The Barbarossa Legend

BarbarossaThere were unconfirmed rumors that Adolf Hitler considered himself a reincarnation of Frederick I Barbarossa (one of the greatest medieval emperors who ruled from 1155 to 1190).

Given the fact that Hitler labeled his most important military endeavor (invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22nd, 1941) Operation Barbarossa and previously named one of his houses after Frederick I, there might have been some truth to the rumors.

In other words, it is quite possible that Adolf Hitler, indeed, viewed himself a reincarnation of Frederick I Barbarossa, chosen by the Almighty Providence (and possibly by the German gods) to save Germany from the existential threat of Bolshevism, to fight and win the existential battle with the Bolshevist Soviet and to restore Germany to its magnificent glory.

And although he lost World War II, he did save Germany and the whole Europe from being destroyed by Bolsheviks and – albeit very temporarily – did restore Germany to its former glory.

The roots of this belief by Adolf Hitler (if, indeed, he had such a belief) can be traced to a well-known (in Germany) medieval legend about Frederick I Barbarossa. According to this legend, the Holy Roman Emperor (and the King of Germany) Frederick I Barbarossa, did not die in June of 1190, but is asleep with his knights in a cave in the Kyffhäuser mountains in Thuringia.

The place where he allegedly sleeps is marked by the Kyffhäuser Monument, also known as Barbarossa Monument erected in 1890–96 at the site of medieval Kyffhausen Castle near the spa town Bad Frankenhausen.

Emperor’s eyes are half closed in sleep, but now and then he raises his hand and sends a boy out to see what’s going on in his beloved Germany (and Europe as he was a Holy Roman Emperor).

And when he sees that Germany and the whole Holy Roman Empire (i.e. the whole Christian European civilization) faces an existential threat, he will wake up, lead the mighty army of his German knights into the existential battle, win this battle, save Europe and restore Germany to its ancient greatness.

And that’s precisely what Adolf Hitler believed he was doing – saving Germany, Europe and the whole European civilization from being conquered and destroyed by the Bolshevist Soviet Union and restoring it to its well-deserved splendid greatness. While he was obviously successful in the first endeavor, he no less obviously failed (and failed miserably) in the second one.

However, while he committed suicide in the Führerbunker on April 30th, 1941 paying the ultimate price for his colossal blunders, he “passed the torch” to the second most powerful (and creative) individual in the Third Reich.

To SS-Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler. Who not only developed his very own vision of Nazi Germany (and Nazi Europe), in many aspects substantially different from Hitler’s, but allegedly created a very tangible (and very financially powerful) secret organization.



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