The European Priestess of Nazis and Hindu Fascists

By Aslam Abdullah

May/June 2022

Known as Hitler’s priestess, Savitri Devi Mukherji (born Maximiani Julia Portas; Ph.D., philosophy, the University of Lyon) has remained an influential figure among such Hindutva groups as the RSS, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and the Bajrang Dal as well the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh in North America. This is rather surprising, for this non-Indian woman died in 1982 ( Savitri Devi: The mystical fascist being resurrected by the alt-right).

An admirer of Hitler and an ardent proponent of Nazis, Savitri Devi advocated a synthesis of Hinduism and Hitlerism. Born in 1905 in France to English-Greek parents, she became a leading member of the Nazi underground, proclaimed Hitler an avatar of the Hindu deity Vishnu and that Jews were evil. 

After traveling to India, she volunteered at the Hindu Mission in Calcutta for 18 months and embraced Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s (1883-1966) concept of Hindutva. For the rest of her life, she devoted herself to reviving, spreading, and cultivating Hinduism throughout India with the support of Hindu fascists. 

Her booklet “A Warning to the Hindus” (1939) sought to alert Hindus to the threat of Islam and Christianity. Like most Hindu fascists, she believed in the supremacy of the upper castes. She advised those Hindus, whom she considered symbols of Aryan purity and superiority, to be assertive if they wanted to avoid the fate of pagan Greece. 

In the booklet’s concluding chapter, she envisioned an India that would revive Aryan supremacy in the world. She wrote: “And there would be nothing astonishing if such Hindus, enjoying complete independence, become conquerors, and rebuild Greater India. There would be nothing extraordinary even if, through them, one day (through their direct or indirect influence), the dream of the resurrection of Aryan Pagandom in the West also, which now seems impossible, becomes a reality.

“Nobody knows what can happen, what might happen. And all hopes are natural to a young nation if it is secure.” 

She asked Hindus to militarize themselves, ensure that the Muslim population does not grow, and advocated systematic and organized violence to intimidate and make them feel insecure.

She suggested that every Hindu should espouse four cardinal points: work for the creation of a Hindu Rashtra, accept the upper castes as representatives of pure Aryan ancestry and accept their leadership, defend Hindu interests as defined by the upper castes, and that upper-caste domination should facilitate the Aryans’ power in the world. 

The militarization of Hindutva groups in India and abroad is part of this scheme.

Savitri worked tirelessly to bring neo-Nazis and white supremacists closer to Hindu fascist groups such as the RSS and the VHP. Many Hindu fascists have gradually infiltrated academic institutions, financial conglomerates, political parties and business houses through secretive connections in Canada, Europe and the Americas. Trump’s relations with Modi highlighted the close ties between white supremacist neo-Nazi groups and Hindu fascists, as well as their shared roots in white supremacy and neo-Nazism. 

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