The Julleuchter (Yule Lantern or Yule Candlestick) was arguably the most essential piece of cultural paraphernalia invented by the SS for its members and their families to practice what was to become Heinrich Himmler’s new religion for the SS. A contrived neo-pagan ‘religion’ with set of proceedings for SS celebrations that Fritz Weitzel documented in the book “The Celebrations In The Life Of The SS Family”.
In 1933 a group of candle holders appeared in Hermann Wirth’s ‘Die Ura Linda Chronik’, a translation into German of the Frisian ‘Oera Linda Book‘, a 19th century Frisian manuscript. Wirth was a lay scholar and the early leader of the SS Ahnenerbe. Wirth’s ‘Die Ura Linda Chronik’ has always been a subject of great debate, even in the Third Reich it was rejected by prominent National Socialists such as Alfred Rosenberg.
The image above from shows a group of pottery candle holders, the far right example being the piece in the Nordiska Museet in Stockholm., a design clearly copied for the SS Julleuchter, Wirth describes it in his Ura-Linda-Chronik in 1933 as “a farmer’s candlestick of clay in tower form from Halland (1) with the Heart of the Irtha and the Wralda’s Å Jul on each of the four walls”
It was intended that every member of the Allgemeine SS and Waffen-SS would eventually receive the SS Julleuchter from Himmler. This intention was partly realised as huge numbers of Julleuchter were produced but it is likely many were received but were left unused. According to the book ”Order of the Deathshead”, 1969, Heinze Hohne, from documents residing in the United States National Archives from Reichsführer-SS Himmler’s own office (though, date of documents not mentioned), “54.2% of SS personnel continued to attend Protestant Churches while 23.7% continued to be practicing Catholics..” This leaves 22% that could have worshipped at the altar of Himmler’s new religion. Hohn continues; “only in the SS armed forces did Himmler gather more believers, “53.6% in the Verfügungstrüppe and 69% in the Totenkopfverbände. The war however, drove the “believers” on the “offensive” even in the Waffen SS. Catholic Chaplins appeared from time to time among the troops and the “Germanic Volunteers” were allowed to go to Church; in some units (those of Obergrüppenführer Bittrich, for instance) notices of church services were posted in the offices.”
Right; SS Leitheft Supplementary Edition Cover with Julleuchter Design
Below; “The Celebrations In The Life Of The SS Family” (transl.) by Fritz Weitzel;
“The home of the SS Man should be recognisable through its SS corner which is set aside for the special celebrations of his family. From this Jul-corner and SS-corner a happy and strong glow should envelope the whole house and all the people living in it. In this corner all those things should be kept which strengthen the voice of our blood and the duties to land and Folk, everything that demonstrates our beliefs. The corner should be dominated by the family chest, holding any family heirlooms and the decorations which are used throughout the year. A small table may be used at first, but gradually every family should have their own chest.
The Julleuchter stands on the chest all year round, surrounded by the Jul Plates, one for each member of the family, which are being used for all the yearly celebrations as well as for birthdays, weddings, and the day of death. At times the Jul Plates are replaced by the Jul Wheel, which is used for holding the Tree Of Life, Advent Wreath, Easter Wreath, May Wreath, Solstice Wreath, and Harvest Wreath. On the wall behind the chest the pictures of our Führer and the Reich Leader Of The SS, family pictures and ancestor’s names, memorabilia of war times. The large SS Runes the Swastika must also be present.
The Jul and SS corner is the measure of how much the SS Man and his wife take part in the customs of the SS.”
The Allach Porcelain Factory from October 1937 after moving from the original smaller two-storey building
Pouring the clay into the slip-cast Julleucter moulds.
The Julleucter in production at the Allach Porcelain factory. Workers cutting the clay to form the hearts and hagal runes of the Julleuchter before going to the firing process. Over 350,000 Julleuchter are estimated to have been produced.
A large firing kiln.
Above, a superb Julleuchter, believed to be very early production, possibly pre-dating the 6-dot form.
An original Allach Julleuchter in a red/brown clay with the 6-dot pattern with Julkerz
SS Jul-Kerze Document (Yule Candle Document)
An original example of the Jul-Kerze (Jul-Candle) document that accompanied the Julleuchter Candle sent to SS men each year in time for Weihnachtfest. Signed (printed signature) “H. Himmler – Reichsführer SS – Field Command Post, December 21, 1943″
(1) Veddinge, district Viske, Sweden