GODS AND BEASTS: The Nazis and the Occult by Dusty Sklar

GODS AND BEASTS: The Nazis and the Occult

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sklar charges historians with overlooking the occult roots of Nazism and allowing themselves to be misled by the fact that ""Hitler went to great pains to eradicate occultism from Germany almost as soon as he came to power."" She then proceeds to air every fetid pseudo-science in the pre-Hitlerian zeitgeist. Astrology, phrenology, mystical doctrines of the blond Aryan brotherhood, worship of the pagan god Wotan, racialism, and anti-Semitism all had their adherents and Sklar quotes their teachings in sickening detail. Among her found Nazi forebears: Jorg Lanz yon Liebenfels whose Order of the New Templars enjoined the Germans to ""Race fight until the castration knife""; Guido von List, a student of ancient runes who helped revive the more odious side of Teutonic folklore; and Rudolf Sebottendorff, head of the Thule Society, a mystical blood brotherhood obsessed with ""race purity."" Alas, the evidence that Hitler was personally involved with any of these cults is circumstantial or non-existent, though National Socialism as a creed certainly absorbed much of the racial-mystical mumbo-jumbo. Sklar's intent is laudably cautionary: a final chapter warns that Anton LaVey, L. Ron Hubbard, Sun Myung Moon, Werner Erhard, et al., may be paving the way for our own savage Messiah.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1977
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell