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Newspaper coverage of a speech by Otto Rahn

Newspaper coverage of a speech by Otto Rahn

(Westfalia Landeszeitung, January 9, 1938)

Otto Rahn Reads in Dortmund Evening Lecture at the Dietrich Eckart Haus

Otto Rahn, the young poet and researcher read and lectured Friday evening at the Dietrich Eckart Verein (club) in front of a rather large and very captivated audience. After a few introductory words by the person in charge of cultural events for the Dietrich Eckart Verein, Kurt Eggers, who greeted Rahn as a comrade and briefly outlined the Lucifer-Problem which Rahn would talk about. Next Rahn created an image of Lucifer in such emphatic and compelling language that it could not be thought out in a more moving and explicit manner. Rahn read from his newest work, "Luzifers Hofgesind" (Lucifer's Court Servants), which tells about his travels and findings in Southern France where he followed the traces of the Grail and the Albigenses (Cathars), the pure and true heretics, and from new viewpoints, he drew a prolific picture of this anti-Roman movement which also spread in Germany at that time. The lecture covered difficult material and required extreme discipline and alertness. It was a good sign for the symbioses of lecturer and audience that no word was lost and that the image of Lucifer, which Rahn celebrated with the Albigenses as the Bringer of Light, was most effective.

Two parts of the evening can clearly be differentiated: The first, where Rahn reported on the research and current status of the Grail and Lucifer-Problem - here the most powerful words and the most exciting creative power came into play - and a second, in which the lecturer based on concrete examples drew conclusions from his new points of view and teachings and arrived at a not only interesting but also largely convincing reevaluation of historical events, leading figures, and facts. The hurdle of a rationalism of the old kind - a danger which would without doubt exist for a less truthful and strong acceptance of nature and reevaluation - was avoided by Rahn very well. In true excitement, he again led back to the sources and origins of real desire for freedom and true closeness to nature.
The Albigenses have been exterminated. In Southern France, 205 leading followers of Lucifer were burnt on a giant stake (March 16, 1244) after a great crusade led by Dominican priests in the name of Christian mildness. The teachings of Lucifer, the Bringer of Light, and his followers were persecuted with fire and sword. The Albigenses are dead, but their spirit is alive and takes effect, especially in these days, in a renewed and rejuvenated excitement and passion. Christ's representative could burn people, but he was wrong when he thought he could burn with them their spirit, passion and desire. This spirit became alive again yesterday, took its effect and was visible in Otto Rahn - a descendent of the ancient Troubadours - in front of many people.
Rahn set a new limit to the spirit tied to the Romans, to the belief in a life after death, and the fear of hell; he negated Yahweh and the Jewish teachings, and professed "Luzifer's Hofgesind" in whose name Kurt Eggers closed the evening with the following greeting: "Lucifer, who has been done wrong to, greets you."
Altogether the evening was a great success, which was a promising beginning for the future work of the Dietrich Eckart Verein. The quartet of the Conservatory provided an excellent setting for the evening and furnished the artistic background for the multitude and richness of thoughts.
Dr. Wolff Heinrichsdorff

Photocopy of the newspaper coverage of a speech by Otto Rahn