Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nazi Werewolves

The Wolfsangel (wolf's hook) is a very interesting rune used by the Nazis. It does not belong to any runic tradition. Wolfsangel was a device used to trap wolves. Many also believed it to have the magical power to ward off werewolves. It can be aligned either vertically or horizontally. 

 In Nazi Germany the Wolfsangel was used by the SS, the Sturmabtelung, the Hitlerjugend and a group known as the Werwölfe (Werewolves). In modern Germany the use of the symbol is illegal if a connection with one of the Neo-Nazi organizations is apparent. This is directly related to what happened following the defeat of the Nazis by Allied troops.

Following the end of World War II, Nazi guerillas, called Werewolfs, carried out guerilla actions. The Werewolves were an underground organization of die-hard SS officers who terrorized both military and civilian targets. The movement, founded by Heinrich Himmler in 1944, helped to delay the first democratic election under occupation until 1947.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nazi Runes of Life and Death

Here are four more runes used by the Nazis.

The first, the Algiz (possibly "elk"), known also as the Leben or life rune, was adopted by the SS to symbolize protection for their Lebensborn Eingetragener Verein, or Fountain Of Life Society, which ran maternity homes. Germany's birthrate had been dropping, so in 1935 Himmler encouraged the SS and Wehrmacht officers to impregnate true Aryan women who would grow up to lead the Nazi-Aryan nation. The children born were then given to the SS to raise and educate.

The SS transformed these nurseries into meeting places for racially pure German women who wanted to meet and have children with the racially pure SS officers. Since these mothers were often unwed they needed to have a home and the means to bear their Nazi children in safety and comfort.
Read more about this disastrous Lebensborn program in the Jewish Virtual Library. The SS used this rune on documents and graves to show date of birth.

Upended this rune becomes the Toten or death rune, and was used on documents and graves to show date of death. The rune is really a crow's foot and was an ancient symbol of death and despair. This particular symbol, with a circle around it, is also called the peace symbol in some circles.

Two other runes, the Opfer and the Eif runes, mirror one another. The first symbolizes self-sacrifice. The second symbolizes zeal and enthusiasm. As an aside, Opfer der Vergangeheit (victims of the past), was a Nazi propaganda film made in 1937 to depict horrific images of the mentally ill and promote support for Hitler's euthanasia policy. This policy predated the Holocaust by approximately two years. It was an effort to restore racial "integrity" to the German nation and to eliminate "life unworthy of life." These were individuals with severe psychiatric, neurological or physical disabilities who represented both a genetic and a financial burden upon German society.

The Opfer rune was also used by Der Stahlhelm (steel helmet) war veterans' association, founded after WW I as a political combat group, as well as on a badge commemorating the Nazis who perished during the 1923 Munich Putsch. After 1933 the Stahlhelm was absorbed into the Nazi party.

It's opposite is the Eif rune, insignia of the specially chosen SS Adjutants assigned to guard Adolph Hitler. Prominent among them was Rudolf Hess, deputy Fuehrer and number three man in Hitler's Germany after Goering. In 1923 Hess took part in Hitler's failed Munich Putsch and was arrested and imprisoned along with Hitler in Landsberg. While in prison he took dictation for Hitler's infamous Mein Kampf and made some editorial suggestions about the Lebensraum (living space) program. Following Hitler's rise to power in 1933 the SS divided into two: the Waffen-SS, which comprised the military wing, and the Allgemeine-SS. The Allgemeine-SS had a wide-ranging effect on life. Allgemeine-SS had control of life in Nazi Germany, from enforcing Hitler’s racial policies to the running of over 500 factories in Germany and occupied Europe. While the more visible armed SS combat units, the Waffen-SS, naturally received all the publicity, especially during the war, it was the rather faceless Allgemeine-SS which wielded the real power.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Nationalism—Nazi Style

The Nazis made wide use of Nordic runes. My primary reference is The Viking Rune symbols and the Third Reich. Today I take up their use of the Odal-Rune. 
The Odal-Rune was the symbol for the Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil) ideology. This is far more than getting back to the land and country life, the idea of a German people on a German land. It moves into a "sort of mystical bond between the land and the soul of the people." Read more about this concept in the article on Blood & Soil.

The Nazis were committed to the "Germanization" of Europe with Aryan people, the "Thulians" of ancient Atlantis. Nazi leaders believed in a historical Thule or Hyperborea as the ancient origin of the true Aryan race. The history of Thule was revealed in a supposedly ancient book.

Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, favored this 19th century book, the Oera Linda Book, found by Cornelius Over de Linden. This manuscript was  handed down from one generation to another in the Over de Linden family. It was translated into German in 1933. The earliest portion of the book was supposedly composed in 2194 BC. It also mentions Atland or Atlantis, the continent submerged in 2193 BC.

As a side, the modern day Norroena Society continues the traditions of this worldview. Among their goals they speak of re-establishing the twelve fundamentals of Odin's culture and making cutting edge research on the Odinist faith available, unfettered by the Christian biases and restraints of mainstream academia.

The Odal rune was the emblem of the Waffen-SS (the combat arm of the SS) division Prinz Eugen. It was also used by Reichs Bauernschaft and the Hitlerjugend (the Hitler Youth - a paramilitary organization).

This symbol is but another reminder of the deep commitment of the Nazis to replace Christianity in Europe with the ancient Nordic/Aryan religion.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nazi Death's Head - Wedding Rings

This is the third in a series of studies on the Nazi use of Nordic runes. My initial reference, as before, is Nordic Symbols and the Third Reich. Let's take a look at the Hagall Rune.

By the way, there are those yet who believe that the runes have magical power to harness the "cosmic energies of creation." Check out Rune Masters International.

The star form of this rune is "characteristic of the Younger Futhark. The Hagall means 'hail'. In the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc this sign is called iar, and sounds the same as the Younger Futhark Hagall, but uses a different form.

The Nazis used the Hagall rune in the design of the SS-Ehrenring (SS honor or death's head ring). Himmler said, "The swastika and the Hagall-Rune represent our unshakable faith in the ultimate victory of our philosophy." The Nazis also used the ring as part of the SS wedding ceremony.

Here is the image of a rare Nazi death ring available from 

Here is a Nazi Honor Ring available through
Note the date on the inside, as well as a cross image. 

As I look at these rings I wonder how it must have felt to wear such a ring as a symbol of marriage. Did both man and wife wear similar rings? I'll try to find that out one day. 

If you'd like a copy of such a ring you can go to PzG-Your Third Reich Headquarters. There are resources for hobbyists interested in all things related to the Third Reich. 

And finally, here is a photo from the German propaganda archive of a "wedding hall" in the small town of Thalheim. The quote "The family is the smallest but most important unit in building the whole state structure" is on the wall. Hitler's photo is in the center with the Nazi Eagle and Swastika above and below. 


As this site says, "The Nazis wanted to replace Christian rites of baptism, marriage and death with their own rituals." 

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Nazi Sig Rune and The Swastika

We move now into the second of the rune symbols used by the Nazis. Again I'm relying upon the help of Viking Rune to guide us into this study.

The Sig-Rune looks like a lightning bolt. It also is very ancient and did not mean what it came to mean among the Nazis. Among the ancient Norse and Germanic peoples it always designated the sun. In their language it was sowilo or sol, meaning sun. The Anglo-Saxon Futhorc name was sigel, which also meant 'sun'.

All this was changed by the very influential Guido von List. You will find much helpful information about this in Guido von List Runes and the Swastika symbol. Von List changed the name to Sieg, meaning victory in German. From this we are all familiar with the infamous Nazi salute, Sieg Heil, "Hale to Victory". Heil is, of course, a word for health and Heiland means Savior. Anyway, the Sig-Rune became an S and two together became the swastika and represented socialists joining together to form the National Socialist German Workers' party. In 1935 the swastika flag became official for Germany. The swastika symbol was not called that, but rather a HakenKreuz or hooked cross. This was Hitler's attempt to unite the church with the state, especially since German culture was strongly influenced by Christianity.

You can find more on these topics on Rex Curry's website and its various pages. He has some interesting things to say about the use of the swastika also in America up to the start of WW II, as well as the open hand salute. The symbol was used by various socialist groups, not only in the USA, but also in the USSR.

To say the least, Curry does not write objectively about these various matters.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nazis and Runic Symbols - Part One

At the heart of National Socialism (Nazi) Germany was a love of country and a heart-felt desire to restore and promote all things German. The renewed religion of the north countries, the Nordic (the word is derived from Nord, German and Scandinavian for north), must be put back in its correct place. As a result, the runes and rune symbols became very important in the life and events of Nazi Germany. See Norse Rune Symbols and the Third Reich.

The Holy Nation of Odin traces the history of Tiu, the son of Odin and Frigga or Freya. He is the god of martial honor, courage, defense and victory, bravest of the gods and one of the twelve principal deities of Asgard. He is portrayed as the one-handed warrior. 

By the way, the practice of Odinism or the Nordic faith continues to the present day. As the home page of the Holy Nation of Odin says, we all should be familiar with it because of the very names of our week: Sunna (Sunday), Manni (Monday), Tiu/Tyr (Tuesday), Wodan/Odin (Wednesday), Thor (Thursday) and Frigga/Freya (Friday). Note also that the practice of putting up a Christmas tree can be traced to this those who followed the Nordic faith and decorated trees to attract ancestral spirits to accept their gifts. 

But back to Tiu and his runic symbol. Runes were always considered symbols of great power. The word rune itself means 'mystery'. This was especially true when reading and writing were not common, so the ability to represent ideas in symbolic form was a mystery to most. Thus these symbols became a means of communication between the seen and the unseen, between the visible world of men and the invisible spirit realm, the realm of the gods, the mighty ones. 

In the view of this and other nature religion, everything is divine and alive. The Spirit and the spirits are everywhere. So the Nordic or Germanic priests and priestesses used the runes to divine or read the messages of the spirits. More on this another time. 

In Nazi Germany the Tyr or Tiu rune was also known as the Kampf-Rune (Battle rune) or the Pfeil-Rune (Arrow rune). It symbolized leadership in battle and was widely used by various young people organizations. It was used as a symbol for leadership schools (Reichsführerschulen) of Hitler's brownshirts, the SA (Sturmabteilung), the Nazi party's paramilitary wing. Upon graduation from leadership school, brownshirts were permitted to wear the Tyr symbol on the upper left arm. It was also the badge of the SS (Schutzstaffel or 'protective squadron'). The SS broke off from the SA in 1934. The graves of the SS were marked with the Tyr symbol rather than the Christian cross. 

To the present the Tyr rune is common among white supremacists and Neo-Nazi hate groups. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Freya, Goddess of Many Names

One of the stated aims of the Nazi regime was to restore the true religion of the north. As noted in earlier blogs, this meant restoring the worship of the gods and goddesses of the north. Tie this into the belief that the Germans were the true twentieth century representatives of the Aryan race and you begin to see the links with the various other historical manifestations of the gods and goddesses around the world. The Nazis were but returning to the worship of the same gods and goddesses the Aryans, the noble white race, had been worshipping for thousands of years. The Aryans would include the Assyrians, Babylonians, Phoenicians, later the Greeks and Romans, the Egyptians and in the Americas the Incas and Aztecs. They all had similar gods, many parallel mythical stories, but with different names. They all worshipped Freya, goddess of many names.

In Aphrodite from The Many Faces of Venus Ev Chochrane links the development of various mythological tales about ancient goddesses with catastrophic events in out solar system. Why does the Aphrodite, the mother goddess, the goddess of love, sex and fertility have such power? Why is she worshipped so widely under many names? You can read the article to see how he attempts to tie this to the planet Venus in its various phases.
Ishtar (Louvre Museum)

For the purposes of this Blog it is enough to note that this Queen of Heaven, the goddess Astarte or Ishtar or Inanna (Great Lady) was the goddess of life and love, fertility and sexuality, also the goddess of war, battles and the chase among the Phoenicians and Assyrians (see also in the Bible Jeremiah 7:18 and Jeremiah 44:17-25).

She appears as two Greek goddesses among the Greeks. Many suggest that Ishtar was the precursor to the Greek Athena, the goddess of culture and heroes. She was also the precursor to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, fertility and sex, that frivolous and promiscuous goddess, beloved by men and gods. Ishtar or Astarte are but equivalents of the Greek Aphrodite and the Roman Venus. In Egypt she was Hathor, Great One of many names, Mistress of heaven. She also became Isis, ideal mother, goddess of children. In the north she was worshipped as Freya, wife of Odin, the All Father.

In my novel, Freya's Child, Hulda Schwarz, despairs of teaching all this and so much more to Albert Freitag. To her and to many Nazis, particularly the members of the SS under Heinrich Himmler, this was the only way to go. The true religion, with all its ancient history and meaning must be restored. The destiny of the Aryan race was to rule the world. The thousand year reign of the Third Reich had begun.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Culture in the Third Reich: Reflections on History

Culture in the Third Reich: Disseminating the Nazi Worldview — A brief historical review of the major events controlled by the Nazis as they ascended to power in the first part of the 1930s. Reminds me that I'll have to explore each of these areas in more depth if I'm to understand how this happened.

Big question: Can it happen in the U.S.? How vital is worldview?
Brief answer: Worldview is everything. Right now it seems that in the U.S. we have a clash between several worldviews. This is reflected in our politics.

Concern: the quoted article above does not discuss the Nazi program to replace Christian and Jewish religious views. The major festivals, i.e. Christmas and Easter, etc. were replaced with celebrations of the winter solstice and the spring or vernal equinox. Dragging back the worship of the old gods of the north brought also the worldview of those old gods, their values and culture.

More on this in later posts. Caution: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” 
— Life of Reason, Reason in Common Sense, Scribner's, 1905, p. 284
So the oft repeated quote of George Santayana. Some truth therein.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Freya's Child—Not Fantasy, but Historical Fiction

I keep reading that it's very important to find the people who are interested in what your novel is all about. The good folks at Wheatmark, my publisher, suggested that we place it both as fantasy and as mystery. I go back and forth about that question. 

When I look for a fantasy novel I think of something like JRR Tolkien's work. Middle Earth, Hobbits, Ents, Elves and Wizards are all characters from fantasy novels. What frightens me a little is that people will begin to think that Freya's Child is a novel about some fantastic world that existed only in the author's mind. 

That's not true. This novel is based upon real history. It is in many ways historical fiction. That's not to say that my characters actually existed. With the exception of Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi SS, all the others are fictional and any resemblance to real people is, as they say, coincidental. The history part has to do with the Nazis—they were certainly real—and with World War II. 

But here's the part I want to emphasize. Thousands upon thousands of Nazis were committed to replacing Christianity with the Nordic religion, with the worship of the old gods they believed had been repressed. The true religion of the rising Aryan race was the Nordic and the worship of the gods of the north. 

This may sound like fantasy, but that part is solid fact or history. They did worship the old gods and they did believe in their power.