Karl Maria Wiligut (alias Weisthor, Jarl Widar, Lobesam) (10 December
1866, – 3 January 1946) was an Austrian
1 Early life
3 Personal life
5 Involvement in Himmler's "Persönlicher Stab"
8 Occult involvement
10 Awards and decorations
12 See also
15 External links
Wiligut was baptised a Roman Catholic in Vienna. At the age of 14,
he joined the Kadettenschule there. Aged 17, he was conscripted to
the k.u.k. infantry regiment of
Milan I king of Serbia. On 17 December
1883 he was appointed to infantry, four days later he became a
Gefreiter (private). 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 his real name, as
Karl Maria Wiligut (Lobesam)", mentioning his real and additional
artist name. 1908 followed the Neun Gebote Gots, where Wiligut first
claimed to be heir to an ancient tradition of Irminism.
During World War I, Wiligut served at the southern and eastern fronts
and he was decorated for gallantry. On 1 August 1917, he was promoted
to colonel. In May 1918, he was retired from the front and commanded a
convalescence camp near Lviv.
After almost 40 years in military service, he retired on 1 January
1919 with an impeccable record, and moved to Morzg near Salzburg
where he 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
Wiligut supposedly founded the postwar newspaper Der Eiserne Besen,
although no evidence for such a newspaper exists.
In 1906, he married Malwine Leuts von Teuringen of Bozen, 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's wife remained unimpressed by her husband's above claim to
kingship, and blaming him for their destitution she pushed for his
committal to a mental hospital. While in a cafe with some friends, on
29 November 1924, Wiligut was arrested by police and taken to the
local mental institution where he was held for a couple of years.
Wiligut's medical records reflect violence at home, including threats
to kill his wife, grandiose projects, eccentric behavior and occult
interests. Eventually, in 1924, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia
and megalomania and was declared legally incompetent by a Salzburg
court and then committed to a
Salzburg asylum, where he remained until
1927. In 1932, he abandoned his wife and family, and 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.
Involvement in Himmler's "Persönlicher Stab"
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 the SS Race and Settlement Main Office (RuSHA). In April
1934 he was promoted to the SS equivalent of his old colonel rank
(Standartenführer), and then made head of Section VIII (Archives) for
RuSHA in October 1934. In November 1934 a promotion followed to the
Oberführer (lieutenant-brigadier), and then in the spring of
1935 Wiligut was transferred to Berlin to serve on Himmler's personal
staff. He was promoted to the rank of
Brigadeführer in September
In Berlin, where he worked in the office of Karl Wolff, chief adjutant
of the 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 practise Wiligut's
the Wewelsburg. An Irministic 'baptism' of Karl Wolff's eldest son
Thorisman was performed by Wiligut on 4 January 1937, attended by SS
Reinhard Heydrich and Karl Diebitsch.
In summer 1936, Gunther Kirchhoff and Wiligut, undertook a private
22-day expedition to the Murg Valley near Baden-Baden 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
claimed, showed it to be an ancient Krist settlement (Krist was a
messianic Germanic figure allegedly associated with Irminism).
Wiligut identified Schloss Eberstein as a center of Irminism. In
Saxony, he discovered another "Irminist complex", identifying
Einum (de) as "spirit point",
Bodenburg as "will point",
Gandersheim as "central awareness point", Engelade (de) as "force
Kalefeld as "heart point" of the crucified Balder,
Brunstein (de) as "generative point",
Naensen as "material hand
Ebergötzen as "skould point".
Irminism as the true German ancestral religion,
claiming that Guido von List's
Wotanism and Armanen runic row was a
schismatic false religion.
Wiligut contributed significantly to the development of
the order-castle and ceremonial center of SS pseudo-religious
practice. He designed the Totenkopfring, which Himmler personally
awarded to prestigious SS officers.
In November 1938, Karl Wolff, chief adjutant of Himmler's personal
staff and the second-highest-ranking officer in the SS, visited
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 28 August 1939, only a few days
prior to the outbreak of World War II.
Wiligut's final years were insecure: he moved to Aufkirchen in 1939,
Goslar in 1940, and to
Wörthersee in 1943, and after the war to a
refugee camp in St. Johann near Velden, where he suffered a stroke.
After this he was permitted to return to Salzburg, but he soon moved
Arolsen in Hesse, where he died on 3 January 1946. His
gravestone is inscribed with "UNSER LEBEN GEHT DAHIN WIE EIN
GESCHWÄTZ" ("Our Life Passes Away Like Idle Chatter").
In 1889, Wiligut joined the Schlaraffia, a quasi-masonic lodge. When
he left the lodge in 1909, he held the rank of knight and the office
of chancellor. His first book, Seyfrieds Runen, was published in
1903 under his full real name with the addition Lobesam. "Seyfrieds
Runen" was a collection of poems about the Rabenstein at Znaim on the
Austrian-Moravian border. In 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. Wiligut claimed to be in
the tradition of a long line of Germanic mystic teachers, reaching
back into prehistoric times. He also claimed to have spiritual
powers that allowed him direct access to genetic memories of his
ancestors thousands of years previously. From 1908, Wiligut was in
contact with the occultist
Ordo Novi Templi
Ordo Novi Templi in Vienna. Wiligut claimed
Bible had originally been written in Germanic, and testified
to an "Irminic" religion – Irminenreligion or
Irminism – that
contrasted with Wotanism. He claimed to worship a Germanic god
"Krist", whom Christianity was supposed later to have appropriated as
their own saviour Christ.
According to Wiligut, Germanic culture and history reached back to
228,000 BC. He proposed that at this time, there were three suns, and
Earth was inhabited by giants, dwarfs and other mythical creatures.
Wiligut claimed that his ancestors, the Adler-Wiligoten, ended a long
period of war. 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 in destroying 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. Wiligut's own ancestors were supposedly
protagonists in this setting: the Wiligotis were Ueiskunings ("Ice
kings") descending from a union of
Aesir and Vanir. They founded the
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 Roman Catholic
Church, the Jews, and the Freemasons, on which groups he also blamed
the defeat of
World War I
World War I and the downfall of the Habsburg Empire.
During the 1920s, Wiligut wrote down 38 verses (out of a number
purportedly exceeding 1,000), the so-called Halgarita Sprüche, that
he claimed to have memorized as a child, taught by his father. Wiligut
had designed his own "runic alphabet" for this purpose.
Werner von Bülow
Werner von Bülow and Emil Rüdiger of the
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 20,000-year-old "solar blessing":
Sunur saga santur toe Syntir peri fuir sprueh Wilugoti haga tharn
Halga fuir santur toe
Werner von Bülow
Werner von Bülow translates this as follows:
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 sacrificial 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 was 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, Wiligut's writings enjoyed renewed interest in
In 1934, Wiligut developed a rune row loosely based on the Armanen
Guido von List
Guido von List even though Wiligut rejected List's runes and
his overall philosophy.
Wiligut claimed to have been initiated into "runic lore" by his
grandfather Karl Wiligut (1794–1883). His rune row has 24 letters,
like the Elder Futhark. Like von List's
Armanen runes that are closely
based on the Younger Futhark, many of Wiligut's runes are identical to
historical runes, with some additions. The historical Futhark sequence
is not preserved.
Wiligut's names for his runes are: Tel, Man, Kaun, Fa, Asa, Os, Eis,
Not, Tor, Tyr, Laf, Rit, Thorn, Ur, Sig, Zil, Yr, Hag-Al, H,
Wend-horn, Gibor, Eh, Othil, Bar-Bjork.
Runes without precedent in the historical runes are Tel (a crossed
ring, similar to the sun cross symbol), Tor (like a Latin T), Zil
(like a rotated Latin Z),
Gibor (taken from von List's runes). The
Wend-horn is similar to Tvimadur.
Awards and decorations
Military Merit Cross, 3rd class with war decoration and Swords
Military Merit Medal in Silver and in Bronze, on ribbon of the
Military Merit Cross with Swords (Austria-Hungary)
Military Jubilee Cross
Jubilee Commemorative Medal
Memorial Cross 1912/13
Karl Troop Cross
Wound Medal (Austria-Hungary)
Austrian War Commemorative Medal
Austrian War Commemorative Medal with Swords
War Merit Cross, 1st and 2nd class with Swords
SS Honour Ring
Sword of honour of the Reichsführer-SS
^ a b c d Lange 1998, p. 31
^ Lange 1998, p. 36
^ Lange 1998, p. 33
^ Goodrick-Clarke 2003, p. 182
^ Lange 1998, p. 39
^ MaryBeth., Friedrich,; Collection., Mazal Holocaust (2005). Top
Nazi : SS General Karl Wolff : the man between Hitler and
Himmler. Enigma. ISBN 1929631227. OCLC 56649039.
^ Goodrick-Clarke 2003, p. 185
^ Lange 1998, p. 72
^ Goodrick-Clarke 2003, p. 179
^ Goodrick-Clarke 2003, p. 178
^ "The Occult History Of The Third Reich", 1987 Eagle Media Video
^ Goodrick-Clarke 2003, p. 181
^ Widar, Jarl – Whispering of Gotos – Rune-Knowledge [from Hagal
11 (1934), Heft 7, pp. 7–15]. Flowers, Dr. Stephen E. and
Moynihan, Michael – The Secret King (2001)
Guido von List
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
Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas (1992). The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret
Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology; The Ariosophists of
Austria and Germany, 1890–1935. New York University Press.
Stephen Flowers (eds.),The Secret King, Maria
Wiligut, Himmler's Lord of the Runes (2005).
Rudolf J. Mund, Der Rasputin Himmlers, Wien 1982
Lange, Hans-Jürgen (1998). Weisthor – Karl-Maria Wiligut –
Himmlers Rasputin und seine Erben (in German).
Lange, Hans-Jürgen: Das Licht der schwarzen Sonne. Himmlers Rasputin
und seine Erben [= new edition of: "Weisthor – Karl-Maria Wiligut"].
Self-Published by Versandantiquariat Hans-Jürgen Lange, Wietze 2010,
in two versions: with or without DVD containing all the "Halgaritha
Sprüche" [in German].
Another Wiligut biography at the
Wayback Machine (archived March 7,
Chief of German Police
Minister of the Interior
Himmler's service record
Ideology of the SS
Personal Staff Reichsführer-SS
Reichsführer-SS ("Circle of Friends of the
Reinhard Heydrich (Chief of the RSHA)
Ernst Kaltenbrunner (successor as Chief of the RSHA)
Karl Wolff (Chief of Personal Staff)
Hedwig Potthast (secretary)
Rudolf Brandt (Personal Administrative Officer to RFSS)
Hermann Gauch (adjutant)
Werner Grothmann (aide-de-camp)
Heinz Macher (second personal assistant)
Walter Schellenberg (personal aide)
Karl Maria Wiligut (occultist)
Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion
Crimes against Poles
Crimes against Soviet POWs
Persecution of Slavs in Eastern Europe
Persecution of homosexuals
Persecution of Serbs
Suppression of Freemasonry
Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses
Persecution of black people
Margarete Himmler (wife)
Gudrun Burwitz (daughter)
Hedwig Potthast (mistress)
Gebhard Ludwig (older brother)
Ernst (younger brother)
Katrin Himmler (great-niece)
Heinz Kokott (brother-in-law)
Richard Wendler (brother-in-law)
Army Group Oberrhein
Army Group Vistula
Claus von Stauffenberg
Henning von Tresckow
Erhard Heiden (predecessor as Reichsführer-SS)
Karl Hanke (successor as Reichsführer-SS)
Falk Zipperer (closest friend)
Karl Gebhardt (personal physician)
Felix Kersten (personal masseur)
Hugo Blaschke (dentist)
Sidney Excell (man who arrested Himmler)
ISNI: 0000 0000 3168 5867