The Odal Rune of the Elder Futhark had a basic meaning in the physical sense of – landholding, inheritance, deriving from Nordic mythology, with connections to Gothic, Latin and Greek alphabets, which some believe originate around the Black Sea and Byzantine Greece, its corresponding Greek letter being Omega Ω, the last letter in the Greek alphabet, meaning ‘Great’. The Odal rune was used as a symbol of the Blut und Boden Ideology or “Blood and Soil.” It was representative of the mystical bond between the land and the soul of a folk, the concept of ‘Homeland’ or ‘Fatherland’ or ‘Motherland,’ a specific region of land and water which gives Genesis to a people, gives birth to them and provides for them a prime source of nourishment both physical and spiritual.
The Odal Rune was specifically used by the Reichsbauernshaft, meaning; ‘local farmers’ of the Reich. The most significant focus of the Third Reich’s agricultural structure was independent, privately owned, traditional family run farms. The Reichserbhofgesetz was a remarkable set of laws designed to protect family owned and run German productive farmlands. In September, 1933, the government of Germany introduced Reichserbhofgesetz, which removed farmland from the status of a transferable”economic goods.” The farmland was instead seen as a family heirloom, a generational possession, a lasting possession of a family and its descendants. The Third Reich actively sought to than protect the family in possession of the property, and also vow to uphold the bond between the family and the farm. There is no other example I can think of in history, of a State authority undertaking such a socio-economic initiative and implementing it as State Law, it is basically anti-State, it is unprecedented as far as I know, and of course all modern State laws whether Capitalist or Communist are contrary to the hereditary farm laws of the Third Reich. The hereditary farm law, declares that all farms which are at least large enough to support a family, depending on the quality and nature of the land’s production, and which do not exceed 125 hectares are hereditary farms or Erbhofe. Smaller properties could become Erbhofe through combination, and larger ones over 125 hectares could become Erbhofe through subdivision or by special permission. According to the laws of the Third Reich the Erbhof cannot be mortgaged to a bank or anybody else inside or outside Germany, nor can either it or necessary equipment be seized for an existing debt. The National Socialists in that respect of their law declared a national ‘Jubilee’ for all privately owned German farms. From 1933 onwards the Third Reich undertook to return all mortgaged Land Titles to the original owners and cancel any debt obligations linked to German farmlands. Such measures have only been written about in mythology, no government has ever performed a Jubilee for the benefits of a national people, never, except the National Socialists, this they did, what was only once regarded as myth was actually achieved by the Third Reich in 1933.
In addition Erbhof had to obtain permission to sell a private farmland. At death or retirement of the owner or owners, the farm was not to be sold but to be pass on undivided to a single heir, usually the first son. The lines of law regarding farm inheritance were stipulated at length, the testator had a significant amount of choice, for example according to traditional customs of the local area and the ability of the descendants to carry on work and production of the farm. The ideology behind these laws are clear – to protect and develop; “the mystical bond between the land and the soul of the folk.” The rural inheritance law was acknowledged by Hitler to be only an interval measure to prevent the “never-ending process of division among heirs,” “In Britain they have the sound law that the eldest son of a peer can inherit the title; in our country we have nobles by the score, who cannot make a living and will not die.” The Führer in 1941 also noted that it would be reformed; “Whereas the present law of rural inheritance dispossess the younger sons, in the future every peasants’ son will be sure of having his patch of ground.” (p.15 Hitler’s Table Talk.) Meaning Agrarian land would be acquired by a Greater Germania including Eastern lands won via conquest.
National Socialist theorist and Zeppelin pilot Ernst August Lehmann channels the Odal Rune when he writes:
“We recognize that separating man from nature, from the whole of life, leads to mankind’s own destruction and to the death of nations. Only through a reintegration of mankind into the whole of nature can our people be made stronger. That is the fundamental point of the biological tasks of our age. Mankind alone is no longer the focus of thought, but rather life as a whole…This striving toward connectedness with the totality of life, with nature itself, a nature into which we are born, this is the deepest meaning and true essence of National Socialist thought.” – Ernst Lehmann. 1934
Make note of that and contemplate this as an anti-humanist, anti-urbanist, anti-industrialist idea, as the very root of the Blood and Soil ideology whose radical base is symbolized by the Odal Rune!
Now we search, as has been done before, for a strong communal bond, in an alienating, confused, endlessly divisive Zion that we have been imprisoned in. We rise above these constraints as Wandervogel “wandering free spirits” united only by our rootless, landless state. From ghostly vapours we must reintegrate, and compose a form, a Geo-Genesis, for we have been separated from our source, from our nature, from our land; blood and soil must mix again, bonded as one fertile essence! With the Odal Rune we shall return, again, to dwelling places as a New Race re-born.
So much of the romantic Wandervogel sentiment can be identified with Hitler’s youthful years; the hostility to the pure rationalism, the radical revolutionary spirit, anti-Semitism, anti-urbanism; the search for a place in which to dwell, to be immersed in nature, the communal impulse towards a Folk united in Destiny, the search for the place of origin! Hitler came to represent more than anything, as Ezra Pound said “Man over Machine,” the triumph of Aryan Man over sterile, lifeless industrial advance, man as part of nature rather than man separated and against nature.
“When people attempt to rebel against the iron logic of nature, they come into conflict with the very same principles to which they owe their existence as human beings. Their actions against nature must lead to their own downfall.” – Mein Kampf
“Today we see the steady stream from the countryside to the city, deadly for the Volk. The cities swell ever larger unnerving the Volk and destroying the threads which bind mankind to nature; they attract adventurers and profiteers of all colours, thereby fostering racial chaos.” – The Myth of The Twentieth Century. Alfred Rosenberg
The first nature reserves in Europe were established by the National Socialists, in particular by Rudolf Hess. From 1933 onwards a wide range of unprecedented environmental reforms were approved and implemented. These reforms and legislation included; reforestation programs, animal and plant protective orders, preservationist decrees blocking industrial development, protection of wildlife habitat, etc. The concept that the National Socialists embarked on a rapid un-restrained modern industrialization plan for Germany is false, no basis whatsoever! Even large-scale construction projects like the Autobahns were constructed in an ecologically sensitive manner using predominately man and horse power and vernacular building methods.
The reichsnaturschutzgesetz of 1935 is another European first. The “Nature Protection Law” established guidelines for preservation of flora and fauna, and “natural monuments” across the Reich; it categorically restricted commercial and industrial access to remaining tracts of significant wilderness. This all-encompassing legislation “required all national, state and local officials to consult and work with Naturschuts authorities before and during any undertaking that would impact on the natural environment of the country. The Reich’s Naturschuts was hailed as a great success by the public and the NS authorities. Of course later, post 1939, with the Allied declarations of war, Operation Barbarossa and bombing campaigns leading to “Total War,” environmental concerns were given much less attention, if any at all.
National Socialism was born from the fertile ground of the Volkisch movement which had its beginning in the mid to late 19th Century and reaching a high pitch in 1920’s Germany. The many Volkisch organizations acted as feeder channels into the politically orientated National Socialist movement. The Volkisch movement regarded unrestrained materialist consumerism, urbanism, empirical science, parliamentarism, democracy, semitic influence, etc, as artificial and damaging for both people and environment. The “Greens” movements of today are only some deformed vestiges of what was the Germanic Volkisch movement, and National Socialist Party. The Volkisch rebelled against the Weimar democracy which it viewed as a cynical puppet government controlled by Jewish dominated international banks and foreign western democracies such as Britain and America, which themselves were only cynical puppet governments serving international private banking interests.
The idealistic and romantic German Nationalists of the Volkisch movement was a cradle of support for National Socialist ideology and politics. Urbanization, destruction of the countryside by commercial and often foreign industry, debt fuelled growth, financial speculation, cultural degeneration, unclean living habits, consumerist culture, rampant materialism, etc, were all viewed by the Volkisch movement and early NSDAP as having a common root in Semitic Monotheism and Masonic Internationalism. They condemned both Capitalism and Communism along with egalitarian world Democracy and liberal industrialized exploitation of natural resources, such condemnations would have a profound influence on the National Socialists and in particular SS ideology as well as Goebbels’ Blut und Boden movement.
From it’s very inception the Volkisch movement demanded the disemancipation of German Jews and the banning of all sexual relations between those of “Semitic Race” and those considered “Aryan Race.” In 1881 these demands were formalized as a political program and submitted to the German government, the petition had 1 million plus signatures! Which gives a clear example of the vitality and strength and popularity of the Volkisch movement in 1881.
What was epitomized in the Volkisch movement was symbolized in the Odal Rune, like the SS who later inherited the symbol, representing the bonds of kinship and family that tie together those of the same racial blood concentrated in a land of origin – Ur. The Odal Rune was an emblem of Himmler’s RuSHA – Race and Resettlement Office, and Ahnenerbe.
The Waffen SS Prinz Eugen Division used the Odal Rune as their insignia. The 7th SS-Freiwilligen Gebirgs Division “Prinz Eugen”, the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division, named after Prinz Eugen (Prince Eugene) of Savoy-Carignan, a military commander of the Austrian Hapsburg Empire. The Division was formed between April and October 1942 from Volksdeusche (ethnic Germans) in Serbia and Croatia as well as volunteers from Serbia, Croatia, Italy, Romania and Hungary. By December 31, 1942, the division had recruited 21,102 men; 393 officer, 2,010 NCO’s, 18,699 troops. The officers and NCO’s were national Germans (Reichsdeutsche), whereas the enlisted men were recruited from outside the Reich and were considered to be Volksdeutsche, ethnic Germans. Only the German officers and NCOs were entitled to wear the SS Rune, the enlisted personnel were forbidden wearing the SS runes on the collar insignia by orders of the Reichsfuhrer Himmler. Enlisted men however were authorized to wear the Odal rune symbolizing kinship. In addition, all Waffen SS personal serving with the Mountain units were entitled to wear the Edelweiss SS patch. German officers of Prinz Eugen had the option of wearing the Odal rune and many chose to display the Odal as well as their SS runes. From Yugoslavia in total 42,000 men were recruited into 4 divisions for Himmler’s SS. In Yugoslavia the ethnic German population numbered several hundred thousand. The Waffen SS eagerly sought to recruit Croats. Croatia had been a multi-ethnic Kingdom from the 11th Century to the end of WWI, being part of past empires such as the Hungarian Kingdom, the Hapsburg Monarchy, Austria-Hungary and the Venetians. The Kingdom of Croatia had been the main defensive border in the wars against the Ottoman Turks. In 1529 the Ottoman army overcame the Croatian defences and took inland Croatia. In 1683 the Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa advanced on Vienna with large mercenary and conscripted army from bases in Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina to lay siege to Vienna, the Capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Prince Eugene of the Italian House of Savoy was made a colonel of a cavalry regiment and distinguished himself in battle. On September 12, 16,000 Polish led by King John Sobieski cavalry charged the Ottoman Turks causing the Turks to retreat. Prince Eugene pursued the retreating Turks to Belgrade where he was wounded in battle at the Seige of Belgrade. The Serbian Peoples of Belgrade rose up and united with the Austrian forces under Prince Eugene in an alliance to liberate Serbia from Ottoman control, the Serbian-Austrian offensive failed in 1690, and Belgrade remained under Turkish rule. The Serbian Patriarch Arsenius Cernoevitch led an exodus of 37,000 Serbian families out of Serbia to settle in lands under Hungarian rule. Prince Eugene continued to battle the Ottoman Turks, he routed the Turks at Zenta in present day Montenegro and then captured Sarajevo. In several battles Eugene defeated the Turkish armies, in 1717 he attacked Belgrade again, declaring “Either I will take Belgrade or the Turks will take me.” On August 15 Prince Eugene destroyed a Turkish relief army and claimed Belgrade for the Austrian Hapsburg Empire under Charles VI. The ethnic German population settled in Croatia during the reign of Austrian archduchess and queen of Hungary and Bohemia, Maria Theresa, who ruled from 1740 to 1780. The Volksdeutsche were originally from the Black Forest region of Swabia, the German settlers were farmers who cleared and cultivated the land that Prince Eugene had driven the Ottoman Turks from.
The “Prinz Eugen” SS Division under control of the 12th German Army was formed by Himmler to seek and destroy the Yugoslav guerilla groups, which consisted of two major groups, the royalist ‘Free Yugoslavia Army’ known as Chetnici (Chetniks) and the Soviet backed communist partisans (the British also supported the Tito’s communists) led by “Tito” (Josip Broz). Both leaders; of the Chetniks General Draza Mihailovich and Tito, had 100,000 gold Reichsmark prices on their heads, dead or alive, a huge sum, obviously Hitler and Himmler had a particular disliking for them. Tito’s Partisans and the Serb Chetniks royalists fought each other when they were not running from the Waffen SS, they hated each other more than they hated the Waffen SS. Tito’s tactics were to evade the Waffen SS and knock out the Chetniks, until Red Army troops arrived in sufficient number. Both these armed guerilla groups were originally made up mainly from ethnic Serbs, but included in their ranks, Croats, Slovenes, and Jews and Muslims or any man that had an interest royalist power in the Balkans or communist power. In typical Balkan war fashion all sides were a mixed lot of colours and creeds. Prinz Eugen Division was also to claim the arms of Italian units that were in the process of surrender to the Allies, and bolster and support any the Croatian Ustashe military and police. The Prinz Eugen Division was poorly equipped for its battles in the field, with little German weaponry provided, the unit used captured equipment such as Czech machine guns and French tanks to begin with. However it must be noted that because of the difficulty of the terrain that the division had to cover, light weaponry would have been preferred and what they were equipped with was superior to the Partisans or Chetniks. After a series of battles in the Balkans with Partisan forces and Serb Chetniks, the Division was reorganized with the addition of the “13 Waffen Gerbirgs-Division des SS Handshar,” the “23 Waffen Gerbirgs Division der SS Kama” (made up of Bosnian Muslims) and the “21 Waffen Gerbirgs der SS Skandenberg” (made up of Kosovo Albanians). The Bosniak Muslim units had not acted in a full divisional level and SS Kama had not seen action at all and was plagued with defections. Himmler with the assistance of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem had formed the Bosniak Muslim divisions, considering them to be ethnic Croats whose ancestors had fought for the Austro-Hungarian Hapsburgs against the Ottoman Turks. The Kosovo Albanians had been known for their long struggles against the Ottoman Empire. The re-organized Division then saw action in what would be its most important role of the war, receiving orders to hold a strategic bridgehead in the Vardar Corridor in Macedonia to allow for the evacuation of 350,000 German soldiers who faced being encircled by a huge Soviet army advancing towards them. The 350,000 German soldiers were retreating North from the Aegean and Greek regions of the Balkans. Although almost being overcome and suffering heavy losses the Prinz Eugen Division managed to hold the critical bridgehead in the Vardar Corridor helping to make it possible for the main troop of German soldiers to successfully retreat through.
On 20th October 1944 the Soviets captured Belgrade and Prinz Eugen was still rear-guarding the German retreat under heavy fire. Heavy casualties took their toll and divisional SS Kavallerie-Abteilung 7 was disbanded, and then in early November the “SS Skanderberg” division was disbanded. In January 1945 the remaining Prinz Eugen Division fought the partisans near Otok and later they were sent to Vukovar where the unit fought more retreating battles against the advancing Soviets as well as Tito’s partisans. The Prinz Eugen fought on under heavy assault from Partisans and the Soviet army. They held a position near Karlovac on the 2 May 1945, their end coming a week later in Celje, Slovenia where the tattered remnants of the Prinz Eugen Division finally surrendered to Soviet backed Yugoslav forces.
My father is from the island of Korcula in the Adriatic off the coast of Croatia, and remembers when the Waffen SS Prinz Eugen Division swept through the islands in an attempt to re-gain control from the communist partisans. The inhabitants of Korcula traditionally call themselves “Dalmatians.” The island is said to have been originally settled by the Trojans, whereas the Croats came from the Alps mountain areas with Slavic migrations. Korcula has always been a sea-faring island with a deep water port, and known for its sea-trading activities and boat building. Korcula was part of the Venetian Republic, local legend has it that Marco Polo was born on the island of Korcula. It was Korcula’s timber that built the wooden walls of Venice and help build the Venetian fleet. Later Korcula came under Hapsburg rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The Odal Rune has now travelled from Nordic Poetry to the Geist of Volkische revolutionaries to the peasant farmlands of Germany, to the NSDAP Blut und Boden movement and Third Reich property laws, to the SS ideology on noble race, kinship and ancestral lineage, and then to the multi-ethnic Waffen SS Mountain Divisions of anti-Partisan fighters in the Balkans. The energy composed in the Runes, like all energy, is in a process of change, a constant state of transformation. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transferred. Over the last few decades the Odal Rune has been adopted by some nationalist movements, most notably the Afrikaner and Boer groups in South Africa, and more recently Neo-pagans and Neo-folk movements for example; Asatru and Wotanism and Odinism. This I see as a retrograde movement of the runic energy and a re-setting of the Odal Rune to its pre-National Socialist incarnation, and this appears to be a necessary cycle, the majority of those now employing the Odal Rune have no comprehension of National Socialism, and maybe they need to go through this cycle again, as in retrograde motion. The path of Odal Rune itself is retrograde, as it follows the path of a lozenge, crossing near its base before rising in a forward motion again. The path of truth is crooked and crossed. For the Aryanists of today, the Odal Rune represents the search for a homeland, rather than an existing connection to a homeland. The homelands of the past are dead as the nations are dead, only the deeds of the Aryan Dead remain eternal. Aryanism must search for a land of source again, we seek, we scour, we probe, we sift through, we distill, we explore, scrutinize, survey, investigate, examine, in our quest for a place to dwell.