Hanussen

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Postby Guest » 06/23/04 09:48 AM

Was pouring sweat at the finish of this article. Felt like being in a falling elevator, franticly pushing the "stop" button; no response. An electric, gut wrenching, piece of journalism. Thanks.

Anybody have luck with the 'breaking the chain'? I'm still trying to find the right chain. They're going to kick me out of the hardware store soon. As soon as I find it...
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Postby Ray Eden » 06/23/04 11:03 AM

Was the movie about this Henussen ever released in the US? I had appeared on a Finnish TV program with the guy who played the Jewish strongman and he loaned me an editor's copy of the movie. Haven't heard anything more of since then.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/23/04 12:02 PM

There have been two movies about Hanussen. The first was directed by Istaven Szabo and starred Klaus Maria Brandhauer, the more recent one was directed by Werner Hertzog.
Both had theatrical releases, and the former was available on videotape at one point.
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Postby Guest » 06/23/04 12:18 PM

Read Mel Gordon's book, and you will see there are those still making money, claiming his power or bloodline...his story/legend continues. A magic collector/historian from Germany, told me last November, that Hanussen is still talked about in Germany...the name being as well-known as Houdini is, in the U.S. and elsewhere.
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Postby Ray Eden » 06/23/04 12:27 PM

Well. . .neither of the films you mentioned are the one that I meant. According to Internet Movie Data Base the film opened (limited release) on September 20, 2002. It was called 'Invincible' and Tim Roth played the Hanussen role. The fellow who was on the same TV show as me was Jouko Ahola who played Zishe Breitbart, a Jewish strongman (he is a well known Finnish strongman in 'real life'). The story revolves around Breitbart and Hanussen. (IMDb: http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0245171/)

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/23/04 12:46 PM

Ray, your link was incorrect. Here is the correct one: www.us.imdb.com/title/tt0245171/
It is, in fact, the version I stated was directed by Werner Herzog.
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Postby Ray Eden » 06/23/04 01:14 PM

Wonder why the link didn't work. Guess my cut and paste didn't work correctly. Sorry about thinking it was another film than the two you mentioned. Directors ain't my thing. I only remember the actors. :-) I was lucky enough to remember the name of the movie. LOL

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Postby Guest » 06/23/04 02:14 PM

The link doesn't work because it picks up the "close parenthesis" at the end. Delete it from the address bar, re-enter it and all's well.
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Postby GAMOLO » 06/23/04 04:13 PM

The Szabo film (B&W; not in English) is tough to locate. Besides staring Klaus Brandhauer, who is a great actor (Out of Africa, etc.) it also features Klaus Kinski (father of fem fetale Natasha, the modern Cat People, etc.)in his most sexually depraved creepiness as the Nazi Heldorf.

The recent Tim Roth version is frequently on cable, hence it should be easily available....try Borders, etc.
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Postby GAMOLO » 06/23/04 04:24 PM

Forgot to mention....I also have a book written by one of his (allegedly) sons entitled "HOW TO LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE"

This guy spends the first portion of his book "proving" he really is a son....doesn't claim he was left in a basket to float down the Rhine...but rather that friends of Erik stuck him in an orphanage and told no one that he was Jewish in order that the kid might survive. He did, eventually discovered his true origins, and that he possessed the "gift" as well, performing all over Europe, yada, yada, yada. From the pictures he really does look like Hanussen!
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Postby Bob Farmer » 06/23/04 04:31 PM

For more information on this subject, check out UNHOLY ALLIANCE, A History of Nazi Involvement With The Occult by Peter Levendra ISBN 0-380-77722-3 Avon Books 1995.
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Postby Guest » 06/25/04 01:01 AM

Having read the book Erik Jan Hanussen:Hitler's Jewish Clairvoyant,I'm interested in finding some skeptical information about this man.
Anyone can point me to the right sources?
Many thanks,

Yaniv Deautsch
The Wizard is Dead get it here: www.magic-notes.com
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Postby Richard Hatch » 06/25/04 08:27 AM

Originally posted by Yaniv Deautsch:
Having read the book Erik Jan Hanussen:Hitler's Jewish Clairvoyant,I'm interested in finding some skeptical information about this man.
Anyone can point me to the right sources?
[/URL]
Yaniv, when you say skeptical, do you mean regarding his alleged psychic powers, or regarding his alleged contact with Hitler? Both are addressed in the most scholarly Hanussen biography to date, Wilfried Kugel's HANUSSEN: DIE WAHRE GESCHICHTE DES HERMANN STEINSCHNEIDER (Hanussen: The True Story of Hermann Steinschneider, Grupello, 1998). This appears to be the source of much of Gordon's information and documentation, but Kugel could find no hard evidence that Hanussen actually met with Hitler (despite the rumors, many propogated by Hanussen himself). Kugel, a physicist turned parapsychologist, hoped to find evidence of Hanussen's powers, but instead could only document numerous cases of clear cheating. The most potentially inflammatory question regarding Hanussen, Was he directly responsible for the Reichstag fire? remains open. If he was responsible, then a Jew can be blamed for Hitler's assumption of dictatorial powers and its terrible consequences. But the evidence for Hanussen's involvement is very circumstantial at best. The claim that he hypnotised the Dutch communist, Marinus van der Lubbe, to set the fire raises several questions: Was the fire set by a single person (an open and debated question)? Was van der Lubbe, acknowledged to be mentally severely challenged, capable of being hypnotised and carrying out such a task? Most textbooks on hypnosis claim that the weak minded cannot be hypnotised. If that is true, then van der Lubbe seems an unlikely subject for Hanussen to hypnotise. Gordon's GENII article and his book are fascinating, but should not be accepted uncritically.
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Postby Guest » 06/25/04 08:56 AM

Hello Richard...
I meant regarding his alleged psychic powers.
I'm more intersted in transcripts of Hanussen's readings and such,if any of those are published anywhere and other relevant information.
Hope this clear my request.
Thanks again.

Yaniv Deautsch
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/25/04 05:59 PM

Mel Gordon, the author of our article on Erik Jan Hanussen, asked me to post the following message:

Dear Geniians,

I am delighted about your responses to my Hanussen piece. Its a great story that most WW2 historians have long ignored.

I tried to outline the reasons for this in my book on Hanussen. For one, Hanussen doesnt normally appear in English-language books on the origins of the Third Reich. (Therefore, the story seems highly suspicious.) Secondly, it implicates a Jew in assisting Hitlers raise to power. (Dangerous political assumption.) Finally, the story is bound up with popular culture and magic. (A field rarely explored in 20th-century history.) In fact, even a glance at standard German publications in 1932 tells us a lot. Berlin pictorial monthlies, for the first time, began to include occult columns on clairvoyance, astrological analysis, the efficacy of graphology, etc. in every issue. The growing interest in the occult and magical belief clearly paralleled the new electoral support for Nazism.

Another note. Richard Hatch wrote that Wilfried Kugel's HANUSSEN: DIE WAHRE GESCHICHTE DES HERMANN STEINSCHNEIDER appears to be the source of much of Gordon's information and documentation. This is not true. Although I praised Kugels work as a fine scholarly undertaking, almost all of my research was conductly independently of his some of which was flat out incorrect or ridiculous. For instance, Kugel strongly implied that CIA historians, German-haters all, must have altered the 1943 OSS report on Hitler when it was released in 1972. (I cross-referenced the OSS account against Otto Strassers writings on Hanussen and Hitler, which appeared in the American press in 1940. There was no 1972 anti-German conspiracy to distort the wartime documents.)

Most of Hanussens associates and critics were Jewish and went into exile after the Hitler coup. Between 1933 and 1942, they wrote thirty-some articles about Hanussen that appeared in British, French, and American publications. Kugel was unaware of these or discounted them possibly because they were authored by Jewish refugees. Also, oral history is not Kugels strong suit. Hanussens daughter and the nephew of Hanussens stage manager (who lived with the master for two years) both told me Kugels book was greatly flawed. I found their memories highly accurate and incorporated them into my book and the GENII article.

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Postby Bob Farmer » 06/26/04 03:31 AM

Now we need similar articles on Nancy Reagan's astrologer and the spiritualist medium one of Canada's prime ministers, Mackenzie King, used.
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Postby Jeff Eline » 06/26/04 05:30 AM

What an incredibly interesting article. Thank you! Not what you'd expect from a magic magazine. Very well done!
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Postby Richard Hatch » 06/26/04 03:02 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman at the request of Mel Gordon, the author of our article on Erik Jan Hanussen:
Richard Hatch wrote that Wilfried Kugel's HANUSSEN: DIE WAHRE GESCHICHTE DES HERMANN STEINSCHNEIDER appears to be the source of much of Gordon's information and documentation. This is not true. Although I praised Kugels work as a fine scholarly undertaking, almost all of my research was conductly independently of his some of which was flat out incorrect or ridiculous. For instance, Kugel strongly implied that CIA historians, German-haters all, must have altered the 1943 OSS report on Hitler when it was released in 1972. (I cross-referenced the OSS account against Otto Strassers writings on Hanussen and Hitler, which appeared in the American press in 1940. There was no 1972 anti-German conspiracy to distort the wartime documents.)

Most of Hanussens associates and critics were Jewish and went into exile after the Hitler coup. Between 1933 and 1942, they wrote thirty-some articles about Hanussen that appeared in British, French, and American publications. Kugel was unaware of these or discounted them possibly because they were authored by Jewish refugees. Also, oral history is not Kugels strong suit. Hanussens daughter and the nephew of Hanussens stage manager (who lived with the master for two years) both told me Kugels book was greatly flawed. I found their memories highly accurate and incorporated them into my book and the GENII article.

Mel Gordon
I welcome this opportunity to apologize to Professor Gordon for not properly acknowledging his extensive independent research in my reference to Dr. Kugels prior work on this fascinating topic. Gordon himself calls Kugels 1998 book the best source of documented Hanussenia (p. 243) and the first objective investigation of Hanussens life and a great scholastic undertaking (p. 266). Indeed, I would have thought Kugels 300 page work with its 644 source citations would have been happily acknowledged as a major resource for any subsequent researcher on this topic. I am surprised by the example Gordon cites as an instance where Kugel is flat out incorrect or ridiculous, since Kugels book makes no mention of a 1972 anti-German CIA conspiracy to distort wartime documents. Here is a rather free translation of the brief Kugel reference in question (Kugel, p. 185): Walter C. Langer reported in a psychological profile of Hitler published in 1972 but apparently written in 1942/43 at the request of the US government that, according to Otto Strasser, Hitler took lessons in mass psychology and public speaking from Hanussen in the early 1920s [Footnote 441 gives his source, Langers 1972 book, THE MIND OF ADOLF HITLER]. This cannot be confirmed by any other reports, and it is possible that Langer got his information from the imaginative but undocumented stories that Mueller-Schoenhausen published in 1959 [Footnote 442 gives the 1959 Mueller-Schoenhausen reference]. No corresponding references are to be found in Strassers numerous works. But there must have been a relationship between Hanussen and Otto Strasser, because DIE SCHWARZE FRONT [I assume this is a Strasser and pro-Nazi publication - rh] gave euphoric reports about Hanussen, for example on May 29, 1932. That is the extent of Kugels writing on this topic. Where is the implication that CIA historians, German-haters all altered the document? Kugel is clearly mistaken in believing Langer got his information from a 1959 source, but it seems an honest mistake, given he was apparently not familiar with Strassers 1940 book HITLER AND I and a series of articles Strasser wrote for TRUE DETECTIVE in 1942, both cited by Gordon, but not by Kugel (those Strasser publications both date the Hitler meetings to the summer of 1932 according to Gordon, a discrepancy of nearly a decade). Historians John Toland and Heinz Hoehne seem to be the only Hitler biographers of note to have taken the Hanussen/Hitler lessons seriously and their source was the 1959 work by Johannes von Mueller-Schoenhausen cited earlier. According to Kugel (p. 13), this work reproduces Hanussen documents supposedly from the Hitler collection of a Viennese lawyer, but Kugel examined some of these documents and found them to be forgeries.

Gordon says oral history is not Kugels strong suit and cites Hanussens daughters opinion that Kugels work is greatly flawed. Kugel acknowledged Hanussens daughters help with his research and reproduces an inscribed photo of Hanussen from her collection. My understanding is that she believed her father actually had psychic powers, so it is not surprising that she would be unhappy with Kugels conclusion that he did not. One wonders what weight should be given to her testimony, more than 65 years after the fact, considering she was only 4 when her parents divorced (she was raised by her mother and stepfather) and just 12 when her father died.

As pointed out by Gordon, he accessed thirty-some articles about Hanussen that appeared in British, French, and American publications that were not cited by Kugel. Here are some of the sources he cites: TRUE MYSTIC SCIENCE #1, SMASH DETECTIVE, TRUE DETECTIVE MAGAZINE, TRUE CRIME and REDBOOK MAGAZINE. The authors were often refugees from Nazism writing for the popular press. How seriously should one take these sources?

Let me try to put things in a contemporary perspective: The burning of the Reichstag was the Third Reich equivalent of our 9/11. It led immediately to Hitlers assumption of dictatorial powers. Hanussen becomes the equivalent of Osama bin Laden, as instigator of the burning, if Gordons version is accurate. That is an extraordinary claim and requires extraordinary proof. To accept migr rumors published in the tabloid press as documentary evidence seems to me like using a NATIONAL ENQUIRER article by Ahmad Chalabi as proof that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Both claims could well be true, but I find the evidence for both wanting at present.

Those interested in accessing Langers OSS document can find it online at
http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/h/hit ... index.html

Incidentally, here is an interesting quote from that document, that has some relevance for this topic:
Almost all writers have attributed Hitler's confidence to the fact that he is a great believer in astrology and that he is constantly in touch with astrologers who advise him concerning his course of action. This is almost certainly untrue. All of our informants who have known Hitler rather intimately discard the idea as absurd. They all agree that nothing is more foreign to Hitler's personality than to seek help from outside sources of this type. The informant of the Dutch Legation holds a similar view. He says:
"Not only has the Fuehrer never had his horoscope cast, but he is in principle against horoscopes because he feels he might be unconsciously influenced by them." (655)
It is also indicative that Hitler, some time before the war, forbade the practice of fortune-telling and star-reading in Germany.


Otto Strasser, incidentally, apparently also told Langer that Hitler enjoyed having his half-niece (with whom he co-habited until her death, an apparent though disputed suicide, in 1930) urinate on his chest and defecate on his faceanother extraordinary claim that might call Strassers reliability as a source into question.
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Postby Guest » 06/28/04 10:53 PM

I'm about half-way through the article and it is indeed very good. Thank you.

However, shortly near the beginning there was one point at which I had a strange laugh...

In talking about a Jewish man it was quite strange to make reference to his "Christened" name. Not many Jews are Baptised...
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Postby GAMOLO » 07/01/04 03:47 PM

Dear Glenn,
Don't want to digress from the main Hanussen theme here, but the question of "Christian" names may be a little confusing.

Generally speaking, Jews and most all other people, especially those living in non urban areas (which was where the bulk of all European as well as the American population lived pre WW2)
did not employ last names.
One was called by your given "first" name, and you were referred to as either the "son of" or "the daughter of" so & so. Tradition held that the first initial of a dead relative be employed in naming children.
When "last" names became popularized following the "Emancipation" of Europe by Napoleon's "liberation" of the old order, people had to provide last names for the census takers who utilized them for army conscription. Although the French victories provided, for the first time, "citizenship" for many Jews, it also was accompanied by the French intoduction of a "citizens' army. Until then, most countries' military forces were professional.
The Polish & Russian armies quickly picked up on this and especially ca. 1830-1914 started demanding that the Jews under their control (where most of the World's Jews at the time resided) start employing last names.
Like most other people, these last names usually reflected one's occupation or a nearby geographical feature.
Jews were not permited to be officers or even usually to bear arms...but were drafted to be cannon foder....thrown at the front lines to exhaust the enemies' supply of artillery. Hence, between the progroms & conscription many Jews during the 1840s-1914 emigrated to Western Europe/America.
Many of these so called "Christian" last names were deemed difficult or unpronounable in English and hence often shortened or "Anglo-Saxonized" by entry Immigration officials or by the families themselves. Most eastern European origin Jews experienced this. You think Molovinsky is difficult? Try the original...Moloviensky. Parents not smart enough to change to Miller!
If all this sounds incredible to you....remember, in the USA, African Americans usually were given the last names of their slave masters...and were not integrated
into the armed services until AFTER WW2....and, during the war, with few exceptions, were not permitted to bear arms either! Rather, they were detailed into all black units that provided logistical support...e.g. field kitchen help, supply, etc., etc.
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Postby Alexander Crawford » 07/02/04 08:39 AM

I have located the Szabo film, Hanussen, for sale (second hand VHS) at the following link: Hanussen
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Postby Guest » 07/06/04 06:29 PM

Originally posted by Gale Molovinsky:
Don't want to digress from the main Hanussen theme here, but the question of "Christian" names may be a little confusing.
Not confusing at all, really. I was just noting the choice of using the word "Christened" which means "Baptized" in the case of a person who was never Baptized because he wasn't Christian. I think that the phrase "family name" or even the U.S. phrase "last name" is more religion neutral.

That said, though, thank you very much for puting all of that information into a single place.
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Postby Guest » 07/08/04 10:23 AM

What a great article indeed. Superb.

Would like to point out though that Hanussen was partly right when he said that the wars in the 2000 will be fought via television monitors. Many scholars agree that since the Vietnam war television has been one of the major force in war and peace. In fact, the past few years have even increased the role of this media even further.

I do believe that Hanussen ment rather different way of using television monitors (i.e. mind control etc.) but nonetheless, have to say, he was pretty close on most of them.
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