Just as we saw in the Indiana Jones movies, the original Nazi party was quite interested in acquiring significant religious relics. Specifically, Heinrich Himmler, who headed the SS, wanted to procure the Holy Grail. Himmler read Otto Rahn's book in which he posited the theory that the Cathars had possession of the grail in the 13th century and managed to hide it. Rahn had been researching the grail for several years at that point. Himmler summoned the archaeologist to work for him, and even made him a member of the SS.
A small, sensitive and bookish man, Rahn never quite fit in with the boorish, bullnecked bullies of the SS. He was also a heavy drinker, openly liberal in his political views, and gay. In a letter to a friend he wrote shortly before entering Himmler’s service, he remarked sadly that: “It is impossible for a tolerant and generous person to stay for long in this country, which used to be my wonderful homeland.”
In Otto Rahn & The Quest for the Holy Grail, author Nigel Graddon posits that Rahn never had any sympathy for the Nazis and saw them only as a source of research funding and financial support. On one occasion, when spotted by an old acquaintance in his black SS uniform, complete with ceremonial dagger and swastika armband, Rahn reportedly just shrugged and sighed: “One must eat.”
Otto Rahm is sometimes cited as one of the many inspirations for the Indiana Jones character. Read the real story at Military History Now. -via Strange Company
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