Sunday, May 15, 2011

Attitude to occultism

Some writers believe that, in contrast to some Nazi ideologues, Hitler did not adhere to esoteric ideas, occultism, or Ariosophy. Hitler ridiculed such beliefs in Mein Kampf. Nevertheless, other writers believe the young Hitler was strongly influenced, particularly in his racial views, by an abundance of occult works on the mystical superiority of the Germans, such as the occult and antisemitic magazine Ostara, and give credence to the claim of its publisher Lanz von Liebenfels that Hitler visited Liebenfels in 1909 and praised his work. The historians are still divided on the question of the reliability of von Liebenfels' claim of a contact with Hitler. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke considers his account reliable, Brigitte Hamann leaves the question open and Ian Kershaw, although questioning to what degree he was influenced by it, notes that, "Most likely, Hitler did read Ostara, along with other racist pulp which was prominent on Vienna newspaper stands." Kershaw notes that it is usually taken for granted that Hitler did so, and was to some extent influenced by the occult publication, pointing to Hitler's account of conversion to antisemitism after reading some unnamed antisemitic pamphlets.

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