Hanns Hörbiger was an Austrian engineer with a vision. In 1894, while staring at the moon, Hörbiger supposedly surmised that it was so bright and round because of ice; thus, he developed the idea that the cosmos consisted of ice. After a dream of floating through space, Hörbiger declared, "I knew that Newton had been wrong and that the sun's gravitational pull ceases to exist at three times the distance of Neptune."
Hanns Hörbiger was not a trained scientist, but he continued to promote his theory for its intuitive visions - the dream that inspired the ice universe concept. Hörbiger also said he had an experimental program to support his claims through "creative intuition" and "mathematical fictions."
German scientists swiftly rejected the theory, so Hörbiger's alternative was to popularize the idea. He hosted public lectures with over a thousand audience members. His followers sponsored cosmic ice movies. They published novels and hosted radio programs; the idea caught on with a German public hungry for pseudo-science. Ultimately, his theory connected with the National Socialist Party.
Scientists saw the World Ice Theory as foolish and easily disproved by geology and physics. However, the theory was intensely popular with the German people. When Hanns Hörbiger found few followers at Germany's universities and academies, he promoted the idea to the masses. His audiences may not have understood the theory's physics, but they liked its promotion of the Germanic people - and the fact that Hörbiger was not Jewish. By popularizing a so-called scientific theory, Hörbiger was able to ignore the doubters and attract powerful supporters.
Other proponents of the theory tried to link the biblical flood to a falling ice moon. Furthermore, the argument denied other stars' existence, declaring that the night sky lit up due to far-off glaciers reflecting the sun's light.
The World Ice Theory took off in Germany after Hanns Hörbiger died in 1931. Party leaders wanted a "German" theory to compete with the stunning scientific developments by Jewish scientists, including Albert Einstein. During the 1920s and 1930s, German scientists pioneered new research in physics and math, but to the frustration of the SS, many of those scientists were of Jewish heritage.
To promote their philosophy, German leaders publicly encouraged the World Ice Theory as a truly German theory, in opposition to legitimate scientific advancements of the time.
Party proponents of the World Ice Theory didn't have to worry about proving the theory - instead, they simply acted like it was true. Hitler gave Hanns Hörbiger's surviving co-author an honorary doctorate. They created a World Ice Division around 1935 to promote the theory. Hitler planned to create an observatory with entire floors promoting "the three great cosmological conceptions of history - those of Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Hörbiger."
The World Ice Theory became the official doctrine, and anyone who disagreed could quickly find themselves on the wrong side of the government. To learn more, you'll have to Turn On, Tune In & Find Out!
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