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Borrowed from German Ahnenerbe, from Ahnen, plural of Ahn (forefather), + Erbe (heritage).

Proper noun[edit]


  1. (historical) A Nazi German organization whose goal was to research the anthropological and cultural history of the Aryan race, and later to experiment and launch voyages with the intent of proving that prehistoric and mythological Nordic populations had once ruled the world.
    • 1995, Peter Levenda, Unholy Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement with the Occult, 2002, page 174,
      There is evidence to suggest that the Ahnenerbe itself was formed as a private institution by several friends and admirers of Sven Hedin, including Wolfram Sievers (who would later find justice at the Nuremberg Trials) and Dr. Friedrich Hielscher who, according to the records of the Nuremberg Trial of November 1946, had been responsible for recruiting Sievers into the Ahnenerbe.
    • 1999, Christopher Hutton, Linguistics and the Third Reich: Mother-tongue Fascism, Race and the Science of Language, 2001, page 65,
      Himmler's aspirations to influence in intellectual and cultural matters were realized in the Ahnenerbe (Research and Teaching Foundation, Ancestral Heritage).
    • 2015, Hans Tridle, The Esoteric Codex: Nazism and the Occult[1], page 24:
      When the RuSHA was restructured, the department was dissolved with its responsibilities passing to the Ahnenerbe.