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)