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Himmler's Crusade: The Nazi Expedition to Find the Origins of the Aryan Race Hardcover – October 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0471262923 ISBN-10: 0471262927 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471262927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471262923
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 6.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #577,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This is a brilliant and incredibly well researched book analyzing a little known, but powerfully important, part of National Socialist history. I picked the book to read because it received such a stellar review by Michael Burleigh, the most renowned international authority on the Third Reich. Immediately, I was entranced by every aspect of Hale's account of an SS-sponsored expedition to Tibet in 1938-39. Hale goes way beyond doing a comprehensive book study of the subject. He actually conducted his own expedition to Tibet, retracing the steps that the SS-sponsored expedition leaders took and interviewing individuals who were either part of the expedition or who were associated with it. For example, throughout the book Hale provides astonishing information from his interviews with Bruno Beger, an anthropologist and SS member who would later be brought to trial and imprisoned for selecting over 100 inmates for "study" at Auschwitz . I would recommend Hale's book for anyone interested in the origins and perpetuation of Nazism. Himmler's Crusade is already a classic in the field. --David Kirk

From the Inside Flap It is a pilgrimage that thousands have taken in search of enlightenment, inner peace, or even sheer adventure. When five officers of the Nazi SS made the arduous journey to Tibet s forbidden city of Lhasa in the winter of 1938, however, the objects of their quest were mysterious, sinister, and, ultimately, deeply malevolent. Under orders from Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, these scientists were to find proof of a bizarre historical fantasy, lay the groundwork for a global political and military strategy, and pinpoint the origins and remnants of the Aryan "master race." Himmler s Crusade tells the riveting tale of one of the most perverse, eccentric, and frightening scientific expeditions in history. Based on a wide range of previously unused sources, including journals, new interviews, and original research in German archives as well as in Tibet, this real life drama combines the highest standards of narrative history with the high adventure and exotic locales of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Central to this chilling tale is the complex and problematic character of Ernst Schäfer, the expedition s leader. A serious and extremely competent young zoologist, Schäfer was so consumed by ambition that he was eager to become Himmler s protégé and to do anything his patron commanded in return for opportunity, fame, and influence at the very highest levels of Nazi power. Though they had their own projects to pursue, Schäfer s team spent most of its time in Tibet doing Himmler s bidding, which included sowing the seeds of rebellion, undermining Britain s relationship with the Tibetan ruling class, and confirming Himmler s grotesque theories about the origins of the Aryan race. Part spy thriller, part detective yarn, and all real life adventure, Himmler s Crusade takes you from Himmler s SS stronghold at Wewelsburg Castle, where he inculcated elite SS recruits with the appropriate racial thinking, to the dizzying Himalayan heights, where Schäfer and his team examined Tibetan nobles for signs of Aryan ancestry. It asks penetrating questions about the relationship between science and politics and sheds new light on the occult theories that obsessed Himmler and his fellow Nazis. Supplemented with dozens of fascinating photos taken during the expedition, this engagingly told tale provides deep insight into one of the strangest episodes in the tumultuous months just prior to the outbreak of World War II. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. From the Back Cover "As the Indiana Jones films showed, Nazis, new age mumbo jumbo and exotic locations are a formula that works. Christopher Hale s gripping and well researched tale of an SS sponsored scientific mission to Tibet in 1938 39 has the whole shebang: mad occult beliefs, mountains, strange charactors called Bruno or Ernst and stomach churning concentration camp experiments to round things off." The Sunday Times (London) --The Sunday Times (London)

This book looks at a part of the mythology behind the third Reich the belief in the Aryan ideal it's roots and searching for this "truth" were people who believed that the German race was descended from these Aryan super beings not the archetypal National Socialists, but scientist who hitched their stars to the party and Hitler. Himmler believed in the old Norse gods and the occult This book details an expedition financed by National Socialist Germany to find the roots of the Aryan race in Tibet measuring bone structure looking for clues to the birth place of the Aryans A worrying book in that you can see that these expeditions could be spun by politicians to look like adventures, a search for scientific truth and the evidence gathered and interpreted by experts to support policy without question being allowed or anyone who does question being beaten down by the so called evidence an interesting book but not light reading and not entertaining in the sense of amusement --By Timothy Wakefield --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Why would the leader of the Nazi's dreaded SS, the second most powerful man in the Third Reich, send a zoologist, an anthropoligist, and several other scientists to Tibet on the eve of war? This book is the bizarre and chilling story of one of history's most perverse, eccentric and frightening scientific expeditions.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

A little bit less of the obvious and the book would read quicker.
Konrad Baumeister
I give this book one and a half stars, but let's round it off to two just for the research the author has done.
krebsman
This book is a must read reference in this field of Nazi occultism.
Macno

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 69 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a brilliant and incredibly well researched book analyzing a little known, but powerfully important, part of Nazi history. I picked the book to read because it received such a stellar review by Michael Burleigh, the most renowned international authority on the Third Reich. Immediately, I was entranced by every aspect of Hale's account of an SS-sponsored expedition to Tibet in 1938-39. Hale goes way beyond doing a comprehensive book study of the subject. He actually conducted his own expedition to Tibet, retracing the steps that the SS-sponsored expedition leaders took and interviewing individuals who were either part of the expedition or who were associated with it. For example, throughout the book Hale provides astonishing information from his interviews with Bruno Beger, an anthropologist and SS member who would later be brought to trial and imprisoned for selecting over 100 inmates for "study" at Auschwitz (all of whom were gassed). I would recommend Hale's book for anyone interested in the origins and perpetuation of Nazism. Himmler's Crusade is already a classic in the field.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Adrian on March 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Remember Indiana Jones? Weren't those silly scenes fro "Raiders" quite hilarious, with the Nazis searching for the "Arc of the Covenant"? Well... read this book, and you may not find them so amusing next time around.

Christopher Hale, a BBC documentary producer, really knows how to present and tell a story, no matter how unbelievable and apparently preposterous it may seem at first. After all, what would the Nazis be doing in Tibet in 1938-39, right? Worng! Turns out they were there, and not on a picnic trip: they were actively looking for their Aryan roots, visting the forbidden city of Lhasa, meeting with the current regime (and making the British rather nervous at that), while the new Dalai Lama was being found and brought to Tibet .

The story of Ernst Schäfer -who after the war denied any wrongdoing to his allied captors- and his four team-mates makes for an enjoyable and very entertaining reading, while Hale's subtle but precise insights and ocassional humorous remarks all you (the reader) to participate on his unique documentary-producer perspective.

Far from offering his own ideological perspective, Hale limits himself to describing -with his keen ability to look beyond the evident and the superficial- closing up the book with a simple yet well structure "moral" (to give it a name) on the inherent dangers of believeing that myths are essentially harmless: as he's so clearly explained -and history frequently demonstrated- a nation's inherent and underlying beliefs can lead it to far away places.
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37 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Peter G. Buckley on October 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I found this account of the Himmler sponsored expedition to find the mythical origins of the Aryan race utterly absorbing, not only because it sheds light on one of the odd, yet central strands of the Nazi cosmology but also because of the ways in which it was observed by the British. I had little idea that Tibet formed the locus of Western spiritual projections over so many decades.
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44 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
C. Hale's "Himmler's Crusade" continues the scholarly
and sometimes not-so-scholarly attempt to examine
Nazi esotericism. The Nazi expedition to Tibet is a subject
not often commented on, never by mainstream historians
and infrequently by writers on Nazi mysticism. Unfortunately,
Mr. Hale should have done more research and gotten his facts
correct. He refers to the symbol representing the SS as
a "double thunderbolt." They are not thunderbolts but
double sieg runes, representing the pagan Germanic letter
for victory. Mr. Hale refers to Heinrich Himmler as "by far the best educated of the Nazi leaders.." Himmler had a degree
in agriculture fom Munich Technical College. Paul Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda, earned a doctorate in philology
from Heildelberg University. Goebbels had a background in many
bodies of knowledge. Himmler's intellectual background and experiences were quite pedesrtian compared to those of Goebbels.
On page 117, Mr. Hale writes " Himmler had rlvals for political power, but he also resented the cultural status of Alfred Rosenberg..." I hardly think this likely. Rosenberg was considered to be the outsider among the leading Nazis. He was a
subject of private jokes. His name seemed to identify him as Jewish. Himmler would not have been threatened by him.
In the sense that this book explores a previously unknown
chapter in Nazi history it is a welcome addition to the modern
historian. However, Hr. Hale should have done a more thorough
job in his research.
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41 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Steven E. Romer on October 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. It describes the mostly unknown drive of the Nazis to discover the roots of their people and their influences around the world for many thousands of years before the Third Reich. It doesn't get any more interesting than this. The title is somewhat of a misnomer, however. The Nazis never questioned where the Aryan race originated, they were only trying to discover their history and influences around the world. Modern archaeology shows us that caucasian peoples were in North America over 11,000 years ago. The northern European caucasian mummies found in the arid lands of northeastern China show the unrelenting wanderlust of the curious peoples from the north. These exoduses of the European peoples are what the Nazis sought to discover. These are the real "diaspora peoples" whose languages have been confused and who have been spread around the world. That is what drove them in Indiana-Jones-like fashion to try to find these things. Still, it is an excellent book full of great information to those who have never thought or read about these things. Most books parrot the tired old terms about Hitler: "Monster", "Murderer", etc. It is nice to see a book which shows a glimmer of the kinds of underlying motivations which could so fanatically compel an extremely advanced and intelligent population to do the things they did. This book serves to help raise that curtain.
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