An Appointment In Berlin - Prelude to "Himmler's Crusade" by Christopher Hale

An Appointment in Berlin

The opening prelude to this work, Himmler's Crusade: The Nazi Expedition to Find the Origins of the Aryan Race, begins with a seemingly insignificant excerpt of a young German explorer meeting with the infamous Heinrich Himmler. What was the meeting about? Well, Himmler was obsessed with providing or "discovering" the lost history of the Aryan race as the Nazis took control over Germany. He believed that one of the strands of their history went back to the country of Tibet, where remnants of the higher man could potentially be seen. And so Himmler conscripts SS officer, Ernst Schafer into helping search out their lost history. 

Arriving at 8 Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse

Hitler's thousand year Reich, supposedly to mirror the great monumental civilizations remembered of old, passed into rubble after only twelve years of existence. 1 At 8 Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse was a baroque building in which the SS Fuhrer, Himmler, ran his group of elite guard. "Himmler wanted his SS to be 'an aristocracy that never grew old'. They had to be 'the best physically, the most dependable, the most faithful men in the movement.' They were the new Teutonic Knights dedicated to Herrenbewusstsein (master consciousness) and Elitebewusstsein (elite consciousness). Every one of Himmler's Black Knights had been stringently vetted by white-coated laboratory technicians wielding calipers and measuring tape - and now they could work and act above the law, to serve and protect the Aryan Master Race and crush its enemies." 2 

In 1936, preparing to receive the world for the Olympics, Hitler frantically sought to build a façade of prosperity with shops filled with luxuries, new stadiums and buildings, and shows and theatres hosting the arts. "More than seven thousand prostitutes had been permitted to return to the streets. New lime trees were being planted in Unter den Linden. And with stunning cynicism, signs forbidding Jews to enter the cities or public spaces had been hurriedly torn down and prisoners released from Himmler's concentration camps. It was a whitewash of monumental proportions, but it worked." This facade impressed a young SS officer, Ernst Schafer, who'd been away from his native Germany for a time, as he walked to a meeting with Himmler at 8 Prinz Strasse. 3

Schafer was a young man who had been rapidly moving up the political ladder. He had spent several years in the mystical Tibet on adventures cataloguing Tibetan birds. Having come back and becoming a published author led him to this meeting with his SS boss Himmler. 4 Himmler had an appearance which was unassuming, mild, and warm ... yet deep beneath the floors of his office he tortured men with whom the Reich had problems.
"It was an illusion, of course, a triumph of the will. Behind the prince-nez, usually held askance so that a gleaming reflection hid what lay behind, were eyes without mercy that could patiently examine, for hour after hour, lists of names or photographs of SS applicants, searching for any indication of racial inferiority. Henrich Himmler was fixated by secrets and plots, imagined and real, and would become the most implacable and lethal 'desk criminal' in the Third Reich."

Himmler, with his power in the Third Reich, founded what was called the "Ahnenerbe," or "Ancestral Heritage." Himmler was fascinated with the occult history of the Aryans emanating from the Far East. 5 And the explorer Schafer would be a perfect connection for Himmler to use to provide "scientific" proof of his strange beliefs. "The Aryan race, he believed, had descended directly and fully formed 'from heaven'. Races of giants had once roamed the earth. The universe had been formed from a cosmic battle between fire and ice." Schafer could go back to the Far East and explore more of the potential origins of the Aryan race for him, especially by visiting the "Forbidden City" of Tibet known as Lhasa. 6

And so Himmler invited Schafer into the Ahnenerbe, providing him backing and the political climbing that he desired. Later, after the War, Schafer tried to convince the Americans that he had been an unwilling recruit of Himmler's, but was that really true? It was said that Schafer took the book Faust with him to read on his expeditions. His deal with Himmler, probably more corresponded to Faust's deal with the devil, than a coercion. 7

1 - Hale, Christopher. Himmler's Crusade: The Nazi Expedition to Find the Origins of the Aryan Race. (Edison, NJ. Castle Books, 2003). Pg. 1
2 - 2
3 - 3
4 - 4
5 - 5
6 - 6
7 - 7