Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Erich Ludendorff, Wotanist

It is a little known fact that General Erich Ludendorff (1865-1937), the famous German General from WW1 was in fact a Wotanist. This is incredible considering that very few people were openly heathen in a still traditionally xtian country in the early 20th century. In The Jung Cult, 1994 Richard Noll writes:

"The most influential of these neopagan groups was the Tannenberg Foundation of General Erich Ludendorff and his wife, Mathilde von Kemnitz, a famous voelkisch writer, who became Frau Ludendorff in September 1926. A widely used symbol by the Tannenberg Foundation (and by many others of these neopagan groups) was the sacred hammer of Thor. General Ludendorff was an early ally of Hitler`s and assisted him in the planning of the botched 1923 Munich putsch."

Unfortunately after the National Socialists formed a government in 1933 there was a gradual clampdown on most heathen and esoteric groups. Why this is so is open to speculation. This could have been motivated by the National Socialists` desire that all groups in society conform to the policies set out by the new government. In the aftermath of this fairly bloodless revolution there was a general anxiety that any occult groups not tied directly to the party could present problems. Another theory may be that certain xtian elements in the new government sought to clamp down on nonconformists of any description or perhaps the party did not want to reveal that its origins were formed in the occult Thule Gesellschaft and other such secret societies. 

"However in the late 1920s and early 1930s Ludendorff became an opponent of Hitler, and therefore when the latter assumed power in January 1933 the Tannenberg Foundation was banned. Nonetheless, in the years following the Great War Ludendorff campaigned for the pantheistic Aryan-Germanic faith based on the old Indo-Aryan Urreligion. As Paul Banwell Means describes it, `In line with the Tannenberg program for the restoration of the ancient Germanic religion, General Ludendorff, accompanied by a few young men, would from time to time retire to the forests near Munich, where a bonfire was lighted and a horse sacrificed in honour of Thor, the God of Thunder.` As Ludendorff knew, horse sacrifice seems to have played a central role in the ancient religion of the Indo-Europeans."

Richard Noll also writing in Aryan Christ, 1997:

"Others wanted a Wagnerian twist to their Volkish neopaganism. They gathered in bearskins and made ritual sacrifices of animals to Wotan, Thor, Baldur, and other Teutonic deities. They studied the symbols of the ancient Norse runes and took visionary journeys to meet with members of an ancient spiritual brotherhood. There were dozens of groups like these, large and small. They convinced themselves that they were chosen, like the grail knights in Wagner`s Parsifal, to seek and protect the Holy Grail-in this case, the spiritual purity of Aryan blood. The most famous of these was the Tannenberg Foundation of General Erich Ludendorff, war hero and, later, a coconspirator in Adolf Hitler`s failed putsch in 1923. The symbol of Ludendorff`s organization was the hammer of Thor. Like many in German culture at the turn of the century, Ludendorff wanted to eradicate Christianity and replace it with an Aryan faith."

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