Nazi German SS Tibet Expedition (1938-39)

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Nazi Germany had very good cultural links with a Tibet that had become ever more neglected by a self-serving, and Westward looking Nationalist regime, that if truth be known, was staffed by officials who preferred missionary Christianity to Chinese or Tibetan Buddhism.  Indeed, this Nationalist government, from its very inception in 1912, sought to destroy the Buddhist establishment, and clear Buddhist (and Daoist) temples to make way for Christian churches.  Perhaps one of the greatest crimes of the Nationalist regime in China was its 1928 destruction of the famous Shaolin Temple in Henan  Another was its courting of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany that only abated when the US backed the Nationalists against the imperial Japanese.  Of course, as Germany occupied a number of concessions in China, and given the fact that Hitler had been in power in Germany since 1933, Nazi soldiers – and the dreaded ‘SS’ – were not uncommon sights in 1930’s China.  The Tibetan part of China, remote as it is from the capital Beijing, served as something of a staging post for the Nazi military and its racialised science.  The Tibetan nobility and high lamas generally maintained very good relations with the Nazi Germans – who, for some strange reasoning emanating from the warped mind of Adolf Hitler, assumed that the ‘White’ pure race of Aryans may well have originated in the Tibetan area (part of this madness might well have been to do with the Buddhist use of the swastika).  Later, the 14th Dalai Lama became very a close friend with the exiled Nazi War Criminal Heinrich Harrer, who in return for an amnesty from the Western allies for his war crimes (as a member of the Nazi Party and personal friend of Adolf Hitler), assisted the CIA to concoct a story about Tibet being ‘invaded’ by China.  Brad Pitt even played Harrer in a Hollywood film – eulogising the life of this Nazi.  As Tibet was already part of China, it was imossible for it to be invaded by China.  This would be like a country invading itself.

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