Indian Guru of Nazis

Aditya, the ]-[indu $kepti� a018967t at BC.SEFLIN.ORG
Sun Mar 28 02:34:43 UTC 1999

The spy who loved Hitler
Shrabani Basu

She wore thin white cotton saris and lived in a shabby house in Delhi,
surrounded by exotic birds and cats. Could this be the same person who
went by the name of Savitri Devi and called Hitler her idol? And how does
one explain her animal rights activism when she is supposed to have
admired the Nazis who were sentenced during the Nuremberg Trials for the
mass murder of Jews?
A recently released biography, Hitler's Priestess: Savitri Devi, the
Hindu-Aryan Myth and Neo Nazism by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, reveals
the lady adopted India as her home. Till her death in 1982, she used this
base to propagate a Neo-Nazi cult and keep the torch of Nazism burning in
Europe and the USA. She was even hailed as 'Hitler's guru' by neo-Nazi
publishers, Samisdat. In 1982, a tape recording of Savitri Devi's words
from her house in India was released to galvanize the neo-Nazi movement
Europe and the world.
She was born Maximiani Portas, of English and Greek parents in Lyons in
1905. She became a Greek national in 1928 as she took to Hellenism,
disillusioned with Christianity. It was the swastikasigns on the palace of
Athens, built by 19th century German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann,
that stirred Maximiani's first feelings for the Aryan race. She left for
India in 1932 to search for the roots of the Aryan civilization. She
regarded Hinduism as the only living Aryan heritage in the modern world
and was convinced that only Hinduism could take on and oppose the
Judaeo-Christian heritage. Soon, she adopted the name Savitri Devi which
would make her famous in neo-Nazi circles.
India fascinated her -- she noted now even a street-side vendor would
discuss the Mahabharat in the morning. She had great admiration for the
Brahmins, who she saw as a pure race. Her championing of Aryan-Nazi
and Hinduism led to her entering the political scenario in India in
between the wars. By the late 1930s, she was involved with Hindu
nationalist movements like the Hindu Mahasabha and the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh - then growing rapidly to counter Muslim
In early 1937, Savitri Devi met Srimat Swami Satyanand, president of the
Hindu Mission in Calcutta, and offered her service to the mission. She
told Swami Satyanand that India was the only country that honoured Aryan
Gods and could stop the influence of the Jews. Satyanand, clearly
impressed, told her that Hitler, of who Savitri was a devout follower, was
an avatar of Vishnu -- a force that would preserve the cosmic order.
In 1939, she published A Warning to Hindus under the auspices of the
Mission. In the book, she scorned the Congress for its secular policies
and said there was no India but a Hindu one and warned the Hindus not to
let the Muslims overwhelm them.
During the war, the Hindu Mahasabha adopted a strong pro-German
drawing a link between the Aryan cult of Nazism and Hindu nationalism. In
1939 Savitri Devi met a Bengali Brahmin, Asit Krishna Mukherjee, a
publisher with pro-German sympathies, who made a strong impression on
He edited The New Mercury, a Nazi mouthpiece funded by the German
consulate in Calcutta. In 1940 she married Mukherjee in a Hindu ceremony
in Calcutta. The couple started living at 1 Wellesley St.
Both worked clandestinely for the Axis powers in Calcutta and though
Mukherjee's publication was banned during the war, he started publishing
another magazine called The Eastern Economist with Japanese help.
Devi claimed Mukherjee knew Subhas Chandra Bose well and it was
their contacts in the Japanese legation that Bose got in touch with the
Japanese authorities with whom he collaborated between 1943 and 1945.
Savitri Devi and her husband also played a small part in military
espionage activities by entertaining British and American servicemen
stationed in Calcutta and shrewdly gathering information that they let
slip. The Mukherjees passed their information to four Indians who
regularly crossed the Burmese frontier every fortnight to reach Japanese
intelligence officials. The leads apparently resulted in several top
Allied aerodromes in Burma being blown up and some Allied units being
The defeat of Germany in the Second World War came as a shattering
blow to
Savitri Devi who vowed to travel to Europe again and do what she could to
uphold the Nazi morale. In November 1945 she left India to begin her
career as a die-hard neo-Nazi. Savitri Devi travelled to Germany where she
was arrested for distributing pro-Nazi pamphlets.
She had only admiration for the brutal Nazis she met in prison, saying
they were just doing their chosen job. She wrote 'Heil Hitler' on the
prison walls as an act of defiance. She is even supposed to have enjoyed
her term in the women's prison in Westphalia where she was staying with
hardened Nazi criminals -- the very people who took part in the euthanasia
programme and had been wardens of concentration camps.
Savitri did not believe in the Holocaust and felt it was all Allied
propaganda. Concentration camps, she said, were meant for the detention
enemies of Nazism.
After her release she settled in France and then returned to Germany to
make a pilgrimage of sites associated with Hitler. At each place she met
old Nazi sympathizers and they all gave the Nazi salute together. She
travelled extensively in France, Sweden and Germany, making contacts
everywhere. Her travels reconfirmed her belief that Hitler was the Western
incarnation of Lord Ram and Krishna and had come to save the world.
Gradually, Savitri Devi became active among neo-Nazis, meeting the
neo-Nazi Oswald Moseley and other European fascists. She also joined
forces with the British fascist party, the National Socialists. She began
to write theories denying the Holocaust and was patronized by Ernst
Zundel, the German revisionist publisher.
In 1958, Savitri published her famous book dedicated to Aryan supremacy,
The Lightning and The Sun. In 1960, she was travelling in Spain and
and working actively in the neo-Nazi International called World Union of
National Socialists.
In 1971, she returned to India and was staying in the guest rooms of the
Hindu Mahasabha office in Delhi. It is here that she completed her
autobiography which has her final statement on Aryan racist religion. In
1977, after her husband's death, Savitri Devi continued to correspond with
neo-Nazis in Europe and America. She died in 1982 in London, during a
brief stopover before going on a lecture tour to some seven or eight
cities in the USA. She was 77 years old.
Her ashes were taken to the US where they were placed in the Nazi hall of
honour at Arlington. A picture of Savitri Devi was draped with a funeral
sash said to have belonged to Adolf Hitler. It was the end of a life
dedicated to the further and, perhaps, also of the belief that Hitler was
an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who had come to deliver the world.
Kind courtesy: Sunday magazine and Rediff

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