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Occult Roots of Nazism Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology Paperback – 1993

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


”If anyone still questions the power which myth exercises over the human mind, he should read The Occult Rules of Nazism."

-Anthony Storr

"An extensive survey of . . . theosophy, astrology, and `ariosophy' (Aryan-racist-occult theories) . . . An intriguing study of apocalyptic fantasies."

-Times Literary Supplement

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 293 pages
  • Publisher: New York University Press (1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814730604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814730607
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book chronicles some of the underground movements and popular delusions that existed in Germany and Austria before the Nazis came to power. It examines the influence these groups may have had on Nazi leaders in the SS, on Adolf Hitler, and on the thinking of Germans at the time. It is necessary to understand such extremist and occult groups in order to understand how the Nazis were able to take over Germany. Millenarian fantasies and a kind of cultural paranoia preoccupied the German mind, and these fantasies came to hold a unique place within various secret societies set up to propagate racist and occult doctrines (especially concerning the role of the "Aryan" race and it's existence in German prehistory). The author examines many eccentric German individualists, dreamers, and romantics and their role in occult societies. These include: Guido (von) List, who claimed to have rediscovered a Wotanist religion and was influenced by the Theosophist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky; Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels, who resurrected a sect based on the Knights Templars; the Ariosophists, who relied on a "theozoology" concerning the struggle of the Aryan race, and their secret societies, the Germanenorden, the Thule Society, and the Edda Society. The author also considers the influence of such individuals as Rudolf von Sebottendorf, Herbert Reichstein, and Karl Maria Wiligut on the SS (Himmler), and examines the role Ariosophical thinking might have played in the development of Adolf Hitler. The book includes several appendices, one of which deals with some of the sensationalist and "crypto-historical" literature that has sprang up around the occult and Nazism, which attributes a great role to the occult in the rise to power of the Nazis.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book on the history of the movement. A lot of good info about Aryan Paganism in Germany at the start of the 1900s. I've known people who were involved with German Wotanism between the 1920s to 1945 and have books of and about that time period, but Mr. Goodricke-Clarke talks about alot of people I've never heard of before, and he gives new details about people I've read a great deal about. This book is the only source for a lot of this info.
His new book Black Sun is like part II of The Occult Roots of Nazism. He talks about the Pagan Revival after WWII and all the new ideas and people in the movement. These two books should be read together.
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Format: Paperback
_The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology_ by Nicholas Goodrick-Clark is an intriguing academic study on the pre-Nazi occult scene in Germany. The cover features a rather threatening Thule Gesellschaft symbol: a sword and swastika wrapped in laurels and a halo of emanating light. Many of the occult practices described in this book--palmistry, crystals, secret orders, hidden knowledge, spirit guides, channeling, tarot cards, fortune telling, astrology--have retained their popularity today in the New Age movement. What's particularly interesting about Goodrick-Clarke's work is he compares the Ariosophists List and Lanz to the ancient duelist philosophies of Gnosticism and Manicheanism in their extreme division of reality into two eternally conflicting forces of good (Aryans) and evil (Jews). Goodrick-Clarke begins his discussion by going back to the writings of Madame Helena Blavatsky, her two books _The Secret Doctrine_ and _Isis Unvieled_, and her occult Theosophical Society. Her books propagated a form of anti-rationalism and anti-scientism, instead relying upon supposed revealed secret doctrines by hidden masters in Tibet. Blavatsky believed there was a series of seven "root races" that lived on earth, of which the Aryan race was the fifth. Other notables connected with the occult at this time included Annie Besant, Charles Leadbeater and Bulwer Lytton. Lytton wrote in his work _The Coming Race_ of a subterranean race that was to give mankind new enlightenment and psychic abilities. Ariosophy, the so-called wisdom of the Aryans, developed from theosophical ideas and the general occult subcultures of the time.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
The Occult Roots of Nazism by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke is a very well written study of the massive influence Aryan occultism and esoteric societies had upon Hitler and the theoriticians of the NSDAP. He is quite comprehensive in his coverage of Ariosophist philosophers and enigmatic volkish groups which blossomed in late ninteenth-early twentieth century middle Europe.
What makes this book worth reading to the student of Modern European History, is not only Goodrick-Clarke's ability to link these movements to Nazi philosophy, but his attention to detail. Further, he carefully explains the historical surroundings and mystical, sometimes ludicrous, beliefs held by members of the various Ariosophical societies.These explanations, coupled with what must have been very tedious research, enlighten these somewhat obscure and often forgotten influences on the NSDAP.
This book is well worth a read. However, its appeal is somewhat limited to those with particular interest in the occult
philosophy sub-genre of Nazi Studies. By no means is it a typical Shirer inspired playscript of the Reich.
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