Houston Stewart Chamberlain

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
'Hitler is an awakener of souls - the vehicle of messianic powers.'
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
'I say, therefore, that the men who founded Judaism were goaded on by a demoniacal power.'
'The Jew's existence is sin, their existence is a crime against the holy laws of life.'
'Not only the Jew, but also all that is derived from the Jewish mind, corrodes and disintegrates what is best in us.'
Houston Stewart Chamberlain


There are many mysterious individuals who appear in the unfolding saga of the rise of the Third Reich.
Adolf Hitler
The chicken farmer who thought he was a reincarnation of King Heinrich, - the composer who dressed in silks and would 'shin up' trees in his fifties, when overwhelmed by his dæmons - the real king who was addicted to toffee and cute young 'stable lads' - the hypochondriac philosopher, who eventually went insane - and so it goes on.
Perhaps one of the most mysterious was the English boy who, after his mother died, was emotionally abandoned by his father - and left to drift - and drifted into another world.
This was the world of Teutonic heroes and Wagner.
Not an English world, but a German world - so this little English boy became 'German' - married into the Wagner family, and ended his life as mentor to the rising star of German politics - Adolf Hitler.

Early Life

Houston Stewart Chamberlain (September 9, 1855 – January 9, 1927) was a British-born German author of books on political philosophy, natural science and Richard Wagner.
Chamberlain married the composer's daughter, Eva, some years after Wagner's death.
His two-volume book, 'Die Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts' (The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century), published in 1899, became one of the many references for the pan-Germanic movement of the early 20th century, and, later, of the völkisch antisemitism of Nazi racial policy.
Houston Stewart Chamberlain was born in Southsea, Hampshire, England, the son of Rear Admiral William Charles Chamberlain, RN. His mother, Eliza Jane, daughter of Captain Basil Hall, RN, died before he was a year old, and he was raised by his grandmother in France.

Chamberlain's education began in a Lycée at Versailles and most of his education occurred on the continent, but his father had planned a military career for his son and at the age of eleven he was sent to Cheltenham College, an English boarding school which produced many army and navy officers.
The young Chamberlain was "a compulsive dreamer" more interested in the arts than the military, and he developed a fondness for nature and a near-mystical sense of self.
The prospect of serving as an officer in India or elsewhere in the British Empire held no attraction for him. In addition, he was a delicate child with poor health.
At the age of fourteen he had to be withdrawn from school.
He then traveled to various spas around Europe, accompanied by a Prussian tutor, Herr Otto Kuntze, who taught him German and interested him in German culture and history.
Chamberlain then went to Geneva, where he studied under Carl Vogt, (a supporter of racial typology at the University of Geneva) Graebe, Müller Argoviensis, Thury, Plantamour, and other professors.
He studied systematicbotany, geology, astronomy, and later the anatomy and physiology of the human body.
Thereafter he settled at Dresden, where "he plunged heart and soul into the mysterious depths of Wagnerian music and philosophy, themetaphysical works of the Master probably exercising as strong an influence upon him as the musical dramas."
Chamberlain was immersed in philosophical writings, and became a Völkisch author, one of those who were concerned more with art, culture, civilization and spirit than with quantitative physical distinctions between groups. 
This is evidenced by his huge treatise on Immanuel Kant with its comparisons. 
His knowledge of Friedrich Nietzsche is demonstrated in that work (p. 183) and Foundations (p. 153n). 
By this time Chamberlain had met his first wife, the Prussian Anna Horst, whom he was to divorce in 1905. 
In 1889 he moved to Austria.
During this time it is said his ideas on race began taking shape, influenced by the concept of Teutonic supremacy embodied in the works of Wagner and Arthur de Gobineau.

The Wagners and Bayreuth

Chamberlain had attended Wagner's Bayreuth Festival in 1882 and struck up a close correspondence with his wife Cosima.
In 1908 he married Eva Wagner, the composer's daughter, and the next year he moved to Germany and became an important member of the "Bayreuth Circle" of German nationalist intellectuals.

He lived close to the Wagners, at 1 Wahnfriedstrasse in a large, imposing house (left - note the observatory dome on the roof - Chamberlain was a keen amateur astronomer)
By the time World War I broke out in 1914, Chamberlain remained an Englishman only by virtue of his name and nationality.
In 1916 he also acquired German citizenship.
He had already begun propagandizing on behalf of the German government and continued to do so throughout the war.
His vociferous denunciations of his land of birth, it has been posited, were the culmination of his rejection of his native England's capitalism, in favor of a form of 'German Romanticism', akin to that which he had cultivated in himself during his years at Cheltenham.
Chamberlain received the Iron Cross from the Kaiser, with whom he was in regular correspondence, in 1916.
After the war Chamberlain's chronically bad health took a turn for the worse, and he was left partially paralyzed; he continued living in Bayreuth until his death in 1927.
Chamberlain was an admirer of Richard Wagner, and wrote several commentaries on his works including 'Notes sur Lohengrin' ("Notes on Lohengrin") (1892), an analysis of Wagner's drama (1892), and a biography (1895), emphasizing in particular the heroic Teutonic aspects in the composer's works.

'Die Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts'

'Die Grundlagen des Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts'

In 1899 Chamberlain wrote his most important work, 'Die Grundlagen des Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts' - 'The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century', (see left) - in German.
'Die Grundlagen' (1899) was the best-selling work by Houston Stewart Chamberlain. In it he advances various racial and especially völkisch and antisemitic theories on how he saw the Aryan race as superior to others, and the Teutonic peoples as a positive force in European civilization, and the Jews as a negative one.
Chamberlain was a Germanophile, who adopted German citizenship, and wrote most of his works in German (on numerous subjects, from biographies to biology).
Published in German, 'Die Grundlagen' focuses on the notion that Western civilization is deeply marked by the influence of the Teutonic peoples.
Chamberlain grouped all European peoples—not just Germans, but Celts, Greeks, and Latins—into the "Aryan race", a race built on the ancient Proto-Indo-European culture.
At the helm of the Aryan race, and, indeed, all races, were the Nordic or Teutonic peoples.
“Certain anthropologists would fain teach us that all races are equally gifted; we point to history and answer: that is a lie ! The races of mankind are markedly different in the nature and also in the extent of their gifts, and the Germanic races belong to the most highly gifted group, the group usually termed Aryan... Physically and mentally the Aryans are pre-eminent among all peoples; for that reason they are by right ... the lords of the world.”
Chamberlain's book focused on the claim that the Teutonic peoples were the heirs to the empires of Greece and Rome, something which Charlemagne and some of his successors also believed.
He argued that when the Germanic tribes destroyed the Roman Empire, Jews and other non-Europeans already dominated it.

Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau 
The Germans, therefore, saved Western civilization from Semitic domination.
Chamberlain's thoughts were influenced by the writings of Arthur de Gobineau who had argued the superiority of the "Aryan race".

(Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (14 July 1816, Ville-d'Avray, Hauts-de-Seine – 13 October 1882, Turin) was a French aristocrat, novelist and man of letters who became famous for developing the racialist theory of the Aryan master race in his book 'An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races' -  (1853–1855). De Gobineau is credited as being the father of modern racial demography.)

Charles Darwin
This term was increasingly being used to describe Caucasian or European peoples, as opposed to Jews, who were conceptualised as "infusing Near Eastern poison into the European body politic".
For Chamberlain the concept of an Aryan race was not simply defined by ethno-linguistic origins.
It was also an abstract ideal of a racial elite.
The Aryan, or 'noble' race was always in the process of creation as superior peoples supplanted inferior ones in evolutionary struggles for survival.
Chamberlain (who had graduated training in biology), rejected Darwinism, - evolution and social Darwinism, and instead emphasized "gestalt" which he said derived from Goethe. Chamberlain said that Darwinism was the most abominable and misguided doctrine of the day.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
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'Die Grundlagen'  sold extensively: eight editions and 60,000 copies within ten years, 100,000 copies by the outbreak of World War I and 24 editions and more than a quarter of a million copies by 1938.
The 1911 translation received positive reviews in most of the English press.
It was praised in 'The Spectator' as "a monument of erudition"; the 'Birmingham Post' said that it was "glowing with life, packed with fresh and vigorous thought"; the 'Glasgow Herald' thought that it would be difficult to "over-estimate the stimulating qualities of the book."
In the 'Times Literary Supplement' it was declared to be "one of the books that really mattered".
In the left-wing 'Fabian News' George Bernard Shaw called it a "historical masterpiece". Those who failed to read it, he continued, would be unable to talk intelligently about contemporary sociological and political problems.
Theodore Roosevelt
In the U.S., Theodore Roosevelt, altogether more cautious, highlighted the extreme bias of the author, a judgement that seems to have escaped other contemporary readers, but praised Chamberlain's denunciation of social egalitarianism.

Kaiser Wilhelm II
Kaiser Wilhelm II - patronized Chamberlain, maintaining a correspondence, inviting him to stay at his court, distributing copies of 'Die Grundlagen' among the German army, and seeing that 'Die Grundlagen' was carried in German libraries, and included in the school curricula.
Chamberlain's ideas on race were greatly influential to Adolf Hitler, who readily adapted them into his own ideology; Chamberlain himself joined the NSDAP, and both Hitler and Goebbels visited Chamberlain whilst on his deathbed.
'Die Grundlagen' would prove to be a seminal work in German nationalism; due to its success, aided by Chamberlain's association with the Wagner circle, its ideas of Aryan supremacy, - and a struggle against Jewish influence spread widely across the Germany at the beginning of the century.

Dr Paul Joseph Goebbels
If it did not form the framework of later National Socialist ideology, at the very least it provided its adherents with an intellectual justification.
Chamberlain himself lived to see his ideas begin to bear fruit.
Adolf Hitler, while still growing as a political figure in Germany, visited him several times (in 1923 and in 1926, together with Joseph Goebbels - at the Wagner family's property in Bayreuth.
Chamberlain joined the NSDAP, and regularly contributed to its publications.
Its primary journal, the 'Völkischer Beobachter' dedicated five columns to praising him on his 70th birthday, describing 'Die Grundlagen' as the "gospel of the movement."
Hitler later attended Chamberlain's funeral in January 1927 along with several highly ranked members of the NSDAP.


(excerpt from 'The Lord of the Harvest' by Peter Crawford)

Edward Elgar
Elgar wrote his Symphony No 2 in E flat, in the year 1911, one year after the death of Edward VII.
The great funereal peroration of the second movement, written ostensibly in response to the King's death, broadens out into a vast elegy, foretelling the dissolution of an age.
The seeds of that coming dissolution were endemic, and were to be found particularly in the countries of central Europe, and particularly Germany.

Gurdjieff's (see right) sometime rival, Crowley (see Left) was not the only Englishman to fascinate and influence the German people at this time; in fact Crowley's influence was insignificant when compare to that of another Englishman; Houston Stewart Chamberlain.

Chamberlain ( see - below left & right) was born in 1855.
He was the son of a British Admiral and also the nephew of Field Marshal Sir Neville Chamberlain.

As fate would have it, he was not educated, as one would expect, in the English public school tradition, which may well have induced him to follow in the exalted footsteps of his elders, but rather he was brought up in Paris, by relatives, who engaged, for reasons best known to themselves, a Prussian tutor to supervise his education.
As a result, he became fluent in the German language, and remarkably well versed in German literature, poetry, music and philosophy.
By the age of twenty-seven, Chamberlain had become so imbued with Wagner's music and 'philosophy' that he decided to take up residence in Germany, permanently, moving to Dresden in 1882.
In that same year Chamberlain met Richard Wagner at Bayreuth, in Bavaria, during the Festspiel.
Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig on 22nd May, 1813.There is some dispute regarding his paternity and it is possible that he was the son of Ludwig Geyer, his step-father, rather than Friederich Wagner.
Cosima von Bülow - Wagner

He was educated in Dresden and early on became director of the theatre at Magdeburg. Being forced to flee to Paris for political reasons, in 1848, it was not until 1864 that his career as a composer became established, when he received the support of the young King Ludwig II of Bavaria. He is mainly remembered for his vast Tetralogy, 'Der Ring des Nibelungen', which depicts the conflicts between the Gods, the dwarves and other elementals and men, as described in Teutonic mythology; along with 'Tristan und Isolde', a story of undying love in an Authurian setting; 'Die Meistersingers von Nurnburg', a good natured depiction of the value of German Art and Culture; and his final masterpiece, 'Parsifal', a 'sacred festival drama' which describes how salvation is brought to the fallen Knights of the Grail, by a pure 'fool' who recovers the spear of Longinus from the powers of evil. Parsifal was produced in 1882. With Ludwig's help Wagner built the 'Festspielhaus', (see - right) where his 'music dramas' could be properly performed, in Bayreuth. In 1870 Wagner married Cosima von Bülow, the daughter of Franz Liszt
The two men - Wagner and Chamberlain - were made for each other.

Ludwig II von Bayern
Chamberlain found in Wagner the father figure he craved, and Wagner found in Chamberlain the devoted disciple which he had sought, unsuccessfully in Ludwig II and Nietzsche.
Whereas Nietzsche had rejected Wagner's last, and arguably greatest work, 'Parsifal', to Chamberlain it was a summation of all his thoughts regarding the sacred role that Germany was to play in the 'world historical process'.

'Parsifal' - Grail Scene

The Spear of Longinus, (the Spear of Destiny), which is a central element of the 'sacred festival drama - Parsifal' came to fascinate Chamberlain, as it had fascinated many before, and would fascinate many others in the future.

'Festspielhaus' - Bayreuth

With King Ludwig's help Wagner built the 'Festspielhaus', where his 'music dramas' could be properly performed, in Bayreuth. Ludwig II, 'the Swan King', was born in 1845. He succeeded his father, Maximillian Joseph I as king of Bavaria in 1864.H He, unwisely, supported Austria in the Austro-Prussian war of 1886, but allied himself with Prussia in the Franco-Prussian war. On 30th November, 1871 wrote the infamous 'Kaiserbrief', offering the Imperial Crown to Wilhelm I of Prussia, thus inaugurating the German Empire, whilst suffering from severe toothache, brought on by an unwise toffee binge. He is now mainly remembered for building a succession of dream palaces, in various out of the way, & inevitably picturesque spots in his kingdom, the enormous cost of which beggared him personally. In addition he gave extravagant financial support to Richard Wagner. There is some documentary evidence to support the contention that he maintained a homosexual relationship with Wagner, [Wagner was married, with children, but so then was Oscar Wilde] along with Joseph Kainz, the singer, Richard Hornig and many other attractive equerries and servants. Along with his predilection for handsome young men, he maintained an obsessive desire for toffee, solitude, Wagnerian music and all aspects of the Bourbon Monarchy. Ludwig was removed from the throne on the grounds that he was insane. Shortly afterwards, in 1886, he drowned in suspicious circumstances in the Starnberger See, near Munich. A cross now stands in the lake as a memorial to the King'. (for more information see 'Ludwig II of Bavaria')

Hofburg Palace
In 1889 Chamberlain settled in Vienna, where he lived for the next twenty years, making regular visits to the Weltliche Schatzkammer in the Hofburg, where the 'Maurice Spear', which was part of the Reichskleinodien, was displayed.
As in Wagner's music drama, the spear in the Hofburg is claimed to be the very Spear which pierced the side of Jesus of Nazareth, as he hung upon the cross.
The 'Spear of Destiny' is kept in the Weltliche Schatzkammer, which is situated in the Hofburg Palace, which was the Residenz of the Austrian Hapsburg Emperors, in Vienna. The phrase itself means 'Secular Treasury', and is the area in the Hofburg where treasures which are not used in religious rituals are kept. The Weltliche Schatzkammer is open to the public on a regular basis at the present time.
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2017
Whether or not this is true is a moot point; but the Spear is, undoubtedly, ancient and has long been venerated.
It has been suggested that the Spear, often somewhat dramatically referred to as the 'Spear of Destiny', radiates powerful occult forces.
It is considered by some commentators that Chamberlain's communion with the Spear may have, in some way altered his consciousness.
In Chamberlain's autobiography 'Lebenswege' ('Life's Path' or 'Life's Way'), he makes the revealing statement that he was often unable to recognize his works as being the product of his own thought.
Chamberlain, it appears, was driven by 'dæmons' - spiritual forces beyond his control.
His books were written in a state of hysterical intoxication and trance, and owed, by his own admission, little of their fundamental substance to that, admittedly, brilliant intellect.
Where, though, were the messages, which Chamberlain was relaying so elegantly and successfully, coming from ?
And, more to the point; what purpose did they serve ?

Eval Wagner
Later, Chamberlain married, but in 1905 he divorced his Prussian wife and married Richard Wagner's daughter, Eva.

Chamberlain's Study - Bayreuth
In 1909 he moved the Bayreuth where he lived until his death in 1927.
It was in 1899 he published his greatest work, 'Die Grundlagen des Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts' (The foundations of the Nineteenth Century), a volume of over twelve hundred pages, in German.
Despite its length and difficulty it eventually sold over a quarter of a million copies, and, in the event, made its author a rich man.
The work was stupendous, both in its breadth of scholarship and its complexity of thought.
It was intended to present, and successfully achieved a union of disparate artistic, philosophical, historical and racial theories which had be developing in Germany for the previous fifty years.
Undoubtedly Chamberlain, at the book's inception, viewed it personally as the new bible of the Pan-Germanic movement, but despite this, he was admittedly staggered by the remarkable response the book elicited, from all levels of society.

The Kaiser's Palace at Potsdam

The final accolade came when the Kaiser invited Chamberlain to Postdam and greeted him with an affirmation that it was God who had ordained that Chamberlain's book should be given to the German people and their Kaiser.
'Die Grundlagen des Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts' is, essentially a grand synthesis of numerous ideas which had been simmering in the German intellect for many years.
Essential elements of this synthesis were Hegel's concept of the 'world historical process', Nietzsche's theory of the 'Ubermensch' or superman, Arthur de Gobineau's,  and Wagner's, notion of the superiority of the Aryan race, along with various other ideas circulating in Volkisch and Pan Germanic circles.
Arthur, Comte de Gobineau, was born in France in 1816. His essay 'On the Inequality of Human Races' was published in 1853.
The fact that both Nietzsche and Wagner suffered from the same 'dæmonic' creative possession as Chamberlain, combined with the fact that most of the contemporaneous Völkisch and Pan-Germanic groups had strong occult leanings is, undoubtedly, significant, particularly when one considers the cataclysm which was about to break some fifteen years later (the Great War - 1914-1918).
In Nietzsche's case his 'daemonic possession' drove him to a total mental collapse in 1889, which left him, literally 'out of this world' for the last eleven years of his life, during which time he was 'looked after' by his sister, Elizabeth Forster Nietzsche.
Wagner admitted in his own autobiography 'Mein Leben' (My Life), that his compositions came to him from some outside source, when he was in a state of trance. Such statements must be taken at their face value when one consider that, at the time that Wagner's autobiography was published, he was a world renowned compose, well known for his inflated opinion of himself, who would have nothing to gain by disclaiming personal responsibility for his own creations.
Kaiser Wilhelm II
It was not long before Chamberlain became an unofficial adviser to the Kaiser.
A total of forty-three lengthy letters, from Chamberlain to the Kaiser, survive, in which Chamberlain attempts to fill his sovereign with glorious visions of the destiny which awaits the Aryan race, and Germany in particular.
Such encouragement was, in Chamberlain's view necessary as, contrary to popular belief, the Kaiser was not bellicose by nature.
The son of Queen Victoria's eldest daughter Vicky, speaking perfect English, he was a devoted husband, worshipping the Kaiserin, Auguste ViKtoria of Schleswig-Holstein, known to her family Donna, and doting over his large family.
He was sentimental and lazy, and painfully aware of his deformed arm.
Like Chamberlain he too was driven by a dæmon, but it was not of the supernatural order.
The demon that drove the Kaiser was the endless fear that, because of his deformity, he was not a real man, in a society which glorified militarism and the heroic virtues; a society which he led. Under the influence of Chamberlain, and members of the High Command his insecurity manifested itself in aggressive statements of foreign policy.
When war eventually came he feared its consequences as much as anyone.

Wilhelm at Doorn
When the war ended he was forced into permanent exile at Doorn in Holland.
There, strangely enough, he amassed one of the largest collections of occult literature in the world.
Perhaps his dæmons were like Chamberlain's after all.
Chamberlain was luckier.
Unlike the Kaiser, who was punished for the war he did not start or want, Chamberlain was left unpunished for encouraging the conflagration for which he had assiduously provided the tinder. Chamberlain continued to live peacefully and comfortably in Bayreuth.
As he was of no further use as far as the Second Reich (Kaiserreich) was concerned, his dæmons left him for a while.
They would return to him, however, in his last years - summoned by another; - for while the Kaiser had been simply 'the apprentice' to Chamberlain's sorcery, now Chamberlain himself would become the 'sorcerer's apprentice' - to none other than Adolf Hitler

Later Developments

Houston Stewart Chamberlain
Josef Hinterseher 
In November 1918, Chamberlain was completely shattered and horrified by his country's defeat in the war (something that he believed to be impossible), and by the November Revolution which had toppled his beloved monarchy.
Adding to his bitterness, Chamberlain was now so paralyzed that he could not longer leave his bed, something that he believed to be the result of poisoning by the British secret service.
Chamberlain saw both the defeat and the revolution of 1918 as the work of the Jews, writing in 1919 that Germany was now under the "supremacy of the Jews".
In March 1920, Chamberlain had supported the Kapp Putsch against the Weimar Republic which he called the 'Judenrepublik' ("Jewish Republic"), and was even more embittered by the failure of the Kapp Putsch.
The Kapp putsch was defeated by a general strike called by the Social Democrats which shut down the entire German economy.
A young völkisch activist Josef Stolzing-Cerny and a Chamberlain protégé, who had participated in the Kapp putsch wrote to Chamberlain after its failure:
"Unfortunately Kapp was not at all 'the man with the lion heart', much rather the man with the 'beer heart', for he continually used all his energies befuddling his brain with alcohol...In the same situation a Bismarck, or a Napoleon would have hunted the whole Jewish-socialist republic to the devil."
Stolzing-Cerny went on to criticize Kapp for not unleashing the Freikorps Marinebrigade Ehrhardt, which had taken Berlin against the Jews of Berlin, instead ordering the Freikorps to keep order.
After the failure of the putsch, Chamberlain no longer considered Wolfgang Kapp to be one of his heroes, and instead damned him as a 'weak-willed' coward, all too typical of German conservatives who talked tough, but never followed up their words with action.
More importantly, the failure of the Kapp putsch to a certain extent discredited traditional German conservatism in Chamberlain's eyes, and led him on the search for a more radical alternative, a type of 'German socialism' (National Socialism ?) that would offer a "third way" between capitalism and Communism.
In January 1921, Stolzing-Cerny who joined the NSDAP in December 1920 wrote to Chamberlain about the new man on the political scene, "one Adolf Hitler, an Austrian worker (?), a man of extraordinary oratorical talents and an astonishingly rich political knowledge, who knows marvelously how to thrill the masses".
Initially, Chamberlain was hesitant about Hitler, believing that he might be another Kapp, but after the "battle of Coburg", where Hitler had personally fought with his followers in a street battle against the Communists, Chamberlain started to see Hitler as someone who practiced what he preached.
Coburg - 14 October 1922
Coburg Badge 1922
On 14 October 1922 Adolf Hitler led 800 SA storm-troopers and a band by train to Coburg for a weekend rally. Once there, numerous pitched street battles with leftists and communists occurred. In the end, the final victory belonged to the National Socialists. Later, the day was known as the 'Deutscher Tag in Coburg' (German Day in Coburg)
From that time onward, Chamberlain started to closely follow and admire Hitler, whom he saw as "Germany's savior".
Hitler in his turn had read 'The Foundations', Chamberlain's biography of Wagner, and many of his wartime essays, and was much influenced by all that Chamberlain had written.
The fact that Hitler was an ardent Wagnerite, who adored Wagner's music, gave Chamberlain and Hitler a mutual ground for friendship beyond their shared hatred of the Jews.
Likewise, Joseph Goebbels had been converted to the völkisch ideology after reading Chamberlain's books and essays, and come to the conclusion on the basis of Chamberlain's writings that the West could only be saved by removing the Jews from German society.
During this period, Chamberlain who was practically a member of the Wagner family started to push for the Bayreuth Festival to become openly identified with völkisch politics, and to turn the previously apolitical festival into a völkisch rally.
Despite his paralysis, Chamberlain whose mind was still sharp, remained active as a writer, maintaining a correspondence with a whole gamut of figures from Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz to the radical anti-Semitic journalist Theodor Fritsch, the leader of the völkisch Hammerbund ("Hammer League").
From his exile in the Netherlands, the former Kaiser wrote to Chamberlain in 1922 to tell him that thanks to his essays, he had become a 'Marcionist', and now rejected the Old Testament.
Wilhelm claimed that on the basis of Chamberlain's work that he now knew that what had become the Old Testament was in fact a Zoroastrian text from ancient Persia (modern Iran), and was therefore "Aryan".
The former Kaiser claimed that the Jews had stolen and rewritten this sacred text from the Aryan Persians.
In 1923 Chamberlain met with Adolf Hitler in Bayreuth, and in September he sat in his wheelchair next to Hitler during the völkisch "German Day" paramilitary parade.
In September 1923 he wrote a grateful and highly admiring open letter to the NSDAP leader, and published an essay ("Gott will es !", "God wills it !") on the front page of the Nazi newspaper Völkischer Beobachter.
Chamberlain, paralysed and despondent after Germany's losses in World War I, wrote to Hitler after his first visit in September 1923:
"Most respected and dear Hitler, ... It is hardly surprising that a man like that can give peace to a poor suffering spirit ! Especially when he is dedicated to the service of the fatherland. My faith in Germany has not wavered for a moment, though my hopes were – I confess – at a low ebb. With one stroke you have transformed the state of my soul. That Germany, in the hour of her greatest need, brings forth a someone such as you  – that is proof of her vitality. What wonderful confirmation ! I can now go untroubled to sleep... May God protect you !"
Chamberlain's letter - which made him into the first celebrity to endorse the NSDAP - caused a media sensation in Germany, and led to Hitler to rejoice at the news.
When Hitler staged the Munich Beer-hall Putsch in November 1923, Chamblerian wrote an essay for the Völkischer Beobachter, calling on all Germans who love Germany to join the putsch.
After the failure of the Munich Beer-hall Putsch, Chamberlain wrote: "We are deeply affected by this tragic fate, Jew and Jesuit can now triumph again !".
Chamberlain joined the Nazi Party, and contributed to its publications.
Its primary journal, the 'Völkischer Beobachter' dedicated five columns to praising him on his 70th birthday, describing 'The Foundations' as the "gospel of the National Socialist movement".
In January 1924, Chamberlain published an essay praising Hitler as one of the "rare beautiful beings...a man of genuine simplicity with a fascinating gaze", whose words "always come directly from the heart".
Chamberlain further wrote about Hitler-whom he viewed as the greatest of all his heroes-that:
'Because he [Hitler] is no mere phrase-monger, but consistently pursues his thought to an end and draws his conclusions from it, he recognizes and proclaims that one cannot simultaneously embrace Jesus and those that crucified him. That is the splendid thing about Hitler-his courage!...In this respect he reminds one of Luther. And whence come the courage of these two men? It derives from the holy seriousness each has for the cause! Hitler utters no word he does not mean in earnest; his speeches contain no padding or vague, provisional statements...but the result of this is that he is decried as a visionary dreamer. People consider Hitler a dreamer whose head is full of impossible schemes and yet a renowned and original historian called him "the most creative mind since Bismarck in the area of statecraft". I believe...we are all inclined to view those things as impractical that we do not already see accomplished before us. He, for example, finds it impossible to share our conviction about the pernicious, even murderous influence of Jewry on the German Volk and not to take action; if one sees the danger, then steps must be taken against it with utter dispatch. I daresay everyone recognizes this, but nobody risks speaking out; nobody ventures to extract the consequences of his thoughts for his actions; nobody except Hitler...This man has worked like a divine blessing, cheering hearts, opening men's eyes to clearly seen goals, enlivening their spirits, kindling their capacity for love and for indignation, hardening their courage and resoluteness. Yet we still need him badly: May God who sent him to us preserve him for many years as a "blessing for the German Fatherland !
After the failure of the Munich Beer-hall putsch, Hitler was convicted of high treason and imprisoned.
When the 1924 Bayreuth Festival opened, Chamberlain's efforts to identify the festival with völkisch politics finally borne fruit.
The Festspielhügel and the way leading up to it was decorated with völkisch symbols like the swastika, parades by the nationalist Verbände were held outside the Festspielhügel, prominent völkisch leaders like General Erich Ludendorff appeared on the stage to give a speech attacking the Weimar Republic before one of the operas were performed, and a petition was offered to the audiences demanding that Hitler be pardoned.
The 1924 festival led to 10,000 people in one night signing the petition asking for Hitler's release.
Hitler from his prison cell at Landsberg prison wrote to Siegfried Wagner (Richard Wagner's son) expressing his sorrow about being unable to attend his beloved Bayreuth Festival and to express his thanks for the entire Wagner family and Chamberlain for turning the Bayreuth festival into a völkisch rally, adding that when he got out of prison, he would come to Bayreuth as "the first witness and herald" of Germany's rebirth.
Hitler stated this would be the best medicine for Chamberlain's health as "the road to Berlin" started in Bayreuth.
In May 1926, one year before his death, Chamberlain was visited by Hitler and Goebbels in Bayreuth.
Chamberlain assured Hitler of his belief that he was the "chosen one" destined to lead Germany back to greatness after the defeat of 1918, make the Reich a world power.
Much of Hitler's genuine affection for Chamberlain was due to the fact that Chamberlain never lost his faith in Hitler's potential, even at time in the mid-1920s when the NSDAP was faring very poorly.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2017
The Grave of Houston Stewart Chamberlain

Chamberlain continued living in Bayreuth until his death in 1927.
Chamberlain died on January 9, 1927 and was buried at the Bayreuth cemetery in the presence of Adolf Hitler.
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2017

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