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A Woman Against Time.
September 10, 2006 8:04 PM   Subscribe

Savitri Devi Mukherji. Born Maximiani Portas in 1905, this French woman of Greek and English extraction would, in pilgrimages to Palestine and India, experience a series of strange awakenings - that she was a National Socialist, that she was a Hindu, that the two were entwined in the struggle against the Judeo-Christian order, and that Hitler was the living incarnation of Kalki the Destroyer, the final avatar of Vishnu. Known to many as "Hitler's guru," she stood at the forefronts of Hindu nationalism, Nazi mysticism, Holocaust denial, animal rights, and the international Neo-Nazi movement. The Lightning And The Sun, her most famous work, most directly espouses her philosophy, but perhaps the best place to start would be Long-Whiskers And The Two-Legged Goddess, which is her autobiography as filtered through her many cats. Her nephews were Communists; her own mother was active in the French Resistance; and according to some, the daughter would have shot the mother dead for it. The world is not be a better place for the Savitri Devis of the world, but her presence made this world like none other.
posted by Sticherbeast (22 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
This world is like no other? What is that even supposed to mean?
posted by delmoi at 8:09 PM on September 10, 2006


This world is like no other? What is that even supposed to mean?

It was a poncey way of saying that her life was one long, weird yarn and that people like her make the world an interesting place.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:12 PM on September 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


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.

WTF?
posted by dash_slot- at 8:13 PM on September 10, 2006


WTF?

Oh, that's nothing. I'm wearing a Hitler sash right now. It keeps me from spilling What Thin crumbs onto my belly as I type. I got it for free on Hitler Sash Day at Red Lobster.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:46 PM on September 10, 2006


Wheat Thins, rather.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:46 PM on September 10, 2006


From Chapter XIV of The Lightning, The Sun and The Hork-Inducing Purple Prose:

Nobody wanted peace more than Adolf Hitler. Nobody needed peace more than he.

The rest of it is even funnier. It helps if you down a couple of beers and start reading it out loud in the voice of a high school freshman who's really into Drama Club and thinks Ayn Rand is Deep.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:56 PM on September 10, 2006 [2 favorites]


Looks like she found a way to be special.
posted by QIbHom at 8:58 PM on September 10, 2006


Heh. I grew up in Arlington. It's a very small county. I did not know that we had an American Nazi Party shrine there. Considering the number of immigrants living there, it must be an awful frustrating lifestyle for a neo nazi. Learn something new each day, I guess.

She sounds like a character I would expect to appear in a Terry Pratchet story about neo nazis.
posted by Humanzee at 9:10 PM on September 10, 2006


From the epilogue of her kitty-cat book:

And Heliodora felt even happier and more certain of victory than she would have at the sight of the most gorgeous display of her comrades’ conquering power. “Our definitive defeat would mean the defeat and end of Life itself, here,” thought she, “it is clearly said so in Mein Kampf!1 But even then our struggle carried on by other beings, would continue, wherever Life exists.” And she felt invincible, along with all her persecuted comrades. Once more she had integrated the Hitler faith and the cult of Aryan aristocracy into the worship of the starry Sky, Light and Life eternal.

“Lord who art the Essence of this radiant immensity,” she prayed, “it is Thee, Thee alone that I have always worshipped, be it in the loveliness of dumb creatures, be it in the pride, intelligence and conquering will-power of my Leader and of those who are nearer to him than I. For Thou shinest in them; Thou art they. Guide me wherever I am to go, Everlasting One! And help me to contribute to bind our glorious faith ever more with love and protection of all beautiful, innocent life.” And she repeated in German, to the milliards of Suns in space and to the great Soul of them all the sacred invocation of the European Aryans of old to our Sun: “Heil Dir, Lichtvater allwaltende!”
posted by jason's_planet at 9:11 PM on September 10, 2006


From the epilogue of her kitty-cat book:

Just wait until you see the bits about, say, vivisection:

Vivisection had been abolished in the Third Reich, admitted the author of that article, but . . . “only to be replaced by experimentation upon human beings,” namely, upon anti-Nazis — especially Jews, but sometimes also particularly pro-Jewish people of other stocks — “taken among the inmates of the concentration camps.” Heliodora, who had always looked upon experimentation upon unconcerned beasts — neither “for” nor “against” any cause — as the vilest of all crimes, and wanted dangerous human beings to be used in their stead, if such research work had to be done, simply thought: “I wish this is true, and not just a propaganda tale! If it is true, it is perhaps the best thing the grand Third Reich has done under the inspiration of its god-like Leader — all praise to him!” And she again stroked the mother-cat and kitten, now both asleep in her lap. A light purr answered her touch, and a faint ripple ran along the two soft, furry bodies. Heliodora, whom the newspaper article she had just read had deeply impressed, and who was gifted with a vivid power of imagination, thought of experiments performed upon such lovely creatures as those lying in her lap or around her. And she shuddered.

Kittens and Hitler, folks.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:23 PM on September 10, 2006


Kittens and Hitler, folks.

She wasn't just any dipshit cat lady.

She was an Aryan dipshit cat lady.
posted by jason's_planet at 9:36 PM on September 10, 2006


Interesting and well-crafted post Sticherbeast.

that she was a National Socialist, that she was a Hindu, that the two were entwined in the struggle against the Judeo-Christian order

She was probably a Beatles fan too.

This woman was a mass of contradiction. But 1930s were full of contradictions. (The mutual defense pact signed between Germany and Japan was to protect "Western Civilisation" from the onslaught of Bolshevism.) Whilst the National Socialists adopted a (reverse?) image of the Hindu Swastika as their symbol, I don't think they were out to rid the world of Christianity and to promote Hinduism. The Nazis weren't terribly fond of Catholicism, and demonstrably less so of Judaism, but surely the brown-skinned Hindus were as far from the Aryan ideal as anything.
posted by three blind mice at 9:37 PM on September 10, 2006


It may be worth noting that the rather epic [and apocalyptic] Current 93 song, "Hitler as Kalki (SDM)," whose lyrics comprised the "Hitler" link, was dedicated to the songwriter's father, who fought against the Nazis during WWII. Current 93 is, if anything, a Gnostic/mystic group; they're not neo-Nazi.

[But damn. Reading some of the stuff in the links - particularly the cat-book - makes me realize that Savitri Devi Mukherji was even more deranged than I'd thought.]
posted by ubersturm at 9:45 PM on September 10, 2006


people like her make the world an interesting place

"Interesting" is not exactly the word I would use. "Horrible" seems a better fit.
posted by moonbiter at 10:08 PM on September 10, 2006


Great post. Now I understand a little more about some of the goofy stuff musicians like Boyd Rice and Current 93 are on about.
posted by Falconetti at 10:51 PM on September 10, 2006


Some of these things would be more surprising to me had I not participated in a conversation with the editor of a conservative student newspaper while in college (several years ago).

The editor-in-question insisted that stray cats were one of the biggest tragedies in the U.S. but the entire homeless population should be rounded up and killed. I truly wish I were exaggerating.
posted by JMOZ at 11:04 PM on September 10, 2006


About that shrine ^... an eighteen-foot-long swastika flag. He placed the flag on the wall of his home and made an altar with Adolf Hitler's photo in the center lighted with three candles in front. According to his autobiography, Rockwell claimed to have had a religious experience and swore allegiance to his leader, saluting him "Heil Hitler!"
posted by hortense at 11:23 PM on September 10, 2006


but surely the brown-skinned Hindus were as far from the Aryan ideal as anything.
posted by three blind mice at 9:37 PM PST on September 10


While Hindus range across the country, the majority of the southerners are of dravidian heritage, the 'dark skinned' ones, while the north is mostly descended from Aryan stock that swept down from the Steppes.

All of the above links are controversial, but my dad participated in the Genographic project and his DNA is directly linked to 'Eurasian Adam' [haplogroup K - M9]
posted by infini at 1:25 AM on September 11, 2006


"Kalki the Destroyer" - damn, I missed that card. What's its special attack?
posted by anser at 3:20 AM on September 11, 2006


the north is mostly descended from Aryan stock that swept down from the Steppes.

I think you're missing the point. Whatever their putative "descent," they are brown-skinned and thus "far from the Aryan ideal." To a racist, even the lightest-skinned Northern Indian would be considered one of the lower races. I can't even imagine the cognitive dissonance caused by a Nazi coming face to face with what's supposed to be the Aryan ideal: "Aryan... wog... Aryan... wog..." *slaps self, gibbers*

In other news, racists are nuts and tend to write badly. "And Heliodora felt even happier and more certain of victory than she would have at the sight of the most gorgeous display of her comrades’ conquering power..." I can't imagine hacking my way through more than a paragraph of that crap.
posted by languagehat at 5:37 AM on September 11, 2006


You know who else...uh....er...I don’t know where I’m going with this.

Really tho, what sort of cogency do you expect from race supremacists who ally with the Japanese? ‘Nazi mysticism’ is an oxymoron like ‘corporate compassion’. As devoid in real meaning (beyond later attribution) as social design fetishes like julius monkey or some such. Indeed nearly all of the related understanding of mysticism is sophistic fantasy with far more sophistication in the attribution than actually existed.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:49 AM on September 11, 2006


but surely the brown-skinned Hindus were as far from the Aryan ideal as anything.

Actually it's the other way around. Brown skinned Indians were probably much closer to the orgional "Aryans" then white nazis. Aryian means "Iranian"
posted by delmoi at 12:02 PM on September 11, 2006


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