- "They are the Ahnenerbe. The ancestral heritage branch of the SS, dedicated to archaeology surrounding the superiority of the Aryan race and the occult."
- ―Henrik Mellberg[src]
The Ahnenerbe was a branch of the Nazi SS that dealt with Germanic ancestral heritage. Its goal was to research the history of the Aryan race, in an effort to showcase Aryan racial superiority. They also researched artifacts of the occult.
Ahnenerbe and the Tomb of the Gods
In 1936, Friedrich von Hassell of the Ahnenerbe began tracking down the three pieces of the key to the Tomb of the Gods. After possibly obtaining the piece owned by Marwell O'Brien, von Hassell's men tried to get the piece from Henrik Mellberg in New York City. However, Mellberg suspected that they were on his trail after losing touch with O'Brien, and contacted Indiana Jones to assist him, then hid in a secret room in his apartment. The agents captured Jones when he entered the apartment, but during a fight, Jones found Mellberg's secret room, and the two escaped to the roof. In a skyscraper construction lot, though the pursuing agents shot Mellberg, the Ahnenerbe agents were unsuccessful in retrieving his piece -- Mellberg succeeded in passing his piece to Jones, who lost it to a woman in a housekeeping uniform.
Later, von Hassell and his Ahnenerbe agents teamed up with Le Roi, and got aboard Jones' ship to Siberia when in stopped in Japan, after being tipped off by spies in Shanghai. Capturing Alex Beresford-Hope and the last piece of the key, they dumped Jones and Le Roi overboard and continued north. Arriving on the Siberian coast, they set out in dog-pulled sledges toward the mountain holding the tomb. Jones, Le Roi, and Marcus Brody caught up to them, and started a fight on the sleds to rescue Beresford-Hope, in which a few agents were knocked off in the cold. When a lightning strike opened up the ice in front of the parties, all the teams fell in, killing at least one Ahnenerbe man. Capturing Brody, the Ahnenerbe moved onto the Tomb and stood in awe of its scope and alien architecture. Entering the antechamber, several of the men helped guard the prisoners, while three became possessed by the Tomb's voices. After von Hassell killed Beresford-Hope for refusing to open the Tomb's doors, the possessed agents started killing the rest of the party, but were defeated by Jones and Le Roi. Meanwhile, von Hassell opened the Tomb and entered through its giant gates. Jones followed him, defeated von Hassell, and destroyed the tomb with Brody's dynamite. None of the Ahnenerbe men survived the expedition.
Members of the Ahnenerbe
- Heinrich Himmler (Reichsfuhrer-SS)
- Helmut von Mephisto (Obergruppenführer)
- Dr. Friedrich von Hassell
- Several agents sent to Mellberg's apartment
- Several agents accompanying von Hassell to the Tomb of the Gods, including:
Behind the scenes
The Ahnenerbe was established in 1935 and conducted archaeological expeditions around the world, in an effort to support Nazi ideology of Aryan superiority through documenting historical and prehistorical Nordic and Aryan civilization. During World War II, they also conducted medical and anthropological experiments on concentration camp prisoners. After the war, several Ahnenerbe members were put on trial for war crimes related to their medical experiments.