Hanussen, Erik Jan

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Hanussen, Erik Jan Gender: M
Hermann Steinschneider
born on 2 June 1889 at 04:00 (= 04:00 AM )
Place Wien, Austria, 48n1230, 16e2223
Timezone LMT m16e2223 (is local mean time)
Data source
Accuracy in question
Rodden Rating C
Collector: Taeger
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 11°43' s_mo.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 18°35 Asc.s_gemcol.18.gif 09°05'

Portrait of Erik Jan Hanussen 
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Erik Jan Hanussen
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Austrian Jewish publicist and clairvoyant performer who lied about his origins. Acclaimed in his lifetime as a hypnotist, mentalist, occultist, and astrologer, Hanussen was active in Weimar Republic Germany and also at the beginning of Nazi Germany. He is said to have instructed Adolf Hitler in performance and the achievement of dramatic effect.

Although Hanussen claimed to be a Danish aristocrat, he was in fact a Moravian Jew, born as Hermann Steinschneider. Hanussen's father, Siegfried Steinschneider (1858-1910), was an actor and caretaker of a synagogue who married Antonie Julie Kohn in Vienna, Austria. Hanussen's parents traveled constantly: his father was an actor and his mother, a singer. Roaming through Austria and Italy with low budget troupes, they never made much money but always took baby Hanussen with them.

After World War I, Hanussen performed a mind reading, muscle reading, and hypnosis act at La Scala in Berlin that catapulted him to stardom. At his height, he enjoyed the company of Germany's military and business elite, also becoming close with members of the SA (Sturmabteilung) and lenders to them of large sums of money. It is claimed he was a supporter of the Nazis despite his Jewish ancestry, which was an open secret.

Stories abound of meetings between Hanussen and Hitler, including an encounter shortly before the election of November 1932, during which Hanussen taught Hitler his crowd control techniques of using gestures and dramatic pauses. Hanussen was also quite close to other important Nazi officials, to whom he had often lent money. A psychological profile of Hitler prepared for the Office of Strategic Services in 1943 (OSS, precursor of the CIA) included a reference to Hanussen: "... during the early 1920's Hitler took regular lessons in speaking and in mass psychology from a man named Hamissen who was also a practicing astrologer and fortune-teller. He was an extremely clever individual who taught Hitler a great deal concerning the importance of staging meetings to obtain the greatest dramatic effect."

In 1931 Hanussen purchased a Breslau printing firm and began publishing an occult journal, Hanussen Magazin and Bunte Wochenschau, a popular biweekly Berlin tabloid which included astrological columns. He used the proceeds from his publishing ventures and stage shows to purchase a mansion which became known as "The Palace of the Occult", which he renovated and turned into a luxurious interactive theatre for fortune telling games. Guests would sit around a large circular table and place their palms on glass with symbols lit from beneath; the room lights would be lowered in a séance-like fashion; and various gimmicks would highlight Hanussen's dramatic verbal presentation of prophecies to the guests. He predicted events in the lives of the individuals present, but controversy arose when he predicted the future of Germany. He became successful, was always in demand in various venues, and had a full-time valet.

Predicting the Reichstag fire, a decisive event that allowed recently appointed Chancellor of Germany Adolf Hitler to seize absolute power in 1933, was Hanussen's most famous feat of clairvoyance. It also was possibly a miscalculated use of inside information that led to his death shortly thereafter.

Eric Hanussen was assassinated on 25 March 1933, probably by a group of SA men, and was hastily buried in a field on the outskirts of Berlin, near Stahnsdorf. He was potential competition to Hermann Göring and Joseph Goebbels for the attention of their Führer, which may also have led to his murder. Hanussen's body was discovered over a month later. There are unsubstantiated claims that he may have been involved in the Reichstag fire, hypnotizing and directing Marinus van der Lubbe, the convicted arsonist, to commit the act.

An interesting online biography is found here (when reading it, the small red 'continue marks' at the end of each page should be clicked).

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • role played of/by Fischer, Otto Wilhelm (born 1 April 1915). Notes: O.W.Fischer played Hanussen in 1955 film


Source Notes

Taeger IHL quotes Ebertin, "Pluto-Entsprechungen" with 4:00 am, location Leitmeritz, Bohemia. Taeger mentions also 5:00 from ÖAG (Austrian association) via Waschwill, and other sources with partly different dates. Location Wien and date of birth confirmed by birth records provide by Phil Steinschreiber. These records contain no time of birth.


  • Vocation : Occult Fields : Psychic/ Medium/ Spiritualist