Buddhist Nazis?

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Taco_Rice
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Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Taco_Rice » Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:59 pm

I've read, just a bit, about the adoption of Buddhism by some in Germany during the cultural exchange that happened between Germany and Japan around, and during, WWII. It seems that even some relatively high status Nazis adopted Buddhism. What was the history behind these kind of conversions and how influential does anyone here think certain Buddhist concepts may have been on German thinkers of this time—and which specific concepts seem to have been particularly influential, if any?
When facing a single tree, if you look at a single one of its red leaves, you will not see all the others. When the eye is not set on any one leaf, and you face the tree with nothing at all in mind, any number of leaves are visible to the eye without limit. But if a single leaf holds the eye, it will be as if the remaining leaves were not there. One who has understood this is no different from Kannon with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes.
— Takuan Sōhō, the Unfettered Mind

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Paul
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Paul » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:27 pm

I guess Heinrich Harrer is the most famous, who also has done a lot for dharma and Tibet. Of course he wasn't the most ideological and spent most of the time when Austria was under Nazi rule adventuring.

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EDIT: to understand the Nazi interest in Buddhism I think you'd have to look at Madame Blavatsky & Theosophy, as a lot of Nazi racial mythology came from her teachings - especially via the Thule Society. She of course was very interested in Buddhism and was one of the first modern westerners to take refuge.
Look at the unfathomable spinelessness of man: all the means he's been given to stay alert he uses, in the end, to ornament his sleep. – Rene Daumal
the modern mind has become so limited and single-visioned that it has lost touch with normal perception - John Michell

Caodemarte
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Caodemarte » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:41 pm

There was an interest in Buddhism as part of the crackpot Nazi occult fetish and a passing interest in bushido and Shinto-linked Emperor worship, but I don't think there was any adoption of Buddhism by high ranking Nazis. HH was not a high ranking Nazi (just an arrogant jerk willing to be used as poster boy) and apparently reformed later (but I don't know if he ever adopted Buddhism).

HePo
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by HePo » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:52 pm

You might find some interesting articles on the The Asia-Pacific Journal website
http://japanfocus.org/-Brian-Victoria

Caodemarte
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Caodemarte » Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:09 am

The problem with the link is that Brian Victoria has made many unsustained allegations (like claiming that D.T. Suzuki was a Nazi collaborator) and been well challenged on his selective quotations and biased translations. He simply can't be relied upon. There is a sheaf of books on the Nazi connection with the occult that include their interest in Buddhism (an Aryan religion in their view). Standard histories of the Nazis also cover this in passing. You'd be better off looking there.

odysseus
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by odysseus » Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:07 pm

Hitler was a Buddhist - it's embarrassing... :emb:

Malcolm
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:20 pm

odysseus wrote:Hitler was a Buddhist - it's embarrassing... :emb:
No, he did not care for religion of any kind at all, much less Buddhism.

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Karma_Yeshe
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Karma_Yeshe » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:07 pm

odysseus wrote:Hitler was a Buddhist - it's embarrassing... :emb:
Not at all. I mean there is no way you can unite the racist view of the Nazis with the view of Buddhadharma. I mean Buddha Shakayumni himself took members from all caste as his students. Also Buddhadharma can only be fully practiced when you have a precious human birth with the 10 qualifications. And none of those 10 qualifications have anything to do with "race" (whatever this is supposed to mean, even the Nazi-Scientists could not define it properly).

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by odysseus » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:08 pm

Malcolm wrote:
odysseus wrote:Hitler was a Buddhist - it's embarrassing... :emb:
No, he did not care for religion of any kind at all, much less Buddhism.
Hitler believed in a perfect world like Utopia, by ideas he got from amongst others Buddhism. But his delusions were too much, so he never got enlightened.

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by odysseus » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:11 pm

Karma_Yeshe wrote:
odysseus wrote:Hitler was a Buddhist - it's embarrassing... :emb:
I mean there is no way you can unite the racist view of the Nazis with the view of Buddhadharma.
The racist view was mostly propaganda and a war method. The Third Reich could never be a vision unless you are able to let "other races" live and work for you. The Nazis even tried to cooperate with the Hindus in India to do away with the British Crown.

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Ayu
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Ayu » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:32 pm

Hitler was a madcap bureaucrat: he never saw a "concentration camp" nor a gas chamber with his own eyes. He only gave orders from his bureau desk. :shock:
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by odysseus » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:37 pm

The Nazis were brilliant, but they were bad people. Hitler was not psychotic, but a plain old psychopath. But he had a heart for his people and was a brilliant demagogue, that's why they followed him. He was not only a bureaucrat, he was also a military strategist that had his finger into everything that happened. He was very well aware of his concentration camps and also the rest of what he was doing.

Malcolm
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:51 pm

odysseus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
odysseus wrote:Hitler was a Buddhist - it's embarrassing... :emb:
No, he did not care for religion of any kind at all, much less Buddhism.
Hitler believed in a perfect world like Utopia, by ideas he got from amongst others Buddhism. But his delusions were too much, so he never got enlightened.
There is really no evidence that Hitler was influenced by Buddhism at all.

Caodemarte
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Caodemarte » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:58 pm

Hitler did not get his ideas from Buddhism, did not believe that non-Aryans should be alive, let alone work for the Reich. Nazism was explicitly anti-Christian as well, but was willing to allow Chistianity until they war was over.

Few people could believe that Nazis were serious and thought that its announced intentions were just propaganda or political posturing. Tragically, this attitude permitted Nazism to become as dangerous as it was. It turned out they really did intend to kill enslave, and exterminate. They put these plans into action and came very close to victory or the complete destruction of a good chunk of the world (it is estimated that two more years and Hitler would have had nuclear bombs).

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by odysseus » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:03 pm

Malcolm wrote: There is really no evidence that Hitler was influenced by Buddhism at all.
No official scientific or research evidence, but there's something called "word of folk mouth". As a Buddhist, you know for yourself Malcolm... :spy:

Malcolm
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:08 pm

odysseus wrote:
Malcolm wrote: There is really no evidence that Hitler was influenced by Buddhism at all.
No official scientific or research evidence, but there's something called "word of folk mouth". As a Buddhist, you know for yourself Malcolm... :spy:
There isn't even any evidence in his writing that would lead one to suspect so. He was utterly dismissive of Himmler's occult obsessions.

odysseus
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by odysseus » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:08 pm

Caodemarte wrote: They put these plans into action and came very close to victory or the complete destruction of a good chunk of the world (it is estimated that two more years and Hitler would have had nuclear bombs).
I'm a Norwegian and I have personally forgiven Mr. Hitler now. But this is something individual (if you want to forgive Hitler).

A little fact: If Hitler had sent some submarines instead of only Blücher to Oslo, he would have been able to conquer Norway completely.

:focus:

Jinzang
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Jinzang » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:15 pm

Alexander Berzin has a detailed account of Nazi-Buddhist relations and the Nazis' occult leanings on on his page, The Nazi Connection with Shambhala and Tibet.
"It's as plain as the nose on your face!" Dottie Primrose

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Karma_Yeshe
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Karma_Yeshe » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:25 pm

odysseus wrote:
Caodemarte wrote: They put these plans into action and came very close to victory or the complete destruction of a good chunk of the world (it is estimated that two more years and Hitler would have had nuclear bombs).
I'm a Norwegian and I have personally forgiven Mr. Hitler now. But this is something individual (if you want to forgive Hitler).

A little fact: If Hitler had sent some submarines instead of only Blücher to Oslo, he would have been able to conquer Norway completely.

:focus:
I'm a German, both my grandparents fought in the Wehrmacht (one on the western frontier as a Leutnant, one on the eastern frontier as a foot soldier) and I have never heard any word of mouth that Hitler was no racist. I mean, just ask all the Jews and Sinti and Roma that got killed or starved to death in the camps. Also the idea was always that the Arian as the so called "Herrenrasse" rule all other races, especially in the occupied countries. Most germans found those ideas quite strange, that's why the whole KZ (conzentration camp) thing was pretty much hidden from the common folks. So there is no evidence whatsoever, that Hitler's racism was a kind of the method for achieving other hidden goals. It was quite the opposite.

Karma Yeshe

odysseus
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by odysseus » Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:21 pm

Karma_Yeshe wrote:
I'm a German, both my grandparents fought in the Wehrmacht (one on the western frontier as a Leutnant, one on the eastern frontier as a foot soldier) and I have never heard any word of mouth that Hitler was no racist. I mean, just ask all the Jews and Sinti and Roma that got killed or starved to death in the camps. Also the idea was always that the Arian as the so called "Herrenrasse" rule all other races, especially in the occupied countries. Most germans found those ideas quite strange, that's why the whole KZ (conzentration camp) thing was pretty much hidden from the common folks. So there is no evidence whatsoever, that Hitler's racism was a kind of the method for achieving other hidden goals. It was quite the opposite.

Karma Yeshe
If Hitler was serious about Third Reich (which he really was), he knew racism would not work in the long term in order to be the ruler. But this subject could turn into a heated debate.

Anyway, Germany has made up for itself a long time ago and Fraulein Angela Merkel is still working on it ATM.

More news: Hitler is dead... http://youtu.be/6omYqaSrULI

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