As World War I left Berlin devastated, a depressed and bewildered citizenry turned to the occult for comfort — private seances and one-on-one psychic readings provided a sense that the tragically dead weren’t completely out of reach, and a much needed escape from reality. In the early 1930s, Erik Jan Hanussen, a famous Jewish-German mind reader, gained eerie and unlikely entree into Hitler’s inner circle. Eager to please the fuhrer, Hanussen transformed his life and changed his occult publication into a Nazi propaganda rag. Ultimately, Hanussen’s psychic knowing wasn’t enough to save his life… Want to learn more? You can hear the rare nonfiction author Arthur Magida, a writer in residence at UB, discuss his book on Hanussen, The Nazi Seance (Pallgrave Macmillan), at the Ivy Friday evening at 7.