To begin to understand the perceived view of Adolf Hitler’s obsessions with the Occult, one must first examine and understand the intellectual environment of the upper classes of Germany in the earliest years of the 19th century.
Prior to WWI, Germany was a place of rural communities and old-world beliefs. After the end of the Great War, there was a certain nostalgic emotional tinge to life for the wealthier and more educated of the German population. There was a desire to return to the old ways, honoring nature and believing in natural remedies for physical ailments.
Many people turned to the teachings of occultism in an attempt to regain some of those ‘lost’ ways. Hitler, having been born to a Catholic mother and an anti-clerical father, tended to lean on the side of anti-clerical, choosing to believe that church and organized religion had no place in politics or matters of state.
While he publicly touted the positive nature of the German Christian ideology, in private he often complained about the church and its influence, even going so far as to suggest that Christianity would one day be completely banished from Germany.
As Hitler rose into power, he began to be surrounded by people who believed that he was the Saviour of the German country and that he would bring back racial purity. The idea of racial impurity and the plans to change the future of the Third Reich came from none other than Himmler himself, who was a follower of the occult as well.
Believing in the Hidden Elect, a subversive idea believed to be brought to Germany by an early leader of the occult societies that sprang up before and just after WWI, Himmler proclaimed that the Aryan race was the only pure race of humans on Earth and that all others were sub-humans and had tainted the blood of those meant to rule, the German aristocracy.
Himmler created his SS to model chivalric orders such as the Knight’s Templar, the Knights of the Round Table, and the Freemasons. Both Hitler and Himmler adopted vocabulary and ritualistic ideas from the Catholic church and these other groups in an attempt to create a new religion for the new Aryan race.
The idea that Hitler was completely obsessed with the occult has been popularized by mainstream entertainment, most notably in the film The Raiders of the Lost Ark, but in actuality, it was sometimes the wording that he used that gave this idea to the world at large. Claiming that the search for the Holy Grail would be his crowning achievement, Hitler did not mean he was really searching for a jeweled cup, in fact, he was referring to the actions he and Himmler were undertaking to purify the German race.
This being said, he was surrounded by many people who believed very strongly in the occult, people who wouldn’t make a single decision without first consulting their horoscope, or who wanted to see Nazi Germany eventually rule the entire planet and cleanse all nations of sub-human races.