Offered for sale is a RARE ORIGINAL 1939 SS-AHNENERBE PHOTO BOOK ON THE GERMANIC ROOTS OF THE OSTMARK AND SUDETENLAND AFTER THEY BECAME PART OF THE GREATER GERMAN REICH SINCE THE ANNEX OF AUSTRIA IN 1938 “DEUTSCHES LAND KEHRT HEIM”
The 7-1/2 x 10 inch, 154 page hardcover book, published in 1939 by order of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler’s Ahnenerbe by Ahnenerbe-Stiftung Verlag in Berlin. The book deals about the Gaue (NSDAP districts) Ostmark and Sudetenland and their Germanic history. Except for some stain spots on the cover a nice copy of the first edition (only 5,000 copies!).
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The Ahnenerbe e.V.:
Founded by Heinrich Himmler, Herman Wirth, and Richard Walther Darré on July 1, 1935, as “Studiengesellschaft für Geistesurgeschichte Deutsches Ahnenerbe e.V. “(Study Society For Primordial Intellectual Science German Ancestral Heritage (registered society)), in 1937 renamed in “Forschungs- und Lehrgemeinschaft das Ahnenerbe e.V.”(Research and Teaching Community the Ancestral Heritage (registered society)) was a Nazi-era government study group that billed itself as a “study society for Intellectual Ancient History”. The Ahnenerbe was developed to research the anthropological and cultural history of the Aryan race, and later lent itself to experimentation and voyages intent on proving that prehistoric and mythological Nordic populations had once ruled the world. New applicants in the SS were educated about their Nordic past through weekly classes taught by senior RuSHA (Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt or Race and Settlement Office of the SS) graduates using the periodical SS-Leitheft. On July 1, 1935 at Berlin’s SS headquarters, Himmler met with five racial experts representing Darré and with Dr. Herman Wirth, one of Germany’s most famous pre-historians. Together they founded an organization called Deutsches Ahnenerbe–Studiengesellschaft für Geistesurgeschichte (German Ancestral Heritage–Society for the Study of the History of Primeval Ideas) – later shortened to its better-known form in 1937. At the meeting they designated the official goal “to promote the science of ancient intellectual history” and appointed Himmler as the superintendent with Wirth serving as the president. Wirth left the project at the beginning of 1937. On February 1 of that year, Dr. Walther Wüst was appointed the new president of the Ahnenerbe. Wüst was an expert on India and a Dean at Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, working on the side as a Vertrauensmann for the SS Security Service. Referred to as “The Orientalist” by Sievers, Wüst had been recruited by him in May 1936 because of his ability to simplify science for the common man. After being appointed president, Wüst began improving the Ahnenerbe by moving the office to a new headquarters in Berlin-Dahlem that had cost 300,000 Reichsmark. In January 1939 the organization was incorporated into the SS. In 1936 the first of a series of expeditions was launched. The first official expedition financed by the Ahnenerbe went to Bohuslän, a region in southwestern Sweden. Himmler appointed Wolfram Sievers to be the managing director of the expedition. Another Ahnenerbe sponsored voyage led to the Karelia region of Finland, also in 1936. In 1938 the Ahnenerbe financed an expedition to the Middle East under Dr. Franz Altheim and his research partner Erika Trautmann. The Ahnenerbe also undertook studies in different parts of Germany and France. In 1937 Himmler decided he could increase the Ahnenerbe’s visibility by investigating Hans F. K. Günther’s (Hans Friedrich Karl Günther was a German race researcher and eugenicist in the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. He was also known as Race Günther / Rassegünther or Race Pope / Rasse-papst. He is considered to be a major influence on National Socialist racialist thought) claims that early Aryans had conquered much of Asia, including attacks against China and Japan in approximately 2000 B.C., and that Gautama Buddha was himself an Aryan offspring of the Nordic race. Therefore a large expedition to Tibet was launched. Walther Wüst would later even state in a public speech that Adolf Hitler’s ideologies corresponded with those of Buddha, since the two shared a common heritage. The Ahnenerbe was also involved in the so called Master Plan East, a plan for three large German colonies in the eastern occupied territories. Leningrad, northern Poland and the Crimea were the focal points of these colonies intended to spread the Aryan race. The Crimean colony was called Gotengau (Goth District) in honor of the Goths who had settled there and were believed to be Aryan ancestors of Germans. Himmler estimated that the Aryanization of the region would take twenty years, first expelling all the undesirable populations, then re-distributing the territory with appropriate Aryan populations. It was also intended to plant oak and beech trees to replicate traditional German forests, as well as plant new crops brought back from Tibet. In 1943, following the Royal Air Force’s firebombing of Hamburg Himmler ordered the immediate evacuation of the main Ahnenerbe headquarters in Berlin. The extensive library was moved to a castle in Ulm while the staff was moved to the tiny village of Waischenfeld near Bayreuth, Bavaria. Under the umbrella of the Ahnenerbe researchers also undertook medical experiments.
After 1945 some of the former members of the Ahnenerbe (especially those who were involved in medical experiments) were charged with several years of imprisonment but the majority, including the Ahnenerbe president, Walther Wüst, were considered “fellow travelers” and released shortly after the war.
The Ahnenerbe organization was the inspiration for the Nazi archaeologist villains in Steven Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones” films.