The SS Paranormal Division (German: SS Paranormal Abteilung) is a SS special division in the latest Wolfenstein games: Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Wolfenstein, and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. It is effectively the fictionalized in-game version of the Ahnenerbe, or ancestral heritage research organization.
It was founded by Heinrich Himmler to among other things research history and discover paranormal powers which could be employed by the Third Reich. Many of its members were also participants in the Thule Society, a group dedicated to proving Aryan superiority and researching ancient Thulian artifacts. One of their most well known missions was to locate the grave of Heinrich I. Another was uncovering the powers of the Black Sun Dimension and the Thule Medallions.
Also, the organisation works closely with Wilhelm Strasse, the leader of the SS Special Projects Division, a brilliant scientist who, while not being a member of SS Paranormal Division, participated, directly or indirectly, in all of its major projects. However, they all end up failure thanks to the American OSA agent B.J. Blazkowicz.
Some of the Division's personnel are not actually members of the Division (or sometimes not even of the SS) but have been seconded to the Division from other parts of the German military or government. The Division has also been known to use mercenaries.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein (2001)
The SS Paranormal Division plays a central role in the events of "Return to Castle Wolfenstein". Operating under the personal direction of Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the Paranormal Division was known only to a select few among the Allies' "Office of Secret Actions". Devoted to researching and developing elements of the paranormal into weapons for Nazi Germany, the Paranormal Division's members were selected for above-average IQs, backgrounds in the occult and/or paranormal, and unquestionable commitment to the Nazi cause.
Not everyone involved in maintaining or defending the Division's projects or facilities was a member of the Paranormal Division itself, or even of the SS: some soldiers actually can be overhead ridiculing the very idea of resurrecting the dead. Those most in the know were the all-female Elite Guard, the Black Guard parachute infantry, and various leaders like SS-Oberfuehrer Helga von Bulow and SS-Oberfuehrer Marianna Blavatsky, the Reich's so-called High Priestess.
SS-Oberfuehrer Helga von Bulow was the subject of an attempted kidnapping by the OSA when she and a team of her Elite Guard moved into Ras El-Hadid in Egypt to retrieve a selected handful of occult tablets. Though several of the Elite Guard were lost in the tombs as the dead arose, Helga escaped with the tablets. Agent One and Agent Blazkowicz stole a Junkers Ju-52 transport aircraft to follow her, but were shot down and captured near Castle Wolfenstein, which was heavily-defended due to its role as a central headquarters for the Paranormal Division and its operations.
Though Agent One died under torture without confessing anything, and Agent Blazkowicz escaped and killed much of the castle's garrison as he once more tried to capture von Bulow, Helga herself proved to be her own undoing. Despite warnings from the scientist Zemph, whom she shot in a mad rush of egomania and ambition, Helga ignored all precautions and abruptly seized the Dagger of Warding, releasing Olaric.
The Paranormal Division's primary purpose was to carry out Operation Resurrection, the long-time dream of Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler and SS-Oberfuehrer Marianna Blavatsky. Though they had both endured years of skepticism and ridicule from their own colleagues- including Special Projects head SS-Oberfuehrer Wilhelm Strasse, who greatly resented giving up his Super Soldiers for Operation Resurrection- the two proceeded relentlessly toward their goal. The Paranormal Division lost an ever-increasing number of irreplacable agents and resources to the interference of Agent Blazkowicz, but still managed to stay a step ahead, resurrecting Heinrich I just before Blazkowicz's arrival. Through sheer courage and fighting prowess, Blazkowicz ended Heinrich's second reign of terror before it could even begin.
It is unknown what became of the Paranormal Division after the deaths of all its top agents and Marianna Blavatsky in particular, but with Heinrich I destroyed and Germany's most skilled occult and paranormal agents dead, the Division was incapable of accomplishing anything of significance, and Himmler himself lamented that Blazkowicz had "ruined everything".
The Old Blood
The SS Paranormal Division is again introduced in the Old Blood. Helga von Schabbs is in charge of the organization (having founded it), and Castle Wolfenstein is her ancestral home, as it had been built by her ancestor Otto I (the son of Heinrich I) (there is no mention of Heinrich Himmler, and he no longer owns the castle, and the castle has changed regions as well). Helga has had dreams as a child about treasure or power hidden under the castle and surrounding towns, ever since she suffered from polio. Growing up she became an archaeologist with an interest in psychic phenomena and the paranormal. Strasse put her in charge of the Paranormal division after he met her in Cairo and she uncovered technology that proved to be useful in his research. Some of her findings included Da'at Yichud technology.
She has traveled around the world, ranging from Egypt to Istanbul; looking for ancient information related to the work of her ancestor Otto I. One of these discoveries the Papers of Constinople, lead her to start digging into the foundatinos of the castle, and under Wulfburg for Otto's secrets.
Helga answers to Wilhelm Strasse, who heads the Special Weapons division, it seems that in 1946, the Paranormal division is a subsidiary of the Special Weapons division (similar to the merged SS Special Weapons and Paranormal Division in Wolfenstein RPG).
In Wolfenstein RPG (see id universe timeline) the SS Paranormal Division appears to be consolidated under the SS Special Weapons and Paranormal Division. The Nazis research for paranormal technology under the city of Paderborn, and attempt to summon the Harbinger of Doom from Hell. They seem to also be researching other demonic creatures to use as weapons against the Allied forces.
- Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler - Founder of the SS Paranormal division. All members report to him, he owned Castle Wolfenstein.
- Oberführer later Oberstgruppenführer Wilhelm Strasse - Apparently both a member of SS Paranormal Division and the SS Special Weapons Division.
- Oberführer Marianna Blavatsky - One of Paranormal Division's leaders. A woman with a great knowledge of occult power. Died and turned into a zombie during the return of Heinrich I in Operation Resurrection.
- Oberstgruppenführer Viktor Zetta - One of the SS Paranormal Division's leaders after the deaths of its major leaders and Operation Resurrection's failure. He leads the research on the Black Sun Dimension. Assassinated in Isenstadt.
- Standartenführer Helga von Bulow - Pupil of Marianna Blavatsky, she created the Elite Guard special unit. Died during the encounter with Olaric.
- Hauptsturmführer Richter - One of the SS Paranormal Division's leaders after the deaths of its major leaders and Operation Resurrection's failure. He is the right hand of Viktor Zetta.
- Oberstgruppenführer Hugo von Shurber - One of the leaders of the organization. Assassinated in Chateau Schutzstaffel.
- General Burkhalter - Important member. Assassinated in Paderborn.
- General Haupman - Important member. Assassinated in Paderborn.
- General von Stauff - Important member. Assassinated in Paderborn.
- Colonel Strache - Important member. Assassinated in Paderborn.
- Major Hochstedder - Important member. Assassinated in Paderborn.
- Professor Zemph - A scientist with vast knowledge on Thulian lore. Killed by Helga von Bulow.
- Obersturmbannführer Helga von Schabbs- A high-ranking SS commander and archaeologist who owns Castle Wolfenstein and spearheads another dig in Wulfburg. Killed by King Otto's Monster.
- Hans Hartmann
- The SS Paranormal Division-like group appears in the Id universe timeline (which includes all of the games including Wolfenstein RPG, Doom RPGs, Doom 1-3, and all of the wolfenstein games up to RTCW, and possibly Wolfenstein (2009)), at the time of the game the SS Special Projects Division, and SS Paranormal division are merged, and entitled SS Special Weapons and Paranormal Division. It is a group of Nazi (called Axis in the game due to censorship) officers and scientists (including Marianna and Dr. Schabbs) who developed Super Soldiers, resurrected the undead and ultimately summoned a demon from Hell, Harbinger.
- The SS Paranormal Division is not brought up in The New Order, but is focused on in The Old Blood. The division was a major focus of both RTCW, and Wolfenstein (2009).
- RTCW Strategy Guide, pg 6
|Organization||101st Airborne Division · United States Army · SS Paranormal Division · SS Special Projects Division · Office of Secret Actions|
|Resistance||BJ Blazkowicz · Annette Krause · Pippa Shepherd · Fergus Reid · Ludwig Kessler · Richard Wesley · Katrin · Markus · Village Drunkard|
|Nazis||Rudi Jäger · Helga Von Schabbs · Emmerich Schreiner ·|
|Other||Otto I · Eadgyth · Konrad · Siegbald Berger|