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Post More on Van der Lubbe/Hitler's early reading (David Pike, France)
Created by John Eipper on 03/17/06 7:55 AM - more-on-van-der-lubbehitlers-early-reading-david-pike-france

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More 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 (February 27, 1861, Murakirᬹ, Hungary (today Donji Kraljevec, Medjimurje county, Croatia) ? March 30, 1925) was an Austrian philosopher, literary scholar, architect, playwright, educator, and social thinker, who is best known as the founder of anthroposophy and its practical applications, including Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, the Camphill movement for disabled adults and children, anthroposophical medicine, the new art of eurythmy and other new impulses in art, architecture, and others.

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
Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution. In his epistemological works, he advocated the Goethean view that thinking itself is a perceptive instrument for ideas, just as the eye is a perceptive instrument for light.

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 (
1924) .

Adolf Josef Lanz (aka J?Lanz), who called himself Lanz von Liebenfels (
July 19, 1874 - April 22, 1954) was a former monk and the founder of the right-wing magazine Ostara, in which he published anti-semitic and folkish theories. He was born on July 19, 1874 in the Penzing district of Vienna in what was then Austria-Hungary, as the son of schoolmaster Johann Lanz and his wife Katharina, n饠Hoffenreich. His parents were middle class, and his fathers ancestors had been burghers in Vienna since the early 18th century.

Lanz became a
monk in the Cistercian order in 1893, assuming the name Georg and living in the Heiligenkreuz monastery. In 1894, he claimed to have been "enlightened" after finding the tombstone of a knight templar, and began developing his theories of "blue-blond aryanism" and "lower races". He left the monastery in 1899; although Lanz claimed that this was due to "growing nervousness", the official documents recorded "carnal love" as the reason, something that may have contributed to his later anti-feminism.

1904, he published his book Theozoologie ("theozoology") in which he advocated sterilization of the sick and the "lower races" as well as forced labour for "castrated chandals", and glorified the "aryan race" as "Gottmenschen" ("god men"). Lanz justified his neognostic racial ideology by attempting to give it a biblical foundation; according to him, Eve, which he described as initially being divine, involved herself with a demon and gave birth to the "lower races" in the process. Furthermore, he claimed that this led to blonde women being attracted primarily to "dark men", something that only could be stopped by "racial demixing" so that the "aryan-christian master humans" could "once again rule the dark-skinned beastmen" and ultimately achieve "divinity". A copy of this book was sent to Swedish poet August Strindberg, from who Lanz received an enthusiastic reply in which he was described as a "prophetic voice".

One year later, in
1905, he founded the magazine "Ostara, Briefb?i der Blonden und Mannesrechtler", of which he became the sole author and editor in 1908. Lanz himself claimed to have up to 100,000 subscribers, but it is generally agreed on that this figure is grossly exaggerated. Readers of this publication included Adolf Hitler and Dietrich Eckart, among others. Lanz, according to his own testimony, was once visisted by the young Hitler, whom he supplied with two missing issues of the magazine.

As a
student of Guido von List, Lanz further expanded his theories; other influences included Otto Weininger, of whom Lanz was a fervent follower.

Lanz also founded the "
Guido-von-List-Gesellschaft" ("Guido von List society") in 1905 and the "Ordo novi templi" ("Order of the New Templars") in 1907, which were supposed to "further the racial self-confidence by doing pedigree and racial research, beauty contests and the founding of racist future sites in underdeveloped parts of the Earth" ("das Rassebewusstsein durch Stammbaum- und Rassekundeforschung, Sch?itswettbewerbe und die Gr? rassistischer Zukunftsstä´´en in unterentwickelten Teilen der Erde zu f?rn") and for which he bought the Werfenstein castle ruins in Austria. Neither organization really managed to attract a large member base, though; it is estimated that the order had around 300 members, the most prominent of which was the poet Fritz von Herzmanovsky-Orlando. Lanz' claim that the organization was already founded prior to 1900 and that he met with August Strindberg in 1896 and managed to convince him to join the order have been shown to be fabricated.

After Hitler's rise to prominence in the
1920s, Lanz tried to be recognized as one of the ideological precursors to Adolf Hitler. After Austria had been annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938, Lanz hoped for Hitler's patronage, but Hitler rather wanted to cloak the origin of some of his ideas and possibly was embarrassed by this early connection. Hence, Lanz was banned him from publishing and his writings, most notably copies of Ostara, were removed from circulation. After the war, Lanz accused Hitler of having not only stolen but corrupted his idea and also of being of "inferior racial stock".

In his publications, Lanz mixed
folkish and anti-semitic ideas with aryanism, racism and esotericism. The following is a partial list of Lanz's publications:
* Katholizismus wider Jesuitismus ("Catholicism versus Jesuitism"),
Frankfurt, 1903
* 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-Ħflingen und dem G?r-Elektron ("Theozoology or the account of the
Sodom apelings and the God-electron"), Vienna, (1905)
* Das Breve "Dominus ac redemptor noster",
Frankfurt, 1905
* Der Taxilschwindel. Ein welthistorischer Ulk,
Frankfurt, 1905
* Ostara (magazine), 89 issues, Rodaun and M?ng,
1905-1917 (38 issues were republished in Vienna between 1926 and 1931)
* 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

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