Hitler's Monsters A Supernatural History of the Third Reich Eric Kurlander

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
06 Jun 2017
ISBN:
9780300189452
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
448 pages: 235 x 156mm
Illustrations:
32 b-w illus.

The definitive history of the supernatural in Nazi Germany, exploring the occult ideas, esoteric sciences, and pagan religions touted by the Third Reich in the service of power

The Nazi fascination with the occult is legendary, yet today it is often dismissed as Himmler’s personal obsession or wildly overstated for its novelty. Preposterous though it was, however, supernatural thinking was inextricable from the Nazi project. The regime enlisted astrology and the paranormal, paganism, Indo-Aryan mythology, witchcraft, miracle weapons, and the lost kingdom of Atlantis in reimagining German politics and society and recasting German science and religion. In this eye-opening history, Eric Kurlander reveals how the Third Reich’s relationship to the supernatural was far from straightforward. Even as popular occultism and superstition were intermittently rooted out, suppressed, and outlawed, the Nazis drew upon a wide variety of occult practices and esoteric sciences to gain power, shape propaganda and policy, and pursue their dreams of racial utopia and empire.

Eric Kurlander is professor of history at Stetson University. He lives in DeLand, FL.

“This is a dense and scholarly book about one of the pulpiest subjects of the past 70 years – the relationship between the Nazi party and the occult, which has been much debated across popular culture both in fiction (Captain America, Hellboy, Wolfenstein, the Indiana Jones series, Iron Sky, The Keep and countless others) and in innumerable schlocky works of pseudoscience with runes and swastikas on the covers. As it turns out, though, even this sober, academic treatment of the topic reveals stranger-than-fiction truths on every page. ?????”
—Tim Martin, Daily Telegraph