(H. Rehwaldt, Munich, 1939)
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie

Weissagungen (Rehwaldt, 1939, 2e druk)Bibliographic information
In 1939, Ludendorffs Verlag GmbH in Munich, the publisher of the Bund für deutsche Gotterkenntnis, published the book Weissagungen, written by Hermann Rehwaldt (1896-1972), one of their principal authors, with the cooperation of one Hedwig Hentschen.[1]  
Weissagungen contains tables and b/w illustrations. The first edition consisted of 153 pages. The second edition, also published in 1939, consisted of 188 pages. The total number of circulating copies of both editions was 17.000. In connection with this article, Rehwaldt's critic on Nostradamus has been studied as published on the pages 100 - 106 in chapter 8 of the second edition of Weissagungen. On the cover of the second edition, a globe was depicted, surrounded by the signs of the Zodiac, which each ruled an era of 2100 years.
In Weissagungen, Rehwaldt contested predictions in which the end of the world was announced. In books like Das schleichende Gift - Der Okkultismus, seine Lehre, Weltanschauung und Bekämpfung (Munich, 1935) and Die kommende Religion - Okkultwahn als Nachfolger des Christentums (Munich, 1936), he fulminated against occultism. His attacks occultism and doom prophecies followed naturally from conspiracy theories, formulated by Mathilde Ludendorff (1877-1966), the leading force behind the Bund für deutsche Gotterkenntnis, who stated that freemasons, the International Communist Movement, the Jesuits, the Jews and the Roman-Catholic Church joined hands on an international level in order to rule the world and to bring ruin upon Germany and other countries. 


Erich and Mathilde Ludendorff and the Bund für deutsche Gotterkenntnis
Mathilde Ludendorff was the wife of Erich Ludendorff (1865-1937), who in World War I was the highest general in the German army. In November 1923, Ludendorff and Hitler tried to remove the government of the Weimar-Republic (the Beerkellerputsch). This attempt to seize power failed. Hitler was sentenced to imprisonment. Ludendorff was acquitted, against his own will, because of his merits during World War I. From 1924 to 1928, he was a representative in the Reichstag of the Nationalsozialistische Freiheitspartei
In the first round of the presidential elections in 1925, Ludendorff acquired only 1,1 percent of the votes. Hitler did not support him; still in prison, he called upon his followers to vote for Hindenburg in the second round. In 1928, Ludendorff broke with national-socialism, which he considered to be one of the conspirative forces in the world. Meanwhile, he had become the protector of the Tannenbergbund, a right-wing organization which, due to the leadership of his wife Mathilde, increasingly developed pagan ideas and all kinds of conspiracy theories about international conspiracies against Germany. Although these kind of theories also circulated among the national-socialists, they dissociated themselves from the Ludendorff couple, since they considered their ideas to be too radical and transcendent. 
In 1933, the national-socialists forbade the Tannenbergbund as well as the political-philosophical movement Deutschvolk. Shortly before his death in 1937, Ludendorff, who until then rejected every kind of rehabilitation by Hitler, got Hitler's approval to found a national religious movement: the Bund für deutsche Gotterkenntnis
When World War II came to an end, the Bund für deutsche Gotterkenntnis ceased to exist, but in 1951, it was founded again. In 1961, the Bund became banned since she was considered to be hostile towards the German state and a breeding ground for anti-Semitism. Due to errors in the proceedings, this ban was lifted in 1977, but since then, the Verfassungsschutz keeps an eye on the Bund.


Dating of Weissagungen
On page 105 of Weissagungen, Rehwaldt wrote that a number of quatrains is linked to the World War and the succeeding years. With the "World War", he meant World War I, the only recent event discussed by Rehwaldt in connection with the Centuries
The German army invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Shortly after, Loogs comment in Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus that in quatrain 03-57, Nostradamus foresaw simultaneous crises in 1939 in England and Poland, was explained as the fulfilment of quatrain 03-57 in the form of the German invasion in Poland in September 1939. 
Rehwaldt did not criticize Loog's link between quatrain 03-57 and crises in England and Poland in 1939 and the link, later, of this quatrain to the German invasion in Poland. He did, however, criticize Loog's link between quatrain 07-35 to the fact that in 1574, Henry III resigned as a king of Poland. This might mean that at the time Weissagungen was completed, the German army not yet invaded Poland. Therefore, it is assumed in this article that Rehwaldt completed Weissagungen before September 1, 1939, the date on which the German army invaded Poland.


Source material
According to his own statement, Rehwaldt has read Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus: erstmalige Auffindung des Chiffreschlüssels und Enthüllung der Prophezeiungen über Europas Zukunft und Frankreichs Glück und Niedergang, 1555-2200 (C. Loog, Pfullingen in Württemberg, 1921 [1920]) and Prophezeiungen - Alter Aberglaube oder neuer Wahrheit? (dr. M. Kemmerich Munich, 1911).[4]


Rehwaldt versus the Centuries
Rehwaldt attacked Nostradamus, the Centuries and Centurie-scholars with anti-Semitic statements, conspiracy theories, jeers and linguistic arguments. He characterized the Centuries as a gloomy matter, written by a half-Jewish French astrologer and quack, who pretended to be clairvoyant and had a good feeling for business. To this statement, Rehwaldt added that Nostradamus had a special friendship with "the austere catholic and occult queen Catherine de' Medici", who had requested him to explain the horoscopes of her four sons. Contemporaries of Nostradamus, i.e. his fellow-citizens in Salon-de-Provence, held him for an impostor as Rehwaldt did, who putted Nostradamus on a par with the German Hanussen and the Italian Cagliostro, who both fooled their contemporaries by pretending that they had occult gifts at their disposal.[5]  
According to Rehwaldt, Nostradamus was a prominent member of a secret society, who in occult circles was considered to be one of the greatest prophets and initiates. In order to make the clairvoyance of Nostradamus acceptable, the network of helpers of secret societies deliberately linked the decease in 1559 of the French king Henry II to quatrain 01-35, while according to Rehwaldt there was not one single clue that in this quatrain, the decease of Henry II was predicted.

Opposite to his assumption that the Centuries were published in Nostradamus' lifetime and therefore did not contain predictions which were composed next to the events which were described in them, Rehwaldt stated that they were that gloomy that many people not know what to do with them, except commentators like Kemmerich and Loog, who according to him always found ways to link a quatrain to an event. Rehwaldt accused them not to have translated the quatrains in an obvious way, but attributed to Nostradamus neologisms and the use of anagrams in order to force a link between a quatrain and an event. He contested the link by Kemmerich and Loog of quatrain 01-35 to on the one hand the decease of Henry II and on the other hand the end of the House of Valois. Further, he contested Loog's link of quatrain 07-35 to the way in which in Poland in the sixteenth century the succession to the throne was arranged and his link of quatrain 09-20 to the flight in 1791 of the French king Louis XVI and his arrest in Varennes. The reason why Rehwaldt has chosen these three comments is that these were comments upon in his eyes famous quatrains, in which Nostradamus predicted in the smallest detail. Actually, Nostradamus instantly became famous due to quatrain 01-35. Rehwaldt's criticism had to put an end to Nostradamus' reputation

Quatrain 01-35 
Rehwaldt contested the linking of quatrain 01-35 to the decease of Henry II and the end of the House of Valois. According to him, Kemmerich and Loog linked the fourth line of quatrain 01-35 to the end of the House of Valois because of their translation of the word chasses in this line in break. In the eyes of Rehwaldt, they made this improbable translation because a translation into the more obvious word hunting-party would not result in a link between quatrain 01-35 and an event. 

Quatrain 07-35
Loog linked this quatrain to the coronation in 1573 of the Duke of Anjou to king of Poland and the successive events, basing himself upon an interpretation of the words La grande pesche in the first line. According to Loog, Nostradamus made the word Pesche from the Greek word pessikos  (dice). By doing so, Nostradamus was supposed to make an allusion to the way in which in Poland the succession to the throne was arranged (elections, bribery).[6] According to Rehwaldt, not a single word in quatrain 07-35 pointed towards Poland or a kingship. He thought that a literal translation of the text of this quatrain was impossible, since in modern French the word Pesche is no longer present, but replaced by the word pêche (fishery, fishing-tackle). the accent-circonflex above the -e- indicates a contraction of the -e- and the -s- in pesche. A translation of Pesche into fishery or fishing-tackle would not result in linking quatrain 07-35 to an event, which for occultists like in this case Loog was reason to drag in the phenomenon of word-creation in order to link quatrain 07-35 to the events in Poland in 1573 and onwards.

Quatrain 09-20
Loog had linked quatrain 09-20 to the flight in 1791 of the French king Louis XVI to Varennes. According to hem, the French word Forest in the first line of quatrain 09-20 was derived from the Latin word fores (door); the word pars in the second line was an abbreviation of partes matrimonii (married couple); the word vaultorte in the same line meant wrong way and the word Herne was created from the word reine (queen); the word moyne in the third line was derived from the Greek word monos (alone, left alone); the word noir in the same line a conversion of the word roi (king) and the word Cap. in the fourth line an abbreviation of the House of Capet.[7] According to Rehwaldt, Loog had adjusted his translation to the events in 1791 he had in mind, by applying all kinds of findings (anagrams, neologisms etc.) in order to prove that the old seer Nostradamus in the case of this quatrain once again predicted even the smallest detail, such as the grey cape which Louis XVI weared during his flight. A alarming phenomenon, Rehwaldt joked, undoubtedly, the devoted occultists would feel very uncomfortable.

Quatrain 03-01
Rehwaldt quoted Loog's translation of quatrain 03-01 and his comment upon it. According to Loog, this quatrain undeniable deals with England since the first line contains the word "Neptune". According to Loog, England would be at the height of her power by the end of World War I. He doubted, however, if the words Der rote Gegner wird vor Furcht bleich werden wenn er das Weltmeer in Schrecken versetzt would mean that the German social-democracy would be afraid for the consequences of the submarine-war and the British blockade. In the eyes of Rehwaldt, Loog's comment was strikingly simple.


Some marginal notes to Rehwaldt's criticism
Rehwaldt is not the only one who characterized Nostradamus as an impostor or a swindler and who criticized the links between a number of quatrains and certain events. Contemporaries of Nostradamus such as Laurens Videl, the author of Déclaration des abus ignorances et seditions de Michel Nostradamus (Lyon, 1558 [1557]) not only accused him of being an impostor, but also stated that he was deficient in astrological skill. In 1863, the French Century-scholar Buget wrote that, as far as he was concerned, not one word in quatrain 01-35 could be applied to the decease of Henry II. Unlike the contents of this quatrain, neither Henry II nor the Count of Montgomery, his opponent, used a lion as an emblem and the helmet of Henry II was neither of gold nor gilded.
[8] The criticism of people like Buget and Videl deals with contents. The criticism of Rehwaldt is founded upon the anti-Semitic idea that Nostradamus was a half-Jew, which meant that he was an impostor and a swindler. Pretending to be clairvoyant, this clever Jew published the mysterious Centuries, a practical way to earn money. Rehwaldt's anti-Semitic criticism is not valid. Someone's gift, integrity or talent can not be jugded by means of race or religion. With such criticism, one can not ascertain of the predictions in the Centuries will be fulfilled or not.
According to Rehwaldt, Nostradamus was a prominent member of a secret society and his friends did every possible thing to make him famous. Rehwaldt did not mention the name of this secret society; in Weissagungen, he launched a conspiracy theory without any proof.
Rehwaldt not only wanted to debunk the Centuries by categorizing them as the product of an impostor, but also by describing the in his eyes ridiculous daring exploits of Kemmerich and Loog to link quatrains to events and to prove that Nostradamus predicted even the smallest detail. In his eyes, their link between the fourth line of quatrain 01-35 and the end of the House of Valois was forced: they translated the word chasses in this line into break instead of into hunting-party. This argument does not make sense since the fourth line of quatrain 01-35 does not contain the word chasses, but the word classes. Kemmerich copied the translation of the word classes into break from the French Century-scholar Anatole le Pelletier, who referred to the Greek word klasis (fracture, branching); Loog also wrote about a break.
Rehwaldt also contested Kemmerich's comment upon the prediction of Nostradamus to Cathérine de' Medici dat three of her sons would become a king. He wrote that Kemmerich - which he continously called a professor although Kemmerich had a doctor's degree - committed himself by writing that Nostradamus wisely not mentioned that the coronation of the one brother would be preceded by the decease of the other brother; Rehwaldt saw no reason to assume that Nostradamus had such a detailed knowledge. In the eyes of Rehwaldt, this prediction differed from those in the Centuries, since Nostradamus founded this prediction upon horoscopes, while he wrote the Centuries under the pretence of being clairvoyant.


In this article, it is assumed that when Weissagungen was published in 1939, the German army not yet invaded Poland. In other words: at the time of the publishing of Weissagungen, there were no propagandistic Nostradamus-campaigns. Between these Nostradamus-campaigns and the contents of Weissagungen in connection with Nostradamus and the Centuries, there are a couple of differences.
Rehwaldt's attack on Nostradamus and the Centuries was not part of a crusade against superstition, but part of a crusade against the international networks of communists, freemasons, Jews and Roman-Catholics who wanted to seize world-wide power. In November 1939, after the German invasion in Poland and its link to quatrain 03-57, dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, the nazi-minister of Propaganda, developed the idea to used the Centuries for psychological warfare. By doing so, he wanted to take advantage of the superstition of his adversaries in order to demoralize them. The gloomy words of the Centuries would enable the campaign-compilers to explain them the way they wanted.
For the national-socialist campaign-compilers, the Jewish descent of Nostradamus was no impediment in the use of the Centuries for psychological warfare. In a note which most likely dates from June 1940, dr. Werner Wilmanns, who in May 1940 asked the Swiss astrologer/statistician Karl Ernst Krafft to write a Nostradamusbrochure, wrote that dr. Heinrich Fesel, in charge of Amt VII of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, thought it efficacious to use the Centuries for psychological warfare and that Nostradamus at most was a half-Jew.[10] To a version of Krafft's brochure Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas, a couple of lines should be added in which it would be mentioned that Nostradamus was a half-Jew. As far as known, this version was not brought into circulation. However, in the translations of Nostradamus sieht die Zukunft Europas which in 1941 were brought into circulation, nothing was written about the Jewish descent of Nostradamus. 
In the translations of the German source text of a Nostradamusbrochure, written in November-December 1939 by Hans-Wolfgang Herwarth von Bittenfeld, Leopold Gutterer and prof. dr. Karl Bömer, Nostradamus is described as a Frenchman, as in dr. phil. Alexander Max Centgraf's German source text of Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... and the Nostradamusbrochures in the series Informations-Schriften.


De Meern, the Netherlands, July 22, 2007
T.W.M. van Berkel


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

  1. In World War II, Rehwaldt not only used his own name as an author's name, but also the pseudonym H. Janow. After World War II, he used the pseudonym German Pinning. In 1999 and 2000, a number of his publications, dating from 1938-1941, were reprinted, carrying the name German Pinning as the author's name. [text]

  2. The Precessional or Astrological Ages last about 2150 years. Their construction is based upon the "precession of the Equinox", the backward movement in the Sidereal Zodiac of the Vernal Equinox. In this construction, next to the Age of Pisces, running until approximately 2100 AD, comes the Age of Aquarius. On the cover of Weissagungen, the ages are moving forward in the Zodiac. Next to the Age of Pisces, running from 1950 BC to 150 AD, comes the Age of Aries, running from 150 AD to 2250 AD. [text]

  3. See: Wikipedia. [text]

  4. In the studies on this website, the sixth edition of Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus is used. 
    Prophezeiungen - Alter Aberglaube oder neue Wahrheit? had four editions. The first edition was published in 1911; the second in 1916; the third in 1924 and the fourth in 1925. Rehwaldt did not specify which edition he used, he did mention, however, that Kemmerich cautiously did not discuss World War I. This means that Rehwaldt used the first edition of Prophezeiungen - Alter Aberglaube oder neue Wahrheit; to the second edition, Kemmerich had added the chapter Der Weltkrieg in der Prophetie, which was also part of the third and the fourth edition. [text]

  5. Hanussen: Erik Jan Hanussen, pseudonym of Hermann Chajm Steinschneider, born in Vienna on June 2, 1889, a swindler who later in his life pretended to be gifted occultly. Although his predictions were not fulfilled, he became well-known. He published his own weekly, the Hanussen bonte Wochenschau, hided his jewish descent, supported national-socialism and acquired the friendship of prominent nazi's because of e.g. financing their gamble debts. On April 8, 1933, his body was found in a wood in the south of Berlin. Recent investigations pointed out that in the night of March 24, 1933, he was murdered in a Berlin police station by three members of the SA (source: Wikipedia). 
    Cagliostro: Alessandro Graf von Cagliostro, pseudonym of Giuseppe Balsamo (1743-1795), an Italian adventurer who occupied himself with the occult, pretended to be an alchemist and made a living with the selling in Europe of cosmetics and elixers and with practicing medicine. In 1776, he was initiated in a freemasonry lodge in London. Later, he founded Egyptian freemasonry lodges in England, Germany, Russia and France. When in 1791 he tried to found a freemasonry lodge in Rome, he was arrested by the Italian Inquisition. During their interrogations, he raised the impression that freemasons were united in an international group of conspirators who wanted to remove the governments throughout the world. In later years, this conspiracy theory became included in antisemitic propaganda (source: Wikipedia).

  6. Loog-1921 (1920), p.14-15. [text]

  7. Loog-1921 (1920), p.31-32. [text] 

  8. Buget, 1863, p.455, in Leoni, p.576. [text]  

  9. Kemmerich-1926, p.355-356; Le Pelletier, vol. I, p.72; Loog-1921 (1920), p.13. Brind'Amour observed that in a small number of publications it reads playes instead of classes; he wrote nothing about the word chasses (Brind'Amour 1996 [1994], p.99). [text]

  10. Maichle: Die Nostradamus-Propaganda der Nazis, 1939-1942. [text]


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