In 1935, the SS created a special section called ''H'' (H-Sonderkommando, so named for the first letter of the German word Hexe, meaning ''witch''). This section was looking for documents on witchcraft, the occult, and the supernatural. They sought the information among at least 260 libraries and archives. Their work took place from 1935 to 1944. As a result, they accumulated the greatest concentrated collection on witches and their persecution in medieval Germany. This was the largest survey of witch-trial records to be found in the history of Europe.
Witches' Sabbath by Francisco de Goya. ( Public Domain )
Heinrich Himmler believed that the power of the old occult masters would help the Nazis to rule the world. He followed the Witch-Cult hypothesis, created by Margaret Murray, a famous researcher in this field. He believed in a scientific point of view on a witchcraft and with time he became obsessed with it. He trusted that the Celto-Germanic Nature religion would bring him all that he desired - but the simple version of purely traditional aspects was not enough for him. The Nazis created the dirtiest and most corrupt version of ''witchcraft'' to have ever existed.
Himmler thought that the actions of the Catholic church’s Inquisition were purposefully trying to repress an indigenous German pagan nature-based religion, völkisch, in a conspiracy against the Aryan race. He even tried to find proof for his own magical roots, and according to biographers on Himmler, he discovered that one of his ancestors was burned as a witch. His anger at these acts appeared in anti-Christian propaganda. He began to hate Christianity and believed that he owed his “successes” against it to the ones who were murdered for having a knowledge of magic.
According to Georg Luck, the cult which Himmler followed had its roots in late antiquity. In his book, Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds , he described the basis of the beliefs which became an important part of the political life of Nazis. The cult worshiped the Horned God of Celts and a Greco-Roman Pan/Faunus. It was a combination of gods which gave roots to a new deity, an early conception of the Devil.
Himmler is credited as a founder of '' Esoteric Hitlerism ''. He was also deeply involved in astrology, and tried to construct a new pseudo-Germanic Neopagan religion, based on a cult created in his imagination. He approved officially pagan holidays and manipulated the facts connected with traditional pagan cults.