Q: It’s nice to meet you again. Congratulations on your new book!
The new book, The Eye of Ra, also features Otto Rahn. I know every new book is always a breakthrough for a real writer. What was your main finding?
A: My most important discovery while writing my second book, ‘The Eye of Ra’, is the incredible experience of having lots of questions and finding out as soon as I started writing, that I had the answers already within me. Writing activates something in the brain that helps you understand certain things that are normally difficult to understand. Writing ‘The Eye of Ra’ took me back to ancient Egypt, where I set myself the quest of discovering the identity of the Biblical divination stones known as the Urim and Thummim, and to understand the psyche behind the heretical Pharaoh Akhenaten.
WHITE LIE – THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE
Belvianes, France, August 15, 2012 -- The truth is out there and it is much more unbelievable than fiction. Thirty years ago, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ exploded at the box office. The adventures of Indiana Jones were pure fantasy but the man he was based on was very real. His name was Otto Rahn.
Indiana Jones is a pop-culture phenomenon - Spielberg saw to that - making the charismatic relic hunter, who was willing to risk life and limb to outsmart the Nazi’s and beat them to discovering the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail, impossible to forget. Was Indy pure fiction? Not quite.
'White Lie’ is a story about forbidden history, hidden relics and the adventures of a group of people who get involved in something much bigger than themselves. It combines the mission of the Knights Templar - the warrior monks who legends claim discovered a sacred treasure beneath Solomon’s Temple - with Nazi relic hunter Otto Rahn.
“The nightmare was complete when I couldn’t even prove I was a pure blood Aryan, because when I researched my genealogy, I realised my mother and maternal grandfather were Jewish. And I must admit, I was a trouble-maker, I got into fights a lot when I saw SS soldiers misbehave and I wanted to make a career, to move further up the ladder. I was attracted by the power of my superiors, like many others, and in this process I gained a few political enemies. This is how my reputation attracted Hitler’s attention. He demanded my presence at the Berghof, Hitler’s base near Bergtesgaden on the German-Austrian border. I can still remember him, sitting behind his desk, wearing his reading glasses while reading my file. I had never seen him with reading glasses before. While Hitler was reading my file I waited for his reaction. My legs nearly gave way. Then he gave me my new orders, which said that I was drafted to be trained as a soldier, “to make a man out of me”, he said, so I took the journey to Buchenwald…”
Otto started to tremble again.
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.
The Secret of Otto Rahn - Relic Hunter
The nineteen thirties, Nazi Germany. Organisations like the Nordische Gesellschaft and the Thule Gesellschaft were researching the origin of the Germanic people, the Arian race. Obsessed with the ancient cultures which connected their ancestors, they searched all corners of the earth trying to find relics and remains of these old civilizations. Relic hunter Otto Rahn seached for the Grail treasure. Here, in Occitania.
Rahn visited Occitania many times and stayed for months at the time during 1929 - 1932. In '32 he leased a hotel called 'Les Maronniers' in Ussat-les-Bains. On the photo we see him entertaining his mother in the garden of the hotel. He is wearing a sweater which his mum nitted for him, showing the symbol of the Thule Gesell-schaft of which he was a member. When the hotel went bankrupt, he had to leave France.