Categorized | Nonfiction, Reviews

Review of Kenneth Hite’s The Nazi Occult

Posted on August 12, 2013 by Billzilla

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    In the interest of full disclosure, the reviewer fully admits that Kenneth Hite is a friend. As a consequence, this review might not be as objective as otherwise.

    What is the fascination with Nazis and their pursuit of occult knowledge? The popularity of Raiders of the Lost Ark offers some evidence that we as a culture find the concepts intriguing to say the least. Perhaps, deep down, even the most cynical skeptic wants to believe that supernatural magic is real.

    In Kenneth Hite’s new book The Nazi Occult, published by the Osprey Adventures imprint of Osprey Publishing, the author offers up a treasure trove of information on the history and mythology surrounding the search for occult lore and artifacts by certain high-ranking members of the Nazi party. He also details the history of some of the concepts central to this quest.

    The legends being pursued so relentlessly by the Nazis begin with the myth of an Aryan culture that predates the Romans at least, and possibly even recorded history. This culture resided in a land called Thule, which may or may not have ties to the legendary continent of Atlantis. The rising popularity of these Thule myths had its roots in a populist movement in Germany that grew to fruition in the period between the World Wars; its power and growing influence drew on everything from pre-Christian pagan religions and Teutonic Rune-lore to the German unification. Unlike nearly every other major European power, the unified German state was still a recent development. The Germans had fallen a bit behind in their nationalistic fervor and were catching up with a vengeance.

    Befitting the overall subject matter, the details of this epic quest often wander between fact and fiction. The curious part is, most of the details are so bizarre that it becomes difficult to differentiate between fact and fancy. What’s certain is the incessant power struggles within even the smallest sub-groups involved in the search led to complications at the very least, and vicious power struggles ensued.

    Available as an e-book, print on demand or in regular print edition, The Nazi Occult is a slim volume at just 80 pages, but each page is packed with fascinating information and intriguing photos and illustrations to make the book well worth its $17.95 suggested retail price. The further reading section is also highly useful to those researching aspects of the Nazi quest for occult artifacts and lore.

    Kenneth Hite has done a masterful job collating a vast store of information into useful, bite-sized chunks. This book will be of tremendous value to those researching the era as well as to writers and gamers looking for off-the-wall information to use in a modern gaming campaign or as inspiration in their own world-building efforts. Even without a particular motive to learn more of the subject, this book is an engaging, entertaining read.

    Rating: Four of Five Stars

    Reviewed by Bill Bodden

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