THE OCCULT AND THE THIRD REICH: The Mystical Origins of Nazism and the Search for the Holy Grail by Jean-Michel Angebert

THE OCCULT AND THE THIRD REICH: The Mystical Origins of Nazism and the Search for the Holy Grail

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KIRKUS REVIEW

German fascism is so boggling that one is sorely tempted by simplistic explanations like this one or Ravenscroft's The Spear of Destiny (1973). The authors (""Angebert"" is a contraction of their names) argue that Naziism is first and foremost a religious movement in the ""Supreme Tradition"" -- from Atlantis and Hyperborea through Manicheanism, Gnosticism, Catharism, and other esoteric sects, to Nietzsche, Wagner, and the Thule Society (which included Hitler, Rosenberg, and Hess). The Nazis viewed themselves as successors to such crusades -- the heirs to the Holy Grail -- and sought to realize their doctrine in the racist hierarchy of volk, Party and elite (the S.S. and the leaders). The authors argue that National Socialism was but a recurrence of the dualistic, occult heresy; others are bound to come. It makes a dubious theory, and the difficulties are manifest: the authors speculate that Otto Rahn found the Holy Grail at Montsegur and Hess landed in England to deal with Albrecht Haushofer, ""an adept at white magic""; the historical thread and the ideological characteristics connecting the various sects are not as great as the authors would wish; and they proclaim such casuistries as ""in [Nietzsche's] Beyond Good and Evil we see the origin of Nazi concentration camps."" Naziism was far too complex to reduce to an occultist mishmash -- there was much, much more.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Macmillan