NOSTRADAMUS, ASTROLOGY AND THE BIBLE
substudY "WORLD WAR ii"
Nostra Damur - Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties"
(K.E. Krafft, Frankfurt am Main, 1940)
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie
  

Karl Ernst Krafft (Zürich, around 1932)
Karl Ernst Krafft
Zürich, around 1932 

The periodical Nostra Damur
In 1940, the Swiss astrologer/statistician and Century-scholar Karl Ernst Krafft (Basel, 10 mei 1900 - Buchenwald, 8 januari 1945), who from the end of 1939 was involved in the writing of national-socialist propaganda, based upon the Centuries, published under his own management a series of cards with comments upon Century-quatrains and a periodical, entitled
Nostra Damur.
Nostra Damur
was printed by Fotokopist GmbH in Frankfurt am Main, where in 1940 also Les Prophéties de maistre Michel Nostradamus - Bildgetreuer, vergrößerter Abdruck einer Ausgabe der "Prophéties", erschienen bei Benoist Rigaud unter dem Datum 1568 was printed, a photocopy of a 1568-B.Rigaud-edition of the Centuries, financed by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, and Krafft's
Einführung zu den "Prophéties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus", which was enclosed in this photocopy.[1] 
The Englishman Ellic Howe, who did lots of essential research on the role of astrology in Nazi-Germany and on the life and work of Krafft, wrote about Nostra Damur that Krafft intended to publish material which in the Einführung zu den "Prophéties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus" was deleted by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt. In order to reduce the costs of printing, he wrote the text of the articles on litho's, which were used for the printing. To those who had bought a copy of
Les Prophéties de maistre Michel Nostradamus - Bildgetreuer, vergrößerter Abdruck einer Ausgabe der "Prophéties", erschienen bei Benoist Rigaud unter dem Datum 1568, the first three issues of Nostra Damur would be sent without any costs.[2]
In 1940/41, Krafft, as far as known, wrote three issues of
Nostra Damur. Due to restrictive measures for printers and publishers in Germany in 1941, the third issue was not printed.
[3] Eventually, it never has been published since in June 1941, Krafft was arrested due to the Aktion-Hess, a raid amongst astrologers and occultists who were blamed for the flight in May 1941 of Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, to England; until his death in January 1945, Krafft remained imprisoned.  
In my opinion, Nostra Damur - Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties" was the second issue of Nostra Damur and, like the first issue, consisted of 16 pages, their numbering continued, starting from page 1 of the first issue of Nostra Damur. Neither the year of issue, nor the issue number is mentioned in the headline of Nostra Damur - Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties". The 16 pages of Nostra Damur - Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties" are numbered from 17 to 32. The table on the pages 20-21 carries the date Nov. 1940 and the initials K.E.K. The colophon on page 32 carries the date November 8, 1940. N
ote 2 on page 30 shows that in the first issue, attention was given to De Chavigny's Ianus Gallicus.[4] 
According to the colophon on page 32, the circulation number of Nostra Damur - Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties" was 600 copies.[5] Like Les Prophéties de maistre Michel Nostradamus - Bildgetreuer, vergrößerter Abdruck einer Ausgabe der "Prophéties", erschienen bei Benoist Rigaud unter dem Datum 1568 and Krafft's Einführung zu den "Prophéties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus", Nostra Damur was not available in book stores. Those who had bought a copy of Les Prophéties de maistre Michel Nostradamus - Bildgetreuer, vergrößerter Abdruck einer Ausgabe der "Prophéties", erschienen bei Benoist Rigaud unter dem Datum 1568, got a free copy of Nostra Damur. Others had to pay RM 1.80 for the first copy of Nostra Damur and RM 0.60 for each extra copy. A contribution to postage and handling was appreciated. 

Nostra Damur - Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties"
was closed with a short description of the contents of the next issue of Nostra Damur. The titles of the articles which would be published in that issue: War Nostradamus ein Prophet - Eine kritisch-wissenschaftlichen Untersuchung; Erfüllungen im Zeichen der Großen Konjunktion 1940; Der Nachlass von Nostradamus; Anregungen für die Deutung ausgewählter Vierzeiler; Kleine Mitteilungen; Briefkasten.

 

Nostra Damur - Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties"
Headlines Nostra Damur #2

The contents of Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties"
Nostra Damur - Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties" is a periodical of 16 pages in octo-format. It contains one article, Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties", which is divided in untitled parts. The pages 20 and 21 contain a pedigree of the older Century-editions and their most important "offspring", published in the nineteenth and twentieth century. In this pedigree, Les Prophéties de maistre Michel Nostradamus - Bildgetreuer, vergrößerter Abdruck einer Ausgabe der "Prophéties", erschienen bei Benoist Rigaud unter dem Datum 1568 was mentioned as Frankfurt a/M 1940 - Fotokopie. Page 26 contains a picture of the cover of a 1557-Du Rosne-edition of the Centuries; page 29 contains a picture of the cover of the 1589-Pierre Menier-edition of the Centuries and page 30 contains a picture of the cover of the 1589-Charles Roger-edition of the Centuries.
In the first line of Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties", Krafft wrote that authors frequently copy texts from publications by contemporaries or preceding authors, without realizing that they in their turn often had copied this information without verification. Von Klinckowstroem, for example, wrote in Die ältesten Ausgaben der “Propheties” des Nostradamus, ein Beitrag zur Nostradamus Bibliographie, published in 1913 in het Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde (Leipzig) that all bibliographers agreed that in 1555, Nostradamus published the first volume of the Centuries, which contained the centuries 01 to 07, and that the second volume, containing the centuries 08 to 10, was published in 1558. Krafft contested that according to the French Century-scholar Eugène Bareste, the first volume of the Centuries, printed by Macé Bonhomme in Lyon in 1555, consisted of 48 pages which contained the centuries 01 to 03 and 53 quatrains of century 04. For Krafft, this was reason to do research upon the origin of the Century-editions, taking Von Klinckowstroem's article as a point of departure.
Krafft divided the older and oldest Century-editions into five groups: the early incomplete editions (Lyon-1555 [3 1/2 century], Lyon-1557, Paris-1650, Paris-1588, Paris-1589 and Antwerp-1590 [each 6 1/2 century]); the first complete edition (Lyon-1568); reprints of the 1568-Lyon-edition, sometimes antedated (1566), sometimes not dated at all; editions, published in Troyes in 1605 and later and French-Dutch editions (Lyon-1644, Rouen-1649 en -1650, Leiden-1650, Amsterdam-1667 and -1668). Editions from these groups were used for new editions of the Centuries which were published later.
 
According to Krafft, the 1568-B.Rigaud-edition which served for the production in Frankfurt am Main in 1940 of a photocopy, entitled Les Prophéties de maistre Michel Nostradamus - Bildgetreuer, vergrößerter Abdruck einer Ausgabe der "Prophéties", erschienen bei Benoist Rigaud unter dem Datum 1568, is the genuine edition of the Centuries, the editio princeps. This edition contained far less printer's errors than the editions, published in Lyon in 1555 and 1557. 
Krafft also described that until the first half of the seventeenth century, published forged years of issue, and presented the 1610/15-P.Rigaud-edition as the most striking example. In an attempt to beat the publishers in Troyes, Rigaud gave this edition the year 1566, the year in which Nostradamus died, as the year of issue. Other publishers referred to editions which did not exist..
Krafft concluded that the 1555-Bonhomme-edition was the first edition of the Centuries, followed by the 1557-Du Rosne-edition with 40 quatrains in century 07. Next came the 1568-B.Rigaud-edition which Krafft considered to be the editio princeps
Krafft did not believe that there has been a 1555-Avignon-edition which consisted of seven centuries. In this case, he referred to the remark of De Chavigny in Ianus Gallicus that until the summer of 1589, five or six editions of the Centuries were published. This number excluded the possibility of the existence of a 1555-Avignon-edition.

 

The nature of Nostra Damur
Howe characterized Nostra Damur as a scientific piece of writing, with punctual treatises on the origin of the Centuries.[6] For me, it is questionable if this characterization is valid for all of the issues of Nostra Damur. Indeed, Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties" does not contain the slightest allusion to Hitler, national-socialism, the course of the war in Europe which had begun in 1939 or the future role of Germany in Europe. Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties" is dealing with the origin history of the Century-editions and shows Krafft in his capacity as a scholar. However, Krafft was also convinced that Nostradamus had predicted the rise in 1933 of Great-Germany, the outbreak in 1939 of the war and the German invasion in May 1940 in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Next, Krafft had sympathy for the political climate in Germany which in his eyes enabled experts like himself to rise astrology to a scientific level. Closing, he did not hesitate to use the Centuries for psychological warfare.
The circulation letter in which Krafft announced that the publishing of the third issue of Nostra Damur was heavily delayed, dates from May 1941.[7] The text of the third issue of Nostra Damur is written, as far as I can see, between November 1940 and April/May 1941. The question is which events Krafft had in mind when he was writing Erfüllungen im Zeichen der Großen Konjunktion 1940, which quatrains he had selected for the article Anregungen für die Deutung ausgewählter Vierzeiler and whether or not these articles included texts from his propagandistic writings, i.e. the Einführung... and Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas

 


Expression of thanks
The author expresses his thanks to Wilhelm Zannoth for sending a PDF-copy and a transcript of Nostra Damur - Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties".

 

De Meern, the Netherlands, December 21, 2009
T.W.M. van Berkel

 

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

  1. Van Berkel:
    -
    Les Prophéties de maistre Michel Nostradamus - Bildgetreuer, vergrößerter Abdruck einer Ausgabe der "Prophéties", erschienen bei Benoist Rigaud unter dem Datum 1568;
    - Einführung zu den "Prophéties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus";
    - information on Karl Ernst Krafft (1900-1945).
    [text]

  2. Howe, p.253-254. [text]

  3. Announcement of Krafft, May 1941, in Grenzwissenschaften / von der Ordnung der Zeit und vom Überzeitlichen / Nostradamus, depicted in: Howe, p.255. [text]

  4. Erschienen 1594. - Näheres über das seltene Werk im ersten Heft der vorlieg. Sammlung (Krafft-1940e, p.30). 
    According to Howe, the first issue was dated on November 8, 1940 and the second issue on January 31, 1941 (Howe, p.253). Page 258 of Howe's Uranias Kinder... contains a picture of the first page of
    Nostra Damur - Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties". At the bottom right, one can see the page number 17, which led me, together with note 2 on page 30, to the supposition that Nostra Damur - Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties" was the second issue. It is not clear to me which of Krafft's publications carries the date of January 31, 1941. [text

  5. According to Howe, the circulation number of the publication which was dated on January 31, 1941, was 500 copies (Howe, p.253). [text

  • Howe, p.254. [text

  • The picture in Uranias Kinder on page 255 does not contain a date. The supposition that this circulation letter dates from May 1941, is based upon the fact that Grenzwissenschaften / von der Ordnung der Zeit und vom Überzeitlichen / Nostradamus contains the announcement: Nach mancherlei Verzögerungen ist vergangenen Monat in Brüssel eine in vergangenen Spätsommer abgeschlossene Studie "Comment Nostradamus a-t-il entrevu l'avenir de l'Europe?" erschienen. The printing of this brochure was achieved on April 18, 1941. [text]

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