The Spirit that Possessed Adolf Hitler
Israel has been taking significant steps to draw closer to Germany—politically and militarily. In August 2020, for the first time ever, Israeli air force pilots traveled to Germany for training (and since 2017, German air force pilots have trained in Israel). Over the past several years in particular, military exercises and other instances of cooperation have shown that trust between Germany and Israel is drastically increasing.
Does that make you feel comfortable? That Israel is forging a friendship with a nation that—in living memory—has attempted to wipe out the Jewish people?
Many celebrate the progress of Israeli-German relations. But Bible history—and prophecy—shows that Israel should be very, very careful.
The history of Israel and Assyria is a case in point. Ancient Assyria is well known as a bloodthirsty and conquering nation—yet ancient Israel attempted to forge a friendship with them.
And when Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his wound, Ephraim went to Assyria, and sent to King Contentious; but he is not able to heal you, neither cure you of your wound. (Hosea 5:13)
Within a matter of years of this prophecy, Assyria had vaporized the Kingdom of Israel, and all but destroyed the Kingdom of Judah (excepting Jerusalem).
In 1957, Leonard Cottrell wrote this about the Assyrians (emphasis added):
In all the annals of human conquest, it is difficult to find any people more dedicated to bloodshed and slaughter than the Assyrians. Their ferocity and cruelty have few parallels save in modern times.
His allusion, of course, was to the Germans. And as with ancient Israel and Assyria—here’s why Israel’s close relationship with Germany is a mistake. But to know this requires an understanding of the spirit realm—something few today have.
Let’s examine the spiritual dimension behind Nazi Germany, in order to learn lessons for today. Because Hitler has died—but the spirit realm doesn’t.
The Spirit that Possessed Adolf Hitler
Just what—or who—inspired Adolf Hitler?
Sir Winston Churchill stood alone in warning the world about the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. He wrote a great deal about Hitler before and after World War II, and understood his opponent better than any other world leaders at the time.
Yet even Churchill did not fully understand exactly what motivated Adolf Hitler.
In June 1940, Churchill gave his “Finest Hour” speech—warning that a Hitler victory would mean “the whole world—including the United States, including all that we have known and care for—will sink into the abyss of a New Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.” Churchill’s reference to “perverted science” pointed to the horrifying experiments Hitler’s scientists were performing on human beings. Churchill saw that and understood where the slippery slope would lead. Britain’s other leaders did not. Even still, Churchill himself did not grasp the origin of Hitler’s imaginations—or rather, the imaginations of the spirit that possessed him.
Hitler was far more evil than most people realized because he was often Satan-possessed, which this world doesn’t understand.
The Origin of Hitler’s Ideas
In 1948, composing his war memoirs, Churchill included a sketch of Hitler’s character. “There he said that the crystallization of Hitler’s view of the world occurred not before the First World War but in 1919; and not in Vienna but in Munich,” Lukacs wrote. Lukacs was saying this to Churchill’s credit—but he was misguided.
Yet Hitler in Mein Kampf had insisted—and most historians have accepted the thesis—that while his life took a turn in 1918–1919 in Munich, his political ideology had crystallized in Vienna about eight or nine years earlier. Well, about 50 years after 1948 a few historians (including myself, but especially the excellent Brigitte Hamann in Vienna) have been revising the Vienna thesis, fortified by evidence which includes Hitler’s conscious misstating the sequence of the evolution of his ideas.
This is wrong. Hitler did not consciously misstate the development of his ideas: What he said was absolutely true. Churchill was wrong about where Hitler’s mindset crystallized, and there is a reason he got it wrong.
It has always puzzled me why Churchill did not understand where Hitler’s evil mindset actually originated. It did originate prior to World War i, around 1910, in Vienna. I will show you why this is crucial to understand.
Here is some information about the Munich incident Churchill pointed to. In 1918, as Germany surrendered at the close of World War i, Hitler was in Munich, recovering from his wounds. Robert G. L. Waite wrote in The Psychopathic God—Adolf Hitler, “Something clicked in the Pasewalk Hospital. It was there at the turn of the year 1918–1919 that Hitler resolved his identity problem and reached what he called ‘the most decisive decision of my life.’ For now, finally, he knew who he was and what he must do. He was the leader sent by destiny. He must answer the ‘voices’ that he said he heard—like Joan of Arc—distinctly calling him as he lay in his hospital bed. The voices told him to rescue his Motherland from the Jews who had violated her.”
Hitler did make a decisive statement at that time. Lying in bed, he heard voices telling him to save Germany. This shows that Hitler was Satan-possessed, and that Satan was directing him. Satan commanded him to save Germany. Of course, Hitler thought it was God.
But that incident was not where his worldview originated. Waite did not understand this the way he should have either. Hitler had a vision in his mind, and a spirit of revenge, long before that incident.
What really shaped Hitler’s mind was what he learned in Vienna, one of the capital cities of the Holy Roman Empire.
Churchill knew about the Holy Roman Empire, of course. So do the other historians who write about Hitler. But they don’t really understand it! Understanding the Holy Roman Empire is key to understanding not only how Satan worked through Hitler, but also how he is working right now!
‘In That Hour It Began’
That incident in 1918–1919 was not the first time Hitler had heard a voice. Before World War i even began, when he was only 17 years old, he and his friend August Kubizek heard a voice—and it was coming from Hitler. Kubizek wrote this about a cold midnight in 1906 after the two teenagers had watched a Wagner opera and walked up the Freinberg mountain in northern Austria:
Adolf stood in front of me and now he gripped both my hands and held them tight. He had never made such a gesture before. I felt from the grasp of his hands how deeply moved he was. His eyes were feverish with excitement. The words did not come smoothly from his mouth as they usually did, but rather erupted, hoarse and raucous. From his voice I could tell even more how much this experience had shaken him.
Gradually his speech loosened and the words flowed more freely. Never before and never again have I heard Adolf Hitler speak as he did in that hour, as we stood there alone under the stars, as though we were the only creatures in the world.
I cannot repeat every word that my friend uttered. I was struck by something strange, which I had never noticed before, even when he had talked to me in moments of greatest excitement. It was as if a second ego spoke from within him, and moved him as much as it did me. It was not at all a case of a speaker being carried away by his own words. On the contrary, I rather felt as though he himself listened with astonishment and emotion to what burst forth from him with elementary force. I will not attempt to interpret this phenomenon, but it was a state of complete ecstasy and rapture. … Like floodwaters breaking their dykes, his words burst forth from him. He conjured up in grandiose, inspiring pictures his own future and that of his people.
What Hitler said that night has been lost, but one thing was burned into Kubizek’s memory. “Adolf did not speak of becoming an artist or an architect. Now he saw himself, like Rienzi, as the messiah of his people. He spoke of a ‘mandate which, one day, he would receive from the people to lead them out of servitude to the heights of freedom. … He spoke of a special mission which one day would be entrusted to him.’”
In 1939, Kubizek saw Hitler again. Thirty-three years and a lot of history had passed. Hitler was now chancellor of Germany and plunging the world into World War ii. Kubizek assumed that night on the Freinberg would have faded in Hitler’s memory, but Hitler remembered it in detail. Later, at Wagner’s home, Hitler said this about that experience: “In that hour it began.”
Hitler saw himself as “the messiah of his people.” The Holy Roman Empire has used such rhetoric for centuries. One of the titles of the head of the Roman Catholic Church is “vicar of Christ,” which means “replacement of Christ.” Isn’t that making a man a messiah?
In Mein Kampf, published in 1925, between the wars, Hitler wrote, “Christ was the greatest early fighter in the battle against the world’s enemy, the Jews. The work that Christ started but could not finish, I, Adolf Hitler, will conclude.” In a speech in 1935, Hitler said, “We are not a movement. Rather, we are a religion. … Ours is a great mission. The mission was not given to us by a worldly superior but by God, who created our nation.”
Did Winston Churchill know anything about this religious dimension to Hitler’s fevered thinking? If he did, he didn’t discuss it that I know of.
Hitler said he was establishing a “thousand-year reich.” Why a thousand years? He was counterfeiting a biblical passage in Revelation 20, describing the thousand-year reign of the Messiah!
The Nazis’ chief architect, Albert Speer, described a planned colossal assembly hall as a “secular cathedral.” He was very close to Hitler through World War ii and knew him better than anybody. Speer wrote, “It was basically a hall of worship. [W]ithout such cult significance the motivation for Hitler’s main structure would have been senseless and unintelligible.” In Speer’s view, Hitler’s religion and his Holy Roman Empire view was what brought sense and intelligibility to his actions!
Hitler said, “Above all, I have learned from the Jesuit order.” Hitler’s elite force was the Schutzstaffel, the SS. They dressed in black like the Catholic Jesuits, they had a sacred symbol, and they swore an oath to the führer strikingly reminiscent of the oath Jesuits swear to the pope. Waite wrote, “He ordered his SS officers to study the spiritual exercises of Ignacius of Loyola [co-founder of the Jesuit movement] for training in the rigid discipline of the faith.” Hitler was trying to teach them faith—faith as part of the Holy Roman Empire.
Hitler was setting himself up as a religious figure, but he was so Satan-possessed that he killed millions! His doctors experimented on prisoners by cutting them apart in barbaric ways. He built extermination camps to mass murder the entire Jewish race!
Historians say anti-Semitism meant almost everything to Hitler. He hated Jews, and he blamed them for the Germans losing World War i. That spirit came from the mind of Satan.
Ruling the Holy Roman Empire
Four years after 17-year-old Adolf Hitler had that experience on the Freinberg, he was in Vienna. He had moved there to become an artist, but fell into poverty and homelessness. “This was the time in which the greatest change I was ever to experience took place in me,” he later wrote in Mein Kampf. “From a feeble cosmopolite I had turned into a fanatical anti-Semite.” What really took place in Hitler’s mind in that city?
Much of the world looks upon the Jewish people as God’s chosen people. In Vienna, Hitler came to believe the Germans were God’s chosen people—that God had replaced the Jews with the Germans and the Holy Roman Empire. This is why the crown jewels of that empire meant so much to him. Hitler became fiercely loyal to those crown jewels, and logic tells us it happened while he was growing up in Vienna.
Hitler himself said that it was in those early years in Vienna that he “formed an image of the world, and a view of life, which became the foundation for my action. And I have had to change nothing.” This is where he formed his entire worldview. Speer was convinced Hitler’s intellectual development remained fixed from that point in Vienna in 1910.
He was determined to rule the Holy Roman Empire. As dictator Benito Mussolini built the Italian empire in the late 1930s, he literally called it the Holy Roman Empire. Hitler didn’t use that term, but he showed in many ways that he thought the same way. Satan was talking to him in his youth, preparing him for this role. Then his worldview developed in Vienna, the city that had been the political capital of the Holy Roman Empire as recently as 1806, and the location of that empire’s crown jewels!
Those crown jewels—the insignia of the First Reich, the imperial crown, the orb of empire, the spear of destiny, and the scepter of the imperial sword—had resided in Nuremberg from 1424 to 1796. In 1938, Hitler brought them back from Vienna to Nuremberg—where he would give his “inspired” speeches in a frenzy of emotion and madness at those torch-lit rallies. And he solemnly said they would remain there forever.
This came right from the mind of the devil! This was the origin of the sixth resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire!
Why did those objects mean so much to him? Well, the leaders of the Holy Roman Empire were his heroes! That’s part of his religion that few understand.
The orb of empire symbolizes the whole world—they sought to rule the world! And that is why they had the imperial sword! That sword shed rivers of blood, and the Germans know that! That is how they have conquered Europe and even beyond at times.
Over the centuries, the Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire that it led rose, fell and then rose again to dominate Europe. It was the same spirit behind this combine that inspired—that possessed—Adolf Hitler.
Hitler’s Empire in Bible Prophecy
The Bible actually prophesied the rise of Hitler’s empire—specifically, as the sixth resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Book of Daniel contains key passages that prophecy four successive, ruling empires—first the Babylonian, then the Persian, followed by the Greco-Macedonian, and finally, the Roman Empire. These empires would finally be replaced at the coming of the Messiah, and the establishment of his reign upon the throne of David (Daniel 2:31-45, 7:1-7). But the Roman Empire was not simply the one of antiquity, that is typically dated from 31 b.c.e. to c.e. 476. The Bible actually prophesies several resurrections of this empire, before the coming of the Messiah.
Daniel 7 describes this empire as a beast with ten horns, each representing successive incarnations of the empire (verse 7). The first three horns represent the successive rule over the empire by the Vandals, Heruli, and Ostrogoths (c.e. 429-554). Then something peculiar happens. The legacy of these three horns are “plucked up” by a religious power, one that from this point forward leads and dominates the remaining seven resurrections of the empire (e.g., verse 8). The Roman Empire now becomes the Holy Roman Empire, an empire held together and directed by the Catholic Church. (Much more on this subject is explained in our free book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy.)
The last seven horns, elsewhere described in Scripture as seven heads, or resurrections, were prophesied to be guided by a great church. That is how church and state get the name “Holy” Roman Empire.
When Pope Leo iii crowned Charlemagne (c.e. 800), he called him “emperor of fourth world empire”—a numerical reference to Charlemagne’s continuation of Daniel’s Roman Empire.
Charlemagne’s Frankish Kingdom marked the second resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. Jumping forward in history: In 1804, Pope Pius vii crowned Napoleon emperor. He wore two crowns during the ceremony: One, a golden wreath evoking the Roman Empire; the second, a replica of the crown of Charlemagne. Napoleon himself later declared, “I am a Roman emperor.” Napoleon’s kingdom represented the fifth resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire
Hitler played the key role in the sixth resurrection of that Holy Roman Empire. And Mussolini even referred to it by the same name.
There have been many historians who knew a lot about the Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire, and wrote about it far more than Winston Churchill. They chronicled the concordat Hitler signed with the Vatican. They exposed the ratlines where the church helped Nazi monsters escape after World War ii. That is documented history! But Satan has worked hard to bury it.
The Holy Roman Empire has always been guided by the Catholic Church. That is history—and prophecy—that must be proclaimed to the world.
The Holy Roman Empire has never been able to unify European nations unless the Vatican did it for them. That’s why Hitler signed a concordat with the pope. That’s why Napoleon did the same. The Vatican does that in return for being able to guide the direction of the beast power. Satan uses this religious-political combination to wreak horrible devastation!
It is critical that we understand this. Satan’s number one political tool in this world for the last nearly 1,500 years has been the Holy Roman Empire! Yet almost nobody knows anything about it.
And Now—the Seventh Resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire
Adolf Hitler called his regime the “Third Reich.” In his view, the First Reich was the Catholic Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation founded by Charlemagne in c.e. 800. Charlemagne ruled over France, Germany and Austria. The Nazis considered the “reich” he started to have lasted a thousand years, all the way until 1806, when Holy Roman Emperor Francis ii abdicated from his capital city, Vienna.
Hitler well knew that history. He decided he would work from Austria, like the Habsburg dynasty (the fourth resurrection), which ruled the empire from there for almost 400 years before 1806. He may have considered Vienna part of Germany because it was a big part of the power throughout the resurrections of that empire.
Charlemagne was such a bloodthirsty leader that his own close advisers were concerned about his brutality. Yet despite the devastation wrought in Europe by Charlemagne—followed by other Holy Roman emperors and finally Adolf Hitler—some modern German leaders have recently praised the heritage of Charlemagne.
The late philanthropist and theologian Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of our organization, became friends with Otto von Habsburg, who was born as the last crown prince of Austria-Hungary before it was dissolved. Dr. Habsburg later became a member of European Parliament. He summed up the meaning of the crown this way: “We possess a European symbol which belongs to all nations of Europe equally. This is the crown of the Holy Roman Empire, which embodies the tradition of Charlemagne.”
Those who support the Holy Roman Empire say that it rules according to God’s holy will. They believe that God’s holy will comes from the Catholic Church combined with a European empire, the Holy Roman Empire.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is one of them. He is a staunch Catholic and has outspokenly said that his religion guides his politics. When he was foreign minister, he consulted his priest on how to deal with the migrant crisis, and he has been notoriously tough on migrants.
His religion guides his politics. I ask you, what does that mean in this world to world leaders? Practically nothing! But this is exactly what God meant when prophesying of the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire!
The German city of Aachen awards a prize to those who advance the cause of European unification. Aachen is where Charlemagne ruled. One recipient was the late German President Roman Herzog. He said Charlemagne waded through a sea of blood to reach his goal of unifying Europe under Catholicism. That is true—yet they still call this award the Charlemagne Prize!
Another man on the scene today has emphasized Europe’s heritage, which is a Catholic heritage. He comes from a noble line himself, and one of his titles means “baron of the Holy Roman Empire.” His name is Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. He said in a 2017 campaign speech in Bavaria that Germans “better recall where we came from and what our history means.” He urged them to remember their history “with its dark and bright sides.” Yes—there certainly is a dark side to their history!
Habsburg, Herzog, Kurz and Guttenberg are talking about the Holy Roman Empire. They are talking about exactly what Mr. Armstrong and we have proclaimed for 75 years! Mr. Armstrong forewarned during and after the sixth resurrection—and here it is, rising again before our eyes.
The crown of the Holy Roman Empire and of the Austrian Empire dissolved in 1806, but the actual crown and crown jewels are still there. Hitler was very familiar with that crown, and it is what made him think God was using Germany instead of the Jewish people. It was all about this crown!
That is a false crown and an unholy empire. But God has a crown, a throne and a kingdom! He has established David’s throne forever! What a vision that is!
Daniel 8:23 prophesies, “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up” (King James Version). This strong leader will unify Europe under Catholicism once again. He will be Satan-possessed at times and will conduct himself in many ways like Charlemagne and like Hitler. That imperial orb of the Holy Roman Empire symbolizes the Earth. He will try to rule the Earth! He will try to establish a thousand-year reich!
Verse 24 shows that this effort will be “not by his own power.” He will have a lot of Satan’s power, and through this seventh resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire, Satan will wreak destruction all over the Earth. Daniel prophesies, “[A]nd there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time …” (12:1).
Israel Is Warned
That is where we are today—on the cusp of the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire—and as with ancient Israel in Hosea 5:13, we see a modern attempt to forge relations with a repeatedly deadly foreign entity.
But Hosea 5:13 is more than ancient analogy—this passage is actually a prophecy primarily for the end time.
In linking the actions of ancient Assyria to modern Germany, Leonard Cottrell was unaware of the significance of his comparison. Because Germany is modern-day Assyria. (Read our article The Remarkable Identity of the German People for proof that the modern Germans descended from ancient Assyria.) In this light, look again at the verse:
And when [Britain] saw his sickness, and [Israel] his wound, [Britain] went to [Germany], and sent to King Contentious; but he is not able to heal you, neither cure you of your wound. (Hosea 5:13)
The Hebrew reveals that both Ephraim (modern-day Britain) and Judah (the Jewish state of Israel) go to Assyria (Germany). Hosea prophesies that wounded Judah and sick Ephraim will go to Germany for help.
Why? What is Judah’s wound? This prophecy is directly related to the peace process in the Middle East (for more information on this, request my free booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy). Germany is prophesied to play a key role in this peace process. But all will not be as it seems. The Jews are continuing to make the mistake of trusting other nations, including recent enemies, for peace—and not God.
Already the European Union has been mentioned publicly as a protector to Israel. Germany has grown more and more active in the region. Daniel 11:41 describes Israel eventually inviting German forces into the land. But the friendship between Germany and Israel is going to lead to one of the biggest double-crosses in human history!
World War III—And Beyond
The passage in Daniel continues: “[A]nd there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time …” (12:1). The devastation of World Wars I and II will pale in comparison. Jeremiah 30:7 describes this same period: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is a time of trouble unto Jacob [modern-day Israel] …” Nothing will be like this coming holocaust. Yet note the hope-filled conclusion to the verse: “… but out of it shall he be saved.”
Likewise, the conclusion to the account in Daniel 12:1: “… and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Verse 4 makes clear that this prophecy will be fulfilled at the “time of the end.”
Daniel 8:25 further describes the fall of this final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire at the hand of the coming Messiah. The Holy Roman Empire, together with the “kings of the east” (e.g., Ezekiel 38) are going to fight against him at Jerusalem. There, he will personally destroy them! That will fulfill Zechariah 14:12, which says that the Valley of Jehoshaphat in Jerusalem will become a bloody death-trap!
God will finally put an end to Satan’s brutal Holy Roman Empire. And He will establish the true Kingdom of God for a thousand years! After that, He will resurrect those who have died in the Valley of Jehoshaphat and those who have been killed by the Holy Roman Empire throughout history and all who have ever lived without knowing the true God. Then He will give them an opportunity to believe and obey and submit to His true government.
The Messiah is going to rule from the throne of David! And to qualify serve with him, we must deliver God’s message to this world. That includes warning the world about Satan and the Holy Roman Empire. Warning the world about the spirit that possessed Adolf Hitler—that possessed Charlemagne—a dangerous spirit that did not die with these men, but that continues to this day.