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Watershed of the Epoch



The new century lumbered towards war and dissolution not like a 'perfect fool', but instead like a drunken fool.
The age of rationalism, science and progress was about to show that its greatest achievements could be put to use for its own destruction.
The moral majority, almost Christian to a man, was about to place, ten million lives; a whole generation; on the altar of meaningless sacrifice, justifying their indefensible actions with the slogans of a Christian morality; Right, Justice, Freedom and Liberty.
With regard to the origins of the Great War, it is possible to go back to 1815; one hundred years before the event in question.
1815 was the year of the Congress of Vienna*, which followed Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. At that conference the victorious powers, Britain, Prussia, Austria and Russia, carved up Europe, re-drawing the map, and unknowingly creating injustices that would fester right up to the present day.

The Congress of Vienna (German: Wiener Kongress) was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815.
The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars, and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire (see right).
This objective resulted in the redrawing of the continent's political map, establishing the boundaries of France, the Duchy of Warsaw, the Netherlands, the states of the Rhine, the German province of Saxony, and various Italian territories, and the creation of spheres of influence through which Austria, Britain, France and Russia brokered local and regional problems.


The Congress of Vienna was the first of a series of international meetings that came to be known as the Concert of Europe, which was an attempt to forge a peaceful balance of power in Europe, and served as a model for later organizations such as the League of Nations and United Nations.
The immediate background was Napoleonic France's defeat and surrender in May 1814, which brought an end to twenty-five years of nearly continuous war.

Negotiations continued despite the outbreak of fighting triggered by Napoleon's (see left) dramatic return from exile and resumption of power in France during the Hundred Days of March–July, 1815.
The Congress's "Final Act" was signed nine days before his final defeat at Waterloo on 18 June 1815.

The next great conference designed to set a new European scene would be held at Versailles in 1918.
These conferences, of course, were designed to set a 'balance of power' which would produce political, economic and military stability in Europe.
Naturally, 'the great powers' always tried to tip the balance in their own favour, and Britain, over the centuries, had become a past master at this particular manoeuvre.
From the Middle Ages up to the recent problems with the Exchange Rate Mechanism & the Single European Currency, it has always been central to British policy to regulate, in Britain's favour, the balance of power in Europe. The Congress of Vienna effectively did this, but by 1900 the system had broken down. Germany & the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1) had reached a sufficient understanding to be seen as a major Central European 'power-block', and this was contrary to British foreign policy aims & economic requirements
The supposed cause of the Great War was the assassination of the Arch-Duke Franz-Ferdinand (2) and his morganatic wife, the Duchess Sophie, of Hohenburg, in Sarajevo on the 8th June 1914, but in reality this was, of course, merely part of an on-going quarrel between Austria-Hungary & Serbia.

The circumstances of the assassination were very strange, to say the least.
The Arch-Duke and his wife were visiting Sarajevo, in Bosnia, in order to inspect troops (see left).
Bosnia, which had a large Serbian population, had recently been annexed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, much to the annoyance of Serbia and Russia.
A secret Serbian society, which some have suggested had occult connections, decided to take the opportunity and assassinate the heir to the Hapsburg throne as a revenge for the annexation of Bosnia and the persecution of the Slavs by the German speaking Austro-Hungarians.
This, of course, was no new crusade - Slavs and Germans had been opposed to one another since the Dark Ages.

(1) The 'Dual Monarchy' of Austria-Hungary was established in 1867, by the Hapsburg Emperor, Franz-Joseph. In 1910 it covered area of 100,864 sq. km and boasted a population of 51 millions.


The Arch-Duke Franz-Ferdinand (see left) became heir to his uncle the (Emperor) Franz-Joseph on the death of Crown Prince Rudolf (see left below) who, it is alleged, committed suicide in 1889, along with his mistress Marie Vestera at his hunting lodge at Mayerling (see right below).
On the death of Franz-Joseph (see right), Franz-Ferdinand would have succeeded to the Hapsburg inheritance and the Imperial throne of Austria and the Royal throne of Hungary.


Not expecting to succeeded to the throne, however, he had contracted a morganatic marriage to the Duchess Sophie, who was considered to be an unsuitable match because of her low status.

A total of six assassins were waiting for Franz-Ferdinand, when he arrived at Sarajevo. Amazingly, either as a result of cowardice, incompetence or just sheer bad luck, all six failed in their attempts.
If everything had gone according to the official plans, the Arch-Duke would have been safe, and perhaps there may have been no war, and ten million lives would have been saved.
The chauffeur, however, took a wrong turning, and realising his mistake, stopped the Imperial car.

As 'fate' would have it, he stopped the car right in front of an amazed and terrified nineteen year old Serbian called Gavrilo Princip (see right).

Screwing up his courage, which had previously failed him, for he was one of the six, he jumped on the running board and, with only two shots, killed both Franz-Ferdinand and his wife.
There was an immediate response from Austria-Hungary.
Once it had been established that the assassin was Serbian, it was a simple matter for the Koniglich und Kaiserlich (3) Security Services to implicate the Serbian Government.
Whether or not the Serbians Government (see State Arms left) was involved is still an open question, although recent events have made many aware of the obsessive concern for a 'Greater Serbia' which has gnawed away at the Serbian soul for generations.


The Imperial response was an ultimatum to Serbia, which, if the Serbians had acceded to it, would have completely negated their sovereignty and independence.

As Austria-Hungary knew, Serbia could not accede to her ultimatum. Austria-Hungary had purposefully put herself in the position where her only possible response could be a declaration of war against Serbia.
The presumed scenario was that Serbia, realizing that she could not hope to survive an Austrian attack, would capitulate, thus enabling Austria-Hungary to swallow up yet another Balkan state.
Russia, the self styled protector of the Slavs, it was presumed would not intervene as she was still smarting from her recent defeat at the hands of the Japanese.
The presumed scenario failed to materialize, however.
The Austrians were forced to declare war on Serbia, and to Austria's horror Russia proceeded to mobilise, in support of Serbia.
There was, however, a rather awkward problem with regard to Russian mobilisation. The Imperial Russian High Command had always presumed that, if mobilisation was ever necessary, it would be in response to a threat from Germany. As a result all the Russian mobilisation plans involved sending troops towards Russia's borders with the German Empire.


The Kaiser, Wilhelm II, immediately sent an urgent note to his cousin 'Nicky', the Russian Tsar, warning him of the danger of the developing situation.
There was nothing 'Niky' could do, however.
In Germany Von Moltke (see right below), for the Army, Bethmann-Hollweg (see left below) (4), the Chancellor and Houston Stewart Chamberlain urged the Kaiser to agree to a German mobilisation.
There was a problem, though. It was way back in 1891, that General Von Schlieffen had created a plan for mobilisation of the German army.

Its main aim was to avoid a war on two fronts, which Schlieffen rightly believed Germany would be unable to sustain.

The Schlieffen Plan called for a rapid attack upon France, Russia's ally, through Belgium, with intention of supplying a French defeat within one month.
The slowness of Russia's mobilisation would ensure that the victorious German forces could be despatched, by train, from France, across Germany, to be in position to defeat Russia.
Once Russian mobilisation had been ordered, however, there could be no delay, if the plan were to work in Germany's favour

(3) All the official institutions of the Dual Monarchy were prefixed with the titles 'Koniglich und Kaiserlich', abbreviated to KK, meaning 'Royal and Imperial.


Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg (see right), born in 1856, he succeeded Prince Blow as Chancellor on 1909 and was dismissed in 1917.

The result of all this complex military planning was that Germany was forced to attack the French, who were in no way involved in the original quarrel, and at the same time trample upon Belgian neutrality.
This forced Britain to declare war on Germany, in order to fulfil her obligation to defend that neutrality, in accordance with the recently signed Treaty of London (5).
The reason for this involved explanation is to show that in one sense the Great War was neither planned for nor desired; particularly by Germany.
The argument between Austria and Serbia, begun by an almost senile Emperor, who had come to the throne in 1848, could have been solved through international negotiation; and even if Austria had annexed Serbia, it would have had little or no effect on the balance of power in Europe, and the other European powers could, therefore have permitted it. That Germany did not want war is self-evident.
She was not party to the original quarrel, and by 1914 it was clear to German academics and businessmen that, barring war or revolution, Germany would be, in a few years, the dominant economic, and therefore the dominant political power in Europe.


The Kaiser (see left), it is true, was bellicose, but apart from the fact that his 'bark was worse than his bite', it should be noted that he was a constitutional monarch, heavily restrained by a bourgeois Reichstag who were not seeking foolish adventures.

Russia was, by this time out of control.
Nicholas (see right), the weak indecisive Tsar, unable to rely on the advice of Rasputin, (see right) who was recovering from an attempt upon his life, allowed that strangely stubborn petulant streak, which on occasions would emerge from his indecision, to override his better judgement, in the case of Serbia.


France had no choice but to defend herself; and even Britain was not wholeheartedly for the war, as Viscount Grey (see left), the British Foreign Secretary made clear in his famous remark referring to the lamps of Europe going out.

Who then wished for war ?
Strangely enough, the ordinary people of Europe; the man in the street, seemed to crave war. In all the capitals of Europe people became ecstatic at the proclamations of mobilisation were made.
One very famous picture exists of the crowds rejoicing as the announcement of hostilities was made in Munich.
There is one young man in the crowd with a somewhat familiar face.
Recently film of this event has been discovered,
There, again is the young man, with piercing eyes, cheering with the crowd.
The man is Adolf Hitler; one of many 'moving with the assurance of a sleep walker', to the abyss.
He joined the millions who laughed and sang their way to the front. Europe, and maybe even the world, was at a watershed in its history.
Art, music, literature, philosophy and the spirits themselves had foretold this terrible day.
Affluent Europe had developed a terrible malaise.
Progress and bourgeois morality had become stultifying, to the point of suffocation.
A glittering adventure; great and noble deeds were just beyond the horizon.
At last the boredom of a mass-produced world could be swept aside.


The prophecy of Aiwas would come true.
Gurdjieff would dismiss the fact that millions of sleeping men were killing millions of other sleeping men.
'At least we are awake'; to which Hitler would later add; 'Let the others sleep !'
That Britain had signed the Treaty of London in the full knowledge that any German military intervention in Europe would involve the infringement of Belgian neutrality indicates that Britain had a hidden agenda for dealing with the rising economic power of Germany.




The Spirits of War


When the Great War began there was a general consensus that it would be over by Christmas. Infantry conscripts marched happily to war, and the cavalry rode forth, the Chasseurs in their glittering Curiasses, and the Ulans with their lances.

The Schlieffen plan failed, much to Germany's surprise, and the German armies got bogged down in the mud of France and Flanders, and the dreaded war on two fronts became a reality.

At Christmas the troops fraternized and played football together, and in the New Year the 'War to end all wars' began in earnest.
The War, once it had begun, seemed to unleash the most appalling and demonic forces.


To the people of the Allied countries, particularly Britain and America, the Germans were not simply the enemy; they were the 'Hun'.

Atrocity stories abounded, particularly with regard to Belgium, where, if the British papers were to be believed, most of the female population had been raped or killed, or both.
Demands were made for 'unconditional surrender' on the part of the Central Powers, and even the most respectable elements in society were baying for the German Emperor to be hung.
One Christian congregation, on the instigation of its minister, even demanded that the Kaiser be boiled in oil. German shops in England were wrecked and looted, and on one occasion a dachshund was Killed by an English mob 'because it was a German dog'.
This was the first 'mass-produced war'.
The technological progress, achieved over the previous decades, which had been able to produce everyday objects in the hundreds of thousands, around the clock, was now producing guns, shells, bullets and bombs in those same quantities.
As technology advanced, with the violent impetus of war, new horrors appeared, as if the killing was not yet efficient enough for the politicians and generals

Fighter and bomber aircraft, tanks and the obscenity of poison gas made their appearance. 


The 'Cornucopia of Progress' had transformed itself into the 'Cornucopia of Death'.
That vast harvest of death left few untouched.
Most families lost someone in the carnage; some lost many.
For those through whom the spirits mediated, however, the War was a mixed blessing. Spiritualist 'churches' were never fuller, and mediums were never busier or richer.
Many, returning from the Front had their own stories to tell of Fate, and of the strange and supernatural.
Stories of how men 'knew' their hour had come, or men who seemed to have been 'warned' of where or when a bullet or shell would land.
There were many tales of soldiers being seen by their comrades, briefly, only to be discovered to have been dead or missing at that very time.

Amongst those who were able to predict the time and place of destruction was General Karl Haushofer (see left).
Numbered among those who seemed to have a charmed life was an insignificant, but brave corporal, called Adolf Hitler (see right).
One of the strangest episodes of the war was the incident of the 'Angles of Mons'.
We last met Arthur Machen dabbling in the magic of the 'Golden Dawn'.
As a result of the dispute between Yeats and Mathers, he became disenchanted with ceremonial magic and turned to Christianity.

His literary career took a downward turn and he was forced to content himself with the uncertain income to be derived from freelance journalism.
By 1914 he had become a full-time reporter for the London 'Evening News', and his editor had required him to write a patriotic story to help bolster moral on the 'home front'.
Machen's story described how St.George, accompanied by a regiment of angels, had come to the aid of the British Army in their defence of Mons.
It was a romantic and sentimental story typical of its time, and provoked a favourable response from the paper's readership.
What was not expected. by either the editor or Machen, was a flurry of letters from soldiers, of all ranks, at the Front.
These letters were querying how the paper knew of an 'event' which had occurred before the paper had been published.
What worried the editor and Machen most of all, however, was the fact that the event was supposed to have happened before Machen even wrote the story.
The obvious answer is that the soldiers, suffering from the fatigue of battle, were either romancing, (a nice word, in some people's vocabulary, for lying) or were confused.
After the war confirmation of the phenomena came from German troops, who were obviously not reading British newspapers at the time.
What the phenomena was, exactly, is difficult to say, but testimony indicates that something inexplicable manifested itself upon the battlefield at Mons, which some took to be angels, some thought were wraith-like medieval bowmen, 'a la Agincourt', and others saw, simply, as a strange, luminescent cloud.
Perhaps Machen was a better magician than he thought, or perhaps someone was interfering – again.



Volkisch Mysteries

Wagner (see left) had a profound influence upon German sensibilities at the turn of the Century.
The Kaiserbrief, signed by Ludwig II (see right) on 30th November 1870 had created the German Reich.
Just prior to this Wagner had completed 'Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg'.
By the time the Empire had been established he had completed 'Siegfried' and 'Gotterdammerung'.
Whilst the 'Meistersingers' (see left below) painted an idealised picture of Reformation Germany; its Art and culture, 'Siegfried' (see right below) and 'Gotterdammerung' described a Germany of remote antiquity, in which Heroes performed the mightiest of deeds, and the Gods intervened in the destinies of men.


Both of these images were eagerly sought by the citizens of the new Reich, who hungered for a past that would be the equal of their exhilarating present.
The problem they faced was one of identity.
Germany needed roots; a mythology, which was the birthright of all great Empires.
In response, and through his daemonic inspiration, Wagner was able to summon up a sonorous, luxuriant dream world which would captivate his own, and many subsequent generations.
The dramatic works of his later life were , in effect the tales of Smith, Blavatsky, Lytton, Mathers, Crowley and Gurdjieff transformed into magnificent and seductive melody.

They told of a world in which higher beings, the gods, broke into human affairs, sometimes exalting and sometimes destroying those with whom they had dealings.
Wagner's works revealed a world morality in which sexuality was a driving force, which took no notice of conventional morality, but gloried in rape, incest and unnatural passion.
Wagner created a world where the 'true will' was absolute, and the power of the will was the measure of all things.
All the ideas that we have met with, so far, were encapsulated the Wagner's mighty 'music dramas'.
At the same time there developed a gathering tide of occultism and mysticism, which took many forms.
As has already been explained, the origins of the 'Golden Dawn' (see right), along with the OTO, (see left) stemmed from German occultism of this period.
Crowley was involved with both of these organisations, and his 'Book of the Law' had a significant influence upon German occult specialists of the time.
One of the most prominent of such specialists was the Austrian, Guido von List (see left below).
Born in 1848, he renounced his Catholic faith in his teens, and in the early nineteen hundreds established a Guido von List Society for the study of Volkisch tradition.

Within this society was an inner circle, referred to as the 'Armanen Initiates', who pursued the true aims of the society, which included the re-establishment of a Nordic spirituality through communion with higher spiritual entities.
Much of List's thinking was drawn directly from the Theosophical writings of Madame Blavatsky; (see right) particularly those aspects concerning cosmology and the origin of races.
In addition List, like Blavatsky, believed in the existence of a race of super beings who were responsible for the ordering of human history.
List's society was particularly known for its interest in Teutonic Sagas and the study of the Sacred Runes (1), which at a later date, would also become a preoccupation of the SS.

In common with Blavatsky's teaching and those of Chamberlain and Wagner, List's followers were violently anti-Semitic, viewing the Jewish race as missing, and inferior, link between the Root Races.

(1) From the Gothic runa, meaning a secret thing, or mystery, the Runes (see right) are an ancient alphabetic script used by the Nordic races.
Each glyph not only has a sound but also a meaning. It is believed that they were discovered by Odin while he hung on Yggdrasil, the World Tree, as a sacrifice to Himself.
The Runes are used for divination and are believed to symbolise actual spiritual entities. It is believed that by studying the Runes one can unlock the secrets of all Wisdom.

List expressed these views on race, along with conclusions arising out of his studies of the Runes and Sagas, in his major literary work, 'Rita der Ario-Germanen', published in 1908.
The book, elicited much critical comment, mainly as a result of its blatant anti-Semitism, but at the same time it established von List as a leading member of the emerging Volkisch-occult movement in the German speaking world.
List died ten years later; denied the opportunity of seeing his most cherished hopes coming to fruition.

The only person to match List's occult knowledge or charisma was Lanz von Liebenfels.
Born plain Adolf Lanz, in 1874, he underwent, like List, Gurdjieff and many other remarkable individuals, a religious training. Apparently he had aspirations to become a monk, but was not considered suitable material by his superiors in the monastery.
Changing his name to von Liebenfels, he proceeded to pursue spiritual enlightenment by other means, founding his own occult order, 'The New Templars' (see right).
The order was by no means a charade, as it was able to attract to its membership no less a person than the dramatist August Strindberg.
Another significant member was Guido von List. List and Liebenfels, early on, formed a mutual admiration society, and Liebenfels, not surprisingly, joined List's Armanen Order.
Liebenfels published a periodical, 'Ostara', (see right), named after the Germanic goddess of fertility and the Spring, in which he propounded his pan-Germanic and Volkisch views, which were, if anything, more racially extreme than List's.
The reason why race had become such a strong issue in occult circles was simple. Occultist, such as Liebenfels, who believed in the existence of super-beings, also believed that such super-beings could be bred.
The contention of Joseph Smith, that men could become Gods, along with his obsessive desire to breed sufficient suitable individuals for that purpose, through the institution of 'celestial marriage', had by now, in Germany and Austria, developed into a concept that by-passed the necessity of death, by breeding Gods here and now.
Mormon theologians had declared that those who were not of the Anglo-Saxon race were ineligible for the priesthood and ultimate deification.
They had little contact with Jews, and so concentrated their attention upon Negroes and other coloured races.
List and Liebenfels, along with Wagner and Chamberlain, however, had little contact with Negroes and other coloureds, and therefore concentrated their attention upon the Jews.

The principle, however, was the same. The message had come through that there was a connection between race and spirituality (see right).
It was not a new idea.
Any cursory reading of the Old Testament will show that the idea of a chosen race, close to God, endemic to Jewish spirituality; and further inspection of the New Testament will show that Christianity's much vaunted condemnation of the racial principle was mainly motivated by the fact that Paul, failing to convert the Jews to his newfangled 'mystery religion', rather than accept defeat, abandoned the idea of racial exclusivity, much to the annoyance of most of the Apostles, who were the real bearers of the message of the Jesus of Nazareth (2).
One of the most interesting literary works, published by von Liebenfels was 'The Book of German Psalms: The Prayerbook of Aryan Racial Mystics'.
Within its pages is the summation of a long development of thought, which was, in the near future, about to erupt into unforeseen disaster.
Although the book was not widely read, it graced the shelves of both the influential and the unknown.


It was from the ranks of those who had studied the works of Liebenfels and List that the founding members of the Thule Gesellschaft (see right) were drawn.
The Gesellschaft, or Group, was founded in 1918 by Rudolf Glauer (see left) - (also known as Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorf) , the son of an engine driver, from Dresden.
He had originally been a merchant seaman, who had travelled widely, eventually settling down in Turkey, where he worked as an engineer.
In his spare time read books on occult science and was particularly impressed by the teachings of Madame Blavatsky.

He set about recreating her Cosmology and origin of Races in terms of an anti-Semitic Nordic mythology, transforming the legend of Atlantis (see right), to be found in Blavatsky's works, into the legend of Thule.
In addition to being a student of occult science, Glauer also dabbled in astrology, and, like Gurdjieff, practised Sufi (see right) meditation.

The Thule Group itself derived from an earlier group known as the Germanen Order (see right), which was founded in 1912.
This order was founded by Theodor Fritsch, who was always reverently referred to as the 'old teacher' by the Nazi media, and Philip Stauff and Hermann Pohl, who were both disciples of von List.
The Germanen Order broke up in internal dissent in 1915, and it was not until 1918 that some of its original members were able to reform as the Thule Gesellschaft.

The Thule Gesellschaft had its headquarters in Munich, and superficially, appeared to be yet one more society, intent on the study of Runes (see left) and Sagas.
To an extent this was true.
The Group was deeply involved in Nordic studies which it combined with Theosophical doctrines (see right), and occult practices strongly influenced by methodology of Spiritualism.
The Group, however, had been born at a time of historical tumult, and unlike previous Volkisch societies, it had a definite political programme along with close connections with members of the Army and Freikorps (3).


It was during this period that a crucial link was forged between anti-Semitism and anti-Communism.
The Thule Gesellschaft, derived its anti-Semitism from List and Liebenfels, and more particularly from Madame Blavatsky (see left).
It was, however, an undisputed fact that many of the leading figures in the Communist uprisings, which immediately followed Germany's defeat, were Jewish intellectuals, and that Marx (see right) (4) himself was Jewish.
It was, therefore, an easy matter for groups, such as the Thule Gesellschaft, to link the two phenomena together, and to see Communism as a barrier to the emergence of the hoped for 'master race' of super-human beings.
On the 6th of April, 1919 a Soviet Republic was declared in Munich, following the fall of the Hoffman Government.
The Communist regime was quickly overthrown by troops from the Reichwehr which had been dispatched from Berlin.

The Thule Gesellschaft, seeing in the left wing takeover a Jewish conspiracy, was instrumental in assisting the army it its task.
As a result of this action the Army decided to offer the Thule Group both financial and political support, assisting it in the purchase of a newspaper, the 'Munchener Beobachter', which later won notoriety as the 'Volkischer Beobachter'(5).



(3) The Freikorps were private armies of ex-soldiers, usually commanded by their former officers. They originated in the Baltic states, where they fought against Russian Communists, Poles and Lithuanians who were attempting to take over areas formerly controlled by Germany. They were secretly funded by the regular German Army and were subsequently used by nationalist elements in the Army and Government to put down Left-wing revolution within the borders of Germany. The Freikorps were dissolved in 1921.

(4) Karl Heinrich Marx was born in 1818 at Treves. He studied at Bonn and Berlin Universities. Collaborating with Engles and in 1848 issued the 'Communist Manifesto'. A year later he was expelled from Prussia and settled in London where he wrote 'Das Capital' which proclaimed a totally materialistic and atheistic view of life. He died in 1883.



The 'Volkisch Observer' was purchased with Army funds.
It was originally edited by Eckart (see left), and on his death the editorship passed to Rosenberg (see right).
The paper was managed by Max Amann.
The Army was particularly concerned that the military defeat of 1918 had turned the working classes from their traditional support of the military and the Junkers (6), and had encouraged them to espouse socialism.
They hoped therefore, that the Thule Gesellschaft, as an apparently independent group, might be able to organise a working class movement which would bring the proletariat back to the nationalist, right-wing fold.

In 1919 the Thule Gesellschaft set up a workers organisation, which subsequently amalgamated with 'The Committee of Independent Workers', headed by Anton Drexler, a railway engineer.
Independent, however, it certainly was not, being dependant upon the Thule Gesellschaft, in the fist instance.
The Thule Group was, of course, to a considerable extent, dependant upon the military, through their intermediary, Captain Ernst Rohm (see right).
The Thule Gesellschaft while having many members of little social standing, not a few of whom were cranks, it was also patronised by the rich and powerful.

Counted amongst its members were lawyers and intellectuals, members of the Bavarian aristocracy, the Bavarian minister of Justice, Franz Gurtner, the Police President of Munich, Pohner and Wilhelm Frick, his deputy, who later became Reich Minister of the Interior. In addition two mysterious, wealthy Russian emigres Skoropadski and Bishupski, who had fled from the Bolsheviks in 1917 were also involved with the Group.
Amongst the other members of the Thule Gesellschaft was Alfred Rosenberg, who was later to write 'The Myth of the Twentieth Century', and Rudolf Hess (see right) (7), a young student of Professor Haushofer (see left).
The most enigmatic member of the Gesellschaft was Dietrich Eckart. despite all the interest and controversy that has developed around this period of history, it is still remarkably difficult to discover any solid facts about this mysterious individual, whom Hitler described, in the final sentences of 'Mein Kampf' as 'one of the best'.
Eckart was born in 1868.

He had originally studied law, but his involvement in student social life and his heavy drinking prevented him from obtaining his final Doctorate.
Like Gurdjieff, he appears to have travelled widely in his youth, visiting Spain, North Africa and Italy, and it was during these travels that he first became interested in the occult.
He served in the German Army, as an officer, during the Great War, and, like Hitler, he was gassed, towards the end of hostilities (see left).
For the rest of his life he suffered from respiratory problems which were eventually responsible for his premature death.
He was a poet and writer, having made a translation of Ibsen's 'Peer Gynt', which was critically acclaimed, while at the same time writing numerous books and articles on Nordic mythology and other volkisch subjects.

(6) Junkers: the hereditary Prussian landowners and the aristocracy.

Rudolf Hess (see right) was born in 1894, at Alexandria in Egypt. He was the son of a wealthy German merchant. He served in the German Army in the same regiment as Hitler during the Great War.
Immediately after the War he served in the Freikorps under Ritter von Epp.
He subsequently attended Munich University, where he studied Geopolitics under Professor Karl Haushofer.
When the National Socialists came to power he was appointed Deputy Fuhrer, and in May 1941 he made a mysterious flight to England, on the advice of Albrecht Haushofer (see left), with the intention of forming an alliance between England and Germany.
He was arrested and charged with 'war crimes'.
He died in mysterious circumstances in Spandau prison whilst serving a life sentence.
Hess like Hitler was strongly influenced by astrological predictions and was a non-smoking, teetotal vegetarian who only used holistic medical techniques and herbal remedies.
In Munich Eckart published a weekly newspaper, entitled 'Auf gut deutsch', which was similar in content to the 'Munchener Beobachter', which Eckart would later edit, after it had been acquired by the National Socialist German Workers Party.
Eckart's involvement with the Thule Gesellschaft is difficult to pin down.
On the one hand he appears influential and yet, at the same time he often appears to act as if he were an outsider.

It appears, however, that it was Eckart who was responsible for the Thulist's attempts to break through the veil of time (see left), in a desperate attempt to discover what the future held in store for them.
They were living in desperate times and saw European, and particularly German civilisation crumbling around them.
After the defeat of the War, they now faced the creeping threat of communism and racial disintegration.
Their dreams of completing the 'great work' seemed to be fading, and they looked to the future for reassurance.
Eckart, in an attempt to divine the future, used an uneducated peasant girl, who was apparently a natural medium. Through her, the inner circle believed that they had made contact with dead members of the group, who proceeded to prophecy the emergence of a leader who would lead Germany to both economic and spiritual recovery.
Perhaps it was wishful thinking on their part; regardless Eckart was on the lookout for this 'German messiah'.
The Gesellschaft can be seen as the product of along process of development, beginning with the ancient Gnosticism of the Near East, and passing through many convolutions which include many of the individuals be have considered so far.
The Thule Gesellschaft, however, seemed to be waiting for someone to transform it and give it power.
That person proved to be Adolf Hitler.












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