See also: Book Review of
Hitler, Buddha, Krishna.
An unholy alliance from the Third Reich to the present day
(Ueberreuter Verlag – Vienna
– 2002 )
The Nazi "myth makers" were especially fascinated by the Far East. It was there - more so than in the cultural
roots of Europe - that
they hoped to find the foundations of a "political theology",
which the gigantic regime which was the Third Reich could use as its
metaphysical basis. In the philosophies, mythologies, visions and dogmas as
well as in the religious practices and texts of the spiritual traditions Asia had to offer they found the models for
glorifying war, for the deification of the "Führer"
and the white race. They discovered the spiritual remnants of a long-lost
indo-Aryan and anti-Semitic primeval religion which they now wanted to
reconstruct in the sign of the swastika. Fascinating portraits of the "Fathers of the Nazi Church".
Recent years have seen a marked rise in public
interest in National Socialism, with fresh research carried out and new
interpretations arrived at. Hitler’s private life and his relations with
women continue to occupy the media. Noteworthy too is the growing attention
being given to interpretations of Nazism as a “political religion” and a
“cult movement”. It is less widely known, however, that the content and
structure and foundation of a “Nazi Religion” were often discussed within
the SS in general and it’s Ahnenerbe [Forefathers Heritage Society] in particular.
The SS, headed by Heinrich Himmler, considered itself to be the “advance
guard of German research into religion. All the leading figures in this
“religion smithy” based their work on the assumption that a racially pure
Aryan faith had existed in prehistoric times and should therefore be
rediscovered and resurrected.
After sifting through archival material, secondary
literature and Nazi documents the authors have been able to demonstrate
that this restoration of an Aryan religion drew on ideas, philosophies,
mythologies, visions, dogmas and sacred practices pertaining to traditional
Oriental belief systems. A coterie of fascist cultural scholars sprang up
asserting that Buddhism, the Vedas,
the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita,
yoga and even Tantrism were intellectual remnants
of a vanished, global, indo-Aryan, anti-Semitic religion. There were also
borrowings from Tibetan culture and especially from Japanese Zen and
Samurai traditions. The archaic
cultural legacy of a despotic and warlike Orient provided Nazi ideologues
with their theories for:
the apotheosis of the ‘Führer’
a social caste system based on race
the enshrinement of war and warriors
mastery over ones feelings
the manipulation of consciousness
the political exploitation of symbols and rituals
the significance of archaic sacrificial rites
The book has two sections. The first focuses on
religious and political activity within the SS-Ahnenerbe. The aspects of
Eastern religions that were influencing Nazi thought were discussed and
debated from an esoteric as well as an academic stance since Heinrich
Himmler, the Society’s leader, encouraged both approaches to the subject.
The authors were surprised to uncover here discussions on:
Hitler as sacred ruler of the world (Chakravartin)
Truly astonishing is the extent to which Himmler’s
world view ‘think tank’ applied itself so assiduously and comprehensively
and with such foresight to the subject. This section of the book also
studies the Nazi-Tibet-Connection.
The second section sets out the fateful legacy
left by the SS-Ahnenerbe
and offers an insight into post-war religious neo-Fascism. We are
confronted here with an occult subculture wielding substantial power, a
school of thought in which myths, religious paradigms, dogmas, conspiracy
theories, esoteric doctrines, superstition, visions, illusions and the
stuff of fables and science fiction all merged so seamlessly with Nazi
ideologies and Nazi history that they could no longer be distinguished one
from the other. The Indo-Tibetan element, however, is sufficiently
prominent to justify talk of “Indian teachings with National Socialist
content”. Hitler appears here as an avatar, the incarnation of the Indian
god Krishna, the Bodhisattva, the Chakravartin
(sacred ruler of the world). The second section also considers the interest
shown by fascists in the Tibetan Kalachakra Tantra ritual.
Who are the key exponents of
theories featured in the book?
Buddha, Krishna” sets out the
biographies and ideas of important Nazi ideologists, highlighting the Asian
and in particular the Buddhist influence on their thought and vision.
Pre-1945 personalities covered are:
Himmler, SS Reich Commander, architect of mass
murder and admirer of Asian philosophy. A quotation from Himmler: “I marvel
at the wisdom of the founders of Indian religions.” Himmler was a follower
of the Buddhist doctrine of Karma and incarnation.
Walther Wüst, SS colonel, curator of SS-Ahnenerbe, vice chancellor of Munich University,
Orientalist. Wüst has
to be viewed as the driving force behind the SS-Ahnenerbe’s endeavours to
forge a religion. He operated on the assumption that the Nazi religion
under construction should be rooted in the Vedic and Buddhist writings of India.
Founder of the “German Faith Movement” and later
SS captain Jakob Wilhelm Hauer.
Scholar of Indian culture and Sanskrit expert, he drew on Bhagavad Gita and
Buddhist texts in an attempt to elaborate the typology of an invincible war
SS brigadier Karl
Maria Wiligut (“Himmler’s Rasputin”),
occultist in the SS-Ahnenerbe.
He claimed to be in spiritual contact with Tibetan Lamaist
SS Tibetan researchers Ernst Schäfer and Bruno Beger saw
Lamaism as a treasury in which the core Aryan knowledge was stored. The
book also looks at the relationship of Sven
Hedin to the Nazi regime and Hitler.
geopolitician and Deutsche Akademie President Karl
emphasised the appropriateness of Shinto state fascism as a model for
The German teachers of Zen Buddhism, Eugen Herrigel and
propounded a link between National Socialism and Zen philosophy.
The fascist philosopher Julius Evola, whose ideas were much
more influential on the SS than first thought and whose traditionalist
system of theories is based largely on Buddhist and Tantric doctrines.
The SS mystic Otto
Rahn and the neo-Buddhist circles he
frequented in France.
Their influence led Rahn to claim that the “Grail
of the Cathars” was a “symbol of the soul adopted [!] straight
The French specialist on the Orient, Jean Marquès-Rivière,
head of the French secret police (S.S.S.) and SS collaborator. One of the
leading western scholars on Tibetan Kalachakra Tantra.
The first part of the book also deals with the
anti-Buddhist movement in the Third Reich. The chapter entitled
“Collaborators, condoners or victims?” considers the role of Buddhists in
the Nazi period.
The protagonists of religious
are studied too, with particular
being paid to the effect on their thinking
of Indo-Tibetan ideas and philosophy.
“Hitler’s High Priestess”, Savitri Devi. Was instrumental in the consecration of Hitler after the
war and the establishment of National Socialism as a quasi Indian sect.
The inventors of the “Nazi mysteries”, French
occultists Jacques Bergier and Louis
Pauwels, and the Englishman Trevor Ravenscroft.
All three authors saw National Socialism inextricably linked to the
Indo-Tibetan Shambhala myth.
The “Black Sun” ideologues, Viennese authors Wilhelm Landig
and Rudolf J. Mund, and Jan
van Helsing. These writers work from the
premise that Tibetan / Mongolian Lamaism and the esoteric teachings of
National Socialism both have their source in Atlantis.
Miguel Serrano, Chilean diplomat and
founder of “esoteric Hitlerism”. Serrano is an
expert in Tantric doctrines. The cornerstones of his system of racist
theories are Indo-Tibetan in origin.
Why the title of the book:
Buddha, Krishna” ?
Even before the outbreak
of war attempts were made by a number of the above-mentioned Nazi
ideologues to identify Hitler as the latest link in an Indo-Aryan chain of
divine kings and philosophers. Indian religion founders such as the
“Buddha” and Indian hero divinities like “Krishna”
were proclaimed pioneers and heralds of the dictator. This apotheosis
reached its climax in the work of the Chilean diplomat Miguel Serrano, who
revered Hitler as the 10th avatar of the god Krishna/Vishnu. For
Serrano the German dictator is immortal and will reappear as “avenger” to
bestow global supremacy on the Aryan race in an apocalyptic war to end all
What did Nazi ideologues
look for in India,
and what did they find ?
In their eyes the
classical culture of India
was a reserve in which knowledge of an Aryan stem civilisation was supposed
to have survived.
furnished them with the religious bases for a cruel warrior religion and an
inhuman ethic for the conduct of war.
They saw the Indian
caste system as providing a social orientation model that fitted their
They linked the Indian
idea of the “global ruler” to their own “Führer
principle” and applied it to Hitler.
From the Tantric systems
they developed their own fascist sexual theory.
What was the Nazi ideologues’
particular interest in the Bhagavad Gita ?
Heinrich Himmler is said
to have always carried a copy of the Bhagavad Gita on his person. He compared
Hitler with the god Krishna who features
in the poetical work.
The Bhagavad Gita was read like a catechism for
the SS. Consequently many of the above-mentioned Nazi ideologues referred
continually to this Indian war manual.
The Bhagavad Gita’s philosophy is used by rightwing extremists after the war to
What was the
particular interest in Buddhism ?
In their eyes Buddha was an “Aryan” and Buddhism
an “Aryan doctrine”.
They emphasised the warlike and virile elements of
Nazi ideologues hold Buddhism to be a doctrine
pertaining solely to power.
Buddhist meditation and yoga techniques are
recommended for the spiritual discipline of the “warrior”.
What did Nazi ideologues
look for in Tibet
and what did they find ?
The Nazi ideologues were convinced that remnants
of an original Aryan race had survived in Tibet. They organised an
expedition to locate these vestiges.
They believed the ancient Aryan knowledge to be
preserved in Lamaist texts and in Tibetan
monasteries. It was intended that SS-Ahnenerbe Tibetologists decipher this
knowledge using translation and text analysis.
The Tibet researchers of the SS
were in thrall to the magic, occult nature of the Lamaist
culture. The occultist within the Ahnenerbe even
believed themselves to be in spiritual contact with Tibetan lamas.
The two leaders of the SS Tibet expedition, Ernst Schäfer and Bruno Beger, were
both especially drawn to the morbid, warlike elements of Tibetan Buddhism.
were a key objective for Nazi mountaineers.
What did Nazi ideologues
look for in Japan
and what did they find ?
Japanese Samurai war philosophy (Bushido)
fascinated the SS. Himmler wrote the foreword for a brochure on Samurais,
52,000 copies of which were distributed throughout the SS.
A variety of themes connected to the Samurai
tradition were discussed within the SS.
German Japanologists and
Japanese scholars of German culture made “theological” comparisons between
the National Socialist “Führer principle” and the
Shinto belief of “imperial divinity”.
The German protagonists of Zen Buddhism, Eugen Herrigel and Karlfried Dürckheim, tried to
bind together Zen philosophy and National Socialism.
What do the Kalachakra Tantra and the Shambhala
have to do with National Socialism ?
SS-Ahnenerbe researchers were especially interested in the Kalachakra Tantra.
The Shambala vision
recorded in the Kalachakra Tantra
has become a central pillar in the mythology of religious neo-Nazism.
Many of the themes raised in the Kalachakra Tantra (a
cyclical view of the world, global domination, the use of super weapons,
magic and ritual in sexual practices etc) are key themes in religious
The Kalachakra Tantra challenges the monotheistic religions, all
three of which are Semitic in origin. For this reason it was harnessed by
extreme rightwing, anti-Semitic circles for their racist propaganda.
Contact between the XIVth
Dalai Lama, as the supreme Kalachakra master, and
representatives of religious fanaticism and former SS men.
Which philosophical themes are treated in the book
National Socialism as “political religion”
The attempt to consecrate the “Führer”,
the “race” and the “war”
The creation of a National Socialist “divine
warrior” and the mythologizing of the SS
The sacrifices represented by the Second World War
and Auschwitz as foundation stones for a
The phantasm of religious neo-Fascism
A comparison of Asian religions with the Nazi
Why is the book topical ?
Religious neo-Nazism, as an extension and development
of the Indo-Aryan religious construct forged by the SS-Ahnenerbe, is spreading to
other countries at an alarming rate.
The “importing” of Eastern religion systems is
increasing rapidly without prior investigation being carried out into their
inhuman content, atavistic practices, political power aspirations and
Religious fundamentalism and fascist
totalitarianism have many things in common and tend to join forces. Acutely
topical concepts such as “divine warrior”, “theocracy” and “war of
religions” are also present in the neo-Nazi model. The sources of
inspiration for these concepts stem less from the “Semitic” religions
(Judaism, Christianity, Islam) than from Asian
Who is this book aimed at ?
Anyone who has even a peripheral interest in the
“Hitler issue” and the history of the “Third Reich” is presented here with
a new interpretation of National Socialism based on material hitherto
overlooked or otherwise ignored.
Furthermore, the book targets all those readers
who feel in any way connected to the issues of religion, conflict between
cultures, fundamentalism, religious terror, “divine warriors” and Eastern
spirituality (Lamaism, Buddhism, Tantrism, Zen
etc), cultural philosophy, politics, psychology, esoterics,
ideological criticism and cultural studies in general.
Book Review of “Hitler-Buddha-Krishna”
and it’s Close Relationship to Buddhist Tantrism
Asia as a topos of Fear
and Desire for Nazis and extreme rightists in the case of Asian Studies in Sweden:
reviews of "Hitler, Buddha, Krishna"
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 19th May 2003 (Germany)
The combination of Buddhist, Hindu
and neo-Nazi mysticism on the one hand and right-wingers’ blatant
propensity to violence on the other presents a real danger to the free
world, in the opinion of the authors. They see their treatise as
contributing to an open and detailed discussion of the content of imported
Asian religions. The objective of the Trimondis’
work is as simple as it is all-encompassing: it aims to assist in the
salvation of the value system of Western civilisation.
Standard, 31st August
A new book of provocative theses is confronting head-on the success
enjoyed by Eastern religions in the West: in their book Hitler, Buddha, Krishna
Victor and Victoria Trimondi describe what
they perceive as an unholy alliance stretching from the Third Reich to the
present day.” – “The Dalai Lama: many people await his appearances in eager
anticipation, yet in the opinion of Victor and Victoria Trimondi
his message of peace is founded on problematic rituals.
Standard, 5th September
In the occult circles of the extreme right top-level National
Socialists have long been conferring their own interpretations on the
religions of the Far East: Satanist sects and Nazi heavy metal bands think
nothing of reducing the tenets of these religions to war and ‘final
struggle’. Hitler, Buddha, Krishna provides
the material for this thesis – and ample food for discussion.
Rheinischer Merkur, 5th September 2002 (Germany)
Spirituality and struggle - in their latest book Victor and Victoria
Trimondi have assembled a mass of facts affording
new insights into the intellectual fundaments of Eastern religions. The
material extends from the Kshatriya philosophy
and its direct association of war and spirituality to the Kalachakra Tantra and the
idea of a worldwide ‘warrior religion’.
Bild, 19th September 2002 (Germany)
They were obsessed with the
idea of a party, a people, an empire, a Führer and – a church! This
is the revelation of a new book [Hitler,
Adolf Hitler and his SS chief Heinrich Himmler borrowed from many a
different creed in assembling the building blocks for a ‘Nazi religion’.
Designed as a collage faith, mild-mannered Buddhism, of all religions, was
to be the cornerstone of a belief system gathering and swelling into an
Indo-Aryan mania based on race and violence.
Aargauer Zeitung, 25th September 2002 (Germany)
Is the portrait of Eastern holy men hanging crooked? Dark clouds are
gathering in the firmament above the religions of the East. [Victor and
Victoria Trimondi] warn that Eastern doctrines
could be instrumentalised for religious
Die Presse, 5th October 2002 (Austria)
Hitler, Buddha, Krishna is a detailed analysis of the influence exerted
on National Socialism by Eastern religions. An exciting read, perhaps also
since the signs are that the authors’ attitude to their subject is far from
distanced and emotionless.
Zeitung, 14th October 2002 (Germany)
Hitler, Buddha, Krishna “reads like an appeal to an entire generation to foreswear its
allegiance to the East rooted in its rejection of the affronts of modern
Western society. The one-time publisher of Mao’s ‘little red book’ has
returned, via Tibet,
to the informative literature of the Judeo-Christian tradition. This is the
wake-up call to those who regard Buddhism as a self-service counter
offering ‘post-modern hedonism’ (Slavo Zizek).
Universum Magazin, October 2002 (Austria)
In writing their exhaustively researched book Victor und Victoria Trimondi have triggered a debate over the “unholy
alliance” between Western fascism and Eastern warrior religions. Serving as
background to this is the fact that, although the National Socialists were
able to justify violence, murder and war as a ‘struggle in the name of God
and Faith’, there is a long-standing history of misusing faith as a driving
force behind radical ideology.
September 2002 (Switzerland)
Was Hitler’s world view modelled on Buddhism? A comprehensively
researched book reveals that Hitler’s followers, inspired by ancient texts
of the Far East, built him up to be the Chakravartin, the worldly and other-worldly global
ruler within the context of a Nazi religion. […] The bibliography on which
the authors base their work is remarkable and is liable to make any
refutation of its claims a difficult task. […] This book has succeeded in
removing the mask of peace from the religions and rituals of the Far East.
Sandammeer - Die virtuelle
Literaturzeitschrift, October 2002 (Austria)
With their book the Trimondis hereby
declare the culture debate open. We can look forward to a new chapter in
the war of cultures as the begetter of all things. All those who shirk
conflict should maintain their composure and consider that positive
cultural developments have always been the result first and foremost of a
clash between competing cultures, where the relativity of ones own set of beliefs was revealed and showed the way
Zeitung, 8th November 2002 (Germany)
Victor and Victoria Trimondi provide
convincing evidence that the ‘Ahnenerbe’ was the ‘think tank’ of the SS, an ideas
factory not only for esoterics like Wiligut but also for world class academics, most of
them ideologues. […] The SS favoured Buddhism. This will be unfathomable to
the fashionable Buddhists of today since they regard Buddhism as an
international peace movement and the Dalai Lama as its figurehead. In
actual fact Buddhism, seen through the eyes of the SS, is the perfect
Informationsstelle Kirchen-Sekten-Religionen, November 2002 (Switzerland)
The questions raised by the Trimondis are
topical questions relevant to our time and as such demand answers. Reappraisal,
both individual and collective, of the Nazi past is necessary and, all
things considered, the Trimondis’ book is
calculated to do all aficionados of Eastern mysticism a bitter but
necessary service. All those who carefully peruse the Trimondis’
work will still be able to love the East, but wholehearted enthusiasm for
the East is no longer possible.
Post, 27th January 2003
The cross-referencing to
the attacks of September 11th is interesting since the debate
over Western fascism and Eastern warrior religions is echoed in the
aggressive warrior myths and teachings, the very sources of inspiration for
Weltwoche, 7th March 2003 (Switzerland)
More than this the Trimondis’ achievement
is to have brought the Tibetans back down to the level of all peoples:
Tibetans too – a historical fact – have waged war, murdered, slaughtered
each other in internal struggles, even if the Western media have often
portrayed it differently. Depending on how the political wind is blowing
Buddhism, like any other religion, will be seen either as a pacifist path
of enlightenment or as a militant liberation theology. Even if, in the
transfiguring fog of cultural distance, we choose to see things
differently, Buddhism is a religion like any other.
Connection, March 2003 (Germany)
The authors introduce the reader, step by step, to
the mania of National Socialist domination that enlisted the services of
experts and scholars of Asian religions as a way of bolstering its claim to
leadership. In justifying their policy of destruction and conquest the
Nazis cited directly from the Bhagavad Gita.