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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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27/04/2009 5:13 am  

Just been reading up on Albin Grau and had no idea the guy was a student of Crowley as well as, a member of Fraternitas Saturni. His film Nosferatu was devoted to a lot of occult material that he learned off Crowley. Also apparently nobody knows for sure whether he actually died in a concentration camp in 1942 or died in 1971. Anybody know more details about this person and also whether they can verify his actual year of death? Seems like an interesting man...


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einDoppelganger
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27/04/2009 6:19 am  

The Kino Video US 2 DVD release of Nosferatu has a fantastic documentary on him. Its in German and full of great images and information regarding the occult symbolism in the film. The picture was promoted as "an occult film" on its German release.

I seem to recall Crowley had a dim view of the FS. I don’t remember where I read that though so take it with a grain of salt.


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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
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27/04/2009 8:07 am  

93!

I doubt that "Nosferatu" (directed by Murnau, so not exactly Grau's film) was influenced by Crowley directly, though it clearly was influenced by occult, especially rosycrucian ideas. The film was made in 1922, and Grau joined the "Collegium Pansophicum" of Heinrich Traenker in 1922/23 which became Crowley-influenced only after Reuss' death in 1923 and openly promoted Thelema in 1925 which then immediately led to schism, the Weida Conference and the foundation of the Fraternitas Saturni.

Grau is a fascinating character nonetheless and more informaton on him would be great.

Love=Law
Lutz


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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28/04/2009 2:11 am  

I don't believe Grau was ever a student of Crowley, just one of the founders of the Fraternitas Saturni. Grau did have a lifetime interest in the occult and many of the papers and books in Nosferatu were his own or his work as he was primarily responsible for the visuals & set design. Crowley didn't have a dim view of the FS, it was more like no view or concern, Gosche made it apparent that while they accepted the Law of Thelema that they were going to work autonomously. It was Germer who had a dim view of the FS because of a personal issue between himself and Grosche.


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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
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28/04/2009 7:53 am  
"Starman" wrote:
Anybody know more details about this person and also whether they can verify his actual year of death?

93!

Since P.R. Koenig is pretty knowledeable about the Swiss O.T.O. I tend to believe his dating of Grau's death on March 27 1971.

Love=Law
Lutz


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Markus
(@markus)
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29/06/2011 6:52 pm  

A young chap, Stefan Strauss, has, after five years of research, written a dissertation on Albin Grau. It will hit the stores in late August and can be pre-ordered on amazon.de: Stefan Strauss, Albin Grau - Biographie und Oeuvre, pb., 480 pp., 200 pics., €48,-.

The following information can be gleaned from the pre-view:
Grau was, apart from his fame as an artist and film producer, an important figure in 1920s German occultism, meeting Crowley in an "important conference of Satanists". Fra. Pacitius was at first fascinated by Crowley before ending up at odds with him. He wrote Liber I, The Book of the Zero-Hour as an alternative to Liber AL (I will start translating this text shortly, as it is of historical interest). Fra. Pacitius did spend time in Switzerland, returned to Germany after WWII and lived in Bayrishzell, southern Bavaria, until his death in 1971. Here he earned his money by painting landscapes. Shortly prior to his death he joined the OTO.

Although the book is concerned primarily with Grau's role as an artist and film-maker, his occult work will also be highlighted.

The author will hold a lecture on Grau on 20 August in Bayrishzell (see below), which I plan to attend.

Once the book has been released I'll post any info I believe to be of interest

Markus

Source (in German): http://www.belleville-verlag.de/scripts/buch.php?ID=52 4"> http://www.belleville-verlag.de/scripts/buch.php?ID=524
Flyer for up-coming lecture: http://www.stefan-strauss.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54&Itemid=6 1"> http://www.stefan-strauss.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54&Itemid=61


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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29/06/2011 7:38 pm  

Markus: many thanks. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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William Thirteen
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29/06/2011 10:07 pm  

Markus,

many thanks for this information. I am very excited about this book and am also hoping to attend the lecture. As I mentioned elsewhere here, some time ago I attempted to locate the one time site of the Prana Film offices here in Berlin, but was disappointed to find the building had been "removed" by Allied bombing (or Russian artillery).


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Markus
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11/07/2011 11:38 pm  

Lashtal has kindly posted my translation of Grau's "Liber I". Cf. http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/module-subjects-viewpage-pageid-154.phtm l"> http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/module-subjects-viewpage-pageid-154.phtml
As I am not a computer whizzkid most of the formating was lost, which, when combined with Grau's idiosyncratic grammar, makes for odd reading here and there. Also, I lost the footnotes. So, I am prepared to send the original Word document to anybody who desires it (please pm me and give me an email address).

One aspect of the text ought to be explained: the often recurring "M......" means Malkuth!

The next project will be the translation of AC's horoscope as done by Gregorius, which I will make available to anybody who's interested.

Markus


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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12/07/2011 12:08 am  

Very interesting! Thanks Markus!


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Frater_HPK
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stanforda
(@stanforda)
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12/07/2011 3:10 am  

I posted this article a few weeks ago on the other thread.
It's very interesting.


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AdoniaZanoni
(@adoniazanoni)
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12/07/2011 9:04 am  
"Markus" wrote:
Lashtal has kindly posted my translation of Grau's "Liber I". Cf. http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/module-subjects-viewpage-pageid-154.phtm l"> http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/module-subjects-viewpage-pageid-154.phtml
As I am not a computer whizzkid most of the formating was lost, which, when combined with Grau's idiosyncratic grammar, makes for odd reading here and there. Also, I lost the footnotes. So, I am prepared to send the original Word document to anybody who desires it (please pm me and give me an email address).

One aspect of the text ought to be explained: the often recurring "M......" means Malkuth!

The next project will be the translation of AC's horoscope as done by Gregorius, which I will make available to anybody who's interested.

Markus

Marcus,

Thank you for your efforts of translating Liber I - The Book of the Zero Hour and sharing information about Albin Grau. I find his artwork on the cover genuinely eerie and authentic. I would like to see more of his artwork in this eerie manner.

Still I am confused on his death if he died in a concentration camp in 1942 or died in 1971. I know you stated 1971, but there are other sources that say the opposite. I am surprised he did not go back to the film industry if he did live a full life.

Since we are talking about Nosferatu, there is also the silent classic movie the Golem 1915 movie. It is sad the other two sequels that follow this are lost forever. Even thought this movie does not follow the Golem novel by Gustav Meyrink. There is an interesting link below that describes a biography about him. Also this blog states: “Gustav Meyrink not only was the head of the bohemian branch of the Asiatic Brethren, but also of countless other masonic and esoteric bodies and branches of that time. He knew every renowned person of the occult and theosophic scene of that time, and he also was in mail contact with William Wynn Westcott, from whom he received certain instructions on hermeticism.”

http://goldenedaemmerung.blogspot.com/2011/02/gustav-meyrink-and-occult-tradition-in.html

His contact with Wynn Wescott makes me think of his 1927 novel The Angel of the West Window which is about John Dee. I wonder if Gustav had access to Golden Dawn Enochian magic because of his association with Wescott. It also makes me fantacize about the Goldenen Dämmerung existing during the time of CrowleyMathers, I shared Ellic Howe’s view of doubts of its existence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Angel_of_the_West_Window


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Markus
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21/08/2011 10:36 pm  

A somewhat long post on Grau:

Yesterday Dr. Strauss held his long anticipated lecture on Albin Grau (Master Pacitius) in the small village of Bayrischzell, in the Bavarian Alps, where Grau had spent the last 25 years of his life. About forty people turned up, almost exclusively older ladies, many of whom had known Grau, as well as two outsiders, viz. William Thirteen and myself.

Dr. Strauss has written his dissertation on Grau, and considering that nothing was known about this reclusive artist and occultist, Strauss has amassed a truly phenomenal amount of information on the subject. Showing many pictures of, by and related to Grau, including a set of original paintings, Strauss proceeded to tell the tale of the man's life. The following is from memory and may be faulty in parts:

Grau was born in 1884 in Leipzig. He most likely studied art and/or architecture in Dresden, and possibly spent some time in Paris. During WWI he served at the Eastern Front as a nurse, aiding in amputations. Amputations were typically done in a matter of minutes without the use of anaesthesia. Strauss believes that these harrowing experiences left Grau a psychological wreck, and that he never fully recovered from these horrors, which may be a reason for his esoteric leanings - escape from weltschmerz so to speak.

Following the war Grau initiated the filming of Nosferatu, for which he designed sets and costumes. In his preparations Grau was ridiculously meticulous, his sketches taking camera angles, lighting, etc. into account. Following this success Grau continued in film, but was unsuccessful and his company ended up bankrupt. Other than painting he was also a pioneer in corporate identity and advertising, producing many sketches in this field. During this time he was a member of the Pansophic Lodge of the Light Seeking Brethren in Berlin and quickly worked his way to the top until he was instated as Worshipful Master. His occult life was, throughout his life, led parallel to his professional one.

The Weida Conference took place. Strauss quoted a lengthy letter of Grau's describing the event. Grau was present at most meetings, but some were held behind closed doors. During the conference he also ended up falling out with ... the one and only Karl Germer! Also, Grau was seemingly initially quite enthusiastic about Thelema, but then became reserved about it. However, I did not glean all the details. Following Pansophia, Grau did not join the FS but contributed texts, sketches and meditation pictures to their publication Saturn Gnosis, and kept in touch with his old chums.

Whilst researching a film, set in a mountainous environment, Grau chanced upon Bayrischzell and ended up moving there, which can (sort of) be compared to a Londoner moving to John o'Groats.

The Third Reich came and Grau started designing and producing the manual for the correct assembling of gassifiers onto automobiles for the company Zeuch in Munich, an hour's drive from Bayrischzell. This resulted in him being designated "important to the war effort" giving him the privilege of being able to travel throughout Germany without restriction. He also gave Herr Zeuch astrological advice, using the astrology of Johannes Vehlow (a close friend of Gregorius). During this time his house in Berlin was bombed, but he managed to save his precious books on Wronski. From the viewpoint of material wealth, this was Grau's best period. He built houses in Bayrischzell and Carinthia, and was well-off.

After the war Grau was in the FRG and thus cut off from his siblings in the GDR (Leipzig). He continued to paint and draw, to the greater part commissioned works. When lacking money he'd pay the villagers of Bayrischzell (baker, plumber, etc.) by barter, and many a family still have his pictures hanging in their homes. Occassionaly he'd do the horoscope for a villager, one lady at the lecture relating how Grau predicted her father's death to the day. His wife, with whom he had an adopted, handicapped daughter passed away in the late sixties. Grau then joined the Swiss OTO, taking the name Peregrinus. His personal lamen was a heptagram, bearing an uncanny resemblance to AC's Seal of Babalon, albeit with the substituted inscription Atzilut. Peregrinus spent the remaining two years of his life living in the Abbey of Thelema in Switzerland.

Having passed away in 1971, the OTO swooped down and took possession of his entire moveable assets. As Grau was an extremely fastiduous and meticulous person, he had kept records and copies of everything he ever created. The foundation currently in possession of the archives of the Swiss OTO thus has a huge amount of Grau's works, including an unpublished book on time and space. Dr. Strauss further related that the Swiss are also in possession of a number of letters by AC.

The sheer amount of work that Grau produced is simply staggering. Strauss believes that the man cannot have slept very much, or rather, he was a complete workaholic. And at all times his mundane and his occult life were led in parallel. The villagers of Bayrischzell remember him as an affable, if somewhat odd character and describe him as a grey mouse - eine graue Maus (nomen est omen). As a person he was astonishingly pernickity. He had a deep love for trees and enjoyed hiking in the Bavarian Alps. Creative as he was he lacked the spark of true creativity tending to copy what he saw. According to Strauss he was not so much an artist as an artificer. Grau witnessed four German states and fitted in perfectly with each one, working tirelessly day in day out.

That, in a nutshell, is the life of Albin Grau. The biography on Grau will probably be released on 2nd September and once I have devoured it more will follow.

Markus


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William Thirteen
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22/08/2011 6:22 am  

I think Markus summed it up quite well. Dr. Strauss was a bit surprised by our presence, given that everyone else there (except his ten foot tall lady friend) was from the tiny village. He also referred to Crowley as the "world leader of neo-Satanism" or some such, to which we registered our objections in a personal discussion afterwards. I am sure the two oddballs from out of town convinced him! I also asked him if he had any idea as to how the false information about Grau dying in Buchenwald was produced. He suspected it was a case of mistaken identity as Grau is not an uncommon name. He also mentioned that the necessary funds to film Nosferatu and found his Prana Film company came from a mysterious Baron von Grunau, which he suspects was a Brother of Grau's in the Pansophic Lodge. Unfortunately, no information regarding the membership of this Lodge, other than that already known has come to light. Grau's time with Prana Film (until it was sued into bankruptcy by Bram Stoker's widow) was quite "Crowley-esque", involving lots of fancy cars, wine, women, cigars and the use of company moneys to fund his personal lifestyle. If I recalll anything else I will add it later.

oh yes, after wandering through the local peaks and beautiful forests i can see why Grau chose to spend his latter years there.

do visit if you get the chance - it is just an hours journey outside Munich.


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