Otto Rahn's Crusade Against the Grail | Otto Rahn Memorial
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Otto Rahn's Crusade Against the Grail

William Henry talks to Christopher Jones, who has translated one of the legendary ?hidden? books of our time, Otto Rahn's Crusade Against the Grail. Although Rahn wrote in 1933, it has taken 73 years for it to be published in English. Find out why, then listen to possible Sasquatch cries thanks to the intrepid Linda Moulton Howe!

Otto Wilhelm Rahn (18 February 1904—13 March 1939) was a German medievalist and an Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant) of the SS, born in Michelstadt, Germany. Speculation still surrounds Otto Rahn and his research. From an early age, he became interested in the legends of Parsifal, the Holy Grail, Lohengrin and the Nibelungenlied. While attending the University of Giessen he was inspired by his professor, the Baron von Gall, to study the Albigensian (Catharism) movement, and the massacre that occurred at Montségur. Rahn is quoted as saying that "It was a subject that completely captivated me".

Rahn in popular culture:

Rahn has been described as the inspiration behind the Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark, although neither George Lucas nor Steven Spielberg has ever mentioned anything about his having inspired the film. Rahn appears as a minor character in Michelle Cooper's A Brief History of Montmaray and The FitzOsbornes in Exile. Rahn has been the object of many rumours and strange stories, including that his death had been faked, although all such speculation has failed to be substantiated.

He features as a character in the 2008 novel The Judas Apocalypse by Dan McNeil. In the novel, Rahn helps a fellow German archaeologist search for the lost treasure of the Cathars. He also figures in the "Berlin Noir" novel The Pale Criminal by Philip Kerr and Blood Lance by Craig Smith. In the Italian comic book Martin Mystère, Rahn fakes his death and joins the US secret service "Elsewhere".

Richard Stanley, cult director of such films as Hardware and Dust Devil, also made a documentary about Rahn and his fixation on the Holy Grail called The Secret Glory in 2001. Quotation "My ancient forbears were heathens, and my ancestors were heretics. For their exoneration I collect the pieces that Rome left over."