What was the relationship of Adolf Hitler to astrology?

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While there has been much speculation over the years regarding Adolf Hitler's use of astrology in making major decisions, there is actually no strong evidence that he did consult astrologers, although others in the German High Command did, mainly Rudolf Hess and Heinrich Himmler.  A Swiss astrologer named Karl Ernst Krafft was known to be consulted by some Nazi leaders, although there is nothing to indicate Hitler was one of them.  Krafft, though, was a trusted advisor to Hess, in particular, and is said to warned the German leaders about an attempt on Hitler's life -- an attempt that did in fact occur.

Unfortunately for Karl Krafft, the accuracy of his predictions, while impressing some, was highly suspicious to others, and he was arrested in 1939.  While in custody, Krafft succeeded in convincing the German secret police that he genuinely possessed the ability to predict future events.  He was subsequently utilized by Hess, Himmler and others to make prognostications regarding the optimal time for certain actions.  He did prepare an astrological chart for Hitler, and it is believed that the German leader did review it, but, once again, there is no evidence that astrology influenced any of Hitler's decisions.  The one major decision that some historians and conspiracy theorists have suggested was influenced by astrology was the date for the launching of the invasion of Russia.  What is known for a fact, however, is that the original schedule for Operation Barbarossa -- the code-name for the invasion plans -- was delayed due to Hitler's decision to divert military resources to Europe's south to help Italy in its military adventures.

Krafft's predictions were strangely accurate in many instances, including his prediction that certain targets in Germany would be attacked by Allied forces.  When such prognostications turned out to be accurate, he was arrested again and died enroute to a concentration camp.

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