Skip to comments.Hitler's Search for the Holy Grail
Posted on 11/30/2001 7:55:36 AM PST by Aquinasfan
Hitler's Search for the Holy Grail
When Steven Spielberg made a movie about an intrepid archaeologists fight to keep a precious and powerful artifact the Holy Grail out of the hands of the Nazis, it was not widely known that the tale was based on truth. There really was a Nazi archaeological unit and it did send teams across the world to try to find the Grail.
History meets Indiana Jones in HITLERS SEARCH FOR THE HOLY GRAIL, a one-hour documentary airing on PBS Monday, November 27, 2000, 10:00 p.m. ET (check local listings). Host Michael Wood (IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT) explores how history was used as a political tool and how the theories of the Nazi historical department provided the ideology used by the SS (Schutzstaffel "protection squadron") to justify genocide.
The program outlines how the racialist theories of the SS were drawn from archaeology, myth and legend, as well as selected history. Nazi ideas about "Aryans" and the "master race" came out of historical and ethnic fantasies in which legends such as the Holy Grail and the lost city of Atlantis supposed to be a home of the Aryan race played their part.
HITLERS SEARCH FOR THE HOLY GRAIL contains rare and previously unseen footage, including
* color film of the Nazi expedition to Antarctica;
* film of the Nazi expeditions across the world, from the Baltic to Venezuela;
* footage of the 1938 expedition to Tibet, with the measuring of skulls of Tibetans;
* documentary evidence for expeditions to Peru, Iceland and Iran, and footage of SS chief Heinrich Himmler at archaeological sites.
The film conjures the eerie world that permeated the thoughts of key members of the Nazi leadership, especially Himmler, and shows how top scholars, some of them still alive, collaborated in this project.
HITLERS SEARCH FOR THE HOLY GRAIL includes interviews with a former member of Himmlers personal staff and the wife of a top SS commander, who give unique and unrepentant insight into the mentality of the Nazi inner circle. The program also includes a dramatic recording of the Nuremburg trial of Wolfram Sievers, the head of the SS Ahnenerbe ("Ancestral Heritage Society"), Himmlers archaeological and historical unit. The Ahnenerbes task, according to Himmler, was "to restore the German people to the everlasting godly cycle of ancestors, the living and the descendants."
Himmler was a member of the Thule Society, an extreme nationalist group named after one of the mythical homes of the German people. It was the societys almost mystical belief in the greatness of the German past to which Himmler subscribed with fanatical devotion that was to provide the intellectual ballast to Nazi belief in race and destiny.
The chief administrator of the Ahnenerbe, Dr. Wolfram Sievers, had been heavily involved in the criminal medical experiments that were carried out on Jews in concentration camps, all to prove racial differences and the superiority of the Aryan race. After Germanys defeat in 1945, Sievers was brought before a war crimes tribunal, found guilty and sentenced to death. He was executed on June 2, 1948. The archaeological world of the Ahnenerbe died with Hitler, Himmler and Sievers; the Ahnenerbe, too, melted away. Many of its top archaeologists, however, returned, unpunished, to university life, only to re-emerge as leading academics in postwar Germany.
Day & time: check with your local station
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I don't know if I agree with the assertion that the nazis' archeologists should have been punished, however. 'Committed' would be more appropriate.
I have even read that Hitler conjured up the Devil and made the deal of his life. The Devil apparently reneged though.
LOL! Don't forget the Nazi comedy writing unit that came up with the joke that killed.
Although King Arthur wasn't evil like Hitler...
Or the Spear of Longinus, as it were.
The Grail is precisely what he went after.
Well, that and the hot Nazi blonde chick.
Sort of like the Bohemian Grove Club our Pols go to.
Right. What I found most interesting in the History Channel special was the assertion that Hitler and his inner circle of 12 SS men "channeled" on a regular basis in Wertzberg (sp?) Castle.
The photo of the circular, basilica-like meeting room with a round central stone table and twelve stone chairs was truly eerie.
There seems to be hard evidence that Himmler was deeply involved with the occult. There doesn't seem to be any direct evidence conclusively linking Hitler with specific occult practices, although it's not hard to imagine.
Them Nazis were sooo crazy.
I see them more as evil than crazy. There is a perverse logic to evil.
One of the funniest skits ever, but I forget the jokes---anyone remember them?
Is that where we get the word, "thug"?
Thank you. I was just about to ask, why would Hitler be interested in the Holy Grail, given that he clearly did not believe in the holiness of Christ. Then I found you'd already answered my question.
I particularly liked the part when those French guys catapulted a cow on them.
Oh, and then they sent in the Trojan Rabbit, that was too funny.
One thing, I don't remember them dressing quite like that.
Kali (``Black Earth Mother'') was a goddess of destruction who was so feared that the other gods of the pantheon would allow her to lead them in battle. Her devotees were usually assassins aka ``thugs''.
Etymology: Hindi thag, literally, thief:
: a brutal ruffian or assassin : GANGSTER, KILLER
They weren't all wiped out. Many of them made it to the US, where they founded Kali-fornia as an enclave for their cult.
Voice Over : This man is Ernest Scribbler... writer of jokes. In a few moments, he win have written the funniest joke in the world... and, as a consequence, he will die ... laughing.
(Ernest stops writing, pauses to look at what he has written... a smile slowly spreads across his face, turning very, very slowly to uncontrolled hysterical laughter... he staggers to his feet and reels across room helpless with mounting mirth and eventually collapses and dies on the floor.)
Voice Over: It was obvious that this joke was lethal... no one could read it and live ...
(Ernest's mother (Eric Idle in drag) enters. She sees him dead, she gives a little cry of horror and bends over his body, weeping. Brokenly she notices thepiece of paper in his hand and picks it up and reads it between her sobs. Immediately she breaks out into hysterical laughter, leaps three feet into the air, and fa11s down dead without more ado. Cut to news type shot of commentator standing in front of the house.)
Commentator: This morning, shortly after eleven o'clock, comedy struck this little house in Dibley Road. Sudden ...violent ... comedy. Police have sealed off the area, and Scotland Yard's crack inspector is with me now.
Inspector: I shall enter the house and attempt to remove the joke.
(About now an upstairs window in the house is fiung open and a doctor, rears his head out, hysterical with laughter, and dies hanging over the window sill. The commentator and the inspector look up and then continue as if they are used to such sights.)
Inspector: I shall be aided by the sound of sombre music, played on gramophone records, and also by the chanting of laments by the men of Q Division ... (Inspector points to a grouo of dour looking policemen standing nearby) The atmosphere thus created should protect me in the eventuality of me reading the joke. He gives a signal. The group of policemen start groaning and chanting biblical laments. The Dead March is heard. The inspector squares his shoulders and bravely starts walking into the house.
Commentator: There goes a brave man. Whether he comes out alive or not, this will surely be remembered as one of the most courageous and gallant acts in police history.
(The inspector suddenly appears at the door, helpless with laughter, holding the joke aloft. He collapses and dies. Cut to film of army vans driving along dark roads.)
Voice Over: It was not long before the Army became interested in the military potential of the Killer Joke. Under top security, the joke washurried to a meeting of Allied Commanders at the Ministry of War.
(Cut to door at Ham House: Soldier on guard comes to attention as dispatch rider hurries in carrying armoured box. (Notice on door: 'Conference. No Admittance'.) Dispatch nider rushes in. A door opens for him and closes behind him. We hear a mighty roar of laughter... . series of doomphs as the commanders hit the floor or table. Soldier outside does not move a muscle.)
(Cut to a pillbox on the Salisbury Plain. Track in to slit to see moustachioed top brass peering anxiously out.)
Voice Over: Top brass were impressed. Tests on Salisbury Plain confirmed the joke's devastating effectiveness at a range of up to fifty yards.
(Cut to shot looking out of slit in pillbox. Camera zooms through slit to distance where a solitary figure is standing on the windswept plain. He is a bespectacled, weedy lance-corporal (Terry Jones) looking cold and miserable. Pan across to fifty yards away where two helmeted soldiers are at their positions beside a blackboard on an easel covered with a cloth.
Cut in to corporal's face- registening complete lack of comprehension as well as stupidily. Man on top of pillbox waves flag. The soldiers reveal the joke to the corporal. He peers at it, thinks about its meaning, sniggers, and dies. Two watching generals are very impressed.)
Cut to a Colonel talking to camera.
Colonel: All through the winter of '43 we had translators working, in joke-proof conditions, to try and produce a German version of the joke. They worked on one word each for greater safety. One of them saw two words of the joke and spent several weeks in hospital· But apart from that things went pretty quickly, and we soon had the joke by January, in a form which our troops couldn't understand but which the Germans could.
(Cut to a trench in the Ardennes· Members of the joke brigade are crouched holding pieces of paper with the joke on them.)
Voice Over: So, on July 8th, I944, the joke was first told to the enemy in the Ardennes...
Commanding NCO: Tell the ... joke.
Joke Brigade: (together) Wenn ist das Nunstrück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! ... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!
(Pan out of the British trench across war-torn landscape and come to rest where presumably the German trench is. There is a pause and then a group of Germans rear up in hysterics.)
Voice Over: It was a fantastic success. Over sixty thousand times as powerful as Britain's great pre-war joke ...Cut to a film of Chamberlain brandishing the 'Peace in our time' bit of paper ... and one which Hider just couldn't match.
Film of Hitler rally. Hitler speaks; subtitles are superimposed.
Voice Over: In action it was deadly.
(Cut to a small squad with rifles making their way through forest. Suddenly one of them sees something and gives signal at which they all dive for cover. From the cover of a tree he reads out joke.)
Corporal: Wenn ist das Nunstrück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! .. Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!
(Sniper falls laughing out of tree.)
Joke Brigade: (charging) Wenn ist das Nunstrück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! ... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput.
(They chant the joke. Germans are put to fight laughing, some dropping to ground.)
Voice Over: The German casualties were appalling.
(Cut to a German hospital and a ward full of casualties still laughing hysterically.
Cut to Nazi interrogation room. An officer from the joke bngade has a light shining in his face. A Gestapo officer is interrogating him; another stands behind him.)
Nazi: Vott is the big joke?
Officer: I can only give you name, rank, and why did the chicken cross the road?
Nazi: That's not funny! (slaps him) I vant to know the joke.
Officer: All right. How do you make a Nazi cross?
Nazi: (momentarily fooled) I don't know ... how do you make a Nazi cross?
Officer: Tread on his corns. (does so; the Nazi hops in pain)
Nazi: Gott in Himell; that's not funny! (mimes cuffing him while the other Nazi claps his hands to provide the sound effect) Now if you don't tell me the joke, I shall hit you properly.
Officer: I can stand physical pain, you know.
Nazi: Ah... you're no fun. All right, Otto.
(Otto starts tickling the officer who starts laughing,)
Officer: Oh no - anything but that please no, all fight I'll tell you.
(They stop tickling him)
Nazi: Quick Otto. The typewriter.
(Otto goes to the typewriter and they wait expeaantly. The officer produces piece of paper out of his breast pocket and reads.)
Officer: Wenn ist das Nunstrück git und Slotermeyer? Ja!... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput.
(Otto at the typewriter explodes with laughter and dies.)
Nazi: Ach! Zat iss not funny!
(Nazi burts into laughter and dies. A German guard bursts in with machine gun, The British officer leaps on the table.)
Officer: (lightning speed) Wenn ist das Nunstrück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! .. Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput.
(The guard reels back and collapses laughing. British officer makes his escape. Cut to a film of German scientists working in laboratories.)
Voice Over: But at Peenemunde in the Autumn of '44, the Germans were working on a joke of their own.
(A German general is seated at an imposing desk. Behind him stands Otto, labelled 'A Different Gestapo Officer'. Bespectacled German scientist/joke writer enters room. He clean his throat and reads from card.)
German Joker: Die ist ein Kinnerhunder und zwei Mackel über und der bitte schön ist den Wunderhaus sprechensie. 'Nein' sprecht der Herren 'Ist aufern borger mit zveitingen'.
He finishes and looks hopeful.
Otto: We let you know.
(He shoots him.
Film of German scientists.)
Voice Over: But by December their joke was ready, and Hitler gave the order for the German V-Joke to be broadcast in English.
(Cut to 1940's wartime radio set with couple anxiously listening to it.)
Radio: (crackly German voice) Der ver zwei peanuts, valking down der strasse, and von vas... assaulted! peanut. Ho-ho-ho-ho.
(Radio bunts into 'Deutschland Über Alles'. The couple look at each other and then in blank amazement at the radio. Cut to modern BBC 2 interview. The commentator in a woodland glade.)
Commentator (Eric Idle): In 1945 Peace broke out. It was the end of the Joke. Joke warfare was banned at a special session of the Geneva Convention, and in I950 the last remaining copy of the joke was laid to rest here in the Berkshire countryside, never to be told again.
(He walks away revealing a monument on which is written: 'To the unknown Joke'.
Camera pulls away slowly through idyllic setting. Patriotic music reaches crescendo.)
It's an "inspired" history of Hitler's fascination w/ the occult, although I think it contains much useful information. For example, it ties in the Parsival myth w/ the Holy Grail and medieval secret socities (like the Templars). It also provides a fairly comprehensive who's who of 20th century germanic occultists (including Crowley).
The spear in question is the so-called Spear of Longinius, the Roman Centurian that pierced Christ's side on the cross. It is a currently a part of the Hapsburg Crown jewels kept in a Vienna museum. It supposedly has cosmic powers to effect world history and so was immediatly confiscated by Hitler when the Nazis took over Vienna.
The Catholic Encyclopedia says the this particular spear (in Vienna) is not authentic, although Hitler certainly thought it was.
In any case, Ravencroft's exploration of the occult in Nazi germany is the best (admittedly esoteric) that I've seen.
I suppose Hitler drew on Nietsche's "Superman" idea. But how did this mutate into the "Master Race"? It does seem that he drew on some kind of ancient mythology, an example being the Thule Society.
"I'm not a woman"
Sorry to yell, but it has proven dangerous.
I did a little surfing around on Amazon.com and "Spear of Destiny" seems to be discredited to some degree. The most scholarly book seems to be "The Occult Roots of Nazism," although I don't know much about the subject.
The story about Hitler running across the spear in his youth and his being fascinated with it seems believable to me. This seems to be consistent with an artist personality type, considering that he was a frustrated artist in his youth. (I can say this because I'm an artist by trade, and hopefully an exception ;o)