NOSTRADAMUS, ASTROLOGY AND THE BIBLE
substudY "WORLD WAR ii"
Information on dr. P.J. Goebbels (1897-1945)
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie
 
This article contains information on dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, from 1933 to 1945 minister of People's Enlightenment and Propaganda in Nazi-Germany, in his quality of organizer of Nostradamuscampaigns in his ministry.
See also:
 

Some facts about dr. P.J. Goebbels [1]

Dr. P.J. Goebbels
Radio speech Goebbels on April 19, 1939
at the occasion of Hitler's birthday on April 20

Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels was born on October 29, 1897, in Rheydt in the Ruhrgebiet, close to Mönchengladbach. His father was a book-keeper in a textile fabric. Goebbels was the third son in a family of five children and raised in a rigid catholic environment.
Because of an infection of the bone marrow of his right leg at the age of four, Goebbels became lame for the rest of his life.
In 1917, Goebbels finished his study at the Rheydt grammar-school with for that time the highest results ever. He applied at the front as a volunteer, but due to his handicap, he was not qualified for military service.
From 1917 he studied art history, germanistics and philosophy in various cities, e.g. Bonn, Freiburg, Heidelberg and Munich. The greater part of these studies were financed by the catholic Albertus Magnus union. In 1921, Goebbels promoted in germanistics at the Bonn university. His promotor was the Jewish professor Max vonWaldberg. In his dissertation, Goebbels discussed the romantic author Wilhem von Schütz. In the next years, also due to the economic circumstances, he could not find emply as a dramatist or a journalist. 
Goebbels considered the Weimar-Republic as a result of the war which Germany had lost in 1918. After the failure in 1919 of the Kapp-Putsch, he hoped that a German red army would restore order. He drifted back and forth between radical nationalistic ideas about decline and new social systems. Factors which influenced his final choice for national-socialism were the economic crisis with its hyperinflation, poverty and unemployment, and the occupation and separation from Germany in January 1923 of the Rhineland by Belgian and French troops. Goebbels got his anti-Semitic and racial ideas from books, notably those, written by Houston Stewart Chamberlain.[2]
In 1924, at a party congress in Weimar of the Nationalsozialistischen Freiheitsbewegung Großdeutschlands, Goebbels met with national-socialist circles. That year's August, in Mönchengladbach, he founded a local group of this movement, which was part of the in those days still forbidden NSDAP. In that month, he also became editor of the national-socialist weekly Völkische Freiheit. This marked his career as a political columnist. In the articles which he wrote for this weekly, he especially attacked Jewish publishers.
In 1925, Goebbels met Hitler for the first time. Notes in the Goebbels' diaries show his admiration for Hitler. That year, he became the private secretary of the national-socialist Gregor Strasser; in September, he became editor of the Nationalsozialistischen Briefe, the newspaper of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Nordwest, founded by Gregor Strasser and his brother Otto. By joining the Strasser brothers, Goebbels joined the left wing of the NSDAP. For some time, he dissociated himself from Hitler, who he accused of accepting money from industrials and whose centralistic leadership he criticized. Goebbels advocated the moving of the heart of the NSDAP from Munich to North-Germany; he also wanted that Gregor Strasser would replace Hitler as a party leader and that Hitler would become its honorary president. 
On February 14, 1926, after a talk with Hitler, Goebbels turned his back upon Strasser and unconditionally accepted Hitler's leadership. Hitler appointed him to Gau-leader of Berlin-Brandenburg. In Berlin, he reorganized the Berlin branch of the NSDAP and brought her to power. In July 1927, Goebbels founded Der Angriff, his own propaganda newspaper, which from October 1930 would occur daily. For some months in the winter of 1930/31, he manoeuvred in his political course due to the SA-riots; but in 1931, he followed Hitler's course and in 1934, he was involved in the murder actions against the SA-leader Ernst Röhm and his adherents. 
In May 1928, for the first time in her existence, the NSDAP joined the Reichstag, with twelve representatives, among which Goebbels. In 1930, Goebbels was appointed to Reichspropagandaleiter of the NSDAP and began to organize mass meetings and to prepare the elections of September 1930, in which the number of NSDAP-representatives increased to 107. At that time, his aim was to bring the NSDAP to power by democratic means and next to waive democracy. In his propaganda, he presented the Berlin SA-leader Horst Wessel, who died in February 1930 because of a murder attempt the month before, most likely because of reasons of money, as a victim of communist agitators and therefore as someone who gave his life for the NSDAP. To a poem, written by Wessel, music was added. As a song, this poem became the anthem of the NSDAP.
On December 19, 1931, Goebbels married Magda Quandt-Behrend, born in Berlin on November 11, 1901, who in 1929 was divorced from the industrial Günther Quandt, in those years one of the most wealthy Germans. Hitler was one of the best man of this marriage, from which six children were born. Because of the fact that Hitler was not married, Magda became Germany's First Lady, a position which in 1935 was taken over by the wife of Hermann Göring, prominent member of the NSDAP and supreme commander of the German Luftwaffe. In national-socialist propaganda, the Goebbels family was presented, also by Goebbels himself, as a German model family with pure Aryan children. Both Goebbels and his wife did not bother that much about conjugal fidelity. In 1938 however, one of Goebbels' love affairs resulted in a severe marriage crisis, which was ended by Hitler in the sense that he did not agree to a divorce.

Ministry of Propaganda
Ministry of Propaganda
side-entrance,
Berlin, Mauerstraße

From the foundation of the NSDAP in 1925 until the rise in 1933 of a government, lead by Hitler, propaganda played a key role within the NSDAP. In 1933, as a result, a new ministry was created: the Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda (RMVP, Promi, on this website called: the Ministry of Propaganda). The ministry was seated at 8-9 Wilhelmstraße, Berlin, in the German administration centre.
Om March 13, 1933, Goebbels, who at first was not appointed as a minister, became appointed as minister of People's Enlightenment and Propanda because of his organizing in February 1933 of the parliamentary elections of March 1933 in which the NSDAP got the absolute majority. He became responsible for "the full task of the mental leading of the nation", as Hitler had formulated it in a decree in June 1933. Other ministries had to hand over some of their fields of work to the Ministry of Propaganda. From the Home Office, fields such as movies, press, radio and theatre were handed over; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed over the organization of various forms of propaganda abroad.
One of the aspects of Goebbels' propaganda in the years after 1933 was the creation of the image of Hitler as an almost divine Führer. By doing so, he shaped his own impression of Hitler: a brilliant, almighty person who could save the Germans. In that way, Goebbels' propaganda was a real crusade. From a political and private point of view, Goebbels and Hitler were completely committed to each other. In important private matters such as his marriage, and in important political matters, Goebbels did not take any decision by himself, but first talked with Hitler. Hitler in his turn realized that he could not function without his minister of Propaganda. Eventually, Goebbels followed Hitler into death.
In his quality of president of the Reichskulturkammer, Goebbels exercised control over books, films, newspapers, radio, magazines and the cultural and public life in Germany. In 1933, he held a speech in Berlin at the Berliner action of burning books. In 1937, he ordered the confiscation of art which in his eyes was not in keeping with the national-socialist ideology. This could be Jewish art or modern art. Goebbels entitled this art as Entartete Kunst.
At the commemoration in Munich on November 9, 1938 of Hitler's 1923-Bierkellerputsch, Goebbels made an anti-Semitic speech, in which he held the Jews responsible for the attack on November 7, 1938, on Ernst Eduard vom Rath, the secretary of the German embassy in Paris. While referring to pogroms which in the days before took place in Magdeburg-Anhalt and Kurhessen, he implied that it was not up to the NSDAP to prepare or to hold anti-Semitic demonstrations, but that spontaneous riots were not supposed to be suppressed. For Gau-leaders and SA-leaders, this was the sign to set fire, all over Germany, on Jewish stores and synagogues and to violate Jewish cemeteries. In Germany, this so-called Reichskristallnacht (a name, associated with the firelight and sparks in the burning buildings) marked the beginning of the systematic persecution of the Jews. During the riots, which continued until November 13, 1939, tens of thousands of Jews were imprisoned in concentration camps. Later, most of them were released, but hundreds of Jews were murdered or died because of what happened during their arrest.[3]
Shortly after the German invasion on September 1, 1939, in Poland, the position of the Ministry of Propaganda regarding carrying propaganda abroad became undermined for some years in favour of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. By the end of November 1939, in spite of this, Goebbels made plans to use the Centuries for propaganda abroad.
In 1940, Goebbels founded the national-socialist weekly Das Reich, for which he wrote numerous articles about internal and external matters.
In 1941/42, Goebbels organized several actions in Berlin in order to get the city judenfrei.
On February 18, 1943, in the Berlin Sportpalast, after the German defeat at Stalingrad, Goebbels called upon the German nation for a total war. Hitler and his generals did not pay that much attention to it. When on July 20, 1944, count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg failed in his attempt on Hitler, it was Goebbels who quickly took measures in order to suppress revolutions. Hitler placed in in full power for total war. From that time, Goebbels' Ministry of Propaganda had a leading role in propaganda.
On April 29, 1945, together with Martin Bormann, Hitler's secretary, Goebbels was the best man of Hitler's marriage with Eva Braun. One day later, Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide. In his testament, Hitler had appointed Goebbels to his successor. On May 1, 1945, Goebbels' wife had their six children killed, after which they themselves committed suicide.

 

Features of Goebbels' propaganda
In the fifteen years in which he was occupied with propaganda, Goebbels, according to Willi A. Boelcke, who in 1966 and 1967 published and annotated the minutes of the secret daily propaganda conferences in the Ministry of Propaganda in the period 1939-1943, unchained the violent sides of it and made them work in a way which was more horrible and terrifying than ever before. Goebbels' propaganda drenched Germany and reached far beyond her borders. Goebbels' propaganda showed the world its tremendous, destructing and suggestive powers.[4] 
Already in 1933, Goebbels argued that propaganda should be creative, a matter of productive imagination and that a true propagandist was like a true artist. The propaganda had to ensure the government of the support of her people.
Goebbels abhorred the people; for him, the people were formed a way by which he could reach his aims. [5]
According to Boelcke, Goebbels' propaganda methods had a couple of features:
[6] 

Simplification 
The art to present in the people's language the most primitive arguments; only the language of the people had the power to draw permission from the masses.

Continuous repeat
The incessant hammering in of theses, slogans and solutions until the most stupid people would understand. If lies were used (these lies had to be as credible as possible), they too were repeated continuously.

Taking advantage of emotions and avoiding rationalism
Propaganda has to take advantage of the instinctive and emotional which lives among a people, her feelings and desires. In no way, it should be attempted to gain intellectuals by means of rational arguments.

Manipulation of facts
Facts are presented with a semblance of objectivity. However, these facts are tendentious, coloured by choice and way of presenting. Unwelcome facts are ignored systematically.

 

Goebbels' mentality; his attitude towards the Centuries

Mysterien von Sonne und Seele
Mysterien von Sonne und Seele

The stories about the roots of national-socialism in occult ideas and traditions and the influence of occultists on prominent national-socialists are countless. Most of these stories are legends, in which facts are subordinated to suppositions, such as the story by Boris von Borresholm and Karena Niehoff about the way Goebbels became in touch with the Centuries.[7]
According to some biographies about Goebbels, he turned his back upon religion (he was raised as a Roman-Catholic) and became an atheist and a rationalist with dreams and desires, such as the dream about Großdeutschland. Boelcke noticed that there were contradictions in Goebbels' character such as paying his contribution to the Church despite his efforts to destroy religion and the rejection of capitalist plutocracy while he himself wanted to live like a millionaire.[8]
According to dr. Hans-Hermann Kritzinger, the author of the national-socialist brochure Der Seher von Salon (Berlin, 1941 [1940]), it was Magda Goebbels who, shortly after the German invasion in September 1939 in Poland, drew her husband's attention to correspondences with Kritzinger's discussion in Mysterien von Sonne und Seele - Psychische Studien zur Klärung der okkulten Probleme (Berlin, 1922 [1921]) of quatrain 03-57, who quoted Carl Loog's comment upon this quatrain in Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus (Pfullingen in Württemberg, 1921 [1920]).[9]
Not one biography on Goebbels or his wife show that one of them or both were interested in occultism in general or notably the Centuries.
From a number of notes in the Goebbels diaries it can be derived that first he considered the Centuries to have predictional value, but soon he only used them from a propagandistic point of view in terms of taking advantage of superstition. In connection with the reading on November 21, 1939, of one or more Century-comments in which a crisis in 1939 for England was predicted, he wrote in his diary that in these days the Centuries were quite interesting for Germany and that he hoped that the bold comments would be correct, which would mean that England had nothing to laugh about. On November 22, 1939, he told Hitler that the Centuries, given the circumstances, were most astonishing. Hitler told that when he was young, a gipsy woman wanted to read his hand and then suddenly shrinked back, frightened. He thought that looking into the future was not something that was impossible, but considered it important that someone was ready to act when the circumstances asked him to. From that day on, Goebbels only wrote about the use of the Centuries for psychological warfare. On November 23, 1939, he had a conversation with Hans-Wolfgang Herwarth von Bittenfeld, a retired lieutenant-colonel who worked as an extraordinary chief of the Auslandspresse section in the Ministry of Propaganda. In that conversation, he ordered Herwarth von Bittenfeld to look at Nostradamus. In connection with this conversation, Goebbels noted in his diary that the world was filled with superstition, of which advantage should be taken in order to trip the adversary.[10]
 It is not clear if Goebbels or Hitler got the idea to use the Centuries for psychological warfare.
Goebbels considered the Centuries to be valuable because they could be explained in many ways, as Martin Henry Sommerfeldt wrote, spokesman of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht and in that quality attending the secret daily propaganda conferences in the Ministry of Propaganda; they could be applied in a range of situations and could provoke rumours. According to Sommerfeldt, Goebbels said in a secret daily propaganda conference that the use of the Centuries for propagandistic purposes was a trick which could be used many times.[11] In the secret daily propaganda conference of July 22, 1940 for example, Goebbels said about the way in which Nostradamuspropaganda had to be carried out against England, that this had to be carried out preferably by radio and that first it should be explained what Nostradamus predicted correctly about past events, followed by those predictions which announced a destruction in 1940 of London.[12] 
Goebbels wanted to exploit as much as possible the supposed propagandistic value of the Centuries. In a conversation with Kritzinger on December 4, 1939 - the day on which Herwarth von Bittenfeld handed over the first draft of his Nostradamusbrochure - Goebbels ordered Kritzinger, as is supposed in the substudy "World War II", to look for a Nostradamus-expert who could study the Centuries from a propagandistic perspective. First, Kritzinger invited Carl Loog, who in Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus (Pfullingen in Württemberg, 1921 [1920]) linked the end of the time span of quatrain 03-57 to the year 1939 and who had written that in 1939, severe crises would occur in England and Poland, a comment which in 1939 was explained as the fulfillment of Nostradamus' prediction that the German army in September 1939 would invade Poland, which would mark the beginning of the downfall of England. Loog, an adversary of the use of the Centuries for political purposes, told Kritzinger he did not want to do such a job. Eventually, Kritzinger proposed to ask the Swiss astrologer/statistician Karl Ernst Krafft, at that time working at Amt VII - B1 of theReichssicherheitshauptamt as author of "columns", a mixture of economic and political comments and speculations, from time to time based upon planetary cycles. In January 1940, Krafft started to study the Centuries from a propagandistic point of view but he continued to work at Amt VII - B1 and was not transferred to the Ministry of Propaganda.[13]
In connection with January 8, 1940, Goebbels wrote in his diary that a group of experts was founded, which had to supply the necessary nostradamic materials. This date more or less coincides with the date on which Krafft began to study the Centuries in Amt VII-1B of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt.  
It looks as if Goebbels did not have high expectations about the propagandistic impact of his Nostradamuscampaigns. In an entry, connected with January 15, 1940, he wrote that in cooperation with with the Secret Service, nostradamic propaganda material was about to be smuggled into France and the neutral countries. This might help the cause to some extent.[14] 
According to an entry in his diary in connection with May 26, 1940, Goebbels was very satisfied when as a result of his Nostradamuscampaigns, people in France, referred to as the "Sixth Column", asked the French government to end the hopeless war against Germany.[15] In July 1940, he was satisfied when he could conclude that everywhere his Nostradamusbrochures turned out to be sensational.[16] Perhaps it was as a result of these successes that later in the war, in 1942, Goebbels considered to use "Nostradamus" once again in the propaganda, based upon occult material, and that in July 1944 he ordered to write a Nostradamusbrochure, meant for England.[17] In those days, he considered it not well-timed to force up the German morale by means of a Nostradamusbrochure, although he realized himself that a number of predictions in the Centuries could be applied to the circumstances in Germany.[18]

 

Goebbels' position in the winter of 1939/40

Magda Goebbels
Magda Goebbels

Lída Baarová
Lída Baarová

Entries in the Goebbels' diaries and the minutes of the secret daily propaganda conferences show that on November 22, 1939, Goebbels started to make plans to use the Centuries for propaganda. In the preceding months, his position as a minister got quite weakened and he almost had to resign. Further, a restraint was put on the activities of the Ministry of Propaganda.
Goebbels' love-affair in 1938 with the Czechoslovakian actress Lída Baarová reached the proportions of a state affair. Magda Goebbels turned to Hitler with the request that he would dissolve her marriage with Goebbels. Hitler however refused, and Goebbels fell out of favour. Reynhard Heydrich, head of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, and Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS and one of the leaders of the NSDAP, people with who Goebbels already had strained relations, were waiting for his fall. He also got in conflict with Joachim von Ribbentrop, the German Secretary of State, about the question which ministry was allowed to carry on propaganda abroad. Von Ribbentrop urged Hitler to solve the matter. On September 8, 1939, Hitler issued a decision (Führer-Erlass) which meant that it was up to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to carry on propaganda abroad. In these days, the position of the Ministry of Propaganda was further weakened by the fact that due to the state of war it was not up to the Ministry of Propaganda to gather news, the ministry became dependant of what was gathered and communicated in military circuits.
On the other hand, the relation between Hitler and Goebbels slowly improved from November 1939. In the winter of 1939/40, Hitler gave Goebbels full power to organize the complete flyer-campaign, directed against France.[19] In the secret daily propaganda conference of November 3, 1939, Goebbels said that Hitler had proposed to spread the Protocols of the Elder of Zion in France by means of flyers. This was a propagandistic writing in which a secret Jewish government was accused of trying to seize world power.[20] In the secret daily propaganda conference of November 22, 1939, Goebbels ordered Leopold Gutterer, head in the Ministry of Propaganda of the Propaganda section, to make some proposals to incorporate "Nostradamus" in flyers, directed against France. Two days later, in the conference of November 25, 1939, Gutterer was urged to produce such a Nostradamus-flyer as soon as possible.[21] Herwarth von Bittenfeld, who on November 23, 1939, was ordered by Goebbels to study Nostradamus, had to point his arrows on England. About Herwarth von Bittenfeld, Goebbels wrote in his diary that he hated England like no-one else; in the Century-comments which Goebbels read in the days before, the fall of England was announced.[22] 
From winter 1939/40 on, Goebbels strained after getting back the fields he had lost to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
[23] Considering Hitler's decision on September 8, 1939, that propaganda abroad was something for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Goebbels exceeded his powers by ordering Herwarth von Bittenfeld to write a brochure which was meant to be spread in the neutral countries, also because in spring 1940 he used his own contacts to have the translations of these brochures spread. Echoes of this all sound in an entry in the Goebbels' diaries, made on July 12, 1940, in which he wrote that all abroad, his Nostradamusbrochure turned out to be sensational and that almost no-one knew that it originated from the Ministry of Propaganda; even the Ministry of Foreign Affairs groped in the dark.[24]  
Another event, related to this conflict of competency, occurred at the end of May 1940. On May 6, 1940, dr. Werner Wilmanns, head of the Information IV section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, invited Krafft for a conversation in order to see if he could write a propagandistic Nostradamusbrochure. A letter of Wilmanns, dated on May 27, 1940, to dr. Rahn, deputy chief of the Information section, showed that Krafft complained about the fact that Kritzinger, who according to Krafft was ordered by one dr. Seifert, working in the Ministry of Propaganda, to write a Nostradamusbrochure, tried to filch material from him. In his letter to Rahn, Wilmanns suggested to let this matter rest, since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was qualified to carry on propaganda abroad and since Wilmanns had no doubt about Krafft's qualities as a Century-scholar.
[25] Apparently, Wilmanns thought that the attempt of the Ministry of Propaganda to produce and spread a Nostradamusbrochure was doomed to fail and that he considered it not worthwhile to make the Ministry of Propaganda clear that they were not supposed to carry on these kind of activities.

 

The Ministry of Propaganda versus the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Boelcke noticed that in the course of the war, the Ministry of Propaganda became more and more decisive, whereas the Ministry of Foreign Affairs became less and less decisive. [26] To some extent, comparison between the German source text of Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s. and the production and spread of its translations with those of a similar project of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seems to illustrate this observation. In this paragraph, the Nostradamusbrochures which were part of the propaganda series Informations-Schriften, produced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are also discussed.

The Ministry of Propaganda: the brochure by Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s.

What will happen in the near future?

Die Kriegspropaganda 1914-18 und heute

What will happen in the near future?
H.-W. Herwarth von Bittenfeld
1940 (1939)

Die deutsche Kriegspropaganda
H.-W. Herwarth von Bittenfeld
1941

Op November 29, 1939, Goebbels ordered Herwarth von Bittenfeld to write a Nostradamusbrochure. The German army had finished their campaign in Poland; there were no fights on the European continent. In World War I, Herwarth von Bittenfeld did pioneer work in the propaganda field, something for which in 1941 an dr. h.c. degree was granted to him at the Münster university. At the time of the German invasion in Poland, Herwarth von Bittenfeld started to work for the Ministry of Propaganda, which he considered to be the embodiment of his ideas about propaganda in 1914/18. In the Ministry of Propaganda, he was extraordinary chief of the Auslandspresse section.
On December 4, 1939, eleven days after the order, Herwarth von Bittenfeld had completed the first draft of this brochure. Goebbels was quite enthusiastic about it. During the writing of the final version, Herwarth von Bittenfeld was assisted by prof. dr. Karl Bömer, head in the Ministry of Propaganda of the Auslandspresse section, and Gutterer. In the secret daily propaganda conference of December 13, 1939, 20 days after his order to Herwarth von Bittenfeld, Goebbels told that the final text of the brochure was finished. An entry in the Goebbels' diaries in connecting with February 23, 1940, seems to show that one or more translations were finished and that abroad, printers and publishers had to be found.
[27] Ths was the responsibility of dr. Ernst Brauweiler, head in the Ministry of Propaganda of the Ausland section. In connection with March 11, 1940, Goebbels wrote in his diary that Brauweiler not yet had taken initiatives, and that it now would be tried to look for printers and publishers in Sweden.[28] In the secret daily propaganda conference of March 27, 1940, four months and four days after Goebbels' order to Herwarth von Bittenfeld, it was said that from that day on, the translations of the brochure by Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s. could be published in the "neutral countries". In the minutes of the secret daily propaganda conference of April 24, 1940, it was written that the brochure was published in two countries (according to entries in the Goebbels' diaries in connection with April 24, 1940, these countries were Switzerland and the Netherlands) and that there would be taken care of further spread in a.o. Denmark. However, there are no hints that a Danish translation has taken place. Most probably, the English version was brought into circulation after Italy's participation in the war in July 1940, given the allusions in this version on the fact that Italy participated. A report of Brauweiler about the activities of the Ausland section in the period January-August 1940 shows that the total number of copies of all translations of the text by Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s. was 83.000. There were eight translated versions: A Croatian, Dutch, English, French, Italian, Rumanian, Serb and Swedish version. [29] 
In his speech Die deutsche Kriegspropaganda 1914-18 und heute im Spiegel eigenen Erlebens, held on the occasion of his dr. h.c. degree in philosophy at the Münster university on his birthday on May 23, 1941, Herwarth von Bittenfeld explained another aspect of the propaganda, carried on by the Ministry of Propaganda. In contrast with World War I, he said, propaganda was not carried on while following the army, but ahead of it in order to prepare the way so that the army would be able to give the final blow.
[30] This was exactly the fortune of the Dutch and French versions of his Nostradamusbrochure. Shortly before the Westfeldzug on May 10, 1940, they were brought into circulation in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Entries in the Goebbels diaries, the minutes of the secret daily propaganda conference of May 26, 1940 and propagandistic articles, written in 1940 by dr. Theodor Fr. Böttiger and dr. E. Noelle, showed its demoralizing impact in France.[31]
Considering all this, it can be concluded that these brochures were brought into circulation in the time in which this was meant and that their impact was according to the expectations.
About the text, written by Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s., it can be noted that it was a series of fragments of three German non-national-socialist Century-comments, one French Century-comment and Kritzinger's Mysterien von Sonne und Seele. In the fragments, taken from the French Century-comment, written by dr. De Fontbrune, England's decline was announced, be it in another context and another era than presented by Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s., who presented these fragments as well as the fragments, taken from the German Century-comments, in the light of the gigantic struggle between England and Germany, a struggle which end more or less was predicted by Nostradamus. In contrast with Krafft, whose brochure will be discussed in the next paragraph, they did not re-interpret quatrains, neither did they pervert them.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs: the brochure by Krafft

Comment Nostradamus a-t-il entrevu... (1941 [1940])
Comment Nostradamus 
a-t-il entrevu l'avenir de l'Europe?
K.E. Krafft, 1941 (1940)

In the beginning af May 1940, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted the Swiss astrologer/statistician Karl Ernst Krafft, working as a translator at the Deutsche Nachrichtenbüro in Berlin, to see if he could write the text of a Nostradamusbrochure with which the people in neutral countries and countries, hostile to Germany, could be influenced. In April 1940, the Reichssicherheitshauptamt heavily had censored a brochure which Krafft was writing at their order and publication was delayed for a long time. In the brochure which Krafft could write for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he could incorporate material from the brochure he wrote for the Reichssicherheitshauptamt.  
On May 27, 1940, the conversations between Krafft and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs resulted in an agreement. On May 28, 1940, the day on which Belgium capitulated, Krafft started to write his brochure. In France, the campaigns were still in full swing. Dr. Werner Wilmanns, his client, head of the Information IV section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expected that it would take about one week for Krafft to write the text. It turned out to be one month; apparently because Krafft and/or Wilmanns awaited the developments in France. Krafft translated a number of quatrains from a propagandistic point of view and came to interpretations from which he concluded, given his own convictions, that Nostradamus had predicted the course of the war. Between June 22, 1940, the date on which France and Germany signed the armistice in Compiègne, and the end of June 1940, i.e. one month after the order, the first draft of Krafft's brochure, entitled Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas, was finished. For comparison: it took Herwarth von Bittenfeld eleven days to finish his first draft. 
The first draft of Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas was submitted to professor Friedrich Berber, who was in charge of the Information section of the German ministry of Foreign Affairs. On July 23,1940, almost two months after Krafft was ordered to write his brochure, Berber came with additional suggestions. Krafft did not incorporate them. According to Krafft's widow, heavy discussions between Krafft and Wilmanns took place prior to the completion of the final version. Her information turned out not to be reliable, for example: she dated the contacts between Krafft and Wilmanns in autumn 1940, while they dated from May 1940. Whatever this might be, on August 20, 1940, the final version was ready to be translated, almost three months after Krafft being ordered to write. For comparison: within three weeks after the order to write a Nostradamusbrochure, the final version of the text, written by Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s., was ready for translation.
Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas was translated into Danish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Rumanian and Spanish; Krafft himself made a French translation, which he finished in late autumn 1940, about five months after his order. The total number of circulation of the translations is unknown. The Reichskommissariat für die besetzten niederländische Gebiete considered a Dutch translation as superfluous because the brochure Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen? was already circulating in the Netherlands, reasons for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to try to find out from what authority this brochure originated. However, the occupying authorities in France and Rumania had no such objections, although a French and a Rumanian version of the text, written by Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s., circulated in these countries also. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs considered a Flemish translation, but as far as known, such a translation was never published. The German source text has been edited for the purpose of release in Switzerland, but as far as known, no such release happened.
All translations of Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas were published in 1941; Krafft's French translation was printed in April 1941, almost one year after the order. For comparison: about four months went by from the order to Herwarth von Bittenfeld and the publication of the translations of his brochure. 
In retrospect, the delay of about one year must have had a negative impact on the propagandistic power of the translations of Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas. In the summer of 1940, Krafft presented the war as a war, which would reach her final phase at the western front in terms of a German victory over England. The circumstances in 1941 were quite different. The German battle against England was at a low ebb and in June 1941, a two-front war began because of the invasion of the German army in the Soviet-Union, something to which Krafft had made not even the slightest allusion. The contents of the translations of Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas did not match with the phase of the war in which they were published.
[32] 
In the case of these Nostradamusbrochures, the differences between the Ministry of Propaganda and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seem to be caused by the length of the communication lines, discussions about the contents and perhaps also because Goebbels clearly set terms for finishing etc., watched closely how things proceeded and took measures when necessary. The final result was that the brochure, made by the Ministry of Propaganda, was published at the appropriate moment and therefore was a bull's eye, whereas the brochure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was published far too late and therefore, and probably also because of the course of the war, was outdated at the time it was published.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Nostradamusbrochures in the series Informations-Schriften
On July 23, 1940, professor Friedrich Berber, head of the Deutschen Institut für Außenpolitische Forschung, who checked the contents of the first draft of Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas, wrote to dr. Rahn, deputy chief of the Information section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that the Deutsche Informationsstelle, a section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, would produce a small Nostradamusbrochure in the propaganda series Informations-Schriften, which notably was spread among war prisoners in German camps. In this brochure, entitled Die Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus, material was copied from Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas and Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?. The German and French versions of this brochure were published in 1940 and were quite actual, given the fact that the most recent event, discussed in this brochure, was the capitulation of Paris on June 14, 1940. The Dutch version was published in 1941. The brochure Der Seher von Salon, written by Kritzinger, which contents also can be traced back to the summer of 1940, was also published in 1941.[33]

 

Means of campaign of the Ministry of Propaganda
The means with which the Ministry of Propaganda carried on Nostradamuscampaigns, are discussed in the Goebbels' diaries, the minutes of the secret daily propaganda conferences and in literature which contains descriptions of Nostradamuscampaigns by the Ministry of Propaganda.

Brochures
Frequently, the Goebbels' diaries and the minutes of the secret daily propaganda conferences contain references to a "Nostradamusbrochure". In the substudy "World War II", it is supposed that these references deal with the text which Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s. wrote in November-December 1939 by order of Goebbels and their translations, published from the end of March 1940.
The brochure Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... (A. de Tombre, Arnhem, NL, 1941) is the Dutch translation of a national-socialist text, written and/or finished between June 1941 and December 1941 by dr. pphil. Alexander Max Centgraf, who after the war wrote Century-comments, using the pseudonym dr. N. Alexander Centurio, and incorporated material which he wrote during the war. Probably, Centgraf wrote this text for anticommunist propaganda campaigns of the Antikomintern, following the invasion on June 22, 1941, of the German army in the Soviet-Union. The Antikomintern was founded in 1933 by dr. Eberhart Taubert, working at the Ministry of Propaganda, and the Ministry of Propaganda supported it in many ways. Due to the non-agression pact in August 1939 between Germany and the Soviet-Union, known as the Molotov - Von Ribbentrop pact, the activities of the Antikomintern were put to an end, until the German invasion in the Soviet-Union. It is not known whether or not Centgraf's text has been translated in other languages than only Dutch.[34]
Notes by Sommerfeldt, dealing with a secret daily propaganda conference in most likely mid-December f1939, show that a text circulated in the Ministry of Propaganda, which contained at least 33 quatrains, named Zenturien.[35] It is not known if this text ever has been published.
In connection with July 25, 1944, Goebbels wrote in his diary that a new Nostradamusbrochure was written, meant for England.[36] Perhaps this is the brochure Nostradamus and England, to which Centgraf has referred in the 1960-edition of Nostradamus - Der Prophet der Weltgeschichte.[37]

Chain letters
According to the Sommerfeldt notes, Goebbels proposed to spread propaganda, based upon a certain quatrain, by means of a handwritten or typewritten chain letter.[38]
In connection with December 13, 1939, Goebbels wrote in his diary that Taubert brilliantly made some chain letters, based upon "Nostradamus".[39]

Flyers
In the secret daily propaganda conference of November 22, 1939, Gutterer was ordered to make proposals about a Nostradamusflyer, directed against France. On November 25, 1939, he was urged to do this as quickly as possible.[40] It is not known what this flyer looked like and if it ever was brought into circulation.

Radio
According to the Sommerfeldt notes, Goebbels proposed to broadcast propaganda, based upon a certain quatrain, in France.[41] An entry in the Goebbels' diaries regarding May 25, 1940, and the minutes of the secret daily propaganda conference of May 26, 1940, show that in those days propagandistic broadcastings took place in France, which contained propaganda, based upon Nostradamus.[42] 
Broadcastings in England which contained propaganda, based upon Nostradamus, which was directed against England, are discussed in a.o. the secret daily propaganda conferences of July 22, 1940 and September 10, 1940.[43] 

 

Facts and fiction about Goebbels, Krafft and the Ministry of Propaganda

Karl Ernst Krafft (Zürich, ca. 1932)
Karl Ernst Krafft
Zürich, ca. 1932

The last theme in this article is the relation between Goebbels, Krafft and the Ministry of Propaganda, a theme about which numerous contradictory stories circulate.
In my opinion, the British researcher Ellic Howe disposed of the most reliable facts regarding the involvement and activities of Krafft in Nostradamus-campaigns. Howe has interviewed two people who had known Krafft personally: prof. dr. Hans-Hermann Kritzinger, who proposed Goebbels to contact Krafft, and Georg Lucht, who assisted Krafft in the period January-April 1940, when Krafft in Amt VII - B1 of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt began with the writing of a brochure, which in autumn 1940 was added as a supplement to a photocopy of a 1568-B.Rigaud-edition of the Centuries which was brought into circulation outside the bookstores in a number of 299 copies. Lucht told Howe that Krafft never met Goebbels.
Howe's conversations with Kritzinger and Lucht, further research by Howe on the life and work of Krafft and additional research by Ulrich Maichle and the author of this article showed the following timetable:

 

 

May 1937
Krafft, living in Switzerland, marries Anna Theresia van de Koppel. A couple of months later, they move from Switzerland tu Urberg in the German Black Forest.

October 1939
Krafft begins to work at Amt VII - B1 of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt; he writes economic and political comments and speculations, from time to time based upon planetary cycles. 

November 1939
Krafft is arrested, suspected of being involved in the attempt on Hitler on November 9, 1939, in the Munich Bürgerbraukeller; one of his writings, mentioned above, contained the remark that Hitler's life would be in danger in the days between November 7 and November 10, 1939, and that an attempt by means of explosives could take place. From Freiburg, Krafft is transported to Berlin to be interrogated by the Sicherheitsdienst, who releases him because they have no evidence. 

December 1939
On the proposal of Kritzinger, Krafft is summoned to Berlin in order to find out if he could write propaganda, based upon the Centuries

January 1940
Krafft and his wife move from Urberg in the German Black Forest to Berlin; Krafft begins to study the Centuries for Amt VII - B1. 

February 1940
Because of the contents of his correspondence with Viorel Virgil Tilea, the Rumanian ambassador in London, Krafft gets in conflict with his superiors in Amt VII - B1.

March 1940
Because of the contents of his Nostradamusbrochure, Krafft gets in conflict with his superiors in Amt VII - B1; they consider his brochure too radical from a military and political point of view. 

April 1940
Krafft finds a job as a translator at the Deutsche Nachrichtenbüro.

May 1940
Krafft is approached by Wilmanns to write a Nostradamusbrochure for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It takes Krafft about one month to write the first draft. He writes this brochure in German. Later in 1940, he himself translates his text into French. By October-November 1940, this translation is finished.

End 1940
Krafft shows Lucht some drafts of brochures for the Ministry of Propaganda (on his own request, Lucht was transferred to another office in March 1940 and was no longer involved in Nostradamuscampaigns).

June 1941
Krafft is arrested during the Aktion-Heß, a raid among astrologers and occultists in Germany as a reaction to the flight on May 10, 1941, of Rudolf Heß, Hitler's deputy, to England. Until his death on January 8, 1945 in the Buchenwald concentration camp, where he arrived on November 27, 1944, Krafft spent his life in prison in various locations in Berlin.

Underneath, brief summaries are presented of a number of discussions about Goebbels, Krafft and the Ministry of Propaganda, and comparisons with the time table, published in this article. In some cases, the source of the discussions could be traced. 

 

Dr. Goebbels nach Aufzeichnung aus seiner Umgebung
Dr. Goebbels 
nach Aufzeichnung 
aus seiner Umgebung

Boris von Borresholm / Karena Niehoff (1949)
According to the scenario, presented by Boris von Borresholm and Karena Niehoff, Goebbels intervened in November-December 1939 with the result that Krafft was released by the Gestapo and brought over to his ofice. Krafft explained Goebbels that the words Duc d'Armenie in quatrain 05-94 have to be read as Duc d'Arminie, i.e. an allusion to the leader of Armin's land, in other words: Hitler. This explanation made Goebbels aware of the possibility to use the Centuries for psychological warfare. He ordered Krafft to watch Hitler's horoscope from day to day. This scenario is not maintainable, neither is the reference of Van Borresholm and Niehoff to a manuscript, entitled Einführung zu den Propheties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus, which Krafft, next to his release in 1939, showed Goebbels. Only in January 1940, Krafft, working for Amt VII - B1 of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, began to write a brochure which in late 1940 was added as a supplement to a photocopy of a 1568-B.Rigaud-edition of the Centuries, carrying the title Einführung zu den Propheties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus.
[44] 
Von Borresholm and Niehoff mentioned only one means of propaganda, flyers, spread in May 1940 over France by the Luftwaffe. According to them, the contents of quatrain 05-94 formed the basis upon which the text of these flyers was composed. Apparently, they thought that quatrain 05-94 played an important role in the propaganda. However, this quatrain was not discussed in the text of Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s.

 

Centurio 1953
Nostradamus - 
Der Prophet der Weltgeschichte

Nostradamus - prophetische Weltgeschichte
Nostradamus - 
prophetische Weltgeschichte

Dr. N. Centurio (dr. phil. Alexander Max Centgraf, DE, 1953, 1962 and 1968)
Nostradamus - Der Prophet der Weltgeschichte (Berlijn, 1953) is the first post-war Century-comment of dr. N. Centurio, the pseudonym of the former national-socialist dr. phil. Alexander Max Centgraf. He discussed all quatrains, also those of the eleventh and the twelfth Century, and the Présages
On the pages 127-129, Centgraf commented quatrain 05-94, which he linked to 1940 and 1945, and discussed various matters which in his eyes were connected to this quatrain. He wrote a.o. that the well-known German astrologer and Nostradamus-scholar Krafft has shattered on this quatrain in every sense. Krafft interpreted the words Duc d'Armenie in the third line as an allusion to Stalin and told this to Goebbels (the year in which he talked to Goebbels, is not mentioned) in order to warn Germany's political leaders. With his persuasive powers, Goebbels managed to convince Krafft that these words pointed to Hitler. According to Goebbels, it was out of the question that in case of a German defeat, Stalin would be able to march to Cologne, an idea which Krafft considered to be plausible. Tragically, Krafft retired from working as a statistician and started to work for the national-socialist propaganda authorities. However, being a Swiss citizen, Krafft let not bring himself into line with national-socialism. Therefore, it was not astonishing that he found his end in a concentration camp.
[45] 
On June 28, 1962, Centgraf wrote a letter to Howe, in English, in which he told that he visited Krafft and Goerner, a prison mate, in the Lützowstraße in Berlin, where they were detained, and at the beginning of February 1943 had a conversation with one mr. Hirsch, his warder. Centgraf wanted to talk to the Gestapo about Krafft, but the Gestapo never gave him the occasion.
[46]
In Nostradamus - prophetische Weltgeschichte, published in 1968, Centgraf commented a large number of quatrains, using the pseudonym Dr. N. Alexander Centurio. In the comment upon quatrain 05-94, he wrote that in 1938, Krafft went to Goebbels on his own initiative. Goebbels wanted to turn fortune in favour of Germany. Therefore, he persuaded Krafft to replace the words grand duc d'Armenie by the words grand duc d'Arminie, which could be explained as an allusion to Arminius, a German tribe leader from earlier ages, and thus could be linked to Hitler instead of to Stalin. Krafft agreed, was appointed at the Ministry of Propaganda and became an astrological advisor of Hitler. Being a Swiss citizen, Krafft never came into line with national-socialism, but tried to thwart Hitler's plans by means of erroneous or deliberately vague predictions. Together with his student Görner, he was arrested in 1944 by the Gestapo, suspected of sabotage. Centgraf did not manage to get Krafft released. On a certain moment, Krafft was deported from Berlin and executed in a concentration camp.
[47] 
Three diverging scenario's, written by someone who during the war wrote national-socialist propaganda, based upon the Centuries and/or Century-comments, material which he included in post-war publications and from which he never dissociated himself in public. From the brochure Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn..., it can be derived that in World War II, Centgraf had a copy of the photocopy of the 1568-B.Rigaud-edition of the Centuries to which Krafft's Einführung... was added. It is not clear if Centgraf has known Krafft personally. It can not be verified if he really tried to get him released. In Nostradamus - Prophetische Weltgeschichte, Centgraf wrote about a copy of an edition of the Centuries which he saw in 1939, in which notes were written in the margin of a quatrains which might apply to Hitler and which was returned by the Reichskanzlei. According to Centgraf, this copy was missing, but actually, this copy is still part of the Berlin collection and does not contain the margin notes which Centgraf described. In other words: verification shows that this story is not true.
[48] Centgraf's scenario's about Krafft cannot be maintained. In 1938, Krafft's profession was not a statistician, he did not meet Goebbels, was not appointed in the Ministry of Propaganda and did not become Hitler's astrological advisor. He was not arrested in 1944 for being suspected of sabotage, but in 1941, due to the Aktion-Hess. As far as know, he died in Buchenwald because of exhaustion and was not executed.

 

Nostradamus - ein Leben...
Nostradamus - 
ein Leben in der bedeutendsten 
Zeitwende des Abendlandes...

Karl Drude (DE, 1963, 1969)
The German Karl Drude elaborated the findings of Carl Loog, who in Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus (Pfullingen in Württemberg, 1921 [1920]) linked the end of the time span of quatrain 03-57 to the year 1939 and expected that in that year, a crisis in England and a crisis in Poland would occur, an expectation which one year later would be discussed in Kritzinger's Mysterien von Sonne und Seeie.
Drude's information in Nostradamus - ein Leben in der bedeutendsten Zeitwende des Abendlandes und seine Auferstehung (München, 1963) is reprised in the re-edition of the 1668-J.Ribou-edition of the Centuries.
According to Drude, the register of Nostradamus-publications of the Munich State Library contains a note that Hitler, who according to Drude was a member of the secret, occult Thule-society, by means of an agent borrowed a Nostradamus-publication but did not return it.
According to Drude, Krafft had written in 1939 in a letter that Hitler's life would be in danger on November 8-9 1939. Goebbels stored this letter somewhere in his writing-desk. After the attempt on Hitler, Goebbels looked for Krafft's letter and summoned him. Drude wrote that in contrast to Loog, Krafft never fathomed the mystery of the Centuries
According to Drude, Krafft concluded by February 1940 that a German invasion in Belgium and the Netherlands was at hand and that the Führer would begin a great campaign all over Europe. This remark should be part of Krafft's Einführung..., but the Gestapo stopped its publication. It was only in autumn 1940 that the Einführung... was published as a supplement to the photocopy of the 1568-Lyon-edition of the Centuries. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Propaganda stopped the initiative to produce a flyer, direct against France, in order not to lay Germany's cards on the table.
Basing himself upon "dynograms", Krafft made striking prognoses about the course of the war. Repeatedly, he warned Hitler for a decline, a long-lasting war and a turning-point and he advised him to make peace quickly. He wrote some friends in Switzerland that he no longer believed that the end of the war would be favourable for Germany. This was the reason that he was imprisoned in a concentration camp.
[49] 
According to Drude's scenario, Krafft was summoned in 1939 by Goebbels instead of being arrested by the Gestapo and interrogated in Berlin by the Sicherheitsdienst. This does not corerspond with the timetable. Drude did not give specific data about Krafft's letter to his friends in Switzerland and it must be noted that Krafft was arrested due to the Aktion-Heß.

 

Tierkreis und Hakenkreuz
Tierkreis und Hakenkreuz

Zodiac and Swastika
Zodiac and Swastika

Wilhelm Wulff (DE, 1968)
In 1968, Bertelsmann Gütersloh publishers in Munich published Tierkreis und Hakenkreuz - als Astrologe am Himmlers Hof, written by the astrologer Wilhelm Theodor Heinrich Wullf, who at the age of 91 died on June 8, 1984.[50] Wulff was arrested during the Aktion-Heß in June 1941. After some months, he was released under the condition that he in his quality of an astrologer would work for leaders of the SS
In the introduction to Tierkreis und Hakenkreuz, Wulff wrote that it stroke him that the national-socialist regime on the one hand persecuted astrologers and killed them, whereas on the other hand they employed them for their own purposes. He considered Krafft as a tragic example; Wulff had tried in vain to get Krafft released after his arrest in 1941.
Wulff's information about Krafft in the period October 1937 - January 1940 corresponds quite well with the timetable, except for the fact that Krafft, according to Wulff, started to work for the Ministry of Propaganda in January 1940, whereas according to the timetable he remained in Amt VII B1 of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt
In chapter 7, Wulff wrote that the Nostradamuscampaigns of the Ministry of Propaganda were carried on between the end of 1939 and autumn 1940, and mainly consisted of 16-page brochures which contained predictions of Nostradamus, selected by Krafft and edited by ardent clercs in the Ministry of Propaganda in terms of the decline of the British Empire and the inevitable, total victory of Germany. According to Wulff, prominent British, Spanish and Swedish newspapers described the tendentious character of these brochures. In this article, the backgrounds of the Nostradamusbrochure are described, published in eight languages in the period March - July 1940 by the Ministry of Propaganda. No part of this brochure can be traced back to Krafft's writings and in fact, he even was not able to contribute, since at that time he did not work for the Ministry of Propaganda.
Chances are that Wulff meant the translations of Die Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus, volume 18 in the series Informations-Schriften. This brochure consisted of 16 pages. The series Informations-Schriften has been translated in a.o. English, Spanish and Swedish. Die Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus contains material of Krafft's typescript Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas, but this typescript was written by order of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, not by order of the Ministry of Propaganda.[51]  
Wulff has written nothing about chain letters, flyers or broadcasts.

 

The mask of Nostradamus
The mask of Nostradamus

James Randi (US, 1990)
Krafft was a Swiss citizen. With some minor intervals, he spent most of his life in Switzerland. A couple of months after his marriage in 1937 with Anna Theresia van de Kopopel, he and his wife moved from Switzerland to Urberg in the German Black Forest. This refutes James Randi's scenario that Krafft, invited by the nazi's, moved to Germany in 1935 and was enthousiastically endorsed by the Ministry of Propaganda. The rest of Randi's scenario (a.o. that Krafft worked for Amt VI, the counterespionage section of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, fierce anti-Semitic speeches of Krafft in the years after 1935, an intervention of Rudolf Heß, Hitler's deputy, resulting in Krafft's release by the Gestapo in November-December 1939, Krafft becoming Heß' personal astrologer), is not maintanable.
Randi's remark that texts by Krafft are translated into Dutch, English, French, Italian, Rumanian and Swedish is not correct. Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas is translated into Danish, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Rumanian.[52] Chances are that Randi meant translations of the brochure, written by Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s, which in fact was translated into Croatian, Dutch, English, French, Italian, Rumanian, Serb and Swedish. Krafft had nothing to do with the German source text or these translations.
Randi wrote nothing about the campaign means, used by the Ministry of Propaganda.
In Het raadsel Nostradamus - zijn leven, werken en voorspellingen (Rijswijk, 1996), the Dutch author Marten Hofstede took over Randi's scenario, including the remark that Goebbels ordered one lieutenant-colonel Von Herwarth to make a new German translation of the Centuries.[53] This remark is a literal translation of an entry in the Goebbels' diaries in connection with December 4, 1939: hat den Nostradamus neu übersetzt. On this website, it is supposed that Goebbels meant that on December 4, 1939, Herwarth von Bittenfeld, sometimes named Von Herwarth, handed over the first draft of his Nostradamusbrochure to Goebbels.

 

Michel Chomarat (1997)
In 1997, the French bibliographer and Century-scholar Michel Chomarat held an exposition in the municipal library in Lyon. The theme: interpretations of the Prophecies of Nostradamus in the course of the centuries, at the occasion of the coming year 1999 (cf. quatrain 10-72) and the transition to the third millennium in the Christian era. A French website was made about this exposition, entitled Prophéties pour temps de crise. Regarding the fortune of the Centuries in World War II, Chomarat discussed a fragment from the memoirs of Walter Schellenberg, who from 1942 was in charge of Amt VI (counterespionage) of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, and who in May 1940 had produced Nostradamusflyers and strew them over France with quite a sensational impact. Shortly after, according to Chomarat, Goebbels in person went to the Munich National Library to "borrow" the Lyonese 1557-edition of the Prophecies in order to enable Karl Ernst Krafft, a Swiss astrologer who worked for the Nazi's, to announce after interpreting them that the Third Reich would exist for a thousand years. Krafft's Comment Nostradamus a-t-il entrevu l'avenir de l'Europe? was published in Brussels in February 1941 and next translated into many languagues. Being pressed hard by the German defeats, Krafft quickly produced false prophecies which in the occupied countries had to be used as a kind of psychological weapon. As Germany's military position got worse by the day, Goebbels was quite unimpressed by the impact of this propaganda, given the fact that Krafft, tragically, found his end on January 8, 1945, in the Buchenwald concentration camp.
[54]
According to Chomarat, Comment Nostradamus a-t-il entrevu... was the source text of following translations. This is not correct. Like the Danish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Rumanian and Spanish translation, Comment Nostradamus a-t-il entrevu... is translated from the German. The remark that this brochure was published in February 1941 does not correspond with the remark at the end of this brochure that its printing was achieved on April 18, 1941. Moreover, this brochure was not produced by order of the Ministry of Propaganda, but by order of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
 
The suggestion that Krafft by order of the Ministry of Propaganda produced false quatrains, lacks a source. In Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas and the Einführung..., Krafft did not manipulate the original French texts. He translated these texts in a tendentious way, lead by his (propagandistic) interpretations.
It is not likely that Goebbels borrowed a copy of a 1557-Lyon-edition of the Centuries from the Munich National Library in order to enable Krafft to study. This edition contains the Preface to Cesar and the first seven Centuries, not the Epistle to Henry II or the eighth, ninth and tenth Century. In Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas, Krafft's message that Nostradamus predicted the beginning of the war and the German invasion in France on May 10, 1940, was based upon fragments of the Epistle to Henry II and quatrains from the Centuries 09 and 10.
[55]  
The source material which is at my disposal, does not confirm the suggestion that Goebbels in one way or another was involved Krafft getting imprisoned in a concentration camp.

 

Nostradamus De grootste ziener aller tijden
Nostradamus 
De grootste ziener aller tijden

Jan Vandervoort (NL, 1998)
In Nostradamus De grootste ziener aller tijden, a linguistic revised version of the Dutch translation of the Centuries, made in 1941 by mr. dr. H. Houwens Post under the pseudonym mr. dr. W.L. Vreede, Jan vandervoort discussed on the pages 39-41 the use of the Centuries for propaganda. Many of the facts and events he discussed, can be traced back to The Nostradamus Encyclopedia (Peter Lemesurier, New York, 1997).
According to Vandervoort, Goebbels' wife was especially interested in quatrain 04-68, because of the fact that this quatrain contained the word Hister. Goebbels would have abused this quatrain by stating that the word Hister meant Hitler. This can be contested. First, the link of the word Hister to Hitler as a person was not a German finding but the finding of the Englishman James Laver, published in his Nostradamus or the future foretold (London, 1942). In 1943, this link has been used in the propagandistic British brochure Nostradamus prophezeit den Kriegsverlauf. The French century-scholar De Fontbrune linked the Hister-quatrains (the quatrains 02-24, 04-68 and 05-29) to Germany, with the motivation that the Danube, its ancient name Ister, streamed through Germany.[56] Second, neither Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s. nor Centgraf discussed these quatrains in their propagandistic texts. Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s. used the link by dr. Bruno Winkler in Nostradamus und seine Prophezeiungen für das zwanzigste Jahrhundert of quatrain 03-58 to the birth and rise of Hitler; Centgraf argued that the word Hadrie in the quatrains 01-08, 02-55 and 10-38 was an anagram for Adolf Hitler and Adria, the Axis-powers.
Vandervoort also wrote that in Goebbels' "propaganda machine", quatrain 09-90 was linked to admiral Dönitz, successful in his submarine-campaigns in the beginning of World War II. This can be contested, since Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s. did not discuss this quatrain at all whereas Centgraf linked this quatrain to the Italian campaign in Abessynia, supported by Germany, and the Anschluß in 1938 of Austria.

 

The Centuries as a means to influence the public opinion
Inextricably, the name of Goebbels is bound with the use of the Centuries for propaganda purposes. Goebbels however was not the first person in history who ordered to do so. As long as the Centuries exist, it has been tried in various ways to influence the public opinion by means of them.
One of the first times, perhaps the first time that it was tried to influence the public opinion by means of the Centuries, is described by the French Century-scholar Jacques Halbronn D.Litt. During and after the religious wars in France in the last decaded of the sixteenth century, in the time in which the Centuries slowly became embodied in order to result in the course of the seventeenth century in the form as we know them today, supporters of the catholic House of Lorraine and those of the protestant House of
Vendôme used the Centuries for their own benefit. Century-editions, published in this period in Paris, at that time ruled by the catholic League, .[57]
Explication des prédictions tirées des Centuries de Nostradamus sur la présente guerre de France avec la Hollande et les evenemens qui pourront suivre cette Guerre. Dédiée au Roy. Avec le Memente de la Comtesse d'Hollande, dating from 1672, is a Century-comment with a political message. In the comment, the French historian Jacques (Chevalier) de Jant, conservator of the museum of rarities of a brother of the French king Louis XIV, argued, using a number of quatrains and Sixains, that France would win the war with the Republic of the United Netherlands.[58] 
The French-Dutch pamphlet Quadrains de Nostradamus Imprimez à Aix-en-Provence 1525 - is an example of writing quatrains in the name of Nostradamus, long after his decease in 1566, in connection with circumstances in the period in which the pamphlet was spread. The contents of this - undated - pamphlet, published by I. Veli in The Hague (NL), do not date from 1525 as the titles suggest, but from 1688-'89, when stadtholder William III landed in England and was crowned. In the fourth quatrain in this pamphlet, in which the French quatrains were written according to the rhyme scheme and emphasis scheme of the Century-quatrains, Louis XIV was warned to put an end to the occupation of the principality of Orange. If not, he had to pay for it.[59]

 

De Meern, the Netherlands, December 6, 2007
T.W.M. van Berkel
updated on May 17, 2012

 

Notes
The titles, places and year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.

  1. Concerning biographical data of Joseph and Magda Goebbels, the following sources have been consulted:
    -
    Fröhlich, dr. E.: Joseph Goebbels and Magda Goebbels, in: Biographisches Lexikon zum Dritten Reich (Frankfurt am Main, 1999, p.149-153);
    - Fröhlich, dr. E.: Goebbels glaubte, was er sagte; Die Ruhr-Besetzung prägte Goebbels and Goebbels war ein Geisteskrieger;; interviews with dr. Elke Fröhlich at the occasion of 60 Jahre Kriegsende (Westdeutsche Rundfunk, March 8, 2005);
    - Zeman, Z.A.B.: De propaganda van de nazi's (Hilversum, 1966 [1964]);
    - de.wikipedia.org. [text]
  2. In Die Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts (Munich, 1899), Chamberlain (1855-1927), a German scientist from British origin, argued that western society was drenched with the influence of the "Teutonic people" (Germans, Celts, Slaves), the crème de la crème of what he called the "Aryan race". In his eyes, the Aryan race was a superior race. According to Chamberlain, the destruction of the Roman Empire by German tribes had prevented the western society from Semitic supremacy. [text]
  3. Prof. dr. Meier Schwarz and Karin Lange: Die "Kristallnacht"-Lüge. [text]
  4. Boelcke-1966, p.11. [text]
  5. Boelcke-1966, p.14-15 and p.24. [text]
  6. Boelcke-1989 (1967), p.15-16. [text]
  7. Van Berkel: Dr. Goebbels nach Aufzeichnungen aus seiner Umgebung (B. von Borresholm, K. Niehoff, Berlin, 1949). [text]
  8. Boelcke-1966, p.24-25.[text]
  9. - Howe, p.220; 
    - Van Berkel: The 1939-fortune of Mysterien von Sonne und Seele
    Within a month after the German invasion in Poland, the Ministry of Propaganda was informed about the striking way in which this event was described in quatrain 03-57. In an addition to his report of September 19, 1939 about the activities of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für wissenschaftlichen Okkultismus, her president Konrad Schuppe, Oberleutnant a.D. wrote on September 25, 1939 to the Berlin police commissioner that on that day, he had handed over the comment of Loog and Kritzinger on the decline of England, dating from 1922 (Mysterien von Sonne und Seele) to an employee of the ministry of Propaganda. Quoting the relevant parts on page 136, Schuppe emphasized that the figure 1939 was in bold printing. The employee of the ministry of Propaganda urged Schuppe to give a lecture on this for employees of the Auslandpresse and told that communications about this would be broadcasted in English language in England, given the fact that a significant part of the British people were quite superstitious (Landesarchiv Berlin, A Pr.Br. Rep. 030-04 Nr. 327). It is not noted in this file whether or not Schuppe gave the lecture. [text]
  10. - Fröhlich, p.208; 
    - Van Berkel: Was bringt das Jahr 1940? (Berlin, 1940 [1939]).
    [text]
  11. - Sommerfeldt, p.56-57; 
    - Van Berkel: Das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht gibt bekannt (M.H. Sommerfeldt, Frankfurt am Main, 1952). [text]
  12. Boelcke-1966, p.434. [text]
  13. Howe, p.231-233. [text]
  14. Fröhlich, p.272. [text]
  15. Richter, p.136. [text]
  16. Richter, p.218. [text]
  17. Maichle: Die Nostradamus-Propaganda der Nazis 1939-1942. [text]
  18. Maichle: Die Nostradamus-Propaganda der Nazis 1939-1942. [text]
  19. Boelcke-1966, p.34-35. [text]
  20. Boelcke-1966, p.217. [text]
  21. Boelcke-1966, p.230 and 232. [text]
  22. - Fröhlich, p.208; 
    - Van Berkel: Was bringt das Jahr 1940? (Berlin, 1940 [1939])
    [text]
  23. Boelcke-1966, p.31. [text]
  24. Richter, p.218. It was only in December 1940 that it became clear to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?, the Dutch translation of the text by Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s., published in April 1940 by W.J. Ort in The Hague, NL, originated from the Ministry of Propaganda. [text]
  25. Wilmanns to Rahn, May 27, 1940, in: Maichle: Die Nostradamus-Propaganda der Nazis 1939-1942. [text]
  26. Boelcke-1966, p.35. [text]
  27. Fröhlich, p.320. [text]
  28. Fröhlich, p.344. [text]
  29. Van Berkel: Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas (K.E. Krafft, Berlin, 1940). [tekst]
  30. Herwarth von Bittenfeld-1941, p.15-16. [text]
  31. - Richter, p.136;
    - Boelcke-1966, p.365;
    - Van Berkel: Die Kolonne des Nostradamus (dr. Th.Fr. Böttiger, Berlin; 1940);
    - Van Berkel: Die Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus (dr. E. Noelle, Berlin, 1940). [text]
  32. Van Berkel: Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas (K.E. Krafft, Berlin, 1940). [text]
  33. Van Berkel:
    - Die Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus (Informations-Schriften #18, Berlin, 1940);
    - Der Seher von Salon (Informations-Schriften #38, Berlin, 1941). [text]
  34. - Maichle: Die Nostradamus-Propaganda der Nazis 1939-1942
    - Van Berkel: Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... (A. de Tombre, Arnhem, 1941). [text]
  35. - Sommerfeldt, p.56-57; 
    - Van Berkel: Das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht gibt bekannt (M.H. Sommerfeldt, Frankfurt am Main, 1952). [text]
  36. Maichle: Die Nostradamus-Propaganda der Nazis 1939-1942. [text]
  37. Howe, p.321-322. [text]
  38. Sommerfeldt, p.57. [text]
  39. Fröhlich, p.230. [text]
  40. Boelcke-1966, p.230 and 232. [text]
  41. Sommerfeldt, p.57. [text]
  42. Richter, p.134; Boelcke-1966, p.365. [text]
  43. Boelcke-1966, p.434 and 498. [text]
  44. - Von Borresholm / Niehoff, p.146-149; 
    - Van Berkel: Dr. Goebbels nach Aufzeichnungen aus seiner Umgebung (Von Borresholm/Niehoff, Berlin, 1949).
    [text]
  45. Centurio-1953, p.128. [text]
  46. Howe, p.322. [tekst]
  47. Centurio-1968, p.216. [text]
  48. Van Berkel: Mysterie 14-18: De Eerste Wereldoorlog onverklaard (R. Heijster, The Hague, 2000 [1999]). [text]
  49. Drude-1963, p.331-335. [text]
  50. In this article, the online version of Zodiac and Swastika - Astrologer to Himmler's court has been studied, the English translation of Tierkreis und Hakenkreuz, oorspronkelijk originally published in London in 1973 (http://www.skyscript.co.uk/wulffF.html). [text]
  51. Van Berkel:
    - Information on the Informations-Schriften (Berlin, 1940-1941);
    - Die Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus (Informations-Schriften #18, Berlin, 1940);
    - Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas (K.E. Krafft, Berlin, 1940). [text]
  52. See Randi's entry on Krafft in www.randi.org. In 1990 he published his findings in The mask of Nostradamus (New York). [text]
  53. Hofstede, p.172. [text]
  54. See http://www.bm-lyon.fr/expo/virtuelles/nostradamus/g+.htm [text]
  55. Van Berkel: Comment Nostradamus a-t-il entrevu l'avenir de l'Europe? (K.E. Krafft, Brussels, 1941 [1940]). [text]
  56. Van Berkel:
    - Nostradamus or the future foretold (J. Laver, London, 1942)
    - Nostradamus prophezeit den Kriegsverlauf (L. de Wohl e.a., London, 1943). [text]
  57. Halbronn: Letter on Nostradamus, July 17, 2003 and Les deux quatrains "86" du couronnement. [text]
  58. The information about Jacques (Chevalier) de Jant originates from
  59. Van Berkel: Quadrains de Nostradamus... Eenige Profetien van Michiel Nostradamus.... [text]
 
 

 
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