The ODESSA is a codename (from the German Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen – Organization of Former SS Members) coined by the American intelligence officers in 1946.
It was assigned to an alleged Nazi underground escape plan at the end of World War II by a group of SS officers with the aim of facilitating secret escape routes. It was allegedly set up by Heinrich Himmler himself either at the end of 1944 or in the beginning of 1945.
This organization became globally known after the 1972 publication of a best-selling novel “The ODESSA File” by Frederick Forsyth (rumored to be well-connected with the Western intelligence agencies) and the subsequent (1974) release of an espionage-thriller movie under the same title.
There are three theories (setting up a top secret organization is a conspiracy) about the objectives of ODESSA. The first one claims that this organization was set up only to help the SS officers, Nazi officials and their allies from other nations (Hungary, Croatia, etc.) escape the “victors’ justice” and find sanctuary in Latin America or Middle East. In other words, to set up and manage a network of so-called “Ratlines” (in close cooperation with pro-Nazi officials of the Catholic Church).
The second one asserts that in addition to facilitating their escape, it was to provide to support the former SS members, possibly even for the rest of their natural lives (using the so-called “Nazi Gold”).
The third – by far the most audacious – conspiracy theory states that the ultimate objective of ODESSA was nothing less than to facilitate the reincarnation of the Third Reich. In other word, to establish the so-called Fourth Reich in Germany and Europe.
Although the overwhelming majority of the Nazis accepted the demise of the Third Reich as the final and irreversible verdict of History, there were allegedly a few of them (including Heinrich Himmler) who believed that even such a devastating defeat was only a temporary setback (as something similar happened to the First Reich in the first half of the 10th century). After all, what are a few decades for a thousand-year Reich?
Hence SS Reichsfuhrer made a decision to establish a “sleeper” organization that will stay dormant for decades (if necessary) until a new existential threat to Germany, Europe and the Western civilization triggers a “Singularity Event” (a reincarnation of the Reichstag Fire on the mammoth scale).
This event will create favorable conditions for the demise of the existing liberal-democratic Bundesrepublik Deutschland (and the whole liberal system in Europe, North America – in fact, all over the world).
And for the establishment of the Fourth Reich – the only system that could (and will) save Germany, Europe and the whole Western Civilization from being destroyed by this new existential threat.
As a reincarnation of the Third Reich, the Fourth Reich is envisioned by conspiracy theorists as (of course) based on Aryan supremacy, anti-Semitism, Lebensraum, aggressive militarism, totalitarianism, etc.
Some even believe that it will be able to restore German boundaries as of 1937 (or even 1914). Others think that the Fourth Reich will completely replace the European Union (in other words, the united Europe will be ruled from Berlin, not Brussels). And much more tightly.
Still others (such as David Myatt – British poet and philosopher, author of the infamous pamphlet “A Practical Guide to Aryan Revolution”) go even further.
They believe that the rise of the Fourth Reich in Germany would pave the way for the establishment of Western Imperium, a pan-Aryan world empire encompassing all lands populated by predominantly European-descended peoples (i.e., Europe, Russia, Anglo-America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa).
According to some conspiracy theorists, this transformation (i.e. radical reengineering of the Western society) will be performed by the ODESSA organization which after the Singularity Event will reveal itself (“get out of the shadows”) and assume control over the situation.
This project will be financed by the enormous wealth generated by shrewd investment of the (in)famous “Nazi Gold” – i.e. significant financial assets of Nazi Germany (gold, precious stones, foreign currency, etc.) that disappeared into thin air at the end of World Word II (it is true that even the total value of all assets allegedly stolen by Nazi Germany – let alone how much was recovered – remains unknown).
Some even believe that to achieve this transformation, ODESSA will use supernatural tools and technologies (and thus will create Himmler’s, not Hitler’s version of the Reich – the global “SS-Staat”). And thus will work in close cooperation with another subject of conspiracy theories – the Vril Society.
There is, of course, not a shred of tangible evidence that supports either conspiracy theory. No trace of ODESSA organization (even as the manager of “Ratlines”) has ever been found.
The organization that assisted former SS members did exist (still does). It is based in Wuppertal (North Rhine-Westphalia) and called Die Stille Hilfe für Kriegsgefangene und Internierte, (“Silent assistance for prisoners of war and interned persons”) or Stille Hilfe, for short.
The organization has garnered a reputation for being shrouded in secrecy and thus remains a source of speculation (and, of course, conspiracy theories). However, it was set up not in 1944, but in 1951 – five years after the end of the war.
And it was set up not by any SS members, but by a woman – Helene Elisabeth Princess von Isenburg. It was (and still is) allegedly a strictly relief organization for arrested, condemned and fugitive SS members.
Former high-ranking Waffen-SS officers did establish an organization (actually, the same year) – Hilfsgemeinschaft auf Gegenseitigkeit der Angehörigen der Ehemaligen Waffen-SS (HIAG) – “Mutual aid association of former Waffen-SS members”).
But it was a lobby group and a revisionist veterans’ organization. Its main objective was to achieve legal, economic and historical rehabilitation of the Waffen-SS. As one of historians put it, “HIAG’s main goal was pensions, not a restoration of the Third Reich”. However, in 1992 it was deemed a threat to German democracy and banned by the federal government.