National Socialist Heinrich Himmler Fascination With Ancient India

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  1. Bornubus

    Bornubus Senior Member Senior Member

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    ANALYSIS
    BY PALASH GHOSH@GOOCH700 ON 03/26/12 AT 8:05 AM


    More than 65 years after the fall of the Third Reich, Nazi Germany remains an obsession with millions of people around the world.

    Adolf Hitler remains one of the most prominent historical figure from the 20th century, evoking both disgust and fascination. While other totalitarian regimes -- including Fascist Italy and imperial Japan -- have faded in the public's fascination, Nazi Germany still exerts a powerful hold on many for a variety of reasons.

    Among the most interesting and perplexing aspects of the Nazi regime was its connection to India and Hinduism. Indeed, Hitler took the most prominent symbol of ancient India -- the swastika -- as his own.



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    International Business Times spoke with an expert on German history to explore Himmler and Hinduism.

    Mathias Tietke is a German author, editor and yoga enthusiast. His books include “Yoga in the Third Reich. Concepts, Contrasts, Consequences.”


    IB TIMES: Heinrich Himmler was reportedly fascinated by Hinduism and ancient Indian culture and had read the Bhagavad Gita, among other classic Indian texts. How and when was he introduced to Indian culture? Was it prior to his joining the Nazi party, or afterward?

    TIETKE: As early as 1925, when Himmler was only 24 years old and had joined the SS, and just two years after Adolf Hitler's beer hall putsch, Himmler wrote: Kshatriyakaste, that is how we need to be. This is the salvation.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kshatriya

    [“Kshatriyakaste” referred to the military and ruling elite of the Vedic-Hindu social system of ancient India.]

    Himmler was deeply influenced by the Indologist, yoga scholar and SS Capt. Jakob Wilhelm Hauer of the University of Tübingen in Germany and the Italian philosopher Baron Julius Evola.

    Himmler had a keen interest in the Rigveda and the Bhagavad Gita. According to his personal massage therapist, Felix Kersten, Himmler carried a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in his pocket from 1941 until his death four years later. The book was a translation by the German theosophist, Dr. Franz Hartmann.

    IB TIMES: Germany's fascination with India and its culture started in the 19th century, no? That is, long before the advent of the Nazis?

    TIETKE: Yes, that's true. The fascination with and admiration of Indian culture can be found as early as the 19th century in the writings of pro-Aryan and anti-Semitic German philosophers and theosophists -- always in relation to Indian classical texts.

    In 1844, the German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling highlighted in his lectures the same passage from the fourth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, which 100 years later would fascinate Himmler – so much so that he dictated this passage to his massage therapist. This passage emphasizes that a person's identity does not have to be defined by one's actions -- that is, even if they commit evil acts, they can still remain untainted and unaffected by ones’ own actions.

    Moreover, in 1851, the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer raved about the enthusiastic spirit of the Vedas and the Upanishads, citing that his spirit is washed clean of all his early inoculated Jewish superstitions.

    IB TIMES: Is it true Himmler could read and speak Sanskrit fluently? Where and how did he learn such a difficult foreign language?

    TIETKE: Himmler read translations of Indian texts from well-known German and Austrian Indologists. However, there is no evidence that he had mastered or read the original Sanskrit editions.

    IB TIMES: As Reichsführer of the SS, Chief of the German Police, Minister of the Interior and head of Gestapo and the Einsatzgruppen killing squads, Himmler was responsible for the murders of millions of people. How did he reconcile such brutality with the tenets of Hinduism, which is a generally peaceful philosophy?

    TIETKE: Himmler had clear preferences with some of the scriptures of Hinduism. One was his interest in the Rig Veda, which in some places is imbued with much violence.

    The other was the Bhagavad Gita, which he greatly admired and appreciated. Himmler particularly referred to Krishna's instructions on satisfying one's duty on the battlefield and not to identify with such actions.

    In a poem written by Himmler, which I discovered in the Federal Archive in Koblenz, he tells stories about the holy life [that] unfolds itself on deadly born.

    For the period after the war, the Reichsführer-SS Himmler was already planning a retreat. He recommended that there should be sour milk and brown bread as physical food for his men and the Bhagavad Gita as spiritual nourishment and as the subject for meditation.

    IB TIMES: Aside from millions of Jews, Himmler was also responsible for the mass murder of up to half-million Roma (Gypsies). Did he not realize that the Roma are of Indian descent themselves?

    TIETKE: Himmler even killed his own comrades or SS officers, if, in his view, it served the supposedly higher cause, i.e., the ideology of National Socialism.

    Himmler was not really sympathetic so much to the complexities Indian culture, but rather to the ideal of the Kshatriya [warrior caste of India] and to the ideals of purity.

    IB TIMES: The Bhagavad Gita is partially about the adventures of Arjuna, the world's greatest warrior. Did Himmler fantasize that he was a 20th-century version of Arjuna “fighting for the glory of the Aryans”?

    TIETKE: Yes, I think so and there are such statements to confirm this. In fact, in an effort to explain his murderous violence, Himmler told his massage therapist Kersten that it would naturally be more pleasant to deal with the flower beds, instead of the sweepings pile and the garbage disposal of the state-- but without that garbage collection, the flower beds would not flourish.”

    IB TIMES: Did Himmler view Hitler as his “god” Krishna – like a reincarnation of the deity?

    TIETKE: Yes, there were statements by Himmler in which he described Hitler as incarnation of a great shining light, as a predestined karma of the Germanic world. Indeed, Himmler equated Hitler with Krishna.

    In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna declared that he will always be reborn when the peoples' sense of right and truth disappeared and injustice ruled the world. Himmler commented that this verse related directly to Hitler.

    IB TIMES: Did Himmler envision the SS as a modern version of the ancient Kshatriya Hindu warrior caste?

    TIETKE: Absolutely. Himmler conceived of the SS as a kind of “spiritual” order. He demanded loyalty, moral integrity, and also required that his men never acted from base motives.

    However, he also required his men to have a pure conscience -- inwardly cold, sober and willing to kill for a higher purpose.

    IB TIMES: Discuss Himmler’s fascination with yoga and what he sought to gain from the practice.

    TIETKE: What Himmler had sought and found in yoga was legitimacy, relieving his conscience and overcoming his doubts.
    The concept of purity is found both in the writings of yoga as well as in the ideology of National Socialism --- that is, the idea that one has to detach oneself from such concepts as “good” and “bad.”

    This was conveyed to me in 1997 in a weekend seminar in my training as a yoga teacher: Three days of the seminar were based around the Bhagavad Gita. In fact, according to the assertions of speaker, it was the “karma” [fate, deeds] of the Jews to be destroyed, and it was the “dharma” [nature, order] of the Wehrmacht and the SS, to wage war. I did not agree with these assertions.

    IB TIMES: Did Himmler (and other top Nazis) use the Bhagavad Gita as a kind of a “blueprint” for the Holocaust and World War II?

    TIETKE: The Bhagavad Gita was for Himmler and also for top Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg an important source of inspiration and legitimacy. They could refer to an ancient and sacred text to which British-German philosopher Houston Stewart Chamberlain and German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche had already referred to.

    In their comments they wrote of the “Aryan race” and the “Aryan belief” (Chamberlain) and about the superman (Übermensch), the [lower-caste] Sudras as the servant race and the degenerates of all caste and about the eject materials in perpetuity (Nietzsche).

    IB TIMES: During World War II, there was a community of Indian nationalists living in Berlin. The most prominent of these was Subhash Chandra Bose, who met with many top Nazi officials, including Himmler, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hermann Goering and Hitler himself. Is it true that Himmler was genuinely interested in helping Bose achieving independence for India (whereas most of the other German leaders only used Bose in a ploy to stoke anti-British sentiments in India)?

    TIETKE: I did not find any signs of Himmler having a genuine interest in the independence struggles of India. However, Himmler agreed with Bose's requests to allow for participation in a police training course of selected Indian soldiers in Germany.
    Since Bose was fascinated by the Nazi police force, including the SS and the Gestapo, whilst in Berlin in July 1942, he asked Himmler personally to train Indians accordingly.

    One year earlier, Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels wrote in his diary: Bose is in the Indian question currently, the best horse in our barn.
     
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  3. Bornubus

    Bornubus Senior Member Senior Member

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  4. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

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    So that's the link. Thanks.

    But who decided to go with Swastika as their symbol? Of course it must be Hitler who gave the go ahead right? If yes, did Hitler share the same fascination towards Hinduism?
     
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  5. fooLIam

    fooLIam Regular Member

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    when its all said and done Hitler was raised in Christian family(no matter how he hate it) hence you can guess his thoughtprocess . Note that a western "atheist" hate hinduism much more than christanity and to him Hinduism was nothing but degradation of ancient "aryan"(if you believe this shit) and like all good German he believed in in AIT after all it was coined by German himself .

    also swastika sign is also found in europe.
     
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  6. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

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    I will have to disagree with you on that one. I was a hardcore Atheist once, still am in a certain manner. I've been on a lot of Atheism forums and facebook pages and debated there.

    Almost all the american & european atheists I've spoken to hate christianity because they got fed up of all the stupid stuff being taught to them via Bible. They were mature enough to see some sense and use their critical thinking to criticize the Bible. They have no idea about Hinduism and they are just not interested in knowing any other religion. They became atheists and that's enough for them. Only a small percentage of them bother to study Quran and of course as expected, they hate it more than christianity.
     
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  7. fooLIam

    fooLIam Regular Member

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    then what about Sheldom pollock ,Wendy doniger and all those Indologist who claim to be atheist. I bet you already know what they write.Any kind of crime e,g rape,dowry etc is blamed on hinduism .
    you can find many examples who are rather very celebrated.
     
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  8. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes but I'm talking about the vast majority. I myself asked on many platforms to comment on Hinduism. They just didn't know about it to reply on it. They just said "They ( the religions) are all the same".
     
  9. Bharat Ek Khoj

    Bharat Ek Khoj Senior Member Senior Member

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    Swastik is found almost everywhere in the world.
    Scroll through these tweets. ( click on date to open in new window )
     
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  10. fooLIam

    fooLIam Regular Member

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    Opinion of vast majority is decided by few elites ,thats how also a political identity is created.A few movies and sustained campaign in media is all required to change the opinion.
     
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  11. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

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    It the opinion had to be influenced, they wouldn't be atheists for all I know. The very reason people chose to become atheists is because they know what makes sense and what doesn't. They study and research on the matter and gradually become atheists. I know I did. I didn't listen to lectures or read other's opinions on the matter before I became an Atheist.
     
  12. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nice. Didn't know about that. But a lot of them are reverse (left sided) swastikas as well.
     
  13. Bharat Ek Khoj

    Bharat Ek Khoj Senior Member Senior Member

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    Reverse is ok too. Read somewhere explanation, can't remember. Reverse is also used in Buddhism, i think.
     
  14. fooLIam

    fooLIam Regular Member

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    Yeah i knew that but since it in relation to hitler i only limited to europe.
    btw have you seen marriage rituals of native americans(red indians). they also take phere around agni iirc
     
  15. fooLIam

    fooLIam Regular Member

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    read the works by Rajiv malhotra you will know hinduphobia in leftist dominated western universities.
     
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  16. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Of course there are factions, there will always be. Hell, there are people like that inside India and that too not even Atheists or Muslims but Hindus themselves.
     
  17. Bharat Ek Khoj

    Bharat Ek Khoj Senior Member Senior Member

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    No. Know nothing about Native Americans. Let me check if swastika was there in America or not.
     
  18. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Do we really want an association with nazis?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. Bornubus

    Bornubus Senior Member Senior Member

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    They are associating with us, not Indian. Himmler believed in the Krishna's message of Karma.

    More over, threre is nothing wrong to be associated with Germans. Minus the Nazi part.
     
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  20. Bornubus

    Bornubus Senior Member Senior Member

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    IMO, He sent a expedition to Tibet to trail the origin of Aryans and he was also interested in Occult and stuff.

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    Love the name of Himmler's article KshtriyaKaste. There is also a faction "Kshatriya" in Metro 2034 Game :)
     
  21. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    If himmler believed in krishna's message and even reincarnation he would not have been in charge of exterminating millions of people. Nazis took the swastika from Hindus and twisted it into a symbol of death and
    Destruction


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