substudY "WORLD WAR ii"
Les Prophéties de maistre Michel Nostradamus - Bildgetreuer, vergrößerter Abdruck
einer Ausgabe der "Prophéties", erschienen bei Benoist Rigaud unter dem Datum 1568
(K.E. Krafft, Frankfurt am Main, 1940)
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie


General information
Les Prophéties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus - Bildgetreuer, vergrößerter Abdruck einer Ausgabe der "Prophéties", erschienen bei Benoist Rigaud Lyon unter dem Datum 1568 is a photocopy of a 1568-B.Rigaud-edition of the Centuries, made by Fotokopist GmbH in Frankfurt am Main. It circulation number was 299 copies. On this website, this copy is entitled the "1940-Krafft-copy", because Karl Ernst Krafft, a Swiss astrologer/statistician who in World War II wrote national-socialist propaganda, using the Centuries, was involved in its production.[1]
The 1940-Krafft-copy is a photocopy of a 1568-B.Rigaud-edition, preserved in the Sächsische Landesbibliothek in Dresden and the Stadtbibliothek in Schaffhausen.[2] These copies consist of two parts. The first part, counting 125 pages, contains the Preface to Cesar, the centuries 01 to 05 (each 100 quatrains), century 06 (99 quatrains and a non-numbered quatrain, the Legis Cantio) and century 07 (42 quatrains). The second part, counting 76 pages, contains the Epistle to Henry II and the centuries 08 to 10 (each 100 quatrains). All these texts are included in the 1940-Krafft-copy; they remained unchanged. 
Next to century 10 comes an alphabetic quatrain index, made by Krafft, counting 12 pages and entitled Registre alphabetique des Quatrains contenus dans l'Edition de Lyon, de 1568. For this index, Krafft edited the index in the 1689-Volcker-edition of the Centuries.[3]  
The 1940-Krafft-copy also contains an inserted enclosure, entitled Einführung zu den Prophéties de maistre Michel Nostradamus, on this website entitled Einführung.... This enclosure was printed by Paul Funck, Berlin SW 68.[4]


Origin history
The origin history of the 1940-Krafft-copy coincides with the origin history of the Einführung... In a censored letter, dated on March 14, 1940, to Viorel Vigil Tilea, the Rumanian ambassador in Londen with whom he corresponded since 1937, Krafft wrote that since five weeks, in other words, since the beginning of February 1940, he was occupied with the production of a new edition of the Centuries, which would be accompanied by a scientific-critical introduction to this controversial topic. He expected to finish his work in the beginning of April 1940.[5] With the new edition of the Centuries, Krafft meant the 1940-Krafft-copy; with the scientific-critical introduction, he meant the Einführung... 
The main text of the Einführung... carries the date mid-August 1940 as the date of completion.[6] This more or less coincides with the period in which the final text of Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas became available for translation , a Nostradamusbrochure by Krafft, who wrote the first version between May 28 and the end of June 1940 and which in 1941 was brought into circulation in six languages.[7] Page IV in the Einführung... contains the remark that it was managed, despite many difficulties, to produce a 100% copy of the oldest accessible complete edition of the Centuries, which is a reference to the used 1568-B.Rigaud-edition. The remark itself is a reference to the achievement of the production of the 1940-Krafft-copy. Page 64 in the IGPP-version of Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas contains the remark that a re-edition of a 1568-edition of the Centuries was being prepared in Frankfurt am Main. The original text of this version dates from June 1940. This means that the production of the 1940-Krafft-copy was finished between June and August 1940.[8]
The 1940-Krafft-copy and the Einführung... were sold together for 30 Reichsmark. Astra publishers in Leipzig, who in 1926 published Wöllners Das Mysterium des Nostradamus, acted as an agent.[9] However, the 1940-Krafft-copy and the Einführung... were not meant for free sale. The Deutsche Arbeitsfront sent a number of copies to prominent members of the NSDAP.[10] 


The use of the 1940-Krafft-copy in World War II
The 1940-Krafft-copy and the Einführung... were meant for Germany. The censored letter of Krafft to Tilea, dated on March 14, 1940, shows that the 1940-Krafft-copy and the Einführung... were produced for a society n Berlin with the involvement of a German government office. According to the British searcher Ellic Paul Howe, who did research on astrology in Nazi-Germany and the life and work of Krafft, the German government office was the Reichssicherheitshauptamt. From october 1939, Krafft worked at Amt VII-B1 of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, an office which was occupied with psychological warfare and the observation of occultism and sects in Nazi-Germany. Krafft's superior was dr. Heinrich Fesel, who handled his costs. According to Howe, the society in Berlin was a reference to the Deutsche metapsychische Gesellschaft. The members of this society met each other in the house of its president, Konrad Schuppe, a retired officer, living in the Pragerstraße 17-IV in Berlin. More than once, Krafft and dr. Hans-Hermann Kritzinger, the author of Mysterien von Sonne und Seele and involved in the production of national-socialist propaganda, based upon the Centuries,  discussed the Centuries in Schuppe's house.
According to the German astrologer Wilhelm Wulff, the Deutsche metapsychische Gesellschaft was founded by order of Goebbels. According to page XXX of the Einführung..., this society was willing to make it possible for friends and researchers on Nostradamus to meet each other and to discuss about Nostradamus. The society made an address list, in order to inform them about new publications.[11]
In connection with January 8, 1940, Goebbels wrote in his diary that he had a group of experts on Nostradamus and astrology, which should provide the material he needed for his propaganda.[12] The question is if Goebbels had the Deutsche metapsychische Gesellschaft in mind when he wrote about this "group of experts". Another question is if and if yes which was the function of the 1940-Krafft-copy and the Einführung... within this society. The author of this article considers the possibility that the 1940-Krafft-copy and the Einführung... were a guideline or manual for the writing of propaganda, based upon the Centuries, meant for abroad.[13]
A number of publications, published in World War II, contain material, copied from the 1940-Krafft-copy. Krafft himself used quatrain texts and parts of the Epistle to Henry II as illustrations for the translations of Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas.[14] A number of quatrain texts were used as illustration material for the cover of the brochure Die Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus, volume 18 in the series Informations-Schriften, and its translations.[15] Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn..., the Dutch translation of a national-socialist Nostradamusbrochure, written and/or finished between June and December 1941 by dr. phil. Alexander Max Centgraf, contains in an appendix photocopies of quatrain texts. These photocopies were copied from the 1940-Krafft-copy.
[16] From Nostradamus - Prophetische Weltgeschichte (Bietigheim, 1968), a book which he wrote under the pseudonym dr. N. Alexander Centurio, we learn that Centgraf actually possessed a copy of the 1940-Krafft-copy. In the chapter Bibliographische Angaben, he wrote that his source text while writing Nostradamus - Prophetische Weltgeschichte was the photocopy by Krafft, which was known to be very reliable.[17]  Probably, Centgraf used the 1940-Krafft-copy as an illustration source for his article Nostradamus und Berlin - und andere Weissagungen (Berlin, 1949).[18] 


Nostradamus on Krafft's meddling with the Centuries
On top of the backside of the title page of the 1940-Krafft-copy, there is a fragment from the Epistle to Henry II, which shows the gloomy nature of the Centuries:

"Et pource, ô tres-humanissime Roy, la plus part des quatrains prophetiques sont tellement scabreux, que l'on n'y scauroit donner voye ni moins aucuns interpreter...."

At the bottom of the backside of the title page, the text of quatrain 03-53 is printed:

Quand le plus grand portera le pris
De Nuremberg, d'Augspourg, & ceux de Basle
Par Agrippine chef Frankfort repris:
Traverseront par Flamand jusqu'en Gale.

In the Einführung..., quatrain 03-53 is mentioned as an example of quatrains which are very difficult to understand since time indications have disappeared. In the Einführung..., a mix of parts of the second and third line of this quatrain reads chef repris à Francfort par ceux de Basle, without one word about the differences between this mix and the original text.[19]
Neither the 1940-Krafft-copy nor the Einführung... show why quatrain 03-53 is printed on the backside of the title page of the 1940-Krafft-copy. The explanation for this all can be found in Krafft's comment upon quatrain 03-53 in Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas. There, Krafft wrote that Le plus grand was an allusion to Hitler and that Nuremberg was an allusion to on the one hand the NSDAP-meetings in Nuremberg and on the other hand German troops. According to Krafft, the names Flamand (Flanders) and Gale (France) were part of Nostradamus' prediction of the German invasion in May 1940 in Belgium and France. This invasion would take place when the Centuries, the most important book which Nostradamus wrote, indicated in the third line with the word chef, would be published again in Francfort (an allusion to Frankfurt am Main) on the initiative of those from Basel (ceux de Basle), next to a publication in Augsburg (Augspourg) in 1589 of a medical writing by Nostradamus and a publication of the Centuries in Cologne (Agrippine) in 1689. 
In Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas, Krafft did not explain why he linked the word chef with the Centuries. Krafft's Einführung... contains the clue to this link. On page XXII, he wrote, in reference to quatrain 03-53, that one of the meanings of chef was "masterpiece"; in that sense, chef was supposed to be an abbreviation of chef d'oeuvre.
Krafft closed his comment upon quatrain 03-53 with the remark that he was in the position to ensure that since spring 1940, on the initiative and with the cooperation of citizens of Basel, a reprint of the Centuries was prepared in in Frankfurt am Main. Actually, he wrote about himself, born and raised in Basel.
Considering all this, we can conclude that quatrain 03-53 was printed on the backside of the title page of the 1940-Krafft-copy since, according to Krafft, it was an allusion to the 1940-Krafft-copy and contained predictions about the German invasion in Belgium and France in May 1940 and about his meddling with the Centuries, resulting in the re-edition at the time of the German invasion of a 1568-B.Rigaud-edition. This quatrain is Krafft's covered "signature", whose name is only mentioned once on page XXVI in the Einführung... and not once in the 1940-Krafft-copy.[20]


Nostra Damur
In 1940, Krafft published by private means two volumes of Nostra Damur, a periodic magazine he himself wrote, meant for friends and researchers of the 1940-Krafft-copy. In the second issue (Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties", dated on November 8, 1940), Krafft dealt in detail with early editions of the Centuries without the slightest allusion to Hitler, national-socialism or the circumstances in Europe. Die ältesten Ausgaben der “Propheties” des Nostradamus, ein Beitrag zur Nostradamus Bibliographie, an article by count Carl Ludwig Friedrich Otto von Klinckowstroem, published in 1913 in Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde, Leipzig, was Krafft's point of departure. Volume 2 of Nostra Damur contained a pedigree with the oldest editions of the Centuries and the most important copies, made in the 19th and 20th century. In this pedigree, the 1940-Krafft-copy is mentioned with the words Frankfurt a/M 1940 - Fotokopie. However, there was no reference to it in the text of Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties".[21]


National-socialist critic
Some wings of the NSDAP disapproved the fact that the Deutsche Arbeitsfront sended copies of the 1940-Krafft-copy to prominent members of the NSDAP, as can be read in a non-dated report about war prophecies, based upon Nostradamus. The critics referred to a prohibition, issued in January 1940 by dr. Alfred Rosenberg, leader of the NSDAP, to quote the Centuries within the party. Further, it was not approved that the 1940-Krafft-copy and its Einführung... were produced by a professional astrologer who thought he could raise astrology to a scientific level, and thus placed the Centuries in a pure astrological context. 
According to the critics, those who paid attention to the Centuries handed themselves over to fatalism, which would undermine the readiness to fight. Such an attitude was not desired. 
The report was closed with the urgent call to suppress war predictions, especially those by Nostradamus.[22] 


I would like to thank Wilhelm Zannoth for sending a photocopy of the Einführung..., parts of the 1940-Krafft-copy and for his additional information.
On the occasion of the 500th birthday of Nostradamus, Zannoth wrote the trilogy Michel de Nostredame (1503-1566) genannt Nostradamus - der neue Weg zu den Prophezeiungen des Meisters, using the author's pseudonym Guillaume Thonnaz. In 2003, this trilogy was published by Rhombos-Verlag in Berlin (ISBN's:  3-930894-97-1, 3-930894-98-X and 3-930894-99-8). Volume 1 (Die Grundlagen), contains a facsimile of the 1940-Krafft-copy.









De Meern, the Netherlands, October 9, 2008
T.W.M. van Berkel
updated on January 8, 2012


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

  1. Van Berkel: Information on Karl Ernst Krafft. [text]
  2. Zannoth to Van Berkel, August 10, 2004. See also: Chomarat/Laroche, p.57 and Benazra, p.85-86. [text]
  3. Zannoth to Van Berkel, August 10 and 24, 2004. The alphabetical quatrain index, made by Krafft, is published online on [text]
  4. Van Berkel: Einführung zu den Prophéties de maistre Michel Nostradamus. [text]
  5. Howe, p.241. [text]
  6. Krafft-1940b, p.XXVI. [text]
  7. Van Berkel: Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas. [text]
  8. The Danish, French, Hungarian, Rumanian, Spanish and Swedish translations of Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas were accomplished after August 19, 1940 and published in the second quarter of 1941. Only in the French translation, made by Krafft himself and dating from October 1940, the remark about the preparing of the 1940-Krafft-copy was replaced by the remark that this copy was already published. Its title was also mentioned in the bibliography (Krafft-1941-FR, p.151 and 199). The other translations contained the remark that the preparation was still going on. [text]
  9. List in the edition of January 1941 of Sterne und Mensch of articles, by Krafft, published in this magazine (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, nr. 4“ Ok 1354/6). [text]
  10. Maichle: Die Nostradamus-Propaganda der Nazis, 1939-1942, document 22. [text]
  11. Howe, p.248. In  1922 and 1923, Schuppe, who had the rank of Oberstleutnant a.D, was the president of the Psychische-Studien-Gesellschaft, seated in Berlin. From 1923 until April, 1939, he was the vice-president of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für wissenschaftlichen Okkultismus; from April 1939, he was the president of this society. In 1930, he contributed to Dennis H. Bradley's Die Sitzungen mit Valiantine [George Valiantine, een Amerikaans medium] in Berlin - Kritischer Kommentar zu dem Aufsatz "Valiantines Entlarvung" von W. Kröner, unter mitarbeitung von Florizel von Reuter, Johannes Kasnarich, Gustav Zeller, Konrad Schuppe und Paul Sünner. In September 1939, the name Deutsche Gesellschaft für wissenschaftlichen Okkultismus was changed into Deutsche metapsychischen Gesellschaft. This society existed until at least spring 1941 (Schellinger et al., 2010, p.303-304). [text]
  12. Fröhlich, p.263. [text]
  13. Van Berkel: Einführung zu den Prophéties de maistre Michel Nostradamus. [text]
  14. Van Berkel: Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas. [text]
  15. Van Berkel:
    - Die Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus (Informations-Schriften, #18);
    - Les Prophéties de Nostradamus (Information Universelle, #18);
    - Les Prophéties de Nostradamus (edition F.Beroud, Paris);
    - De voorspellingen van Nostradamus (Brochures ter informatie, #18). [text]
  16. Van Berkel: Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... [text]
  17. Centurio-1968, p.266. [text]
  18. Van Berkel: Nostradamus und Berlin - und andere Weissagungen.[text]
  19. Krafft-1940b, p.XVII. [text]
  20. Krafft-1940c, p.63-65. On page 65, Krafft writes that the name Gale not only refers to France, but also to Wales, which according to him shows that in quatrain 03-53, Nostradamus predicted that England would have the same fate as France. See further Krafft-1941-DK (1040c), p.72-74; Krafft-1941-ES (1940c), p.11-3-116 and Krafft-1941-FR (1940c), p.148-153. [text]
  21. See also: Van Berkel: Nostra Damur - Über ältere und älteste Ausgaben der "Prophéties". [text]
  22. Maichle: Die Nostradamus-Propaganda der Nazis, 1939-1942, document 22. [text]

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