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Höfler published his professorial thesis of 1934, "Kultische Geheimbünde der Germanen" (Secret Cultic Societies of the Germanic Peoples) with volkisch publisher Moritz Diesterweg in Frankfurt. (Two volumes were projected but the second never appeared.) Its argument met with opposition from Friedrich von der Leyen and Friedrich Ranke, but the book became a favorite of Heinrich Himmler's, and Höfler became a very active collaborator in Himmler's cultural project "Ahnenerbe" and a regular contributor to the magazine Germania. Höfler had been a member of the Nazi Students' Organization since 1922; in 1937 he joined the NSDAP, and he became a prominent National Socialist academic, overseeing the German translation of Vilhelm Grønbech's The Culture of the Teutons. In 1938 his treatment of "Germanic continuity" in the spirit of Much appeared as the lead article in the prestigious Historische Zeitschrift.
Despite his active party membership and support of the ideology of the SS, after the war Höfler was officially categorized as a "geistiger Mitläufer" ("intellectual fellow traveler"), an official category for people judged to have been neither actively involved with nor actively opposed to Nazi crimes. His views remained pronouncedly racist during his postwar tenure in Vienna.