The Burning Souls Preview
112 pages, 5.5″x8.5″
Audiobook read by Ricky Wagner. Preview below:
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Born to a Belgian family in the year 1906, Léon Joseph Marie Ignace Degrelle rose to prominence as a newspaper editor and head of the militant monarchist, Catholic, and anticommunist Parti Rexiste.
Following the German occupation of Belgium, Degrelle and his party loyalists enlisted in the Wehrmacht-organized Walloon Legion to aid in the liberation of the peoples of the Soviet Republics. He raised approximately 6,000 volunteers over the course of the war, both for the Wehrmacht and, later, for the Waffen-SS. Barely a third of these volunteers would survive. Degrelle and his men were noted for extreme bravery, brutal ferocity in close quarters fighting, and an indomitable spirit of self-sacrifice, with Degrelle himself earning the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.
After the fall of Berlin, Degrelle made a daring escape from the crumbling Third Reich. He managed to reach Spain, where he was safeguarded by Franco’s government. His native Belgium later sentenced him to death in absentia for collaboration with the Germans.
Degrelle expressed no regrets for joining the war on the side of the Axis Powers, defending both his own actions and those of his superiors and comrades. He lived in Spain until his death of natural causes in 1994, and remained active in anticommunist and pan-European causes despite several attempts at his extradition, kidnapping, or assassination.
The Burning Souls is Degrelle’s reflection on his experiences and on the soul – part poetry, part memoir. In it, he traces his journey, from his idyllic childhood to the frozen steppes of Russia, not just as a physical journey but as a great spiritual trial. He instructs us that to give oneself completely, to be willing to weather all hardships in service of a transcendent ideal, is what is required to overcome the spiritual malaise of our day.
The Burning Souls is now being made available for the first time in English by Antelope Hill Publishing.
I could not be more pleased with my order. I just finished the Burning Souls today and I have to say, it is easily the best book I have read all year. It is beautifully written/translated, well formatted, and the book itself is of the highest quality. Antelope Hill has knocked this one out of the ballpark. I am so glad they made this accessible to English speakers, as it is such a beautiful work which combines personal stories with social/political/personal commentary into a perfect combination of prose and poetry.
Degrelle’s words are a spiritual experience, reminding us of our high calling as men who must be led by love and spiritual growth.
His poetic style is similar to Lord Tennyson’s method used in Idylls of the King, in which Tennyson wrote from the unconscious mind. Dickens also used this method to a lesser degree in Tale of Two Cities.
I’ve read it cover-to-cover twice and am presently on my third read.
I ordered this book after listening to a recent podcast (FTN) piece on Degrelle. I expected this book to be a collection of poems interspersed among some anecdotal short stories.
I had to have a book by one of our modern day heroes. We must preserve this history and support publishers like A. Hill. Buy it. This book will be on your bookshelf decades from now…long after your hard drive is in a landfill, and your cloud accounts have been canceled or seized. Kindle huh?
Degrelle was a fierce, battle hardened SS officer from Belgium. After I began reading this book, I was surprised to discover a philosopher warrior that fought for Truth, was artistic and sensitive, a lover of nature, and and all the while being very prescient. He knew the “shot”. His take on modernity and globo-homo was concise and accurate.
He was also a Catholic. His description of modern man’s indifference and lack of awe to Christ crucified affected me in the most profound of emotions I have ever experienced concerning the sins of man and the injury we do to Christ.
This is not to deter our pagan brothers and sisters. In fact it would be the one piece of writing I would choose for them to read about the crucifixion. It is presented in non dogmatic language and conveys the sense of awe we all should have for our gods. A sense of awe that is all but lost in modern Christianity.
I highly recommend this book for your library. Leon Degrelle was one of the last of a dying breed, the Western man yearning and reaching for the infinite. He was uninhibited by the shackles of guilt and shame that have been injected into the veins of present day men and women poisoning and crippling their true power. It is a glimpse into what it really feels like to be a European or European derived man or woman, the fire, the dynamo that drove us to conquer and civilize the world, and would have us on Mars today if it weren’t for the enemies of Truth derailing our spirit and peoples since the tragic setback of the West in 1945.
Get it. Read it. And never let go of your heritage, and how it will be once again when we are free to determine our future in our own homelands.
Zackary Morales –
I will admit that I had a misunderstanding about the content matter of “The Burning Souls”. I opened the book expecting a more non-fiction, auto-biographical account of his life and experience during the war. While he does touch on his experiences, one might not realize the subject he is drawing from without having some prior context of who the man was. Though the book was not a strict historical account, I soon realized the wisdom that Degrelle was trying to leave to history.
Regardless of your feelings and interpretations of WWII, I’d find it hard, if a reader was being open minded, to think of Leon Degrelle as anything less a brave, heroic soldier who strived for a higher ideal of what the purpose of life is. In his words, I felt total belief in his courage, humility, and readiness to face death with dignity. There were times where I would spend minutes rereading certain pages and even sentences and reflecting on their meaning, all from a man with a very unique role and moment in history. It often felt I was reading a piece of writing from a Christian Monk, having to remind myself that this was a memoir and not Psalms.
There were times in this book I would read the hardships and reflections from a virtuous man and felt guilt. Guilt for not embracing my own hardships and discontent to make battle with this rotten, malicious world order. Guilt in comparing my pity to a man like Degrelle, who gave every ounce of his soul, and saw his enemy triumph, yet still clenched his teeth, silenced his heart, and continued to climb.
“In the hour of a world’s bankruptcy, souls are needed which may stand hard and tall as rocky cliffs, beaten in vain by raging waves… So long as there remains a little fire in some corner of the world, all miracles of greatness remain possible.” – Standartenführer Léon Degrelle
Walther von Stolzing –
Degrelle, an idealist (much like one of his contemporaries) whose life was transformed by the brutal conditions and constant death surrounding him and his men in their service on the Eastern Front, imparts his wisdom in adept poetic fashion. Having the unique perspective of having witnessed the aftermath of the war not only in mere material destruction, but in the absolute spiritual and cultural decay of the West in the subsequent decades, Degrelle is able to acutely diagnose much of the source of its malaise. However rather than being didactic, this work is truly inspiring and should be a great encouragement to those who wish to continue the fight for the future of our people amid great difficulty.
The Insurgent Catholic –
Quite earth shattering, in my opinion. Excellent writing and an excellent translation. I’ve reread it three times now and I’m convinced its perhaps the most profound perspective on Catholicism and the faith applied I’ve ever come across. Very edifying. I cant recommend it enough
Captain Hamadura –
Burning Souls by Leon Degrelle is now one of my favorite reads that I am excited to to share with my brothers and my children. The prose translated reminds me of St. Augustine’s Confessions. It is a beautiful, vivid, passionate poetry regarding how to live life on fire and keep the fire burning. Degrelle’s description of the lukewarm souls and those who do not have pride and foundation in life and in their blood and soil strikes me. His precise action to love those souls because they motivate and inspire him to be nothing like them spurs me to the same action. It boils the blood with motivation. His description of fighting temptation in war is a powerful work of art that every man should read. This man was truly a warrior and a warrior poet at that. Antelope Hill has done a great job with the publishing of this book and I am proud to support this courageous publishing company.