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.
Some facts about 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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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. 
According to Boelcke, Goebbels' propaganda
methods had a couple of features:
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.
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.
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.
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.
mentality; his attitude towards the Centuries
Sonne und Seele
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.
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.
According to dr. Hans-Hermann Kritzinger, the author of the
national-socialist brochure Der
Seher von Salon (Berlin, 1941 ), 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 ) of quatrain 03-57, who quoted Carl Loog's comment upon this
quatrain in Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus (Pfullingen in
Württemberg, 1921 ).
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. It
is not clear if Goebbels or Hitler got the idea to use the Centuries for
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. 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.
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 ) 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.
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
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.
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. In
July 1940, he was satisfied when he could conclude that everywhere his
Nostradamusbrochures turned out to be sensational.
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.
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.
position in the winter of 1939/40
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
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
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. 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.
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.
From winter 1939/40 on, Goebbels strained after getting back the
fields he had lost to the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. 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.
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. 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.
Ministry of Propaganda versus the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs
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
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.
Ministry of Propaganda: the brochure by Herwarth von Bittenfeld c.s.
will happen in the near future?
H.-W. Herwarth von Bittenfeld
H.-W. Herwarth von Bittenfeld
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.
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.
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. 
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.
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.
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.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: the brochure by Krafft
a-t-il entrevu l'avenir de l'Europe?
K.E. Krafft, 1941 (1940)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Perhaps
this is the brochure Nostradamus and England, to which Centgraf
has referred in the 1960-edition of Nostradamus - Der
Prophet der Weltgeschichte.
According to the Sommerfeldt notes, Goebbels proposed to spread
propaganda, based upon a certain quatrain, by means of a handwritten or
typewritten chain letter.
In connection with December 13, 1939, Goebbels wrote in his diary that
Taubert brilliantly made some chain letters, based upon
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.
It is not known what this flyer looked like and if it ever was
brought into circulation.
According to the Sommerfeldt notes, Goebbels proposed to broadcast
propaganda, based upon a certain quatrain, in France.
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.
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,
and fiction about Goebbels,
Krafft and the Ministry of Propaganda
Karl Ernst Krafft
Zürich, ca. 1932
theme in this article is the relation between Goebbels, Krafft and the
Ministry of Propaganda, a theme about which numerous contradictory
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:
living in Switzerland, marries Anna Theresia van de Koppel. A couple
of months later, they move from Switzerland tu Urberg in the German
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.
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.
On the proposal of Kritzinger, Krafft is summoned to Berlin in
order to find out if he could write propaganda, based upon the Centuries.
Krafft and his wife move from Urberg in the German Black
Forest to Berlin; Krafft begins to study the Centuries for Amt VII - B1.
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.
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.
Krafft finds a job as a translator at the Deutsche
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.
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
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.
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.
aus seiner Umgebung
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.
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.
Der Prophet der Weltgeschichte
N. Centurio (dr. phil. Alexander Max Centgraf, DE, 1953, 1962 and
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
ein Leben in der bedeutendsten
Zeitwende des Abendlandes...
Drude (DE, 1963, 1969)
The German Karl Drude elaborated the findings of Carl Loog,
who in Die
Weissagungen des Nostradamus (Pfullingen in Württemberg, 1921
) 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.
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.
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. 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
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
sieht die Zukunft Europas, but this typescript was written by
order of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, not by order of the Ministry of
Wulff has written nothing about chain letters, flyers or
mask of Nostradamus
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. 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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
De grootste ziener aller tijden
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.
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
in 1938 of Austria.
as a means to influence the public opinion
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
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,
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
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.
Meern, the Netherlands, December 6, 2007
T.W.M. van Berkel
updated on May 17, 2012
The titles, places and
year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.
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,
- de.wikipedia.org. [text]
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]
- Prof. dr. Meier
Schwarz and Karin Lange: Die
- Boelcke-1966, p.14-15
and p.24. [text]
(1967), p.15-16. [text]
- Van Berkel: Dr.
Goebbels nach Aufzeichnungen aus seiner Umgebung (B.
von Borresholm, K. Niehoff, Berlin, 1949).
- - 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]
- Van Berkel: Was
bringt das Jahr 1940?
- - Sommerfeldt, p.56-57;
- Van Berkel: Das Oberkommando der
Wehrmacht gibt bekannt (M.H.
Sommerfeldt, Frankfurt am Main, 1952). [text]
- Boelcke-1966, p.434. [text]
- Howe, p.231-233. [text]
- Fröhlich, p.272. [text]
- Richter, p.136. [text]
- Richter, p.218. [text]
- Maichle: Die
Nostradamus-Propaganda der Nazis 1939-1942. [text]
- Maichle: Die
Nostradamus-Propaganda der Nazis 1939-1942.
- Boelcke-1966, p.34-35. [text]
- Boelcke-1966, p.217. [text]
- Boelcke-1966, p.230 and 232. [text]
- - Fröhlich,
- Van Berkel: Was
bringt das Jahr 1940?
1940 ) [text]
- Boelcke-1966, p.31. [text]
- 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]
- Wilmanns to Rahn, May 27, 1940,
in: Maichle: Die
Nostradamus-Propaganda der Nazis 1939-1942. [text]
- Boelcke-1966, p.35. [text]
- Fröhlich, p.320. [text]
- Fröhlich, p.344. [text]
- Van Berkel: Nostradamus
sieht die Zukunft Europas
(K.E. Krafft, Berlin, 1940). [tekst]
- Herwarth von
Bittenfeld-1941, p.15-16. [text]
- - 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]
- Van Berkel: Nostradamus
sieht die Zukunft Europas
(K.E. Krafft, Berlin, 1940). [text]
- Van Berkel:
Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus
(Informations-Schriften #18, Berlin, 1940);
- Der Seher von Salon (Informations-Schriften
#38, Berlin, 1941). [text]
- - Maichle: Die
Nostradamus-Propaganda der Nazis 1939-1942;
- Van Berkel: Voorspellingen die
uitgekomen zijn... (A. de Tombre,
Arnhem, 1941). [text]
- - Sommerfeldt,
- Van Berkel: Das
Oberkommando der Wehrmacht gibt bekannt (M.H.
Sommerfeldt, Frankfurt am Main, 1952). [text]
- Maichle: Die
Nostradamus-Propaganda der Nazis 1939-1942. [text]
- Howe, p.321-322. [text]
- Sommerfeldt, p.57. [text]
- Fröhlich, p.230. [text]
- Boelcke-1966, p.230
and 232. [text]
- Sommerfeldt, p.57. [text]
- Richter, p.134;
Boelcke-1966, p.365. [text]
- Boelcke-1966, p.434
and 498. [text]
Von Borresholm / Niehoff, p.146-149;
- Van Berkel: Dr. Goebbels
nach Aufzeichnungen aus seiner Umgebung (Von
Borresholm/Niehoff, Berlin, 1949). [text]
- Centurio-1953, p.128.
- Howe, p.322. [tekst]
- Centurio-1968, p.216. [text]
- Van Berkel: Mysterie
14-18: De Eerste Wereldoorlog onverklaard (R. Heijster, The
Hague, 2000 ). [text]
- 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]
- Information on the Informations-Schriften
- Die Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus
#18, Berlin, 1940);
- Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas
(K.E. Krafft, Berlin, 1940). [text]
- See Randi's entry on
Krafft in www.randi.org.
In 1990 he published his findings in The mask of Nostradamus
- Hofstede, p.172. [text]
- See http://www.bm-lyon.fr/expo/virtuelles/nostradamus/g+.htm [text]
- Van Berkel: Comment
Nostradamus a-t-il entrevu l'avenir de l'Europe? (K.E.
Krafft, Brussels, 1941 ). [text]
- Van Berkel:
- Nostradamus or the future foretold
(J. Laver, London, 1942);
- Nostradamus prophezeit den
Kriegsverlauf (L. de Wohl e.a., London, 1943). [text]
- Halbronn: Letter
on Nostradamus, July 17, 2003 and Les
deux quatrains "86" du couronnement. [text]
- The information about
Jacques (Chevalier) de Jant originates from
- Van Berkel: Quadrains
de Nostradamus... Eenige Profetien van Michiel Nostradamus.... [text]