Adolf Hitler's claims on the contrary, some authors believe that
it was Karl Haushofer, whom they see as Hitler's guiding brain,
the one who suggested the Führer the adoption of the swastika
as the Nazi symbol. This is, i.e., the opinion of Pauwels and Bergier.
Karl Haushofer was born in Bavaria in 1869. He chose a career as
a professional soldier, and his intellectual gifts and meticulous
attention to detail quickly allowed him to get an appointment to
the Staff Corps.
Haushofer is known to have had a reputation
for precognition, manifested when he was a young field artillery
officer in the Bavarian army. In 1908 the army sent him to Tokyo
to study the Japanese army and to advise it as an artillery instructor.
The assignment changed the course of his life and marked the beginning
of his love affair with the Orient. During the next four years
he traveled extensively in the Far East, adding Korean, Japanese,
and Chinese to his repertoire of Russian, French, and English
During his multiple visits to Japan, Haushofer
made the acquaintance of many influential Japanese politicians
and developed a strong rapport for the Japanese culture which
helped in some way to create the German-Japanese alliance during
Karl Haushofer had been a devout student of Schopenhauer, and
during his stay in the Far East he was introduced to Oriental
esoteric teachings. He became proficient enough to translate several
Hindu and Buddhist texts, and became an authority in Oriental
mysticism. Some authors even believe that he was the leader of
a secret community of Initiates in a current of satanism through
which he sought to raise Germany to world power, though these
occult connections have been denied.
It is also believed that he belonged
to the esoteric circle of George Gurdjieff. 
Others claim that he was a secret member of the Thule Society.
Some authors have linked Haushofer's name with another esoteric
group, the Vril Society,  or Luminous
Lodge, a secret society of occultists in pre-Nazi Berlin.
It was not until the age of forty-five
that he obtained his doctorate with a brilliant thesis on Political
Geography. He continued developing the ideas expressed on his
dissertation, until developing a whole new doctrine he called
Haushofer's students at Munich university was a young, bright
army officer: Rudolf Hess. Soon Hess became Haushofer's favorite
student. Later Hess also became one of the closest associates
of Hitler. He was serving time with Hitler at Lansdberg. It is
a well known fact that it was Rudolf Hess who introduced Haushofer
to Adolf Hitler, and also that the professor frequently visited
the Führer while he was writing Mein Kampf in Landsberg
Fortress prison after his failed Munich putsch in 1923.
After Hitler came to power in 1933, Professor Haushofer was instrumental
in developing Germany's alliance with Japan. Most of the meetings
between high rank Japanese officials and Nazi leaders took place
at his home near Munich. He saw Japan as the brother nation to
Germany, the Herrenwolk of the Orient
Before the war Professor Haushofer and his son Albrecht maintained
close contacts with British members of the Golden Dawn. When war
between Germany and England broke out Haushofer tried to use his
influence with Hess in trying to convince Hitler to make peace
with the British
In the Spring of 1941, after having
failed to convince Hitler, Haushofer urged Hess to make a direct
contact with the Duke of Hamilton, a Scottish member of the Golden
Dawn. On may 10, 1941, Hess took off for Scot-land. Whether Hitler
knew his plans or not is still subject of debate among historians.
The British government, however, didn'
t even want to hear Hess' peace propositions and put him in jail
incommunicado. After Hess' failure the Nazis denounced him as
Karl and Albrecht Haushofer fell from grace.
Albrecht became involved in a failed coup d'etat against Hitler
on July 20, 1941. Karl Haushofer was sent to the infamous Dachau
concentration camp, and Albrecht to the Moabite prison in Berlin,
where was later executed.
Some authors claim that, while in Japan,
Haushofer was active in the ultra-secret Green Dragon Society,
whose members were under oath to commit ritual suicide if faced
with dishonor. After the war Haushofer was among the Nazi members
to be put to trial before the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. But
Professor Haushofer never went to trial. After killing his wife,
Karl Haushofer committed suicide in the traditional Japanese way,
cutting his intestines with a sharp samurai short sword, in a
personal, formal ceremony called seppuku (commonly known as hara-kiri).
1. The Morning
of the Magicians . New York: Avon Books, 1971, 280.
2. George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff was born in 1872 in the Caucasus
region of Russia, of Greek, Armenian, and Russian ancestry. He
claimed to have met members of a Hidden Brotherhood while traveling
in Asia, and they initiated him in the occult tradition. After
returning to Moscow Gurdjieff started an esoteric school where
disciples were supposed to be taught how to reach higher levels
of conscience through meditation exercises. After the school's
success he opened a similar one in Paris.
Gurdjieff has always been an enigmatic
figure. Some speculate that he may have been sent by the Russian
authorities to Tibet as a spy. Others affirm that while in Tibet
he was actually the man known as Dorjieff, the preceptor of the
According to some sources, it was in Tibet
where Haushofer met Gurdjieff and became one of his adepts. On
the other hand, it is evident that Gurdjieff never held the Nazis
in high esteem. While visiting Berlin during the height of Nazi
power he and a small group of disciples were watching a street
parade, which he begin to satirize loudly. Somebody called the
police and he was about to be hauled to prison, but was eventually
dismissed as a madman.
On the other hand, it seems that Haushofer
was somehow influenced by Gurdjieff's teachings, which held that
men are sleep, just waiting for a strong leader to force them
to awake and become supermen. Gurdjieff also believed in the legend
of the Masters of Wisdom, superhuman intelligences who keep a
careful watch over the destiny of mankind and intervene whenever
human affairs get out of hand. Even more, he believed that he
himself was in direct communication with a source of higher energy
from which, through him, his disciples could draw.
3. The Vril Society, or Luminous
Lodge, was a secret community of occultists in pre-Nazi Berlin.
The Berlin Vril Society was in fact a sort of inner circle of
the Thule Society, it was also in close contact with an English
group known as the Golden Dawn.
The Vril Society in Berlin apparently sought
connection with supernatural beings in the entrails of the earth,
and its members practiced the techniques which would eventually
strengthen their mastery of the divine energy, the Vril, empowering
them to master people and events.
The term "Vril" came to the attention
of the Western world through the writings of a not well known
French author, Louis Jacolliot (1837-1890).
Jacolliot was an avid reader of occult
literature, and was familiar with the work of Swedenborg, of the
theosophist Jacob Böhme and of Louis Claude de Saint Martin.
In the course of his professional career Jacolliot had been president
of the tribunal at Chandernagor, India, and afterwards French
consul in Calcutta.
The works of Jacolliot have inspired several
writers and occultists, among them Rudyard Kipling and H. P. Blavatsky.
Among Jacolliot's many books are: La Bible dans l'Inde ou la
Vie de Iezeus Christna (1859); Les Fils de Dieu (1873);
Christna et le Christ (1874); Les Traditions indo-européennes
(1876); La Genèse de l'humanité (1879);
and L'Olympe brahmanique (1881).
The main theme in his books is that modern
civilizations were originated from a single, primordial nucleus,
which was the same for India, western Asia, and Europe. The Semitic
and indo-European races were not different at the beginning, but
the Semitic races degenerated in the process, while the Aryans
remained pure. A code of law rules civilized people, the Code
of Manu, name of the divine ruler in India, while in Egypt he
was called Menes, Mosses among the Hebrews, and Minos in Crete.
According to Jacolliot, Jesus Christ is
but a recent reconstruction of an old indo-aryan tradition, that
of Iezeus-Christna. Jesus of Nazareth is only a different characterization
of the same personage.
North of Europe a magic civilization has
existed for millennia and its name is Thule. The superior beings
of Thule live in huge caverns in the entrails of the earth. They
possess an extraordinary source of magic energy: the Vril. The
theme of the Vril is exalted in most of Jacolliot's writings.
Vril is an energy latent in man, but he utilizes only a fraction
of it. It is the source of divinity, the source of the coming
superman. He who discovers it and masters its use acquires great
powers. He can become a master of men.
In many of his works, particularly in Les
Fils de Dieu , and in Les Traditions indo-européenes,
Jacolliot affirms that he discovered the existence of Vril among
an Indian sect: the Jains, still active in the regions of Mysore
and Gujerat, and counting millions of adepts.
The discovery of Vril by Jacolliot created
extraordinary interest among European intellectuals, avid of knowledge
about traditional oriental wisdom. Inspired by his writings a
group of Rosicrucians from Berlin founded, by the end of the 19th
century, the Vril Society to divulge the writings of the French
master. Jacolliot's ideas were introduced in England by S. L.
Matthews at the Golden Dawn Society, of which he was the Great
With the passage of time, apparently the
term Vril fell in disuse. Interest on Vril was renewed after it
was used again in a novel with occult and prophetic overtones,
The Coming Race , written by the Baron Edward Bulwer-Lytton.
Bulwer-Lytton was an English writer and
occultist better known as the author of the best seller The
Last Days of Pompeii. In The Coming Race he describes
the existence of a superhuman race of beings living in huge caves
in the entrails of the earth. These beings had developed a strong
energy source of psychic energy --the Vril-- which make them equal
to gods. Their plans are, one day, to take control of the earth
and, using his energy, bring about a mutation of the now dormant
human elite, subjugating afterwards the rest of the low-grade
Like Gurdjieff, Baron Bulwer-Lytton believed
that he was a storer of Vril. He practiced ceremonial magic and
Madame H. P. Blavatsky affirmed he was a Theosophist.
According to Bulwer-Lytton, Vril was a
sort of great fluid, resembling electricity, with which all of
life was pervaded. His "Vril people" accumulated it
through yoga-like mental and physical exercises. The adepts of
the Vril Society and the Thule Society shared the belief that
it was possible to get in touch with the Vril, a belief which
they inculcated in Adolph Hitler. It was precisely to get in touch
with the spiritual "power-plant" of Vril that the Führer
created the Ahnenerbe.
The Society for the Study of Ancestral
Heritages, the Ahnenerbe, was an organization founded in 1935
privately by Frederick Hielscher, a mystic and friend of the Swedish
explorer Sven Hedin, and Wolfram Siever's spiritual teacher.
soldiers receiving a crash course on the meaning of the
Germanic runes and other "Aryan symbols". The
Ahnenerbe was the SS branch in charge of the research on
ancient symbols and other esoteric subjects.
Frederick Hielscher was never a member
of the Nazi party, and was in friendly terms with Martin Buber,
the Jewish philosopher. But his theories had some aspects in common
with the esoteric doctrines of the Nazi leaders. Two years after
Hielscher privately founded the Ahnenerbe, Himmler turned it into
an official organization, attached to the SS.
Finally, in January 1939, the Ahnenerbe
was incorporated into the SS as one of its branches, and its leaders
absorbed into Himmler's personal staff. At that time it had fifty
branches under the direction of Professor Wurst, an expert on
ancient sacred texts who had taught Sanskrit at Munich University.
The mission assigned to the Ahnenerbe was to locate the origins
of the "Nordic" race which, according to Nazi lore,
was of Aryan stock.
But the Ahnenerbe's multiple branches dealt
with a more broad spectrum of activities. These activities ranged
from strictly "scientific" research --like vivisection
practiced on prisoners-- to espionage, as well as the study and
practice of occultism.
According to the scant information available
about the Ahnenerbe --its huge archives mysteriously disappeared
after the war-- it seems that Germany spent more money and devoted
more resources on the Ahnenerbe than America did on the atomic
bomb. More than fifty departments in this branch of the SS succeeded
in spending over a million marks on such "scientific"
Among the many researches tackled by the
Ahnenerbe at enormous cost were:
-Gathering information about the strength
of the Rosicrucian organization.
-Researching about the possible consequences of the suppression
of the Irish harp in Ulster.
-The occult significance of Gothic towers and of the Etonian
- Scientific examination of "Aryan" horses and "Aryan"
bees, whose honey had special properties.
- Study of the Germanic runes and
other "Aryan" symbols, among them the swastika.
- Thorough search for the Grail.
The Ahnenerbe also had archaeologists digging
up all of Europe for remains of Germanic cultures. When the German
army invaded the Caucasus in the Spring of 1942, a strange ceremony
took place. Three SS mountaineers climbed to the summit of Mount
Elbruz, he sacred mountain of the Aryan race, and planted a swastika
The Ahnenerbe organized several expeditions
to Tibet. Their purpose was to locate the origins of the "Nordic"
race which was, according to the Nazi theoreticians, of Indo-Germanic
stock. But the main goal of these expeditions was to get in touch
with the spiritual "power-plant" producer of Vril.
4. The nucleus of Haushofer's doctrines was a term originated
in his first lecture at Munich university: Lebensraum (vital space).
Later on he was appointed professor of geopolitics at that University.
Haushofer theories became extremely popular
in Germany and all around the world. Even American scholars were
influenced by his ideas. As Hans W. Weighert put it in an article
published in Foreign Affairs in July, 1942: ". . .
the highest eulogy a political writer could earn was to be called
'the American Haushofer' . . . colleges all over the country hurried
to organize 'Institute of Geopolitics.' "
Haushofer disguised racial mysticism in
a veil of geography and science, providing Germans with a powerful
reason to return to those areas in the hinterland of Asia where
the Aryan race supposedly originated. His appeal for Lebensraum
for the German people and his plans to achieve it were no more
than a justification for international pillage on a grand scale,
virtually a blueprint to world conquest.
Haushofer became an important personage
among the Nazi elite. He was made president of the German Academy
and finally became director of the highly respected Institut für
Geopolitik of the University of Munich. His eldest son, Albrecht,
was also a geopolitician, and occupied the Chair of Political
Geography at the University of Berlin.
Haushofer advised Hitler
to enlarge the living space of the Third Reich by moving out from
a powerful territorial hub and by accomplishing this conquest progressively,
step by step, following the accelerating movement of a growing spiraling