By Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke
Reveals how Nazism was influenced by powerful occult sects that thrived in Germany and Austria almost fifty years before Hitler’s rise to power
Over half a century after the defeat of the Third Reich, Nazism remains a subject of extensive historical inquiry, general interest, and, alarmingly, a source of inspiration for resurgent fascism around the world. Goodrick-Clarke’s powerful and timely book traces the intellectual roots of Nazism back to a number of influential occult and millenarian sects in the Habsburg Empire during its waning years. These millenarian sects―principally the Ariosophists―espoused a mixture of popular nationalism, Aryan racism, and occultism to proclaim their advocacy of German world-rule. Over time their ideas and symbols, filtered through nationalist-racist groups associated with the nascent Nazi party, came to exert a strong influence on Himmler’s SS.
The fantasies thus fueled were played out with terrifying consequences in the realities structured into the Third Reich: Auschwitz, Sobibor, and Treblinka―the hellish museums of Nazi apocalypse―had psychic roots reaching back to the millenarian visions of these occult sects. Beyond what the Times Literary Supplement calls “an intriguing study of apocalyptic fantasies,” this bizarre and fascinating story contains lessons we cannot afford to ignore.