Revealed: Himmler's secret quest to locate the 'Aryan Holy Grail'

Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi SS, made a secret wartime mission to an abbey in Spain in search of what he believed was the Aryan Holy Grail, a new book claims.

Himmler visited the famous Montserrat Abbey near Barcelona where he thought he would find the Grail which Jesus Christ was said to have used to consecrate the Last Supper.

According to The Desecrated Abbey, by Montserrat Rico Góngora, the Reichsführer-SS thought if he could lay claim to the Holy Grail it would help Germany win the war and give him supernatural powers.

The book claims that, far from being the King of the Jews, Himmler shared the outlandish belief with other leading Nazis that Jesus Christ was actually descended from Aryan stock.

Góngora writes that Himmler, Hitler's right-hand man, believed Jacob was of Aryan blood and his descendants, including Jesus Christ, were Aryan too.

Góngora has interviewed a former monk who was ordered by his superiors to greet Himmler during the visit in 1940.

Now a pensioner living in an old people's home near Barcelona, Andreu Ripol Noble was at the time the only German-speaker in the abbey and was asked to help Himmler with his odd quest.

Antoni Maria Marcet, the abbot, knew Himmler had launched public attacks on the Catholic Church in Germany and had no time for him, the book claims. But Ripol related how Himmler came to Montserrat inspired by Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal, which mentions the Holy Grail could be in kept in "the marvellous castle of Montsalvat in the Pyrenees".

It was widely believed in Nazi circles that this castle was Montserrat, a belief strengthened by the fact the first performance of the opera was held at the Liceu Opera House in Barcelona in 1913. Others have said it was Montségur in France.

Wagner is thought to have been inspired by the writings of the 13th troubadour Wolfram von Eschenbach and scores of other writers who claimed to know where the sacred chalice used by Christ at the Last Supper lay.

According to Góngora, Himmler was also inspired by a folk song from Catalonia, the north-eastern region in which Montserrat lies, which has a cryptic reference to a "mystical font of life" situated in the area.

Himmler, a former chicken farmer who rose through the Nazi ranks to become Hitler's most trusted lieutenant, is known to have an interest in racial mysticism.

After initially proclaiming himself a Catholic, Himmler had started to attack the German church more publicly, and increasingly turned to a fanatical belief in racially based paganism.

But, the book claims, despite his quest to find the Grail, he came away from Montserrat empty-handed.

Himmler was in Barcelona while Hitler was holding a conference with the newly installed Spanish dictator, General Francisco Franco, in October 1940. Hitler believed he could persuade Franco to join the war on Germany's side.

But with Spain ravaged after three years of civil war, Franco refused to take sides and officially at least, remained neutral.

Hitler was said to be furious and told the Italian leader, Benito Mussolini, that Franco was a "coward". The Spanish press at the time reported Himmler's visit in bland terms, noting only that he had given 25,000 pesetas towards the repair of a local reservoir.

The Reichsführer is known to have stayed at the Ritz hotel in Barcelona and made his hour-long journey to Montserrat surrounded by "blond-haired SS men", reports at the time said.

The Desecrated Abbey by Montserrat Rico Góngora is published by Planeta in Spanish today

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Senior Change Engineer (Network, Cisco, Juniper) £30k

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album