NOSTRADAMUS, ASTROLOGY AND THE BIBLE
SUBSTUDY "WORLD WAR II"
Information on Lajos Theodor Gaspar Adolf Wohl alias Louis de Wohl (1903-1961)
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie
 

Louis de Wohl
Ludwig von Wohl alias
Louis de Wohl

Heimkehr ins Glück
Heimkehr ins Glück (1933)
 

Lajos Theodor Gaspar Adolf Wohl, also known as Louis de Wohl was born in Berlin on January 24, 1903. His father was Hungarian, his mother Austrian. According to his own information, his Hungarian name was Wohl Laios (in Hungarian, the Christian name is preceded by the surname) and he was a minor nobleman, in Hungarian entitled Mucsinyi. He had a younger sister, Elizabeth, who like him emigrated to England - and later to Africa.
At the age of 17 - his father already died - his mother urged De Wohl to work at a bank. In 1924 he got fired and had various professions, such as dress designer and movie advertiser. He did everything he could to become an author and gradually got a certain reputation. Until his emigration in 1935 to England, De Wohl wrote articles for newspapers and about thirty novels, half of them used for movies. Together with Count d'Haussonville, he wrote the script for the movie Heimkehr ins Glück (1933), in which Heinz Ruhmann played a part. In his writings, he used the pseudonym Louis de Wohl. According to his own information, he moved to England because he no longer could live under Hitler's regime and did not stand in awe for his legislation.[1] 
In 1937, George C. Harrap & Co. Ltd. in London published I follow my stars, De Wohl's autobiography. In 1938, his astrological book Secret service of the sky was published by Cresset Press in London; in 1940, another astrological book was published, entitled Common sense astrology. De Wohl was not a gifted astrologer, but rather blended a range of circulating astrological ideas and phrased them in an attractive, amusing and sensational way.

 

Nostradamus prophezeit den Kriegsverlauf
Nostradamus prophezeit 
den Kriegsverlauf

World War II 
At the outbreak of World War II, De Wohl was not allowed to be a volunteer at the front since he did not have the British nationality. In 1940, he started to work for the British Secret Service, first at the Special Operations Executive section, from 1942 at the Psychological Warfare Executive section.
I
n his book The stars of war and peace (London, 1952), De Wohl described the kind of work he did in World War II in connection with psychological warfare, such as giving advices, based upon "astrological counter-moves" against his supposed German war strategies, based upon astrology.
In The stars of war and peace, De Wohl did not discuss the brochure Nostradamus prophezeit den Kriegsverlauf. Most of the text of this brochure, which in 1943 was brought into circulation and had to undermine the morale of German soldiers by demonstrating, by means of perverted Century-quatrains and invented quatrains, that Nostradamus predicted the rise of Hitler, his military success and his imminent fall, was written by De Wohl. Nostradamus prophezeit den Kriegsverlauf did not carry De Wohl's name, but the name of dr. Bruno Winkler, the author of the Nostradamusbiography Und dies geheimnisvolle Buch!... and Nostradamus und seine Prophezeiungen für das zwanzigste Jahrhundert, both published by Regulus publishers in Görlitz. For that reason, Regulus publishers was mentioned as the publisher of Nostradamus prophezeit den Kriegsverlauf. In this period, De Wohl also wrote the text of two editions of the fictitious magazine Der Zenit, in which by means of astrological analyses predictions were made which were unfavourable for Germany. The name Der Zenit was chosen in connection with the astrological magazine Zenit, the monthly of the German Astrologische Zentralstelle, published for the last time somewhere in 1938.
About De Wohl's meddling with Nostradamus and the Centuries can also be said that in the beginning of the '40's, he made James Laver, the author of Nostradamus or the future foretold (London, 1942) familiar with astrology.
[2] Laver linked the word Hister, which can be found in three quatrains, to Hitler. In Nostradamus prophezeit den Kriegsverlauf, this link is made more than once, and there are indications that De Wohl c.s. copied this link from Nostradamus or the future foretold.

 

A questionable position
Documents in an MI5-file about Louis de Wohl, declassified on March 3, 2008 by the British National Archives,  show that within the British Secret Service his position and ideas were questionable, as was his astrological skill. Some who met him in the years of war, characterized him as a charlatan and a fraud. Others were quite impressed by his statements. Despite warnings from within the Secret Service that he was not reliable, senior persons considered his story that Hitler relied on the predictions of Krafft and therefore was vulnerable, very acceptable and important. To them, it looked as if De Wohl was able to understand Hitler's drives and ideas by means of astrology. In 1941, De Wohl was sent to the United States. In a series of lectures, meant to persuade the United States to join Germany's adversaries in Europe, he told his audience that Hitler could be defeated because of his reliance on astrology. The general public approved this.
The file contains numerous documents which show that De Wohl was closely observed by the British Secret Service in the period he was employed by them. The Secret Service considered him to be a potential enemy, since he was born and raised in Germany. On the one hand, De Wohl turned out to be a useful collaborator with an undoubted gift for propaganda. On the other hand, there was the risk that in case he got a grief against England, he would become a dangerous enemy since he was able to influence superstition in high circles. 
The file also contains astrological writings by De Wohl with a.o. predictions about the course of the war. He called himself "the modern Nostradamus".
In 1943, De Wohl more or less was shunted onto a side track.

 

De Wohl, Krafft and Hitler's attitude towards astrology
From 1941, De Wohl spread the rumour that Hitler was obsessed by astrology and did not take any important decision without consulting his private astrologer. In an interview with the New York newspaper Sunday News, published on July 27, 1941, he told that he hold a letter from Karl Ernst Krafft, a Swiss astrologer, to Viorel Virgil Tilea, the former Rumanian ambassador in London. This ten-page letter contained tactfully phrased astrological predictions in favour of Hitler. According to the interview with De Wohl in Sunday News, it was in 1929 when Krafft became employed by Hitler. In an introduction to astrological predictions for 1943, dating from November 1942, De Wohl had written that Hitler employed astrologers since 1923. He mentioned the names of Krafft, Fritz Brunnhuebner and B. Korsch.[3] According to De Wohl, Hitler only came into action if the astrological aspects were favourable. De Wohl claimed that he also could calculate these aspects and therefore would know what manoeuvres Hitler would make, since he based himself upon advices, given in connection with these favourable astrological aspects. According to De Wohl, it was not relevant whether or not the Allied considered astrology a valuable kind of knowledge or complete nonsense, but that Hitler followed the astrological predictions/advices.
De Wohl's rumours lack every ground. A remark of one of Hitler's former secretaries for example shows that he was not at all interested in astrology. Regarding Krafft's national-socialist activities, it must be noted that this started in October 1939 in Amt VII-B1 of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt; from April-May 1941, he worked as a translator at the Deutsches Nachrichtenbüro. He never has been a private astrologer of whatever prominent Nazi.[4] Korsch had no connection with Nazi's.

 

The SpearThe post-war years
After World War II, De Wohl occupied himself with writing religious novels such as the novel The Spear (1955, about Longinus, the soldier who thrusted a spear in the side of Jesus at the time of His crucifixion), a novel about King David and hagiographies about a.o. the apostle Paul, St. Augustin, St. Benedict, St. Catharine of Siena, St. Frances of Assisi, St. Francis Xavier, St. Ignatius Loyola, Joan of Arc, St. Theresia and Thomas Aquinas. These books were written in English. Some of them were translated into Dutch, Italian, Polish, Yugoslavian and Spanish. De Wohl also wrote a book about the history of the Catholic Church. I do not know if he dissociated himself from the Nostradamuspropaganda he wrote during World War II.

In 1953, De Wohl married the authoress Ruth Magdalene Lorch. Both of them were Commander of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, a Roman-Catholic order with roots in the era of Godfrey of Bouillon, mainly consisting of laymen who spiritually as well as materially want to devote themselves to the needs of Christians in Israel.
De Wohl died in Luzern on July 2, 1961; his wife died on January 4, 1998.

 

Publications of Louis de Wohl, discussed on this website

 

De Meern, the Netherlands, September 13, 2007
T.W.M. van Berkel
updated on March 8, 2008

 

Notes
The titles, places and year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.

  1. Dr. Felix Jay, a British astrologer and a good friend of De Wohl, supposed that he was a Jew or a half-Jew and fled to England since as a non-Aryan he no longer could work for the German press or the German film industry. [text]
  2. Laver-1942, p.11. [text]
  3. Fritz Brunnhuebner: Fritz Brunnhübner, the author of Der neue Planet Pluto. Beobachtungen und Erfahrungen (Diessen, 1935). B. Korsch: dr. Hubert Korsch, chairman of the Astrologische Zentralstelle and editor in chief of the astrological magazine Zenit. [text]
  4. Van Berkel: 
    - Dr. Goebbels nach Aufzeichnung aus seiner Umgebung;
    -
    Information on Karl Ernst Krafft. [text]

 

Many stories circulate about Louis de Wohl, not in the least spread by himself. His autobiographical information is not always reliable. According to people like Howe and Jay, he sometimes embellished his descriptions of facts and events, which for example resulted in a legendary-like autobiography.
For this article, the following publications on De Wohl have been consulted:

 
 

 
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