Hitler’s Master of the Dark Arts: Himmler’s Black Knights and the Occult Origins of the SS by Bill Yenne

“Hitler’s Master of the Dark Arts: Himmler’s Black Knights and the Occult Origins of the SS” by Bill Yenne. Mr. Yenne takes a well-known subject, the SS, and examines it through an unusual point of view. Instead of just looking at the organizational structure and providing a time line of it’s history he digs into the historical background it through the scope of paganism showing the background and origins of Nazi racial philosophy and how these philosophies became the motivating force of the SS .

Mr. Yenne explores the roots of Himmler’s racial philosophies as he developed the SS in the book’s first half. The activities of the SS during World War II and the occupation of Europe by the Nazis files the book’s second half.

The reading was enjoyably, those sometimes it was repetitive. An example is Heinrich Himmler believing himself the reincarnation of Heinrich I, the first king of Germany. Mr. Yenne dwelt too long on this subject. Stating it once would have been enough.

Mr. Yenne’ research of the subject shows. The book is full of interesting sidebars and visuals. The quality of the book, presentation, and photographs are spectacular. Once again Zenith press shows why they are at the top of the list of publishers of military history books.

“Hitler’s Master of the Dark Arts” communicates the philosophies of Himmler. It drives home the point he was the man who coordinated the Holocaust. His SS carried it out.

Mr. Yenne successfully tackled the subject from a controversial point of view. He made his point. Any serious student of World War II and the SS will benefit from reading the book. The book helps in gaining a better understanding of the SS and Himmler. 

Author: Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a full-time writer. He was born in San Antonio, Texas, to a career military father and stay at home mother. He lived in six states and attended eight different schools before graduating high school. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in English and Military Science from The University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Arts and Master of Religious Education degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as the Doctor of Education degree. Before writing full-time, he worked as a US Army officer for 10-years, religious educator for 18-years, and as an IT software application engineer for over 20-years. He is a widower. He lives in North Texas with his cat Lacey.