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The Spear of Longinus: The Dark Past of The Double Edged Sword

The spear is reputed to be the one that pierced Christ’s side as He hung upon the cross, Hitler discovered that there were at least three other “holy” spears in Europe at that time. One was in the Vatican. A second had been taken to Paris at the time of the Crusades. Another was to be found in a church in Cracow, Poland. But the Spear of Longinus, named after the Roman centurion who wielded it, had commanded most attention. The reason: attached to its handle is a nail reputedly used in the Crucifixion.

The Spear of Longinus: The Dark Past of the Double Edged Sword

By Mr Ghaz, August 17, 2011

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The Spear of Longinus: The Dark Past of the Double Edged Sword

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In 1909 in the Hofburg Museum in Vienna, a thin, pale, shabby young man stood before the treasures of the House of Hapsburg. Jeweled crowns glittered in their cases. But what transfixed the observer was one small item: the remains of a spear, dull and black with age. The unprepossessing visitor was Adolf Hitler. The object he worshiped was the Spear of Longinus.

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The spear is reputed to be the one that pierced Christ’s side as He hung upon the cross, Hitler discovered that there were at least three other “holy” spears in Europe at that time. One was in the Vatican. A second had been taken to Paris at the time of the Crusades. Another was to be found in a church in Cracow, Poland. But the Spear of Longinus, named after the Roman centurion who wielded it, had commanded most attention. The reason: attached to its handle is a nail reputedly used in the Crucifixion.

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The spear is said to have acted as a powerful talisman or charm for Constantine the Great first Christian emperor of Rome; Charles Martel, who drove the Arabs out of eighth-century France; the emperor Charlemagne; and the Holy Roman emperor Frederick Barbarossa. According to tradition, all who possessed the spear were victorious. It was the mystical qualities of the Spear of Longinus that so fascinated Hitler.

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An Occult Obsession

The man who revealed Hitler’s obsession with the Spear of Longinus was an Austrian scholar, Dr. Walter Stein. He struck up a friendship with Hitler prior to 1914 and came to known the man well.

According to Stein, Hitler’s belief in the supernatural powers of the spear led him into the darker realms of magic and the occult. He saw himself as a reincarnation of Landulf II of Capua, a terrifying ninth-century Sicilian tyrant who was also supposed to have obtained possession of the spear. Stein believed that Hitler’s rise to power was aided by black magic and the Spear of Longinus.

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When Hitler annexed Austria into the Third Reich in 1938, one of the first things he did was to revisit the Hofburg Museum, to claim his “Spear of Destiny.” He arranged for it to be taken by special train, under armed guard, to Nuremberg. There it was placed in a church that, on his instruction, was turned into a Nazi shrine.

When the Allies bombed the city, Hitler ordered the spear hidden in a special-purpose vault deep within the foundations of Nuremberg Castle.

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Finally, on April 30, 1945, U.S. troops, who had fought their way into Nuremberg in the face of fierce resistance, entered the vault and came upon the spear. Hitler, by then isolated in his bunker in Berlin, did not know this had happened. But only hours later, he shot himself.

Today, the spear is back in the Hofburg Museum, an ancient relic with a notorious past.

Spear of Destiny

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In his 17th century painting “The Crucifixion,” Rubens depicted the Roman centurion Gaius Cassius Longinus piercing Christ’s side with his spear, giving rise to be legend that the spear had acquired great mystical power. In later years it was to become a lifelong obsession for Adolf Hitler, who believed that its possession would make him master of the world. Hitler was certain that the spear below, in Vienna, was the Spear of Longinus.

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User Comments
  1. Reilley

    On May 16, 2010 at 9:38 am


    This was really cool. I could not help but think of the movie ‘Constantine’ as I read this.

  2. Moses Ingram

    On May 16, 2010 at 10:45 am


    A fascinating story! I love reading about such things and had never heard of this sword until now. I hope you publish more like this.

  3. abhishek40914

    On May 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm


    interesting article

  4. iDD

    On May 16, 2010 at 7:06 pm


    I had never before seen pictures of the spear itself, though the spear is referenced in a lot of books, animation and comics even.

    - Constantine
    - Neon Genesis Evangelion
    - Hellboy

    to name a few.

  5. CHAN LEE PENG

    On May 16, 2010 at 11:43 pm


    Cool. I like the way you compose this article. Thanks and liked it.

  6. papaleng

    On May 17, 2010 at 4:34 am


    Another fine write, though the topic is a very popular one, you have presented facts in a very clear way. Nice work, friend.

  7. Hettie

    On May 18, 2010 at 12:05 am


    Really interesting article,Thank you for all that research you did about the spear.

  8. CatsFive

    On May 25, 2010 at 4:25 pm


    Hello, I notice you used one of my photos of the spear in this article. Cool, awesome. I am surprised, however, that you did not also want to use my photos of the “Battle of Grunwald”, a very large painting currently hanging in the National Museum of Art in Warsaw, Poland. The painting depicts the spear “in action”, felling a rival king in a battle. Very interesting!

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=grunwald&w=45011363%40N00

    Cheers,
    Cats

  9. S J Dickens

    On July 15, 2010 at 3:17 am


    nicely presented.. this piece is historically impressive.
    Shalom.

  10. Goodselfme

    On October 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm


    Your skill at presenting this is superior.Thank you for such an interesting post.

  11. mika cirino

    On August 17, 2011 at 11:24 am


    Very interesting, I really do not like history but the way you put stuck in my head. I loved the pictures also!

  12. Silver Brown

    On March 21, 2012 at 9:13 am


    I have watched a documentary about this spear and I am almost certain this is the spear that pierced Christ’s side.

    History seems to favor the realities of the Bible, take for instance the original manuscript of the gospel according to John especially chapter 18 found in the John Rylands University library.

    Sometimes I wonder why it isn’t so easy for academics/scholars to get saved, no wonder the Bible states that we are saved by faith. Knowledge or evidence cannot save anyone, Hitler saw this spear as a magical tool. I see it as a sacred relic.

  13. Silver Brown

    On March 21, 2012 at 9:22 am


    I have watched a documentary about this spear and I am almost certain this is the spear that pierced Christ\’s side.

    History seems to favor the realities of the Bible, take for instance the original manuscript of the gospel according to John especially chapter 18 found in the John Rylands University library.

    Sometimes I wonder why it isn\’t so easy for academics/scholars to get saved, no wonder the Bible states that we are saved by faith. Knowledge or evidence cannot save anyone, Hitler saw this spear as a magical tool. I see it as a sacred relic.

  14. heath

    On May 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm


    I first read about this story after attending a service at the Moody Bible church in Chicago. This was over 15 years ago. I loved coming across this again. Thank you.

  15. heath wells

    On May 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm


    I first read about this story after attending a service at the Moody Bible church in Chicago. This was over 15 years ago. I loved coming across this again. Thank you.

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