Confronting the Nazi Perpetrators: New Exhibition Explodes Myth of SS Castle Wewelsburg

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Wewelsburg Castle, once a pseudo-religious sanctum for Hitler's SS, has been shrouded in mystery since 1945. Its echoing crypt and mysterious occult symbols have spawned fantasies of pagan, torch-lit ceremonies held by the murderous brotherhood. A new exhibition at the site aims to dispel such myths -- and reflects Germany's new approach towards explaining its darkest places.

Wewelsburg Castle in northwestern Germany was the spiritual home of Hitler's murderous SS and ever since 1945, neo-Nazis and Satanists have spun myths about torch-lit ceremonies and ancient Nordic rituals that supposedly went on behind its walls.

There can be no doubt that the place lends itself to fantasy. A dark, eerily echoing crypt with 12 pedestals around the wall and a gas pipe for an eternal flame in the center stands at the base of the north tower. On the floor above, in the circular "Hall of SS Generals," the occult symbol of a "Black Sun" is set into the marble floor.

The place has exuded a dark fascination for the last six decades. Satanists lured by the pagan symbolism have broken into the crypt to celebrate black masses, and far-right sympathizers still make pilgrimages to Wewelsburg, where they mix in with ordinary visitors and marvel at what Himmler wanted to turn into a "Reich House of SS Generals."

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