Karl Wiligut, born on 10-12-1866 in Vienna, then the capital of the large eastern European empire of Austria-Hungary. “Both his father and his grandfather had served as officers in the Austrian army” and Karl, “the eldest son followed this family tradition.” In 1880, “at the age of fourteen, he began attending the Imperial Cadet School at Vienna-Breitensee and in December 1884 he joined the 99th
Infantry Regiment at Mostar,” in what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina. “He was promoted second lieutenant in November 1888, During this early period of his military career, he served with the 99th
Infantry Regiments” of the Austro-Hungarian Army. In 1900, while stationed at Znaim in Moravia, Wiligut became intrigued by a curious prehistoric menhir called the Rabenstein, the subject of much local folklore. As a result, he began reading the books of Guido von List, a fellow Austrian and founder of the Ariosophy movement, and tried his own hand at volkisch poetry. In 1907, Wiligut married Malwine Leuts von Treuenringen. His daughter Gertrud was born in Vienna in 1908 and, while there, Wiligut made the acquaintance of Theodore Czepl, a member of the Order of the New Templars. Czepl invited Wiligut to join “an occult circle in Vienna, whose members included Willy Thaler, a cousin of Wiligut’s, his wife, Marie Thaler, the well-known actress, and several ONT brothers.” During the course of these meetings, Wiligut revealed “the he had received instruction on the runes from his grandfather Karl Wiligut (1794-1883) and dated his formal initiation into the family secrets by his father” in 1890. And what secrets! The elder Wiligut told 24-year-old Karl that he was “the last descendant of a long-line of Germanic sages, the Uiligotis of the Asa-Uana-Sippe, which dated back to a remote prehistoric era. Wiligut claimed to possess ancestral-clairvoyant memory, which enabled him to recall the history and experiences of his tribe over thousands of years.” Wiligut believed that Germany was originally settled in 228.000 B.C. by people from the lost continent of Atlantis and that his family began in the magical city of Arual-Joruvallas. He insisted that the Bible was much older than anyone thought, that the events of the New Testament had taken place in Germany and not Palestine, and that Jesus Christ was really Krist, an avatar who had founded the Irminist religion in 12.500 B.C.
The Wiligut family were supposed to be sages of Irminism who were driven into the northern European wilderness by rival sorcerers in 1.200 B.C. Wiligut’s budding career in Ariosophy was cut short in 1914 by another catastrophe–World War I. “In October 1914, he became a staff officer in the 30th
Infantry Regiment, witnessing action against the Russian army in the Carpathians along the north-eastern flank of the (Austro-Hungarian) empire. Following an exhausting campaign during which he was either in battle or on long night marches, Wiligut was promoted to lieutenant colonel and and transferred back to Graz to organize reinforcements for the 14th
Infantry Regiments.” He was then posted to the Italian front where he held a succession of commands between June 1915 and” was “promoted to the rank of colonel in August 1917. In May 1918, Wiligut was recalled from the front in the South Tyrol and placed in command of camps for returned soldiers at Zolkiew, north of Lemberg in the Ukraine.” Discharged in January 1919, Wiligut brought his family to Salzburg.
But like many Austro-Hungarian staff officers, he felt that his country had been cheated of victory in the war. The empire, he felt, had been brought down by the political intrigues of (A) the Vatican; (B) Freemasonry; and (C) the Jews. What was needed, he thought, was a new German-speaking empire. In 1922, the retired colonel founded his own volkisch newspaper, Der Eiserne Besen, The Iron Broom and began calling for a rightwing revolt to overthrow the socialist Austrian republic. “Matters abruptly climaxed in November 1924 when Wiligut was involuntarily committed to the Salzburg mental asylum, where he was certified insane and remained an inmate until his release in early 1927.” Wiligut’s disciples -Ernst Rudiger
, Friedrich Teltscher
, Friedrich Schiller and Werner von Bulow – assisted his daughters, Gertrud and Lotte, in persuading the Austrian courts to let him out. Five years later, in 1932, heeding the call of “the Higher Powers,” Wiligut emigrated to Germany and settled in Bogenhausen, a suburb of Munich. Shortly thereafter, another disciple, Richard Anders, introduced the elderly sorcerer to his good friend, SS Reichsführer, Heinrich Himmler
With his newest disciple, Gunther Kirchhoff, he sent archaeological teams to investigate prehistoric sites at Gaggenau in 1934, Germany’s Murg valley in 1936 and Glozel, France in 1940. Money was no obstacle. Himmler created the SS-Ahnenerbe in 1936, promoted his elderly mentor-in-magic to SS-Brigadefuhrer, Malwine Leuts von Treuenringen and turned him loose on several dozen crackpot projects. First prize undoubtedly goes to “Wiligut’s Tunnel.” This was a vertical tunnel 16 kilometres,10 miles, deep begun in Hungary in 1941, designed to carry an elevator car that would lower Himmler and Wiligut into “the Inner World of Agharti”.
Millions were spent on the tunnel and work continued until November 1944, when the lack of supplies forced the SS project to close. But age had finally caught up with the old warlock. He resigned from active duty in the SS in August 1939 and moved to his “beloved Goslar” the following year. Himmler sent Elsa Baltrusch, a member of his household staff, to look after Wiligut, who spent his declining years with his runes and spells and ancient artefacts. Evacuated to Austria in 1943, Wiligut was there when the war ended. He was briefly detained and questioned by the British Army at Velden, but then was allowed to return to Germany. He fell ill during the trip in December 1945. The journey proved too much for the old man and he was hospitalized on arrival.