The Studiengesellschaft für Geistesurgeschichte, Deutsches Ahnenerbe eV 1 (translated from German as “Society for Research and Training in the German Ancestral Heritage”), known as the Ahnenerbe or also SS-Ahnenerbe was an entity pseudoscientific German formally constituted in 1935 by leaders and Ideologues of the German National Socialist Workers’ Party to carry out and disseminate research for educational purposes in support of the Nazi ideology and in particular of his theories related to the Aryan race in parallel with his investigations of the Germanic race.

In 1940 , during World War II , the Ahnenerbe was integrated into the structure of the SS , fundamental organization of the state apparatus of the Third Reich , and directed under the chairmanship of Heinrich Himmler , byWalther Wüst and Wolfram von Sievers , guiding his activity towards archaeological, ethnological and anthropological both expeditions in South American countries like Brazil and Argentina , or countries of the Himalayas . At the end of the war, it was dissolved and its activities investigated in the framework of the Nuremberg trials , being declared a criminal organization in 1946 along with the SS. Sievers was tried and sentenced to death as a war criminal . By its nature, the Ahnenerbe and its history are one of the subjects approached by the controversial theories on the Nazi occult .

Origins: 1935-1939

The Ahnenerbe foundation is recorded as contributions from the 1 of July of 1935 by inspiration of Heinrich Himmler , Hermann Wirth and theorist Walter Darre , in order, as established by the indictment of the Nuremberg process called doctors:

… conduct research on … the north-Indian race and disseminate its results in an interesting way to the public.

Ahnennerbe . p. 188, in The Milch Case . NUERNBERG MILITARY COURT Volume II · Pages III, IV & V

Later, in 1940 , it was integrated into the SS as the Ethnological Coordinating Section, Ahnenerbe-Stiftung , Institute of Military Scientific Research, Institut für Wehrwissenschaftliche Zweckforschung . In its organization chart, it was presided over by Himmler and directed by the rector of the University of Munich , Professor Sturmbannführer -SS Walther Wuest . His administration in numerous departments was placed under the responsibility of Colonel Standartenführer-SS Wolfram Sievers . 2

His activities initially focused on the fields of anthropology and archeology with the aim of demonstrating the theories of racial superiority defended since the 1910s by extremists of the Thule Society , later adopted by the political doctrine of Adolf Hitler .

Expedition to Tibet

The Ahnenerbe sponsored in 1938 the sending of an expedition to Tibet , the only known outside Germany despite its secret nature, under the direction of the biologist Ernst Schäfer , despite his suspicions about Himmler’s obsession with occultism .

He left in April 1938 , arrived in Tibet the following January. The team included Bruno Berger , who studied the skulls of about 400 people trying to prove that Tibet was the birthplace of a Nordic race. His first conclusions were that the Tibetans were somewhere between the Mongols and the European races. Other members of the team were Edmont Geer and Karl Vinert . It is speculated that Schäfer could try personally to prove that the Yeti was a species of bear and, although he did not find this specimen, he sent more than 50 animals to Germany to perform an additional study, as well as 5000 different types of grain. The team also purchased 108 pages of the sacred text Kangschur .

The expedition ended formally in May 1939 , but Schäfer would not publish his results until 1950 , with the title: Festival of the White Gauze Scarves: A research expedition through Tibet to Lhasa, the holy city of the god realm .

Activities in the Caucasus

The Ahnenerbe carried out several activities in the Caucasus , mainly in the area of Mount Elbrus and the areas of lithic remains near it, as well as old settlements of the Alans . It is speculated that the Ahnenerbe sought the connection between Aryans and / or Goths with the prehistoric constructions of the area.

Ahnenerbe’s remains have been found in the area, in the summer of 2015 a briefcase with the emblems of Ahnenerbe was found with a strange non-human skull, a ring and a Nazi uniform and about 200 bodies of German soldiers were found They had been buried by an avalanche. We also found a detailed map of the area of Adigueya and there are details of the so-called ” Edelweiss operation ” of the Wehrmacht that climbed Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. This expedition was carried out by the 49th Wehrmacht Mountain Corps, which encamped in Maikop , between the Psheja and Pshish rivers, Germania and Nordland tank regiments were established. In autumn 1942, the 3rd squadron of the 14th reconnaissance group was established at Maikop airport, which had twin FW-189 reconnaissance aircraft.

Before the outbreak of World War II, the German army offered to join the USSR to build a mountain road between Pitsunda , Black Sea coast, to Ritsa , a natural reserve in which the Ritsa Lake is located . The collaboration was due, as it turned out, to the interest of Germany to use the waters of a spring in a cave located under the lake Ritsa for the manufacture of human blood plasma since the Ahnenerbe had established that the composition of the same was ideal For that purpose. 3


From 1939 and during World War II , the Ahnenerbe operationally led by Wolfram Sievers organized, according to Himmler’s guidelines, the trafficking of human beings destined for the experiments of associate scientists and SS researchers and their supplies of materials and equipment, Although he did not supervise the technical relevance of the work. 4

Crimes at the Anatomical Institute of Strasbourg

The prisoners who underwent these experiments, later considered as crimes against humanity , came mainly from the field of Natzweiler and Dachau , whose facilities and equipment were at the express disposal of the Ahnenenrbe for the investigations directed especially by Prof. Hauptsturmfuehrer-SS August Hirt and Dr. Sigmund Rascher of the Anatomical Institute of the Reichsuniversität in Strasbourg .

1946: condemnation

Evidence provided from the collection of Professor Hirt and the experiments at Dachau and Struthof obtained that the military court I trial of room Nuremberg , known as ” process doctors ‘ condemned the 26 of October of 1946 to the penalty gallows Colonel Wolfram Sievers for the murders, brutality, torture and other inhuman acts in which this organization participated. The penalty was executed 2 of June of 1948 , being the only known member of the Ahnenerbe that was executed.


Main article: Nazi medical experimentation

It was considered that the Ahnenerbe provided the resources for conducting various experiments with criminals convicted and executed in the concentration camps of Dachau and Struthof-Natzweiler, as established in the document or sentence of the doctors’ trial. 5

  • Resistance to altitude: inside de-pressurization chambers in Dachau, numerous prisoners were killed;
  • Injections of malaria strains and extracts of mosquito glands;
  • Freezing resistance: the 15 of August of 1942 , Rascher undertook freezing studies at low temperatures subjecting prisoners at Dachau for the benefit of the Luftwaffe . 6
  • Wound infection with mustard gas ;
  • Potabilization of sea water: the prisoners were deprived of food and the only drink supplied were different variants of chemically treated seawater;
  • Inoculation of jaundice ;
  • Inoculation of typhus .


  1. Back to top↑ Informative review of the Deutsches Historisches Museum, “Das” Ahnenerbe “der SS.”
  2. Back to top↑ Nürnberg Military Tribunal, Volume II · Pages III, IV & V. Medical Trial. The Ahnenerbe Society, p. 188. Available at http://www.mazal.org/archive/nmt/02/NMT02-T0188.htm
  3. Back to top↑ The mystery of the SS and Ahnenerbe in the mountains of the Caucasus Middle: ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA Date: December 30, 2015 Author: IVÁN KARASEV
  4. Back to top↑ Nürnberg Military Tribunal. Volume I · Page 89. Translation of Document NO-422 – Prosecution Exhibit 33. Letter from Himmler to Sievers, July 7, 1942, concerning the establishment of an “Institute for Military Scientific Research” within the Ahnenerbe Society . Available online
  5. Back to top↑ Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10. Nuremberg, October 1946-April 1949. Washington, DC: USGPO, 1949-1953. Indictment , p. 8. Available online
  6. Back to top↑ Nürnberg Military Tribunal. Volume I, p. 220. Translation of Document 1618-PS – Prosecution Exhibit 84 – Intermediate Report, 10 september 1942, on intense chilling experiments in Dachau concentration camp . Available online