German National Socialism, having originated as a political ideology, very soon degenerated into a kind of religion based on the belief in the natural superiority of the Aryan race over all others. Like any religion, this one took possession of the minds of not only illiterate ordinary people but also educated intellectuals. One of them was Savitri Devi, a well-known writer, and philosopher in her time. She not only preached Nazism, but tried to revive it in a new capacity, combining it with Hinduism, collaborated with German intelligence and the allies of the Third Reich, and after the defeat of Germany left for India, where she wrote dozens of books. Lenta.ru studied the biography of the mother of esoteric Hitlerism and learned why her ideas are still popular with ultra-right politicians around the world. strongly opposes fascism, Nazism, and similar ideologies, and also considers it unacceptable to discriminate against people on any grounds. This text is not propaganda or an excuse for fascism. This is the story of a specific person and an attempt to understand how destructive ideas take possession of the minds of the masses.
In post-war Germany, occupied by the allied forces, every day there were fewer swastikas: the symbol of the brutal regime was thrown from buildings, removed from plates, removed the last flags, changed passports with a sharp-winged Nazi eagle. Because of this, the large gold swastika earrings in the ears of a pretty middle-aged woman, a passenger on a West German train, were especially striking. However, these accessories did not arouse suspicion, since the woman was wearing a sari, traditional Indian clothing, and the swastika was and remains a sacred symbol of Hinduism. However, all doubts about the political views of the strange passenger were dispelled when the neighbors received small gifts from her. In the bag, along with incense and vegetarian sweets, were messages with absolutely clear content.
By the time of her arrest, Savitri Devi, according to her own words, had managed to distribute hundreds of such presents. Like other supporters of Nazism, she spent some time in prison, but then Indian diplomats intervened in the matter: she was the wife of a noble brahmana, a citizen of India, which means she was subject to deportation and returned to Calcutta unharmed.
Songs Of Anxious Youth
The name translated as sun goddess was not always worn by Savitri Devi. She was born in 1905 in France, in the family of an Englishwoman and a Greek, and her name was then Maximiani Julia Portas. According to her own recollections, she adored animals from childhood and rejected the idea of equality. Natural talents allowed her to receive an excellent education: in parallel with winning a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Lyon, she defended her master’s thesis in chemistry.
The exact sciences, however, did not attract her as much as the myths of antiquity and modern wars. Greek roots played a role here: in her youth, Portas visited her father’s homeland immediately after the defeat in the war with the Turks and saw desolation, devastation, and thousands of refugees. The ideas of Greek nationalism captured her: the fact that the Greeks are scattered, and do not live in a single strong state, she regarded as a historical injustice, and she considered the Entente countries to be the culprits of what happened.
This position led Portas to sympathy for other people who found themselves in the position of a loser in the 1920s – the Germans. Germany, bound hand and foot by the Versailles Peace, considered Greece’s sister in misfortune. Unsurprisingly, the young woman developed sympathy for Nazism, which spoke louder than others about the German national revival. She soon agreed with the National Socialists, not only on matters of nationalism. Having visited Palestine during the years of Arab-Jewish clashes, Portas came to an equally uncompromising anti-Semitism, explaining that she also draws grounds for hatred of Jews from the Bible. She, however, also soon rejected Christianity as an “originally Jewish” tradition and was carried away by other, more archaic ideas.
Before the swastika, the ancient symbol of the Sun became associated with total war and genocide, it was a popular and completely neutral element in European decor. It was printed on greeting cards, used in interiors and architectural decorations, and the Russian Tsar Nicholas II even placed it on the hood of his Rolls-Royce.
But Portas was not interested in contemporary swastikas, but primarily in those that archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered during the excavation of the mythical Troy. Their coincidence with traditional symbols that can be seen everywhere in India was striking. This, together with the discovery of the linguistic commonality of European and Indian languages, convinced many intellectuals of that time of the reality of what is now called the Aryan myth. According to him, prosperous Ancient Greece and the Hindustan peninsula were once inhabited by pracivilization, a special race of people who established their dominance over all others. The idea of finding the ancient Aryans fascinated the young woman – and with her, she went to India, then a British colony. The kinship for which she came there was revealed very soon.
It is difficult for a very ancient culture that lost out to younger Western civilizations to find itself again in any other way than by looking in the mirror provided by the West, looking as the West sees it. This is what united Greece and India, She also liked the caste system, in which representatives of different social strata are forbidden to mix, and the customs – the characters of the ancient Indian epics, she considered none other than the prehistoric Aryans, who were still honored by the “non-Aryan” population. Portas immersed herself in studying Hindi and Sanskrit and reading sacred texts – this became her passion for life. She soon converted to Hinduism and took the Indian name Savitri Devi, by which she became known.
Nazi, Spy, And Just Beauty
India turned out to be fertile ground not only for the mystical searches of Devi but also for her political views. Indians of that time were filled with resentment over-dependence on the British crown and revered any powerful enemy of their captors. Therefore, small sanctuaries in honor of Adolf Hitler in those years could often be seen next to the traditional home altars of the Hindus. Increasingly up in arms against the Judeo-Christian culture and imbued with sympathy for the plight of the Indians, Savitri entered the service of the Hindu mission. In lectures for a mass audience, she brought to grateful listeners the political ideas of religious nationalism and the struggle against Christianity and Islam alien to her.
Then she met with the prevailing assumption that the Fuhrer of the Third Reich is nothing more than an avatar (earthly incarnation) of the god Vishnu, who appeared in the mortal world as an ahistorical cleansing force. His influence was to end Kali-yuga, the age of ignorance and immorality. Such a view fit well into the life position of Devi she considered herself first of all an adherent of Hitler, and only then a follower of Hinduism. The dream of my life is to integrate Hitlerism into the ancient Aryan tradition to show that this is in fact the revival of the original movement, not Indian or European, but Indo-European, coming from the days when the Aryans as a single people lived at the North Pole wrote to Devi. In her view, caste society was very similar to ethnic segregation under the Nazi regime.
In the late 1930s, she took root in her new homeland she married a Bengali brahmana named Asit Krishna Mukherjee. It is believed that their marriage was chaste a religious Indian remained celibate and made an offer to a European woman only to give her citizenship and protect her from internment and deportation. She was remembered by her husband’s nephews as a kind aunt Savitri, a person not without quirks: she loved to measure skulls and talk about the atrocities of the Jews. Mukherjee was a prominent Nazi supporter. Even before the outbreak of World War II, the couple began to spy on British forces, transmitting information to the Axis countries through Japanese messengers. Some sources note that the data they obtained contributed to the military defeats of the British, but there is no evidence of this.
It is not entirely clear how Savitri Devi really managed to harm the Anti-Hitler coalition, but her works influenced the mentality of modern Indians. It was when the thinker supported the independence of India that Indian nationalism was formed – a key political trend in India today.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People’s Party) occupies major seats in the country’s parliament and sees Indian history in the same way as Savitri’s entourage in the 1930s. India in this version of history is undoubtedly a Hindu and Indian state, and almost seven centuries of Mohammedan rule over the peninsula are viewed as an occupation by alien forces.
Although the party’s rhetoric is predominantly peaceful, it became famous for its involvement in the destruction in 1992 of the ancient Babri mosque (nationalists remembered that in its place was supposedly the palace of Rama, a character of one of the key Hindu epics) and in a series of clashes with Muslims throughout the country, in which they died several thousand people. It is difficult to say whether things could have gone differently and whether an independent India would have done without the nationalism that flourished during the time of Savitri Devi.
Eternal Kali Yuga
But the Indian respect for Hitler rapidly weakened after the Axis countries lost the war and the whole world learned about the horrors of the Holocaust. The founder of esoteric Hitlerism did not have time to visit Germany during the reign of the Fuhrer, but this did not moderate her love for him. In 1945, at a festival in honor of the goddess Kali, she participated in the ritual along with other women and, putting a ritual mark on her forehead, thought of only one thing: revenge for the martyrs of Nuremberg.
Devi was not at all impressed by the stories of the extermination of the Jewish people she generally had little sympathy for people while being a convinced vegetarian. She believed that there was no excuse for humanity because of its attitude towards animals and all the propaganda of the victorious countries only convinced her of how hypocritical and cowardly Western people with their humane theories look at the world.
A civilization that makes such a stupid hype about war crimes acts of violence against the enemies of someone else’s cause, while allowing the existence of slaughterhouses and vivisection laboratories, circuses, and the fur industry violence against creatures that cannot be for or against someone does not deserve a life. Let it fail she wrote. The world, which Hitler lost, in her opinion, should have collapsed so that the new civilization of superhumans, who love nature and truth, would take over and rule the world. Savitri believed that in the society of the future there would be no place for racial mixing peoples should live in harmony and peace, like flowers in a garden. There are flowerbeds with roses, flowerbeds with carnations and irises, and various other flowers, and none of them interbreeds this view of the ideal of social order could not but please neo-Nazis all over the world.
The case lives on, To the delight of radicals from Britain, the United States, and other countries, Savitri published dozens of books outlining her worldview and traveled the world with pleasure. Her marriage saved her from persecution in Europe, although in the 50s she had to wait a whole year to return to India and sit behind bars along with other supporters of Nazism while the Indian authorities sought her release. In 1962, she represented her native France as a co-founder of the World Union of National Socialists, a not very successful international organization, which later included the Russian National Unity movement.
Despite a large number of devotees, the last decades of Savitri Devi’s life were spent in poverty. She, however, hardly suffered because of this. Returning home to Calcutta, she was in active correspondence (including with theorists who denied the Holocaust), wrote and published with the help of her husband her memoirs, works of art and philosophy, took care of cats, her own and those around her. The neighbors recalled her as a pretty old woman, always dressed in a white sari and gold jewelry, most often earrings with swastikas. She died in 1982 while visiting British friends.
According to rumors, her ashes with all the honors were transported to the city of Arlington in the US state of Virginia and buried next to the remains of the American neo-Nazi leader George Lincoln Rockwell. Her ideas are still popular with American radicals. But today we are no longer talking about racial segregation, but about a new version of what Nazism was for the Germans of the 30s a new religion, the pillar of which is nature. The development of technology, the separation of man from the natural environment, and contempt for the consumer society against the background of the growing demand for nature protection are signs of what is commonly called deep or dark ecology. And these ideas in their radical manifestation are finding more and more supporters. Savitri’s radical and hateful spirit survived in a way. A pessimistic view of the modern era, whether to call it Kali Yuga or not, is attractive today not only for extremists these beliefs are gradually penetrating the moderate and left circles of a new generation concerned with environmental problems.