Contributed by Glen Davis
The Waffen-SS were considered the most fanatical of the Nazi troops. Their history of atrocities during Germany’s Nazi regime is a blot on humanity. Yet they had links to an allegedly peaceful religious grouping.
Below is one example of this.
Just under 8 months prior to a shot being fired in the Second World War, five members of the Waffen-SS entered the Buddhist sacred city of Lhasa in Tibet. They were there on a mission to find more about an Aryan race supposedly inhabiting the area.
They wanted to find links they could use to justify the Nazi regime.
When Hitler wrote Mein Kampf in the 1920’s, the mythology of the Aryan race was fully developed. As he set about his horrendous actions aiming at world domination, he hoped to find scientific ‘evidence’ for his repulsive plans.
Hitler and his ilk found various influences.
An important symbol used by both Buddhists and Hindus of the region is the Swastika. The word is Sanskrit and Tibetan for good fortune.
The Nazi inner circle found this appealing and was promoted by Waffen-SS chief Heinrich Himmler, who had made earlier visits of this type to Tibet.
Nazi tour in Tibet
SS operative Dr. Ernst Schaefer had toured twice. Schaefer was a zoologist and botanist, who had met and been feted by the high-ranking Panchen Lama. He was appointed the leader of the 1939 tour.
On January 19, 1939, Dr Ernst Schaefer, Dr Bruno Beger, Dr Karl Weinert, Ernst Krause, and Edmund Geer, entered Lhasa the Tibetan capital. These men were all experts in their chosen fields, committed Nazis and members of the SS. The objective of their journey was to find out more about origin the Aryan race, which according to Nazi belief is the master race.
They wanted to know if the original Aryans ha superhuman powers. The members of the tour met highly ranked members of this religious hermit kingdom and built their contacts.
One of the interesting actions linked to this tour was when the Reting Regent, Tibet’s virtual ruler, wrote to Adolf Hitler, speaking positively about the Nazis’ aim’ of ongoing peace based on racial grounds. This letter showed the important level of contact the Waffen-SS tour made with the religious leaders of Tibet.
Photo by Ernst Schaefer a member of the 1939 tour: The Reting Regent Jamphel Yeshe Gyaltsen
The tour produced thousands of photographs, reels of film, as well as countless natural specimens. But it found no evidence of an Aryan master race or that could link Tibetans to the Nazis was found. Even the measuring of skulls (checking if they were long headed) to confirm they had a Nordic origin, failed to find the links that were hoped for.
In the 1990’s the Dalai Lama arranged a reunion of Europeans who had been in Tibet prior to 1951. The aging Bruno Beger was a welcome guest. His Nazi history seemed to have been forgotten by the so-called man of peace.