Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #172 Fascism and the New Age: The Life and Times of Savitri Devi

Listen: Side 1 | Side 2

One of the tactics of contemporary fascist and Nazi groups is the seduction, infiltration and co-option of groups and philosophies that are not, in and of themselves, fascist. The New Age and Green movements are among the targets of contemporary Nazi infiltration and elements of each have been successfully seduced. A Nazi mystic and ideologue named Savitri Devi (nee Maximiani Portas) is an icon to contemporary Nazi elements and her philosophy overlaps, and has been accepted by, certain elements of both Green and New Age philosophy. This broadcast sets forth both the history and the philosophy of Savitri Devi.

Strongly influenced by Hindu (and specifically Brahmin) culture, Savitri Devi saw the caste system of India and the mythology of the Bhagavad Gita as confirming the Nazi occult philosophy of the so-called “Aryan” origins of the German people. (The program does not detail her actual philosophy which is, past a point, mystical and fundamentally irrationalist in nature. The point of the broadcast is to illustrate the potential appeal of Nazi occultism to New Agers and eco-activists.)

Beginning with analysis of the appeal of Hitler and Nazism for the upper castes of Hindu society, the program underscores the manner in which the Third Reich exploited the anti-colonial sentiment of people in the Third World in an attempt to convert them to the Nazi cause. This anti-colonial sentiment, the racism of the caste system and the Nazis’ use of the swastika (a holy Hindu symbol) led many Hindus to view Hitler as an Avatar (a divine spirit). This Hindu sympathy for Hitler ultimately led to the formation of an Indian Legion that fought alongside the Wehrmacht, as well as the RSS (an Indian fascist organization). (The Indian Legion was the brainchild of a militant Indian nationalist turned Axis spy and fascist named Subhas Chandra Bose, nicknamed “The Duce of Bengal”.

The program highlights the Third Reich’s use of anti-colonial sentiment and anti-Semitism to win Arabs over to the Nazi cause. (It should be noted that Hitler’s racism has engendered contempt on the part of his followers toward both Indians and Arabs, a fact often overlooked by Indian and Arab Nazi apologists, to their own detriment.) Devi’s profound connections to post-war Nazi luminaries Hans Ulrich Rudel and Otto Skorzeny led to her enshrinement as a major philosophical pillar of contemporary Nazism. (Both Rudel and Skorzeny became leaders of what Mr. Emory calls “the Underground Reich”.)

Devi was connected to both American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell and William Pierce, the leader of the National Alliance and author of The Turner Diaries.

Most of the second half of the program consists of analysis of the confluence between Devi’s Nazi occultism and elements of New Age and “Deep Ecology” philosophies. Sharing a misanthropic, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, atavistic, irrationalist orientation that views animals as equal or superior to homo sapiens, Devi’s fascism has led to her acceptance in certain New Age and Green circles. The Rosicrucians, for example, have published one of her titles. (Recorded on 10/3/99.)

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