World War II

               pirite intro1 min

          Himmler's Walhalla, Wewelsburg (castle)

The Wewelsburg castle stands on the northern end of a small plateau, between the German cities Hamm and Paderborn. Its present shape dates back to the Renaissance (1603 - 1609 CE), while some parts are built later. The last occupants left the castle during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648 CE), and new residents never arrived. The castle has the shape of a triangle based around a nigth century round medieval donjon (Tower).

The plateau contains two other buildings, a Roman Catholic church and a smaller building that belongs to the castle.  The village was always served by a monk from a nearby monastery, but around 1700 CE the bishop of Paderborn resolved to appoint a parish priest. Because the village had never had a parish priest, there was no vicarage. When the first parish priest arrived, he took up his residence in the southern wing of the castle.

This situation remained unchanged for over two centuries, until Himmler, nicknamed Reichsheini, became interested in the Wewelsburg. He wanted a religious centre, something like St.Peter’s in Rome or the Temple of Jerusalem.

 

Himmler decided on his first visit on 3 November 1933 CE, that the Wewelsburg castle should become his Reichsführerschule SS (SS Leadership School). Negotiations were difficult, since the castle owner  "The Landrat of Büren" was unwilling to give up control of the castle. In the first half of 1934 CE, a hundred year lease was agreed on, for the symbolic annual rent of one ReichsMark. Himmler had his Reichsführerschule SS, the school was mainly intended to ensure an unified ideological training of the SS leadership and would be overseen by Rasseamt (Race officer) of the SS.

The "Rasseamt der SS" was founded bij the end of December 1931 CE and was responsible for racial investigations and marriage permits for members of the SS. Later it was called the "Rasse- und Siedlungsamt" and from January 1935 it was run as the SS-Hauptamt.