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But above these reasons, there was one acumen that stood above the rest as to why Hitler wanted the Ghent altarpiece. Hitler believed that if he got these treasures into his possession, these will give him supernatural powers that will eventually lead to his winning the Second World War.

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Impossible, right? This knowledge may sound more like an adventure movie plot but this idea is the truth.

The Nazis did have a team of researchers which looked for treasures of the supernatural realm and religious relics that would eventually show the path to a certain magical land. During these rites, the magical powers of the rune were called upon.

Did Hitler’s obsession with the occult lose him the war?

The Nazis fought WWII with psychics and astrologers — they were hired to examine the alignment of the stars and based war tactics and offensive attacks using these readings. All these may be absurdly sounding but these were firmly believed by most Nazi followers and a large part of their finances had been placed to support these endeavors — invested into a number of studies and employing of hundreds of scientists and workers to do these works. The pseudo-scientific arm of the Nazi organization was responsible for looking for supernatural advantages connected to the efforts exerted by the Nazis during WWII and for supporting their propaganda regarding the beliefs they stood by like the superiority of the Aryan race.

With these in mind, it very much possible that Hitler did thought that the Ghent altarpiece held the secret to the path into finding the supernatural religious relics that would eventually empower him to win WWII.

Sidney Kirkpatrick: Hitler's Holy Relics

He investigated throughout the city even taking apart sections of the church as one theory had held that the lost panel never really left Saint Bavo but was hidden in one of the secret compartments within the cathedral. Unsurprisingly, it was allegory.

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Well, the the Holy Lance appears to have chalked up considerable milage if all the folklore is to be taken seriously. Of course all of these stories can be nonsense, contrived to tighten the bonds of faith in testing times, and in all likelihood they were. According to the Imperial Treasury itself, the Hofburg Spear dates from the 8th century, while an independent chemical test in offers up the 7th century — either way the lance is far too modern to match the mythology.

Yes, Hitler was interested in the occult but he was interested in it primarily as a device, as something uniquely German with which to bind the volk. He did indeed loot the Imperial Treasury of the Habsburgs and spirit the Hofburg Spear to Nuremberg along with the rest of the imperial paraphernalia, but he did so with a view to its symbolic power rather than its otherworldly potential.

Nazi Myths Debunked: Hitler, Wagner and the Spear of Destiny | All About History

However taking Ravenscroft and Stein at their word also proves problematic. As the two legal teams waited at the High Court to contest the accusation of plagiarism, Ravenscroft revealed that he and Herbert had crossed paths before.

I was sued for using what I believed were historical facts but were actually gained by transcendental meditation — that is exclusive to Ravenscroft. In both fiction and what passes for fact, the Hofburg Spear and its supposed links to Nazi Germany loom large, a somewhat depressing attempt to attribute real horrors to supernatural imaginings rather than confront the complexity of their real causes.

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