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Nostradamus and Hitler: Could a 16th Century Physician See the Future?

Nostradamus and Hitler: Could a 16th Century Physician See the Future?


Michel Nostradamus has been credited with many future prophecies, from the death of King Henry II of France to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. For most of his life he was a credible scientist who studied the plague and the world around him. However, towards the end of his life Nostradamus began to write enigmatic poems, also known as quatrains, that have been interpreted over the years to fit historical events. How accurate was he though? And did he give the world warning that Hitler was to rise and perpetrate crimes like the world had never seen?

The Life of Nostradamus

Michel de Notredame, later Nostradamus, was born in 1503 in Saint-Remy, France, and went on to become one of the most widely read seers of the Renaissance. Beginning his medical practice in Agen in the 1530s, even though he had been expelled from medical school, Nostradamus gained a reputation for innovative medical treatment of the plague. In the 1540s he established and grew his reputation as a doctor. However, by 1555 Nostradamus had also begun making prophecies and had a book published,  Centuries, featuring rhyming poems. He published a second edition in 1558 dedicated to the French King, Henry II.

Nostradamus painted by his son (César de Notre-Dame / Public Domain)

His fame as a seer became so popular that he was invited to the court of Catherine de Medici, Queen consort of Henry II, where he cast horoscopes for her family. One such incident to boost his popularity was his supposed prediction of the death of Henry II. He claimed a young lion would overcome an older one in a field of battle, piercing the eye of the old lion. Henry II would later die in a jousting tournament when a lance split and pierced the king’s visor through the eye.

Nostradamus lived until 1566, where the gout that he had suffered throughout his life finally got the better of him. Though he did have one final prediction to give. He told his secretary on the night before his death that “you will not find me alive at sunrise”. Nostradamus died in the night and was found the next morning.  

His Prophecies: Luck, or Foresight?

Due to the vagueness of the poems or quatrains, many have looked back, perhaps with the benefit of hindsight, and attributed Nostradamus’ writings with accurately predicting the future. As mentioned above, in his lifetime, he predicted the death of both himself and Henry II. However, throughout the years his fame has only grown as more infamous incidents have been claimed to be seen in his writing.

The Great Fire of London destroyed much of the old city (Bunchofgrapes / CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Great Fire of London: “The blood of the just will commit a fault at London, Burnt through the lightning of twenty threes and six….” This prophecy is one of his most famous ones. Twenty threes of the six may indicate to 66 which was the year (1666) of the fire. Many were killed in this incident and the idea of London burning can be seen as evident in the poem. However, the vagueness of the quatrain does allow for other interpretations.

The Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombs: “Within two cities, there will be scourges the like of which has never been seen”. It can be easy to see how you could apply this to the devastating incidents that took place in the Japanese cities at the end of WWII. It later foretells famine and plague which was an after-effect of the bombs through radiation. Is this what Nostradamus foresaw?

The Kennedy Assassination: “From on high, evil will fall on the great man and a dead innocent will be accused of the deed”. There are two parts to this. John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a sniper from a high-rise window whilst the suspected assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald has never been fully believed to be the perpetrator, and was killed before he could stand trial. The mystery surrounding this event has allowed Nostradamus’s prediction to look very true.

These are all vague mentions but can be shaped to fit the historical situation, but how does Hitler fit in?

The Rise of Adolf Hitler 

Adolf Hitler is probably the most infamous leader of a European country in recent history. He was born in 1889 in Austria, fought in World War 1, and became the leader of the Nazi Party in 1920/1. He was the Fuhrer of Germanyfrom 1933 until his death in 1945. Through his time in this role, he expanded Germany across Europe, taking over France and Poland, and committed horrific crimes against people he viewed as undesirable. This created the death camps and concentration camps of the Holocaust.

Adolf Hitler (Recuerdos de Pandora / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Countries around the world rallied together to bring Hitler’s reign of terror to an end and free the millions of people that were being oppressed. It was a rise that people have claimed was unprecedented. Nostradamus may have seen it happen 500 years before.

“From the depths of the West of Europe, A young child will be born of poor people, by his tongue, he will seduce a great troop” 

Many have looked at this prediction with some fear as they can retrospectively apply it to the rise of Hitler. He was known as a charismatic individual which was why he was so popular in Germany. His parents were of a lower economic social background as well, which gives more credence to this theory. A later sentence even talks about an area known as “Hister”. Whilst some have argued that this is a translation error, the Hister is an area of the Danubenear where Adolf Hitler was born. A truly bizarre coincidence, or a mystical prophecy?

Fluke or Fact?

Reading the prophecies and writings of Nostradamus can provide an eerie feeling that all the terrible incidents of the past could have been prevented. However, it is only as we experience these events and then retrospectively apply the writings that the connection can be made. The quatrains of Nostradamus are vague enough that many different readings can be made from them and even those who support the mystical theories struggle to agree on what theory is correct.

Whether Nostradamus recognized this fact at the time, he has made his writings so vague that they can be molded into many shapes to fit the events of the world. If this was intentional, then maybe Nostradamus truly did have a foresight ability.

Top Image: Many believe Nostradamus could see the future. Source: Rainer Fuhrmann / Adobe Stock.

By Kurt Readman


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Nostradamus was essentially an Astrologer, as is my understanding. Do we have a problem using this word? It seems so.



Kurt Readman's picture


Having graduated from University in History and Archaeology my strengths lie in research, writing and presentations. I have been invited to various conferences to present my research and have had success in this. I have also began social media outreach... Read More

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