#3 = Volume 1, No. 3 = Spring 1974
SF, Occult Sciences, and Nazi Myths
It is not my intention to make light of National-Socialism by interpreting it
in terms of picturesque fantasies. However, to neglect and to view as harmless
the totally irrational elements of Nazism, evident from its very inception, has
at least partially helped to conjure up a seemingly "incomprehensible
nature"' of the Nazi actions.
In National-Socialism the contradictions and irrationalities of a classical
capitalist socioeconomic system and its power structures were transmuted into an
apparently "natural" ideology and apology. The exploitative and
class-bound power became racism, with a master race and its leadership mystique;
cycles of economic crisis and other-directedness became the cosmic law of
recurrent cycles; the alienating character of science and technology misused as
means for ruling became central concepts of pseudo-religious secret cults; the
backwardness of economy and technology as well as of prevailing social
conditions became an obscure mixture of industrialism run wild with a
"Blood and Soil" theory. The continuation of obsolete ruling classes
was safeguarded by myths of "conspiracies," while the oppressed masses
were offered scapegoats as an outlet for repressed aggressions.
Anyone who is unwilling to identify the apologies for irrationality in
"serious" philosophy (from Schopenhauer and Nietzsche to Spangler or
Jung) as leading to obscurantism, will naturally be stunned to see that such
fantasies are suddenly taken very seriously indeed when fascism comes to power.
By 1919 the German bourgeoisie must have felt any means to be justified in
the defense of its power. As of this time, myths and magic moved out of the
drawing-rooms and coffee-houses to fight against reason and revolution. The
flood of pseudo-scientific pamphlets and treatises became overwhelming. SF, read
by the social classes that were not reached by pseudoscientific and philosophic
pamphlets, also succumbed to such irrationality. The idea that the time was ripe
for a "spiritual re-orientation" in literature too was ceaselessly
suggested by such authors. They called for sensations and imaginative fantasies
that would help to conquer gross "materialism" and its literary
counterpart, realism. One seemingly non-political articulation of these
tendencies went as follows:
There are many indications that mechanistic materialism--derived from the
exact sciences which has impressed its stamp on the last decade, is at last
dying out, due to the recent spiritual revolution. Obviously, the
transcendental longings of the majority of humanity cannot be suppressed in
the long run.... To begin with, we have again arrived at the point of view
of "wonder"--i.e., we no longer dismiss as nonsense all things
that are not explicable in terms of the known laws of physics. Mysterious
connections between human beings, independent of spatial and temporal
separation, spooks, the appearance of ghosts, all are again in the realm of
This quotation comes from the magazine
Der Orchideengarten which was
devoted to publishing only fantastic fiction and drawings--analogous to American
"weird" and "fantasy" SF magazines. Max Valier, the later
rocket pioneer and chairman of the "Society for Space-Flight," who
toured the country lecturing about the end of the world, about Atlantis and
Lemuria, about Glacial Cosmogony and the breakthrough into Space, and in 1929
made an unsuccessful attempt to interest Hitler in the military potential of
rockets, was even more explicit, whether writing alone--
Our present time, more than any other, requires a truly cosmic source and
center for spiritual orientation. We need a tremendous, even super-Terran
shock, in order to regain a sense of our identity which we have lost in the
whirlpool of everyday selfishness.... On the basis of a new theory of
cognition we will seek a more profound knowledge; and for our emotions, we
will seek sensations of truly primaeval shock, so that even the end of the
world and of this Earth shall be a constructive experience.4
--or together with G. W. Surya:
We believe that astronomy and astrophysics among the natural sciences are
by the nature of their subject-matter particularly suited to give rise to
that elevation of thought, that spiritual revolution, which we so
desperately need if the fate of our Fatherland, yes, even that of the entire
world, is to take a turn for the better.... Only the return to a profound,
transcendental world-view can hope to heal our wounds from the inside .5
Valier went on to make his nebulous metaphors of contemporary political and
social realities more precise by stating that "he felt obliged to regard
Einstein ... as a representative of the extreme left."6 A new
publication of Surya's, The Metaphysical and the World War, which
attempted to prove that world wars are not due merely to human activities but
that "other forces" were also at work, was more forthrightly touted as
"an extremely important political treatise."7
The political function of such seemingly highly transcendental theorizing is
clearly demonstrated in the works of the former Cistercian monk, Adolf Joseph
Lanz, alias "Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels," alias "Dr. Jörg Lanz."
He was the founder of "Theozoology" and the "Ordo Novi Templi"
(ONT). In his works, terms like "materialism" and "egoism"
become cyphers for rational politics, socialism, revolution, and "Judaeo-Bolshevist
intellectualism." "Spiritual revolution," "Faith in
transcendence" and "idealism," on the other hand, stand for
social appeasement, reactionary domestic policies and a nationalist foreign
in the course of its further development the Talmudic-Tschandalic Empire
succeeded in harnessing the intelligence of the Aryan Christians to its
purposes by way of the ... secret society of Free-Masons. This
society of obscurantists is responsible for the so-called
"Enlightenment," the various revolutions, liberalism, socialism
and materialism in the 19th century, and for the Bolshevism in the 20th ....
During the Middle ages...there was no proletariat and no proletarian
problem. This class only came into being through the daemonic efforts of
modern Free-Masons and their false doctrines of the so-called
Anyone who sees reason as the highest activity of the human mind is as
backward as those Renaissance scholars who regarded the Earth as the centre of
The conceptual manure-heaps, the mental excrement that is materialistic-rationalistic-social-democratic-Bolshevist-Tschandalic
philosophy and science of the modern period will not be of even historic
interest in future generations.10
Lanz derives these insights from his "theozoology" and "racial
metaphysics," each of them a kind of occult science. If one subtracts the
no longer fashionable overt racism, racial metaphysics could be seen as the
blueprint for a considerable part of the SF produced nowadays:
Practical race-metaphysics are concerned with research into the history
of the races before their earthly development cycle (pre-terrestrial) ...
into the future of the races following their earthly period (post-terrestrial),
and finally with research into the extra-sensory, extra-terrestrial,
cosmic forces that influence racial development in the present.11
The inherent contradictions of this or similar systems will not be discussed
here. An analysis of such items as the simultaneous rejection of Darwinism and
the acceptance of the pseudo-Darwinist "survival of the fittest," or
the arguments for a universe peopled with intelligent beings which are
contradicted by the concept of a racially ethnocentric universe, would merely
illustrate the irrational basis of these insane systems in detail. It seems more
fruitful to point out the striking congruence of such constructs with the
psychotic symptoms and fascist tendencies of the "authoritarian
character" such as (1) the sado-masochistic desire for submission to an
irresistible external force (variously interpreted as an "agent" of
Providence, or Nature, or Fate, etc.), with the concomitant desire to make
weaker people pay in compensation for it; (2) the projection of one's own
destructive and primitive drives onto unpopular minorities; (3) the rejection of
rational politics, indeed, of any and all intellectual enlightenment; (4) the
legends of "conspiracies."12
The degree to which conspiracy fantasies were pure projections of their own
secret intentions is demonstrated by the way they were first nurtured in
occult-science groups of a secret society kind. These groups and their
obscurantism were of considerable significance in the early development of the
Nazi Party, its ideology, and its later cadre organization in "orders.13
From the confused mass of abstruse concepts that were used in SF, four vague
attempts at systematization can be abstracted: "Glacial Cosmogony,"
the Atlantis/Thule myth, Theozoology, and the Hollow World theory. These
systematizations could mingle, and lean one on the other.
Glacial Cosmogony or the Universal Ice Doctrine (Welteislehre) and the
Atlantis myth had a particularly close relationship. Atlantis (or Thule)
represented the Earthly Paradise and the original home of the Teutonic Aryans,
while the cyclic recurrence concept of Glacial Cosmogony ensured that Atlantis
would rise again. Thus the Atlantis myth and Glacial Cosmogony became the
dominant themes of German SF in the 1920s and 1930s. Either the re-emergence of
Atlantis caused the submergence of the countries of the Entente14
(possibly according to the principle of communicating vessels), or remains of
Atlantis, which had been destroyed by cosmic events, were discovered in space,
admonishing the German astronauts to reconstruct the legitimate Aryan (i.e.
German) global empire, to return to racial purity, to a leadership mystique and
to irrationalism called "Aryan science":
Human beings were much closer to the soil in those days. They controlled
the mysterious forces of nature not by virtue of their knowledge, let alone
their science, but by virtue of their very being. The more humanity learned
to think rationally, the more they lost their visionary powers. They
delighted in their cleverness and failed to notice the waning of their
Naturally, the various crashes of the Moon onto Earth in Glacial Cosmogony
always occurred at times of racial and ethical turpitude.
The Atlantis-faith and Glacial Cosmogony also inspired the about 600 members
of the "Society for Space Flight"15 who wished to escape
from the German misery by means of spaceships. They wanted to discover "new
worlds, as modem conquistadors";17 they planned to augment
Germany's greatness by building a space-station whose "strategic
value" was among other things to consist, as Willy Ley wrote, in
"creating tornadoes and rainstorms, destroying marching troops and their
supply-lines, and burning entire cities."18 Thanks to the active
propaganda of this society, the idea of space travel grew so popular that
moon-rockets became a regular item in carnival parades, and Fritz Lang was
stimulated to make the film The Woman in the Moon (1928) for which he
asked the Society for expert advice.
The leading Nazis had a special weakness for the Atlantis myth. The racist
professor and pamphleteer Herman Wirth played a leading role in this connection,
advocating in their inner councils "a tremendous turning back of culture,
away from the age of reason and consciousness, toward the age of a 'sleepwalking
certainty,' the age of supra-rational magic." Heinrich Himmler and Wirth
founded the "Study Group for Spiritual History" "Deutsches
Ahnenerbe" (German Heritage) which propagated such pseudo-sciences and which
was, for example, responsible for the deep-freeze experiments (with subsequent
coition, "an ancient folk-remedy"!) in the concentration camps, as
well as for the collection of skeletons in Strasbourg plentifully supplied from
murdered "inferior race" specimens.19 Thus they found
praiseworthy the efforts of Government Building Counsellor (Regierungsbaurat)
Edmund Kiss, one of the most successful exploiters of the
Glacial-Cosmogony/Atlantis themes. Apart from general adventure novels, he wrote
a tetralogy20 in which he presented a mythologized version of the
fall of the German empire, its reconstruction, and its coming world supremacy
under fascist rule.
In Kiss's first volume, The Glassy Sea, John's apocalypse, which
"embodies the primaeval knowledge of the cosmos and our world,"21
is re-interpreted as a description of the global catastrophe which resulted from
the fall of the "tertiary moon." Before that event there had been
order in the world: slaves had been trained with the "mammoth whip"
(pl2O). Now the time has come for the "blue-eyed blonds" to "keep
their heads high under the bludgeonings of fate" (pl69), and to ensure
"the continued existence of the human race" by seizing the available
women--motto: "Make them trust you, then grab them" (p240).
In the second volume, Spring in Atlantis, the "Ases" (i.e.
Aryans) have succeeded. They have multiplied rapidly in their northern kingdom,
to the point where they have built the "organic community of a world-wide
empire" (p11) with its centre and capital in Atlantis. "Slant-eyed
brown-skins" work for the "blonds with the narrow skulls." Thanks
to an effective "spiritual guidance," the Ases are revered as
"white gods" (pl2, pl8). "The slave nations visit Atlantis in
order to take the profound and ineradicable impression of the overwhelming and
irresistible might of the Nordic will back to their distant homes" (p4l).
(Hitler had the same ideas concerning the measures he would employ to inculcate
a "master-consciousness" in the "non-German population of the
occupied Eastem zones": "He also thought that superstition was a
factor that had to be reckoned with in the business of leading men, even if one
is oneself quite superior to it and laughs at it"; "the only allowed
purpose of geography lessons should be to teach that the capital city of the
Empire is called Berlin, and that everybody should have visited Berlin at least
once in his life"; "once a year a troup of Kirghizes will be given a
guided tour through the capital city in order to impress their imagination with
the might and power of its stone monuments.")22 Back to Kiss:
the "Racial Bureau of Asgard" (pl7) supervises the maintenance of
racial purity in the master race;23 however, the leaders have to make
the same concessions that the Nazis found unavoidable:
The desire of millions [is] to create a granite racial cornerstone as the
foundation of the empire, not a block of absolute racial purity--the sins of
our forefathers have made that impossible--but a block of precious racial
assets with the wealth of the Nordic soul as its important heritage. (p278)
The hero already has the fixed "Führer stare" that Hitler is
supposed to have practiced in front of his mirror, and that is strongly
reminiscent of the results of a hyperactive thyroid:
But in the same moment...the golden spark shone again from the depths of
the grey compelling eyes, the spark that constituted the mystery of the
child-like radiant essence of this man. When this spark died, the eagle
features set into an expression of iron-willed and predatory determination,
and the pale-grey icy glare compelled many an enemy, not usually given to
such actions, to avert his eyes. (p72)
The third volume, The Last Queen of Atlantis, shows the empire of the
Ases at the height of its power. The "Nordic men" live in
"isolated castles and fortified farmsteads on the border marches."
Atlantis continues to provide them with "racially pure" or pedigreed
women (p28)--as we can see, precisely the way of life that the Nazi elite
envisioned for itself in occupied East European territories:
We watched the labourers for a while, those strong, animal-like Zipangus,
whose skulls are bound in early infancy to develop backward so that they can
be kept as the group designed for physical labour. (p48)
We Atlantians knew from our millenial history, so full of conquests and
defeats, that only a caste of higher human beings can effectively govern the
globe that is our beautiful Earth. Inferior races must be trained and shaped
to fulfill the needs and purposes that promote the growth of the realm.
(p49, and similarly p258)
Alas! The "hammer of fate" (p101) "strikes with mighty
blows" (p118), the appearance of a new Moon (ours) dooms Atlantis, and the
Ases are once more reduced to a people who must "fight for their place in
the sun" (pl92).
In The Singing Swans from Thule, the surviving Atlantians fight their
way (bearing with them, naturally, the blue and white swastika-banner of
Atlantis) back to the country of their origin. In their "struggle for life,
territory, and power" (p27) the principle of leadership is re-asserted:
"Desperate situations can only be saved if one man commands and the others
obey" (p65). In order that even the dimmest reader will understand the
reference, the Ases find "Teutenland" inhabited by a "Nordic
peasant population of...fairly good race" (p208). With the genetic help of
the natives, the Ases breed--in a world full of "coloured rabble,"
"human animals" and "useless men" (pl83)--"a new, hard
and chill nobility" (pl88). In order to achieve this, they occasionally
raid neighbouring tribes for "blood stock" (pl69), to use Hitler's
terminology.24 The novel culminates in the following statement:
Only a man who will protect both his aims and his freedom with a keen
sword in attack and defence, can retain mastery over his life on this earth.
Attack is his best policy. It is never a question of our right to do so.
This is ours by virtue of our existence. It is a question of might. (p206)
The things which Kiss projected into the distant past, and which Hitler and
Himmler wanted to realize in Eastern Europe, were projected into the near future
by Paul Alfred Mueller (pseudonym "Lok Myler") in his pamphlet series Sun
Koh, The Heir of Atlantis, and Jan Maygn.25 The heroes,
charismatic leader types, have been chosen by fate--and also provided by it with
the resources of a sophisticated and extremely powerful technology. It is their
vocation to create new and arable territories for the German people and the
White races. This they achieve by raising Atlantis out of the ocean and by
making Greenland (Thule) arable. The manner in which "Sun Koh" and
"Jan Mayen" treat the rest of humanity in the pursuit of their aims is
distinguished from Nazi methods only insofar as the fictive inferior peoples
speedily submit. Mueller was also one of the authors who propagated the
"Hollow World" theory. This theoretical import from the USA
experienced the height of its popularity in 1941-42, when the German Fleet
Ministry apparently actually performed radar experiments, that would have--were
the theory correct--permitted them to observe the Scapa-Flow from Reugen in the
Baltic Sea. The Hollow World theory was tolerated by the Nazis27 but
had only a few adherents in the party's higher echelons. Thus Mueller had to maneuver
carefully when he tried to make the Hollow World theory into the official
world-picture of the Nazis. In his novel, the high Nazi party functionary who
has been converted to the theory has a fatal accident on his way to speak to the
"Theozoology," propagated by Josef Lanz in the Ostara pamphlet
series, The Library of Blonds and Males' Rights,28 was not
overtly adopted in official Nazi treatises, and was only rarely exploited in SF.29
However, this theory shows the most obscure motivations of racist Manichaeism,
ideas that are still widespread in SF today. Lanz cannot even lay claim to being
the originator and inventor of this sexually-neurotic delusion system. A
textbook case for psychoanalysis, Lanz merely reinterpreted the theosophic
anthropogenesis of Blavatsky and Besant in sexual terms. In theosophy, mankind
fell because the men copulated with female animals; in Lanz's system "all
calamities in the history of the world ... have been caused by the liberated
woman."30 According to his theory, first announced in 190531
(August Strindberg was one of the first converts):
The race of full-blooded and whole Aryan Man was not the result of
natural selection alone. Instead, as the esoteric writings indicate, he was
the result of a careful and conscious breeding process by higher and
different kinds of being, such as the Theozoa, Elektrozoa, Angels, et sim.,
which once lived on this Earth.32
They were perfect electro-biotic machines, characterized by their
supernatural knowledge and power. Their knowledge encompassed
everything to be found in the universe and beyond, in the metaplfysical
spaces of the fourth, fifth and nth dimensions: They perceived such objects
by way of their electro-magneto-radiophotic eye on their forehead, the
rudiment of which is the human pineal gland. They had knowledge of all
things, and could read past, present and future from the ether. This is why
they performed the office of oracles until well into historical times and
live on, even today, in mediums. They possessed supernatural,
"divine" powers, whose centre is located in the lumbar brain.
(Note: see the "magic belts" that conferred inordinate power on
gods and demons; the "invisibility hood" of Siegfried and Alberich.)
Their bodies exude rays of fire and light, which ...
materialize on the
one hand and dematerialize on the other, breaking down atoms and
reconstructing them, canceling out gravity.33
All harmful and useless species of plants, animals, and humans are naturally
the work of the "Daemonozoa" (i.e. fallen angels). The original sin of
the "Homo sapiens or, more precisely, the Homo Arioheroicus"34
was caused by the women of these blond, god-like Aryans, who--then as now--were
attracted, "because of the magnitude of the member," to the male
anthropo-saurians" (with their "penis bone"!) and to their
descendants, the man-animal races" (Negroes, Mongolians, Jews, etc.). The
women copulated with these lower beings "more sodomitico."35
Especially the facial features of the "Bolshy-Jewish blood-hounds ...
remind us even today of the horrible faces of antediluvian
dragon-monsters"; they are the direct "descendants of...the two-legged
dinosaur-hominids" and properly still belong to "the animal
kingdom"; Rosa Luxemburg, the murdered leader of the German left and Jewish
by origin, was a "small, pure-breed Bezah-dwarf"--"just like
those bred 2000 years ago in the temple-zoos of Palestine."36
Bolshevism, Marxism, Sovietism, Communism, Socialism, Democratism ... are
offshoots ... of these primaeval, base, and inferior racial origins."37
In order to correct these racial and political conditions, the Aryans must
practice scientific racial purity and breeding:
Through conscious and goal-oriented influencing of the secreting glands,
we shall be able in the coming two centuries to rebuild atoms and cells of
all living beings and ... finally to create a new human race, which will
develop out of the Aryoheroical one.38
Any such technique, "the technology ... [And] all higher scientific
wisdom ... is to remain the secret knowledge of a numerically small,
pure-bred, heroic-Aryan ruling elite":39
A newly bred slave being with crude nerves and strong hands whose mental
potential has been carefully limited ... will perform for us all those jobs
for which we have not invented machines.... The proletariat and the
under-humanity cannot be improved or saved or made happy. They are the work
of the Devil and must simply be--of course humanely and without pain
eliminated. In their place, we will have biological machines, whose
advantage over mechanical machines will be that they repair and procreate
themselve.... This 'robot' will be the key to the future since his existence
will solve not only the technological but also the social and racio-economic
problems--and thereby all political problems--that beset us. Total equality
is nonsense!... The social question is a racial question and not an economic
one.... Who can say where the equality of rights should stop? Why should it
stop with the Australian aborigine? Gorillas, chimpanzees and bats have
exactly the same claim to socialist "human rights."40
Lanz found himself in illustrious company with such ideas. Oswald Spengler
articulated the fascist-technocratic concept of technology, science, and
philosophy as instruments for domination in much the same manner--the Aryans
were to again become "the learned priests of the machine"41
and cultivate the sciences as a ruling-class religion:
The group of Fuhrer-natures remains small. They constitute the
pack of the true beasts of prey, the pack of the talented, which will
dominate the growing herd of the others in one fashion or another.
There are ... not only two kinds of technology ... but also two kinds
of human beings ... those whose nature it is to command, and those who obey,
subjects and objects of any political or economic processes. The most
significant symptom of the impending decline and fall is to be found in what
I would like to call the betrayal of technology.... Instead of keeping
scientific knowledge secret, the knowledge that represents the most sacred
possession of the "White" peoples, it was boastfully revealed to
all and sundry in universities, in conversations, lectures, and
publications.... The irreplaceable advantages that the white peoples
held have been wasted, dissipated, betrayed.42
Himmler and Hitler43 wanted to prevent the imminent break-down of
"Western" civilization, in the conquered East-European territories at
least, by means of precisely those methods that they imputed to the Judaeo-Bolshevists:
"try to eliminate the national carriers of intelligence within a few years,
in order to make the peoples ... ready for a lot of permanent slavery and
oppression."44 The population of the "Eastern
Territories" was, according to the ideas of Hitler and Himmler, to live in
isolated village communities and develop their own "magic cults":
"It would be best to teach them to understand only a sign language. Radio
would provide unlimited music, which is good for such communities. They are not
to learn to use their brains."45
Lanz's disciple Hitler also considered "Pure and applied science ... an
almost exclusively Aryan achievement."46 Only "when
knowledge re-acquires the character of secret, initiate knowledge, and ceases to
be accessible to all and sundry, will it again fulfill its normal function,
namely that of being the means and the power to control both human and non-human
nature."47 With his undeniable instinct for what was publicly
acceptable, Hitler discussed his favourite theories only among intimates. These
ideas proved to be garnered almost exclusively from "popular
scientific" treatises such as those of Boelsche and Lanz:
I have been reading a work on the origin of human races. I used to think
a great deal about this subject in my younger days, and I must say that if
one looks more closely at the traditional myths and legends ... one arrives
at most peculiar conclusions. Nowhere is there a development within a
species that is comparable in degree and kind to that which man must have
undergone in order to cover the distance between a quasi-simian state and
his present mode of being.... Myths cannot have been constructed without any
foundation. Any concept must be preceded by the phenomenon from which it is
derived. There is nothing to stop us, and Indeed I believe we would be
right, to assume that mythological characters and situations are
representations of a former reality.48
A new type of human being is beginning to manifest itself, very much in
the scientific sense of a new mutation. The old, hitherto extant species of
man now necessarily enters into the biological stage of degeneration.... The
one will sink underneath man and the other will rise far above present day
man.... Yes, man must be transcended.... The new man lives among us. He
exists!... I shall tell you a secret. I have seen the new man, fearless and
pitiless. And I was afraid.49
Lanz could not only claim to be one of the "grandfathers of Fascism and
National Socialism,"50 he is also a legitimate ancestor of
modern SF. As he himself stated in 1930, "a whole new generation of authors is
already living off their exploitation of 'Ostara'-ideas."51
A science and technology functioning as a mass religion and the
"transcending of man" are even now the favourite concepts of precisely
those technocrats (and their literary allies) who think of themselves as
particularly progressive and unprejudiced. Just as in fascism, frequently they
also propagate a sane-way-of-life pseudo-philosophy, usually consisting of a
Social-Darwinist barbarism as style of government and principle of social
organization. As Hitler said: "Yes, we are barbarians. We actually choose
to be such. It is a princely title. It is we who will renew the world, This
world is dying."52 The epitome of all counter-revolutionary
slogans, Lanz's "In our most distant past lies our most modern future,"53
was the sociopolitical motto of fascism. In SF--German and U.S.--this concept is
still constantly utilized and reanimated (as for von Daeniken's bestselling
title Memories of the Future, one could almost start a copyright-suit
against him). Its traditional conjunction with racism has no doubt become less
prevalent, but the programmatic combination of "sword and sorcery" as
power-style and social structure with "science fiction," standing for
uninhibited capitalist and technocratic industrialism, is still with us.
--Translated by Sabine Kurth, edited by DS.
1See Wolfgang Fritz Haug, Der hilflose
Antifaschismus, Frankfurt 1967.
2Der Orchideengarten, Vol. 1, No. 2, p23.
3See Bernd Ruland, Wernher von Braun: Mein Leben
fuer die Raumfahrt, Offenburg 1969, p56ff. Valier is also the author of Der
Verstoss in den Weltenraum, München and Berlin 1924 (the 5th and 6th eds.
appeared in 1928 and 1930 with the title Raketenfahrt.)
4Max Valier, Welt-Untergang (augmented ed.
of Untergang der Erde, München 1923, pp7-8.
5G.W. Surya (i.e., Demeter Georgievitz-Weitzer) and
Max Valier, Okkulte Weltallstehre, München 1922, p294.
6Valier (¶4), p19, note 1.
7Surya and Valier (¶5), p352.
8Joerg Lanz-Liebenfels, "Der zoologische und talmudische
Ursprung des Bolochewismus" in Ostara, No. 13/14 (2nd edn 1930),
p8ff (italics in the original).
9Idem, "Rassenmystik, eine Einfuehrung in die ariochristuche
Geheimlehre," in Ostara, No. 78 (2nd ed. 1929), p14.
10Idem, "Theozoologie oder Naturgeschichte der Goetter,
IV," in Ostara, No. 15 (2nd ed. 1929), pl4.
11Idem, "Einfuehrung in die praktische Rassenmetaphysik,"
in Ostara, No. 80, 1915, pl (italics in the original).
12See also Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom (Die Furcht vor der
Freiheit, 2nd ed., Frankfurt 1968, pp2O3-234); Erik H. Erikson, Childhood
and Society (Kindheit und Gesellschaft, 2nd ed., Stuttgart 1965,
pp320-346); Theodor W. Adomo et al., The Authoritarian Personality (Der
autoritaere Charakter, Amsterdam 1968, 1:88-187).
13See also Joachim Besser, "Die Vorgeschichte des
Nationalsozialismus im neuen lacht," Die Pforte 2, 1950; Wilfried
Daim, Der Mann, der Hitler die Ideen gab, München 1958; George L.
Mosse, "The Mythical origins of National Socialism," Journal of the
History of Ideas 22 (1961), No. 1; Reginald Phelps, "Before Hitler
Came: Thule Society and Germanen Orden," Journal of Modern History 35
(1963), No. 3; Dietrich Bronder, Bevor Hitler kam, Hannover 1964; Allan
Mitchell, Revolution in Bayern 1918/1919, München 1967, p91ff, Friedrich
Heer, Der Glaube des Adolf Hitler. Anatomie einer Politischen religiositaet,
München and Esslingen 1968; and Karl Dietrich Beacher, Die deutsche Diktatur,
Koln and Berlin 1969, pp52-98.
14E.g.: F.O. Bilse. Gottes Muehien, Berlin 1924.
15Otto Willi Gail, Der Stein vom Mond, Breslau 1926, p269ff
(pbd in the USA as Stone from the Moon in Science Wonder Quarterly, Spring
1930). See also O.W. Gail, Der Schuss ins All, Brealau 1925, and Hans
Hardts Mondfahrt, Stuttgart 1928; this juvenile book (an abbreviated
version of the above mentioned novels) was translated into Danish, Finnish,
French, Dutch, Norwegian, and Hungarian. The last German edition (21st, 30th
thousand) was in Stuttgart 1949. Excerpts of this novel appeared in Die
Rakete, the journal of the Society for Space-Travel. Der Schuss ins All
was serialized by numerous German daily newspapers and published in the USA as The
Shot into Infinity twice (in Science Wonder Quarterly, Fall 1929, and
Science Fiction Quarterly, 1941). For the Glacial Cosmogony doctrine see,
e.g., Ph. Fauth ed., Hoerbigers Glazial-Kosmogonie, 2nd ed., Leipzig 1926
(1st ed. 1913).
16Its perhaps most prominent member, Hermann Oberth, author of Die
Rakete zu den Planetenraumen, 1923 (3rd edn Berhn and Munchen 1929 with the
title Wege zur Raumschiffahrt) continued in the same tradition after the
Second World War. He propagated the belief in flying saucers, wrote the Katechismus
der Uraniden, Wiesbaden-Schierstein 1966, and occasionally functioned as a
figurehead for the NPD (neo-Nazi party).
17Hans Dominik, Das Erbe der Uraniden, Berlin 1928, pl37.
18Willy Ley, Die Fahrt ins Weltall, Leipzig 1926, p67.
19The quote is from Hermann Rauschning's account of his talks with
Hitler Gespraeche mit Hitler, Zurich and New York 1940, p2l5. On the
Nazis and Atlantis see their leading ideologist Alfred Rosenberg, Der Mythus
des 20. Jahrhunderts, München 1936, pp24-28. See also, Michael H.
Kater, Das "Ahnenerbe", Diss. Heidelberg 1966 (for material on
a secret meeting about Glacial Cosmogony from July 12-19, 1939 see pl02/394,
notes 21-22); Reinhard Bollmus, Das Amt Rosenberg und seine Gegner, Stuttgart
1970, ppl78250; Helmut Heiber ed., Reichsfuehrer! - Briefe an und von Himmler,
2nd ed., München 1970 (about Atlantis, see letters 58 and 59; about Glacial
Cosmogony, see letters 26, 33a and 87). Concerning Hitler's belief in Glacial
Coamogony--he wished to put a commemorative statue to its author Hanns Hoerbiger
in Linz, beside those of Ptolemy and Copernicus--see Henry Picker, Hitler's
Tischgespraeche, ed. P.E. Schramm, 2nd ed., Stuttgart 1965, pl67 and 298.
The theosophic and anthroposophic competitors in matters concerning Atlantis,
who had originally inspired the Nazis, were forbidden during the Third Reich--e.g.
Rudolf Steiner's Die Kosmische Vorgeschichte der Menschheit, Dornach
1941. Today, Juergen Spanuth--Das entraetselte Atlantis, Stuttgart 1953, Und
doch! Atlantis entraetselt, Stuttgart 1957; Atlantis, Heimat, Reich und
Schicksal der Germanen, Tübingen 1965--and former employees of the
Rosenberg Bureau are still propagating a Germanophile Atlantis-theory in the
West German fascist press such as Deutsche Nachrichten, etc. See Bollmus,
op. cit., p259ff, note 3, and p3l5ff, note 158.
20Edmund Kiss, Das glaeserne Meer, Leipzig 1930 (4th ed.
1941); Fruehling in Atlantis, Leipzig 1933 (2nd ed. 1939); Die letzte
Koenigin von Atlantis, Leipzig 1931 (4th ed. 1941); Die Singschwaene aus
Thule, Leipzig 1939 (3rd ed. 1941). Early on, Kiss received a prize for this
21Kiss, Das glaeserne Meer, p3O5. In the subsequent text,
numerals in brackets refer to the pages in the last named novel.
22In Picker (¶19), pp462-469 and p143.The "ethnologist"
Himmler on the same subject: "We must do even more in order to inculcate a
peaceful and non-militant attitude towards us in the minds of the people behind
our lines.... We must support all religions and sects which encourage pacifism.
For all Turkish peoples, Buddhism is most suitable. For other nations, Biblical
pietism should be helpful"--in Heiber (¶19), letter 330.
23Hitler: "A true domination of the world can only be founded
on one's own race"--Picker (¶19), pl68.
25Lok Myler, Sun-Koh, der Erbe von Atlantis, series of 150
pamphlets (1933-39); Jan Mayen, 120 pamphlets (1935-39). The SunKoh serial
was so successful (average ed. 60,000; largest edn 90,000), that Jan Mayen
was written as a kind of echo. Both series appeared in several printings.
(Especially the Sun-Koh serial contained blatantly plagiarized passages
from Robert Kraft's prewar serial novels.) Both series reappeared after 1945. Jan
Mayen--now the "Master of Atomic Energy" (ed. Utopia-Zukunftsromane,
1949/50)--only lasted for ten sequels, but the Sun-Koh series managed another
110 sequels between 1949 and 1953. At that point, the publisher, Planet Verlag,
discontinued the series because a law against "youth-damaging books"
was imminent. (This publisher also produced The Sixth and Seventh Book
of Moses.) Between 1958 and 1961, the series appeared in a lending-library
edition of 37 volumes, published by Borgsmueller in Muenster. Under his postwar
pseudonym "Fireder van Holk," Mueller has written another two dozen SF
novels, published by Biel Verlag and Weiss Verlag, both in Berlin. He managed to
publish a number of rewritten Sun-Koh sequels in the Utopia pamphlet
series of the Pabel-Verlag and co-authored the series Mark Powers der Held
26See Johannes Lang, Die Hohlweittheorie, 2nd edn,
Frankfurt 1938, p281; also K. Neupert, Welt-Wendung! - Inversion of the
Universe, Augsburg 1924, and Geokosmos - Weltbild der Zukunft, Zurich
and laipzig 1942.
27Lang's Welt, Mensch und Gott, Frankfurt 1936, was
examined under File P/100 by the Supervisory and Advisory Branch for
Astrological and Related Publications in the Reichsschrifttumakammer, Berlin,
and passed. Lang subsumed in his work the Atlantis myths, astrology, glacial
cosmogony, theozoology, hollow world theory--they are all there in concord.
28Ostara, Buecherei der Blonden und Mannesrechtler, was
published from 1905 to 1930. Individual issues sometimes went to three
printings. According to Heer (¶13), p7Ol, Lanz claimed a total of 500,000
29E.g., in St. Bialkowski, Krieg im All, Leipzig 1935;
implicitly in Gail's Stone from the Moon (915); transferred to another
planet in Dietrich Kaerrner, Per Krag und sein Stern, Berlin 1939.
30Ostara No. 33: "Die Gefahren des Frauenrechts und
die Notwendigkeit der mannesrechtlichen Herrenmoral," 1909, pl0.
31Lanz-Liebenfels, Theozoologie oder die Kunde von den
Sodoms-Aeffligen und dem Goetterelektron, 1905.
32Idem, Bibliomystikon oder die Geheimbidel der Eingeweihten, Vol.
II: Daemonozoikon, Pforzheim 1931, pl58.
33Il.bid., Vol. III: Theozoikon, Pressbaum bei Wien 1931,
34Ibid., Vol. I: Anthropozoikon, Pforzheim 1930, p90.
35"Woman has thus been responsible for a 2000-year selection
in the direction of larger genitals"--Ostara No. 21: "Rasse und
Weib und Vorliebe fuer den Mann der minderen Artung," 1909, p9.
36Ostara No. 13/14, picture-page 1, and p13, note 27.
38"Theozoologie IV: Der neue Bund und der neue CTott,"
in Ostara No. 15 (2nd edn 1929), pl2. See also "Theozoologie
VII" in Ostara No. 19 (2nd ed. 1930).
39"Die Blonden als Traeger und Opfer der technischer Kultur,"
in Ostara No. 75, p18; quoted according to Heer (¶13), p7l5.
40Ostara No. 19, p5f.
41Oswald Spengler, Der Mensch und die Technik, München
1932, p70 (italics here and in his other quotes are Spengler's).
42Ibid., p27, p50, and pp84-86.
43Hitler never openly mentioned that he had read the Ostara
publications during his Vienna period, but see his Mein Kampf, München
1942, p2l and pp59-63. Daim (¶13) and Heer (¶13) found a number of blatant
plagiarisms straight from Lanz.
44Hitler (¶43), p358.
45Picker quoting Hitler (¶19), p190. See also ibidem, p271, and
Himmler's memoir concerning the administration of the occupied "Eastern
Territories" (in Vierteljahreshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte, Vol. 5,
46Hitler (¶43), p317.
47Hitler, as quoted in Rauschning (¶19), p40.
48Hitler, as quoted in Picker (¶19), p166.
49Rauschning (¶19), pp230-233. The Strasbourg skeleton
collection, for which "perfect specimen," selected from among
concentration camp prisoners and Soviet commissars, were slaughtered, had, one
must suppose, the purpose of proving Lanz's "zoological origin" of the
50Lanz, Bibliomystikon (¶32), 2:145.
51Ostara No. 12/14, from the appendix, without page
52Hitler, quoted in Rauschning (¶19), p78.
53Lanz, Bibliomystikon (¶32), 3:28.
It is not my intention to make light of
National-Socialism by interpreting it in terms of picturesque fantasies. But to discuss
the irrational elements of Nazism is helpful in understanding its historical development
and rise. This essay surveys German SF (and pamphlets of the Nazi era that employ
science-fictional ideas) to suggest the fantasies underlying Nazi myths. In particular,
the essay identifies four vague attempts at systematized concepts that arose in Nazi-era
German SF: Glacial Cosmogony, the Atlantis/Thule myth, The Hollow World theory, and Theozoology. These concepts often overlapped, and there was an especially close
relationship between Glacial Cosmogony (also called the Universal Ice Doctrine [Welteislehre])
and the Atlantis myth. Atlantis (or Thule) represented the Earthly Paradise and the
original home of the Teutonic Aryans, while the cyclical emphasis of Glacial Cosmogony
encouraged the idea that sunken Atlantis would rise again. The Atlantis myth and Glacial
Cosmogony became the dominant themes of German SF in the 1920s and 1930s, and the leading
Nazis had a special weakness for the Atlantis myth. The "Hollow World" theory,
however, had only a few adherents in the partys higher echelons. Thus, in Sun
Koh, The Heir of Atlantis, and Jan Mayen by Paul Alfred Mueller
(writing as "Lok Myler"), the high Nazi functionary who has been converted to
the Hollow World theory has a fatal accident on his way to speak to the Fuhrer.
"Theozoology," propagated by Josef Lanz in the Ostara pamphlet series The
Library of Blonds and Male Rights, exhibits a racist Manicheanism that is still
widespread in SF today. In theosophy, mankind fell because the men copulated with female
animals; in Lanzs system (derived from reinterpreting the theosophical writings of
Blavatsky and Besant in sexual terms), "all calamities in the history of the world
have been caused by the liberated woman." All harmful and useless species of plants,
animals, and humans are naturally the work of the "Daemonozoa" (i.e., fallen
angels). Lanzs notions found illustrious company, with Oswald Spengler articulating
the fascistic-technocratic concept of technology, science, and philosophy for domination
in much the same manner. Lanz could not only claim to be one of the "grandfathers of
Fascism and National Socialism," he is also a legitimate ancestor of modern SF. His
political motto, "In our most distant past lies our most modern future," was the
socio-political motto of fascism; and in SFboth in Germany and the USthis
concept is constantly reanimated. The traditional conjunction of such notions with racism
has no doubt become less prevalent, but the programmatic combination of "sword and
sorcery" as power-style and social structure with "science fiction"
(defined as uninhibited capitalist and technocratic industrialism) still is.
Back to Home