Himmler's Crusade

Publié le par Christopher Hale

Himmler's Crusade"As the Indiana Jones films showed, Nazis, new age mumbo-jumbo and exotic locations are a formula that works. Christopher Hale's gripping and well-researched tale of an SS-sponsored scientific mission to Tibet in 1938-39 has the whole shebang: mad occult beliefs, mountains, strange charactors called Bruno or Ernst and stomach-churning concentration camp experiments to round things off." —The Sunday Times (London)

A scientific expedition or a sinister mission? Why would the leader of the Nazi’s dreaded SS, the second-most-powerful man in the Third Reich, send a zoologist, an anthropologist, and several other scientists to Tibet on the eve of war? Himmler’s Crusade tells the bizarre and chilling story one of history’s most perverse, eccentric, and frightening scientific expeditions. Drawing on private journals, new interviews, and original research in German archives as well as in Tibet, author Christopher Hale recreates the events of this sinister expedition, asks penetrating questions about the relationship between science and politics, a nd sheds new light on the occult theories that obsessed Himmler and his fellow Nazis.

Combining the highest standards of narrative history with the high adventure and exotic locales of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Himmler’s Crusade reveals that Himmler had ordered these men to examine Tibetan nobles for signs of Aryan physiology, undermine the British relationship with the ruling class, and sow the seeds of rebellion among the populace. Most strangely, the scientists–all SS officers–were to find scientific proof of a grotesque historical fantasy that was at the center of Himmler’s beliefs about race. Set against the exquisite backdrop of the majestic Himalayas, this fast-paced and engaging narrative provides new and troubling insight into one of the strangest episodes in the history of science, politics, and war.

Author : Christopher Hale
 ISBN-13: 9780471262923
Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/20/2003

Editorial Reviews

Michael Burleigh

As the Indiana Jones films showed, Nazis, new age mumbo-jumbo and exotic locations are a formula that works. Christopher Hale's gripping and well-researched tale of an SS-sponsored scientific mission to Tibet in 1938-39 has the whole shebang: mad occult beliefs, mountains, strange characters called Bruno or Ernst and stomach-churning concentration camp experiments to round things off.

In 1935, the Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler founded an organisation called Ancestral Heritage to uncover the hidden past of an imaginary Aryan race he and his Führer regarded as the noblest and most vital force in human history. That fact that there had never been an Aryan race — a philological category (the Indo-Germanic language group) had been construed into a "people" — was no impediment to someone who also believed Aryans had been unleashed on the world after divine thunderbolts shattered the primordial ice in which they were imprisoned. Himmler was also pretty keen to find gold in the river Isar or a red horse with a white mane, but that need not detain us.

So Hale's book is a slippery-slope sort of story. Whether it will deter those who lap up books of a new age variety that draw on the same swamp as the Nazis seems over-optimistic, but Hale is certainly to be commended for immersing himself in it for so long. — Sunday Times (U.K.)


Meet the Author

CHRISTOPHER HALE is an award-winning writer and producer who has made films for the BBC and all the major broadcasters, including WGBH and the Discovery Channel. He has made numerous films about both science and the arts, many combining cutting-edge anthropology with high adventure. Hale has traveled and filmed in literally unmapped regions of Mozambique and Yemen in search of the "Lost Tribes of Israel" and looked for the origins of ocean voyaging on one of the most remote islands of the Pacific.


Publié dans Bibliothèque

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