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Karl Maria Wiligut

Karl Maria Wiligut (alias Weisthor, Jarl Widar, Lobesam and Karl Maria Weisthor) (December 10, 1866 - January 3, 1946) was an Ariosophist and a Nazi occultist. He has been called "Himmler's Rasputin".


Wiligut was born in Vienna. At the age of 13, he joined the Kadettenschule there. Aged 17, he was conscripted to the k.u.k. infantry regiment of Milan I king of Serbia. In 1888, he was promoted to lieutenant. In 1889, he joined the quasi-masonic "Schlaraffia-Loge". He published his first book, Seyfrieds Runen, in 1903, under the pseudomym of "Lobesam". 1908 followed the Neun Gebote Gots, where Wiligut first claimed to be heir to an ancient tradition of Irminism. Both List and Wiligut were influenced by Friedrich Fischbach's 1900 Die Buchstaben Gutenbergs. During World War I, Wiligut served at the southern and eastern fronts. On 1 August 1917, he was promoted to colonel. In May 1918, he was retired from the front and commanded a reconvalescents camp near Lemberg. After almost forty years in military service, he retired on 1 January 1919 with an impeccable record, and he moved to Morzg near Salzburg and dedicated his time to occult studies. He renewed his acquaintance with Theodor Czepl of the Ordo Novi Templi, who in winter 1920/21 spent seven weeks in Wiligut's house. Czepl compiled a report for the archive of the O.N.T, where he describes Wiligut as "a man martial in aspect, who revealed himself as bearer of a secret line of German kingship"

Wiligut had married Malwine, nee Leuts von Teuringen of Bozen (Bolzano) in 1907, with whom he had two daughters, Gertrud and Lotte. A twin brother of one of the girls died as an infant, a devastating tragedy for Wiligut, who was desperate for a male heir to which he could pass on his "secret knowledge", which estranged him from his wife.

Wiligut founded the postwar newspaper Der Eiserne Besen, where he disseminated anti-Judaistic, anti-Masonic and anti-Christian pamphlets, expressing his conviction of a worldwide conspiracy of these "dark forces".

Wiligut's wife remained unimpressed by her husband's claim to kingship, and blaming him for their destitution she pushed for his hospitalisation in a mental institution.


Records reflect violence at home, including threats to kill his wife, grandiose projects, eccentric behavior, occult interests. Eventually, in 1924, Wiligut was diagnosed with schizophrenia and megalomania and was declared legally incompetent by a Salzburg court and then institutionalized in a Salzburg asylum, where he remained until 1927. In 1932, he abandoned his wife and family, and he emigrated from Austria to Germany, residing in Munich. He is known to have corresponded with many admirers and disciples, including Ernst Rüdiger and members of the Order of the New Templars.

SS and Ahnenerbe involvement

Shortly after being introduced to Reichsführer-SS Himmler in September 1933 at a conference of the Nordische Gesellschaft, Wiligut was inducted into the SS (under the pseudonym "Karl Maria Weisthor") to head a Department for Pre- and Early History which was created for him within SS Race and Settlement Main Office (RuSHA). In April 1934 he was promoted to the rank of Standartenführer (colonel), and then made head of Section VIII (Archives) for RuSHA in October 1934. In November 1934 a promotion followed to the rank of Oberführer (lieutenant-brigadier), and then in Spring 1935 Wiligut was transferred to Berlin to serve on Himmler's personal staff. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadeführer in September 1936.

In Berlin, where he worked in the office of Karl Wolff, chief adjutant of SS, Wiligut developed his plans for the rebuilding of the Wewelsburg into an allegorical "center of the world". Wiligut's friend Manfred von Knobelsdorff attempted to practice Wiligut's Irminism by performing various rituals on the Wewelsburg. These included a baptismal ceremony for Karl Wolff's eldest son on 4 January 1937, attended by SS noteworthies Reinhard Heydrich and Karl Diebitsch. In summer 1936, Gunther Kirchhoff and Wiligut on behalf of the Ahnenerbe undertook a 22 day expedition ato the Murg Valley in the Black Forest where there was a settlement described as consisting of old half-timbered houses, architectural ornament, crosses, inscriptions, and natural and man-made rock formations in the forest, which they theorized showed it to be an ancient Krist settlement. Wiligut identified Schloss Eberstein as a center of Irminism. In Saxony, he discovered another "Irminist complex", identifying Einum as "spirit point", Bodenburg as "will point", Gandersheim as "central awareness point", Engelade as "force hand point", Calefeld as "heart point" of the crucified Balder, Brunstein as "generative point", Naensen as "material hand point", Ebergötzen as "skould point".

Wiligut identified Irminism as the true ancestral religion, claiming that Guido von List's Wotanism and Armanen runic row was a schismatic false religion. Himmler, on Wiligut's recommendation, had many of List's followers and non-official Nazi occultists imprisoned in concentration camps (see Nazi mysticism).

Wiligut contributed significantly to the development of Wewelsburg as the order-castle and ceremonial center of SS pseudo-religious practice. He officiated in the role of priest at weddings of SS men and their brides. He designed the Totenkopfring, which Himmler personally awarded to prestigious SS officers.

Herman Wirth, first president of the Ahnenerbe, was less than impressed with Wiligut, and in a letter to Rudolf J. Mund describes him as a senile alcoholic plagiarizing Guido List. But Wirth himself was dropped by Himmler after his forgery of a "Fossum calendar disk" he had alleged to have found in a 1937 Ahnenerbe expedition to Sweden was uncovered.

Retirement and death

In November 1938, Karl Wolff, chief adjutant of Himmler's personal staff and the second-highest ranking officer in the SS, visited with Wiligut's wife and learned of Wiligut's earlier involuntary commitment to a mental institution, which proved embarrassing to Himmler. Wiligut's staff was notified that his "application" for retirement on grounds of age and poor health had been granted in February 1939, and the official retirement was dated August 28, 1939, only a few days prior to the outbreak of World War II. Wiligut's final years were unsteady; he moved to Aufkirchen in 1939, to Goslar in 1940, and to Wörthersee om 1943, and after the war to a refugee camp in St. Johann near Velden, where he suffered a stroke. Upon this, he was permitted to return to Salzburg, but he soon moved on to Arolsen in Hesse, where he died on 3 January 1946. His gravestone is inscribed with "UNSER LEBEN GEHT DAHIN WIE EIN GESCHWÄTZ," which translates to "Our Life Passes Away Like Idle Chatter" in English.

Occult writings

Wiligut claimed to be in the tradition of a long line of Germanic mystic teachers, reaching back into prehistoric times (Source = The Occult History Of The Third Reich, 1987 Eagle Media Video). He also claimed to have spiritual powers that allowed him direct access to genetic memories of his ancestors thousands of years ago. From 1908, Wiligut was in contact with the occultist Ordo Novi Templi in Vienna. Wiligut claimed that the Bible had originally been written in Germanic, and testified to an "Irminic" religion (Irminenreligion) that contrasted with Wotanism. He claimed to worship a Germanic god "Krist" Christianity was supposed to have later bootlegged as their own saviour Christ. Germanic culture and history according to Wiligut would reach back to 228,000 BC. At this time, there were three suns, and Earth was inhabited by giants, dwarfs and other mythical creatures. By 12,500 BC, The Irminic religion of Krist was revealed and from that time became the religion of all Germanic peoples, until the schismatic adherents of Wotanism gained the upper hand. In 1200 BC, the Wotanists succeeded to destroy the Irminic religious center at Goslar, following which the Irminists erected a new temple at the Externsteine, which was in turn appropriated by the Wotanists in AD 460. Wiliguts own ancestors are protagonists in this setting: the Wiligotis were Ueiskunings "Ice kings" descending from a union of Aesir and Vanir. They founded the city of Vilna as the center of their Germanic empire and always remained true to their Irminic faith. Wiligut's convictions assumed a paranoid trait in the 1920s as he became convinced that his family was the victim of a continuing persecution of Irminists, at present conducted by the Catholic Church, the Jews and the Freemasons, on which groups he also blamed the lost World War I and the downfall of the Habsburg empire.

During the 1920s, Wiligut had written down 38 (out of a number claimed to excess 1000) verses, the so-called Halgarita Sprüche, that Willigut said he had memorized as a child, taught by his father. Wiligut had designed his own "runic alphabet" for this purpose.

Wiligut called his religion Irminism.

Werner von Bülow and Emil Rüdiger of the Edda-Gesellschaft (Edda Society) translated and annotated these verses. They claimed that numbers 27 and 1818 are connected with the Black Sun,

Verse number 27 according to Willigut is a "solar blessing" aged 20,000 years:

Sunur saga santur toe Syntir peri fuir sprueh Wilugoti haga tharn Halga fuir santur toe
Werner von Bülow translates
"Legend tells, that two Suns, two wholesome in change-rule UR and SUN, alike to the hourglass which turned upside down ever gives one of these the victory / The meaning of the divine errant wandering way / dross star in fire's sphere became in fire-tongue revealed to the Earth-I-course of the race of Paradise / godwilling leaders lead to the weal through their care in universal course, what is visible and soon hidden, whence they led the imagination of mankind / polar in change-play, from UR to SUN in sacrifical service of waxing and waning, in holy fire Santur is ambiguously spent in sparks, but turns victorious to blessing"

Santur is interpreted as a burnt-out Sun that was still visible at the time of Homer. Rüdiger speculates that this was the center of the solar system hundreds of millennia ago, and he imagines a fight between the new and the old Suns that as decided 330,000 years ago. Santur is seen as the source of power of the Hyperboreans.

In esoteric currents of Neo-Nazism, Neofolk, National Socialist Black Metal and Neopaganism, Willigut's writings enjoyed a renewal of interest in the 1990s.

See also


  • Wiligut, Karl Maria (2001). The Secret King: Karl Maria Wiligut, Himmler's Lord of the Runes. Dominion. ISBN 1-885972-21-0.
  • Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas (2003). The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology. Gardners Books. ISBN 1-86064-973-4.; originally published as

  • Michael Moynihan, Stephen Flowers (eds.),The Secret King, Maria Wiligut, Himmler's Lord of the Runes (2005).
  • Rudolf J. Mund, Der Rasputin Himmlers, Wien 1982
  • Hans-Jürgen Lange, Weisthor - Karl-Maria Wiligut - Himmlers Rasputin und seine Erben, 1998

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