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Thursday, 16 January 2014

The New Pagan Religions that Built Nazism

North Tower of the Wewelsburg Castle that, based on an old Westphalian legend, was destined by the Nazis to become a magical German strongpoint in a future conflict between Europe and Asia

This is the second article of a series of three.

There are many variations within neopaganism, deriving from the fact that it collects a large number of geographically diverse faiths with some common threads, but all neopagans agree on one crucial point: Christianity must be, if it is not already, defeated.

As showed in the first article of this series, Hitler's Neopaganism and Anti-Christianity, and in anthropologist and historian Karla Poewe's book New Religions and the Nazis (Amazon USA) (Amazon UK) , being neopagan in the 1920s and 1930s was deeply linked to opposition to the Jewish-Christian tradition.

The book reveals a major, so far neglected, element of Nazi history: the contribution of the so-called new religions, defined as non-established religions, to the emergence of Nazi ideology in the twenties and thirties in Germany.

This book is not to be overlooked or underestimated because it's the result of a 10-year ground-breaking research in the German Federal Archives in Berlin and Koblenz. It was researched from original documents, letters and unpublished papers, including the SS personnel files held in the German Federal Archives.

The fall of the Berlin Wall gave Poewe, New Religions and the Nazis' author, access to the archives of the Berlin Mission Society. In 1995, while working in these archives, she discovered a great amount of material regarding conflicts between members of the Berlin Mission, a Christian missionary society, and the Nazis.

Karla Poewe is Professor Emeritus in Anthropology at the University of Calgary, in Canada, and Adjunct Research Professor at Liverpool Hope University, in England. She was interviewed by the Calgary Herald after her book came out:
"The new religions that developed in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s ushered in National Socialism and nurtured it," Poewe said.

"There were constant battles in the 1920s between Christians and the members of these new religions, because they identified Christianity as a kind of Jewish imperialism. They wanted nothing to do with it, so they came up with their own version. They tried to build a genuine German religion."

Because the Nazis were "on the far right," as a nationalist movement, they tend to be misinterpreted as a more extreme version of Christian conservatism. But "they weren't trying to conserve anything," Poewe said. They were rather extreme radicals, trying to overthrow completely the 1,000-year tradition of German Christianity -- replacing the cross with the swastika.

"There's a big mistake in identifying National Socialism as a Christian movement," Poewe said.

"There was a Deutsche Christen movement, but they weren't Christian at all. They rejected the Old Testament, Jesus had to be an Aryan, they were hostile to St. Paul, and they emphasized (the Gospel of) St. Mark. They remained in the church, but rejected everything Christian like the Trinity. Christ was at best a good philosopher." [Emphases added]
Poewe researched the former German missionary Jakob Wilhelm Hauer, who in the 1920s founded the German Faith Movement (Deutsche Glaubensbewegung or DGB), mixing Nordic and Hindu religions with Germanic idealistic philosophy. This new religion was intended to express the essence of National Socialism and the New German Man, as found in the the SS.

We have to consider the state of major turmoil into which the First World War threw Germany. The loss of the war and and the punitive, draconian conditions of the Treaty of Versailles imposed on Germany produced general discontent and resentment. Therefore Germans, and in particular intellectuals, took political, ideological and religious matters into their hands with the purpose of achieving national regeneration.

By fusing politics, religion, theology, Indo-Aryan metaphysics and Darwinian theory they intended to create a new, genuinely German, pagan-faith-based political movement: that was National Socialism.

Hauer, founder of the DGB,
is particularly interesting, Poewe said, because he sought the pagan roots of German religion in Hinduism. In pre-history, the Aryans who invaded northern India were the same race as those who later became Germans. And Hauer found the warrior universe of the Bhagavad Gita particularly inspiring -- "it fed him the kind of moral relativism he sought," Poewe said.

"The rejection of Christianity was due to the fact that it is universal, and they wanted something local" -- the Volkisch (folk) phenomenon. "They rejected the universalist. They wanted something with a historical-genetic-racial link to them," Poewe said.

"They also rejected Christian morality. They couldn't stand the Ten Commandments. They were totally against any categorical or timeless morality. They wanted something opportunistic, something that changed with the human circumstances." [Emphasis added]
Sounds familiar. Where have I heard this before? There are no moral absolutes, anything goes, we just want to be happy, we indeed have a right to be happy: that's all there is to ethics. It sounds very, very modern. It's today's prevailing ethos, complete with the jettisoning of Christianity.

Add to that our own revival of eugenics, wide use of science in reproduction and epidemic of abortions, and Nazism looks more and more like a pioneering movement.

And Christian universalism, mentioned in the quotation, is indeed a profound antidote to racism, now as in Hitler's time.

Unsurprisingly, Poewe observed that former Nazis were prominent in the German New Age movement of the 1970s.

The Nazi movement "took elements from the Christian religion, but it didn't mean they were Christian. They also took things from Hinduism, from Buddhism -- Tibetan Buddhism was particularly popular among the SS. From this they concocted a mythology that gave them a picture of the world that appealed to them. They wrote about it, novels, plays, poetry. It was very political, in some ways pantheistic."

And here's another element of great modernity in Nazism:
Hauer's DGB bunde shared with National Socialism a tendency toward homoerotism. Hauer himself was permissibly heterosexual, but "homosexuality was very tolerated in these youth movements, and a high percentage of the SA and SS were homosexual or bisexual. People like to think that because Adolf Hitler murdered (SA leader) Ernst Rohm, who was homosexual, he was repressive of homosexuality. But that wasn't the case. It's a myth to think the Nazi movement was against homosexuality. Far from it; it wasn't sexually repressive at all," Poewe said. [Emphasis added]
It all fits nicely.

Third part tomorrow.

About the photo: it is a visual demonstration of the links between paganism and Nazism, as described in Nicholas Clarke's book Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology (Amazon USA) (Amazon UK) . More info here: North Tower of the (in)famous, germanic location “Wewelsburg”

Photo by Karl-Ludwig G. Poggemann (Creative Commons CC BY 2.0).


  1. What then are we to make of this from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM):

    "The Nazi campaign against homosexuality targeted the more than one million German men who, the state asserted, carried a "degeneracy" that threatened the "disciplined masculinity" of Germany. Denounced as "antisocial parasites" and as "enemies of the state," more than 100,000 men were arrested under a broadly interpreted law against homosexuality. Approximately 50,000 men served prison terms as convicted homosexuals, while an unknown number were institutionalized in mental hospitals. Others—perhaps hundreds—were castrated under court order or coercion. Analyses of fragmentary records suggest that between 5,000 and 15,000 homosexual men were imprisoned in concentration camps, where many died from starvation, disease, exhaustion, beatings, and murder." -

    This suggests that the Nazis were against homosexuality. Has the USHMM completely got it facts wrong then?

  2. It wouldn't be the first time that the Establishment got its facts wrong, would it? Every day our leaders and media distort and turn the truth upside down on various subjects, from the threat represented by Islam to the war in Syria, from the effectiveness, even need, for the NHS or ObamaCare to how redistribution of wealth and high taxation are good for the working class in particular and the economy in general.

  3. Was Himmler's speech on 18 February 1937 fabricated by the establishment? In it he says of homosexuality: "Therefore we must be absolutely clear that if we continue to have this burden in Germany, without being able to fight it, then that is the end of Germany, and the end of the Germanic world."

    He calls homosexuality "abnormal life", and says of the treatment of homosexuality in the past: "It had to be got rid of, just as we pull out weeds, throw them on a heap, and burn them."

    And of his own plans for homosexuality he says: "In the SS, today, we still have about one case of homosexuality a month. In a whole year, about eight to ten cases occur in the entire SS. I have now decided upon the following: in each case, these people will naturally be publicly degraded, expelled, and handed over to the courts. Following completion of the punishment imposed by the court, they will be sent, by my order, to a concentration camp, and they will be shot in the concentration camp, while attempting to escape. I will make that known by order to the unit to which the person so infected belonged. Thereby, I hope finally to have done with persons of this type in the SS, and the increasingly healthy blood which we are cultivating for Germany, will be kept pure."

    (See page 192-193)

    These do not sound like the words of a man who belonged to a movement that was not against homosexuality but rather tolerated and embraced it.

    1. The book you are referring to was published in 1991. Much more has come to light since then, with the opening of German national archives after the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

      Regarding what Hiter, Himmler and other Nazi leaders said in public, their speeches were notoriously misleading. They were trying to pander to the prevailing ideas of the time.

      You'll find that their public speeches, for example, recognised Christianity, whereas there is ample evidence by now that Nazis hated Christianity and were followers of neo-paganism.

      What they said in private and is recorded is much more likely to be the truth.

  4. National Socialism, opposition to the Natural Law in common with post-modern, atheistic secular humanism.

  5. Hitler and the National Socialists were Gottglaubig, 'God-Believers.' This was a non-Christian religious viewpoint that was spiritually pantheistic and deistic in outlook. Read my thread for further proof of this.