In March of 2016, researchers opened the long-forgotten (it has not been opened since the 1950s) book depository in a National Library of the Czech Republic in Prague. Inside they found a formidable collection of 13,000 (!) books on witchcraft, sorcery, occultism, magic, supernatural and paranormal.
According to the documents that accompanied the collection, it belonged to no other than SS Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler. It was collected by members of H-Sonderkommando, named for the first letter of the German word Hexe, meaning ”witch”.
This team was established by Heinrich Himmler himself in 1935 and operated until the end of World War II. Most of books (some of which are quite rare) have been plundered (stolen) from more than 260 libraries and archives in Greater Germany, German-occupied territories and even from libraries located on the territories of German allies (Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Italy and Croatia). About half of the books came from the library that belonged to the Norwegian Order of Freemasons library in Oslo.
The bulk of the collection dealt with witches and their persecution in medieval Germany (and thus was rightfully called the Hexenkartothek – “The Witches’ Library”). Thus, Himmler accumulated the largest collection of witch-trial records to be found in the history of Europe.
According to the accompanying documents, the library was stored in Wewelsburg castle. Which made perfect sense as (1) in the 17th century the castle was used as the official place for holding witch trials in the Paderborn archdiocese and (2) the Ahnenerbe did conduct research in medieval history in the castle.
At the end of March of 1945, just days before the castle was seized by the American troops, it was moved to Prague and apparently ended up in the abovementioned depot.
The big questions obviously are:
“What on Earth did Heinrich Himmler need this library for? And what the hell – literally – did he and his employees do with it?”
One theory is that he was looking for the proof that the Holy Inquisition (and thus the Catholic Church) persecuted witches to annihilate an indigenous German pagan nature-based religion (that witches supposedly practiced) in a monstrous conspiracy against the Aryan race.
Another theory claims that this was but a cover story for the Führer who did not approve of (let alone share) Himmler’s interest in supernatural. According to this theory, Himmler believed that medieval witches, sorcerers and other occultists did have supernatural powers. Powers that can be “weaponized” and used to achieve victory in the hopeless war of attrition that Nazi Germany was forced to fight after the failure of blitzkrieg on the Eastern front in December of 1941.