Continuing with the hollow earth theme, there’s this raw feed from the past.
Twenty-seven years on, I’m less convinced by this kind of history. Not the Nazi-occult connection, but it’s significance.
I’m much more skeptical of Sklar’s scholarship.
And I’m less receptive these days to the idea that Germans are congenitally given to bad behavior and a “mystical bent”.
Still, it’s got hollow earth material.
Raw Feed (1989): The Nazis and the Occult, Dusty Sklar, 1977.
Sklar makes a convincing case for the Nazis being heavily influenced by the occult (particularly the Germanic occult) ideas of the late nineteenth century.
This book sheds light on the many allegations of Hitler’s occult past, the seeming irrationality of some of the Nazis’ political moves, astrological predictions stopping Hitler from invading England, German rocket programs falling victim to a sincere belief in a hollow earth, a strong strain of mysticism and occultism in the SS, the whole origin of the Aryan belief, why the Nazis tolerated an alliance with another race — the Japanese, and many other bizarre aspects of Nazism that go far beyond an ideal of racial superiority and anti-Semitism but explain both.
Sklar shows how the Germans accepted such nonsense, (a great quote from one Madame de Staël calls the Germans “vigorously submissive” — a great characterization) that they, unlike the rest of Europe, thought the Middle Ages were great and wanted to go back, and seem to have had (and, I suspect, still do) a dangerous mystical bent.
I use to think the comments that the Nazis couldn’t have conquered the world (or even won the war) naïve, but after seeing a Nazi memo bragging about increasing the rate of German illiteracy, I can accept the notion utterly.
I think I can better appreciate Richard Monaco’s Unto the Beast better now. (I wonder if Monaco read this book.)
I have two objections to this book.
First, I wish would have documented her sources and quotes better — footnotes would have been a good . I don’t think Sklar misquoted anything or skewed the context but I’d like to be able to check.
Second, the last two chapters seemed overblown and, I suspect, represent the book’s whole reason for being. I find Sklar’s assessment of cult brainwashing fallacious (I believe one needs to be susceptible first. A PhD does not guarantee emotional stability) and her assessment of cult danger overstated. I suspect it’s one of those dangers that seems paranoid now but reasonable given the facts then.
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