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"If there was no God, there would be no atheists." G.K. Chesterton


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Tektonics Apologetics Ministry
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Bede's Library: the Alliance of Faith and Reason
A Christian Thinktank
Doxa:Christian theology and apologetics
He Lives
Mike Gene Teleologic
Errant Skeptics Research Institute
Stephen Jones' CreationEvolutionDesign
Touchstone: a journal of mere Christianity: mere comments
The Secularist Critique: Deconstructing secularism
Ex-atheist.com: I Wasn't Born Again Yesterday
imago veritatis by Alan Myatt
Solid Rock Ministries
The Internet Monk: a webjournal by Michael Spencer
The Sydney Line: the website of Keith Windschuttle
Miranda Devine's writings in the Sydney Morning Herald
David Horowitz frontpage magazine
Thoughts of a 21st century Christian Philosopher
one-eighty
Steven Lovell's philosophical themes from C.S.Lewis
Peter S. Williams Christian philosophy and apologetics
Shandon L. Guthrie
Clayton Cramer's Blog
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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton


"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton


"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon


Friday, July 18, 2003

Himmler, the SS , Nazism, Teutonic Knights, the occult and witchcraft...

 
...now there's a virulent mixture


It was the SS that became the pioneer of the new ritualized Germany and its leader, Heinrich Himmler, was the chief moulder of myths in the Third Reich…Himmler introduced the Death's Head symbol, signet rings and daggers of honour. `The masquerade of evil' was how the dissident priest Dietrich Bonhoefer described the black clad army. The cruelty of the SS was well known to Germans yet its familiarity with death seemed to add to its attraction; a perverse style statement. Aristocrats,… Lawyers and technocrats found a natural home in the ranks of the SS. Some were attracted to the practical career possibilities offered by the SS…but many, too, swallowed the idea of the SS as an anti-Christian religious order…

In Himmler's fantasy the SS - or at least its leading officers - were a twentieth century variation of the German Teutonic Knights… This constant process of reinvention was fuelled by Himmler, who collected a ragbag of pagan and occult principles to persuade the SS men that they lived in an alternative world; they need feel no Christian guilt for their murdering since Christian values had been supplanted by an alternative spirituality. History, too, had to be rewritten. Himmler became so obsessed with witchcraft that he looted 140,000 books on the subject from libraries across Europe and set up a SS unit to investigate and publicize the issue. When a Poznan librarian first stumbled on the witchcraft library in a baroque palace in Lower Silesia after the war he noted that several books had been marked on pages where tortures were described. He assumed that Himmler had been studying torture techniques. But Himmler was in fact trying to prove that the persecution of witches in the seventeenth century represented a kind of holocaust of the German race carried out by the Catholic church. `The witch hunting cost the German people hundreds of thousands of mothers and women, cruelly tortured and executed,' Himmler wrote. The SS teams were deployed to discover traces of an old Germanic culture that survived the witch hunts. The SS compiled a card index of 33,846 witch burnings in Germany and as far afield as India and Mexico in an attempt to prop up Himmler's thesis. His interest in the occult may have begun with his marriage in 1928 to Margarethe Boden, a Prussian landowner's daughter who dabbled in homeopathy, mesmerism and herbalism…

Himmler believed that an ancestor named Passaquey had been burned as a witch. Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Reich Security Service, reported to his boss in 1939 that he had discovered the case of a witch called Margaret Himmbler burned in Germany in 1629. The similarity of names was enough to spur on Himmler and encourage a personal interest in rehabilitating German witches. The SS (Amt VII) - concerned with churches, freemasons, liberals, emigres and Marxists - was extended to include witches. The aim was to publish a series of short books highlighting individual German witches and glamorizing them.

In the meantime, however, the SS was obliged to work in secrecy using university writing paper for its correspondence and pretending to be scholars. By April 1942 the witchcraft project had at least a dozen themes including `Economic effects of witch trials' and `The intellectual foundation of the witch complex’. Seminars sponsored by the SS earnestly discussed the biological implications for the German race of killing so many women.


(Adam LeBor and Roger Boyes, Surviving Hitler: Choices, Corruption and Compromise in the Third Reich, London, Simon & Schuster, 2000 pp112-114)


9:52:00 pm