I congratulate you on the release of your book White Lie. This is a great event for all who are familiar with the work, searching and life of Otto Wilhelm Rahn. When did you first hear of him?
The first time I heard of Otto Rahn was probably during my research of the history of Montségur and the Cathars in connection with Grail lore. I never studied the man himself and only knew what most people know; that he researched Grail lore, visited Montségur and was working for Himmler as a relic hunter in a pre-war Germany. It wasn't until 2008 that a friend sent me "Crusade against the Grail" in English, followed by "Lucifer's Court" and Nigel Graddon's "Otto Rahn, Quest for the Holy Grail". I was thinking of writing a thriller book at that time about the 1st century, and the mysteries of the Languedoc. I had already done a lot of research for the book, but didn't get around to actually writing it, because the financial crisis had made me and my husband work 7 days a week to make a living. In 2011 I first had the chance to sit down properly and started writing in January. I would write almost 18 to 20 hours a day for several months and Otto slowly became one of the key players in the book.
In February 2007, Montserrat Rico Góngora published “The Desecrated Abbey”, in which he claimed that Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s second-in-command and head of the Nazi SS, had made a secret wartime mission to an abbey in Spain, in search of the Holy Grail. Góngora even interviewed Andreu Ripol Noble, a former monk and the only person that spoke German, who was ordered by his superiors to guide Himmler during the visit in 1940. Ripol related that Himmler came to Montserrat inspired by Richard Wagner’s opera “Parsifal”, which mentions that the Holy Grail could be kept in “the marvellous castle of Montsalvat in the Pyrenees” – the mountain range that marks the border between France and Spain.
Howard Buechner (Colonel Howard A. Buechner)
Emerald Cup - Ark of Gold: The Quest of SS Otto Rahn of The Third Reich (1991)
Paperback: 253 pages
Publisher: Thunderbird Pr (June 1991)
“The Emerald Cup-Ark of Gold: the Quest of SS Lt Otto Rahn of the Third Reich”, Colonel Howard Buechner claimed that Otto Rahn visited the Corbières in 1937. This visit is not substantiated. However, there is little doubt in my mind that there is a strong connection between Rahn and Rennes-le-Château. I found these connecting links:
- Rahn’s link to the Cathars whom he loved with great passion;
- The war waged against the Cathars by the Church and the French King, a war of such ferocity that it brings into question the true nature of the cause for which the crusade against Albigensian and Cathar was really launched;
- Rennes-le-Château is seated in the Cathar heartland; Saunière discovering something linked to the “real” story of Catholic geopolitical involvement in the West over the centuries;
- The Vatican not speaking out against the Nazis until close to the end of WWII. What was the Church afraid of?
- Jules Massenet and his librettist Henri Cain for the opera: Don Quichotte and the metaphysical concepts of the necklace image and of the Island of Dreams;
18 Feb 1904 Otto Rahn born, Michelstadt. Parents Karl & Clara (nee Hamburger)
1910-1916 Junior school at Bigen
1916-21 Secondary school at GrieBen
1922 obtains Baccalaureat
1924 obtains Bachelor in Philology and History
1930 Rahn begins his European travels (Paris, Provence, Switzerland,
1931 Rahn visits French Pyrenees. Visits "Spion" in Pyrenees with Himmler and Abetz
1932 Rahn leads a Polaires expedition in Pyrenees
13.12.33 Rahn joins the German Writers Association
1934 publishes "Kreuzzug gegen Gral" (Crusade against the Grail)
1935 appointed to personal staff of Heinrich Himmler
29.2.36 Rahn joins Allgemeine-SS, member 276 208
1936 Rahn visits Iceland with 20 men
1937 publishes "Luzifers Hofgesind. Eine Reise zu denguten Gelstern Europa" (Lucifer's Court in Europe; Rahn sent back to Languedoc (Montsegur), says he will return in 1939. Time of alleged Corbieres visit?
20.4.37 promoted to sub-lieutenant (Untersturmfuhrer)
Sep-Dec1937 military service for "disciplinary reasons" at Oberbayern Regiment, Dachau
The founders of the Third Reich were esoterically involved with matters which unavoidably skirt the mysteries associated with the valley of Rennes-le-Chateau. Their interests were not however, confined to the ephemeral, there is evidence of the tenacity with which they pursued the material associations of the valley. Many assorted books on Rennes-le-Chateau mention that a battalion of German mining engineers made excavations in the area during World War Two.
There is a real, existing mountain in the south of France which is rumored to house the Holy Grail...
There is a real, existing mountain in the south of France which is rumored to house the Holy Grail. In fact, local legend says that the Grail has always been there, ever since a dove from Heaven descended upon the mountain, split it open with its beak, and dropped the Grail inside. This is the mountain of Montsegur, which was the last Cathari stronghold defeated by the Albigensian Crusade. (This was the only crusade waged by Christiandom against people who were Christians themselves.) The term “Cathar” was a catch-all term used by the Catholic Church for the numerous Gnostic Christian cults that proliferated across the Languedoc region of France during the Middle Ages. As they grew in numbers, they gradually became a threat to orthodox Christianity.
Taken as a whole, the various renditions of the Holy Grail legend, whether they derive from Europe or Asia, imply that there are many forms that the Holy Grail can take.
These legends assert that the Holy Grail can be anything from the platter mentioned by Chrétien de Troyes, the first author of the Holy Grail legend, to the Cup of Christ alluded to by Robert de Boron, or even the Stone of Heaven mentioned by Wolfram von Eschenbach in Parzival.
Otto Rahn (1904-1938), described as a gifted young author and historian, was one of this century's truly fascinating figures. Prior to his mysterious death, at age 35, he wrote two books about the Cathars of southern France: *Kreuzzug gegen den Gral* ("Crusade Against the Grail") and *Luzifers Hofgesinf* ("Lucifer's Court"). Legends continue to surround both his life and tragic death. While his books influenced such authors as Trevor Ravenscroft and Jean-Michel Angebert, they were never translated into English. In the 1982 best selling book *Holy Blood, Holy Grail*, Otto Rahn's name appears in a small but intriguing footnote. Otto Rahn believed that he had found the location of the Holy Grail Mountain, the Montsalvat of legend, in the Cathar mountain fortress of Montsegur in the French Pyrenees. He was, says Prof. Joscelyn Godwin, "largely responsible for the mythological complex that associated the Cathars and Montsegur with the Holy Grail and its Castle."
Norma Lorre Goodrich in her own highly acclaimed work *The Holy Grail* pays tribute to Otto Rahn's "Crusade Against the Grail" describing it as "a wonderful book, a monument to this German idealist author, who died mysteriously during a descent in the Alps."