The Ahnenerbe was a Nazi German think tank that promoted itself as a ‘study society for Intellectual Ancient History.’ Founded on July 1, 1935, by Heinrich Himmler, Herman Wirth, and Richard Walther Darré, the Ahnenerbe’s goal was to research the anthropological and cultural history of the Aryan race, and later to experiment and launch voyages with the intent of proving that prehistoric and mythological Nordic populations had once ruled the world.

The Ahnenerbe had several different research institutions. Most of these were archeological and anthropological but others included a meteorology department, devoted to ‘Welteislehre’ (World Ice Theory), a pseudoscientific cosmological theory proposed by Hans Hörbiger, an Austrian engineer and inventor. According to his theory, ice was the basic substance of all cosmic processes, and ice moons, ice planets, and the ‘global ether’ (also made of ice) had determined the entire development of the universe. There was also a section devoted to musicology, whose aim was to determine ‘the essence’ of German music. The section made sound recordings, transcribed manuscripts and songbooks, and photographed and filmed instrument use and folk dances. The lur, a Bronze Age musical instrument, became central to this research, which concluded that Germanic consonance was in direct conflict to Jewish atonalism.

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