Wewelsburg: Shrine of Irmin

Given the fact that the spiritual adviser to the whole “Mittlepunkt der Welt” was none other than Karl Maria Wiligut, it is not difficult to identify the “appropriate religion” to be practiced in the “New Wewelsburg”. It was Irminism.

Irminism was a genuine pagan monotheistic religion practiced by Wiligut that worshipped Irmin – a Germanic pagan deity. For all practical purposes, it was but another (fancy) name for a well-known god. Odin (Wodan or Wotan in Old German).  God who rules Valhalla, among other places.

The only specific feature of Irmin was Irminsul – a sacred pillar-like object attested as playing an important role in the Germanic paganism of Saxon people. According to one of the German legend, Irminsul was once located at or near the Externsteine, a famous rock formation near Detmold, Germany – and just a few kilometers from Wewelsburg.

In 1934-35, the Ahnenerbe undertook extensive excavations in an attempt to uncover material evidence of the use of the Externsteine as a place of Germanic paganism worship, yet no such evidence was ever found.

It did not deter Wiligut (or Himmler for that matter) from creating a genuine shrine of Irmin – in the North Tower of the Wewelsburg castle. Actually, it was supposed to be more than a shrine – a portal for communicating with Irmin (and probably with other deities and entities of Valhalla).

However, Himmler started this project (of building the Irmin shrine) by himself. By 1938, when the work on transformation of the North Tower started in earnest, Wiligut was gone.

According to the mainstream version of events, In November 1938, Karl Wolff, head of Himmler’s personal staff, visited Wiligut’s wife and learned of Wiligut’s earlier involuntary commitment to a mental institution, which proved embarrassing to Himmler.

Consequently, Wiligut was politely (or not so politely) asked to submit his resignation letter to the Reichsfuhrer. Which he (very reluctantly) did and in February left Berlin for Aufkirchen in Bavaria. In 1940, he moved to Goslar in Lower Saxony and in 1943 to Wörthersee in Carinthia, Austria.

After the defeat of Germany he found himself in a refugee camp St. Johann near Velden, where he suffered a stroke. After this he was permitted to return to Salzburg, but he soon moved on to Arolsen in Hesse, where he died on 3 January 1946. His gravestone is inscribed with “”Our Life Passes Away Like Idle Chatter”.

However, the mainstream version sounds completely implausible. By 1933, the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) – the intelligence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party had more than enough resources to thoroughly vet Wiligut (including paying a visit to his wife) prior to him being inducted into the SS (let alone becoming a member of Himmler’s personal staff).

The official SS version that Wiligut had to resign due to age (he was already 75) and poor health and thus to being unable to keep up with the demands of the ambitious “Mittelpunkt der Welt” projects sounds much more believable.

Regardless of the true reasons of Wiligut’s resignation, Himmler had now to start and manage the North Tower conversion project all by himself.


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