Thule Society

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The Thule Society (German: Thule-Gesellschaft), originally the Studiengruppe für germanisches Altertum ("Study Group for Germanic Antiquity"), was a German occultist and völkisch group in Munich, named after a mythical northern country from Greek legend. The Society is notable chiefly as the organization that sponsored the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP), which was later transformed by Adolf Hitler into the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party). There is no evidence that Hitler ever attended the Thule Society.[1] But there was great enthusiasm among Thule members for Hitler, most notably Rudolf Hess and Dietrich Eckart. The occultists believed Hitler to be the prophesied “redeemer of Germany”. They were Hitler’s first “disciples” and as such were crucial to his meteoric rise.[2]

Contents

Origins

The Thule Society was originally a "Germanic study group" headed by Walter Neuhaus,[3] a wounded World War I veteran turned art student from Berlin who had become a keeper of pedigrees for the Germanenorden (or "Order of Teutons"), a secret society founded in 1911 and formally named in the following year.[4] In 1917 Nauhaus moved to Munich; his Thule-Gesellschaft was to be a cover-name for the Munich branch of the Germanenorden,[5] but events developed differently as a result of a schism in the Order. In 1918, Nauhaus was contacted in Munich by Rudolf von Sebottendorf (or von Sebottendorff), an occultist and newly elected head of the Bavarian province of the schismatic offshoot, known as the Germanenorden Walvater of the Holy Grail.[6] The two men became associates in a recruitment campaign, and Sebottendorff adopted Nauhaus's Thule Society as a cover-name for his Munich lodge of the Germanenorden Walvater at its formal dedication on 18 August 1918.[7]

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