BUILDING HIS REPUTATION
In 1930, Hanussen further capitalized on his fame and reputation as a mystic by starting a monthly occult magazine, Hanussen Magazin, and a bi-weekly paper, Bunte Wochenschau, in which he made predictions regarding politics and national finances. In one stunning prediction, he said that one of Germany’s three largest joint-stock banks would suffer a collapse. The prediction was fulfilled three weeks later when Darmstadt & National was forced to close its doors.
In July, 1932 he published a prophecy in which he saw “a river of blood flowing near Hamburg.” Several days later, Nazi Storm Troopers fought violently with Communist “Red Front” fighters in Altona, Hamburg’s neighboring twin city. Known as the “bloody Sunday of Altona,” the five-hour confrontation resulted in the city’s gutters literally running red with blood.
Was Hanussen merely adept at reading the times, or did he have informants in high places? In any case, he was now sought after by the wealthy, business leaders, and celebrities for private consultations.
THE NAZI CONNECTION
All this brought Hanussen to the attention of the rising Nazi elite. Despite his Jewish heritage, he became friends with Karl Ernst, commander of Berlin’s Storm Troopers, Edmund Heines, the S.A. Gruppenführer, and Count von Helldorf, another leader of Berlin’s Brownshirts. Undoubtedly, it was his connections to these men – as well as the other German elite and prominent people with whom he mingled regularly – that provided Hanussen with much inside information for his predictions. To the general public, however, his prognostications continued to enhance his reputation as a remarkable psychic.
It is unclear how much influence Hanussen truly had on the success of the Nazi Party in Germany and on the rise of Adolf Hitler, but it might have been significant.
Some sources say that it was Hanussen who recommended that the Nazis adopt the swastika as their symbol. It was an “Indian luck symbol”, he told them, that promised them good fortune in their ambitions. In his paper’s astrological advice columns, he always “predicted” that Hitler would be the winner of upcoming elections since planetary conjunctions were in his favor. “Vote with the stars,” he told his readers – a tactic that could have brought about a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Most important was Hanussen’s direct influence on Hitler himself. Hanussen was introduced to the Führer by Hilter’s personal photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann. It has been claimed by several German journalists that Hanussen personally coached Hitler on his public speaking. With his formidable stage background and presence, he was able to teach Hitler how to gesture, how to emphasize phrases and dramatize his speech. They credit Hanussen – this mentalist and stage magician – with helping Hitler develop his phenomenal magnetic appeal and hypnotic rhetorical talent, which he used to lead his nation to war and delusional dreams of world dominance.
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