See also: Book Review
Hitler, Buddha, Krishna.
unholy alliance from the Third Reich to the present day
(Ueberreuter Verlag – Vienna
– 2002 )
Nazi "myth makers" were especially fascinated by the Far East. It was there - more so than in the cultural
roots of Europe - that they hoped to find
the foundations of a "political theology", which the gigantic
regime which was the Third Reich could use as its metaphysical basis. In
the philosophies, mythologies, visions and dogmas as well as in the
religious practices and texts of the spiritual traditions Asia
had to offer they found the models for glorifying war, for the deification
of the "Führer" and the white race. They discovered the spiritual
remnants of a long-lost indo-Aryan and anti-Semitic primeval religion which
they now wanted to reconstruct in the sign of the swastika. Fascinating portraits of the
"Fathers of the Nazi Church".
Recent years have seen a marked rise in public interest
in National Socialism, with fresh research carried out and new
interpretations arrived at. Hitler’s private life and his relations with
women continue to occupy the media. Noteworthy too is the growing attention
being given to interpretations of Nazism as a “political religion” and a
“cult movement”. It is less widely known, however, that the content and
structure and foundation of a “Nazi Religion” were often discussed within
the SS in general and it’s Ahnenerbe
[Forefathers Heritage Society] in particular. The SS, headed by Heinrich
Himmler, considered itself to be the “advance guard of German research into
religion. All the leading figures in this “religion smithy” based their
work on the assumption that a racially pure Aryan faith had existed in
prehistoric times and should therefore be rediscovered and resurrected.
After sifting through archival material, secondary
literature and Nazi documents the authors have been able to demonstrate
that this restoration of an Aryan religion drew on ideas, philosophies,
mythologies, visions, dogmas and sacred practices pertaining to traditional
Oriental belief systems. A coterie of fascist cultural scholars sprang up
asserting that Buddhism, the Vedas,
the Puranas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, yoga and even Tantrism were intellectual
remnants of a vanished, global, indo-Aryan, anti-Semitic religion. There
were also borrowings from Tibetan culture and especially from Japanese Zen
and Samurai traditions. The archaic
cultural legacy of a despotic and warlike Orient provided Nazi ideologues
with their theories for:
the apotheosis of the ‘Führer’
a social caste system based on race
the enshrinement of war and warriors
mastery over ones feelings
the manipulation of consciousness
the political exploitation of symbols and rituals
the significance of archaic sacrificial rites
The book has two sections. The first focuses on
religious and political activity within the SS-Ahnenerbe. The aspects of Eastern religions that were
influencing Nazi thought were discussed and debated from an esoteric as
well as an academic stance since Heinrich Himmler, the Society’s leader,
encouraged both approaches to the subject. The authors were surprised to
uncover here discussions on:
Bhagavad Gita warrior mysticism
Hitler as sacred ruler of the world (Chakravartin)
Truly astonishing is the extent to which Himmler’s
world view ‘think tank’ applied itself so assiduously and comprehensively
and with such foresight to the subject. This section of the book also
studies the Nazi-Tibet-Connection.
The second section sets out the fateful legacy
left by the SS-Ahnenerbe and
offers an insight into post-war religious neo-Fascism. We are confronted
here with an occult subculture wielding substantial power, a school of
thought in which myths, religious paradigms, dogmas, conspiracy theories,
esoteric doctrines, superstition, visions, illusions and the stuff of
fables and science fiction all merged so seamlessly with Nazi ideologies
and Nazi history that they could no longer be distinguished one from the
other. The Indo-Tibetan element, however, is sufficiently prominent to
justify talk of “Indian teachings with National Socialist content”. Hitler
appears here as an avatar, the incarnation of the Indian god Krishna, the Bodhisattva, the Chakravartin (sacred ruler of the world). The second section
also considers the interest shown by fascists in the Tibetan Kalachakra Tantra
Who are the key exponents of
theories featured in the book?
Buddha, Krishna” sets out the
biographies and ideas of important Nazi ideologists, highlighting the Asian
and in particular the Buddhist influence on their thought and vision.
Pre-1945 personalities covered are:
Heinrich Himmler, SS Reich
Commander, architect of mass murder and admirer of Asian philosophy. A
quotation from Himmler: “I marvel at the wisdom of the founders of Indian
religions.” Himmler was a follower of the Buddhist doctrine of Karma and
Walther Wüst, SS colonel, curator of SS-Ahnenerbe, vice chancellor of Munich University, Orientalist. Wüst has to
be viewed as the driving force behind the SS-Ahnenerbe’s endeavours to forge a religion. He operated on the
assumption that the Nazi religion under construction should be rooted in
the Vedic and Buddhist writings of India.
Founder of the “German Faith Movement” and later
SS captain Jakob Wilhelm Hauer.
Scholar of Indian culture and Sanskrit expert, he drew on Bhagavad Gita and Buddhist texts in
an attempt to elaborate the typology of an invincible war machine.
SS brigadier Karl
Maria Wiligut (“Himmler’s Rasputin”), occultist in the SS-Ahnenerbe. He claimed to be in
spiritual contact with Tibetan Lamaist monasteries.
SS Tibetan researchers Ernst Schäfer and Bruno
Beger saw Lamaism as a treasury in which the core Aryan knowledge was
stored. The book also looks at the relationship of Sven Hedin to the Nazi regime and Hitler.
Japan expert, geopolitician
and Deutsche Akademie President Karl Haushofer. He emphasised the appropriateness of
Shinto state fascism as a model for National Socialism.
The German teachers of Zen Buddhism, Eugen Herrigel and Karlfried Dürckheim, propounded a
link between National Socialism and Zen philosophy.
The fascist philosopher Julius Evola, whose ideas were much more influential on the SS
than first thought and whose traditionalist system of theories is based
largely on Buddhist and Tantric doctrines.
The SS mystic Otto
Rahn and the neo-Buddhist circles he frequented in France.
Their influence led Rahn to claim that the “Grail of the Cathars” was a “symbol of the soul adopted [!] straight
The French specialist on the Orient, Jean Marquès-Rivière, head of the
French secret police (S.S.S.) and SS collaborator. One of the leading western
scholars on Tibetan Kalachakra Tantra.
The first part of the book also deals with the
anti-Buddhist movement in the Third Reich. The chapter entitled
“Collaborators, condoners or victims?” considers the role of Buddhists in
the Nazi period.
The protagonists of religious neo-Nazism
are studied too, with particular attention
being paid to the effect on their thinking
of Indo-Tibetan ideas and philosophy.
“Hitler’s High Priestess”, Savitri Devi. Was instrumental in the consecration of Hitler after
the war and the establishment of National Socialism as a quasi Indian sect.
The inventors of the “Nazi mysteries”, French
occultists Jacques Bergier and Louis Pauwels, and the Englishman Trevor Ravenscroft. All three
authors saw National Socialism inextricably linked to the Indo-Tibetan
The “Black Sun” ideologues, Viennese authors Wilhelm Landig and Rudolf J. Mund, and Jan van Helsing. These writers work
from the premise that Tibetan / Mongolian Lamaism and the esoteric
teachings of National Socialism both have their source in Atlantis.
Miguel Serrano, Chilean diplomat and founder of
“esoteric Hitlerism”. Serrano is an expert in Tantric doctrines. The
cornerstones of his system of racist theories are Indo-Tibetan in origin.
Why the title of the book:
Buddha, Krishna” ?
Even before the outbreak
of war attempts were made by a number of the above-mentioned Nazi
ideologues to identify Hitler as the latest link in an Indo-Aryan chain of
divine kings and philosophers. Indian religion founders such as the
“Buddha” and Indian hero divinities like “Krishna”
were proclaimed pioneers and heralds of the dictator. This apotheosis
reached its climax in the work of the Chilean diplomat Miguel Serrano, who
revered Hitler as the 10th avatar of the god Krishna/Vishnu. For
Serrano the German dictator is immortal and will reappear as “avenger” to
bestow global supremacy on the Aryan race in an apocalyptic war to end all
did they find ?
In their eyes the
classical culture of India
was a reserve in which knowledge of an Aryan stem civilisation was supposed
to have survived.
furnished them with the religious bases for a cruel warrior religion and an
inhuman ethic for the conduct of war.
They saw the Indian
caste system as providing a social orientation model that fitted their
They linked the Indian
idea of the “global ruler” to their own “Führer principle” and applied it
From the Tantric systems
they developed their own fascist sexual theory.
the Nazi ideologues’
interest in the Bhagavad Gita ?
Heinrich Himmler is said
to have always carried a copy of the Bhagavad
Gita on his person. He compared Hitler with the god Krishna
who features in the poetical work.
The Bhagavad Gita was read like a catechism for the SS.
Consequently many of the above-mentioned Nazi ideologues referred
continually to this Indian war manual.
The Bhagavad Gita’s
philosophy is used by rightwing extremists after the war to legitimise Auschwitz.
What was the Nazi
particular interest in
In their eyes Buddha was an “Aryan” and Buddhism
an “Aryan doctrine”.
They emphasised the warlike and virile elements of
Nazi ideologues hold Buddhism to be a doctrine
pertaining solely to power.
Buddhist meditation and yoga techniques are
recommended for the spiritual discipline of the “warrior”.
look for in Tibet
and what did they find ?
The Nazi ideologues were convinced that remnants
of an original Aryan race had survived in Tibet. They organised an
expedition to locate these vestiges.
They believed the ancient Aryan knowledge to be
preserved in Lamaist texts and in Tibetan monasteries. It was intended that
decipher this knowledge using translation and text analysis.
The Tibet researchers of the SS
were in thrall to the magic, occult nature of the Lamaist culture. The
occultist within the Ahnenerbe even
believed themselves to be in spiritual contact with Tibetan lamas.
The two leaders of the SS Tibet expedition, Ernst
Schäfer and Bruno Beger, were both especially drawn to the morbid, warlike
elements of Tibetan Buddhism.
were a key objective for Nazi mountaineers.
did they find ?
Japanese Samurai war philosophy (Bushido)
fascinated the SS. Himmler wrote the foreword for a brochure on Samurais,
52,000 copies of which were distributed throughout the SS.
A variety of themes connected to the Samurai
tradition were discussed within the SS.
German Japanologists and Japanese scholars of
German culture made “theological” comparisons between the National
Socialist “Führer principle” and the Shinto belief of “imperial divinity”.
The German protagonists of Zen Buddhism, Eugen
Herrigel and Karlfried Dürckheim, tried to bind together Zen philosophy and
What do the Kalachakra
Tantra and the Shambhala
have to do with National
researchers were especially interested in the Kalachakra Tantra.
The Shambala vision recorded in the Kalachakra Tantra has become a
central pillar in the mythology of religious neo-Nazism.
Many of the themes raised in the Kalachakra Tantra (a cyclical view
of the world, global domination, the use of super weapons, magic and ritual
in sexual practices etc) are key themes in religious fascism.
Tantra challenges the monotheistic religions, all three of which are
Semitic in origin. For this reason it was harnessed by extreme rightwing,
anti-Semitic circles for their racist propaganda.
Contact between the XIVth Dalai Lama, as the
supreme Kalachakra master, and representatives of religious fanaticism and
former SS men.
philosophical themes are treated in the book ?
National Socialism as “political religion”
The attempt to consecrate the “Führer”, the “race”
and the “war”
The creation of a National Socialist “divine
warrior” and the mythologizing of the SS
The sacrifices represented by the Second World War
and Auschwitz as foundation stones for a
The phantasm of religious neo-Fascism
A comparison of Asian religions with the Nazi
Why is the book topical ?
Religious neo-Nazism, as an extension and
development of the Indo-Aryan religious construct forged by the SS-Ahnenerbe, is spreading to other
countries at an alarming rate.
The “importing” of Eastern religion systems is
increasing rapidly without prior investigation being carried out into their
inhuman content, atavistic practices, political power aspirations and
Religious fundamentalism and fascist
totalitarianism have many things in common and tend to join forces. Acutely
topical concepts such as “divine warrior”, “theocracy” and “war of
religions” are also present in the neo-Nazi model. The sources of
inspiration for these concepts stem less from the “Semitic” religions
(Judaism, Christianity, Islam) than from Asian faiths.
Who is this book aimed at ?
Anyone who has even a peripheral interest in the
“Hitler issue” and the history of the “Third Reich” is presented here with
a new interpretation of National Socialism based on material hitherto
overlooked or otherwise ignored.
Furthermore, the book targets all those readers
who feel in any way connected to the issues of religion, conflict between
cultures, fundamentalism, religious terror, “divine warriors” and Eastern
spirituality (Lamaism, Buddhism, Tantrism, Zen etc), cultural philosophy,
politics, psychology, esoterics, ideological criticism and cultural studies
Book Review of “Hitler-Buddha-Krishna”
Fascist Occultism and it’s Close Relationship
to Buddhist Tantrism
Asia as a topos of Fear and Desire for Nazis and extreme rightists
in the case of Asian Studies in Sweden: http://orient4.orient.su.se/personal/tobias.hubinette/asianists.pdf
Press reviews of "Hitler, Buddha, Krishna"
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 19th May 2003 (Germany)
The combination of Buddhist, Hindu
and neo-Nazi mysticism on the one hand and right-wingers’ blatant propensity
to violence on the other presents a real danger to the free world, in the
opinion of the authors. They see their treatise as contributing to an open
and detailed discussion of the content of imported Asian religions. The
objective of the Trimondis’ work is as simple as it is all-encompassing: it
aims to assist in the salvation of the value system of Western
Der Standard, 31st
August 2002 (Austria)
book of provocative theses is confronting head-on the success enjoyed by Eastern
religions in the West: in their book Hitler,
Buddha, Krishna Victor and Victoria
Trimondi describe what they perceive as an unholy alliance stretching from
the Third Reich to the present day.” – “The Dalai Lama: many people await
his appearances in eager anticipation, yet in the opinion of Victor and
Victoria Trimondi his message of peace is founded on problematic rituals.
Der Standard, 5th
September 2002 (Austria)
occult circles of the extreme right top-level National Socialists have long
been conferring their own interpretations on the religions of the Far East:
Satanist sects and Nazi heavy metal bands think nothing of reducing the
tenets of these religions to war and ‘final struggle’. Hitler, Buddha, Krishna provides the material for this thesis –
and ample food for discussion.
Merkur, 5th September 2002 (Germany)
and struggle - in their latest book Victor and Victoria Trimondi have
assembled a mass of facts affording new insights into the intellectual
fundaments of Eastern religions. The material extends from the Kshatriya
philosophy and its direct association of war and spirituality to the
Kalachakra Tantra and the idea of a worldwide ‘warrior religion’.
September 2002 (Germany)
They were obsessed with the idea of a
party, a people, an empire, a Führer
and – a church! This is the revelation of a new book [Hitler, Buddha, Krishna].
Adolf Hitler and his SS chief Heinrich Himmler borrowed from many a
different creed in assembling the building blocks for a ‘Nazi religion’.
Designed as a collage faith, mild-mannered Buddhism, of all religions, was
to be the cornerstone of a belief system gathering and swelling into an
Indo-Aryan mania based on race and violence.
Aargauer Zeitung, 25th
September 2002 (Germany)
portrait of Eastern holy men hanging crooked? Dark clouds are gathering in
the firmament above the religions of the East. [Victor and Victoria
Trimondi] warn that Eastern doctrines could be instrumentalised for
Die Presse, 5th
October 2002 (Austria)
Hitler, Buddha, Krishna is a detailed analysis of the influence exerted on National
Socialism by Eastern religions. An exciting read, perhaps also since the
signs are that the authors’ attitude to their subject is far from distanced
14th October 2002 (Germany)
Hitler, Buddha, Krishna “reads like an appeal to an entire generation to foreswear its
allegiance to the East rooted in its rejection of the affronts of modern
Western society. The one-time publisher of Mao’s ‘little red book’ has
returned, via Tibet,
to the informative literature of the Judeo-Christian tradition. This is the
wake-up call to those who regard Buddhism as a self-service counter
offering ‘post-modern hedonism’ (Slavo Zizek).
Universum Magazin, October 2002 (Austria)
writing their exhaustively researched book Victor und Victoria Trimondi
have triggered a debate over the “unholy alliance” between Western fascism and
Eastern warrior religions. Serving as background to this is the fact that,
although the National Socialists were able to justify violence, murder and
war as a ‘struggle in the name of God and Faith’, there is a long-standing
history of misusing faith as a driving force behind radical ideology.
Factum Magazin, September 2002 (Switzerland)
Hitler’s world view modelled on Buddhism? A comprehensively researched book
reveals that Hitler’s followers, inspired by ancient texts of the Far East, built him up to be the Chakravartin, the
worldly and other-worldly global ruler within the context of a Nazi
religion. […] The bibliography on which the authors base their work is
remarkable and is liable to make any refutation of its claims a difficult
task. […] This book has succeeded in removing the mask of peace from the
religions and rituals of the Far East.
- Die virtuelle Literaturzeitschrift, October 2002 (Austria)
their book the Trimondis hereby declare the culture debate open. We can
look forward to a new chapter in the war of cultures as the begetter of all
things. All those who shirk conflict should maintain their composure and
consider that positive cultural developments have always been the result
first and foremost of a clash between competing cultures, where the
relativity of ones own set of beliefs was revealed and showed the way
8th November 2002 (Germany)
and Victoria Trimondi provide convincing evidence that the ‘Ahnenerbe’ was the ‘think tank’ of
the SS, an ideas factory not only for esoterics like Wiligut but also for
world class academics, most of them ideologues. […] The SS favoured
Buddhism. This will be unfathomable to the fashionable Buddhists of today
since they regard Buddhism as an international peace movement and the Dalai
Lama as its figurehead. In actual fact Buddhism, seen through the eyes of
the SS, is the perfect candidate.
Informationsstelle Kirchen-Sekten-Religionen, November 2002 (Switzerland)
questions raised by the Trimondis are topical questions relevant to our
time and as such demand answers. Reappraisal, both individual and
collective, of the Nazi past is necessary and, all things considered, the
Trimondis’ book is calculated to do all aficionados of Eastern mysticism a
bitter but necessary service. All those who carefully peruse the Trimondis’
work will still be able to love the East, but wholehearted enthusiasm for
the East is no longer possible.
Rheinische Post, 27th
January 2003 (Germany)
The cross-referencing to the attacks of
September 11th is interesting since the debate over Western
fascism and Eastern warrior religions is echoed in the aggressive warrior
myths and teachings, the very sources of inspiration for religious
March 2003 (Switzerland)
than this the Trimondis’ achievement is to have brought the Tibetans back
down to the level of all peoples: Tibetans too – a historical fact – have
waged war, murdered, slaughtered each other in internal struggles, even if
the Western media have often portrayed it differently. Depending on how the
political wind is blowing Buddhism, like any other religion, will be seen
either as a pacifist path of enlightenment or as a militant liberation
theology. Even if, in the transfiguring fog of cultural distance, we choose
to see things differently, Buddhism is a religion like any other.
Connection, March 2003 (Germany)
The authors introduce the reader, step by step, to the mania of
National Socialist domination that enlisted the services of top India
experts and scholars of Asian religions as a way of bolstering its claim to
leadership. In justifying their policy of destruction and conquest the
Nazis cited directly from the Bhagavad Gita.