While we hear much about the connection between National Socialism and the occult, we rarely hear about the continuing legacy of Nazi occultism and it's spread in our modern world. Truthfully, most people are completely unaware that it even exists anymore, but exist it does. This peculiar brand of occultism is known among Alt.Right adherents as Esoteric Hiterlism. While its roots are certainly found in a fanatical devotion to Adolf Hitler himself, which was a key point of National Socialist socio-spiritual dogma, it branched out beyond fidelity to Hitler as a political leader, expanding to cast him in a divine role, literally considering him an "avatar" (a term borrowed from Hinduism) of the divine. National Socialism, for the staunchest supporter, was not simply a political philosophy. It was a complete worldview that encompassed politics, economics, science, race, ecology, religion, and family, the ultimate goal of which was to establish an Aryan culture. As noted, while many would assume that occult dream died with the destruction of the Third Reich, the truth is that this cult has continued to exist even to this very day. Strangely it gained renewed strength through the efforts of a woman of mixed Greek/European heritage. No other figure of National Socialist history has done more to promote this religion of Hitler than Savitri Devi (1905-1982). She is infamously known as Hitler's Priestess and the Priestess of the Black Sun.1
Savitri wasn't German as one might expect of such an ardent Nazi, but French, and of Greek and English parentage. She had become obsessed with the National Socialist Party in the late 1920's as well as the Indo-European theory of the colonization of India by a superior white race, known as Aryans. She moved to India to immerse herself in the culture, which she saw as the earliest manifestation of Aryan racial culture, and a potential model for the Aryan Golden Age she believed was coming soon. She viewed the most rigid application of the Vedic caste system as being the natural manifestation of Aryan survival and the height of Aryan cultural superiority. She spent the entirety of the reign of the Third Reich and of World War II in India hoping for an Axis victory, after which she and her Brahmin husband (more on him to follow) hoped to assist in the establishment of a racially pure National Socialist subcontinent. During these years she developed her own peculiar religion. In essence the cult she developed is very much akin to Theosophy, being a synthesis of Hinduism, Nordic mythology, and National Socialist racial theory that included the mythological Polar origin of the Aryan race, the Vedic cyclical view of human history, and the centrality of the incarnation of the Hindu god Kalki, of whom she firmly believed Hitler to have been the incarnation. She regarded the Third Reich as “the holy land of the west, the stronghold of regenerate Aryanism.”
Oddly enough, this virulent racist married Dr. Asit Krishna Mukherji, perhaps India's only true National Socialist other than his wife. Mukherji was well versed in National Socialist philosophy and political theory, and from 1935-1937 he published the pro-National Socialist paper “The New Mercury”. Mukherji openly praised the Thule Society and it's influence on National Socialism and may have helped his wife form many of her mystical ideas.
Savitri began writing a book on the Pharaoh Akhenaton during World War II, and even chose the pharaoh as her personal deity to whom she rendered worship. Eventually she developed her own trinitarian divinity which included the Pharaoh, Genghis Khan, and Adolf Hitler.
When the Third Reich collapsed she became a National Socialist apologist throughout Europe. At one point the British occupation forces in Germany arrested her for promoting National Socialism by distributing pro-Nazi leaflets and literature. While in prison for three years she became friends with many Nazis who were unrepentant. After her release from prison she made even more friends from among those committed Nazis hiding in the underground, such as Hans Ulrich Rudel, a much decorated Nazi fighter pilot, and the Nazi commando leader Otto Skorzeny who played a key role in maintaining a global Nazi support network.
She met with many Nazi's fleeing Germany to Spain, Egypt and the Middle East and was a founding member of the World Union of National Socialists in the 1970's. She was embraced by these unrepentant Nazi's because her writings added renewed strength to the National Socialist underground by transforming what many felt was a now dead political philosophy into a spirituality of race, mythology, deep ecology, and deification of Adolf Hitler. For Savitri and other members of this cult Hitler's words in his last will and political testament were prophecy:
“It is necessary that I should die for my people; but my spirit will rise from the grave and the world will know I was right.”
Savitri might have simply faded into the shadows of a terrible neo-Nazi history if not for the work of notorious Holocaust Revisionist Ernst Zundel. In 1982, this notorious Nazi published and promoted Savitri Devi and her books promoting her strange National Socialist metaphysical ideology that encompassed her strange mystical ideas regarding Hitler and Akhenaten, animal rights, and “Green” ideology, vegetarianism, and as noted earlier, Hitler as the avatar Kalki. Kalki is an avatar of Vishnu, who in Hinduism is believed to be the final coming avatar who will destroy confusion and ignorance. Interestingly, Savitri stated that the only problem with this avatar was that he was too compassionate. In other words, in her view Hitler should have been more brutal. Essentially, she built around Hitler a mythological tapestry drawing on a variety of religious symbols that appealed not only to racist groups, but some sections of the New Age Movement, particularly those dedicated to traditional Theosophy. Her ideas actually do much to reveal the very real and deep shared connections between the spiritual background from which National Socialism sprang and the New Age Movement itself.
She viewed humanity in relationship to nature in a very impersonalist and Naturalistic way. Nature in her view is a constant struggle of violence in which humanity had no special rights or exalted place. She stated:
“I worship impersonal nature,which is neither good or bad, and knows neither love nor hatred.”
- The Pilgrimage
- The Pilgrimage
Oddly enough, much like Hitler, she demonstrated a very special love for animals, while exhibiting contempt for “non-Aryan” humanity, the weak, and the handicapped. She shares this in common with Himmler and Alfred Rosenberg as well, both of whom loved animals but viewed segments of human society as “unworthy of human life.” Once the crimes of the Third Reich came to light and the world learned of the Holocaust Savitri had this to say:
“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.”
Such was her cold concern for fellow human beings that animals were considered of more value in her philosophy.
Her book “The Impeachment of Man” (1959) was a manifesto against the Judeo-Christian worldview. In fact, she actively worked as an “anti-missionary” in India. She toured tribal villages and engaged in arranged debates with Christian missionaries and was reportedly very successful in her efforts to keep people from converting to Christianity. This wasn't because she held some deep conviction of the truth of Hinduism, but more a reflection of her hatred for Christianity as a Jewish religion, and really as an act of deception. Commenting on this she said, “From the racist Aryan viewpoint, it was necessary to give the most backward and degenerate aborigines a false Hindu consciousness.” For her, keeping these people Hindu meant that they would eventually be easily assimilated into a National Socialist society as a slave class. A repugnant opinion at best.
She eventually took to traveling across Europe, speaking at gatherings of white supremacists and National Socialists, extolling the virtues of “Aryan purity”, dedication to Hitler as the “man against time” (a phrase denoting his divine authority to defy the ages), and the Nazi mantra of “blood and soil”. Finally in 1982 the priestess of the Black Sun died in the home of a friend preparing for a speaking tour of National Socialist groups in America.
1.It is helpful to understand the concept of the "black sun", since it is central to both National Socialist occult theory and Theosophy, which has influence on the New Age Movement. The term itself comes from the German “Schwarze Sonne”, variably known as the “Sonnenrad” (Sun Wheel). It is an occult symbol connected to 19th century German Neo-Paganism and racial esotericism. It can also be found as a symbol of power in the writings of Theosophist Helena Blavatsky. According to former SS member Wilhelm Landig, the Black Sun symbolizes “a substitute swastika and mystical source of energy capable of regenerating the Aryan race.” This is the very same symbol found in Wewelsburg Castle, the mystical enclave of the SS and home of Heinrich Himmler. This is the symbol of the Cult of the Black Sun.