substudY "WORLD WAR II"
De Profetieën van Nostradamus
Van der Willigen in: Astrologische Wereldschouw, Voorburg, April and May 1940
T.W.M. van Berkel

Nederlandse versie

In the April-issue of and the May-issue of volume 1940 of the magazine Astrologische Wereldschouw (tr.: Astrological view on the world), a magazine for astrology and related sciences, two articles were published, dealing with Nostradamus and the Centuries. These articles were written by one P.C. van der Willigen and were discussed in favourable reviews in the editions of April 12, 1940 and May 8, 1940 of the Dutch newspaper Het Vaderland.[1] 
Unfortunately, the issues of Astrologische Wereldschouw in which Van der Willigen's articles were published, are not at the disposal of The points of contact in the reviews permit a discussion of these articles.


"De Profetieën van Nostradamus" (Het Vaderland, April 12, 1940 [Astrologische Wereldschouw, April 1940])
The section Tijdschriften (tr.: Magazines) in the evening-edition of Het Vaderland of April 12, 1940 contained a review of the April-issue of volume 1940 of Astrologische Wereldschouw, in which Van der Willigen had written an article about the Centuries. The review does not contain the title of his article. On this website, the title "De Profetieën van Nostradamus" is used.
The review shows that Van der Willigen had written that the time span of the Centuries was hundreds of years and that they were founded, according to Nostradamus, upon biblical prophecies. On the question if the Centuries contained information about the circumstances in 1940 and the war which was going on, Van der Willigen's answer was affirmative. He seemed to have been quite sure of this, since he wrote that the outlook of the Centuries was confirmed by the horoscope of Hitler.
In his article, Van der Willigen emphasized that the Maginot-line was quite clearly described in one of the Century-quatrains: a belt of subterranean buildings close to the Rhine, consisting of fifteen segments. Further, he argued that it was predicted in numerous quatrains that Germany would manage to invade France by Switzerland instead of by crossing the Maginot-line. Geneva would be destroyed. France, facing a capitulation, would be able to defeat Germany in heavy battles near Chambéry and Poitiers and next would invade Germany and dictate a peace treaty.
Van der Willigen did not know in which year German troops would invade France. It seemed to him that the period 1940-1942 was at stake. The battles he described would last for seven months. At the time of the issue of his article, it should be clear if Nostradamus meant that the described events would take place in 1940. 
Summary: the review in Het Vaderland shows that Van der Willigen expected a seven month lasting war betweeen France and Germany in the near future, which at first would be successful for Germany and eventually would result in a smashing defeat and a dictated peace treaty. If Germany as a result of this peace treaty would withdraw itself from occupied countries such as Poland, is something which is not discussed in this review. 
The critic considered Van der Willigen's article as very interesting.


"De Profetieën van Nostradamus" (Het Vaderland, May 8, 1940 [Astrologische Wereldschouw, May 1940])
In a review on page 3 in the evening edition of Het Vaderland of May 8, 1940, the May-issue of volume 1940 of Astrologische Wereldschouw was discussed. The critic wrote a small note regarding Van der Willigen's second article about the Centuries.  
The review shows that according to Van der Willigen, the Centuries will result in a great, lovely peace. In his opinion, the Centuries were not clear about the future of England. Van der Willigen argued that the decline of the British empire was predicted in the Centuries. He stated that in 1940, the effects of this process were quite noticeable, but this did not mean by definition that England itself would fall. According to Van der Willigen, a great sea battle was predicted in the Centuries, in which the British fleet forcefully would strike back and would crush the enemy.
Summary: the review in Het Vaderland shows that for the near future, Van der Willigen expected a wealthy peace and the decline of the British empire. There is no indication in the review that according to Van der Willigen a large-scale European conflict or a world war was predicted in the Centuries. The opinion of the critic was that the May-issue of Astrologische Wereldschouw contained lots of interesting articles, an appraisal which also was meant for Van der Willigen's article.


The outlook for the Netherlands
Basing himself upon the Centuries, Van der Willigen communicated that soon or within a couple of years, France and Germany would be at war with each other for seven months, resulting in a victory for France and a dictated peace treaty for Germany, whereas slowly the British empire would decline. 
Van der Willigen did not expect a large-scale conflict in Europe, but a bilateral conflict which in short time would result in peace. This seems to mean that in the eyes of Van der Willigen the Netherlands would remain neutral and would not suffer from the war or be involved in battles. In the analysis in the April-issue of Astrologische Wereldschouw of the horoscope of the Netherlands, a similar outlook was described. The review in Het Vaderland quoted the closing line of this analysis:

Is waakzaamheid geboden en mogen wij de moeilijkheden en spanningen niet onderschatten, vooral weer in de maand april, verliest als rustige Hollanders in ieder geval uw evenwicht niet, want voor Holland zijn de geruchten inderdaad gevaarlijker en angstwekkender dan de feiten.

(tr.: If, especially in the month of April, vigilance is requested and it iis not allowed to underestimate troubles and tenses, one should, as a calm Dutchman, not lose one's balance, because actually, rumours are more dangerous and frightening to Holland than the facts.)

In the May-issue of volume 1940 of Astrologische Wereldschouw, the horoscope of Mussolini was discussed. In May 1940, his position would hang by a thread. In June, Hitler would face new disappointments. 
According to Astrologische Wereldschouw, the outlook for the Netherlands remained favourable and were discussed in the section Politieke omstandigheden (tr.: Political circumstances) as follows:

Wij kunnen nog steeds geen reden vinden om op onze voor Nederland geruststellende woorden terug te komen. Men blijve dus kalm.

(tr.: We still can find no reason to return to our for the Netherlands comforting statements. Therefore, one should remain calm.)

Van der Willigen's outlook in the May-issue of volume 1940 of Astrologische Wereldschouw that a great, lovely peace empire was at hand, corresponded more or less with the outlook in the section Politieke omstandigheden.

None of the reviews in Het Vaderland contested the outlooks, given by Van der Willigen, or the analyses and outlooks, described in the article about the horoscope of the Netherlands and the section Politieke omstandigheden.


Source material 

Les Prophéties (5th edition, 1939)
Les Prophéties...
(De Fontbrune, 1939)

The literature study upon which this article is based, has shown that in the April-issue of volume 1940 of Astrologische Wereldschouw, Van der Willigen copied his outlooks from chapter XV of the fifth edition of Les Prophéties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus - Expliquées et commentées (Sarlat, 1939), written by dr. De Fontbrune.[2] The full title of this chapter shows that De Fontbrune expected e.g. a German invasion by Switzerland, the destruction of Geneva, battles near Chambéry, a glorious victory near Poitiers of French troops. According to De Fontbrune, it was predicted in quatrain 08-34 that in Ulm, Germany would sign a peace treaty. 
De Fontbrune linked quatrain 04-80 to the Maginot-line. He had rephrased the first two lines of this quatrain (Pres du grand fleuve grand fosse terre egeste / en quinze parts l'eau sera divisée) in modern-French: Près du grand fleuve (le Rhin), un grand retranchement sera creusé dans la terre - divisé en quinze parties hydrographiques. To this comment, a map was added which showed the fifteen segments of the Maginot-line, which according to this map was continued in Luxembourg. According to this map, most of the segments were separated from each other by rivers.
De Fontbrune did not clearly mention the year in which German troops would invade France. As far as he was concerned, the period 1941-1942 was at stake. Basing himself upon quatrain 02-39, he expected that one year after a German-Italian war, German troops would invade France and that the resulting battles would last for seven months.[3] 
The review in the evening edition of Het Vaderland of May 8, 1940, does not show if Van der Willigen based his expections about England and the British empire upon De Fontbrune's Les Propheties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus - Expliquées et commentées.


The fortune in Het Vaderland of the Centuries

Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?
Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?

It is quite plausible that readers of Astrologische Wereldschouw and Het Vaderland drew hope for the future from Van der Willigen's articles and the horoscope analyses and thought that Nostradamus had made some favourable predictions for the Netherlands for 1940 and the next years. Concrete information about their attitude is lacking.  Concrete information about their feelings - and those of Van der Willigen c.s. - at the time of the invasion of German troops in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France on May 10, 1940 is also lacking. Further , De Fontbrune must have been quite surprised when German troops invaded France from the north-east instead of by Switzerland. After the German invasion on May 10, 1940, Het Vaderland did not discuss the outdated outlooks, published in Astrologische Wereldschouw. I do not know how the editors of Astrologische Wereldschouw dealt with the new and unexpected situation.
A week after the beginning of the Battle of Britain, the battles above the Channel between the German Luftwaffe and the British Royal Air Force, totally different outlooks of the Centuries were described in Het Vaderland. The evening edition of July 18, 1940 contained an article about the national-socialist brochure Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen? which at the beginning of April 1940 was brought into circulation in the Netherlands. According to the critic, this brochure was a translation of a book by dr. De Fontbrune and Nostradamus was exposed as a reliable soothsayer, who a.o. had predicted the rise of "a Great one, which possibly might be Hitler" and the threat for England of a smashing defeat. In the summer of 1940, Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?, originally meant to demoralize the Dutch people prior to the invasion, was used to discourage Dutch resistance by referring to a success for Hitler, predicted by Nostradamus, in his fight against England.
Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen?
is the Dutch version of a German propagandistic Nostradamus-text, written in November-December 1939 by order of dr. Joseph Goebbels, Germany's minister of Propaganda. By means of specified quotes (containing page numbers and the original French text) from chapter XXII of the fifth edition of De Fontbrune's Les Prophéties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus - Expliquées et commentées, this brochure announced the decline of England. De Fontbrune was called by his name and his reputation of being a famous French Century-scholar who recently had given a striking analysis of the situation in Europe. The review in Het Vaderland of May 8, 1940 does not show if Van der Willigen at the time of writing his second article on the Centuries studied the contents of Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen? or commented this brochure. In the article in Het Vaderland of July 18, 1940, Van der Willigen and his articles were not mentioned at all.

Some facts about the magazine Astrologische Wereldschouw

Cover "Astrologiscche Wereldschouw", august 1940
Astrologische Wereldschouw
August 1940

The first issue of the magazine Astrologische Wereldschouw - maandblad voor astrologie en aanverwante wetenschappen was published in January 1937. Editor-in-chief was the astrologer Jac. J. Mieremet, born on December 28, 1905, at the time of issuing living in Voorburg in 5 Van Gaesbekestraat. In 1940, the editing staff and administration was seated in The Hage at 110 Van Lansbergestraat. Astrologische Wereldschouw was printed by City drukkerij NV, Muzenstraat 3-5, The Hague.
Each issue of Astrologische Wereldschouw was opened with an astrological analysis of the situation in the world. Next, horoscopes were discussed of countries, presidents, royalties and politicians. The magazine also contained predictions about lotteries, gambling and everyday life. Frequently, as is shown in the articles in Het Vaderland, attention has been given to the horoscopes of Hermann Goering, Adolf Hitler, the Norwegian king Haakon, the Czechoslovakian president Edvard Benes at the time of the Sudeten-crisis, and the horoscopes of the Netherlands, England and the United States.
Volume 1940 of Astrologische Wereldschouw was numbered as volume 4. The fact that volume 1946 was numbered as volume 6, means that on a certain moment in World War II, the issue of Astrologische Wereldschouw was ceased, whether or not by order of the occupying authorities. It is possible that after the invasion of German troops in 1940, the issuing was ceased and was reprised after the capitulation of Germany in May 1945. In August 1940, the eight number of volume 1940 was issued.
In 1946, Astrologische Wereldschouw was seated in Amsterdam; later in The Hague. 
Mieremet also wrote the books Met wie ben ik getrouwd? Cosmisch huwelijkslief en -leed, published in The Hague in 1949, and Het karakter van uw kind.
As editor of Astrologische Wereldschouw, Mieremet was succeeded by the astrologer Ed Noordman, born on November 16, 1928, who since 1959 practiced astrology. Noordman continued the magazine and changed its name into Toekomst, astrologisch en occult maandblad and later into Astro-vizier, astrologisch maandblad voor politiek en samenleving


De Meern, the Netherlands, December 17, 2007
T.W.M. van Berkel


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

  1. See Historische kranten in beeld. In the reviews of Astrologische Wereldschouw, published in the issues of April 12 and May 8, 1940 of Het Vaderland, only the family name Van der Willigen was given. In a previous review, published in the issue of March 21, 1939 of Het Vaderland, the name P.C. van Willigen was given. In this article, it is assumed that the correct name is P.C. van der Willigen. [text]

  2. De Fontbrune-1939, p.176-189. The name Dr. de Fontbrune is the pseudonym of dr. Max Pigeard de Gurbert. [text]

  3. De Fontbrune-1939, p.286-288. De Fontbrune expected a German invasion one year after a German-Italian conflict, which he supposed was predicted in quatrain 02-39, although the first two lines of this quatrain contain a prediction of a struggle between Germany, France and Spain, one year before the "Italian conflict". [text]  


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