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Vol. XIV • 1992

Nazi Paganism
Jean-Marc Berthoud

Editor's Note: The following paper is an excerpt from a much longer monograph, "La foi chretienne et le retour du paganisme" (The Christian Faith and the Return of Paganism), and is reprinted here with the author's permission. Translated from the French by Ellen Myers,

It is well known that the rise of Nazism represents the massive return of German pagan mythology. What is much less known is the role played by Oriental mythology in this rebirth of paganism. Already in the 1920s the Germany of the Weimar Republic--permissive, decadent and materialistic, incapable of defending itself against the fanaticisms which attacked it from all sides, just as we are today-- knew a strange attraction for everything which came from the Orient. Christian philosophers like Thomas Molnar (Le dieu immanent. La grande tentation de la pensee allemande, Dominique Martin Morin, Paris, 1982) and Henry Massis (Defense de l'Occident, Plon, Paris, 1927) have shown not only that German philosophical and theological idealism represented a pantheistic temptation aiming to place God within the interior of the universe and even of man, but that it was totally estranged from the Bible and from Christianity, attaching itself instead to the mystical currents of the Orient.

In 1920 the German teacher of esoteric wisdom Hermann Keyserling founded his famous School of Wisdom at Darmstadt, center of meditation and instruction, which acted as a catalyst between the pantheistic idealism of German philosophy and oriental spirituality. Here we must again take note of the major role which the betrayal of the liberal theologians played in the spiritual disarmament of Germany. When they abandoned and did all they could to destroy the trust of the people in the inspiration and authority of the Bible, they opened wide the doors of a Europe in advanced spiritual and political decay to the powers of hell. If the invasion of the occult seems always to precede revolutions, this invasion is invariably introduced by traitorous theologians. History is always the same. The abandonment of the faith precedes the entrance of the demons, and the latter is the prelude of the sufferings entailed by wars and revolutions. This ceaselessly repeated history was prophetically described by Jesus Christ in the parable of the house delivered from a demon, swept and put in order, but since it is not inhabited by the Holy Spirit it ends up occupied by eight demons so that its latter end is worse than its beginning (Luke 11:24-26). The new paganism is actually much worse than the ancient one before the coming of Christianity.

It is in this context of apostasy and occult invasion that the Nazi movement appeared in Germany. This year (1989) we celebrate together with the bicentennial of the French Revolution the centennial of the birth of Adolf Hitler. It is interesting to know that if he is today universally rejected in the West, it is otherwise in certain Oriental countries like India or China.1 The banner of Nazism, the swastika, is nothing but an ancient Hindu emblem widely used in the Orient. The cult of the Aryan race to which the Nazis dedicated themselves did not merely refer to the myth of the purity of the Nordic races, but especially to the Hindu myth of the Aryans, legendary ancestors of all the civilizations of the Indian subcontinent. Near Delhi may be visited a monument in honor of the swastika, where we read the following words:

This very ancient symbol is a particularly sacred sign. For at least eight thousand years it has been the mark of Aryan civilization and culture. ... It is not only found in India but in all Buddhist countries as well as in other foreign countries. All Aryan scriptures ... trace their origin to this symbol.2

The all-engulfing power of Adolf Hitler upon the crowds and upon his entourage was neither a normal nor an accidental phenomenon. By means of the various initiatory societies to which they belonged Hitler and his colleagues entered directly in contact with the powers of darkness which they thought to use for themselves, but whose slaves they became in effect. Let us briefly mention a few of these occult sources which exercised such an influence upon the Fuehrer, and which reappear today under other forms.

First of all, Hitler was strongly marked by the Thule Society whose leader, Dietrich Eckhart (whom some see as the Magus of Nazism) had a strong influence on Hitler. Thus in Weimar Germany the occult powers were resurrected which had formerly animated the pagan Germanic nations. Thule represented the mythical paradise of the north, the land of the Hyperboreans, superior beings able to receive from the gods that occult gnosis or primordial knowledge which was the fruit of the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This knowledge gave to the initiates the means of lifting the seals of the hidden powers of the universe. To avail himself again of this hidden power, lost by the fault of Christianity, for himself and for the German nation became the hidden passion which animated the entire death-dealing work of Adolf Hitler.

To do this he sent expeditions to Tibet to persuade the masters of esoteric wisdom of the Himalayas to communicate their hidden power to the leaders of the Third Reich. The Vril Society, German offshoot of this branch of Hinduism whose explicit symbol is the swastika, was headed by Professor Karl Haushofer, who had been a disciple of Gurdjieff in Tibet and of the Green Dragon Society in Japan. Under his influence numerous branches of the Vril Society opened in German in the 1920s and 30s. Upon the death of Eckhart Haushofer became the chief occult advisor of Hitler and initiated him in the secret teachings of Madame Blavatsky, founder of Theosophy and in a way the mother of the Western occult renewal of the end of the nineteenth and of the twentieth century. It is also useful to know that the formation of the SS and in particular their officers was closely linked to their initiation in these occult societies and their esoteric practices. The Vril Society believed in an obsessive manner that the German people enjoyed privileged links with the mythological race of Aryan masters, the supposed ancestors of the Hindus of today, and the guardians of this hidden power of the universe which is the object of so many longings.

According these theories, largely accepted by Hitler, the historic mission of the German people was to rediscover these ancient pagan roots by eradicating in Europe anything which might hinder them. The implacable hatred of the Nazis against the entire Judeo-Christian tradition thus becomes much more understandable. The stress which their Darwinian evolutionism pushed them to place upon the biological aspect of the purity of the race, and their obsession with an authentically Germanic nation led the Nazis to project upon the Jews (a group identified both racially and spiritually as impure) their will to stamp out an evil conceived as being both spiritual and racial. Thus the extermination policy of the Nazis had a double root, the pseudo-scientific biological root through evolutionism, and the spiritual and satanic root through the occult.

It is now manifest that the power which Hitler exercised over the crowds drew at least in part from the source of these various occult practices. Studies have been made of the particularly strange gestures which Hitler used during his violent diatribes before the unleashed German crowds. It can be shown that these bizarre but always identical gestures had an occult meaning, being so many appeals to the powers of hell expressed by gesture symbols. As was written by Hermann Rauschning, an intimate acquaintance of Hitler: "One cannot help thinking of Hitler as of a medium ... the medium is possessed ... Without any doubt, Hitler was possessed of forces which were beyond him ... and of which the individual called Hitler ... was only the temporary instrument."3

The hell of violence unleashed by the Nazi undertaking can no longer hardly surprise us when we look upon it under the aspect of such a close collusion with the powers of hell.

This prodigious return of ancient Germanic paganism married to the paganism of the Orient which was National Socialism was temporarily broken by the victory of the Allied powers in 1945. But the Allied military victory did not at all arrest the return in force of paganism in our Western civilization. For the destruction of Christianity--"Will I still find the faith on earth upon my return?" our Lord asked Himself-- Satan, was after numerous centuries of defeat again let loose upon the world and upon the nations.


1Dave Hunt, Peace, Prosperity and the Coming Holocaust, Harvest House, Eugene, OR 1983, pp.150-151; also see Simon Leys, La foret en feu, Hermann, Paris 1983.

2Dave Hunt, op. cit, pp.151-152.

3On Hitler, see especially the revealing book by Hermann Rauschning, Hitler m'a dit. Confidences du Fuehrer sur son plan de conquete du monde. Cooperation, Paris, 1939; Gerald Suster, Hitler: The Occult Messiah, New York, 1981; Jean-Michel An-gebert, The Occult and the Third Reich, New York, 1974; Konrad Heyden, Adolf Hitler, Grasset, Paris; Max Picard, L'homme de neant, La Baconniere, Neuchatel, 1945.

"Nazi Paganism"
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