Sunday, 10 July 2011

Bizarre historical background to The Wewelsburg Covenant (Part 1)

The truth is stranger than fiction ...

To say that the history that forms the basis of my new novel The Wewelsburg Covenant is bizarre, would be an understatement.

While researching my book I often stopped and wondered: ‘Is this the work of the over-active imaginations of sensationalist historians?’

Did Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS and - technically sane - set up a secret council of knights fashioned on King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table? Did the Nazi high command genuinely believe in the ancient myth of the Holy Grail? And were Aryan Germans, according to the Nazi belief, the direct descendants of god-like Norse beings who came from a sunken continent called Atlantis?

The period leading up to, including, and shortly after the Second World War was, after all, a time when the world, heady with the intoxicating ranting of a madman, teetered on the precipice of madness and fell into a hellish six-year nightmare. The cogs of time seemed to turn backwards, and civilisation – foremost among it an advanced industrial European nation and its people – was plunged back into the dark ages.

Heinrich Himmler. Photo by Marion Doss (see

In part (other parts to follow on the blog shortly) here is some of the historical background for The Wewelsburg Covenant.

An Aryan fairytale ...

Once upon a time there was a continent in the north Atlantic sea where divine beings lived in a thriving civilisation called Atlantis. Descendents of the gods, the mystical beings of Atlantis were like giants. They were beautiful beyond compare, possessed superhuman strength, and were wizened ancient nature spirits who whispered in the babbling brooks, rustled in the auburn autumn leaves of the forest floor and breathed heat into ferocious fires.

But there soon came a time when the Jötunns – for so were they called – were overcome with vice and greed, and Atlantis was engulfed by colossal tidal waves of such ferocious force that the Atlanteans could do nothing to save themselves. Much misery and despair followed, as the Atlanteans drowned. The continent sunk into a sleeping sea and was forgotten by Time.

All but a few Atlanteans died. A handful fled by boat in time to escape the floods. They travelled the oceans for many months, in an immense boat, and finally floated close to land in the shadow of the imposing crests of the mighty Himalayas.

They lived and thrived off the land once more, populating the earth with what were to become the ancestors of the Indo-European people. But as the centuries passed, the mystical creatures mixed with non-giants, and their bloodline was corrupted, save for a last strand of people, descendants of the gods themselves according to the Nazi theory: German Aryans.

Warrior priests of the Third Reich

The fairytale above once held credence among a group of people who ruled a country that was to be transformed into the most formidable death machine the world had ever seen. Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS and in effect Nazi Germany’s Number Two, called the race of giants in the Nordic folk legend the ‘Atlantic Master Race’.

The Nazis of Germany truly believed that, as Aryans – tall, muscular, blond, blue-eyed, and with an innate capability for leadership – they were the last remaining direct descendants of mystical Atlanteans who had been put on earth by the Norse god Odin himself.

The Nazi propaganda machine went to work to use the myth to bolster their ostracism of Jews. They held that the bloodline of the Jötunns was steadily corrupted by weaker races, known as untermenschen  – more specifically, Jews – throughout the centuries, reducing the giants in magnificence to human form, albeit with latent traces of their once-mighty appearance.

German historian Hans F.K. Günther had claimed once that the Aryans had conquered much of Asia around 2000 BCE, and the Nazis would even make the outrageous claim that Gautama Buddha was Aryan. It is a fact that Himmler travelled, during war time, with pages from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gītā, in honour of a presumed Indo-European ancestry.

The Nazis soon began searching for proof to bolster their racial theories. Himmler, head of the SS by 1929, and Richard Walther Darré – made Obergruppenführer (the second-highest SS rank beneath Himmler) by 1934 and the man who would later be the man charged with determining the ‘racial fitness’ of Himmler’s SS recruits – established the Ahnenerbe, a society dedicated to German ancestral and cultural study.

Known officially as the study society for primordial intellectual history, German Ancestral Heritage, registered society’, the Ahnenerbe was tasked with proving the Atlantic Master Race theory. As early as the 1930s, expeditions were undertaken to the Himalayas, where Nazi German scientists and explorers carried out tests on Tibetans, searching for biological ‘Aryan’ traits – narrow foreheads, long limbs and ‘angular features’ (see Himmler's Crusade by Christopher Hale.)

As the War rippled across Europe, the Ahnenerbe would begin to murder Tibetans and use their bodies in extensive ‘scientific research’.

Back home in Nazi Germany, the Ahnenerbe would soon carry out some of the most inhumane experiments on Jewish prisoners. In Dachau concentration camp, Jews were placed in freezing cold water to see how long they would live. The results of the bizarre experiment were used to determine how long German Luftwaffe pilots would have to survive before being rescued, if they were shot down over icy seas.

Ahnenerbe expeditions also focused on Aryan artistic heritage, producing scientifically or theoretically motivated reasons for the superiority of German music and art over that of other races. (The altarpiece of Veit Stoss at St Mary’s Church, in Kraków Poland, for example, was deemed the artistic work of Aryans, and as a result it was looted and taken to Nuremberg Castle for further study.)

But the Nazi belief was not only that the history of the Aryan race was a struggle for racial superiority over untermenschen, but also that the Atlantic Master Race could be restored through selective breeding. Himmler established the Lebensborn – the ‘Fountain of Life’ – programme in 1935.

SS men were used as breeding stock to sire the next generation of German super-warriors. Between 1935 and 1945, 11 000 babies would be ‘manufactured’ under this programme. If SS men proved to be infertile, virile SS officers would be used for ‘stud duty’. 200 000 Polish children espousing Aryan traits were snatched from that country and raised in Lebensborn homes where they were groomed in Aryan ways.

Himmler saw his SS troops as the reincarnation of the mighty Teutonic Knights, believed to be the Nazis’ Germanic forefathers. He would once affirm this to his troops: ‘Never forget, we are a knightly order, from which one cannot withdraw, to which one is recruited by blood, and within which one remains body and soul.’ [See 'Nazis: The Occult Conspiracy' (documentary) and 'The Occult History of the Third Reich' (documentary).]

Watch the first part of 'Nazis: The Occult Conspiracy' ...

As the Germans occupied territories across Europe during the Second World War, SS men would receive tracts of lands, feudal estates, which they would lord over and raise families on to sire Aryan warriors. SS training schools were set up in castles across Germany, where the SS were inducted into the ways of ‘warrior priests’.

SS knives with 'My honour is my loyalty' (photo by Alesist, see

One such training school was set up at Wewelsburg Castle, located in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany, which would later become Himmler’s spiritual home for the knights of the Third Reich.

Southeast tower of Wewelsburg Castle in North Rhine-Westphalia, Heinrich Himmler's 'Camelot'. Photo by 'PeterXIII' on Flickr (see

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