Wewelsburg castle construction began in the seventeenth century for the prince bishops of Paderborn. In the early nineteenth century it came under Prussian possession. in 1934 Himmler rented the castle for a time of 100 years for the symbolic sum of 100 mark (one mark per year). Himmler intended to establish a school for Nazi SS elite (SS-Führerkorps). This was never realized, but the castle became an occult residence of Himmler and his SS. Himmler, in addition to the police work, became increasingly involved in the myths and traditions about the origin and superiority of the aryan race. Myths and traditions that according to Himmler ruled both his personal, SS and Germany’s fate. Himmler spent a lot of resources on research to confirm that these myths and traditions had a real past. In 1935 this research project was named SS-Schule Haus Wewelsburg and in 1938 Himmler ordered the installation of a planetarium. Himmler believed that through astrology, one was able to see the future.

Himmler’s SS also financed research expeditions to, for instance, South pole and Asia to find evidence of the existence, origin and superiority of the Aryan race. Several expeditions went to the Nordic countries in search of finds that could confirm the presence of Aryan people. In the castle’s circular north tower, it was thought that the SS leaders would gather around Die Schwarze Sonne (the Black sun). A symbol that has a strong symbolic value in Germanic paganism and which highlights religious German traditions (Völkish) that preceded Christianity. The presence of spiritual occult movements was extremely common in SS mythology and great resources were devoted to prove this.

There were plans to establish a hall called the center of the world in the north tower where the highest SS leaders could gather (Saal des hohen gerichtes der SS). Himmler saw himself as a reincarnation of the first German king Heinrich I (he is actually named after him) and wanted to create a tradition among his closest SS leaders with inspiration from the twelve Knights at the round table. Only one meeting is documented between Himmler and his twelve closest leaders. Perhaps the word disciples is more correct as there are strong religious elements in the rites that were carried out. Because of the war, these grand plans never came to be realized. Himmler rarely visited Wewelsburg, but the symbolic value the castle had for the SS should not be underestimated. In late March 1945, Himmler ordered Wewelsburg to be blown up, but failed, and the damages could be repaired after the war.

Current status: Preserved with museum (2007).

Address: Burgwall 19, 33142 B├╝ren-Wewelsburg.

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Hitler had no understanding of Himmler’s interest in archaeological expeditions and findings. Hitler used to comment on Himmler’s ”spectacular” findings that when the people of the North lived in caves and huts, the Greeks and Romans had already built magnificent works (Acropolis and Colosseum). He could therefore not understand how Himmler could be so excited about arrowheads and pot shards that originated from a people living in caves.

Follow up in books: Pringle, Heather: The Master Plan: Himmler’s Scholars and the Holocaust (2006).