Heinrich Himmler must have been without a shadow of a doubt one of the craziest of the Nazis. He had a bizarre fascination for the occult.
Karl Maria Wiligut had been one of Himmler’s closest influancers relating to the occult of the Aryan and Germanic race.
Karl Maria Wiligut (alias Weisthor, Jarl Widar, Lobesam) (10 December 1866,Vienna, Austria – 3 January 1946, Arolsen, Germany) was an Austrian Occultist and SS-Brigadeführer.
He had claimed that the Aryan race had been around for 285,000 years, dating back when there were 3 Suns and the planet was inhabited by Giants, dwarfs and other mythical creatures ,he alsorevealed himself as bearer of a secret line of German kingship.One thing that Himmler didn’t find out until later was that Willigut had been a patient in a mental hospital. His wife had him committed .While in a cafe with some friends, on 29 November 1924, Wiligut was arrested by police and taken to the local mental institution where he was held for a couple of years.
Wiligut’s medical records reflect violence at home, including threats to kill his wife, grandiose projects, eccentric behavior and occult interests. Eventually, in 1924, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and megalomania and was declared legally incompetent by a Salzburg court and then committed to a Salzburg asylum, where he remained until 1927. In 1932, he abandoned his wife and family, and emigrated from Austria to Germany, residing in Munich.
Shortly after being introduced to Reichsführer-SS Himmler in September 1933 at a conference of the Nordische Gesellschaft, Wiligut was inducted into the SS (under the pseudonym “Karl Maria Weisthor”) to head a Department for Pre- and Early History which was created for him within the SS Race and Settlement Main Office (RuSHA). In the spring of 1935 Wiligut was transferred to Berlin to serve on Himmler’s personal staff. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadeführer in September 1936.
In Berlin, where he worked in the office of Karl Wolff, chief adjutant of the SS, Wiligut developed his plans for the rebuilding of the Wewelsburg into an allegorical “center of the world”.
In summer 1936, Gunther Kirchhoff and Wiligut, undertook a private 22-day expedition to the Murg Valley near Baden-Baden in the Black Forest, where there was a settlement described as consisting of “old half-timbered houses, architectural ornament, crosses, inscriptions, and natural and man-made rock formations in the forest,” which, they claimed, showed it to be an ancient Krist settlement ,Krist was a messianic Germanic figure allegedly associated with Irminism,( a germanic neo-pagan denomination; the term comes from the Irminsul pillar, which represents the world axis in the old german). Wiligut identified Schloss Eberstein as a center of Irminism.
Wiligut identified Irminism as the true German ancestral religion.He contributed significantly to the development of Wewelsburg as the order-castle and ceremonial center of SS pseudo-religious practice. He designed the Totenkopfring, which Himmler personally awarded to prestigious SS officers
In November 1938, Karl Wolff, chief adjutant of Himmler’s personal staff and the second-highest-ranking officer in the SS, visited Wiligut’s wife and learned of Wiligut’s earlier involuntary commitment to a mental institution, which proved embarrassing to Himmler.
Wiligut’s staff was notified that his “application” for retirement on grounds of age and poor health had been granted in February 1939, and the official retirement was dated 28 August 1939, only a few days prior to the outbreak of World War II.
The Ahnenerbe was an institute in Nazi Germany purposed to research the archaeological and cultural history of the Aryan race.
Founded on July 1, 1935, by Heinrich Himmler, Herman Wirth, and Richard Walther Darré, the Ahnenerbe later conducted experiments and launched expeditions in an attempt to prove that mythological Nordic populations had once ruled the world.
It was not long before the operations of the Ahnenerbe branched out from their brand of “science” and out into the outer edges of the occult, and perhaps considering the pedigree of its founding fathers it is no surprise. Herman Wirth was a Dutch historian obsessed with finding the location of Atlantis, and future SS leader Himmler had an intense well-known fascination with all things occult to a disturbing degree. In fact, Himmler was somewhat of a crackpot, who had grand desires to one day replace the Christian religion with one of his own making, and he was one of the driving forces behind the Ahnenerbe’s steady divergence from its original purpose and increasing role as a tool of the occult. As this ominous organization pulsed and grew, it fanned out around the world on numerous fantastic quests that seem like something straight out of an Indiana Jones film. They delved into the remote areas of the world looking for lost lands, various ancient relics, mystical texts, magical items, weird curiosities, bizarre paranornmal locations, and strange supernatural artifacts of all kinds.
Nazi endorsement and expansion of the institute, the Ahnenerbe expanded to approximately 50 branches dealing with everything from long range weather prediction, to archeology, to ESP research and the supernatural, and substantially stepped up their operations, scouring the far flung corners of the earth in search of a wide variety of such legendary wonders as the Holy Grail, the location of Atlantis, and the Spear of Destiny, with which Longinus had stabbed into Christ’s side as he suffered upon the cross.
The group also searched for various portals to other realms, as well as for ancient lost lands, including Atlantis and expeditions influenced by an equally mysterious organization known as the Thule Society looking for a fantastical land called Thule, which was believed to be the true birthplace of the Aryan race and the discovery of which would endow them with vast superhuman powers such as telekinesis, telepathy, and flight, abilities which they had lost over centuries of mixing with “lesser races.”
Their strong desire to find new, secret weapons extended into the organization’s “scientific” divisions, which actively sought to develop top secret new technologies based on ancient lost or forbidden knowledge, mystical texts, alien technologies, and their own secret research. The group was heavily involved with various areas of bizarre pseudoscience, including finding crashed UFOS and the study of far out theories such as what was known as the World Ice Theory, which proposed that Earth had been created when a massive chunk of ice had impacted with the sun and that the planet had several moons orbiting it which could result in polar shifts and cataclysmic disasters. The Ahnenerbe was also interested in harnessing the power of the occult, magic, and psychic powers for use as weapons against their enemies, and to this end there were various programs devoted to such pursuits, including trying to develop psychic assassins who could kill with their minds, using astral projection to spy on the enemy, astrology to help plan strategies, the use of magic spells as weapons, and the divination of the future, among other various such bizarre projects. The organization also allegedly tried to harness the power of runes, a fact reflected in the use of rune-like lettering in the organization’s logo. There has also been much speculation that the group was heavily interested in finding and utilizing alien technology for numerous weapons programs. This may all seem absurd, but none of this was a joke to the Nazis, and many in power fervently believed in these numerous quests and projects, pouring a great deal of money, manpower, and resources into them.
Since these were the Nazis we’re dealing with, of course the Ahnenerbe’s malevolent dealings extended to human experimentation, and there were various sinister experiments to this effect carried out in their dark, secret lairs and laboratories. This is especially noticeable with the Ahnenerbe’s incorporation of the Institut für Wehrwissenschaftliche Zweckforschung (“Institute for Military Scientific Research”) during World War II, which was tasked with all manner of shady military research and development, and began a dark era of gruesome experiments on the bedraggled prisoners of concentration camps. Most of these projects had mixed results and were of questionable goals, yet all of them were truly ruthless and demonstrative of a profound and disturbing lack of respect for human life, perhaps fitting since the Nazis did not regard their prisoners as really human at all.
One of the most notorious instances of the Ahnenerbe’s use of humans as test subjects was a project to determine the physical limits of pilots who were flying ever more advanced aircraft for the Luftwaffe.
The Institut für Wehrwissenschaftliche Zweckforschung (“Institute for Military Scientific Research”), which conducted extensive medical experiments using human subjects, became attached to the Ahnenerbe during World War II. It was managed by Wolfram Sievers.Sievers had founded the organization on the orders of Himmler, who appointed him director with two divisions headed by Sigmund Rascher and August Hirt, and funded by the Waffen-SS.
Rascher was granted unlimited access to helpless prisoners for use in his demented experiments, and he began putting them into portable vacuum chambers that resembled medieval torture devices and were designed to simulate differing altitudes in flight. The prisoners were locked into the chambers against their will and the pressure was subsequently drastically altered between high altitude and low altitude settings in order to simulate the rapid rises of advanced aircraft as well as a state of freefall without oxygen for the purpose of analyzing the effects upon the human body.
It is somewhat unsurprising that most of these test subjects did not survive these demanding, inhumane trials which pushed them past their physiological limits, and Rascher was remarkably cruel even to those who did. When Himmler suggested that, as payment for their services, survivors of the experiments have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment rather than the inevitable death they had faced before Rascher refused, saying that the prisoners were all Poles and Russians who deserved no amnesty or mercy. Surviving these experiments probably meant further torture and a death worse than what the vacuum chambers had to offer.
It was alleged that the Nazis were even involved with reviving dead animals and even humans through unknown enigmatic means. One interesting tidbit related to this is the finding made on 28 April 1945, when Allied forces captured a munitions factory depot named Bernterode, located in the German region of Thuringia. As some American officers explored a tunnel within the factory, they discovered a brick wall disguised to look like part of the rock which was 5 feet thick. When the mysterious wall was broken down, a vast chamber was revealed containing a trove of an immense amount of stolen artwork and relics, as well as many Nazi banners and a large number of new uniforms. In one adjoining chamber there were found to be four enormous coffins, with three of them containing the remains of the 17th century Prussian king, Frederick the Great, as well as Field Marshall von Hindenburg and his wife.
The fourth coffin was empty and held a plaque engraved with Adolph Hitler’s name. Although it is unknown for what reason these remains were being kept for, some have suggested that the Nazis, specifically the Ahnenerbe, had plans to somehow resurrect or clone them at a later time. An Aug 23, 2015 article by Noah Charney for Salon magazine entitled Did Nazis really try to make zombies? The real history behind one of our weirdest WWII obsessions, points to this speculation as being largely a literal interpretation of an article in Life magazine from the 50s, in which it is stated:
“The corpses were to be concealed until some future movement when their reappearance could be timed by resurgent Nazis to fire another German generation to rise and conquer again”