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PostMore on Van der Lubbe/Hitler's early reading (David Pike, France) (John Eipper, USA, 03/17/06 7:55 am)
David Pike writes: Further to my report on the German stoker who testified after the war about the true perpetrators (the SS) of the Reichstag fire, I now have the details. The stoker was Heinrich Grunewald, born in 1893, and he gave his testimony to Heinz Leferenz, director of the Criminological Institute at the University of Heidelberg. ?There is not the least doubt in the truth of witness Grunewald?s statement,? declared Leferenz in March 1976. It takes time, however, for truth to catch up with legend. When I was in Berlin in 1978, the German guide was still blaming the arson on Van der Lubbe. It would be interesting to know what visitors to the Reichstag are told today.
In discussing Hitler?s favorite reading, especially in his youth, mention should be made of what Ernst Pretzsche remembered of Hitler?s browsing (not buying) in his Vienna bookshop. Apart from the usual Nietzsche-Wagner material, he liked Rudolf Steiner and especially the racist diatribes of Georg Lanz von Liebenfels.
RH: Here is what Wikipedia says about the authors David mentions: Rudolf Steiner (
Steiner characterized history as essentially shaped by changes formed through a progressive development of human consciousness. The activity of individualised human thinking was seen as a relatively recent advance which led to the dramatic developments of the
He characterized anthroposophy as follows: "Anthroposophy is a path of knowledge, to guide the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe... Anthroposophists are those who experience, as an essential need of life, certain questions on the nature of the human being and the universe, just as one experiences hunger and thirst." -Rudolf Steiner, Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts (
Adolf Josef Lanz (aka J?Lanz), who called himself Lanz von Liebenfels (
Lanz became a
One year later, in
Lanz also founded the "
After Hitler's rise to prominence in the
In his publications, Lanz mixed
* Katholizismus wider Jesuitismus ("Catholicism versus Jesuitism"),
* Anthropozoon biblicum, in Vjschr. f?elkunde 1,
* Zur Theologie der gotischen Bibel ("Regarding the Theology of the Gothic Bible") in Vjschr. f?elkunde 1,
* Theozoologie oder die Kunde von den Sodoms-Ä¦flingen und dem G?r-Elektron ("Theozoology or the account of the
* Das Breve "Dominus ac redemptor noster",
* Der Taxilschwindel. Ein welthistorischer Ulk,
* Ostara (magazine), 89 issues, Rodaun and M?ng,
* Kraus und das Rassenproblem ("Kraus and the race problem"), in Der Brenner 4,
RH: For the history of ideas, this is fascinating. Kraus was an obscure German philosopher whose influence in Spain is known as "krausismo"..More about him later. Hitler comes across as a tragic figure, different from the street brawlers who became his followers. He was doubly patriotic (Austrian and German), and a would- be artist and thinker. What eventually will be his place in history? There is always the risk that he will become the German Napoleon. Napoleon was an outsider of talent whose dreams of greatness brought disaster to France. Despite this, he is idolized by the French public, Can someone tell us what Hitler thought about Napoleon?
Plan to attend the WAIS conference on "Critical World Issues " at Stanford July 31-August 1, 2006. It will be a rare opportunity to meet other WAISers. Tell interested friends.
Ronald Hilton, Editor, 2006