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Wewelsburg

For the village of Wewelsburg, see Wewelsburg (village).


Wewelsburg (German pronunciation: [vevlsbk]) is a
Renaissance castle located in the village of Wewelsburg,
which is a district of the town of Bren, Westphalia, in the
Landkreis of Paderborn in the northeast of North RhineWestphalia, Germany. The castle has a triangular layout
- three round towers connected by massive walls. After
1934, it was used by the SS under Heinrich Himmler and
was to be expanded into a complex acting as the central
SS cult-site.[1]
After 1941, plans were developed to enlarge it to be the
so-called Center of the World. In 1950, the castle was
reopened as a museum and youth hostel. (The youth
hostel is one of the largest in Germany.) The castle today hosts the Historical Museum of the Prince Bishopric
of Paderborn and the Wewelsburg 1933-1945 Memorial
Museum.

History
Aerial view

Wewelsburg, also seen from the Alme valley

1.1

Eastern wing with access-bridge

Earlier structures

Predecessor buildings existed: Wilisburg was used dur- A document about this acquisition proves that two
ing the 9th and 10th centuries against the Hungarians.
fortress-like buildings stood on the hill: the Brensches
Another one was built by Earl Friedrich (Arnsberg). Af- Haus and the Waldecksches Haus.
ter his death, the building was demolished in 1123/24 by
peasants who he had oppressed. In 1301, the Earl von
Waldeck sold the Wewelsburg to the Prince-Bishop of 1.2 Current structure
Paderborn.[2]
1

2 THIRD REICH
1.2.3 District of Bren ownership
In 1924, the castle became the property of the district of
Bren and was changed into a cultural center. By 1925,
the castle had been renovated into a local museum, banquet hall, restaurant and youth hostel.
At the end of the Twenties, the North Tower again proved
to be the weak point of the architecture, and had to be
supported by guy wires in winter 1932/33; the preservation of the castle was supported by the Club for the
preservation of the Wewelsburg (Verein zur Erhaltung
der Wewelsburg). After 1925, the renovation activities
decreased.[4]

Inner courtyard

2 Third Reich
1.2.1

Prince-Bishops of Paderborn

From 1301 to 1589, the Prince-Bishops of Paderborn assigned the estate to miscellaneous liege lords.[2]
The masonry of both predecessor buildings was integrated in the current triangular Renaissance castle. In
its current form, the Wewelsburg was built from 1603 to
1609 as secondary residence for the Prince-Bishops of
Paderborn, at that time Dietrich von Frstenberg.[3] Its
location is near what was then believed to be the site of
the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest of 9 BC.

In 1932, the local head of the district authority (Landrat) ordered about seventy members of the Freiwilliger
Arbeitsdienst (FAD), (voluntary labour service), to be
housed at the Wewelsburg. They were unemployed and
supported by the state as Notstandsarbeiter (literally: crisis workers). Through the rent, the district of Bren
thus hoped to recoup some of the running costs of the
castle. In the fall of 1933, negotiations to set up a fullsized FAD camp of 214 men there failed. Meanwhile,
Heinrich Himmler, Reichsfhrer-SS, had accompanied
Adolf Hitler during the election campaign in January
1933 in Lippe and had developed the idea to use a castle in the heartland of Hermann der Cherusker" for the
SS. Himmler showed an interest in Burg Schwalenberg
but negotiations failed in the fall of 1933 and he then
visited Wewelsburg following advice by the NSDAPRegierungsprsident at Minden, von Oeynhausen.

The Wewelsburg was taken several times during the


Thirty Years War. In 1646 it was occupied and
then razed by Swedish troops[2] namely by the army
commanded by General Carl Gustav Wrangel. After
1650, the mostly destroyed castle was rebuilt by PrinceBishop Theodor Adolf von der Recke and his successor
Ferdinand von Frstenberg. He carried out some archi- Himmler decided to buy or lease the castle on his rst visit
tectural changes; the three towers of the castle got their on 3 November 1933. His architect, Hermann Bartels
was able to draw on existing plans for the FAD camp, for
baroque domes.[4]
the now envisaged Reichsfhrerschule SS (SS Leadership
From 1589 to 1821, the castle was the place of residence
School). This school was mainly intended to ensure a uni[2]
of a bursary ocer (or steward). Two witch trials took
ed ideological training of the SS leadership and would
place in the Wewelsburg in 1631 (a former inquisition
be run by the Rasseamt of the SS.[5]
room is placed in the basement next to the east tower).
Negotiations were dicult, however, since the Landrat of
During the Seven Years War (17561763), the basement
Bren was unwilling to give up control of the castle. In
rooms were probably used as a military prison.
the rst half of 1934, a 100-year lease was agreed for the
symbolic annual rent of 1 Reichsmark. Initial work on
the school by the FAD had started in January 1934. In
August 1934, former professional soldier and brother in
law of Walther Darr, Manfred von Knobelsdorf moved
1.2.2 Prussian state ownership
in with his family as Burghauptman. On 22 September
During the 18th and 19th centuries, the castle fell pro- 1934, Himmler ocially took over the Wewelsburg in a
gressively into ruin. In 1802, during German mediatisa- large ceremony. The Vlkischer Beobachter, in reporting
tion the castle came into the possession of the Prussian on the event, while mentioning the Germanic and historic
[6]
state . On 11 January 1815, the North Tower was gutted past of the region, emphasized the educational aspects.
by a re that was started by a lightning strike; only the The focus of the school was to become: "Germanisouter walls remained. From 1832 to 1934, a rectory ex- che Vor- und Frhgeschichte, Volkstumskunde u. a. als
isted in the eastern part of the south wing of the castle.[2] Rstzeug zur weltanschaulich-politischen Schulung" (i.e.

2.1

Wewelsburg SS School

Germanic pre- and early history, folklore studies, etc. as Germanic mysticism, an ancestor cult, worship of runes,
an equipment for ideological-political training).[7] Kno- and racial doctrines. Himmler, for example, adapted the
belsdor envisioned a kind of Nordic academy.[6]
idea of the Grail to create a heathen mystery for the SS.[13]
There is some speculation that it was Karl Maria Wiligut who convinced Himmler to use the castle not only
as a school but also as a cult site; Wiligut allegedly
was inspired by the old Westphalian legend of the Battle at the Birch Tree (Schlacht am Birkenbaum). The
saga tells about a future last battle at the birch tree,
in which a huge army from the East is beaten decisively by the West. During 1935, Wiligut reportedly
predicted to Himmler that the Wewelsburg would be the
bastion. Himmler expected a big conict between Asia
and Europe.[8]

2.1

Wewelsburg SS School

Knobelsdorf led the SS School, House Wewelsburg.


But very quickly the focus of activity shifted away from
schooling the SS leadership in a broad set of ideological elds to something much narrower. In fact, work
concentrated more on conducting basic pseudo-scientic
research in the elds of Germanic pre- and early history, medieval history, folklore and genealogy (Sippenforschung), all intended to provide the underpinnings for
the racial teachings of the SS. A scientic library was
established. But even the rst plans by Bartels from
early 1934 did not show any large-scale class rooms, only
smaller cell-like rooms for individual study. Among those
active at the Wewelsburg was Wilhelm Teudt.[6][9]
2.1.1

Fields of activity

Wewelsburg castle was also a centre for archaeological


excavations in the region. Fields of activity included
study of prehistory and ancient history (directed by Wilhelm Jordan, who led excavations in the region), study
of medieval history and folklife (directed by Karlernst
Lasch from March 1935), build-up of the Library of the
Schutzstael in Wewelsburg (directed by Dr. Hans Peter des Coudres), and strengthening the National Socialist
worldview in the village of Wewelsburg (directed by Walter Franzius).
This latter activity included such work as renovation of
a timbered house in the center of the village of Wewelsburg the "Ottens Hof" between 1935 and 1937 for use
as a village community center. Franzius also undertook
various other architectural tasks.[10][11]
2.1.2

Crew

The castle crew consisted of members of all SS branches,


the General SS ("Allgemeine SS"), the police and the
Armed SS ("Waen SS").[12] Also working at the castle
were proponents of a kind of SS esotericism consisting of

2.1.3 Redesign and reconstruction


No proof exists that Himmler wanted a Grail castle,
but redesign of the castle by the SS referred to certain characters in the legends of the Grail: for example, one of the arranged study rooms was named Gral
("Grail"), and others, Knig Artus ("King Arthur"), Knig
Heinrich (King Henry), Heinrich der Lwe ("Henry
the Lion"), Widukind, Christoph Kolumbus ("Christopher
Columbus"), Arier (Aryan), Jahrlauf (course of the
seasons), Runen ("runes"), Westfalen ("Westphalia"),
Deutscher Orden ("Teutonic Order"), Reichsfhrerzimmer (Room of the Empires Leader(s)"; ReichsfhrerSS, or the Reichs Leader of the SS was Himmlers
title), Fridericus (probably in reference to Frederick II of
Prussia), tolle Christian (probably referring to Christian
the Younger of Brunswick, Bishop of Halberstadt), and
Deutsche Sprache (German language). In addition to
these study rooms, the SS created guest rooms, a dining room, an auditorium, a canteen kitchen, and a photographic laboratory with an archive.
Oak was used to panel and furnish these rooms, though
(according to contemporary witnesses) only sparely. All
interior decoration was shaped by an SS sensibility in art
and culture; the preferred elements of design were based
on runes, swastikas, and Germanically interpreted Sinnzeichen (sense characters).[14] Tableware, decorated with
runes and Germanic symbols of salvation, was manufactured specically for Wewelsburg castle, and Himmlers
private collection of weapons was housed in the castle.[15]
From 1939, the castle was also furnished with miscellaneous objects of art,[16] including prehistoric objects
(chiey arranged by the teaching and research group "Das
Ahnenerbe"), objects of past historical eras, and works
of contemporary sculptors and painters (mainly works by
such artists as Karl Diebitsch, Wolfgang Willrich, and
Hans Lohbeck that is, art in line with the aesthetics of
National Socialism).
In 1934, the eastern castle bridge was built and the castle
moat lowered. The exterior plaster was removed to make
the building look more castle-like. The following year, a
smithy was established on the ground oor of the North
Tower for manufacture of the wrought-iron interior decoration of the castle.[17] The western and southern wings
of the castle were rebuilt between 1934 and 1938; the
eastern, between 1936 and 1938. The rst new building,
the guardhouse (Wachgebude), was constructed next to
the castle[4] in 1937. An SS sentry post and a small circular location (Rondell) were placed next to the guardhouse, as was a no longer extant SS sta building (SSStabsgebude). The North Tower was strengthened and
rebuilt between 1938 and 1943.[18]

4
2.1.4

2 THIRD REICH
Directors

In the middle of the 1930s, Himmler had a private safe


mounted in the basement of the west tower. Only the
The rst commandant of the castle (Burghauptmann commandant of the castle knew about it. The wherevon Wewelsburg), from August 1934, was Ober- abouts of its content after the Second World War is
sturmbannfhrer (Lieutenant Colonel) Manfred von unclear.[15]
Knobelsdor.[6] He was partial to Karl Maria Wiliguts
religious theories. The opinion of other SS-scientists
about Wiligut were absolutely negative. SS Obersturm- 2.1.8 Meetings of SS-Leaders
bannfuhrer Knobelsdor was succeeded by Siegfried
Taubert on 30 January 1938. Because Taubert was con- Swearing-in ceremonies were planned at the cassigned to various other tasks he was absent from the castle tle. Meetings of SS-Group-Leaders (equivalent to
lieutenant-generals) at so called spring conferences
for longer periods.[19]
were planned since 1939. Probably some talks took
place at Wewelsburg Castle; the only documented
2.1.5 Other activities
Gruppenfhrer"(generals)-meeting was held from 12 to
15 June 1941 one week before the beginning of OpSo called SS-marriage-consecrations (SS-Eheweihen) eration Barbarossa. The highest ranking SS-ocers, who
took place at the castle.
planned the SS-operation in the Soviet Union or who were
Since 1936, Himmler (who was often present at the cas- intended to be used for the operation, were called up by
tle) wanted more and more to expand the Wewelsburg Himmler. Concrete decisions were not made. The meetto be a representative and ideological center of the SS ings purpose was the ideological preparation of the at[20]
Another source
Order. Consequently, although at rst planned to be an tendant SS-leaders for the campaign.
mentions
three
or
four
ceremonies
a
year
of SS-leaders
educational training center, during the 1930s increasing
[24]
which
took
place
at
the
castle.
measures were taken to transform the castle into an isolated central meeting place for the highest ranking SS- Towards the end of the war Himmler ordered that
ocers.[20]
Wewelsburg castle should become the Reichshaus
der SS-Gruppenfhrer (Reich-House of the SSGruppenfhrer).[25]
2.1.6 Financing
For nancing the project Himmler founded in 1936 the
Gesellschaft zur Frderung und Pege deutscher Kulturdenkmler e.V. (Association for the advancement and
maintenance of German cultural relics (registered association)) and assigned the association as building developer. In contrast to the SS, the association was allowed
to receive donations and loans. Until 1943, the project
cost 15 million Reichsmark.[6] In 1939, Himmler forbade
publishing anything about the castle.[21]
2.1.7

Construction and modications after 1938

After the Freiwilliger Arbeitsdienst FAD (voluntary


labour service) the Reichsarbeitsdienst RAD (Reich
Labour Service) carried out the modications of the castle. In 1938, the RAD was relocated to the Westwall
(Siegfried Line).[6] Between 1939 and 1943, prisoners
from the Sachsenhausen and Niederhagen concentration
camps were used as labourers to perform much of the
construction work on Wewelsburg, under the design of
architect Hermann Bartels.[22] Due to a decree of 13 January 1943, all building projects which were unimportant for the war including the Wewelsburg had to be
stopped.[6]

2.2 Deaths head rings


In 1938, Himmler ordered the return of all deaths head
rings (German: Totenkopfringe) of dead SS-men and ofcers. They were to be stored in a chest in the castle.
This was to symbolize the ongoing membership of the
deceased in the SS-Order.[26] The whereabouts of the approximately 11,500 rings after the Second World War
is unclear, but it has been suggested that they were entombed in a local mountain by blasting closed the entrance to a cave.

2.3 SS plans

Himmlers plans included making it the center of the


new world (Zentrum der neuen Welt) following the
nal victory. The monumental estate was never realized; only detailed plans and models exist. The installation of a 15 to 18-meter-high wall in the shape of a
three-quarter circle[4] with 18 towers including the actual castle area centred on the North Tower of the castle,
860 m in diameter, was planned. The real purpose of
the project was never clearly dened. Inside of this castle
In 1938 after the Reichskristallnacht 17 Jews from the area buildings were planned for the exclusive purposes of
10 km away Salzkotten were shut in the dungeon of the Reichsfhrung-SS (Reich leadership SS).
the Wewelsburg before their further transport to the The main road of an SS village was also to be centred on
Buchenwald concentration camp.[23]
the North Tower of the castle with a diameter of 1270 m.

2.4

North Tower

5
The Obergruppenfhrersaal (SS Generals Hall) and the
Gruft (vault). Their ceilings were cast in concrete and
faced with natural stone. On the upper oors a further hall
was planned. The axis of this tower was to be the actual
Center of the World (Mittelpunkt der Welt). A preparation for an eternal ame in the vault, a swastika ornament in its zenith, and a sun wheel embedded in the oor
of the Obergruppenfhrersaal lie on this axis. Both redesigned rooms were never used. Nothing is known about
the plans for designated ceremonies in the tower.

Where a primary cistern was originally located, a vault after the model of Mycenaean domed tombs was hewn into
the rock, possibly to serve as some kind of commemoration of the dead. The room is unnished. The oor was
lowered 4.80 meters. The foundation of the tower was
rmed with concrete, and a gas pipe leading to the centre was embedded, suggesting that an eternal ame was
probably planned for the centre of this space. Twelve
pedestals were placed around the perimeter, each with a
SS blueprint for the planned construction of the area around wall niche above it; the purpose is unknown. At the zenith
Wewelsburg. The small triangle in the center of the circle, form- of the dome is a swastika with ornamentally extended
arms. Despite its antisemitic connotation the swastika
ing the tip of the spear, is Wewelsburg.
(Hakenkreuz) was also understood as the symbol of the
creating, acting life (das Symbol des schaenden, wirkThis road was to be connected with three radial roads and enden Lebens) and as a race emblem of Germanism
[30]
The vault has
gates with the castle area. The residential area was to be (Rasseabzeichen des Germanentums).
placed in the northwest, the centre of the village in the special acoustics and illumination.
north, and the SS-barracks in the west of the castle area;
between the barracks and village a villa colony for higher
SS-leaders; in the southwest farmsteads.
In the architectural plans from 1941, the estate had the
shape of a spear pointing towards the north; the 2 km
long access avenue with four tree rows[27] road looks
like a spear shaft with an access to the Rhynern Kassel Reichsautobahn (freeway) to the south.[28] The plan
from 1944 shows the castle as the top of a triangular estate surrounded by further buildings. The plans also included a Hall of the High Court of the SS (Saal des
Hohen Gerichtes der SS), streets, parkways, magnicent
buildings,[4] a dam with a power plant, freeway accesses
and an airport.[15] From 1941 on (after Hitlers successful
military campaigns against Poland and France) the architects called the complex the Center of the World. It was
to be nished within twenty years. The complex was to be
a center of the kind accordant religion (artgeme Religion) and a representative estate for the SS-Fhrerkorps
(SS leader corps). If the plans had been realized, the entire village of Wewelsburg and adjacent villages would
have disappeared. The population was to be resettled.
The valley was to be ooded.[29] 250 million Reichsmark
were budgeted for the estate.

Obergruppenfhrersaal (SS Generals Hall)

On the ground oor the Obergruppenfhrersaal (literally translated: Upper-Group-Leaders-Hall, referring to


the original twelve highest ranking SS-generals, called
Obergruppenfhrer), a hall with twelve columns joined
by a groined vault, twelve window- and door-niches and
eight longitudinal windows was created. The room was
almost nished; the rebuilding work stopped in 1943.
2.4 North Tower
Assumedly it was to serve as a representative hall for
the SS-Obergruppenfhrer. In the centre of the marbled
Inside the North Tower two mythologic designed rooms whitish/grayish oor a dark green sun wheel (Sonnenrad)
were created (19381943):
is embedded. The axis of the sun wheel consisted of a

6
circular plate of pure gold, which was to symbolize the
center of the castle and thus the entire Germanic world
empire.
Since the 1990s the ornament has been called the "Black
Sun" occasionally. It is not known if the SS had a special name for the ornament nor if they attributed a special meaning to it. Possibly the sun wheel had a relation to
the Germanic light- and sun-mysticism which was propagated by the SS. Today it is used as a symbol in Odinism
and Neo-Nazism and in occult currents of Irminenschaft
or Armanenschaft-inspired esotericism. However, the ornament has only been linked to the esoteric neo-Nazi concept of the Black Sun after 1991.[31] The Latin inscription above the entrance Domus mea domus orationis vocabitur (My house shall be called a house of prayer) reminds of the prince-episcopalian chapel which was originally located on the ground oor of the tower.[32]

2 THIRD REICH
Josef Schneid: Hauptsturmfhrer also known as
Pepi
Walter Franzius: architect brought on board in October 1935
Karl Lasch
Dr Hans-Peter de Courdes: until May 1939
Dr Bernhard Frank: SS Commander of the Obersalzburg
Dr Heinrich Hagel (physician): Obersturmbannfhrer
Wilhelm Jordan
Elfriede Wippermann

The upper oors were to be completed as a multi-storied


hall with a big dome.[33] It was to be a prestigious meeting 2.7 Legends and interpretations
hall for the entire corps of the SS-Gruppenfhrer. This
room was only planned. In order to realize the hall the
According to rumours the Deaths Head Rings were
upper half of the tower was dismantled in winter 1941/42.
to be buried in the vault. The vault, allegedly
dubbed the Himmler Crypt, was (allegedly) dedicated to Heinrich I, founder and rst king of
2.5 Blasting operation
the medieval German state (see East Francia), of
whom Himmler reportedly believed himself to be
When the nal victory failed to materialize, the casthe reincarnation and where he hoped to be interred
tle commander (or Burghauptman), SS General Siegfried
after his death.[35][36] This assertion is unproven. In
Taubert, ed on 30 March 1945 as the U.S. 3rd ArHimmlerss opinion Heinrich I protected Germany
mored Division closed in on the Paderborn area in the
from invaders from the East, as popularized in
nal phases of the war. Meanwhile, at his headquarters
Richard Wagner's Lohengrin opera.[37]
in Brenzlau, Himmler ordered adjutant SS Maj. Heinz
Macher, with 15 of his men, to destroy the Wewelsburg.
Leading representatives of the Third Reich were fasThis took place on Saturday 31 March only three days
cinated by the story of the Holy Grail. Hitler
before the 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd
admired Richard Wagners operas Lohengrin and
Armored Division seized the grounds after reports from
Parsifal. Hitler himself never visited the castle.
a nearby Brgermeister that SS men had set re to their
Himmler reportedly imagined the castle as a focus
barracks in the castle, changed into civilian clothes and
for the rebirth of the Knights of the Round Table and
ed.
appointed twelve SS ocers as his followers, who
Because Machers company ran out of explosives, they
would gather at various rooms throughout the castle
placed tank mines only in the unimportant southeast
and perform unknown rites. The SS had twelve main
tower, the guard-building and the SS-cadre-building
departments (SS-Hauptmter) with twelve leaders.
which was completely destroyed. The castle was set on
The number twelve plays a major role in the dere and according to information of the village citizens
sign of the North Tower: twelve pedestals in the
the castle was open to looting.[34]
vault, twelve pillars and niches in the Obergruppenfhrersaal, and twelve spokes of the sun wheel.
In the study on ancient sense characters during the
2.6 Members
Third Reich, the sun in general was interpreted as
the strongest and most visible expression of God,
Heinrich Himmler: Aegis
the number twelve as documented for the things of
Erich Schupping: Commandant
the target and the completion.[38] With reference to
the number 12 in their studies on Germanic mythol Siegfried Taubert: Commandant
ogy a relation was drawn to the twelve sir of divine kind who have (according to the Edda) twelve
Karl Elstermann von Elster Stabsfhrer: replaced by
domiciles and twelve stallions and to the twelve
Paul Hbner
rivers which ow from the fountain Hwergelmir in
Walter Muller: Hauptsturmfhrer
Niheim".[39]

2.8

Niederhagen Camp

Quote of former SS-General Karl Wol referring to


the Obergruppenfhrersaal: This was a part of the
myth which was to be introduced here. These are the
twelve compartments(*), they were created according
to mystic-confused things with which Himmler liked to
play, of the Round Table of King Arthur. In fact we
were twelve main department leaders (Hauptamtchefs)
who represented equally next to each other their service areas because Himmler didn't have the courage to
appoint a Deputy-Reichsfhrer-SS or a Deputy Chief
of the German police.[15] (* German original sound
record: Postamente": this could refer to the twelve
columns; there is also speculation about twelve heraldic
emblems[15] for the twelve leading SS Generals which
were to be placed inside the hall.)

7
ying machines towards the end of the WWII.
This subject is often featured in popular culture
and science ction; The History Channel series
Ancient Aliens features the Freiburg disc crash in
their episode Alien and the Third Reich (Season
2, episode 5).

2.8 Niederhagen Camp


Main article: Niederhagen concentration camp

Just osite of Wewelsburg was the smallest German KZ,


Niederhagen prison and labour camp.[42] Begun on June
17, 1940, the camp was completed the following year and
named after Niederhagen Forest, the name Himmler had
Allegedly the Obergruppenfhrersaal has simgiven to the forest outside the castle several years earlier.
ilarities with the Mausoleum of Theodoric in
[15]
It began with 480 prisoners from Sachsenhausen, and
Ravenna
grew to 1200, consisting chiey of Soviet POWs and
When one of the ocers died, his ashes would be captured foreign labourers shipped to Germany, although
interred in the castle. There is speculation that the early in its life it was also a gathering point for Jehovahs
urns of dead SS leaders would have been placed on Witness prisoners. Correspondingly, a large percentage
the pedestals in the vault. The vault is also named of the concentration camp inmates at Niederhagen who
consecration-hall (Weihehalle).[40]
were working on the Wewelsburg Castle were indeed Je The exact meaning of the vault is unknown. Nev- hovahs Witnesses, perhaps the only[43]place where they
During the SS's
ertheless, the room is signicant for the quasi- constituted the core KZ population.
December
1942
Korherr
Report
it
was
reported
to have
religious aspects of National Socialism especially
[44]
only
housed
12
Jews,
all
of
whom
had
died.
the ancestral cult. A possible interpretation of the
symbolic character of the eternal ame in general
according to solemn beliefs which had established
during the NS-era especially in SS circles:[37] in the
re they wanted to feel the soul of ancestors. The
symbol of the eternal ame[41] stood for the aspiration of the ancestral soul from which man arises
at his birth and which he reenters at his death.
Consecration-sites and -events suggested the immortality of the peoples soul. By sacral-architecture
and spectacular mass-events the subconsciousness
of the masses was inuenced by pseudo-religious
ideas. The two cult rooms inside the North Tower
were built to deepen the own mission.

Of the 3900 prisoners held during the camps existence,


1285 died of typhus and 56 were formally executed. In
August 1942, the Allies began deciphering death tolls
transmitted from the camps; Niederhagen had reported
21 deaths for that month. The camp was dissolved in
1943 with most of the prisoners resettled in Buchenwald,
though several dozen prisoners remained behind, housed
directly in Wewelsburg.[45]

Hauptsturmfhrer Adolf Haas, who had overseen the


camp from its beginning, was transferred to a command
position at Bergen-Belsen, while Schutzhaftlagerfhrer
Wolfgang Plaul was transferred to Buchenwald. Untersturmfhrer Hermann Michl had last been recorded at the
In 1938, Siegfried Taubert was in charge of develop- camp in 1942, and later appeared at the Riga ghetto.
ing the castle, when Himmler inquired about the cost
of installing a planetarium. To round o the subjects
taught at the Wewelsburg SS school a teacher was
3 Postwar
sought who should draw cross connections between
astronomy and history and the folklife of the ances[2]
tors so that the historical and ideological schooling In 1948/49, the castle was restored. On 29 June 1950,
was to be enhanced and deepened by the cosmic the castle was reopened as a museum and youth hostel,
while the Niederhagen kitchen had been renovated into a
view (kosmische Schau).[7]
village re station.
According to the writer J. von Helsing, the recovered unknown ying object that crashed in the In 1973, a two-year project was begun to restore the
Schwarzwald (Black Forest) near Freiburg in 1936 North Tower. Due to a local government reform the
became property of the district of Paderborn
was taken to the Wewelsburg castle, where a re- Wewelsburg
[2]
in
1975.
verse engineering project was launched, reportedly
leading to the construction of several very advanced By 1977, it had been decided to restore the entire site as

6 FOOTNOTES

a war monument. It opened on 20 March 1982 under the


name Wewelsburg 1933-1945: Kult- und Terrorsttte der
SS in the former SS guard house in the castle forecourt.[2]
Several Niederhagen camp survivors were present. In
1984 High priest of the temple of set Michial Aquino conducted a ritual there in the sacred chamber
In 1996, the Historical Museum of the Bishopric of
Paderborn (Historisches Museum des Hochstifts Paderborn) opened in the east- and south-wings.[2] The museum documents the history of the Hochstift Paderborn (Bishopric of Paderborn) which was one of territories of the Holy Roman Empire.[46] In 2010, the museums contemporary history department was reopened
as Wewelsburg 19331945 Memorial Museum. The
new permanent exhibition Ideology and terror of the SS
now presents the history of the Schutzstaels activities
in Wewelsburg within the broader context of the SS as a
whole.[2]
In 2000, a memorial was built in honour of the deceased
Niederhagen prisoners; four years later, the Kreismuseum Wewelsburg was granted DM 29,400 for restoring
and moving the remnants of the Niederhagen camp, as
well as producing an educational lm on the Ukrainian
and Russian prisoners who were housed there. In 2006
and 2007, it hosted the annual Internacia Seminario, a
meeting of Esperanto youth.
The youth hostel, which is mainly located in the east-wing
of the castle, is one of the largest in Germany (204 beds).

5 See also
Chiemsee Cauldron
Heinz Macher
Nazi architecture
Nazism and occultism

6 Footnotes
[1] Wewelsburg 19331945. Cult- and terror place of the
SS (PDF). lwl.org. p. 214.
[2] History of Wewelsburg Castle
[3] Kreismuseum Wewelsburg
[4] The Wewelsburg (History of the castle in German)
[5] Hser, Karl; Brebeck, Wul E. (2002). Wewelsburg
1933-1945, Kultsttte des SS-Ordens. Einfhrung (German). Mnster.
[6] Kirsten John-Stucke: 22 September 1934 Takeover of
the Wewelsburg by Heinrich Himmler(German)". Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe. Retrieved 2 August
2014.
[7] Letter from Oberscharfhrer Lasch to Otto Sigfrid
Reuter of 14 October 1935(German)". Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
[8] Karl Maria Wiligut (in German)

In popular culture
The castle and SS school are the setting for the climactic scene of Philip Kerr's novel The Pale Criminal (1990).
The castle is mentioned in Tova Reichs satirical
novel, My Holocaust: A Novel (2008).[47]

[9] Manfred von Knobelsdor (German)". Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
[10] Country inn Ottens Hof History (in German)
[11] Documentation Wewelsburg 19331945. Cult and terror
place of the SS p. 248-249 (in German)
[12] Documentation Wewelsburg 19331945. Cult and terror
place of the SS p. 212 (in German)

The comic title Green Lantern Annual #3 (1994) includes the story Rings of Evil, set in an alternate
universe wherein the SS rose to world domination.
This victory was made possible by Himmlers magic
practice within Castle Wewelsburg.[48]

[13] Documentation Wewelsburg 19331945. Cult and terror


place of the SS p. 278 (in German)

The attempted destruction of the castle in 1945


forms the dnouement of Duncan Kyles 1978 novel
Black Camelot.

[15] Karl Hkes, Stuart Russell: Die Wewelsburg Das


weltanschauliche Zentrum der SS

The castle appears in Jack Higgins 1991 novel The


Eagle Has Flown as a location for several encounters
between Walter Schellenberg and Heinrich Himmler.
The castle was featured in a mission in the popular
Playstation 2 videogame Medal of Honor: Underground.

[14] Documentation Wewelsburg 19331945. Cult and terror place of the SS pp. 218, 224, 225, 226 and 277 (in
German)

[16] Documentation Wewelsburg 19331945. Cult and terror


place of the SS pp. 22529 (in German)
[17] Documentation Wewelsburg 19331945. Cult and terror
place of the SS p. 223 (in German)
[18] Documentation Wewelsburg 19331945. Cult and terror
place of the SS p. 225 (in German)
[19] Documentation Wewelsburg 19331945. Cult- and terror place of the SS pp. 281 and 243 (in German)

[20] Historical background (in German)

[44] NS-archive.de

[21] Documentation Wewelsburg 19331945. Cult- and terror place of the SS pp. 22223 (in German)

[45] The concentration camp Niederhagen (in German)

[22] Wewelsburg Overview (in German)

[46] Documentation Wewelsburg 19331945. Cult- and terror place of the SS p. 196

[23] History of the Jewish population of Salzkotten (in German)

[47] Tova Reich (1 April 2008). My Holocaust: A Novel.


Harper Perennial. ISBN 0061173479.

[24] Nicholas Goodrick Clarke: Die okkulten Wurzen des Nationalsozialismus (The Occult Roots of Nazism), p. 197

[48] DeVries, David M.; Zachary, Dean; Pepoy, Andrew


(1994). Rings of Evil. Green Lantern Annual. New
York: DC Comics (3).

[25] Wewelsburg Historischer Hintergrund


[26] Nicholas Goodrick Clarke: Die okkulten Wurzen des Nationalsozialismus (The occult roots of national socialism),
p. 163

7 External links

[27] Grossly exaggerated architects plans for the Order Castle


Wewelsburg (in German)

60 years end of war Wewelsburg: SS-cult and KZterror (German)

[28] See architectural drawing.

NS Memorials in NRW (German)

[29] DVD Schwarze Sonne

22 September 1934 Takeover of the Wewelsburg


by Heinrich Himmler (German)

[30] Walther Blachetta: Das Buch der deutschen Sinnzeichen


(The book of German sense characters); reprint of 1941;
p. 47

Blueprints for the SS Order Castle Wewelsburg


(German)

[31] Julian Strube: Die Erndung es esoterischen Nationalsozialismus im Zeichen der Schwarzen Sonne. In:
Zeitschrift fr Religionswissenschaft, 20(2), 2012: pp.
223268.

Kreismuseum Wewelsburg Ocial Website

[32] Documentation Wewelsburg 19331945. Cult- and terror place of the SS p. 197

Hosteling International Page for Wewelsburg Hostel

[33] Wewelsburg: SS-cult and KZ-terror (in German)


[34] 60 years end of war Wewelsburg: SS-cult und KZ-terror
(in German)
[35] Frischauer, Willi (1953). Himmler, the Evil Genius of the
Third Reich. London: Odhams. pp. 8588.
[36] Kersten, Felix (1957). The Kersten Memoirs: 19401945.
New York: Macmillan. p. 238.
[37] DVD Schwarze Sonne
[38] Blachetta, Walther (1941). Das Buch der deutschen
Sinnzeichen (The book of German sense characters). pp.
15/16: interpretation of the sun and, p. 80: interpretation
of the number twelve.
[39] Blachetta, Walther (1941). Das Buch der deutschen
Sinnzeichen (The book of German sense characters). p.
80: interpretation of the number twelve.
[40] History of the castle. Wewelsburg-alte-mehle.de. (In
German)
[41] DVD Schwarze Sonne, bonus material, interview
[42] IVM.org
[43] Wolfgang Sofsky, The Order of Terror: The Concentration
Camp, trans. William Templer (Princeton, NJ: Princeton
University Press, 1997), p. 122.

Documentation Wewelsburg 19331945. Cultand terror place of the SS 4.83 MB (German)

Coordinates:
8.65167E

513623N 83906E / 51.60639N

10

8 TEXT AND IMAGE SOURCES, CONTRIBUTORS, AND LICENSES

Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses

8.1

Text

Wewelsburg Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wewelsburg?oldid=737524570 Contributors: The Anome, Gabbe, Ahoerstemeier,


Charles Matthews, N-true, Topbanana, AnonMoos, Altenmann, Sam Spade, Nagelfar, DocWatson42, Yak, Michael Devore, Varlaam,
Leonard G., Architeuthis, Cubelodyte, Esperant, Yazman, N-k, Dbachmann, Kwamikagami, Holdek, Mdd, Sherurcij, Melaen, Max rspct,
Arthur Warrington Thomas, Ghirlandajo, Spyde, Brookie, Flying sh, Woohookitty, ^demon, Wrfel, Marudubshinki, Rjwilmsi, Tim!,
Koavf, Modus~enwiki, FlaBot, Avalyn, Bubo bubo, Jimp, Hydrargyrum, Ori Livneh, Gaius Cornelius, Dlyons493, Unforgiven24, TheMadBaron, Joshmaul, Nikkimaria, Erichv, Eduard Gherkin, Curpsbot-unicodify, That Guy, From That Show!, SmackBot, Kintetsubualo,
Alsandro, Hmains, Betacommand, Chris the speller, JohnCarm, Silly rabbit, Colonies Chris, The PIPE, Nobunaga24, JHunterJ, Agathoclea, TastyPoutine, E-Kartoel, Norm mit, Siebrand, MigGroningen, Vanisaac, RSido, CmdrObot, Michael Kuter, Grr, Neelix, Corp1117,
Kirkt, Zalgo, Thijs!bot, Enter The Crypt, Muskox3223, Bocephusjohnson, Ericoides, Magioladitis, Bwing55543, Jllm06, Phunting, Froid,
Kriegae, The Anomebot2, MartinBot, R'n'B, DadaNeem, Prhartcom, Zara1709, Wilhelm meis, Idioma-bot, Firstorm, Sam1930, One
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Addbot, Nohomers48, TutterMouse, SrAtoz, CountryBot, Yobot, Yngvadottir, AnomieBOT, Harkain, VanishedUser sdu9aya9fasdsopa,
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Vocaltional, Pntkrts101, Obenritter, Staceydoll, Berengaria, Kennethaw88, Kellyadmirer, Knightmarine, KasparBot and Anonymous: 216

8.2

Images

File:2006-12_Wewelsburg_Innenhof.JPG Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/2006-12_Wewelsburg_


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File:570_Wewelsburg.JPG Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d5/570_Wewelsburg.JPG License: CC BY-SA
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File:Bauplan_der_Wewelsburg.gif Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/db/Bauplan_der_Wewelsburg.gif License:
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Derived from a digital capture (photo/scan) of the plan (creator of this digital version is irrelevant as the copyright in all equivalent images
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svg License: CC BY-SA 3.0 de Contributors: Own work using:
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artist: ?
File:Schwarze_Sonne_Obergruppenfhrersaal_(SS_Generals{}_Hall).jpg Source:
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Wewelsburg_luftbild_30_09_11.jpg' class='image'><img alt='Wewelsburg luftbild 30 09 11.jpg' src='https://upload.wikimedia.org/
wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e0/Wewelsburg_luftbild_30_09_11.jpg/50px-Wewelsburg_luftbild_30_09_11.jpg' width='50' height='33'
srcset='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e0/Wewelsburg_luftbild_30_09_11.jpg/75px-Wewelsburg_
luftbild_30_09_11.jpg
1.5x,
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100px-Wewelsburg_luftbild_30_09_11.jpg 2x' data-le-width='3648' data-le-height='2432' /></a>
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