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Between Pseudoscience and Cosmology: Nazi’s Fascination with Mythology

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When we usually speak of Nazism, which is the known ideological practice and belief within Germany, the main connections we draw is history, World Wars and far-rightists. Even now in our generation, there are still plenty national socialists carrying the legacy and reaching even in some places to far-right extremism.

Yet there are so many mysteries hidden within the ‘Nazi’ world from our past. In this paper we will uncover bits of this ideological world and in what it resulted in the end. The Nazi regime had their own world creation theories, “scientific” researches, as well as even borrowing mythological symbols to enhance their image. No, we are not speaking of the “Hakenkreuz”, which is the swastika. The most recognizable symbol that originally stands for luck, deriving from known far eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism and introduced later in the West in the 1920s. We are speaking of symbols that replaced unofficially the swastika that is forbidden to be displayed, while others aren’t. But later more to that.

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The Nazi regime developed an affinity for mythology interconnected with their own science. Mytholically driven stories like Hyperborea were meant to highlight the greatness of the Aryan race. The ideological image of a blonde, tall and blue eyes ‘purebred’.

Within Germany phenomenons and legends were very popular and decided to adapt them to their own ‘culture’. Astrology, as well as Esotericism were included. Hitler’s devotees were looking for advice from astrologers, like for example with the case of William Wulf, who earned money by providing information, consultations and reading horoscopes for the regime. Years later he wrote a book, published in 1973 “Zodiac and Swastika: How Astrology Guided Hitler’s Germany”, where he wrote down his experience and the dark side of astrological guidance under Hitler.

Even Goebbels was convinced enough to combine politics with the esoteric world at that time. He was famous for his powerful speeches. His propaganda agenda was likewise inspired by prophecies, like those from Nostradamus. From an outside perspective it seemed that Nazis were creating their own religion / science based world by using the tools of mythology.

The fascination went so far that within their own rows, a man named Hanns Hörbiger, an Austrian engineer, constructed his own ideological belief. The so called “Welteislehre”, the ‘Cosmic Ice Theory’. The doctrine was officially sold as an expansion of the cosmological horizon within Germany. Nowadays it is pretty unknown, if one is not dabbling in this area of interest. The reason behind the rejected scientific approach is that it was stomped off as incorrect and unfactual, meaning it was simply pseudoscience. But what does this theory entail? Hanns Hörbiger, the creator of this theory, revealed his first thoughts in 1894 claiming that our entire universe is mainly composed of frozen water. The following passages from the book “Die Welteislehre”, from Rudolf Elmayer von Vestenbrugg, published in Lipsk in 1938, were translated and a bit paraphrased. It gives a glimpse of how Hörbiger’s vision was displayed.

“10 or 100 years ago, or even more billion years ago, […] her gravity realm being a vast space sphere contains countless cold or icy dwarfish stars, […] Her company had enough time and opportunity to freeze to a completely ice-soaked body.”

The mentioned Eistrabant allowed parts from its own mass to solidify into slag, serving as a protective coat, preventing evaporation. The book follows to explain this with:

“Over many thousands of years, […] the giant transformed itself into a blast bomb containing the tremendous power of billions of atmospheres, […] a special kind of explosive bomb that could explode one day. Only when […] it was disturbed by some pressure release, perhaps by rising due to [for example] thermal expansion, all of the bomb’s water suddenly turned into overheated steam. It resulted in an explosion of unimaginable violence. […] The overboiling water and high temperatures of the steam were released, tearing a huge funnel from the mother’s womb and spewing monstrous amounts of embers; more than 500,000 times the mass of our current sun into space.”

But how did something unconventional and extravagant like this spread and evoke debates and arguments over so many years? A very simple and successful strategy within Germany: Propaganda. Magazines, published books, radio broadcasts and other types of media were used to spread Hörbiger’s beliefs within the country. It was firstly published in 1913 under the name “Glacial Cosmology”

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