| A lunatic Chaplin imitator|
and his greatest fans
|First as tragedy|
|Then as farce|
Savitri Devi (Sanskrit for 'Sun-rays Goddess') Mukherji, née Maximiani Portas (1905-1982), was a Greek-French Nazi who kept her allegiance to Neo-Nazism after the fall of the Third Reich. She was an animal rights and vegan activist, a Hindu convert, and a Nazi spy. Being in too deep to reject her Nazi activism after the defeat of Germany in World War II, she became a proponent of esoteric Neo-Nazism, going so far as to propose that Hitler was a god. She was a major forerunner of mystical or occult neo-Nazism of the sorts espoused by Robert Charroux and Miguel Serrano.
Savitri Devi was born in 1905 to a French father of Greek extraction and a British mother. Her earliest political affiliation was with Greek nationalism. She seemed at first to be destined to an academic career, and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Lyon on the philosophy of mathematics. However, she travelled to Greece, where Heinrich Schliemann had discovered swastika motifs in ancient Anatolia. On the strength of these patterns, she concluded that the ancient Greeks were Aryans. In 1928 she renounced her French citizenship; during a pilgrimage to Palestine in the following year, she decided she was a National Socialist.
In 1932, she travelled to India, where she converted to Hinduism, which she believed to be the most authentic surviving form of Aryan Paganism. Using the Vedas' model of Aryan conquest and invasion from the north, she accepted Ariosophical mythology as true, and imagined that the Brahmin caste, as well as nordic Teutons, originated in the lost frozen paradise of Hyperborea. It was at this time that she adopted the alias Savitri Devi. Under that name, she wrote A Warning to the Hindus in 1936, in which she affirmed her support of Hindu nationalism against British colonialism and Christian and Islamic proselytism. In 1940 she married a Bengali Brahmin. The couple sought to ingratiate themselves with Allied military personnel in Calcutta, to pass on any military intelligence they might receive through these contacts to the Japanese.
She had committed too far to Aryanism to change her mind after the fall of the Third Reich. After the war was over, she travelled to Germany on her Indian British passport, where she ultimately was arrested for distributing leaflets urging Germans to hold fast to the Nazi faith during the Allied occupation. She ultimately served eight months in an Allied prison with other Nazi criminals.
In 1958, she published The Lightning and the Sun, which attempted to meld the Hindu idea of cyclical history with National Socialism. In its pages, she announced to the world that Adolf Hitler was an avatar of the deity Vishnu. Hitler's death was a sacrifice for humanity that ultimately would signal the end of the Kali Yuga and bring about a renewal of the Aryan world. To Savitri Devi, Hitler was the forerunner of Kalki, the final avatar of Vishnu, who would appear to purify the world with violence:
“”That last, great individual — an absolutely harmonious blending of the sharpest of all opposites; equally sun and lightning — is the one whom the faithful of all religions and the bearers of practically all cultures await; the one of whom Adolf Hitler (knowingly or unknowingly) said, in 1928: "I am not he; but while nobody comes forward to prepare the way for him, I do so"; the one whom I have called by his Hindu name, Kalki, on account of the cosmic truth that this name evokes.
|—Savitri Devi, The Lightning and the Sun|
In the early 1960s, she lent her support to an earlier incarnation of the British National Party and attended a global conference of neo-Nazis in Gloucestershire. This put her on the map of the neo-Nazi movement outside of India. George Lincoln Rockwell published an abridged version of The Lightning and the Sun in his magazine National Socialist World. She was one of the first Holocaust deniers, and put the notion into Ernst Zündel's ear that the Nazi mass murder of Jews was untrue.
She was a lifelong advocate of animal rights and vegetarianism, a belief that gained further strength from her commitment to Hinduism. In her 1959 book The Impeachment of Man, she was an early adopter of the now familiar vegan argument that equates human eating and use of animals with slavery and war crimes:
“”A 'civilization' that makes such a ridiculous fuss about alleged 'war crimes' — acts of violence against the actual or potential enemies of one's cause — and tolerates slaughterhouses and vivisection laboratories, and circuses and the fur industry (infliction of pain upon creatures that can never be for or against any cause), does not deserve to live. Out with it! Blessed the day it will destroy itself, so that a healthy, hard, frank and brave, nature-loving and truth-loving élite of supermen with a life-centered faith, — a natural human aristocracy, as beautiful, on its own higher level, as the four-legged kings of the jungle — might again rise, and rule upon its ruins, for ever!
|—Savitri Devi, The Impeachment of Man, 1958|
- See the Wikipedia article on Savitri Devi.
- The Savitri Devi Archive
- Savitri Devi, collection of writings by and about her.
- R. G. Fowler: Savitri Devi: The Woman Against Time
- Kerry Bolton: Priestess of Hitlerism: Savitri Devi
- Blake Smith: Writings of French Hindu who worshipped Hitler as an avatar of Vishnu are inspiring the US alt-right. Dec. 17, 2017.
- Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (1998). Hitler's Priestess: Savitri Devi, the Hindu-Aryan Myth, and Neo-Nazism. NY: New York University Press.M
- Shrabani Basu, The spy who loved Hitler, March 1999.
- See John Tyndall
- Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke. Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity, NYU Press, 2003. ISBN 0-8147-3155-4.