Fortune Tellers and Prophets
There were plenty of lower-ranking members of the Nazi Party and even the general public who espoused the occult. Some held to it as the epicenter of German nationalism, while some believed that they could use it to contact dead ancestors or loved ones. Others saw it as an alternative to the traditionalism of organized religion or as a means of reconnecting with their heritage. Whatever the reason, people frequently found themselves getting into trouble with the Nazi Party, especially when magic that they had used was fulfilled or predictions that they made came true.
One such individual was Karl Ernst Krafft. Krafft was an astrologer, someone who made predictions based on patterns in the night sky, who was born in Basel, Switzerland. In 1939, he predicted that in November, between the 7th and the 10th, there would be a plot to assassinate Hitler. That prediction proved to be true, as a bomb at the Munich Beer Hall, meant for Hitler, killed seven people and injured scores on November 8. When word of the prophecy reached Rudolf Hess, he had Krafft arrested. An occultist himself, Hess became convinced that Krafft’s gift for prophecy was genuine.
Krafft then became employed by the Nazi Empire to try to understand the prophecies that Nostradums, the Medieval sage and seer, had made five hundred years prior. The Nazis, including Hitler himself, were interested in seeing which of his predictions were favorable to them. However, after Hess’s disastrous flight to Scotland and the Nazis cracked down on occultists, Krafft was arrested and sent to prison. He would never get out; he died in prison in 1945. Ironically, the fortune-telling “gift” that he claimed to have would lead to his almost downfall then rise in the Nazi party before he would die in a Nazi prison.
In addition to Krafft, Johann Dietrich Eckart was a fortune teller who supported prophecies that he believed were favorable to the Nazi Party. He was an associate of Hitler even before he 1922 Beer Hall Putsch and, like Hess, was a member of the Thule Society. The Thule Society believed that a long-awaited Messiah would emerge in Germany and deliver it from the humiliation and woes of World War I and the Treaty of Versailles. Eckart thought that Adolf Hitler was that Messiah and supported his rise to the rank of a chancellor and then fuhrer.
Eckart particularly appreciated a prophecy by Nostradamus that claimed, “Beasts ferocious with hunger will cross the rivers; the greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister,” along with references to a “Child of Germany.” Eckart’s support of Hitler, combined with his position within the Thule Society, helped garner the support of occultists and other followers of esoteric spiritualism for the rising leader of Germany. Even though Hitler was not a spiritualist himself, he may not have enjoyed the success he had without his occultic followers.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:
“Occultism in Nazism.” Wikipedia.
“The symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000-year-old history,” by John Black. Ancient Origins. February 6, 2014.
“Occult And Esoteric Practices – Four Nazis With Dark Links To The Occult,” by Malcolm Higgins. War History Online. December 13, 2017.
“Wewelsburg Castle.” Wikipedia.
“Thule Society.” Wikipedia.
“Will We Ever Know Why Nazi Leader Rudolf Hess Flew to Scotland in the Middle of World War II?” by Brian Handwerk. Smithsonian.com. May 10, 2016.