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Nazi and the Occult

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Nazism was an ideology that emerged and existed in Germany in the 20th century. The ideology arose from the ruling Nazi party, with its leader, Adolf Hitler. It also consisted of other groups, which collaborated with the Nazis to support fascism, anti-Semitism, and scientific racism. Nazism subscribed to superiority of the Aryan race with theories of social Darwinism and racial hierarchy. Consequently, different researchers and historians came forward to suggest that Nazism had a close relationship with occultism. This latter idea came up especially after 1969, with books, documentaries, and articles by different researchers who attempted to study specific ideologies on Nazism and occultism. Since then, scholars have attempted to provide a proof of occultism in the Nazi ideology by relating popular Nazi ideologies to occultism. A closer look at Nazi leaders such as Himmler and Hitler, as well as the actions of the Nazis in general, assists in relating their ideologies to occultism. Historians believed that Nazism arose mainly because of economic collapse, military defeat, anti-Semitism, and vengeful nationalism. However, there is a proof that Nazism was also influenced by irrational spirituality and occultism (Burton & Grandy 15-64).

Aryanism emerges from the belief in the Aryan race since the late 19th up to the mid 20th centuries. The Aryan race refers to a race referred to as a group of Western Asian and European people at that time. The race came from the idea that they were the original Indo-European languages speakers, and that the descendants of the Aryan race fell into a distinctive sub-race of the Caucasians. The Nazis in Germany tied the understanding of the Aryan race to the master race using racial hierarchy and social Darwinism. Through these ideologies, Nazis believed they were descendants of the Aryan race, which had evolved more than any other race in the world. Therefore, they were superior to any other person with special characteristics. The ideology of Aryanism motivated the Nazis to adopt the idea of white supremacism. It led to the anti-Semitism and racism in Germany, where the Nazis believed they would conquer any other race due to their supreme power (Clarke 30-55).

The idea of Aryanism arose from ancient mythologies about historical lands such as Camelot, Atlantis or Arcadia, whereby divine powers favored a particular race. Therefore, the Nazis believed that they were the special master race in Europe possessing divine powers. Proponents of Aryanism saw Jews as descendants of non-Europeans. The Shambala arose from the Buddhist tradition, especially with support from Tibetan Buddhists, who saw it as the land beyond the peaks of the Himalayas. Hitler, being the head of the superior Aryan race, believed that he had a place in Shambala. He had interpreted the ancient Buddhist texts and was aware of the mystical land. He had the enthusiasm to go to that land after his death and he believed that the hidden land was only accessible to those who belonged to a mystical brotherhood group. This group would have members who would sacrifice their lives for the good of all human beings, especially the descendants of the Aryan race. These ideologies were the base of Hitler’s actions, which further explains the relationship between Nazism and Occultism (Clarke 45-60).

Heinrich Himmler had occult fascinations since he was a teenager. He saw the Aryans as gods with superhuman descendants, which was the reason why he pioneered different mystical projects. One of these projects was the establishment of the Ahnenerbe, which carried out the studies of ancestral heritage through the commissioning of Adolf Hitler under the mentorship of Frederick Hielscher. The Ahnenerbe became a well-funded Nazi research group, whose main role was to search for the origin of the Aryan race and study the Germanic runes (Longerich 275-290). This bureau of research used experts in ancient mythology, especially of Asian origin, in order to research into the Shambala. After studying ancient Buddhist traditions, the Ahnenerbe came across the Shambala in Tibetan texts. Tibetan Buddhists identified the existence of the mystical kingdom in the texts of ancient Tibet. The Kalachakra and other ancient Buddhist texts of Western Tibet, such as those in the Zhang Zhung culture, also showed the relationship of a superior race to the Shambala, with only the chosen race having access to the mystical kingdom. These were the main reasons why the Ahnenerbe chose to explore Tibet. When Himmler became the leader of the Ahnenerbe in 1937, he organized explorations to Tibet in search of further evidence of their ideologies. This was the main reason why the Nazis introduced the Ahnenerbe Tibet Institut to study ancient mythology that supported Nazism. Hitler also invited one of the explorers to make a speech in the Berlin Olympics of 1936 to support Nazi ideologies (Luhrssen 25-43).

There were also other symbols, which show the connection of occult ideologies to Nazism. One of the main ancient symbols was the Swastika coming from Indian history and meaning good luck. The symbol was also used by Tibetan Buddhists, Jains, and Hindus for thousands of years. According to the Norse mythology, the swastika represented Thor, the god of thunder. Following these anti-Christ mythologies, the Nazis adopted the swastika as their main symbol and placed it vertically on a German dagger. The Nazis also referred to the runes, the ancient characters that the Germans used. They adopted these symbols to show the magical significance of their group. The SS, the Nazi intelligence division used the runic symbols in their operations. These were to show their mystical powers and establish a writing tradition for the master race only. The Nazis also used other ancient symbols to support their ideologies. One of the symbols was the sig, which meant the sun in medieval times and ancient Greek mythology. The SS coined it to mean victory, and made it their official emblem. Other symbols included the Leben to mean life and the Tod to mean death. All these symbols were used in ancient idol mythologies, and hence show an occult meaning (Clarke 2-34).

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