Wilhelm Wulff's name may be unfamiliar to most people, yet he played an important role during the Second World War-- a role that indirectly altered the course of world history. Born in 1892, Wulff is best-remembered as a member of the court of Heinrich Himmler, Hitler's notorious head of the S.S. and chief of the Gestapo, where he served as Himmler's personal astrologer.
Wulff claimed to have accepted this position against his will; it was either take the job or be sent back to the concentration camp where he had been interred for several months. As a result, he maintained his freedom by casting daily horoscopes for one of the most reviled men in the history of mankind. Wulff's horoscopes were so accurate that Himmler himself rarely made a decision without consulting Wulff.
In his 1973 book Zodiac and Swastika Wilhelm Wulff details his life as a Nazi astrologer, offering a bizarre glimpse into the minds of men like Hitler, Himmler and Rudolph Hess, all of whom were obsessed with astrology and the occult. Hitler, for instance, suspended work on the German V1 and V2 rocket program for two years because of a prophetic dream he had one night. It was a decision that could have decisively influenced the outcome of the war. Hess, who served as Hitler's deputy-feuhrer, maintained an entire team of astrologers for his personal use.
Wulff was recruited from the concentration camps and sent to the Nazi's Institute for Occult Warfare in Berlin, where various occult practitioners were paid to find, well... unconventional ways for Germany to win the war. "I felt as though I were in a madhouse," said Wulff of the experience.
In 1943, Wulff attracted the attention of Himmler and was assigned to work under Arthur Nebe, who was the head of the Gestapo's criminal investigation unit. Nebe gave the astrologer birthdates of unidentified individuals and asked Wulff to rate them as security risks. Himmler was so impressed that he hired Wulff as a personal astrologer and advisor.
It was an unenviable job, and one that could have grave consequences for Wulff if he was wrong. Wulff was tasked with preparing daily horoscopes indicating what Himmler should or shouldn't do and with discovering any plots against Himmler that might be brewing. At one point Himmler said to Wulff: "It's strange, isn't it, that you warned me about a possible accident on December 9, and on that date I was driving at night, and 130 feet above the Black Forest railway I ran off the road and onto the track just as the train was approaching. The accuracy of your horoscopes, Herr Wulff, is phenomenal."
Himmler also explained why Germany's occult practitioners, including Wulff, had to be sent to concentration camps: “In the Third Reich we have had to forbid astrology. Those who contravene the regulations can expect to be locked up in a concentration camp until the war is over. We cannot permit any astrologists to follow their calling except those who are working for us. In the National Socialist state, astrology must remain privileged. It is not for the masses.”
By May of 1944 the war was going very badly for Germany and Himmler turned to his astrologer in desperation. Wulff urged Himmler to stage a rebellion, overthow Hitler, and then negotiate a treaty with the Allies. Himmler, fearing he would be executed for war crimes, was too afraid to take Wulff's advice. Wulff went on to inform Himmler that Hitler would die in late April of 1945 (Hitler committed suicide on April 30).
During their final meeting, Wulff recalled encountering a whimpering, sobbing Himmler who reeked of alcohol. Himmler begged Wulff for some final instructions. However, instead of offering a prediction or a horoscope, Wulff calmly answered that he was going to go home and wait for the Allies to arrive. Wulff died in June of 1979.