War predictions) by dr. W.H.C. Tenhaeff, The Hague, 1948 (1947)
Shorty after the invasion of the Netherlands by the Germans in May 1940,
dr. Willem Heinrich Carl Tenhaeff (Rotterdam [NL], 1894 - Utrecht [NL],
1981, private teacher in parapsychology at the Utrecht
university, planned to investigate as accurate as possible what ESP-gifted persons in the Netherlands had seen regarding the oubreak of
the war and its course. It was only after the liberation of the
Netherlands in 1945 that he could begin. Together with George Avetoom Marterus
Zorab (Soerabaja [Dutch East Indies], 1898 - Zoetermeer [NL], 1990),
parapsychologist and secretary of the Studievereniging voor Psychical Research,
he mailed questionaries. More than one hundred people responded.
Tenhaeff ran two times through these lists and compiled Oorlogsvoorspellingen
- een onderzoek m.b.t. proscopie in verband met het wereldgebeuren
from the material he finally selected.
Oorlogsvoorspellingen... is divided in chapters about general
predictions about the war; done in times of peace and in times of war,
proscopies which were reason to expect a war; proscopies during the war,
dealing with military acts; predictions by psychoscopists to clients in
which the war was announced of from which the war could be derived; unconscious telepathic influences and a variety of
non-reliable predictions; faked predictions and the "predictions"
by Nostradamus; predictions, based upon astrology and chiromanthy, and
finally spontaneous telepathy.
Tenhaeff concluded that the results of his investigation of precognition,
related to world events, confirmed the results, published by the French
parapsychologist Eugène Osty in
1922-1925 in La connaissance supra-normale, that many general
predictions can be traced back to personal predictions and that in the
majority of cases, one can only know the fate of communities by the
future life circumstances and the course of life of psychoscopists which
belong to these communities. According to Tenhaeff, these psychoscopists
have the ability to predict, although mostly sketchy. Tenhaeff could not
answer the question if there are general predictions which have no
connection to an individual human being.
contents of chapter
XI in Oorlogsvoorspellingen...
In Oorlogsvoorspellingen..., the
Prophecies of Nostradamus (the Centuries) are discussed in chapter XI,
entitled "Voorspellingen" en propaganda (UK: "Predictions"
Chapter XI is divided in two paragraphs and a bibliography.
In paragraph 1, Tenhaeff describes the phenomenon of faked prophecies,
compiled after the occurence of the event which is mentioned in such
Paragraph 2 deals with Nostradamus and the Centuries. In this
paragraph, two national-socialist comments on the Centuries are
discussed: Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?...
("Pasteur", The Hague, NL, 1940) and Voorspellingen die
uitgekomen zijn... (De Tombre, Arnhem, 1941).
paragraph Litteratuur (UK: Literature), Tenhaeff gave a
list of publications he consulted:
Fontbrune: Les prophéties de Nostradamus dévoilées. Paris, 1937.
M.: Prophezeiungen. Munich, 1925.
K.: Nostradamus und seine Prophezeiungen. In: Sphinx,
Echte und gefälschte Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus. In: Psychische
A. le: Les Oracles de M. de Nostradamus. Paris, 1867.
J.: The Prophecies of Nostradamus. In: Journal of the
Am.S.P.R., vol. XXXIII.
J.: Nostradamus. In: Journal of the Am.S.P.R., vol. XXXI.
A. de: Staat onze toekomst vast? Voorspellingen van Nostradamus
uit het jaar 1558 over het verloop van den huidigen oorlog.
On this website, this book is not mentioned by its cover title, but
by the title, printed on the title page: Voorspellingen
die uitgekomen zijn...
Histoire prédite et jugée par Nostradamus. Bordeaux,
E. du: Notre histoire raconté a l'avance par Nostradame.
W.L.: De profetieën van Nostradamus. The Hague.
zal deze oorlog eindigen? Een belangwekkende en actueele beschouwing
op grond der voorspellingen van Michel Nostradamus gegeven in
"Les vrayes Centuries et Prophéties. Samengesteld uit de
nagelaten geschriften van J.F. Pasteur. The Hague, 1940.
XI in Oorlogsvoorspellingen... also contains references to or
M.: Vom Jenseits der Seele - die
Geheimwissenschaften in kritischer Betrachtung. Stuttgart, 1917.
P.A..: an article (not specified), published in Tijdschrift voor
parapsychologie IX, p.157.
E.: Eclaircissement des Véritables Quatrains de Maistre Michel
T. de: The true Prophecies or Prognostications of Michael
prof.: Homo Ludens. Haarlem, 1938.
K.: Geschichtliche Prophezeiungen. In: Sphinx, September 1890.
dr. W.H.C.: Parapsychologie en ontwikkelingspsychologie. In: Tijdschrift
voor Parapsychologie, XIV, p.14 f.f.
Zorab, G: De
zogenaamde voorspellingen van Djojobojo, den Javaanschen Nostradamus.
In: Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie, XIV, p.146.
dr. W.H.C. Tenhaeff
about Nostradamus and the Centuries
Tenhaeff is very sceptical about the Centuries. This is shown in
the title he gave to chapter XI: "Predictions" and propaganda.
Underneath the title is a quotation from Vom Jenseits der Seele - die
Geheimwissenschaften in kritischer Betrachtung (Max Dessoir,
Stuttgart, 1917): Das Wunder bei Nostradamus ist nicht sein Text,
sondern die Auslegekunst seiner Erklärer. It is also shown in the
title of paragraph 2 of chapter XI, in which the Centuries are
discussed: De "voorspellingen" van Nostradamus (UK: The
"predictions" of Nostradamus).
Tenhaeff opens paragraph 2 with a brief biography of Nostradamus. About the
meaning of Nostradamus, he writes that Nostradamus became a legendary
figure, about who stories are told which cannot stand a thorough
historic investigation, to who predictions are attributed which he never
did and who (rightly or not) got a huge reputation as a seer and
astrologer. Tenhaeff characterizes the Centuries as predictions,
written in an almost incomprehensible oracle language. As the centuries
went by, it became more and more difficult to understand the meaning of
Tenhaeff gives examples of anagrams which occur in the Centuries
such as Chyren Selim, which might point to the French king Henry
III, and gloomy phrasings like Les Razes, which would point to
the Turkish people. According to Tenhaeff, anagrams and gloomy phrasings
were used in connection with the habit in the Middle Ages and the
Renaissance to present poetical riddles to the readers. Only
Nostradamus' contemporaries might understand their meaning. On the other
hand, it was Nostradamus' intention that only a few adepts would
understand the meaning of his predictions instead of the great community.
In paragraph 2, Tenhaeff opens his discussion of the Centuries
with the question if there are predictions of Nostradamus which can pass
a parapsychological critic. Regarding this question, he discusses the
quatrains 01-35 and 10-100.
Commentators like Theophilus de Garencières linked quatrain 01-35 to
the decease of the French king Henry II in 1559. According to De
Garencières, this quatrain contains many details about this decease and
the events which preceded it. Tenhaeff asks if this link is the
convincing proof that Nostradamus published this prediction in 1555. The
claim that there is an edition of the Centuries in which 1555 is given
as the year of issue, does not prove to Tenhaeff that this (first)
edition indeed was published in that year. He considers it possible that
such an edition is in fact a forgery.
Next, Tenhaeff discusses the comments of De Garencières, J. Pierson
(The Prophecies of Nostradamus, in: Journal of the American
Society for Psychical Research, nr. XXXIII) and Dietz (in: Tijdschrift
voor Parapsychologie IX, p.157) on quatrain 10-100, in which is
predicted that England will be a super power for more than 300 years.
All of them say that this is a genuine prediction, since during
Nostradamus' lifetime there were no perspectives for England to become a
Then, Tenhaeff quotes the comment, given by De Tombre in Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn...
According to De Tombre, the downfall of England's supremacy begins
in 1939. According to De Tombre, the reference in the fourth line of
quatrain 10-100 to the Lusitains is a reference to the Portuguese,
who in the early 40's enforced their garrisons on the Azorean islands in
order to prevent an American invasion.
Tenhaeff recognizes the propagandistic nature of Voorspellingen
die uitgekomen zijn... but points to his idea that a prediction,
which can be explained in a way which is entirely different from another
explanation, does not meet parapsychologists.
As a second example of diverging comments, Tenhaeff discusses the
comments of De Garèncieres and Pierson on quatrain 01-47. The first
line of this quatrain contains an allusion to "the speeches at the
Lake of Geneva". According to De
Garencières, this quatrain deals with Calvin, who started his
Reformation campaign in Geneva. According to Pierson, this quatrain
contains a clear prediction of the League of Nations and its final
failure. Tenhaeff, who also mentions De Tombre's linking of quatrain
01-47 to the League of Nations,
concludes that, like many other quatrains, quatrain 01-47 can be
explained in many ways. For parapsychologists, such material is
Next, Tenhaeff discusses De Fontbrune's Les Prophéties de
Nostradamus Dévoilées (Parijs, 1937) and Hoe zal deze oorlog
eindigen? ("Pasteur", The Hague, 1940), which, according to
the subtitle, contains an actual declaration, based upon a.o. a study of
the French Nostradamus-expert Dr. de Fontbrune. Tenhaeff characterizes Hoe zal deze
oorlog eindigen? as a veiled national-socialist propaganda writing.
According to him, De Fontbrune announced in this booklet that the
British Empire will be completely destroyed by the more and more
powerful Great-German Empire, ruled by Adolf Hitler. The worth of this
prediction became clear when Germany capitulated in 1945.
Tenhaeff concludes that a seer, whose predictions can be explained in
the many ways as the predictions by Nostradamus, might be esteemed in
circles of those who are interested in crossword puzzles and cards. In
circles of those who strive for a scientific investigation of PSI, the
study of the writings of Nostradamus can only be qualified as an irresponsible
waste of time.
and critical notes
Tenhaeff takes the view that Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn...
and Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?... were written by Dutchmen
and published in 1940, shortly after the capitulation of the Netherlands
on May 15. The literature study upon which the articles are based, which
are published in the substudy "World War II", shows different things.
By Goebbels' order, Hoe zal deze
oorlog eindigen? was compiled in November - December 1939 by employees of his
Ministry of Propaganda and published in
several languages, such as Dutch. The Dutch version was published around
April 12, 1940, together with the Swiss version, which was written in
In Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn..., the comment on
quatrain XI-XCIX contains a discussion of the pact between Germany,
Italy and Japan as "a counter-reaction against Bolshevism. This
pact was signed on September 27, 1940. The comment on quatrain
VIII-LXXII contains a reference to the German invasion in Russia, which
took place on June 22, 1941. This means that Voorspellingen die
uitgekomen zijn... was completed after June 22, 1941 and probably
before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Ulrich Maichle, a German Century-scholar, has strong
indications that Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... originally
was written by the German dr. phil. Alexander Max Centgraf, also known as dr. N. Alexander
Because of this, Tenhaeff's remark that the Germans and the Dutch
Ministry for People's Enlightenment and Arts permitted the publication
of Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn...
zal deze oorlog eindigen? becomes obsolete.
Tenhaeff writes that in Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn...,
the Jewish ascendancy of Nostradamus was deliberately ignored. Tenhaeff
did not mention that "Pasteur" also wrote nothing about this.
Regarding the biographies of Nostradamus, published by De Tombre and
"Pasteur", it must be noted that they copied quite a lot from
the Brief Discovrs sur la vie de m.
Michel Nostradamus, originally published in Ianus
François (De Chavigny, 1594), later included in e.g. the
1668-Amsterdam-edition of the Centuries, which edition, in the
form of the 1938-Piobb-copy, was one of the sources of the German source
text of Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?. In the
1941-Vreede-translation, mentioned in Tenhaeff's bibliography, nothing
is written about the Jewish ascendancy of Nostradamus. Also in
Wöllner-1926 and Winkler-1937, nothing is written about this. The fact
that De Tombre and "Pasteur" did not write anything about
Nostradamus' Jewish ancestors, might be caused by the fact that in the
texts they copied, nothing was mentioned regarding this.
According to Tenhaeff, De Tombre, in his discussion of quatrain
10-100 on p. 25 of Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... points
to quatrain 03-13, which is discussed by Tenhaeff in another part of
chapter XI, because of the fact that according to De Tombre, in this
quatrain a severe famine in England is predicted, caused by the
activities of the German submarines, whereas according to
"Pasteur", in this quatrain the outbreak of World War I is predicted and the sinking of the English cruiser New Hampshire,
during which the English Supreme Navy Commander drowned.
Tenhaeff rightly notices that these two national-socialist comments are
contradictive. However, De Tombre's reference to "another couplet
of Nostradamus" which shows that, starting in 1939, England's
supremacy would come to an end, is not a reference to quatrain 03-13,
but to quatrain 03-57, with the mentioning of the "Cromwell
revolution" and "the present war".
Tenhaeff discusses some aspects of De Fontbrune's Les
Prophéties de Nostradamus Dévoilées (1937). Next, he discusses
some of De Fontbrune's remarks, copied in Hoe
zal deze oorlog eindigen?... Originally, these remarks were
published in chapter XXII of De Fontbrune's Les Prophéties
de Maistre Michel Nostradamus. Expliquées et commentées (Sarlat,
1939, 5th edition). Here, De Fontbrune actually writes that, according
to the Centuries, England will lose both his fleet and his
empire. Basing himself upon quatrain 03-57 (seven changes in England in
a time span of 290 years), De Fontbrune expects that the seventh change
in England will be a war, in which England will choose the side of the
enemies of France. He assumes that the period of 290 years, given in
quatrain 03-57, has started in 1657 and he expects the war around 1947.
In the chapters XIV-XVII however, De Fontbrune did not only discribe the
rise of fascism and national-socialism, but also their fall. For the
Vichy-government, this was a reason to forbid Les
Prophéties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus. Expliquées et commentées
in November 1940 and to confiscate all printing materials of this book.
In Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?..., the comment of De
Fontbrune is taken out of its context, as was the case with Loogs
comment on quatrain 03-57 (1921) and the comment of Swedish Century-scholars,
discussed in Walsing's Ein Zukunftsroman der
europäischen Menschheit (1925).
Shortly after World
War II, the Dutch parapsychologist dr. W.H.C. Tenhaeff did an
investigation on proscopy, in order to determine if, and if yes, to what
extent, precognition of world events is possible by means of ESP.
According to Tenhaeff, a number of psycoscopists are able to predict, be it
Tenhaeff also took a look at the Centuries, with a more than
sceptical attitude. He examined comments, given by a.o. Dietz, De Garencières
and Pierson and concluded that they were not unanimous. According to
Tenhaeff, this means that the Centuries can be explained in many
ways, which make them not suited for parapsychological research. In
fact, he considers a parapsychological investigation of the Centuries
as an irresponsible waste of time. Next, in the process of evaluating
the value of the Centuries, the comments of De Tombre and
"Pasteur" also played a part.
As far as I can see, there are three reasons to contest Tenhaeff's
Primo, he studied comments on the Centuries instead
of the Centuries. He did not discuss if, and if yes to what
extent, the Centuries contain elements which point to proscopy.
while discussing the fact that certain comments on some quatrains are
not unanimous, Tenhaeff did not restrict himself to the discussion of
non-propagandistic comments, but also included the comments by De Tombre
and "Pasteur", as if these comments belonged to the same
category as the ones by e.g. De Garencières. At the end of paragraph 1,
he writes that paragraph 2 will show that the Germans used the
"predictions" as a means of propaganda. However, paragraph 2
rather shows the way Tenhaeff evaluates the Centuries in general
than that it shows in what way the Germans used the Centuries for
Tertio, Tenhaeff did not deepen himself enough in
the publications by De Tombre and "Pasteur" and the
publications to which was referred in these booklets. This can be seen
in the dates Tenhaeff supposed regarding the issue of these booklets,
the false reference to quatrain 03-13, the false discussion of De
Fontbrune's comment and the fact that Tenhaeff, who writes that the
phrasing Les Razes seems to deal with the Turkish people, did not
discuss that De Tombre, in his comment on quatrain 07-13, translated the
words La teste raze in het leidende ras (UK: the
leading race), i.e. the Germans.
investigation of the Centuries is not in line with the
aim of his research regarding proscopy. He did not examine if, and if
yes, to what extent the Centuries contain proscopive elements.
Instead, he drew the conclusion, based upon comments (non-propagandistic
and propagandistic) that the Centuries are worthless from a
parapsychological point of view. He did not discuss the question in what
way the Germans used the Centuries for propaganda purposes and
how. He made the methodical mistake to let propagandistic comments play a
part in the process of determining if the Centuries are yes/no
suited for parapsychological research.
Meern, the Netherlands, October 4, 2005
T.W.M. van Berkel
The titles, places and
year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.
Wilhelm Heinrich Carl Tenhaeff (Rotterdam, January 18, 1894 - Utrecht,
1981) got interested in the paranormal at his 17th year of life.
During his study of psychology at the Utrecht University (NL), prof.
F.M.J.A. Roels, an experimental psychologist, encouraged him to
pursue research in the paranormal field. In 1933, Tenhaeff promoted
in psychology and was appointed as a private teacher on
parapsychology. In 1928, together with dr. P.A. Dietz, who was
appointed as a private teacher in Leiden (NL), he founded the Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie
(UK: Journal for parapsychology) and resuscitated the Studievereeniging voor Psychical Research
(UK: Society for Psychical Research), which was founded in 1920.
During World War II, the Germans ordered that both the
journal and the society had to terminate their activities. Tenhaeff
had to go underground, because he was suspected of illegal
In 1953, Tenhaeff was appointed to extraordinary professor in
parapsychology at the Utrecht University. Very frequently, he
published articles etc. about parapsychology, held many lectures and
made many efforts to apply parapsychology in daily life, e.g. in the
assistance of police inspectors. According to him, supernatural
phenomena had to be studied by means of general psychology. In his
publications about e.g. ghost appearances, divining rods and
telepathie, he managed to rise interest in these phenomena and at
the same time evaluated them.
From the very moment of his appointment in 1953 as extraordinary
professor in parapsychology, Tenhaeff's scientific integrity was
discussed frequently. One of the results was that in 1960, a number
of members left the Society for Psychical Research. In 1964, the
succeeding of Tenhaeff turned into a dragging problem because of the
doubt which existed, regarding the scientific value of his work.
Until 1978, Tenhaeff remained extraordinary professor, but the
parapsychology developed in a way which was not according to his
ideas. In the last years of his professorhood, Tenhaeff had a
special interest in the religious aspects of parapsychology, e.g.
reincarnation (these facts are borrowed from: H. van der Hoeven:
Tenhaeff, Wilhelm Heinrich Carl (1894-1981), Internet: www.inghist.nl).
this statement, Tenhaeff leans upon paragraph 1 of chapter XI, in
which he refers to Geschichtliche Prophezeiungen, written by
Karl Kiesewetter and published in September 1890 in the
journal Sphinx. In this article, Kiesewetter pointed
towards the fact that a number of political predictions are not
authentic, but compiled after the occurrence of the events, described
in these predictions. [text]
notes that the word copies in the third line is derived from
the German word copiae, which can be translated in both
"goods" and "assistance troops". In most of the
translations of quatrain 10-100, this word is translated according
to its military sense.
De Tombre, p.24-26. [text]
Tombre, p.42-44. [text]
p.72. See also: Van Berkel: Was bringt
das Jahr 1940?. In the
post-war Dutch administration of justice, it became clear that after
the capitulation of The Netherlands on May 15, 1940, the Ausland section
of the German Propaganda Ministry ordered the production and spread
of a second edition, its circulation number 3.000 copies. This
edition was most notably spread in July and August 1940, which might
explain Tenhaeff's dating of Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?.(Van Berkel: Hoe zal deze oorlog
Tombre, p.84-86. Actually, the quatrain in Voorspellingen die
uitgekomen zijn... which carries the number XI-XCIX, is
quatrain 01-99; the quatrain which carries the number VIII-LXXII
should carry the number 08-77. [text]
to Van Berkel, July 9, 2005. [text]
In Voorspellingen die uitgekomen
zijn..., quatrain 03-13 is discussed on p.78-79. In Hoe zal deze oorlog
eindigen?..., it is discussed on p.21-22. [text]
p.42 (note 15). In Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?..., the texts, selected from De Fontbrune-1939, are
copied literally in French and are literally translated in Dutch. In
Les Prophéties..., the predictions regarding England are on p.258. [text]
Dis: Nostradamus, een profeet voor duistere tijden, in: NRC
Handelsblad, February 19, 1982. See also: Benazra, p.486.
- Van Berkel: Quatrain 03-57
and Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus (C. Loog, Pfullingen in
Württenberg, 1921 );
- Van Berkel: Die
Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus
(dr. E. Noelle, Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Berlin, June 16,
1940 [1998 and 2003]). [text]
Tombre, p.75. [text]