Yes…the connection is very tenuous indeed but it does exist! An occult expert and researcher made the connection while investigating the life of leading turn of the century occultist Dr. Franz Hartmann. Not only was there a distant connection with Hitler–Hartmann also translated the Bhagavad Gita into German–the very edition that was Heinrich Himmler’s personal spiritual ‘bible.’
First, Hitler and vampires. Dr. Mark Newell is an anthropologist with a research interest in occult traditions ranging from the Congo to Egypt to Europe. Newell tells me, “Authors Leslie Shepherd and Peter Haining both re-published an account of ‘authentic’ vampirism that first appeared in the Occult Review of September, 1909. The article was written by Franz Hartmann. The founder and editor was an English engineer by the name of Ralph Shirley.”
“Hartmann was an associate of Lanz von Lebenfels and Guido von List, both in Vienna at the time and leading lights of the Germanic occult movement. Hartmann tells of reading a story in a Vienna newspaper one morning about the burning of a castle in Romania. The local villagers believed that the owner was a vampire responsible for the death of many children in the area.
“At the time Hartmann was with a friend who revealed that he visited the very same castle in 1907 when he was building a nearby road (it is clear that the friend was in fact Ralph Shirley-JR). He described a portrait in the castle as being particularly evil and animated. The friend was accompanied by two other men, one of whom reported being “visited” by the woman in the portrait. It was apparent from the story that it was she who was the vampire. Hartmann swears as to the truth of the story. His account in huge Occult Review showed a photograph of huge painting taken by the engineer. The painter was the celebrated Hans Makart– who went mad at the age of 44 shortly after completing the portrait. The man of who received the visitation fled to America. Hartmann died three years later.”
The connection with Hitler? Hartmann was one the the founders of the Munich Order Templi Orientis, the OTO, the very organization that created the Thule Society and funded the German Workers Party–which of course later became the Nazi party.
The vampire story that was ‘authenticated’ by Shirley and Hartmann is fascinating and Newell’s account of it can be found at the link at the end of this post. Newell found the actual article in the Vienna newspaper read by Hartmann. In his account Hartmann disguised the name of his friend and the location of the castle and the name of the owner. These details are now known thanks to Newell’s research. There is yet another connection between Hartmann and the Nazi party–he translated the Bhagavad Gita from Sanskrit into German, the book that Heinrich Himmler kept by his bedside.