Remember the Past
George Santayana wrote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Santayana's comment is a politically correct way of saying to think before saying something that is stupid, which is partially true for political leaders or wannabee leaders like the Donald.
Case in point. The Nazis were obsessed with the notion of the Aryan race. In fact, they dispatched two scientists Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter to Tibet during WWII to find the origins of the Aryan race. About all that resulted were two great movies: Seven Years in Tibet and Kundun.
However, the Nazis were also trying to find the Lost Continent of Atlantis and the Holy Grail, which in some strange way had to do with their Aryan race. Herman Wirth was driven to discover both starting with the Lost Continent of Atlantis.
Heinrich Himmler, the commander of the Gestapo, took on the quest of directing the search for both the Lost Continent and the Holy Grail. The unit in charge for this was called the SS Ahnenerbe, which means Ancestral Heritage. Under Himmler's leadership, he sent researchers and archaeologists throughout the world to discover the buried treasures of the Aryans race in Atlantis, Scotland, Tibet, France, Sweden, and Iceland.
After much effort, all their collective efforts to find Atlantis and the Grail failed. At one level, the quest to find all the buried treasure of the Aryan precursors to the German people seemed trite at best. However, for the Nazis, proving that the Germanic people were the pure race and descendants of the Atlantis was the basis of their dissing the Jewish people. If the Germans proved that they were the descendants of the Lost Continent, that would establish that they are the best of the breed of human beings. That would also be proof that all other races were mongrels and not the pure Aryans, which especially applied to the Jews.
Enter Otto Rahn. He was as driven to find the Holy Grail as Himmler. Rahn had supposedly done research to find the Holy Grail. What he claimed that it was lost in the 13th century when the Cathars were all killed by the Catholic Church. The Cathars allegedly were the keepers of the Grail. Himmler hired Rahn to find especially the Holy Grail.
Rahn, who was seen as the Nazi Indiana Jones always searching for something, was hired by Himmler to find the Holy Grail. However, the central question was what precisely was the Holy Grail. A major problem of any search for some lost treasure assumes that everyone knew for what they were looking. The term, Holy Grail, encompasses a long list of items, which have been morphed together over the centuries. They range from the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper to a magical stone. It has also been seen as a plate or a cauldrons containing additional magical powers.
The Holy Grail is connected to Arthurian literature and writings. As the story goes, the Holy Grail, the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper, was taken by Joseph of Arimathea to England and hidden there for many centuries. It lay hidden for centuries by a person known as the Fisher King. Finding it became the central quest of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table.
Actually, some within the Catholic Church believe that this chalice is the one used at the Last Supper by Christ. It can be found at the Metropolitan Cathedral–Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia, Spain. I'll let you decide whether this was used by Christ at the Last Supper. Apparently, Himmler dissed this as the real Holy Grail.
However, that narrative derived much of its notion from the Celtic mythology about a cup quenched the thirst of all drinkers. Regardless of the blending of two mythologies, the Holy Grail disappeared until sometime in the 19th century when the literary and musical word returned to the search like Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem, The Holy Grail and Richard Wagner's opera, Parsifal. From then to the Himmler entered the scene and hired Rahn in 1934.
Himmler and Rahn had the same obsession with the quest to find the Holy Grail. Supposedly, Himmler went in 1940 during WWII to Montserrat Abbey outside of Barcelona, Spain on his personal search.
Even before finding the Holy Grail, Himmler renovated Wewelsburg Castle so that when he acquired it, he could display it. However, neither Himmler nor Rahn were able to discover it. Himmler turned on Rahn and demoted him and relegated him to being a guard at a concentration camp. Nonetheless, there were other reasons why Himmler dissed Rahn: his was gay and also Jewish, which were both anathemas of the Nazis. It wasn't long before Rahn was found frozen to death in the Alps. Supposedly, it was a suicide.
Unfortunately, Himmler also committed suicide on May 23, 1945. Had Himmler been more patient and waited another thirty years, he could have joined Monty Python and Arthur, the King of the Britons, in their quest for the Holy Grail.
When you have some spare time, you can watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. When I watch it, I always have some Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale.
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