issue of July 1941 of the Dutch monthly Studiën - katholiek cultureel
tijdschrift contains an article, entitled Tijd van oorlog. Tijd van voorspellingen
(tr.: Time of war . Time of predictions). In this article, dr. G.
Gorris SJ, a Roman-Catholic historian, turns himself againgst
circulating predictions about the course and the end of the war. He
criticizes their contents, the ones who composed them, their publishers
and clergymen who sustain rumours about them instead of encourage their
parishioners to persevere to trust God.
According to Gorris, it is highly doubtful if war predictions enforce
the trust in God and contribute to a well-balanced inner peace. In times
of heavy troubles, in which the future perspectives are frightening,
many people tend to look for prophecies. This has been the case in 1870
during the French-German war, this was the case in 1914-'18 during World
War I and in the years of which World War II, it is the same. Many
people listen to the prophecies, slightly laughing. Nevertheless, these
prophecies have some kind of impact. "You'll never know...",
"In case they are true..."and in such a way, the already stong
emotions are raised to a higher level of stress, Gorris writes.
A number of publicatons show that after World War I, the interest in the
Prophecies of Nostradamus declined, to raise again at the end of the
'30's,when slowly the shape of a new European conflict became visible.
In the first part of an article in the series Letter from Paris, dated
on October 29, 1939, and published in the issue of November 4, 1940 of
the American weekly The New Yorker for example, Abbott Joseph Liebling
paid attention to the fact that next to the German invasion in Poland on
September 1, 1939, the Parisian bookseller sold 3.000 copies of De
Fontbrune's Les Prophéties de Maistre Michel
Nostradamus - expliquées et commentées. He wrote that such a boom
also occured in other French bookstores. In other words: in France,
after the outbreak in September 1939 of World War II, the interest in
the Prophecies of Nostradamus and comments upon them increased, if not
already increased in the months before the outbreak. About this
interest, Liebling wrote that only few people admitted to him that they
took Nostradamus seriously. This might indicate that many people
silently believed in what in relation to the Prophecies of Nostradamus
was written about the war.
Nostradamus dezen oorlog?
In september 1939, The Netherlands were more or less witnessing the
German invasion in Poland. Althought Germany promised to respect the
neutrality of The Netherlands, the Dutch army was mobilized by the end
of August 1939. The question is if after the German invasion in Poland,
people in The Netherlands were afraid of what future might bring and
turned themselves to the Prophecies of Nostradamus and/or comments upon
them. Perhaps articles on the Prophecies of Nostradamus, published in
dailys and weeklys in the second half of 1939, might contain information.
Page 2 of the morning issue of October 5, 1939 of the Dutch daily De
Telegraaf, contained an article, entitled "Zag" Nostradamus dezen
oorlog? (tr.: Did Nostradamus "see" this war?), carrying
the name of "Troubadour".
Underneath the title, a bold printed header in frame read :
commentaar die tot .... commentaren leiden kan en een revolutie in
Engeland met Duitschen steun (!) waarvoor 1939 als jaar genoemd wordt.
(tr.: A comment which could lead to .... comments and a revolution
in England with German support (!) which is situated in 1939).
first lines of "Zag" Nostradamus dezen oorlog? shows
that the motivation for the writing of this article was the increased
interest in the Prophecies of Nostradamus in the past months. The
article does not at all make clear that in The Netherlands, the interest
in the Prophecies of Nostradamus had increased. "Troubadour"
does not refer to The Netherlands, but to "a book of 300 pages,
published in Paris in 1938, in which the Frenchman De Fontbrune comments
the twelve books of Les
Vrayes Centuries et Prophéties".
The article Frankrijk zoekt inspiratie bij de astrologie (tr.:
France looks in astrology for inspiration), published in the issue of
February 9, 1940, of the Dutch weekly De Groene Amsterdammer,
contained information about a boom in the selling of
Nostradamusliterature. This article is a translation of the first part
of the article in the series Letter from Paris, dated
on October 29, 1939, and published in the issue of November 4, 1940 of
the American weekly The New Yorker. The editors of De Groene Amsterdammer
did not add information about Dutch sales figures of
Nostradamusliterature. This might imply that back in 1939/'40, there was
no boom in The Netherlands in the selling of Nostradamusliterature. In
other words: this might mean that the majority of the Dutch people did
not consult the Prophecies of Nostradamus. An inventarisation of
numerous libary catalogues shows that in the Netherlands, not one book
about Nostradamus and his Prophecies (wheter or not original or
translated) was published between 1715 and 1940. The book, published in
1715, was translated from the English; the book, published in 1940, was
a translation of a German national-socialist brochure. The attention for
Nostradamus in Dutch daily's and weekly's in this period was minimal. In
other words: for ages, the majority of the Dutch people were not
interested in the Prophecies of Nostradamus. This might explain the
absence of a boom in the selling of Nostradamusliterature in The
Netherlands by the end of the '30's.
One can imagine, however, that in September 1939, a number of
Dutchmen, hearing about the German invasion in Poland, questioned
themselves if Nostradamus had "seen" this.
"Troubadour" scrutinized two comments upon the Prophecies of
Nostradamus about what was written for 1939 and further and if these
comments made sense. He compared the comments in De Fontbrune's Les Prophéties [...]
with the comments in Uittrekzel
der voorzeggingen van Michael Nostradamus, publised in 1715 by Hendrik
Blank in Amsterdam, which book was considered by "Troubadour"
to be the Dutch translation of a book, written by an anonymous
Regarding tot French texts of the quatrains which in both of these books
were discussed, "Troubadour" consulted the 1938-Piobb-copy of
the 1668-Amsterdam-edition of the Prophecies of Nostradamus.
"Troubadour" notes that the predictions in the Prophecies are
composed in a gloomy language and arranged at random. Because of this,
he writes, there are numerous explanations of these predictions; people
derive what they consider to be appropriate. This does not make it easy
to derive from the Prophecies of Nostradamus his visions about the war
which had begun in September 1939.
writes that according to De Fontbrune, an imminent downfall of
England is predicted in the quatrains 10-100, 03-57, 02-68, 08-37,
03-01, 02-78, 03-32, 03-71, 04-15, 02-51, 08-76, 02-100, 09-49, 10-22,
10-38, 10-39 and 08-97, pointing towards the contents of chapter XXII.
He compares this with the comment upon quatrain 03-57 in Uittrekzel der voorzeggingen
[...], in which is stated that in England, by 1939, the last
revolution will occur in a series of seven which began in 1649 and that
the British dynasty will continue to rule. The third line of quatrain
03-57 ends with the words appuy Germanique - German support. "Troubadour",
who writes that he has no idea about the meaning of these words, notes
that the year 1939 involutarily attrackts the attention, which is caused
by the German invasion in Poland in September 1939. Regarding the
meaning of the words appuy Germanique, he does not take into
account the fact that on September 3, 1939, England (and France)
declared war to Germany, which in my opinion excludes every form of
German support of a revolution in England, except a national-socialist
support of an attempt to put an end to the rulership of George VI...
According to "Troubadour", the time span of the Prophecies of
Nostradamus runs up to 2000 AD. Therefore, we must assume that the
fulfillment of the predictions of Nostradamus concerning England must be
situated in either the 1940's or the 1950's. De Fontbrune situates them
in 1940-'42. "Troubadour" raises the impression to be an
untouched witness from aside, who between all obscurity in the
Prophecies of Nostradamus (German support for England, for example)
notes something striking: the year 1939. He does not seem to ask himself
what consequences the war will have for The Netherlands, whether or not
The Netherlands will become involved in this war or what in the
Prophecies of Nostradamus is written about the imminent future of The
"Troubadour" does not evaluate whether De Fontbrune or the anonymous
British author is right about the imminent future of England.
Frequently, he reads them that they scrutinize the Prophecies with
coloured glasses. De Fontbrune, a Frenchman, has a French point of
view and concludes that England will fall while France, by its new
king, will have great power. The anonymous British author is read
to look at the Prophecies from a British point of view and to
present the eternal rulership of the British dynasty.
a number of comments in Les Prophéties [...], De Fontbrune
expresses his royalist attitude. Here, the critic of
"Troubadour" is justified. In the case of Uittrekzel
der voorzeggingen [...], his critic is not justified. The book,
written by the anonymous British author, is a translation of Merckwürdige
Fata der Gross-Britannischen Crone, sint der Zeit, da die Religion
reformiret worden, schon damahls verkündiget durch den Welt-berühmten
Propheten Michael Nostradamus,
der Anno 1566 gestorben, jetzt aber aus dessen Vaticiniis, so in
jedermans Händen mit Fleiss zusammen gesuchet, und mit einer kurtzen
Erzehlung der Geschichten erleutert von D.D. (Hamburg,
1714). The initials D.D. stand for the German merchand Dietrich von Dobbeler
(1663-1718), seated in Hambourg. Von Dobbeler also wrote Der
Göttliche Raht-Schluß das Haus Chur-Braunschweig auff den Groß-Britannischen
Thron zu erheben - Schon vor Neunzig Jahren beschrieben In den
bekannten Kötterischen und Poniatovischen Revelationen - Versiegelt
befindlich - Jetzt mit Fleiß daraus excerpiret, entsiegelt und erkläret
von D.D. (Hambourg, 1714).
dating of the time span of quatrain 03-57
In "Zag" Nostradamus dezen oorlog?, the French text of
quatrain 03-57 reads as follows:
fois changer verrez Gent Brittannique,
Tainte en sang en deux cents nonante ans:
France? non point! par appuy Germanique,
D'Ariès double son Pôle Basharian.
second line, the words en deux cents nonante ans indicate the
time span of quatrain 03-57: 290 years. The years in which this time
span begins and ends, are missing. It therefore is simply totally
unclear which period the composer of this quatrain had in mind.
According to my opinion, it is therefore impossible to date this period.
In quatrain 03-57, there is not one reference to the year 1939. This
reference can only be found in the comment upon this quatrain in Uittrekzel der voorzeggingen
In "Zag" Nostradamus dezen oorlog?, "Troubadour"
described the differences between Les
Prophéties [...] and Uittrekzel der voorzeggingen [...] in
the case of the comment upon quatrain 01-51. According to De Fontbrune,
the words vingt trois et six in the second line of this quatrain
are a reference to the fact that George VI (six) was the 23rd (vingt
trois) king, counting from the rulership of Henry VII. In Uittrekzel der voorzeggingen [...],
quatrain 02-51 is linked to the great fire in London in 1666 (vingt trois et six: 20 x 3 + 6 = 66).
"Troubadour" paid attention to what in Uittrekzel der
voorzeggingen [...] was written about quatrain 03-57, but he wrote
nothing about what was written in Les Prophéties [...]. In the
table underneath, the series of events, mentioned in both comments, are
listed. One can see the differences between both comments regarding the
datation of the time span of 290 years and the differences in the nature
of the events which according to these comments are hidden in the words Sept fois changer in
the first line of quatrain 03-57.
From Uittrekzel der voorzeggingen [...], it can be derived that
the second line of quatrain 03-57 is interpreted as a reference to a
massacre (Tainte en sang) which marks the beginning of a period
of 290 years (en deux cents nonante ans). According to Uittrekzel
der voorzeggingen [...], this is a reference to the beheading in
1649 of the British king Charles I, meaning that in Uittrekzel der
voorzeggingen [...], the time span of quatrain 03-57 runs from 1649
to 1939. After the revolution in 1939, which is not supported by France,
but by Germany, the British dynasty will continue to rule.
De Fontbrune begins his comment upon quatrain 03-57 with a reference to a
British-French alliance against Spain in 1657. He seems to consider the
year 1657 as the year which marks the beginning of the time span of 290
years. This means that in the eyes of De Fontbrune, the time span of
quatrain 03-57 ends in 1947. In the six wars which De Fontbrune has
taken in consideration for this period, England alternately was at the
side of France or against France. Because of the fact that in World War
I, the sixth war, England was at the side of France, De Fontbrune
supposed that by 1947, in the seventh war, England would be at the side
of the enemies of France, with the disastrous result that England would
lose both her fleet and her empire.
der voorzeggingen[...] in "Zag" Nostradamus dezen oorlog?
Prophéties [...] (De
Succession War. England, The Netherlands and Sweden against France
War. France, England and Sweden against The Netherlands
II restores the rights of the catholics
of the Ligue of Augsbourg. England against France
of James II by William III
of a British-French alliance to keep the Peace of Utrecht
and new conflics between Tories and Whigs
Succession War.England against France
I restores order
War I. England and France are allies
revolution, the British dynasty continues to rule
against France. England will lose her fleet and empire
The linking in
Germany of quatrain 03-57 to the German invasion in Poland
In "Zag" Nostradamus dezen oorlog?, "Troubadour
did not discuss the opinions in Germany about the Prophecies of
Nostradamus. He also did not discuss what happened after the German
invasion in Poland.
Shortly after the German invasion in Poland, a number of Germans
concluded that this event was the fulfillment of quatrain 03-57. They
based this upon either the comment upon quatrain 03-57 in Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus
or the quotation of parts of this comment in Mysterien von
Sonne und Seele.
In Germany, a number of comments upon the Prophecies of Nostradamus,
published in the years between World War I and World War II, showed
anger against the humiliation which Germany felt because of the Treaty
of Versailles. According to
Carl Loog, the author of Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus,
Germany would slowly recover and after 200 years would become a world
power. In his comment upon quatrain 03-57, he wrote that in England in
1939 the last crisis in a series of seven would occur. At the same time,
there would be a crisis in the restorated Poland. Loog thought that the
words Pole Bastarnan referred to the former region of Bastarnia,
which in his days was part of Poland. Loog silently copied the datation
of the time span of quatrain 03-57 and the nature of the six crises
which occured between 1649 and 1714 from Von Dobbeler's Merckwürdige
Fata der Gross-Britannischen Crone [...]He wrote that he had no idea about the nature of the crises
which in 1939 would occur in England and Poland; he wrote that around
2100 a great conflict in Europe would begin, in which Germany would be
involved, and that Germany, because of some historical pattern, would
need 200 years to become a super power. One
year later, in 1922, dr. Hans-Hermann Kritzinger, writing on page 136 of
Sonne und Seele about the imminent downfall of England, quoted parts
of Loog's comment upon quatrain 03-57. The year figure 1936 was bold
printed, the only bold printed year figure in the book. In his comment
upon quatrain 03-57 in Nostradamus - Prophetische Weltgeschichte von 1547 bis gegen 3000 (Berlin,
1928), Bruno Noah copied from Loog's comment upon quatrain 03-57 the
series of six crises in England in the period 1649-1714 and closed with
the remark that before 1939, God's punishment of England would not be
In 1939, Regulus publishers in Görlitzpublished Nostradamus
und seine Prophezeiungen für das zwanzigste Jahrhundert. In this
book, which was finished in the summer of 1938, dr. Bruno Winkler
described that the birth and raise of Hitler was predicted in quatrain
03-58. According to Winkler, Germany faced a magnificant future, in
harmonious relations with her neighbour countries such as Poland. He
noted that Loog was wrong, thinking that Germany, counting from 1918,
would need 200 years to recover. Winkler, while scrutinizing the
Prophecies of Nostradamus, concluded that it only had taken twenty years.
After the German
invasion in Poland, Loog's
comment became well-known in Germany, something which was also mentioned
in countries outside Germany.
In 1940, Johannes Baum publishers in Pfullingen in Württemberg, who
originally published Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus (six
editions), published two re-editions of Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus,
which since 1922 was out of print. When by the end of 1940, rumours
circulated in Germany about a flight of the British king from England,
Loog claimed in a letter to the German weekly Der Reichswart,
meant as a reply to a debunk of the Prophecies of Nostradamus, that
Nostradamus had foreseen the beginning of World War II and the downfall
of England and that in Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus, he,
Loog, had explained this in detail.
national-socialist brochure Was bringt das Jahr 1940?
The comments of Loog and Kritzinger became also
known to Germans who supported national-socialism. This resulted in the
use of the Prophecies of Nostradamus and comments upon them for
propaganda, in order to undermine the morale of Germany's enemies.
September 25, 1939, Konrad Schuppe, president of the Deutsche
Gesellschaft für wissenschaftlichen Okkultismus, brought a
photocopy of page 136 of Mysterien von Sonne und Seele to the
Ministry of Propaganda, on which Kritzinger had quoted parts of Loog's
comment upon quatrain 03-57. In conversation with an employee of the
Propaganda Ministry, Schuppe emphasized the bold print of the year
From the giving of a copy of page 136 of Mysterien
von Sonne und Seele to the Propaganda Ministry, it can be derived
that Schuppe linked quatrain 03-57 to the German invasion in Poland,
which would be the beginning of the downfall of England. He was asked to
held a lecture for the employees of the Auslandspresse
department of the Propaganda Ministry. The employee of the ministry who
talked to Schuppe, considered to spread this rumour in England by means
of a radio program, given the superstition among many British.
I do not know whether or not Schuppe held a lecture on quatrain 03-57
for the Auslandspresse department or that a radio program was
made. I also do not know if Schuppe later talked with dr. Paul Joseph
Goebbels, the minister of Propaganda. According to Kritzinger, it was
shortly after the German invasion in Poland that his comment in Mysterien von Sonne und Seele
drew the attention of Goebbels' wife. By her - and by four other people
- his attention to Mysterien van Sonne und Seele was drawn.
The first time that the Prophecies of Nostradamus occurred in the
Goebbels diaries, was in the entry of November 22, 1939, regarding the
evening of November 21, 1939. Goebbels wrote that that evening, tired
and ill, he went to bed early and read Nostradamus for a long time. He
thought it very interesting for Germany. If the bolded comments would
turn out to be true, he wrote, England had nothing to laugh about. On
November 22, he discussed Nostradamus with Hitler. Next, he discussed
with a.o. prof. dr. Bömer, chief of theAuslandspresse department,
the intensivation of the propaganda abroad. On
November 23, 1939, he ordered Hans-Wolfgang Herwarth von Bittenfeld, an
employee of the Auslandspresse department, to write a
Nostradamusbrochure, meant for the neutral countries. The world was full
of superstition. Why not taking advantage of it in onder to undermine
The result of the order of Goebbels was a typescript, entitled Was bringt das Jahr
1940? Die Antwort geben uns "Les vrayes Centuries et Propheties de
Maistre Michel Nostradamus. For the major part, the text of Was bringt das Jahr 1940?
was copied from five comments upon the Prophecies of Nostradamus. Die Weissagungen des Nostradamus
was one of these comments. From this comment, Herwarth von Bittenfeld
copied a.o. the list of changes in England between 1649 and 1714 which
Loog, as described previously, had copied from the comment by Dietrich
von Dobbeler on quatrain 03-57, of which "Troubadour" got
knowledge by means of the Dutch translation. From De Fontbrune's Les Prophéties [...],
Herwarth von Bittenfeld copied the comments upon the quatrains 08-57, 02-78, 03-32, 03-74, 08-97
and 02-85, in which De Fontbrune had argued that these quatrains
predicted the imminent downfall of England and which
"Troubadour" in October 1939 in had mentioned in "Zag"
Nostradamus dezen oorlog?.
"Troubadour", scrutinizing the comments of De Fontbrune and
"the anonymous Englishman:in their original context,
observed and described contradictions. Herwarth
von Bittenfeld took these comments out of their original context and
arranged them in a new context: the course of history in favour of
"the German cause", in order to scare the enemies of Germany.
De Meern, the
Netherlands, August 9, 2013,
T.W.M. van Berkel
The titles, places and
year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.
The article Tijd van oorlog Tijd van voorspellingen - de
ongezonden voorspellingsdrift van heden, published in the issue
of July 23, 1941 of the Limburgsch Dagblad, contains many
quotes from the article of Gorris which previously was published in Studiën. [text]
New Yorker, November 4, 1939. See also: Van Berkel: Around
the world with dr. De Fontbrune: New York, 1939; Amsterdam, 1940;
Willemstad, Dutch West-Indies, 1941. [text]
article "Zag" Nostradamus dezen oorlog? is online
available on www.kranten.kb.nl.
It is not clear which author used the author's pseudonym
first edition of De Fontbrune's Les Prophéties de Maistre Michel
Nostradamus - expliquées et commentées was published in 1938
by Michelet publishers in Sarlat and contained about 300 pages. [text]
Berkel: Nostradamus literature: list of
titles in The Netherlands 1649 - 2001. [text]
der voorzeggingen [...] is the Dutch translation of The prophecies of Nostradamus concerning
the fate of all the kings and queens of Great Britain since the
Reformation. Now made in English by D.D. (Londen, 1715). [text]
the 1938-Piobb-copy of the 1668-Amsterdam-edition, the text of
quatrain 03-57 reads as follows:
changer verrez gent Brittannique,
Tainta en sang en deux cents nonante an:
France, non point par appuy Germanique,
Ariez doubte son pole Bastarnan.
It is not clear from which publication the French text of quatrain
03-57, as quoted in "Zag"
Nostradamus dezen oorlog?, was copied.
In Uittrrekzel der voorzeggingen [...], the Dutch
translation of Van Dobbeler's version of quatrain 03-57 reads as
Zeven Revoluties zullen in de Britsche Natie gezien worden
Binnen den omtrek van tweehonderd en negentig Jaaren, van de tijd
af, dat die met bloed besmet wierd.
Dezelve zal op generly wyze door VRANKRYK, maar door een HOOGDUITS
HUIS ondersteund worden
Totdat de Gemini hunne loop van Ariës tot de dubbele Kruiskringen
zullen geëindigd hebben.
This translation contains many elements which are not present in the
old-French text of quatrain 03-57 in e.g. the 1668-Amsterdam-edition. [text]
p.68-69 and p.84. [text]
in conversation with Howe in: Howe-1995, p.221; Salamar (Stockholm, 1940), p.71.
rechts - Prophete links War Nostradamus wirklich Scharlatan und
Betrüger? (C. Loog in Der Reichswart,
to the chief of the Berlin municipal police, September 25, 1939 (Landesarchiv,
Berlin, A.Pr.Br. Rep. 030-04 Nr. 327). [text]
in conversation Howe in: Howe-1995, p.220. [text]
Berkel: Was bringt das Jahr 1940? Die Antwort geben uns "Les
vrayes Centuries et Propheties de Maistre Michel Nostradamus (Hans-Wolfgang
Herwarth von Bittenfeld, prof. dr. Karl Bömer, Leopold Gutterer,
In 1940, Was bringt das Jahr 1940? was brought into
circulation in eight languages. The English translation, meant for
the United States of America was entitled: What
will happen in the near future? For an answer we must turn to
"Les vrayes Centuries et Prophéties de Maistre Michel
Nostradamus" -The prophecies of the ancient French
astrologer Michel Nostradamus and the present war