HITLER - BUDDHA - KRISHNA

An unholy alliance from the Third Reich until the present day

 

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See also: Book Review of “Hitler-Buddha-Krishna”

 

Hitler, Buddha, Krishna.

An unholy alliance from the Third Reich to the present day

 

(Ueberreuter Verlag – Vienna – 2002 )

 

The 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:

 

Incarnation

Karma law

Buddhist meditation

Samurai ethics

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 ritual.

 

Who are the key exponents of

theories featured in the book?

 

Hitler, 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 incarnation.

 

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 from Buddhism”.

 

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 Shambhala myth.

 

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:

Hitler, 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 wars.

 

What did Nazi ideologues

look for in India,

and what 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.

 

Indian writings 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 racialist ideology.

 

They linked the Indian idea of the “global ruler” to their own “Führer principle” and applied it to Hitler.

 

From the Tantric systems of India and Tibet they developed their own fascist sexual theory.

 

What was the Nazi ideologues’

particular 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 ideologues’

particular interest in Buddhism ?

 

In their eyes Buddha was an “Aryan” and Buddhism an “Aryan doctrine”.

 

They emphasised the warlike and virile elements of Buddhism.

 

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”.

 

What did Nazi ideologues

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 SS-Ahnenerbe Tibetologists 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.

 

The Himalayas were a key objective for Nazi mountaineers.

 

What did Nazi ideologues

look for in Japan

and what 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 National Socialism.

 

What do the Kalachakra Tantra and the Shambhala

have to do with National Socialism ?

 

SS-Ahnenerbe 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.

 

The Kalachakra 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.

 

Which 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 Nazi religion

 

The phantasm of religious neo-Fascism

 

A comparison of Asian religions with the Nazi world view

 

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 warlike history.

 

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 in general.

 


See also:

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 civilisation.

 

Der Standard, 31st August 2002 (Austria)

A new 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)

In the 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.

 

Rheinischer Merkur, 5th September 2002 (Germany)

Spirituality 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’.

 

Bild, 19th 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)

Is the 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 religious fanaticism.

 

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 and emotionless.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 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)

In 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)

Was 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.

 

Sandammeer - Die virtuelle Literaturzeitschrift, October 2002  (Austria)

With 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 forward.

 

Nürnberger Zeitung, 8th November 2002 (Germany)

Victor 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.

 

Evangelische Informationsstelle Kirchen-Sekten-Religionen, November 2002  (Switzerland)

The 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 fundamentalism.

 

Weltwoche, 7th March 2003 (Switzerland)

More 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.

 

 

 

 

 

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