Savitri Devi - Post-war Nazi Activism

Post-war Nazi Activism

After World War II, she travelled to Europe in late 1945 under the name Savitri Devi Mukherji as the wife of an Indian national using a British passport. She stopped briefly in England, then visited her mother in France, and then travelled on to Iceland where she witnessed the eruption of Mount Hekla. She then returned to England, before traveling to Sweden where she met with Sven Hedin.

On June 15, 1948, she took the Nord-Expreß from Denmark to Germany, where she distributed many thousands of copies of handwritten leaflets encouraging the “Men and women of Germany” to “hold fast to our glorious National Socialist faith, and resist!” She recounted her experience in Gold in the Furnace (which has been reedited in honour of her 100th birthday under the title Gold in the Furnace: Experiences in Post-War Germany)

Arrested for posting bills, she was tried in Düsseldorf on April 5, 1949, for the promotion of Nazi ideas on German territory subject to the Allied Control Council, and sentenced to two years imprisonment. She served eight months in Werl prison, where she befriended her fellow Nazi and SS prisoners, (recounted in Defiance), before being released and expelled from Germany. She then went to stay in Lyon, France.

In April 1953, she obtained a Greek passport in her maiden name in order to re-enter Germany, and she began a pilgrimage, as she called it, of Nazi "holy" sites. She flew from Athens to Rome then travelled by rail over the Brenner Pass into "Greater Germany", which she regarded as "the spiritual home of all racially conscious modern Aryans". She travelled to a number of sites significant in the life of Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP (German Nazi Party), as well as German nationalist and heathen monuments, as recounted in her 1958 book Pilgrimage.

Savitri Devi became friends with Hans-Ulrich Rudel, and completed her manuscript of The Lightning and the Sun at his home in March 1956. Through his introductions she was able to meet a number of Nazi émigrés in Spain and the Middle East. In 1957 she stayed with Johannes von Leers in Egypt as she traveled across the Middle East when returning home to New Delhi, including stops in Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran, and Zahedan. In 1961 she stayed with Otto Skorzeny in Madrid.

Savitri Devi took employment teaching in France during the 1960s, spending her summer holidays with friends at Berchtesgaden. In the spring of 1961, while on her Easter holiday in London she learned of the original British National Party. This group emerged after the Second World War when a handful of former members of the British Union of Fascists took on the name. (The original BNP was absorbed quite quickly into the Union Movement - it is not directly connected with the present BNP.) She met with the British National Party president Andrew Fountaine. Beginning a correspondence with Colin Jordan, she became a devoted supporter of the National Socialist Movement.

In August 1962, Savitri Devi attended the international Nazi conference in Gloucestershire and was a founder-signatory of the Cotswold Agreement that established the World Union of National Socialists (WUNS). At this conference she met, and was greatly impressed with George Lincoln Rockwell. When Rockwell became leader of WUNS, he appointed William Luther Pierce editor of its new magazine: National Socialist World (1966–68). Along with articles by Jordan and Rockwell, Pierce devoted nearly eighty pages of the first issue to a condensed edition of The Lightning and the Sun. Because of the enthusiastic response, Pierce included chapters from Gold in the Furnace and Defiance in subsequent issues.

After retiring from teaching in 1970, Savitri Devi spent nine months at the Normandy home of close friend Françoise Dior while working on her memoirs. Concluding that her pension would go much further in India, she flew from Paris to Bombay on 23 June 1971. In August she moved to New Delhi, where she lived alone, with a number of cats and at least one cobra.

Savitri Devi continued correspondence with Nazi enthusiasts in Europe and the Americas, particularly with Colin Jordan, John Tyndall, Matt Koehl, Miguel Serrano and Ernst Zündel. She was the first to claim to Zündel that the Nazi genocide of the Jews was untrue; he proposed a series of taped interviews (conducted in November 1978) and published a new illustrated edition of The Lightning and the Sun in 1979.

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