Wewelsburg – Himmler’s Black Camelot

Wewelsburg Castle in Westphalia, Germany, is a site of significant historical and magical interest. Its historical significance lies in the fact that it was chosen by Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler to be the centre of his Order of the SS and an ideological training centre for SS officers. Its magical interest is that Himmler ordered the construction of two magical chambers on the north tower of Wewelsburg in which he intended to perform his own magical ceremonies.

Unfortunately, there is no English language book on Schloss Wewelsburg at this time. There are two German language books which deal significantly with Wewelsburg: the first, “Wewelsburg 1933 1945: SS Kultund Terrorstatte” by Prof Dr Karl Huser. The sccond, “Heinrich Himmlers Burg, Das Weltanschauliche Zentrum der SS, Bildchronik der SS Schule Haus Wewelsburg 19341945″ by Stuart Russell and Jost W Schneider. At the present time the author Stuart Russell is working on a definitive study of Wewelsburg which will the first and Long-awaited English language book dealing with Wewelsburg during the Third Reich. This writer has visited Wewelsburg on two separate occasions and carried out his own Magical Working in the “Walhalla” and met with the author Stuart Russell. This brief article is intended to shed some light on the mysterious castle and share some of its secrets withthose who are not fluent in German until such times as Russell’s book “Himmler’s Castle” is available.*

Wewelsburg takes its name from the robber knight Wewel von Buren. It was built between 1604 and 1607 on the ruins of a much older Saxon stronghold. It served as a secondary residence for the Prince Bishop of Paderborn, Theodor von Furstenberg, before eventually coming under the control of the county of Buren. A Latin inscription above the main gate reads: Many would like to enter but they never will.

Himmler first visited to castle on November 3, 1933 and was immediately impressed by the triangular structure. He was searching for a suitable castle in Westphalia in which he could establish an SS leadership school. Himmler’s attention had been drawn to the Wewelsburg by Karl-Maria Wiligut/Weisthor, an ex-Austrian colonel and researcher of prehistoric and Germanic matters.

The SS Castle

Wiligut had joined the SS in 1933 and rose to the rank of Brigadefuhrer by 1936. He had told Himmler of an old prophecy which said that “a gigantic storm would appear out of the east to overwhelm the German peoples if not confronted and turned back in the region of Westphalia.” 0n July 27, 1934 the Nazi Party leased the castle from the county of Buren for the symbolic sum of one Reichsmark per year. Himmler appointed the architect Hermann Bartels to reconstruct and expand the castle.

Reconstruction

The reconstruction cost 13 million marks, and prisoners from the nearby concentration camp KZ Neiderhagen worked on it. Bartels was commissioned to draw up ever larger plans for an “SS City” which would have taken 20 years to complete and would have cost the sum of 250 million marks.

Construction began with the creation of an SS Guardhouse and Barracks and an SS sentry box. The planned expansion of the castle would have swallowed up the whole of the village of Wewelsburg and the SS planned to relocate villagers in a new model town nearby.

The mighty north tower of the Wewelsburg was torn down and rebuilt to include the marble floored “Gruppenfuhrersaal” or Hall of Pillars.

Walhalla

There were 12 pillars in this room as well as 12 radiators and 12 niches. The black design on the marble floor had 12 rays coming forth in the form of reversed Sig runes. An April 1945 photo shows the pillars in the hall having been whitewashed under which were paintings of humanoid figures. It was possible that these paintings were of German heroes of times past The old cellars of the north tower became the “Gruft” Crypt or “Walhalla”, Hall of Dead Heroes. This area also used the number 12, as there were 12 stone pedestals around the walls of the circular dome-shaped room. Construction work ceased in 1944, having been only temporarily stopped by the outbreak of the War. Plans for the SS City continued to be drawn up however until 1945.

Walhalla

Architectural drawings by Bartels show the Wewelsburg complex project in the form of spear with the north tower of Wewelsburg itself as the tip and head of this spear. Both the “Gruppenfuhrersaal” and the “Walhalla” were constructed for special ceremonies and there are indications that either Himmler or Hitler were to be buried there. As the construction proceeded a schoolhouse was set up. By 1938 a library of 16,000 books had been accumulated together with an early photocopying machine and bookbinding facilities.

Research Centre

There was also a museum housed in one of the wings of the castle and a staff of archaeologists. Ahnenerbe (Ancestral Heritage) staff were posted at Wewelsburg who worked alongside the scholastic staff. Prof Dr Walter Rust, curator of the Ahnenerbe was appointed as Scholastic Staff Supervisor in 1938. They studied and carried out excavations at the nearby “Externsteine” stones in the Teutoburger Wald (Forest). These were Germanic holy relics and possibly the location of the famous Pagan “Irminsul”, the sacred relic of the Saxons which was destroyed by Charlemange.

Centre of the World

The Wewelsburg was to become the ideological school where SS officers were ideologically and spiritually trained. It was envisaged by Himmler as the “Mittelpunkt der Welt”, the Centre of the World, and indeed this centre-point was the centre of the “Black Sun” design on the marbled floor of the “Gruppenfuhrersaal”.

The Black Sun of the “Gruppenfuhrersaal”

Originally a gold disk was set in the middle of the design but was looted at the end of the war. Looking closely at the design one can see a slight depression in this “Black Sun” where the gold disk once rested! Directly underneath this design is the swastika in the roof of the “Walhalla”.

“Walhalla” roof

Himmler visited the castle 40 times between February 1936 and December 1937. Many high rankingNazi officials visited the castle including the Deputy Fuhrer Hess in March 1936. In a speech in Munich on 8 January, 1938 Himmler stated that “Future initiation ceremonies for the Gruppenfuhrer including those who have not as yet been sworn in, will be conducted at Wewelsburg.” At a Gruppenfuhrer conference at Wewelsburg between 11-15 June, 1941, Himmler revealed to his SS Officers the plans for the invasion of the USSR. As the fortunes of the war turned against the Third Reich the role of Wewelsburg became less important and staff were transferred to combat posts. In 1944 it was given a coat of camouflage paint, and fearing the castle would be bombed by Allied forces, Himmler had his vast collection of art treasures and weaponry moved to a country estate. On 30 March 1945 the castle garrison was evacuated and they took many files with them to the Sennelager army base at Paderborn.

Demolition

Himmler personally instructed SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Heinz Macher to destroy the Wewelsburg Castle to prevent it falling intact into the hands of the advancing US. 3rd Armoured Division. On 31 March 1945, Macher and his squad of demolition troops arrived in the village, setting fire to the castle and firing anti-tank rockets at the burning building. Macher did not have enough explosives to totally destroy the formidable structure and both the “Walhalla” and “Gruppenfuhrersaal” were spared and still stand today as in 1945.

American forces arrived at Wewe!sburg on 2 April 1945. Captain Theodore M Black of CIC (Counter Intelligence Corps) inspected the ruins and found, and kept, a cigar box full of 200 SS Totenkopf Rings, an SS Banner and an SS typewriter with an SS rune key. He distributed many of the rings back in the USA to men of his unit. The rings which were awarded by Himmler to SS Officers had to be returned to Wewelsburg on the death of wearer. Despite this fact, rumours of buried treasure in the surrounding area of Wewelsburg persist. Many other myths surrounding the Wewelsburg persist, today fostered by books dealing with the hidden “occult” sciences of the Third Reich.

One of the principle myths is that there was a large round oak table in the Gruppenfuhrersaal around which Himmler and 12 of his Obergruppenfuhrers sat on leather high-back chairs like King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Not so. The leather chairs do exist, but the round table never was. The table was long and rectangular and situated in the South wing of the castle, not in the “Gruppenfuhrersaal”.*

Today the Wewelsburg has been happily restored and houses a Youth Hostel and the County museum. The former SS Guardhouse now houses a museum of artefacts and documentation from the time of the SS occupation of Wewelsburg.

By Antony Parkin


This article appeared in “The Flaming Sword”, No 1 (January 1994)

* Note of the editor: The book referred to in this article is “Heinrich Himmler’s Camelot” (2000). Another work that documents the castle is the exhibition guide: “Endtime Warriors: Ideology and Terror of the SS” (2015).

* Note of the editor: Nothing contradict the possibility of a round table placed inside the “Gruppenfuhrersaal” nor the possibility that the leaders would sit in a circle consisting of 12 chairs. It is very plausible.