Occultism in Nazism
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Nazism and occultism describes a range of theories, speculation and research into the origins of Nazism and its possible relation to various occult traditions. Such ideas have been a part of popular culture since at least the early 1940s, and gained renewed popularity starting in the 1960s. There are documentaries and books on the topic, among the most significant are The Morning of the Magicians (1960) and The Spear of Destiny (1972). Nazism and occultism has also been featured in numerous films, novels, comic books and other fictional media. A prominent example is the film Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
Historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke analyzed the topic in The Occult Roots of Nazism in which he argued there were in fact links between some ideals of Ariosophy and Nazi ideology. He also analyzed the problems of the numerous popular occult historiography books written on the topic. He sought to separate empiricism and sociology from the modern mythology of Nazi occultism that exists in many books which "have represented the Nazi phenomenon as the product of arcane and demonic influence". He considered most of these to be "sensational and under-researched".
- 1 Ariosophy
- 2 The modern mythology of Nazi occultism
- 2.1 Historiography concerning The Occult Roots of Nazism
- 2.2 Claims of Nazi occultism
- 2.3 Crypto-historic books on Nazi occultism
- 3 Documentaries on Nazism and the occult
- 4 Fictional accounts of Nazi occultism
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 Bibliography
- 8 External links
Historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke's 1985 book, The Occult Roots of Nazism, discussed the possibility of links between the ideas of the Occult and those of Nazism. The book's main subject was the racist-occult movement of Ariosophy, a major strand of Nationalist Esotericism in Germany and Austria during the 1800s and early 1900s. He described his work as "an underground history, concerned with the myths, symbols, and fantasies that bear on the development of reactionary, authoritarian, and Nazi styles of thinking". He focused on this unexamined topic of history because "fantasies can achieve a causal status once they have been institutionalized in beliefs, values, and social groups."
He describes the Völkisch movement as a sort of anti-modernist, anti-liberal reaction to the many political, social, and economic changes occurring in Germanic Europe in the late 1800s. Part of his argument is that the rapid industrialization and rise of cities changed the "traditional, rural social order" and ran into conflict with the "pre-capitalist attitudes and institutions" of the area. He described the racially elitist Pan-Germanism movement of ethnic German Austrians as a reaction to Austria not being included in the German Empire of Bismarck.
Goodrick-Clarke opined that the Ariosophist movement took Völkisch ideas but added occultish themes about things like Freemasonry, Kabbalism, and Rosicrucianism in order to "prove the modern world was based on false and evil principles". The Ariosophist "ideas and symbols filtered through to several anti-semitic and Nationalist groups in late Wilhelmian Germany, from which the early Nazi Party emerged in Munich after the First World War." He showed some links between two Ariosophists and Heinrich Himmler.
The modern mythology of Nazi occultism
There is a persistent idea, widely canvassed in a sensational genre of literature, that the Nazis were principally inspired and directed by occult agencies from 1920 to 1945.
Appendix E of Goodrick-Clarke's book is entitled The Modern Mythology of Nazi Occultism. In it, he gives a highly critical view of much of the popular literature on the topic. In his words, these books describe Hitler and the Nazis as being controlled by a "hidden power . . . characterized either as a discarnate entity (e.g., 'black forces', 'invisible hierarchies', 'unknown superiors') or as a magical elite in a remote age or distant location". He referred to the writers of this genre as "crypto-historians". The works of the genre, he wrote,
were typically sensational and under-researched. A complete ignorance of the primary sources was common to most authors and inaccuracies and wild claims were repeated by each newcomer to the genre until an abundant literature existed, based on wholly spurious 'facts' concerning the powerful Thule Society, the Nazi links with the East, and Hitler's occult initiation.
In a new preface for the 2004 edition of The Occult Roots... Goodrick-Clarke comments that in 1985, when his book first appeared, "Nazi 'black magic' was regarded as a topic for sensational authors in pursuit of strong sales."
In his 2002 work Black Sun, which was originally intended to trace the survival of occult Nazi themes in the postwar period, Goodrick-Clarke considered it necessary to readdress the topic. He devotes one chapter of the book to "the Nazi mysteries", as he terms the field of Nazi occultism there. Other reliable summaries of the development of the genre have been written by German historians. The German edition of The Occult Roots... includes an essay "Nationalsozialismus und Okkultismus" ("National Socialism and Occultism"), which traces the origins of the speculation about Nazi occultism back to publications from the late 1930s, and which was subsequently translated by Goodrick-Clarke into English. The German historian Michael Rißmann has also included a longer "excursus" about "Nationalsozialismus und Okkultismus" in his acclaimed book on Adolf Hitler's religious beliefs.
According to Goodricke-Clarke the speculation of Nazi occultism originated from "post-war fascination with Nazism". The "horrid fascination" of Nazism upon the Western mind emerges from the "uncanny interlude in modern history" that it presents to an observer a few decades later. The idolization of Hitler in Nazi Germany, its short lived dominion on the European continent and Nazism's extreme antisemitism set it apart from other periods of modern history. "Outside a purely secular frame of reference, Nazism was felt to be the embodiment of evil in a modern twentieth-century regime, a monstrous pagan relapse in the Christian community of Europe."
By the early 1960s, "one could now clearly detect a mystique of Nazism." A sensationalistic and fanciful presentation of its figures and symbols, shorn of all political and historical contexts", gained ground with thrillers, non-fiction books and films and permeated "the milieu of popular culture."
Historiography concerning The Occult Roots of Nazism
The Occult Roots of Nazism is commended for specifically addressing the fanciful modern depictions of Nazi occultism, as well as carefully reflecting critical scholarly work that finds associations between Ariosophy with Nazi agency. As scholar Anna Bramwell writes, "One should not be deceived by the title into thinking that it belongs to the 'modern mythology of Nazi occultism', a world of salacious fantasy convincingly dismembered by the author in an Appendix,"  referring the various written, depicted, and produced material that delves into Nazi occultism without providing any reliable or relevant evidence. Instead, it is through Goodrick-Clarke's work that several scholarly criticisms addressing occult relevance in conjunction with Ariosophist practices arise.
Historians like Martyn Housden and Jeremy Noakes commend Goodrick-Clarke for addressing the relationship between Ariosophic ideologies rooted in certain Germanic cultures and the actual agency of Nazi hierarchy; the problem, as Housden remarks, lies in the efficacy of these Ariosophic practices. As he remarks, "The true value of this study, therefore, lies in its painstaking elucidation of an intrinsically fascinating subculture which helped colour rather than cause aspects of Nazism. In this context, it also leaves us pondering a central issue: why on earth were Austrian and German occultists, just like the Nazi leadership, quite so susceptible to, indeed obsessed by, specifically aggressive racist beliefs anyway?" Noakes continues this general thought by concluding, "(Goodrick-Clarke) provides not only a definitive account of the influence of Ariosophy on Nazism, a subject which is prone to sensationalism, but also fascinating insights into the intellectual climate of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century." These reviews reflect the greatest dilemmas in Nazi occultist scholarship; the discernment between actual efficacy of possible Occult practices by Nazi leaders, purpose of these practices, and modern notions and applications of Occultism today largely impact the appropriate scholarship in general in making connections between plausible Nazi Ariosophic practices and blatant popular myth.
The linkages Goodrick-Clarke makes concerning Ariosophy and German society are further detailed in Peter Merkl's Political Violence under the Swastika, "pre-1933 Nazis", various NSDAP members, volunteered to write their memoirs and recollections about the rise of the Nazi Party in order to provide a coherent, statistical analysis of the motivations and ideals these early members hoped to pursue in German politics. From the findings, Merkl has found, through statistical evidence, that there were aspects of ideology within German society that favored intense German nationalism, ranging from what was considered to be a "German Romantic", one who was "beholden to the cultural and historical traditions of old Germany…" to someone classified as a part of an alleged "Nordic/Hitler Cult", one who followed Voelkisch (traditional, anti-Semitic) beliefs. To further prove the point, Merkl discovered that of those willing to submit their testimonies, "Protestants tended to be German Romantics, Catholics to be anti-Semites, superpatriots, and solidarists. Areas of religious homogeneity were particularly high in anti-Semitism or in the Nordic-German cult," of which members of both religious groups were prone to Judenkoller, an alleged sudden and violent sickness that would manifest either in blatant hatred or hysteria at being within proximity of Jewish persons. Coincidentally, Merkl mentions a relationship to this Nordic/German- agrarian cult in relation to 19th-century to a "crypto-Nazi tradition", despite being written ten years prior to The Occult Roots of Nazism.
Some of this modern mythology even touches Goodrick-Clarke's topic directly. The rumor that Adolf Hitler had encountered the Austrian monk and anti-semitic publicist, Lanz von Liebenfels, already at the age of 8, at Heilgenkreuz abbey, goes back to Les mystiques du soleil (1971) by Michel-Jean Angbert. "This episode is wholly imaginary."
Nevertheless, Michel-Jean Angbert and the other authors discussed by Goodrick-Clarke present their accounts as real, so that this modern mythology has led to several legends that resemble conspiracy theories, concerning, for example, the Vril Society or rumours about Karl Haushofer's connection to the occult. The most influential books were Trevor Ravenscroft's The Spear of Destiny and The Morning of the Magicians by Pauwels and Bergier.
In Ravenscroft's book a specific interest of Hitler concerning the Holy Lance is alleged. With the annexation of Austria in 1938, the Hofburg Spear, a relic stored in Vienna, had actually come into the possession of the Third Reich and Hitler subsequently had it moved to Nuremberg in Germany. It was returned to Austria after the war.
Claims of Nazi occultism
One of the earliest claims of Nazi occultism can be found in Lewis Spence's book Occult Causes of the Present War (1940). According to Spence, Alfred Rosenberg and his book The Myth of the Twentieth Century were responsible for promoting pagan, occult and anti-Christian ideas that motivated the Nazi party.
Demonic possession of Hitler
For a demonic influence on Hitler, Hermann Rauschning's Hitler Speaks is brought forward as source. However, most modern scholars do not consider Rauschning reliable. (As Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke summarises, "recent scholarship has almost certainly proved that Rauschning's conversations were mostly invented".)
Similarly to Rauschning, August Kubizek, one of Hitler's closest friends since childhood, claims that Hitler—17 years old at the time—once spoke to him of "returning Germany to its former glory"; of this comment August said, "It was as if another being spoke out of his body, and moved him as much as it did me."
An article "Hitler's Forgotten Library" by Timothy Ryback, published in The Atlantic (May 2003), mentions a book from Hitler's private library authored by Ernst Schertel. Schertel, whose interests were flagellation, dance, occultism, nudism and BDSM, had also been active as an activist for sexual liberation before 1933. He had been imprisoned in Nazi Germany for seven months and his doctoral degree was revoked. He is supposed to have sent a dedicated copy of his 1923 book Magic: History, Theory and Practice to Hitler some time in the mid-1920s. Hitler is said to have marked extensive passages, including one which reads "He who does not have the demonic seed within himself will never give birth to a magical world".
Theosophist Alice A. Bailey stated during World War II that Adolf Hitler was possessed by what she called the Dark Forces. Her follower Benjamin Creme has stated that through Hitler (and a group of equally evil men around him in Nazi Germany, together with a group of militarists in Japan and a further group around Mussolini in Italy) was released the energies of the Antichrist, which, according to theosophical teachings is not an individual person but forces of destruction.
According to James Herbert Brennan in his book Occult Reich, Hitler's mentor, Dietrich Eckhart (to whom Hitler dedicates Mein Kampf), wrote to a friend of his in 1923: "Follow Hitler! He will dance, but it is I who have called the tune. We have given him the 'means of communication' with Them. Do not mourn for me; I shall have influenced history more than any other German."
New World Order
Conspiracy theorists "frequently identify German National Socialism inter alia as a precursor of the New World Order". With regard to Hitler's later ambition of imposing a National Socialist regime throughout Europe, Nazi propaganda used the term Neuordnung (often poorly translated as "the New Order", while actually referring to the "re-structurization" of state borders on the European map and the resulting post-war economic hegemony of Greater Germany), so one could probably say that the Nazis pursued a new world order in terms of politics. But the claim that Hitler and the Thule Society conspired to create a New World Order (a conspiracy theory, put forward on some webpages) is completely unfounded.
There are also unverifiable rumours that the occultist Aleister Crowley sought to contact Hitler during World War II. Despite several allegations and speculations to the contrary (e.g. Giorgio Galli) there is no evidence of such an encounter. In 1991, John Symonds, one of Crowley's literary executors published a book: The Medusa's Head or Conversations between Aleister Crowley and Adolf Hitler, which has definitively been shown to be literary fiction. That the edition of this book was limited to 350 also contributed to the mystery surrounding the topic. Mention of a contact between Crowley and Hitler—without any sources or evidence—is also made in a letter from René Guénon to Julius Evola dated October 29, 1949, which later reached a broader audience.
Erik Jan Hanussen
When Hitler and the Occult describes how Hitler "seemed endowed with even greater authority and charisma" after he had resumed public speaking in March 1927, the documentary states that "this may have been due to the influence" of the clairvoyant performer and publicist, Erik Jan Hanussen. It is said that "Hanussen helped Hitler perfect a series of exaggerated poses," useful for speaking before a huge audience. The documentary then interviews Dusty Sklar about the contact between Hitler and Hanussen, and the narrator makes the statement about "occult techniques of mind control and crowd domination".
Whether Hitler had met Hanussen at all is not certain. That he even encountered him before March 1927 is not confirmed by other sources about Hanussen. In the late 1920s to early 1930s Hanussen made political predictions in his own newspaper, Hanussens Bunte Wochenschau, that gradually started to favour Hitler, but until late 1932 these predictions varied. In 1929, Hanussen predicted, for example, that Wilhelm II would return to Germany in 1930 and that the problem of unemployment would be solved in 1931.
Sir Winston Churchill wrote in his memoir "The Gathering Storm" about Hitler and Moloch: "[Hitler] had conjured up the fearful idol of an all-devouring Moloch of which he was the priest and incarnation".
Nazi mysticism, occultism and science fiction
Nazi mysticism in German culture is further expanded upon within Manfred Nagl's article "SF (Science Fiction), Occult Sciences, and Nazi Myths", published in the journal Science Fiction Studies. In it, Nagl writes that the racial narratives described in contemporary German Science Fiction stories, like The Last Queen of Atlantis, by Edmund Kiss, provide further notions of racial superiority under the auspices of Ariosophy, Aryanism, and alleged historic racial Mysticism, suggesting that writings associated with possible Occultism, Ariosophy, or Aryanism were products intended to influence and justify in a socio-political manner, rather than simply establish cultural heritage. The stories themselves dealt with "...heroes, charismatic leader types, (who) have been chosen by fate – with the resources of a sophisticated and extremely powerful technology"." Nagl considers science fiction pieces like Atlantis further fueled the violent persuasiveness of Nazi leaders, such as Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler, as further justification for a "Nazi elite (envisioning) for itself in occupied East European territories". This, in turn, allegedly propagated public support of Nazi ideology, summated by Nagl as "a tremendous turning back of culture, away from the age of reason and consciousness, toward the age of a 'sleepwalking certainty', the age of supra-rational magic".
Crypto-historic books on Nazi occultism
In the essay that is included in the German edition of The Occult Roots..., H. T. Hakl, an Austrian publisher of esoteric works, traces the origins of the speculation about National Socialism and Occultism back to several works from the early 1940s. His research was also published in a short book, Unknown sources: National Socialism and the Occult, translated by Goodrick-Clarke. Already in 1933 a pseudonymous Kurt van Emsen described Hitler as a "demonic personality", but his work was soon forgotten. The first allusions that Hitler was directed by occult forces which were taken up by the later authors came from French Christian esotericist René Kopp. In two articles published in the monthly esoteric journal Le Chariot from June 1934 and April 1939, he seeks to trace the source of Hitler's power to supernatural forces. The second article was titled: "L'Enigme du Hitler". In other French esoteric journals of the 1930s, Hakl could not find similar hints. In 1939 another French author, Edouard Saby, published a book: Hitler et les Forces Occultes. Saby already mentions Hanussen and Ignaz Trebitsch-Lincoln. Hakl even hints that Edouard Saby would have the copyright on the myth of Nazi occultism. However, another significant book from 1939 is better known: Hermann Rauschning's Hitler Speaks. There it is said (in the chapter "Black and White Magic"), that "Hitler surrendered himself to forces that carried him away. (...) He turned himself over to a spell, which can, with good reason and not simply in a figurative analogy, be described as demonic magic." The chapter "Hitler in private" is even more dramatic, and was left out in the German edition from 1940.
Goodrick-Clarke examines several pseudo-historic "books written about Nazi occultism between 1960 and 1975", that "were typically sensational and under-researched". He terms this genre "crypto-history", as its defining element and "final point of explanatory reference is an agent which has remained concealed to previous historians of National Socialism". Characteristic tendencies of this literature include: (1) "a complete ignorance of primary sources" and (2) the repetition of "inaccuracies and wild claims", without the attempt being made to confirm even "wholly spurious 'facts'". Books debunked in Appendix E of The Occult Roots of Nazism are:
- Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, 1960, The Morning of the Magicians
- Dietrich Bronder, 1964, Bevor Hitler kam
- Trevor Ravenscroft, 1972, The Spear of Destiny
- Michel-Jean Angbert, 1971, Les mystiques du soleil
- J. H. Brennan, 1974, The Occult Reich
- Otto Rahn, 1937, Luzifers Hofgesind, eine Reise zu den guten Geistern Europas (Lucifer's Court: A Heretic's Journey in Search of the Light Bringers).
These books are only mentioned in the Appendix. Otherwise the whole book by Goodrick-Clarke does without any reference to this kind of literature; it uses other sources. This literature is not reliable; however, books published after the emergence of The Occult Roots of Nazism continue to repeat claims that have been proven false:
- Wulf Schwarzwaller, 1988, The Unknown Hitler
- Alan Baker, 2000, Invisible Eagle. The History of Nazi Occultism
Documentaries on Nazism and the occult
More than 60 years after the end of the Third Reich, National Socialism and Adolf Hitler have become a recurring subject in history documentaries. Among these documentaries, there are several that focus especially on the potential relations between Nazism and Occultism, such as the History Channel's documentary Hitler and the Occult. As evidence of Hitler's "occult power" this documentary offers, for example, the infamous statement by Joachim von Ribbentrop of his continued subservience to Hitler at the Nuremberg Trials. After the author Dusty Sklar has pointed out that Hitler's suicide happened at the night of April 30/May 1, which is Walpurgis Night, the narrator continues: "With Hitler gone, it was as if a spell had been broken". A much more plausible reason for Hitler's suicide (that does not involve the paranormal) is that the Russians had already closed to within several hundred meters of Hitler's bunker and he did not want to be captured alive.
From the perspective of academic history, these documentaries on Nazism, if ever commented, are seen as problematic because they do not contribute to an actual understanding of the problems that arise in the study of Nazism and Neo-Nazism. Without referring to a specific documentary Mattias Gardell, a historian who studies contemporary separatist groups, writes:
In documentaries portraying the Third Reich, Hitler is cast as a master magician; these documentaries typically include scenes in which Hitler is speaking at huge mass meetings. [...] Cuts mix Hitler screaming with regiments marching under the sign of the swastika. Instead of providing a translation of his verbal crescendos, the sequence is overlaid with a speaker talking about something different. All this combines to demonize Hitler as an evil wizard spellbinding an unwitting German people to become his zombified servants until they are liberated from the spell by the Allied victory after which, suddenly, there were no German Nazis left among the populace. How convenient it would be if this image were correct. National socialism could be defeated with garlic. Watchdog groups could be replaced with a few vampire killers, and resources being directed into anti-racist community programs could be directed at something else. [...]
The truth, however, is that millions of ordinary German workers, farmers and businessmen supported the national socialist program. [...] They were people who probably considered themselves good citizens, which is far more frightening than had they merely been demons.
Hitler and the Occult includes a scene in which Hitler is seen as speaking at a huge mass meeting. While Hitler's speech is not translated, the narrator talks about the German occultist and stage mentalist Erik Jan Hanussen: "Occultists believe, Hanussen may also have imparted occult techniques of mind control and crowd domination on Hitler" (see below). When historians have noted the existence of such "myths" as those about Erik Jan Hanussen, they have displayed nothing but academic contempt for their originators.
Ernst Schäfer's expedition to Tibet
At least one documentary, Hitler's Search for the Holy Grail, includes footage from the 1939 German expedition to Tibet. The documentary describes it as "the most ambitious expedition" of the SS. This original video material was made accessible again by Marco Dolcetta in his series Il Nazismo Esoterico in 1994. An interview that Dolcetta conducted with Schäfer does not support the theories of Nazi occultism, neither does Reinhard Greve's 1995 article Tibetforschung im SS Ahnenerbe (Tibet Research Within the SS Ahnenerbe), although the latter does mention the occult thesis. Hakl comments that Greve should have emphasized the unreliability of authors like Bergier and Pauwels or Angbert more. Ernst Schäfer's expedition report explicitly remarks on the "worthless goings-on" by "a whole army of quacksalvers" concerning Asia and especially Tibet.
List of documentaries
- Schwarze Sonne documentary by Rüdiger Sünner. Sünner also produced a book to accompany this documentary.
- Hans-Jürgen Syberberg's Hitler – Ein Film aus Deutschland (Hitler, A Film From Germany), 1977. Originally presented on German television, this is a 7-hour work in 4 parts: The Grail; A German Dream; The End Of Winter's Tale; We, Children Of Hell. The director uses documentary clips, photographic backgrounds, puppets, theatrical stages, and other elements from almost all the visual arts, with the "actors" addressing directly the audience/camera, in order to approach and expand on this most taboo subject of European history of the 20th century.
- Nazis: The Occult Conspiracy (1998), directed by Tracy Atkinson and Joan Baran, Narrated by Malcolm McDowell.
- The Occult History of the Third Reich, Narrated by Patrick Allen, Director: Dave Flitton (originally shown on The History Channel)
- Adolf Hitler – Occult History of the Third Reich
- The SS: Blood and Soil – Occult History of the Third Reich
- Himmler the Mystic – Occult History of the Third Reich
- The Enigma of the Swastika – Occult History of the Third Reich
- "Decoding the Past" Episode: The Nazi Prophecies by the History Channel
- The Riddle Of Rudolph Hess/Himmler's Castle: Wewelsburg
- In 1994, Channel 4 ran a Michael Wood documentary entitled Hitler's Search for the Holy Grail, as part of its "Secret History" series.
- Unsolved Mysteries of World War II: Occult & Secrets, also known as Volume 3 in the series.
- Rudolf Hess (Occult)
- Hitler's Secret Weapons
- Enigma of the Swastika (Occult)
- Himmler's Castle: Wewelsburg (Occult)
- The Last Days of Hitler
- Decision At Dunkirk/Stalin's Secret Armies
Fictional accounts of Nazi occultism
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The image of a connection between Nazism and the occult is a common theme in fantasy fiction. One could also ask whether The Morning of the Magicians should not be considered as fiction, since the authors fail to clearly state that it was supposed to be fact. Aside from such considerations, there are also many accounts of Nazi occultism that are clearly fictional.
- Dennis Wheatley's novel They Used Dark Forces.
- Occult-obsessed Nazis have long been a staple of superhero comic books:
- Neo-Nazis are recurring villains in Warrior Nun Areala, most notably Dr. Frederick Ottoman, a mad scientist with fleets of Nazi-UFOs and spies in every government.
- In the 1980s, DC Comics writer Roy Thomas invented a retcon to explain why Superman, the Spectre, and the Justice Society of America had been unable to defeat the Nazis: Hitler possessed the Spear of Destiny (Spear of Longinus) which gave him magical control over any superheroes who ventured into his territory. Later appearances of the Spear in DC continuity also suggested that it was the Gungnir, the spear wielded by Odin in Norse mythology.
- In the Marvel Comics comic book series The Invaders, Thor was summoned by Hitler to battle that superhero group; however, Thor soon realized he was being used, and returned to Asgard.
- The Thule Society appears in Steve Gerber's brief run on Cloak and Dagger.
- The Hellboy comic books and movies also portray the Nazis and the Thule Society as powerful occult figures; in that universe, Hitler lived until 1958 and waged a "secret war" from South America after the collapse of the Third Reich.
- David Brin's novelette "Thor Meets Captain America" and graphic novel The Life Eaters center on this theme, as well.
- The Danger Girl comic book features as its villains a modern-day Nazi group called 'The Hammer', which intends to use occult artifacts from Atlantis to establish a Fourth Reich.
- The Zenith series, which appeared in the British science fiction comic 2000 AD heavily features Nazi mysticism as the earthly conduit of extra-dimensional entities that threaten to destroy the universe.
- James Herbert's novel, The Spear, deals with a neo-Nazi cult in Britain and an international conspiracy which includes a right-wing US general and a sinister arms dealer, and their obsession with and through the occult with resurrecting Himmler.
- Katherine Kurtz's novel Lammas Night presents Nazis as powerful magicians who must be opposed by British witches.
- The villains of Clive Cussler's novel Atlantis Found are modern Nazis who operate out of a secret base in Antarctica and are linked to the ancient culture of Atlantis.
- The Island of Thule is an important location in the Silver Age Sentinels superhero role playing game and collections of short stories based upon the game. It was raised from the Atlantic Ocean by Kreuzritter ("Crusader"), a Nazi superhuman who wears a mystical suit of armor made by a long-disappeared Aryan culture.
- Kouta Hirano's manga series Hellsing features Millennium, a group of Nazis with the purpose of creating a reich that will last a thousand years (in accordance with Hitler's vision). This organization is heavily mystical, including among its number a werewolf, a catboy, and an army of 1,000 vampires known as the Letztes Bataillon ("Last Battalion"). It is led by a former SS officer whose true intention is the pursuit of absolute war.
- Dylan Lumley The Three Nails
- James Twining – The Black Sun
- James Rollins – Black Order
- Charles Stross features the fictitious Ahnenerbe activities in his The Atrocity Archives
- Daniel Easterman's 1985 novel, The Seventh Sanctuary, features the Ahnenerbe and a Nazi city in the Saudi desert, where the Ark of the Covenant has been discovered, and from which it is planned that a Fourth Reich will be created.
- Nazi occultism plays a large role in several of the stories in the Rook Universe written by Barry Reese
- Barbara Hambly's Sun-Cross books feature poor wizards in a parallel universe who inadvertently travel through a wormhole to Nazi Germany and are forced to magically assist Hitler's Reich.
- Mack Bolan draws the wrath of the Order of Thule by stealing a Nazi holy artifact in The Devil's Guard by Mark Ellis.
- The Vril Codex by Ben Manning (2011), mythologises the ancient Norse Nazi connections, Nazi UFO conspiracy theories, and the Thule ancient land myth. Vril power is the central theme and Bulwer-Lytton is referenced in the novel.
- Sun of the Sleepless by Patrick Horne reveals that the eponymous neo-chivalric Order infiltrated the Vril Society and Society for Truth in Nazi Germany during World War II in order to access funding from the Third Reich to build Die Glocke (the so-called Bell) with the intention of usurping their masters and creating a New World Order.
- The radio drama "Ritual of the Stifling Air" by Paul A Green, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 1977, depicts a modern group of Neo-Nazi occultists attempting to contact the ghost of the Fuehrer.
- Zombies vs. Nazis by Scott Kenemore imagines that Nazi operatives sought to weaponize Haitian voodoo.
- In the Rivers of London novels by Ben Aaronovitch the main protagonist Peter Grant learns that most of the British and Allied Wizards were killed defeating their Nazi counterparts in a forest somewhere near Ettersberg.
- Graham Masterton's 1993 novel The Hymn (published in the USA as The Burning)
- Secrets of the Last Nazi by Iain King, which examines the Third Reich's fascination with astrology and predicting the future.
- Nazi occult-hunters have been featured in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones films. The Ahnenerbe organization was the basis for the Nazi archaeologist villains in these movies. They involve several plots related to Nazi mysticism, especially as related to archaeology. As one of the characters in Raiders of the Lost Ark says, Hitler is "obsessed with the occult." Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade connects the Holy Grail legend with Nazi occultism.
- La Bestia in Calore
- Blood Creek features a Nazi scholar attempting to gain immortality by drinking blood and soaking power from ancient Viking runes
- BloodRayne: The Third Reich
- Bulletproof Monk features a group of Nazis attempting to get the Scroll of the Ultimate, giving them unlimited power of good and evil.
- The Bunker
- Constantine features the Holy Lance as a main plot point. It is found buried in Mexico, wrapped in a Nazi flag.
- Dead Snow
- Dead Walkers: Rise of the 4th Reich
- Death Ship
- The Devil's Rock
- Eye of the Needle
- First Squad Set during the opening days of World War II on the Eastern Front. Its main cast are a group of Soviet teenagers with extraordinary abilities; the teenagers have been drafted to form a special unit to fight the invading German army. They are opposed by a Schutzstaffel (SS) officer who is attempting to raise from the dead a supernatural army of crusaders from the 12th-century Order of the Sacred Cross and enlist them in the Nazi cause. Most of the teenage crew die, except for the protagonist Nadia. She is taken to a secret Soviet lab that studies supernatural phenomena, especially contacts with the dead. Nadia's task is to dive into the world of the dead for reconnaissance. There, in the Gloomy Valley, she meets her dead friends and tries to persuade them to continue fighting.
- Frankenstein's Army depicts a deranged Nazi scientist who believes he was given divine genius to create supersoldiers out of the bodies of dead German troops.
- Frostbite features an elderly Swedish Nazi trying to create a master race from the blood of a girl vampire.
- Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa
- Hannibal Rising
- Hanussen (1988 film)
- Hellboy touches upon a fictional group of mysticist Nazis bent on summoning forces from other dimensions.
- Hellsing features a surviving branch of the SS (fittingly dubbed "The Last Battalion") which were under the order of Hitler to create a battalion of 1000 vampire soldiers. The branch, officially named Millennium, went to hide in South America preparing for their revenge.
- Invisible Agent
- Iron Sky
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
- The Keep
- Nazis at the Center of the Earth
- "Ouija: Origin of Evil"
- Philadelphia Experiment II
- Puppet Master
- Puppet Master: Axis of Evil
- Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge
- Puppet Master X: Axis Rising
- The Rise of Valhalla
- She Demons
- Shock Waves (film)
- SS Doomtrooper
- They Saved Hitler's Brain
- Tras el cristal
- The Unborn
- A View to a Kill
- Worst Case Scenario
- Zone Troopers
- The computer game Return to Castle Wolfenstein featured a plotline involving Nazi obsession with the occult. It portrays an organization (SS Paranormal Division) based on the Ahnenerbe practicing occult rituals and magic. The game drew themes of Nazi mysticism, among other things, from its predecessors, Wolfenstein 3D and its prequel, Spear of Destiny, the latter of which also featured a storyline concerning Nazi mysticism. Wolfenstein, for example, features a number of inspirations from the real-world Nazi regime but departs from historical reality in a number of ways. For example, the game aggrandizes the Kreisau Circle to be "an extensive resistance network of paramilitary fighters and informants that aides and abets B.J. [the protagonist] in his exploits," depicts the Thule Society (that Hitler formally disavowed while in power) as a "powerful nest of high-ranking Nazi officials within the Third Reich who are heavily involved in, and in some cases personally lead, the Reich's paranormal research efforts," and goes beyond Himmler's symbolic use of the Black Sun to make it a "limitless energy source that the Nazis are hell-bent on manipulating toward their own nefarious ends."
- The video game BloodRayne involves a plotline concerning the Thule society and its members and features a lot of in-game Thule society imagery (especially the character High Priest Von Blut).
- A fictional division of the Ahnenerbe, the Karotechia, has a prominent place in the mythology of the Delta Green setting for the role-playing game Call of Cthulhu, and stories based upon the setting. In it, the survivors of the Karotechia, a group founded to study occult tomes and conduct magical research, live on in South America, training sorcerers, and cultists to found the Fourth Reich, all under the sway of Hitler's ghost (actually Nyarlathotep in disguise).
- The role playing game Hollow Earth Expedition features a fictionalized Thule Society's attempts at infiltrating the Hollow Earth. The sourcebook, Secrets of the Surface World, further expands the efforts of Nazis to discover and use occult relics.
- The action game Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb revolves around a fictional Chinese artifact called the "Heart of the Dragon" which grants the wielder immense power. A large number of the opponents encountered by the protagonist, Indiana Jones, works for the Nazi commander Albrecht Von Beck who intends to bring the artifact to Hitler.
- The PlayStation game Medal of Honor: Underground featured a mission where the main character had to infiltrate Wewelsburg Castle. The intro video and end video for the mission described occultism in the SS. During the mission, the character had to retrieve the Knife of Abraham, fight knights, and eventually ended up in a room with the Black Sun found on the floor, where the Nazis planned to bury their leaders, codenamed Valhalla.
- The Xbox 360 game Operation Darkness features supernatural British commandos (werewolves etc.) fighting Nazi vampires, zombies, and other monsters conjured by Hitler.
- In the game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune the main character Nathan Drake comes across a derelict, long-abandoned Nazi U-Boat stranded on rocks below a waterfall in the jungles of Central America. On it, he finds that the crew are dead and mutilated as well as a map to a mysterious island where the statue of El Dorado was taken to by the Spanish Conquistadors. Near the end of the game, Nathan finds himself in an abandoned German U-Boat base built into the island in which he finds that the Germans had sought to unlock the power of the statue of El Dorado but learned too late that it carried a curse that had mutated them into monsters.
- In the sequel to Uncharted, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Nathan Drake discovers the bodies of Nazi SS members in the Himalayas. It is revealed that they were attempting to find Shambhala and the Cintamani Stone.
- In Clive Barker's Jericho, an entire chapter of the game throws the Jerichos into World War II, where they are to defeat undead Nazis and their occultist leader Hanne Lichthammer.
- Tannhauser (board game) pits Allies against agents of the defeated Third Reich using occult powers.
- Day After Ragnarok is a post-apocalyptic role-playing game by Kenneth Hite set in a devastated world following the Nazi's summoning of the world serpent.
- The eroge 11eyes deals with the occultist Thule Society as being a collaboration between the Nazi Party and the witch Lieselotte Werckmeister and its battle against the Vatican's secret agents.
- Adolf Hitler in popular culture
- Adolf Hitler's religious beliefs
- Esoteric Nazism
- Esotericism in Germany and Austria
- German Christians
- Magic: History, Theory and Practice
- Nazi archaeology
- Nazi UFOs
- Nazis: The Occult Conspiracy
- Neo-völkisch movements
- The Occult History of the Third Reich
- Positive Christianity
- Protestant Reich Church
- Religion in Nazi Germany
- Religious aspects of Nazism
- Walter Johannes Stein
- Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 218–225
- The Occult Roots of Nazism, Introduction.
- Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 217.
- Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 218.
- Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 224,225
- Goodrick-Clarke 2004: vi.
- Goodrick-Clarke 2002: 6.
- Goodrick-Clarke 2002: 107–128.
- Rißmann 2001: 137–172.
- Goodrick-Clarke 2002: 107.
- Bramwell, Anna. 1988. "Review". The English Historical Review 103 (407). 156.
- Housden, Martyn. 1994. "Review". History 79 (255). 179.
- Noakes, Jeremy. 1988. "Review". History 73 (238).364.
- Peter H. Merkl. 1975. Political Violence Under The Swastika: 581 Early Nazis. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. 453.
- Peter H. Merkl. 1975. Political Violence Under The Swastika: 581 Early Nazis. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. 687.
- Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 224.
- Demonic Possession of World Leaders Archived 2006-09-27 at the Wayback Machine.
- Theodor Schieder (1972), Hermann Rauschnings "Gespräche mit Hitler" als Geschichtsquelle (Oppladen, Germany: Westdeutscher Verlag) and Wolfgang Hänel (1984), Hermann Rauschnings "Gespräche mit Hitler": Eine Geschichtsfälschung (Ingolstadt, Germany: Zeitgeschichtliche Forschungsstelle), cit. in Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (2003), Black Sun, p. 321.
- Goodrick-Clarke (2003: 110). The best that can be said for Rauschning's claims may be Goodrick-Clarke's judgment that they "record ... the authentic voice of Hitler by inspired guesswork and imagination" (ibid.).
- “Hitler and the Holy Roman Empire” Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine.
- Ryback, Timothy W. "Hitler's Forgotten Library". The Atlantic, May 2003. Accessed 27 June 2009.
- Kelley, JH. "New Translation of German Book Links Hitler to Satanism" (press release). PRLog, May 17, 2009. Accessed 28 June 2009.
- Bailey, Alice A. The Externalisation of the Hierarchy New York:1957 (Compilation of earlier revelations by Alice A. Bailey) Lucis Publishing Co. Page 425
- Bailey, Alice A. The Externalisation of the Hierarchy New York:1957 (Compilation of earlier revelations by Alice A. Bailey) Lucis Publishing Co. Page 258
- Creme, Benjamin Maitreya's Mission – Volume III Amsterdam:1997 Share International Foundation Page 416
- Goodrick-Clarke 2002: 288.
- Safire, William. "On Language; The New, New World Order". The New York Times, February 17, 1991. Accessed 27 June 2009.
- Historic Results of Hitler's Thule Societies pursuit of the NWO Archived 2007-02-07 at the Wayback Machine.
- Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 201; Johannes Hering, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Thule-Gesellschaft, typescript dated June 21, 1939, Bundesarchiv, Koblenz, NS26/865.
- Hakl 1997: 205.
- Frei 1980: 85.
- Churchill, Winston S. The Gathering Storm: The Second World War, Volume 1  Page 64
- Nagl, Manfred. "SF, Occult Sciences, and Nazi Myths". Science Fiction Studies. 1 (3): 190.
- Nagl, Manfred. "SF, Occult Sciences, and Nazi Myths". Science Fiction Studies 1 (3): 188.
- Entry for Hans Thomas Hakl from the German National Library.
- Hakl 1997: 209.
- Hakl 1997: 210.
- Hakl 1997: 212.
- Hakl 1997: 214.
- Hakl 1997: 211.
- Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 224, 225.
- Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 225.
- Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 219–220.
- Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 221.
- Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 221–223.
- If The Unknown Hitler is quoted correctly in The Vril Society, the Luminous Lodge and the Realization of the Great Work, then this book makes false allegations about Karl Haushofer and G. I. Gurdjieff.
- Chapter 5 of the Free online version Archived 2007-07-15 at the Wayback Machine. of Invisible Eagle is mainly based on Ravenscroft.
- The History Channel online Store: The Unknown Hitler DVD Collection Archived 2007-11-06 at the Wayback Machine.
- Another critique of Hitler documentaries: Mark Schone – All Hitler, all the time Archived 2012-01-29 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Even with all I know, if in this cell Hitler should come to me and say 'Do this!', I would still do it." – Joachim von Ribbentrop, 1946
- Gardell 2003, 331, 332
- Hakl 1997: 204
- Reinhard Greve: Tibetforschung im SS Ahnenerbe; in: Thomas Hauschild: Lebenslust durch Fremdenfurcht, Frankfurt (Main), 1995, pp. 168–209.
- Hitler and the Occult DVD Archived 2007-11-02 at the Wayback Machine.
- DECODING THE PAST: Nazi Prophecies Archived 2007-11-02 at the Wayback Machine.
- Decoding The Past: Nazi Prophecies DVD Archived 2007-11-02 at the Wayback Machine.
- Robin Cross, "The Nazi Expedition"
- Unsolved Mysteries: V1-5 World War Ii (1998)
- Unsolved Mysteries of World War II: Decision at Dunkirk/Stalin's Secret Armies DVD
- Unsolved Mysteries of World War II: The Eagle & The Swastika/The Last Days of Hitler (1998)
- Link to Booktrade Announcement
- Rebecca A. Umland and Samuel J. Umland, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)," The Use of Arthurian Legend in Hollywood Film: From Connecticut Yankees to Fisher Kings (Contributions to the Study of Popular Culture) (Greenwood Press, 1996.), 167–171.
- "Real-life Insanity: Wolfenstein's events are fictional, but are inspired by the reality of the Nazi regime," Game Informer 184 (August 2008): 36.
- Gerald Villoria, "Operation: Darkness Preview," GameSpy (September 23, 2007).
- Carrie B. Dohe. Jung's Wandering Archetype: Race and Religion in Analytical Psychology. London: Routledge, 2016 ISBN 978-1138888401
- Michael Rißmann. 2001. Hitlers Gott. Vorsehungsglaube und Sendungsbewußtsein des deutschen Diktators.(in German). esp. pp. 137–172; Zürich, Munich. Pendo
- Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke. 1985. The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology: The Ariosophists of Austria and Germany, 1890–1935. Wellingborough, England: The Aquarian Press. ISBN 0-85030-402-4. (Several reprints.) Expanded with a new Preface, 2004, I.B. Tauris & Co. ISBN 1-86064-973-4
- Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke. 2002. Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity. New York University Press. ISBN 0-8147-3124-4. (Paperback, 2003. ISBN 0-8147-3155-4)
- H. T. Hakl. 1997: Nationalsozialismus und Okkultismus. (in German) In: Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke: Die okkulten Wurzeln des Nationalsozialismus. Graz, Austria: Stocker (German edition of The Occult Roots of Nazism)
- Florian Evers. 2011. Vexierbilder des Holocaust. LIT Verlag Münster. ISBN 3643111908, 9783643111906.
- Julian Strube. 2012. Die Erfindung des esoterischen Nationalsozialismus im Zeichen der Schwarzen Sonne. (in German) In: Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft, 20(2): 223–268.
- Igor Barinov. 2013. Tabu i mify Tret'ego Reikha (Taboo and Myths of the Third Reich). Moscow, Pskov. ISBN 9785945422896.
- Eric Kurlander. Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017 ISBN 978-0-300-18945-2
- Bruno Frei. 1980. Der Hellseher: Leben und Sterben des Erik Jan Hanussen. ed.: Antonia Gruneberg. Cologne: Prometh (in German)
- Mattias Gardell. 2003. Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-3071-4
- The Occult Roots of Nazism by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke – Short article at www.lapismagazine.org.
- Magic Realism – A book review by William Main of The Occult Roots of Nazism, taken from the December 1994 issue of "Fidelity" Magazine.
- Nationalsozialismus und Okkultismus? Die Thule-Gesellschaft (in German) Article on an information page from the Swiss Reformed Church.
- NARA Research Room: Captured German and Related Records on Microform in the National Archives: Captured German Records Filmed at Berlin (American Historical Association, 1960). Microfilm Publication T580. 1,002 rolls, including among, others, files of the Ahnenerbe and the Nachlass of Walter Darré.
- Hitler and the Occult: Nazism, Reincarnation, and Rock Culture.
- White Blood, White Gods: An Assessment of Racialist Paganism in the United States – A Senior Honors Thesis by Damon Berry in June 2006.
- "Hitler and the Secret Societies" by Julius Evola (from Il Conciliatore, no. 10, 1971; translated from the German edition in Deutsche Stimme, no. 8, 1998).
- Von Aldebaran bis Vril. Interview über esoterischen Neonazismus (in German) Interview, Religionswissenschaftlicher Medien- und Informationsdienst, April 2013.