Wewelsburg Castle

Wewelsburg is a Renaissance castle located in the village of Wewelsburg, which is a district of the town of Büren, Westphalia, in the Landkreis of Paderborn in the northeast of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The castle has a triangular layout – three round towers connected by massive walls. After 1934, it was used by the SS under Heinrich Himmler and was to be expanded into a complex acting as the central SS cult-site.

The focus of the cult and school was to develop Germanic pre- and early history, folklore studies, as an equipment for ideological-political training, envisioning a kind of Nordic academy. Very quickly the focus of activity shifted away from schooling the SS leadership in a broad set of ideological fields to something much narrower. In fact, work concentrated more on conducting basic pseudo-scientific research in the fields of Germanic pre- and early history, medieval history, folklore and genealogy, all intended to provide the underpinnings for the racial teachings of the SS.

Wewelsburg castle was also a centre for archaeological excavations in the region. Fields of activity included study of prehistory and ancient history,, study of medieval history and folklife, build-up of the “Library of the Schutzstaffel in Wewelsburg”, and strengthening the National Socialist worldview in the village of Wewelsburg.

Swearing-in ceremonies were planned at the castle. Meetings of SS-Group-Leaders (equivalent to lieutenant-generals) at so called “spring conferences” were planned since 1939. The castle crew consisted of members of all SS branches, the “General SS”, the police and the “Armed SS”. Also working at the castle were proponents of a kind of SS esotericism consisting of Germanic mysticism, an ancestor cult, worship of runes, and racial doctrines. Himmler, for example, adapted the idea of the Grail to create a heathen mystery for the SS.

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