist German Workers Party, though the NSDAP was an organization for extr eme nationalism and focused less on Aryan occultism. There are a number of connec tions between the Thule Society and National Socialism and, while they might not have been as prevalent as Sebottendorff would like to claim, the Thule Society can be credited with aiding in the foundation of National Socialism.134 Sebottendorff, to some degree, can be credited with in troducing the Nazi Party to Ariosophy. List, Lanz and Sebotte ndorff, through their or ganizations, created and established the ideo logies, attitudes, ritu als and symbols that were the basis for the Nazi Party. It is from them that the Nazi Party incorporated an o ccult element, though to what degree the Nazis were involved w ith the occult is debatable. 133 Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult, 6. 134 Bernard Mees, Hitler and Germantum, Journal of Contemporary History 33 (2004): 255.


Chapter IV: Occultism under the Third Reich National Socialism and the Occult: There has been much debate as to the exte nt of Hitlers involvement in the occult. Much of this debate is a result of propaganda spread by the victorious Allies or by German nationalistic occultists or, more recently, by pop culture sensationalist novels. The most concrete connection between Nati onal Socialism and the occult comes through Karl Maria Wiligut by way of Heinrich Himmler. The influence the Ariosophists may have had is more subtle. Defeat in the First World War aided the spread of occultism among German nationalists. Rightand left-w ing political extremists arose within the Weimar Republic. Political violence erupted between right-wing paramilitary groups and communists. Four years of seemingly pointless loss of lives and re sources struck harder as a result of the unexpected defeat and armistice and the resu lting anger and confus ion bred violence. Though the Weimar Republic was not just an age of violence; from the chaos emerged the age of cabaret, quantum mechanics, avant-garde theater, Bauhaus and Dada.135 Wilhelmine Germany was destroyed, the Kaiser had abdicated and unknown politicians created a parliamentary democracy that was distrusted by many Germans and was thought to be a product of the victors. W eakness of democracy and the previous swift 135 Jonathan Osmond, German Modern ism and Anti-Modernism. Weimar, The Burlington Magazine, 141 (1999): 575.


industrialization led to the conservative revolution. The leading figures of the conservative revolution and of National Socialism were born between 1885 and 1895 and their formative years took place during the Great War. The war had taught these young men contempt for bourgeois society, accustomed them to violence, and gave them a sense of community that they yearned for after the war. The German romantic tradition degenerated the role of reason in politics and the romantics born into these circumstances utilized the ethics of ultimate ends rather than ethics of responsibility. It was this irresponsible romanticism that led the conservative revolutionaries to destroy the Weimar democracy without considering the conseque nces. These right-wing intellectuals advocated a kind of amoral aestheticismthe idea of beyond good and evil and it was these intellectuals who created an irrationalist and nihilist atmosphere within German culture.136 Oswald Spengler was an anti-intelle ctual intellectual and one of the conservative thinkers who came of age in this period. Spengler theorized that Christianity had a feminizing impact on Germ an culture and equate d good with power and bad with powerlessness rather than w ith traditional concepts of morality. He thought that the conflict betw een culture and civilization could be overcome through nationalist mobilization and beli eved, along with increasing nu mbers of thinkers of the interwar era, that the rejection of rationalis m was a true representation of modernism. Spengler advocated traditional agrarian aristocracy, Prussian militarism, and traditional values of patriarchy and family. He also fe lt that money was a dest ructive, materialistic 136 Jeffery Herf, Reactionary Modernism: technology, cu lture, and politics in Weimar and the Third Reich (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 266.


force whereas war was the creator of all gr eat things. He linked technology to the romantic and irrationalist tradit ions to will, struggle, gestalt, soul, destiny, and blood. Post Word War One Germany was rife with civil war, uprisings and economic hardship. Amidst these wretched conditi ons many Germans became obsessed with myths and ideologies that preached of Germanys salvation and restoration. Many times these rising occult beliefs were w ildly irrational, as demonstrated by Konrad Heiden: The best of them [Germans] found refuge from the desp air of their daily life in a perverse fanaticismcalle d the mysticism of a political movement. Germany was the perfect place for this development. In almost no other country were so many miracles performed, so many horoscopes read, between the two World wars. A veritabl e mania of superstition had seized the country. General Ludendorff, who had commanded the German armies in World War I, tried to ma ke gold with the assistance of a swindler. There was scarcely a folly in natural or world history to which the great general did not lend cred ence; when the German Republichad the barriers of the railway painted red and white for better visibility, Ludendorff declared that the Jews in the government were doing this because Moses had led the Jews th rough the desert under these colors. Another high-ranking general was c onvinced that he possessed the secret of the death ray and that he could ha lt airplanes in their flight and stop tanks in their tracks. A steamship company dismissed its managing director because his handwriting had displeased a graphologist. Motorists avoided a certain road between Hamburg and Bremen because, it was rumored, from milestone 113 there emanated certain mysterious terrestrial rays, which provoked on e accident after another. A miracle worker, who had the faculty of making the dead Bismarck appear during his mass meetings and who healed the sick by application of white cheese, had enough followers to establish a city; another crac kpot was almost elected to the Reichstag; and still a third, who also barely missed election, promised to perform the greatest miracle of all by undoing the German inflation that had depreciated the mark to the value of one trillion paper marks for one gold mark. Among Hitlers intimates was a ma n on whose visiting card appeared the word magician to indicate his professionand he meant it in all seriousness. Many were convinced that the course of world history was the sinister result of the mini strations of ancient secret societiesas such they considered not only the Free Masons, but also Jews and the Jesuits.137 137 Konrad Heiden, Forward to Felix Kersten, The Memoirs of Dr. Felix Kersten, (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1992), 5.


The same conditions and atmosphere that allowed for the belief in the healing power of white cheese also created the vlkisch groups that arose to oppose the forces they felt were destroying Germany: Jews, communists and Freemas ons. Conservatives demanded a new feudal order and German youths joined leagues that promoted nationalism. During this time Guido von Lists ideas gained popul arity within the post-war vlkisch community. The Ariosophists, Armanists and rune occultists all conformed to a certain basic doctrine that emphasized the existence of superhuman Aryan ancestors that brought wisdom and power to the ancient Ge rmanic people but who were overcome by a hostile, foreign culture. These Aryan ancestors were said to have hidden their knowledge within runes and myths, which thei r spiritual heirs could decipher.138 List, Lanz and Sebottendorff used this doctrine and the prom ise of uncovering hidden knowledge to gain followers. These were the people who create d the mythological mood that aided Hitler and the Nazi Party. Karl Maria Wiligut was one of the only occu ltists able to directly influence those in positions of political power. Wiligut, a favorite of Reichsfhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, was asked to work on prehistorical research fo r the SS in the 1930s. Wiligut designed the Totenkopfring insignia worn by the members of th e SS as well as other ceremonial designs meant to depict the racial and elitis t ideology of the SS. For his efforts Wiligut was personally recommended for promotion by Himmler and it was through Himmler and the SS that Wiligut wielded his influence. 138 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 177.


Karl Maria Wiligut was born in Vienna in 1866 and made his career in the Austrian military, from which he retired as a colonel following th e First World War and Austrias collapse. Befo re the war Wiligut wrote Seyfrieds Runen, a nationalistic, epic poem addressing the legend of King Seyfried of Rabenstein and cont ained other legends surrounding the March on the Austrian-Moravian border.139 He also wrote of the Germanic origins of certain place-names, much as Guido von List had done. Around the same time Wiligut was introduced to the Vie nnese esotericists to members of Lanz Ordo Novi Templi. Early twentieth-century Vie nna was ripe with nationalistic occultist activity, mostly through the influence of List and Lanz, and it was there that Wiligut became immersed in studying esotericism. In the 1920s he became involved in political matters and sought to expose the conspiracies of the Jews, Freemasons and Catholics. Wiligut built a reputation among vlkisch groups as being descended from a long line of German sages, from which Wiligut claimed to have received an cestral clairvoyant memories.140 Through these clairvoyant memories Wiligut claimed to know the military organization and religious beliefs of the an cient Germans, and what he described was quite similar to Lists writings and descriptions In Wiliguts versi on of history the Bible was originally written in Germany and Krist (Christ) was a Germanic god that was later incorporated into Christianity. Wiligut invented an elaborate ancestral pa st for himself in which his ancestors, descended from gods, saved and ruled over the ancient Germanic world but were driven out by Charlemagnes vicious persecution of the German pagans. Wiliguts ancestors fled to Russia where they founded a Gothic empire, which was subsequently destroyed 139 Stephen Flowers, The Secret King (Los Angeles: Feral House, 2007), 45.140 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 179.


and erased from histor y by Russian Christians.141 Wiliguts ancestral myth was quite convenient, considering the anti-French a nd anti-Russian sentiments prevalent in Germany. Wiligut was also convinced that he was the victim of the age-old persecution of his family and that the perpetrators we re Jews, Freemasons and Catholics, who were also responsible for the loss of the war and the collapse of the Habsburg Empire. Wiligut essentially considered himself to be a victim of Germanys worst enemies. Wiligut also claimed that his grandfather had taught him th e language of the runes and that his father handed down to him family secrets, includ ing nine pagan commandments. It is a common theme among occultists, including List a nd Lanz, to claim a secret legacy dating back to pre-Christian times in an effo rt to claim an unbroken, legitimate line of knowledge and practice of anci ent secrets and rites. To spread his ideas Wiligut founded an anti-Semitic league and published a newspaper that addressed occultist, vlkisch and anti-Semitic topics. At the same time Wiliguts marriage was becoming turbulent and in 1924 his wife had him forcibly committed to an insane asylum, which declar ed him to be a schizophrenic megalomaniac with paranoid delusions. He remained in the asylum until his release in 1927 though Wiligut continued to correspond with fellow o ccultists throughout his confinement. These correspondents included members of the Order of New Templars and members of the Edda Society such as Emil Rduger, Fr iedrich Schiller and Richard Anders, all members of occult societies.142 With their aid he was able to return to his occult activities upon his release. In 1932 Wiligut emigrated to Germany and became popular among the rune occultists there. Wiligut along with many others, saw similarities 142 Flowers, The Secret King, 47.141 Ibid, 182.


between his mythology and the hopes of the 1933 Nazi revolution. Among those that saw the similarities was an old friend of Wiliguts who was a member of the SS and proceeded to introduce Wiligut to Heinrich Himmler, who was impressed by the old mystics clairvoyant memories. Heinrich Himmler was a leading member of the Nazi Party, the Reichsfhrer-SS and a military commander. Himmler was one of Hitlers most trusted advisors and was the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany. In addition to all of this Himmler was perhaps the Nazi official most drawn to the occult. He felt that he was the reincarnation of the medieval king Heinrich, providing hi m with a spiritual connection to the prehistoric Aryan world.143 Himmler also felt that Germa ny was in a state of spiritual longing and that Christianity was foreign to Germany and obsolete. Germanic paganism appealed to him as the solution for Germanys spiritual longing and Wiliguts claim to be the ancestor of an ancient Germanic religious leader fed into Himmlers desire for the resurrection of an ancient Aryan religion and culture. Wiligut joined the SS and became the head of the Department for Preand Ea rly History, which was part of the Race and Settlement Main Office.144 Here he wrote more about his ancestral memories and began to build a relationship with Himmler, to whom he sent copies of his work, including his nine pagan commandments and mythological poetry. Wiliguts close relationship with Himmler caused him to be quickly promoted through the ranks of the SS. In 1934 Wiligut introduced Himmler to Gnther Kirchoff, who wrote about Germanic prehistory and incorporated Lists Armanenschaft and etymology into his theories. Himmler continued to support Wili guts and Kirchoffs occultist theories even 143 Dan Burton and David Grandy, Magic, Mystery, and Science: the Occult in Western Civilization, 265. 144 Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern 215.


against evidence presented by his academic staf f in the Ahnenerbe. Wiliguts influence led Himmler to purchase Wewelsburg, a castl e near Paderborn in current-day North Rhine-Westphalia where the Irminsul, an important Germanic pagan site, was supposedly located. Wiligut claimed that the castle w ould one day be a German stronghold in a great conflict between Europe and Asia. Himmler turned the castle into a museum and a college to aid in the ideologica l education of SS officers. In addition to the selection of the castle Wiligut played a prominent role in creating the rituals of the SS. These rituals included pagan wedding ceremonies for SS offi cers, where Wiligut officiated over the ceremony with an ivory stick carved with runes and wrapped with a blue ribbon, and festivals for solstice, harvest and spring that were attended by SS personnel and the local villagers. Wiligut also desi gned the SS insignia, the death s head ring, which includes a skull, swastika and a grouping of runes. Wiligut continued to be promoted through the ranks of the SS and made plans to promote the reemergence of the ancient Germanic religion but in 1939 Wiligut retired for reasons that are unclear, though it may be related to his fai ling health or possibly the embarrassing information concerning his institutionalization was leaked. Whatever the reason, the SS continued to look after Wiligut throughout his retirement but the last years of his life were spent wandering about war torn Germany. Wiligut spent the last years of the war in Austria, where English occupiers a ssigned him to a refugee camp near Velden. There he suffered a stroke that left him una ble to speak. His SS-assigned caretaker, Elsa Baltrusch, was permitted to take him from the camp and Wiligut, exhausted from the journey, died in 1946 at Ba ltruschs family home at Arolsen in Germany.145 145 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 191.


Figure 4.1 Map of Germany146 147 146 Map of contemporary Germany.


Himmler had a habit of collecting mys tics around him, some of them willing acquisitions and some of more forcibly obt ained. In the 1920s Himmler consulted Felix Kersten, a massage therapist who subscribed to Eastern alternative medicines. Himmler suffered from intestinal spasms, which were relieved by Kerstens treatment.148 Despite being Finnish Kersten was forced into be ing Himmlers personal doctor once the war started. Kersten later publis hed an account of his time sp ent with Himmler, including their conversations on astrology, reincarnation and Eastern re ligions. Wilhelm Wulff, much like Kersten, was forced into Himmlers service and later published an account of his time with Himmler. Wulff was an astrologer who was arrested following the crackdown on astrologers due to Nazi Part y deputy Rudolf Hesss astrology induced flight to Scotland. He was released after agreeing to work for Himmler.149 Himmlers dependence on Wiligut, Kersten and Wulff demonstrate that the occult did have an impact on the upper ranks of the N azi party but there is little evidence that these occultists had any true effect on impor tant Nazi policy or political decisions. Hitler and the Occult: Much of the speculation that Hitler and N azism were linked with the occult is a result of Allied wartime propaganda and post-war mythmakers.150 It is known that Hitler read Lanz Ostara and Lanz certainly claimed him as a disciple, writing to another occultist that: Hitler is one of our pupils. You will one day experience that he, and 147 Robert A. Walker, Map of Germany 2002: Ibid, 216. 148 Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern, 214.150 Flowers, The Secret King 21.


through him we, will one day be victorious and develop a movement that makes the world tremble,151 but the extent to which any of the occultist influenced Hitler or National Socialism is highly debatable. Members of the National Socialist German Workers Party were involved with Sebo ttendorffs Thule Society but there is no evidence that they practiced occult rituals and beliefs. The sponsors, newspapers and symbols of the Nazi Party can be traced to the Thule Society, the Germanenorden and ultimately to Guido von List, and much of th e SS tradition can be traced to Himmlers patronage of Wiligut. Most of the occult figures connected to Hitler (List, Lanz and Sebottendorff) were also highly active in the Pan-German and vlkisch communities of the late nineteenth century al ong with many of the future members of the Nazi Party. Rumors, mostly false, were spread after the war concerning Nazi occult sciences. There were claims that the Nazis were trying to build flying saucers or that they were involved with astrology. These rumors were popul ar despite the fact th at, in the words of Walter Lacquer: The Nazis took a dim view of astrology, which was suspected both for its Oriental origins and its universalist character; horoscopes that did not differentiate between Aryans and nonAryans, between higher and inferior races, could not possibly be accepted. Neither Hitler nor Goebbels, contrary to widespread belief, took astrology seriously, and its only use was in German psychological warf are. A suitably edited version of Nostradamus prophecies was publishe d, proving that Germany was to win the war.152 Himmler, on the other hand, did consult an astrologer when German victory began to look less certain. The Nazi Pa rtys attitude towards astrology reflects its involvement with most of the occult; generally the Nazis sought to cu rtail occult activity 151 Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult 21. ,152 Walter Lacquer, Foreword to Wilhelm Wulff, Zodiac and Swastika (New York: Coward, McCann and Geoghegan, 1973), 6.


and it is only among certain individuals, such as Himmler and Rudolf Hess, that one finds support for the occult and other esoteric activ ity. Some interpret the Nazis attempt to eradicate occultism and esoteric groups as an attempt to destroy the abhorrent, irrational practice while others consider it to be evidence that the Na zis took the occult seriously. In fact, Himmler did declare: For us politics meansthe elimina tion of all forces except those serving the one constructive idea. In the Third Reich we have to forbid astrology.We cannot permit any astrologers to follow their calling exce pt those who are working for us. In the National Socialist state astrology must remain a privilegium singulorum It is not for the broad masses.153 Because of the propaganda, spread by both the Allies and by Nazis and Nazi supporters, before and after the war, it become s a difficult task to separate fact from legend when considering Hitlers connection to the occult. Adolf Hitler was born in a town on the Austrian-Bavarian border to a father who was an imperial customs officer. His Catholic upbringing may have unintentionally made Ariosophys dualist-millenarian ideas concerning good and evil particularly appealing to Hitler,154 and in fact Hitler had a hosti le relationship with Catholicism throughout his Chancellorship,155 largely due to Hitlers pol icies and racial doctrines concerning eugenics and euthan asia and, on a more fundamental level, both the Catholic Church and Hitler demanded the entirety of a person, leaving nothing left for devotion to a competing force. 153 Wilhelm Wulff, Zodiac and Swastika (New York: Coward, McCann and Geoghegan, 1973), 34.154 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 193. 155 Ian Kershaw, Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich: Bavaria 1933-1945 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983), 185.


It was at the turn of the century in Linz that Hitler encountered Pan-Germanism and nationalism as Linz was troubled by th e growing Czech immigrant population in the Austrian-German town. Hitler, through his schooling, became enchanted by the idea of Germany and of the Volk and this introduced him to the Manichaean and millenarian views that would be found later in Lists and Lanz writings. It wa s here in Linz that Hitler saw his first Wagnerian opera, whic h the young Hitler found to be a near-religious experience.156 Wagners operas awoke in Hitler a romantic longing for the world of the ancient Germanic heroes described in the operas. Wagner set a musical stage that embodied Hitlers longings, hates, hopes and fears.157 Hitler moved to the multi-racial city of Vienna, which was full of urban slums, soup kitchens and Jews in strange dress, all of which represented a great contrast to the pure mother Germany Hitler longed for. Th is view made Hitler receptive to Lanz Ostera in which Lanz wrote about the dualism of blond and dark races, heroes and submen, Aryans and Apelings. Hitler sought out List to obtain back issues of Ostara, which Lanz provided free of charge.158 The ideologies presented in Ostara were ones that would later be reflected in Nazi ideology but ultimately Lanz was an oracle, not a political leader, and while Lanz may have given Hitler a few ideas, his real significance to Hitler and National Socialism is ha ving introduced a young Hitler to Germanic theorists and mystics such as Guido von List. There are many aspects of Lanz ideol ogy with which Hitler would not have agreed. Lanz doctrine was laced with Ca tholic liturgy, which Hitler, despite his upbringing, would have found repugnant. Lanz wished to see the Aryan nation ruled by 156 Smith, Adolf Hitler: His Family, Childhood and Youth, 103.158 Smith, Adolf Hitler: His Family, Childhood and Youth, 125.157 Robert L. Jacobs, Wagners Influence on Hitler, Music and Letters, 22 (1941): 82.


the Habsburgs, while Hitler despised the ruling dynasty. When Hitler came to power Lanz was barred from publishing and his organizations were di ssolved. This was partly a result of Nazi policy to disso lve all occult, secret or esot eric groups but it may also be that Hitler did not wish there to be a ny connection between his ideas and Lanz doctrines.159 If it is indeed true that Hitler wa s influenced by Lanz, which the evidence implies to a certain extent, he never acknowledged it and ne ver mentioned Lanz in any speech or writing. It is unlikel y that Hitler would ever admit that the original inspiration for his ideology came from an old Viennese my stic. Despite Hitlers attempt to erase his earlier influences Lanz ideologies and doctrines can been seen in Hitlers writings, especially in Mein Kampf : By defending myself against the Je w, I am fighting for the handiwork of the Lord.This Jewification of our spiritual life and mammonization of our mating instinct will sooner or later destroy out entire offspring. Blood sin and desecration of the ra ce and the original sin in this world and the end of humanity w ith surrenders to it. With satanic joy in his face, the black-haired Jewish youth lurks in wait for the unsuspecting girl whom he de files with his blood, thus stealing her from her own people. With every mean s he tries to destroy the racial foundations of the people he has set out to subject. Just as he himself systematically ruins women and girls, he does not shrink back from pulling down the blood barriers for others even on a large scale. It was and it is the Jews who bring the Negr oes into the Rhineland, always with the same secret thought and clear aim of ruining the hated white race, by the necessarily resulting bastardizatio n, throwing it down from its cultural and political height, and himsel f rising to be its master.160 In this passage Hitler demonstrates the same paranoid, sex-crazed imaginings that Lanz was so fond of as well as the same raci al characterization and fear that the Jews were damaging to the German spirit. lt,160 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 46.159 Sklar, The Nazis and the Occu 21.


There is less evidence to support any dire ct connection betwee n Hitler and List. Lists political thought would have appealed to Hitler; List was anti -Czech, anti-feminist, anti-democracy and anti-Jewish, all of which Hitler would have appreciated.161 List, like Lanz, divided the world into Aryans and nonAryans, masters and slaves. List also encouraged a hierarchy that was used by vlkisch leagues, and later by the Nazi Party and the government of the Third Reich. On the other hand, Hitler had little interest in folklore, ancient customs or heraldry. As with Lanz Hitler would have been drawn to his dualistic racism but Hitler seemed to find lit tle appealing in occult traditions. In particular, Hitler had no true interest in the Germanic neopagan aspect of Lists and other vlkisch occultists ideologies. In fact, Hitl er contemptuously referred to mystical, occultist thinkers as deutsch-vlkisch wandering scholars.162 While Himmler was supportive of the Ariosophists vision of a Germanic religion, Hitler had little time or interest in the imaginings of the Germanic religionists.163 While Hitler wished to support a stronger sense of German identity, he did not wish to alienate the great Christian major ity by encouraging the im plementation of a neopagan religion, especially considering the hos tile relationship between the Nazi Regime and the Catholic Church.164 Hitler had to battle the sentiment that the Nazi Party, and particularly the Hitler Youth and the SS, was anti-Christian. In 1934 the Catholic leadership in Bavaria capitalized on what they considered to be N azisms heathenistic, anti-Christianity when a Nazi District Leader ordered that a large crucifix atop a hillside in a Bavarian town be replaced with a Thingsplat a pagan Teutonic assembly place 161 Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, 200. 162 Hitler, Mein Kampf, 312.163 Mees, Hitler and Germanentum, 267.164 Kershaw, Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich: Bavaria 1933-1945 191.


related to sun-worship.165 Hitler found old Germanic relig iosity to be more dangerous than beneficial when considering the offen ce it caused to the Christian majority. While there were certain affinities between the occult and Nazis, there was never any political alliance between the Nazi state and the occultists. One of the connections between Nazis and occultism comes in the form of alternative medicines. Adolf Hitler was terrified of getting cancer and had the Chancellery examined for potential cancer inducing earth rays. Despite this odd instance, Hitler, for the most part, despised the mystical aspects of occultism, feelings that were intensified following an incident with one of his most trusted cohorts. Rudolf Hess, the deputy leader of the Nazi Party, along with Heinrich Himmler, was one of the two most prominent and high-ranking occultists within the Nazi party. Hess was a supporter of naturopat hy and had a magnet suspended over his bed in order to deflect harmful radiation. At the in fluence of his occult advisors, Hess parachuted into Great Britain with th e intent of ending the war on the western front.166 The ill-advised action caused a public re lations disaster at home and Hitler was furious with both Hess and the astrologers w ho had led him to commit such an asinine action. The Nazi regime generally viewed occultism as a dangerous, misleading force that the public needed to be protected from, but they also feared the independence occultism promoted and felt that it was an ideological threat.167 As a result the state was increasingly hostile towards occult organizations and Hitlers personal anger towards Hess only fueled the anti-occult sentiments. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Partys propagandist, was one of the party leaders most hostile to the occult. Goebbels referred 165 Ibid, 195.167Ibid, 211.166Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern, 212.


to Hess flight to Britain as: a tragic comedy [about which] one could simultaneously laugh and cry. The whole thing arose from th e atmosphere of his faith healing and grass eating. A thoroughly pathological affair.168 Goebbels used the affair to crack down on occultism. The tides that had once c ontributed to the creation of the occult milieu and later created National Socialism were now turning against the occult. Certain vlkisch leaders in earlier de cades had sought to Germanize Christianity, or to replace it all together with a Germanic neo-pagan religion and to those aims some vlkisch theorists felt that the occult was a useful tool. Others did not. It was these critics that would inspire th e Nazi regimes oppression of the occult movement and its practitioners. Some leaders of the vlkisch movement considered occultists no different from the Freemasons, who were considered a dangerous secret organization that encouraged the kind of universal thinking that promoted Jewish emancipation. In 1939 the Reichssicherheitshauptamt was established and began monitoring occult activity. The RSHA classified certain German groups as sectarians, including Mormons, Christian Scientists, Methodists, Baptists, Quakers, Seventh Day Adventists, and Jehovahs Witnesses, who were classified as religious sects. Occultists who followed Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Rosicrucianism, Ar iosophy and astrology were considered to be members of worldview sects.169 These sects were consid ered to promote disunity in the Reich and after the outbreak of war th e crackdown on occultist groups intensified. Occult publications became illegal, and soon any occult activity became illegal. By 1941, prompted by Hess embarrassing trip to Scotland, police acti on against occultists 168 Joseph Goebbles, Die Tagebcher von Joseph Goebbles, 1, 1940-1941 ed. Elke Frhlich (Munich: K.G. Sauer, 1998), 310. Translation by Goodrick-Clarke. 169 Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern, 221.


increased. The movement to suppress the occult was done with little public attention, as the state did not wish to encourage any interest in occult activity. Some Nazi officials, like Himmler and Hess, dabbled in the occult, though their private activities concerning the occult seem to have had little impact on the official policies of the Third Reich. Most of the conj ecture that Hitler and the occult were deeply linked is little more than rumor perpetrated by the Allies and later by pop culture writers. Generally, the Nazi Regime was incredibly host ile towards the occult and occultists faced prison sentences, confinement to concentration camps or death. Hitler felt that occultism represented an ideological danger to the Third Reich and as such it needed to be stamped out.


Epilogue: Contemporary Society and the Pagan Revival: The suppression of esoteric movements by the Third Reich saw the end of the German occult revival in the 1940s, but since the 1970s a new movement has awakened, this time a Germanic neo-pagan movement. Germanic neo-paganism is a broader movement when compared to the turn of the century German occult revival, concentrated not just in Germany, but also in much of northern Europe, North Am erica, South Africa and Australia. The Western world is facing a demographic shift as the population of the industrializing world dramati cally increases due to better sanitation and medicine, resulting in major population flows of immigr ants, workers and refugees migrating to lands traditionally settled by white Europeans.170 The issues of white identity faced by the United States and much of Europe refl ects the conflict faced by ethnic Germans in Austria during the nineteenth century who feared for their racial and cultural dominance in the Habsburg Empire. Aryan cults and Germanic paganism emerged within Western contemporary society due to individuals fear of lost status and identity in an increasingly multicultural society. 170 Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity (New York: New York University Press, 2002), 2.


The most prominent of the racial pagan movements, the Odinists, rejects Christianity as a Jewish pr oduct and instead invokes the gods of the Teutonic and Norse pantheons. Festivals, rituals and customs of the ancient Germanic people are used to break with the Christian trad ition, which they feel is an alien oppressing force imposing its rule on naturally pagan peoples for tw o thousand years. Devotees of Odinism embrace an ideology with a basis in National Socialism and white supremacism.171 Odinists and other racist pagans make up only a small group of the neo-pagan movement, which is only one of the three br oad categories of new religious movements, including New Age spiritualism (sects and cults), which possess doctrines and a structured hierarchical system, and pagan groups, which seek to recreate pre-modern pagan traditions. These groups may overlap or contain similar elements. New Age groups might organize and become sects a nd pagan groups might appropriate many New Age elements. Pagan groups tend to be less organized than other religious groups and do not have an orthodox uniformity of belief. Local pagan communities can form more global tribes or imaginary communities that transcend borders. This can cause problems among racist pagans w ho link ethnicity to spiritual ity, as is seen in Aryan paganism, which has a large Ariosophical el ement that considers the Aryan race to be divine and spiritually su perior to other races. Odinism finds its root in ninete enth century Germany within the vlkisch nationalist milieu. Folklorists of the ninet eenth century wrote about Odin, Donar and Thor and praised Germanic heroism, honor and defiance as contrasted to the humility, shame and repentance of Christianity. Gu ido von List wrote about ancient Norse sagas 171 Betty A. Dobratz, The Role of Religion in the Collective Identity of the White Racialist Movement, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 49 (2001): 291.


and the Wotan priesthood, which he revived in the form of the Hi gh Armanist Order. Solstice festivals and rituals were popular among some German youth groups in 1920s. The modern racists pagan revival began with the establishment of the Odinist Fellowship in 1969, which relied heavily on Alexander Rud Mills, whose writings deeply influenced the neo-Nazi character of Odinism.172 Mills writings described how the Nordic races built the great civilizations in Rome, Greece, Egypt, Sumer and Persia and it was the Jews and their idea of a transcendent God that led to the Christian idea of the equality of man, weakening the Nordic civilizations. Mills was unsuccessful when trying to start his own Odinist religion but he influenced Else Christensens Odinist Fellowship. Mills writings were combined with those of Francis Parker Yockey, who argued th at cultures went thr ough cyclical phases of birth, growth, fulfillment and death and that each culture has a soul that determines that cultures art, sciences, moral ity and religion. Yockey believ ed that Western civilization was coming to fulfillment and that the white race would come to dominance if they could eliminate the threat of the black and Asia n races that were undermining and polluting Western society. Yockey identified the Jews as the most impending threat to the West and saw the defeat of the Axis as a great loss to the revival of Western civilization.173 Christensen believed that Yockeys predicti on of cultural degenera tion as a result of Christianity, communism and capitalism could be remedied by Mills Norse paganism. Much like the German vlkisch occultists of the nineteenth century current day racist neo-paganism functions under the beli ef that there is some organic connection between biology and spirituality. Aryans are biologically linked to the gods and 172 Peter Henderson, Frank Browne and the Neo Nazis, Labour History 89 (2005): 75.173 Goodrick-Clarke, Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity, 260.


goddesses; blood carries the memories of the ancient past and the Volk are subconsciously spiritually linked, making the source of Odinism biological. The racist pagan movement denounces Christianity as unnatural and anti-white, just as the German occultists felt that the Christianity was foreign and anti-German. European, American and Australian racist, nationalist, Aryan re volutionaries have reacted radically to globalization.174 These racist nationalists view gl obalization as a homogenizing process brought on by a secret organization of Jews known as the Zionist Occupational Government who seek to exterminate the Arya n race. With regards to globalization the racist pagan milieu of the late twentieth centu ry and early twenty-first century parallels that of the German occultists of the late nineteenth century who were reacting against modernism, industrialization, pos itivism, and urbanism by idealizing ancient traditions, magic, secret organizations, primitivism, occultism and paganism. The philosophers and thinkers of the nineteenth century, List, Wagner, Blavatsky, may have died nearly a century ago but all have a heavy influence on the current pagan revival and the ideology of racist pagans more specifically. 174 Mattias Gardell, Gods of the Blood: the pagan revival and white separatism, (London: Duke University Press, 2003), 11.


Conclusion: Behold, we know what you teach: that all things recur eternally, and we ourselves too; and that we have already existed an eternal number of times, and all things with us. You teach that there is a great year of becoming, a monster of a great year; which must, like an hourglass, turn over again and again so that it may run down and run out again; and all these years are alike in what is greatest as in what is smallest; and we ourselves are alike in every great year, in what is greatest as in what is smallest.175 -Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra The ideologies of the vlkisch occultists did not end with the Third Reich. They are alive within modern racist, nationalis t movements that were born from similar situations from which the nineteenth century German occult revival emerged. The occult is born anew with every cycle of societal disturbance. Fear and dissatisfaction felt by Germans in the nineteenth centu ry resulted in the longing for a return to what was seen as a purer, righteous, more traditional way of life in the face of modern urbanization, industrialization and sou llessness. While social disorder has led to occult revivals in many societies throughout the ages, the occu lt revival in the German-speaking world during the nineteenth century was unique. The conditions in Austria resulted in the rise 175 Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra trans. R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Penguin Books, 1978), 157.


of nationalism as well as occultis m, creating a unique combination of vlkisch nationalism and occultism that lingered longer and went deeper than occultism in other European nations during the same time. The occultists born into this nineteenth century culture of despair combined the occult with racist, vlkisch nationalism to preach the hope of a future Aryan paradise that could be achieved if Germans could triumph over their natural, racially inferior enemies. Among those occultists were Guido von List, Lanz von Liebenfels and Rudolf Sebottendorff, who gave German occultism its unique form by synthesizing occultism, vlkisch nationalism, pagan traditions and Theo sophy into Ariosophy in an attempt to give Germany a national religion that was true to the German soul. List created the foundation of Ariosophy in Germanic folklore, paganism, racism, nature worship and Theosophy. To that mix Liebenfels added a ne w creation story that imagined Jews to be lesser beings and provided pseudo-scientific evidence of the divine nature of man, meaning Aryans, and the subhuman nature of lesser races. Lanz with the help of Rudolf von Sebottendorff, created organizations to spread and foster his ideology. Sebottendorff politicized Lanz organizations and Sebottendorffs vlkisch nationalistic anti-Semitism fueled the environment upon which Hitlers National Socialism feed. The ideologies of Guido von List, Lanz von Liebenfels and Rudolf Sebottendorff reflect the cultural atmosphere that led to Hitlers rise to power and the subsequent extermination of the European Jews. Wh ile high-ranking members of the Nazi Party, such as Heinrich Himmler and Rudolf Hess, were influenced by occultists the actual connections between National Socialism and the occult are more a matter of propaganda and post-war rumor and scandal. Occultism did not create National Socialism; rather

PAGE 100

both were reactions to the atmosphere of despair and hopelessness that consumed Germany. Modern-day globalization, migration and ra cial tensions have resulted in the reemergence of occult and racist pagan ideas that a return to ancient, traditional ways of life and religion will result in victory over t hose they view to be the enemy and the emergence of a paradise over which they and th eir people will rule. Occult revivals like that of nineteenth century Germany and the twentieth cen tury English-speaking world have happened throughout history in response to polit ical, economic and social uncertainty, and are likely to happen again.

PAGE 101

Appendix Figure A.1 Map of Cisleithania: This map shows Cisleithania (in red), the Austrian half of the Dual Monarchy within Austria-Hungary. The light grey secti on is Transleithania a nd the dark grey is Bosnia and Herzegovina.176 176 Immanuel Giel, Map of Austria-Hungary 2009: ons/b/bd/Cisleithanien_Donaumonarchie.png.

PAGE 102

Figure A.2 Map of Austria-Hungary with Provinces: AustriaHungary:177 Cisleithania (Empire of Austria): 1. Bohemia, 2. Bukovina, 3. Carinthia, 4. Carniola, 5. Dalmatia, 6. Galicia, 7. Kstenland, 8. Lower Austria, 9. Moravia, 10. Salzburg, 11. Silesia, 12. Styria, 13. Tyrol, 14. Upper Austria, 15. Vorarlberg; Transleithania (Kingdom of Hungary): 16. Hungary proper 17. Croatia-Slavonia; Austrian-Hungarian Condominium: 18. Bosnia and Herzegovina 177 Austria-Hungary Map, 2006: http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/File:AustriaHungary_map.svg.

PAGE 103

Figure A.3 Proportion of Hungarians in Hungary: This map shows the distribution of ethnic Hungarians within the Hungarian half of the empire.178 Hungarians are clustered in the ce nter of the nation with Germans, Slovaks, Ruthenians, Romanians, Serbs and Croats surrounding them. 178 Pallas Nagy Lexikon, Proportion of Hungarians in Hungary, 1890, 2009: ungarians_in_Hungary_(1890).png.

PAGE 104

Bibliography Austria-Hungary Map, 2006: Hungary_map.svg. Benario, Herbert W. Roman Germany. Three Sites, The Classical Journal 51 (1956): 305-352. Bevir, Mark. The West Turns Eastward: Ma dame Blavatsky and the Transformation of the Occult Tradition, Journal of the American Academy of Religion 62 (1994): 629-946. Birken, Lawrence. Volkish Nationalism in Perspective. The History Teacher 27 (1994): 119-251. Blavatsky, H.P. Secret Doctrine, London, 1888. Burton, Dan and David Grandy, Magic, Mystery, and Science: the Occult in Western Civilization Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2004. Chickering, Roger. We Men who Feel Most German Boston: George Allen and Unwin, 1984. De Lagarde, Paul. Die Religion der Zukunft, Deutsche Schriften, 3 (1937): 251-286. Dobratz, Betty A. The Role of Religion in the Collective Identity of the White Racialist Movement, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 49 (2001): 143-349. Fichtner, Paula Sutter. History, Religion, and Politics in the Austrian Vormrz. History and Theory 10 (1971): 1-149. Flowers, Stephen. The Secret King Los Angeles: Feral House, 2007. The Secret of the Runes, Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1988. Freytag, Anstalt G. & Berndt (1911). Geographischer Atlas zur Vaterlandskunde an der sterreichischen Mittelschulen. Vienna: K. u. k. Hof-Kartographische. "Census December 31st 1910.

PAGE 105

Gardell, Mattias. Gods of the Blood: the pagan revival and white separatism, London: Duke University Press, 2003. Giel, Immanuel. Map of Austria-Hungary 2009: chie.png. Goebbles, Joseph. Die Tagebcher von Joseph Goebbles, 1, 1940-1941 ed. Elke Frhlich, Munich: K.G. Sauer, 1998. Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas. Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity New York: New York University Press, 2002. The Occult Roots of Nazism: S ecret Aryan Cults and th eir Influence on Nazi Ideology New York: New York University Press, 1985. Hatheway, Jay. The pre-1920 Origins of the Na tional Socialist German Workers Part, Journal of Contemporary History 29, (1994): 371-544. Heiden, Konrad. Forward to Felix Kersten, The Memoirs of Dr. Felix Kersten, Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books; 1992. Henderson, Peter. Frank Browne and the Neo Nazis, Labour History 89 (2005): 73-86. Herf, Jeffery. Reactionary Modernism: technology, culture, and politic s in Weimar and the Third Reich New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986. The Engineer as Ideologue: Reac tionary Modernists in Weimar and Nazi Germany, Journal of Contemporary History 19 (1984): 631-648. Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf Munich, 1934. Jacobs, Robert L. Wagners Influence on Hitler, Music and Letters, 22 (1941): 81-83. Kann, Robert. The Mulitnational Empire: Nation alism and National Reform in the Habsburg Monarchy 1848-1819, Volume II New York: Octagon Books, 1950. Kershaw, Ian. Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich: Bavaria 19331945, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983. Lacquer, Walter. Foreword to Wilhelm Wulff, Zodiac and Swastika, New York: Coward, McCann and Geoghegan, 1973. Lanz von Liebenfels, Jrg. Theozoologie oder die Kunde von den Sodoms-fflingen und dem Gtter-Elektron, Vienna, 1905.

PAGE 106

Lewis, James. The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements, Oxford, 2004. MaCartney, C. A. The Habsburg Empire 1790-1918, New York: Macmillan, 1969. Mees, Bernard. Hitler and Germanentum, Journal of Contemporary History 33 (2004): 163-296. Mosse, George. The Crisis of German Ideology New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1971. The Fascist Revolution, New York: Howard Fertig, 1999. Nietzsche, Friedrich. Thus Spoke Zarathustra trans. R. J. Hollingdale, New York: Penguin Books, 1978. Okey, Robin. The Habsburg Monarchy: From Enlightenment to Eclipse New York: Palgrave MacMillian, 2001. Osmond, Jonathan. German Modernis m and Anti-Modernism. Weimar, The Burlington Magazine, 141 (1999): 517-588. Pallas Nagy Lexikon, Proportion of Hungarians in Hungary, 1890, 2009: http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/File:Hungarians_ in_Hungary_(1890).png. Peets, Elbert. Town Planners: II. Camillo Sitte, The Town Planning Review 12 (1927): 249-259. Phelps, Reginald H. Before Hitler Came : Thule Society and Germanen Orden, The Journal of Modern History 35 (1963): 227-337. Pietikainen, Petteri. The Volk and It s Unconscious: Jung, Hauer and the 'German Revolution', Journal of Contemporary History, 35 (2000): 523-539. Poliakov, Leon. The Aryan Myth, New York: Basic Books, 1971. Schorske, Carl. Fin-DeSicle Vienna: Politics and Culture, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980. Sklar, Dusty. The Nazis and the Occult, New York: Dorest Press, 1977. Smith, Bradley S. Adolf Hitler: His Family, Childhood and Youth, Stanford: The Hoover Insitution on War, Revolution and Peace, 1967. Smith, Helmut Walser. German Nationalism and Religious Conflict: Culture, Ideology, Politics 1870-1914, Princeton: Un iversity Press, 1995.

PAGE 107

Stern, Fritz. The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of the German Ideology, New York: Anchor Books, 1961. Sturluson, Snorri, The Prose Edda: Tales from Norse Mythology translated by Jean I. Young, University of California Press, 1964. Taylor, A.J.P. The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918 London: Hamish Hamilton, 1948. Treitel, Corinna. A Science for the Soul : Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern London: John Hopkins Un iversity Press, 2004. Van den Broek, Roelof. Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times New York: State University of New York Press, 1998. Von Sebottendorff, Rudolf. Bevor Hitler kam Urkundliches aus der Frhzeit der national-sozialistischen Bewegung, second edition. Munich, 1934. Walker, Robert A. Map of Germany, 2002: Webb, James. The Occult Establishment. Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company, 1979. The Occult Underground La Salle, Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company, 1974. Weiss, Shelia Faith. The Race Hygiene Movement in Germany, 1904-1945 in The Wellborn Science: Eugenics in Germany, France, Brazil, and Russia, edited by Mark B. Adams, 8-50. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.