Indiana Jones | Otto Rahn Memorial
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Indiana Jones

Fictional character created by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg on the basis of the Otto Rahn person.
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Otto Rahn: A Hero's Journey

I recently visited the former South of France residence of the legendary Grail hunter Otto Rahn, only to discover that it was scheduled to be demolished, thus ending an era, and prompting this memorial.

I believe Otto Rahn (1904-1939) was a hero; the real Indiana Jones and prototype for Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon character. A tireless explorer, Rahn was a gifted researcher, committed to the quest like no one before, or since. Quite simply, he was a grail hunter extraordinaire.

Rahn was obsessed with the Cathars, and was convinced that their treasure remained hidden in the shadowy crevasses of the Pyrenees. His research led to Montségur, which he believed to be Munsalvaesche, the Mountain of Salvation of Wolfram von Eschenbach’s epic grail romance, Parzival. Not surprisingly, the entire region around Montségur soon became Rahn’s esoteric playground.

Dan McNeil: The Judas Apocalypse, and Interview with the author

On the eve of the Second World war, Dr. Gerhard Denninger, a German archeologist is approached by infamous Grail seeker Otto Rahn who tells him a fantastic story of Templars, Church scandal, a long-buried manuscript, and the key to finding the famous lost treasure of the Cathars. In 1944, with the help of a group of American soldiers, Denninger continues his quest for the secret of the Cathar treasure. With dangers dogging them at every step, will they find what they’re seeking? And will they be prepared for the shocking discovery that awaits them?

Indiana Jones and Otto Rahn (The Starlog Project: Starlog #152, March 1990)

Writer Robert Dassanowsky-Harris pens an intriguing cover story this issue, “The Real Indiana Jones,” that seeks to tie the fictional film hero to real-life attempts to find holy relics. Dassanowsky-Harris identifies German Holy Grail seeker Otto Rahn as the Indy prototype. Frankly, I’d prefer that he had focused on the Rahn story, which is odd and compelling in itself, rather than try to link every character and plot development to some real-life or mythical antecedent.

Nazis Attack Greenock In Search of Holy Grail

There is a long standing local story about a Nazi U-Boat which apparently managed to enter the Clyde in the midst of World War 2. Many believe that the submarine may have carried Nazi language specialist Otto Rahn, often associated with the Third Reich’s search for biblical artefacts (and the inspiration for the bad guy with the glasses in Raiders of the Lost Ark).

At the time of the U-Boat’s mission, Rahn was believed to be involved in looking for the Holy Grail. It is theorised that Rahn may have been entering the Clyde in order to make his way across country to Rosslyn Chapel, a church built by the Knights Templar and frequently linked with the Grail. However, if Otto Rahn's intended destination was indeed the Templar Church at Rosslyn near Edinburgh, why come in from the opposite end of the country via the heavily defended Clyde? It is entirely possible that if Otto Rahn was on the mysterious U-Boat, he fully intended to start his investigations on the West Coast. Certainly, he need not go as far east as Rosslyn to look into the mysterious Knights Templar; the area surrounding the Clyde has more than it's fair share of Templar connections.

Otto Rahn: To Rennes or not to Rennes?

Claims

“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;

Otto Rahn in Wikipedia

Otto Wilhelm Rahn (February 18, 1904—March 13, 1939) was a German medievalist and a Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant) of the SS, born in Michelstadt, Germany.

Speculation still swirls around Otto Rahn and his research. From an early age, he became interested in the legends of Parsifal, 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''".
Work

A review of Otto Rahn’s Lucifer’s Court by John J. Reilly

This book and its companion volume, Crusade against the Grail, are about as close as we can get to an “authoritative” statement of the esoteric dimension of the Nazi regime in Germany. The publication of the Crusade book in 1933 persuaded SS leader Heinrich Himmler to invite its author, Otto Rahn (1904-1939), to work for the SS as a folklorist. As the book under review here also does in part, that work developed the thesis that the doctrines of the medieval Cathars of Provence were encoded into Parzival, Wolfram von Eschenbach’s 13th-century version of the Grail legend. Rahn later became a member of the Ahnenerbe (“ancestral heritage”) bureau of the SS, in whose employ he finished Lucifer’s Court.

The original Indiana Jones: Otto Rahn and the temple of doom

As Indiana Jones returns to our screens, John Preston looks at the Nazi archaeologist who inspired Spielberg's hero, and finds a story more bizarre than anything the director could have dreamt of

 Very little is certain in the short life of Otto Rahn. But one of the few things one can with any confidence say about him is that he looked nothing like Harrison Ford. Yet Rahn, small and weasel-faced, with a hesitant, toothy smile and hair like a neatly contoured oil slick, undoubtedly served as inspiration for Ford's most famous role, Indiana Jones.

Like Jones, Rahn was an archaeologist, like him he fell foul of the Nazis and like him he was obsessed with finding the Holy Grail - the cup reputedly used to catch Christ's blood when he was crucified. But whereas Jones rode the Grail-train to box-office glory, Rahn's obsession ended up costing him his life.

Fascination with the Grail

The reality behind the myth...

Sagas describe the Holy Grail as a chalice with fairy-tale powers; it’s been the inspiration for countless tales, legends and also works of art. And it is both a stranger to the Christian body of thought -- and yet somehow connected with Christianity in mysterious ways. What is it about the "Holy Grail"? Why is it still the subject for mainstream movies like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Fisher King? Is there something more substantial behind the Grail than simple legend? If we can delve deeper into the true meaning of the Grail, the core of many poems, legends, novels, and fairy tales may become apparent.

The more seriously someone undertakes to approach the subject "Grail" -- because he feels touched personally by it -- the more certainly will he come up against questions such as whether or not the knowledge about the Grail can be traced back to some revelation… A revelation handed down out of a mythical distant time, but weighed down, proliferated and falsified on its way through time, through the world and the life of countless generations. Let us begin at the beginning...