The Thule Society emerged just over a century ago, as an extreme nationalistic German secret society called Germanenorden was founded and after a few years, a schism in its ranks led to the Munich branch adopting the cover name of Thule-Gesellschaft. Some of its members sought to link Thule with Atlantis and the Aryans with the Atlanteans using some of the ideas of Helena Blavatsky and Jean-Silvain Bailly(a).
The Thule-Gesellschaft (Thule Society), originally the Studiengruppe für germanisches Altertum (“Study Group for Germanic Antiquity”), was a German occultist and völkisch group founded by Felix Niedner in 1910(c). Other sources name Rudolf von Sebottendorff as the founder(d).
Karl Harrer, a member of the Thule Society along with the far-right politician Anton Drexler were founders of the German Workers Party (DAP) in 1919, two years later it changed its name to Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, better known as the Nazi Party(b). The Thule Society faded with the establishment of the DAP, although there was a failed attempt to revive it in 1933.
Claims that most leading Nazis had been members of the Thule Society seem to be a gross exaggeration, having only had Rudolf Hess as a member for a brief period, although it is claimed that other high-ranking Nazis such as Göring and Himmler were also members, there is no evidence to support this claim.
History Professor Peter Staudenmeier offers a more sober view of the Thule Society than that portrayed in many popular books today. He points out that “the short-lived Thule Society, which gained brief notoriety in the aftermath of the First World War, is frequently portrayed as a paradigmatic example of the ‘secret societies’ that supposedly gave birth to the Nazi party. While the organisation was indeed secretive, and its modest membership did include several figures who went on to become leading Nazis, it was not an occult order……………the Thule Society was in reality a political organisation committed to Right-wing radicalism, not esoteric machinations. Aside from spreading antisemitic propaganda, its chief activities consisted of militant confrontations with the Left in the Munich area. Hitler had nothing to do with the group.”(d)
Arthur Posnansky (1873-1946) was a self-taught archaeologist who was born in Vienna, although described as Polish. He is best known for his work at Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) in the Bolivian Andes. In 1943, he published his best-known ok, Tiahuanaco: The Cradle of American Man, in four volumes. In this huge work, he controversially claimed that Tiahuanaco had been built around 10000 BC. He is also remembered in his adopted Bolivia as having introduced the first car into that country. He died in Bolivia’s capital, La Paz.
Posnansky, in two earlier books, proposed a prehistoric Germanic migration to South America, a theory supported by Edmund Kiss. The two men worked together in Bolivia in the 1920s. During the Third Reich, Posnansky wrote about racial science that supported Nordicism, which underpinned a lot of Nazi ideology.>This may be considered strange as it is thought that Posnansky originally came from a Jewish background(d). In 1943 he published What is Race in which, he used the term Nordic-Atlantean implying a belief in Atlantis. It is also said that he supported Hörbiger’s crazy ‘World Ice Theory’.<
In the course of these writings, he used the term Nordic-Atlantean implying a belief in Atlantis. Kiss and Posnansky were of the opinion that Tiahuanaco had been built by Nordic survivors from Atlantis. The idea may have gone down well with Himmler but was derided by the scientific community at large.
Jim Allen has included an extensive article on the life and research of Posnansky, including excerpts from his work(a). On the other hand, his early dates for Tiwanaku are seriously challenged by Orser(b) and Heinrich(c).
Nazis and Atlantis
One of the most bizarre and tragic outcomes of Plato’s 2,400-year-old story is the fact that it was seized upon by elements in the Nazi regime as part of the foundation for their extreme nationalistic and racist views. The Nazi search for Atlantis was institutionalised with the creation of the SS Ahnenerbe by Heinrich Himmler.
Vanessa Ward has written a useful review of the nationalistic use of the Atlantis story by both Rudbeck and the Nazis(a).
Since the war, Nazi philosophy has persisted in a variety of forms, the most extreme being the killing of 77 people by the Norwegian, Anders Breivik in 2011.
From the calm of 21st century rural Ireland, it seems incredible to this compiler, that something as horrific as the Jewish Holocaust could have had any connection, however vague, with the writings of a Greek philosopher who wrote nearly two and a half millennia ago.
Thorwald C. Franke has highlighted(c) that recently(2017), a small German right-wing group, ‘Pro Deutschland’, has cited on their website the ‘superior civilisation’ of Atlantis in support of their extremist views.
More recently (2021), Franke has taken issue with a Smithsonian video, which implied that a belief in Atlantis was prevalent among the upper echelons of Germany’s National Socialism. However, Franke maintains that apart from Himmler, most senior Nazis, including Hitler had no interest in Atlantis. Anyway, when Franke wrote to the Smithsonian pointing out how they had overstated this Nazi support for Atlantis, he found that his comments were blocked and the same institution failed to respond to a follow-up email(d)!>In a subsequent newsletter (No. 173), he added further evidence that most of the top Nazi echelons had little or no interest in Atlantis(e).<
(c) https://www.atlantis-scout.de/atlantis_newsl_archive.htm Newsletter No. 90
>(d) Atlantis Newsletter Archive – Atlantis-Scout Newsletter No. 167
(e) https://www.atlantis-scout.de/atlantis_newsl_archive.htm Newsletter No. 173<
The Oera Linda Book, sometimes referred as the Ura-Linda Chronicle, is a highly controversial book from Holland that occasionally is referred to in books and articles relating to Atlantis. It is claimed to be one of the oldest books ever discovered.
>The Oera Linda Book came to light in 1867 when Cornelis Over de Linden (1811–1874) handed the manuscript, which he claimed to have inherited from his grandfather, via his aunt, over to Eelco Verwijs (1830–1880), the provincial librarian of Friesland, for translation and publication. Verwijs rejected the manuscript, but in 1871 Jan Gerhardus Ottema (1804–1879), a prominent member of the Frisian Society for History and Culture, published a Dutch translation. Ottema believed it to be written in authentic Old Frisian(r).<
While a Dutch translation appeared in 1871, it was not until 1876 that the first English translation of the Oera Linda Book by William R. Sandbach was published by Trubner & Co(k). This was allegedly a translation of a 13th-century Frisian manuscript based on much earlier traditions.
The book tells the story of the destruction of a large landmass in the North Sea known as ‘Atland’ following earthquakes and tidal waves. Atland means Old Land in Frisian. It dates this catastrophe to 2193 BC. However, the current consensus is that the landbridge between the Shetlands Isles and Norway was submerged around 5500 BC and not the date given in the Oera Linda Book.
Nearly seventy years were to pass before the book came under scrutiny again in Britain, when Harold T. Wilkins wrote an article in Egerton Sykes’ first issue of Atlantis magazine, supporting its authenticity. Thirty years later another English writer, Robert Scrutton, wrote two books on the Oera Linda Book. These again opened up the controversy regarding the authenticity of the book.
Andrew Collins has written a short paper(g) casting doubt on the authenticity of the book.
Now Anthony Radford presents a new review of the Book and offers the first edition of his book free online (f).
Andi Zeneli, the Albanian researcher, has used the text of the Oera Linda Book in an attempt to support his claim of an Albanian connection with Atlantis. Georg Lohle also follows the Oera Linda Book in suggesting a North Sea location for Atlantis.
The English text of the book is available on the internet(b)(c) with the original 212 Frisian language pages, which is accessible on a Dutch site(d). A recent (2012) vindication of the OLB is now available online(h).
It is reported(p) that when Heinrich Himmler was given a translation of the OLB by his friend Hermann Wirth he was totally besotted with its contents and it became known as ‘Himmler’s Bible’. However, even within the Nazi party, there were many sceptical voices, which led to much dispute. Finally, “The two opposing camps officially “squared off” during a panel discussion centred on The Oera Linda Book that took place on May 4th 1934 at the aforementioned University of Berlin. The discussion turned into a heated debate, but in the end, The Oera Linda Book was officially declared “a hoax” by the NSDAP, and “Himmler’s Bible” receded once again into obscurity.”
I must mention that the American neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement has taken an interest in the Oera Linda Book(e), promoting it as ‘positive’ reading material!
*The late Antonis Kontaratos was favourably disposed to quote the OLB in support of Atlantis, in a paper delivered to the 2005 Atlantis Conference [629.435], although he also noted that “the authenticity of the Oera Linda Book still awaits official approval or disapproval”.*
Alewyn J. Raubenheimer has theorised that an asteroid impact created the Burckle Crater in the Indian Ocean which in turn generated a megatsunami recorded in the bible as Noah’s Flood and in the Oera Linda Book as the flooding of Atland in 2193 BC. With regard to Atlantis he states categorically (p.49)“that no attempt is made here to equate Atland with Atlantis although there may be a connection.” His defence of the Oera Linda Book has been hailed by some as an important scholarly contribution(i) while others have endeavoured to discredit the book’s authenticity(j).
James Nienhuis also accepts the historicity of the OLB(n), but today’s leading proponent of its authenticity is arguably Jan Ott, a Dutch researcher, born in West Friesland, who has released video and audio interviews on YouTube(l)(m) in support of his views. A list of all translations of the OLB can be accessed on his website(o) as well as many other aspects of Oera Linda studies. Ott has been interviewed on Red Ice Radio, a Swedish right-wing broadcaster.
>A 2022 critical review of the OLB by an Indian researcher, Bipin Dimri, added support to the more generally accepted view that the OLB is a forgery. He suggests that “Either Cornelis Over de Linden or Eelco Verwijs (or possibly an acquaintance of both men) are the two most likely authors, writing a comedy text to poke fun at an overtly nationalistic audience in the late 19th century. It was likely never to be taken seriously(q).<
Ahnenerbe-SS or to give it its full title, Ahnenerbe Forschungs und Lehrgemeinschaft (The Ancestral Heritage Research and Teaching Society), was founded by Heinrich Himmler in 1935 but did not become part of the SS until 1940. It was one of the more bizarre aspects of the Nazi regime, as it attempted to give legitimacy to the notion of German supremacy by claiming that they were direct descendants from an original perfect race, the Atlanteans.
When you add this to the Nazi support for Hans Hoerbiger’s crazy cosmology(i), strange expeditions to Tibet, and SS agents attempting to steal Crystal Skulls in South America, you cannot help wondering how such eccentric activities could have been accepted by the higher echelons of the Nazi establishment. It is contended that the Germans maintained strong links with Tibet and it is reported that when the Russians entered Berlin in 1945 they found many Tibetan corpses in SS uniforms, apparently after committing ritual suicide. This frequently quoted account is more than suspect.
The Ahnenerbe also studied the occult, a matter that has been investigated by a number of writers, including an early work by Herbie Brennan, whose book is complemented by The Occult History of the Third Reich website(a). The same site reviews the place of Atlantis in Nazi thinking(g) as well as an overview of the Ahnenerbe(h).
The attitude towards occultism in Nazi Germany seems to have been ambivalent, as represented in a paper(j) by Eric Kurlander who noted that “In her groundbreaking work on German esotericsm, Corinna Treitel represents the views of much recent scholarship when she concludes, ‘Occultism ceased its highly public presence as part of Germany’s refomist milieu of cultural experimentation only after 1937, when the Nazi regime suppressed occultism as one of its many ideological enemies.’
The evidence in this chapter, while not entirely incompatible with this statement, suggests a more complex picture. First and most importantly, the Nazi regime was much more selective in its suppression of occult and other border sciences than Treitel and other revisionist accounts suggest.”
The quest for the Holy Grail was also high on the Ahnenerbe agenda, which was led by one Otto Rahn(k). He eventually fell from favour and as punishment was assigned to work in the SS-run Dachau concentration camp(a)(l).
The Ahnenerbe attracted many seeking to avoid military service, as its work was considered essential to the war effort. It had fifty different research branches known as ‘Institutes’ and also ran a large publishing operation. It had Institutes dealing with Celtic Studies, Musicology and Norse Gods, but its most abhorrent activities were the carrying out of experiments on live humans, mainly from the concentration camps.
The unbelievable ideas, including an Atlantean ancestry for the Nazis that were peddled by the Ahnenerbe are extensively covered in the recent ‘must read’ book(m), The Master Plan by Heather Pringle. Her fascinating book includes an account of Himmler’s bizarre plan to exploit the mandatory use of bicycle reflectors to fund the activities of the Ahnenerbe!
Incidentally, the reflectors was invented in 1936 by one of Hitler’s chauffeurs, Anton Loibl, who formed a limited company (Anton Loibl GmbH)(e) with the SS(b) which channelled part of the royalty income to the Ahnenerbe, to fund their expeditions around the world seeking evidence for the origins of the Aryan ‘master race’.
However, Pringle also exposes the involvement of the Ahnenerbe in the plundering of museums in occupied countries and, more seriously, the painful and often fatal medical ‘experiments’ carried out on concentration camp inmates.
Film clips, in German, relating to the Anenerbe are available on the Internet(c).
Another site offers further insights into Nazi archaeology(d).
(d) http://alfrye04.wix.com/nazi-archaeology#! (link broken)