THE WAY OF ABSOLUTE DETACHMENT
On the next day, Sunday, the 5th June, I remained in bed.
I was wide-awake — I had hardly slept. And I was not tired. But having nothing to do, nothing to read, I did not feel urged to get up. So there I lay thinking, as always, about my lost manuscript; hoping, for a while that they would not destroy it, and then, refusing to hope; not daring to hope; and dreaming of the days when all these and worse memories of the long persecution would appear to me, and to us all, as a nightmare forever ended.
As every Sunday, in the corridor of the D wing, at the corner of the A wing, the church services were taking place: first the Catholic; then the Evangelical. From my cell, I could hear the other prisoners singing hymns. And again I was shocked, as I always had been from the beginning — I who, consistently, had never attended those services — at the thought of my true comrades of the D wing singing Christian hymns and listening to sermons about the adventures of some Jews two thousand years ago or more, in illustration of so-called virtues, most of which utterly foreign to our ideals. The explanation that H. E. had once given me, namely that the few real National Socialists of the D wing like herself attended the church services out of sheer boredom, did not satisfy me. I could understand how one of us could put up a show in the interest of the cause, but not just out of “boredom.” Or did these women want to give the authorities the impression
that they were ‘reformed’, or at least reformable, so as to he released, if possible, a little sooner? That was perhaps the reason why they went through the church farce with such stupendous regularity. And H. E. had not wished to tell me, lest I might, within my heart, censure such opportunism. Yet, I would have preferred to see a woman like her attend church services for a definite practical reason of that nature, rather than out of boredom . . .
I heard a noise in the keyhole, and turned my head towards the door. To my delight, it was Frau S.
“In bed still, our vanguard fighter?”1 said she, considering me with a kind, although somewhat ironical smile.
I made a move to get up. “No, no; stay in,” insisted Frau S, “I was only teasing you. I know you need rest. I have brought you . . . a cup of real coffee . . .”
I gazed at her intently. I was moved, happy. Tears filled my eyes. “Even if they do send me back to India, as they say, I shall not stay there forever,” said I, “One day, when I come back, when everything is in order, shall meet you again. It will then be sweet to remember the tunes of persecution.” I spoke with enthusiasm, as though I could visualise the staggering future of our dreams through the mist of the depressing present.
“In the meantime, drink your coffee,” said Frau S., “or it will get cold.”
I sat up and sipped the hot, strong, sweet, lovely coffee, while Frau S., after pulling the door behind her, seated herself upon the stool, near my bed.
“What did the Governor tell you, the day before
1 “Unsere Vorkämpferin.”
yesterday?” she asked me, after a silence. “And what did you tell him?”
“He promised me he would not have my manuscript destroyed before seeing me and giving me a chance to defend it,” replied I; “and I begged him to let me keep it merely as a remembrance of my life in jail. I told him that I do not intend ever to publish it . . .”
A mischievous smile brightened Frau S’s stern, energetic face. I looked at her enquiringly. And she answered the question which I had not explicitly put to her, but that she had guessed. “No need to ask me why I am smiling,” said she: “You know it well enough.”
“I don’t; I really don’t,” replied I. I loved Frau S. But somehow, I was not willing to disclose my secret thoughts, even to her. I was so afraid that the slightest indiscretion of mine would destroy, in the invisible, the effect of my studied lies, that I kept on lying, to her also. I even tried myself to believe what I had told the Governor, knowing that, in the invisible, belief as such has a potency, even if it be the belief in a lie. I wanted Frau S’s belief, — and my own, if that were possible — to strengthen that of the Governor, in some mysterious way, and thus to influence his decision in favour of my book. I was afraid that the truth, once I expressed it, even once I admitted it to myself, would, somehow, in the invisible, destroy that belief. So I added: “I meant it when I told the Governor that I did not wish to publish my book about Germany.”
But Frau S. saw through me. She smiled more mischievously than ever.
“I don’t know whether the Governor will believe you,” said she; “but I certainly don’t. Assuming he gives you back your manuscript you might not publish it at once, for that would be downright impossible. But you will publish
it as soon as you can — as soon as you know it is possible to do so without endangering any of us. I know you will, because I know you.”
“Do you think you know me enough to be able to tell when I lie and when I speak the truth?” asked I.
“I can guess your natural reluctance to lies,” replied Frau S., “But I know, also, that you are a genuine Nazi. That is enough. In the interest of the cause, you are capable of anything. You have proved it, now, once more.”
She had analysed me well. I felt a gush of pride and joy swell my breast. Had I, during the great days, in front of everybody, been given a decoration “für treue Dienst,” I could not have been happier. “Frau S.,” exclaimed I, “you have explicitly conferred unto me the highest title of glory to which a twentieth century Aryan can aspire. May I never cease to deserve it!”
I paused for a minute, to think, to feel all that her words meant to me. “Whether they destroy my writings or not,” reflected I, “may my life remain in true, unrecorded history, the first living tribute of allegiance of the outer Aryan world to the Führer, the Saviour of the Race, and to his predestined Nation! Oh, I am happy! Whether I be remembered or forgotten, I want these words: echte Nationalsozialistin, to remain true of me, forever and ever . . .”
Frau S. smiled at me once more. “I have not paid you a false compliment,” said she. “I simply told you what I know. You might deceive these people. You cannot deceive me.”
“I don’t really want to,” said I, smiling in my turn. And I added, handing back to her the cup that I had just emptied: “I thank you for the coffee. It was lovely!”
“I’ll bring you some more this afternoon.”
“There is one thing I would like you to bring me — if you can,” said I; “that is to say, if they have given it back to you . . .”
“That book, Menschen Schönheit, that you lent me before they searched my cell. I have nothing to do, nothing to read: and I love that book.”
“They have given it back to me,” replied Frau S. “You shall have it.” And in fact, she went and fetched it for me before taking leave of me.
* * *
Thus, after washing and dressing, I once more admired those pictures of German youths and maidens, mothers and children, of the days of pride and prosperity, as perfect as the masterpieces in stone or colour of which, the editor had placed the photographs on the opposite pages. And once more I felt, in contemplating them “That is what I have been longing for, all my life; that, the beauty of the perfect Aryan!”
There was not a word of “politics” in the whole book. There was no need to be. The pictures alone proclaimed, more forcefully than all possible comments, the eternal glory of the National Socialist régime. For what justifies a régime, if not the quality of the human élite of which it forwards the growth and the domination?
I looked at the photograph of a blond adolescent, with regular, thoughtful, manly features, and an athletic body, leaning against a stone parapet. On the same page, was the picture of a young German warrior, taken from a Roman bas relief: the same face as that of the modern Hitler Youth — glaring proof of the sacred continuity
of blood, from the soldiers of Hermann whom the Romans dreaded, to the companions of Horst Wessel. On another page were two beautiful young men of the purest North German type, wielding the bow; opposite, an ancient Greek bowman, exactly like them — glaring proof of the unity of the Aryan race in its original purity. I recalled in my mind a sentence of my lost book — the explanation of my whole admiring attitude to the Hitler régime; the expression of the fact that I found in it the perfect answer to my lifelong quest of all-round beauty in living mankind: “I know nothing, in the modern world, as beautiful as the Nazi youth.” Beautiful, not only physically, but in character, also; the embodiment of those great Aryan virtues which alone can lift the natural élite of men to supermanhood. And for the millionth time, I thought: “Glory to the Man, glory to the régime who out of the enslaved Germany of the early ‘nineteen twenties’, has brought forth that!”
I also thought and that, too, for the millionth time: “For the establishment, the maintenance, the defence of such a régime, anything is permissible, nay, anything; is commendable, contrarily to that which the believers in the ‘equal rights of man’ preach from morning to night in the interest of the human parasites who thrive on the corruption and degeneracy of their betters.” How I had always hated that type of preaching! How I had, from my childhood, always opposed my morality to that of the upholders of I know not what mysterious “dignity of the human person” of which I failed to see any evidence in real life, and which I refused to admit as a dogma
I remembered how, when I was twelve, the teacher in the French school where I used to go had once made me stand for a whole hour in the corner, my face to the
wall, as a punishment for having declared openly that the so-called “ideals” of the French Revolution disgusted me. And how, another time in the same school, I had been punished for sticking out my tongue at the plaster bust of the French Republic that stood in the corridor — the symbol of all I hated, — and how I had cared little for the punishment, so glad I was to feel that I had insulted and defied the detested symbol. And how I reacted to the poems of Victor Hugo, whom I was told I “must” admire, but whose idiotic equalitarian sentimentalism and belief in “progress” through learning alone, merely succeeded in irritating me beyond bearing, and in setting me fanatically, and definitely, against all silly morality centred around “man” as such — that morality which all expected me to accept as a matter of course.
I did not know, then, that this thoroughly Pagan, thoroughly Aryan scale of values which already rendered me so unpopular, would become, in a few years’ time, thanks to the makers of the Nazi régime, the scale of values of a new civilisation. Now, I knew that the new civilisation would impose itself in the long run and that, along with my German comrades and a few other non-German Aryans like myself, I was already a part and parcel of it.
It was, no doubt, in a way, “new,” thought I. But it was also not new. It was, as the Führer had himself said, “in harmony with the original meaning of things,”1 — eternal. It aimed at stemming the physical and moral decay of modern, technically “advanced” humanity by forcing it — by forcing its racial élite, at least — to live in accordance with the ultimate purpose of Nature, which is not to make individuals “happy,” nor even to make,
1 Mein Kampf, II, Chap. II. p. 440.
nations “happy,” but to evolve supermankind — living godhead — out of the existing master races, first of all, out of the pure Aryan. Happiness is a bourgeois conception, definitely. It is not our concern. We want animals to be happy — and inferior men, also, to the extent their happiness does not disturb the New Order. We believe higher mankind has better things to do. The Aryan world, remoulded by us after our final triumph, will no longer think in terms of happiness like the decadent world of today. It will think in terms of duty — like the early Vedic world, the early Christian world, the early Islamic world; like the world at the time of any great new beginning. But it will, in spirit, resemble the early Vedic world far more than either the Christian or the Islamic. For the duty it will live for will not be the duty to love all men as one’s self, nor to consider them all as potential brothers in faith; it will be the duty to love the integral beauty of one’s race above one’s self and above all things, and to contribute to its fullest expression, at any cost, by any means because such is the divine purpose of Nature.
A former S.S. man had once told me: “The first duty of a National Socialist is to be beautiful,” (physically, and on all planes) — words worthy of an ancient Greek; words of an Aryan of all times. And my comrade Herr A. — who without having served in the Waffen S.S. is just as devoted a follower of Adolf Hitler as any of those who have — had once told me: “A National Socialist should have no weaknesses,” — words that I had remembered so many times since my manuscript, into which I had put so much love, had been in danger of being destroyed.
And I reflected that, indeed, unless one had “no weaknesses,” one could not be perfectly beautiful; that
every weakness is a flaw in the steel of one’s character; a tendency to sacrifice beauty to happiness, duty to individual ties, the future to the present, the eternal to the illusory; that it is a definite possibility of decay. Only out of flawless elements can living gods emerge. The man whose life is a thing of integral beauty, the man with no weaknesses, is the man with no ties, who performs duty with ruthless thoroughness and with serenity.
And I asked myself: “Am I really without ties? Am I serene? If I were, I would not worry over the possible destruction of my manuscripts, after having done all I could to save them.
I recalled my visit to Godafoss, in northern Iceland, in June, 1947.
I had been told that, some time after the year 1000, a man named Thorgeir, who was a “godi,” — a priest of the Nordic Gods — in the region of Ljosvatn, in North Iceland, became a Christian. And, that as a spectacular demonstration of his allegiance to the new foreign faith — and perhaps, in his mind, as “an example” — he had taken the images of the old Gods and thrown them publicly into the waterfall of the river Skjalvantaflyot, known ever since as Godafoss: the Waterfall of the Gods.
Deeply moved, I had gone myself to the spot, and stood by the Waterfall and thought of those Gods — Odin, and Thor, and Baldur the Fair and the others, whom my own Viking ancestors once worshipped — lying, for more than nine hundred years at the bottom of the icy waters of the Skjalvantaflyot, waiting for the dawn of the new times, for the great Heathen Renaissance; waiting for us — for me. I had brought with me a paper on which I had copied the words that the French poet Leconte de
Lisle puts in the mouth of a Norse god addressing the meek Child Jesus, come to overthrow his power:
“. . . Thou shalt die in thy turn!
Nine times, I swear it, by the immortal Runes,
Thou shalt die like I, god of the new souls!
For man will survive. Twenty centuries of suffering
Will make his flesh bleed and his tears flow,
Until the day when thy yoke, tolerated two thousand years,
Will weigh heavily upon the necks of rebellious races;
When thy temples, standing in their midst,
Will become an object of mockery to the people;
Then, thy time will be up . . .”1
My right arm outstretched towards the East, I had recited those verses, and then, thrown the paper into the roaring cataract. And then — although I had not yet recovered hope; although disaster had, in my eyes, postponed, perhaps for years and years, the great Heathen renaissance of my dream — I had spoken to the old Gods. “Gods of the North, brothers of the Vedic Gods that India still reveres,” had I said, “Aryan Gods, Gods of
Leconte de Lisle, (Poèmes Barbares, — “Le Runoïa.”)
1 “. . . Tu mourras a ton tour:
J’atteste par neuf fois les Runas immortelles.
Tu mourras comme moi. Dieu des âmes nouvelles,
Car l’homme survivra! Vingt siècles de douleurs
Feront saigner sa chair et missel er ses pleurs,
Jusqu au jour où ton joug, subi deux mille années,
Fatiguera le cou des races mutinées;
Où tes temples, dressés parmi les nations,
Deviendront en risée aux générations;
Et ce sera ton heure . . .”
my race, you know that I have all my life upheld the values that you once embodied in the hearts of your worshippers. Oh, whatever be the destiny to which you call me, you whom my mother’s ancestors invoked in the midst of lightning and thunder, upon the furious waves of the North Sea, help me never to cease fighting for our great ideals; never to cease fighting for the cult of youth, of health, of strength, for the cult of the Sun — for your truth; our truth, — wherever it be in the world, until I die!”
And having said that, I had felt a cold thrill run along my spine, and I had been overwhelmed by a consciousness of infinite solemnity, as though I had just become the instrument of a long-prepared and long-expected rite; as though the Norse Gods, discarded by their priest Thorgeir, had really been waiting for my symbolical gesture. It was 10:30 p.m. but broad daylight, as it is natural in June, at that latitude. And I had suddenly remembered that it was the 9th of June, the seventh anniversary of the day on which, also at 10:30 p.m., a Brahmin, representative of easternmost Aryandom, had held my hand in his over the sacred fire and given me his name and protection. And I had felt that my visit to the Waterfall of the Gods, and my symbolical gesture on such a day had a meaning in the invisible; that there was there more than a mere coincidence.
Now, I remembered that episode, which took, in the light of my history during these two years, a greater symbolical value than ever. “Gods of the North, Gods of the strong,” thought I, “Aryan Gods teach me that detachment without which there is no real strength, no lasting efficiency! Make me a worthy witness of your truth, — of our truth. Rid me of all weaknesses!”
I spent that day and the next, and the rest of the week, meditating upon the way of absolute detachment which is the way of the strong, in the light of the oldest known summary of Aryan philosophy, — the Bhagavad-Gita — and in the light of all I knew of the modern Ideology for the love of which I was in jail. And more I thus meditated, more I marvelled at the accuracy of the statement of that fifteen year-old illiterate Hindu lad who had told me, in glorious ’40: “Memsaheb, I too admire your Führer. He is fighting in order to replace, in the whole West, the Bible by the Bhagavad-Gita.” “Yes,” thought I, “to replace the equalitarian and pacifist philosophy of the Christians by the philosophy of natural hierarchy and the religion of detached violence — the immemorial Aryan wisdom!”
I recalled in my mind verses of the old Sanskrit Scripture — words of Krishna, the God incarnate, to the Aryan warrior Arjuna:
“As the ignorant act from attachment to action, O Son of Bharata, so should the wise act without attachment, desiring only the welfare of the world.”1
“Without attachment, constantly perform thou action which is duty.”2
“Surrendering all actions to Me, with thy thoughts resting on the supreme Self, freed from hope and egoism, cured from excitement, engage in battle.”3
“Whose works are all free from the moulding of desire, whose actions are burnt by the fire of wisdom, him the wise call a Sage.”4
“Hoping for naught, his mind and self controlled,
1 The Bhagavad-Gita, III, verse 25.
2 The Bhagavad-Gita, III, verse 19.
3 The Bhagavad-Gita, III, verse 30.
4 The Bhagavad-Gita, IV, verse 19.
having abandoned all greed performing action by the body alone, he doth not commit sin.”1
“As the burning fire reduces fuel to ashes, O Arjuna, so doth the fire of wisdom reduce all actions to ashes.”2
“He who acteth placing all actions in the eternal, abandoning attachment, is unaffected by sin, as a lotus leaf by the waters.”3
And I thought: “All is permissible to him who acts for the cause of truth in a spirit of perfect detachment — without hope of personal satisfaction, without any desire but that of dutiful service. But the same action becomes censurable when performed for personal ends, or even when the one who performs it mingles some personal passion with his or her zeal for the sacred cause. That is also our spirit.”
I pondered over that one-pointedness, that absolute freedom from petty interests and personal ties that characterises the real National Socialist.
I remembered the story a comrade had once related to me about a man who had had a family of Jews sent to some concentration camp in order to settle himself in their comfortable six-room flat, which he had been coveting for a long time. “He was wrong,” my comrade had stated (and his words rang clearly in my memory); “he was not wrong to report those Jews, of course — that was his duty as a German — but he was wrong to think at all about the flat; wrong to allow the lust of personal gain to urge him in the least to accomplish his duty. He should have had the Yids packed off, by all means but simply because they were Yids, because it was his duty,
1 The Bhagavad-Gita, IV, verse 21.
2 The Bhagavad-Gita, IV, verse 27.
3 The Bhagavad-Gita, V, verse 10.
and without caring which German family — his or someone else’s — occupied the six rooms.”
“He acted as many average human beings would have acted in his place,” had I answered, not exactly to excuse the man, but to say something in his favour, for after all he was one of us.
And I remembered how my comrade had flared up, saying: “That is precisely why I blame him! One has no business to call one’s self a National Socialist if one acts for the self-same motives as ‘average human beings’. One of us should act for the cause alone — in the interest of the whole nation — never for himself.”
“. . . without attachment, desiring only the welfare of the world,” thought I once more, recalling the words of the Bhagavad-Gita in connection with that statement of a man who had never read it, but who lived according to its spirit, like all those who, today, share in earnest the Hitler faith “The interest of the nation, when that nation is the militant vanguard of Aryan humanity and the champion of the eternal Aryan ideals, is the welfare of the world,” And I thought, also: “Violence — not ‘nonviolence’; but violence with detachment; action — not inaction, not flight from responsibility, not escape from life; but action freed from selfishness, from greed, from all personal passions; that rule of conduct laid down for all times by the divine Prince of Warriors, upon the Kurukshetra Field, for the true Aryan warriors of all lands, that is our rule of conduct — our violence; our action. In fact, the true Aryan warrior of today, the perfect Nazi, is a man without passion; a cool-minded, far-sighted, selfless man, as strong as steel as pure (physically and morally) as pure gold; a man who will always put the interest of the Aryan cause — which is the ultimate interest of the world — before everything, even before
his own limitless love of it; a man who would never sacrifice higher expediency to anything, not even to the delight of spectacular revenge.”
I asked myself: “How far have I gone along that path of absolute detachment, which is ours? A German woman who has struggled and suffered for the cause has done me the honour to consider me as ‘a genuine National Socialist’. How far do I deserve that honour in the light of our eternal standards of virtue?”
I closed my eyes, and brought before my mind the nightmare vision of the ruins of Germany; and I tried to imagine the hell that had preceded that desolation of hundreds and hundreds of miles; and the terror of the German people, — of my comrades of my brothers in faith — in the midst of that manmade hell. And I brought before my eyes the Occupation, in and since 1945, in all its horror: the dismantling of the factories, the starvation of the people, the massacre of the holy forests; and the long-drawn systematical attempt at crushing the people’s very soul — at “de-Nazifying” them, through fear and bribery; the monstrous trial of Nuremberg and all the subsequent iniquities and cruelties; the wholesale persecution of National Socialism by gloating Jews and debased Aryans in the service of international Jewry, themselves lower than Jews if that be possible. I thought of all that, and felt in my heart that same devouring thirst for vengeance which had been, from 1945 to 1948, the only feeling for the sake of which I had clung to life. Those appalling ruins were the ruins of our New Order — of the one thing I had lived for. That endless suffering, that unheard-of humiliation, were the suffering and humiliation of people who believed in Hitler — the only people I looked up to; the only people whom I loved, in the modern world. Those men, fluttering
convulsively, each one at the end of a rope, on that dismal morning of the 16th October, 1946, were the martyrs of Nuremberg, to the memory of whom I had dedicated my lost book, the closest collaborators of my Führer. In Europe, in America, people had gloated over them. “Oh, to see them avenged a hundred millionfold!” thought I, once more. “To see whole cities, former strongholds of the anti-Nazi forces, changed into blazing and howling furnaces, and to gloat in my turn! . . .” And, at the thought of this, I smiled.
But I then said to myself: “And what if those who watch and wait for our Day in the full knowledge of factors of which I know nothing; what if those who are preparing in silence the resurrection of National Socialist Germany, consider it expedient for us to ally ourselves, one day, for the time being, with this or that side of the now divided enemy camp? What if I had to renounce revenge, to give up the pleasure of mocking, of insulting, of humiliating at least one fraction of our enemies, in the ultimate interest of the Nazi renaissance?”
I realised that no greater sacrifice could he asked of me. Yet I answered in my heart: “I would! Yes. I would keep quiet, if that were necessary. I would even praise ‘our great allies’ of the East or of the West, publicly if I were ordered to; praise them, while hating them, for the sake of highest expediency. I would — in the interest of Hitler’s people; in the interest of regenerate Aryandom; in the interest of the world ordained anew according to the true natural hierarchy of races and individuals; in the interest of the eternal truth which Adolf Hitler came to proclaim anew in this world.”
I remembered more words of Krishna, the God incarnate, upon the Kurukshetra Field: “Whenever justice is crushed: whenever evil rules supreme, I Myself,
come forth. For the protection of the righteous, for the destruction of the evildoers, for the sake of firmly establishing the reign of truth, I am born from age to age.”1 And I could not help raising my mind to the eternal One, the Sustainer of the universe, by whatever name men might choose to call Him, and thinking: “Thou wert born in our age as Adolf Hitler, the Leader and Saviour of the Aryan race. Glory to Thee, O Lord of all the worlds! And glory to Him!”
A feeling of ecstatic joy lifted me above myself, like in India, nine years before, when I had heard the same fact stated for the first time in public, by one of the Hindus who realised, better than many Europeans, the meaning and magnitude of our Führer’s mission.
Never had I, perhaps, been so vividly aware of the continuity of the Aryan attitude to life from the earliest times to now; of the one more-than-human truth, of the one great ideal of more-than-human beauty, that underlies all expressions of typically Aryan genius, from the warrior-like piety of the Bhagavad-Gita, to the fiery criticisms of misguided pacifism and the crystal-clear exhortations to selfless action in Mein Kampf.
* * *
I recalled the words: “Living in truth,” the motto of King Akhnaton of Egypt — perhaps the greatest known thinker of early Antiquity outside India. And I remembered how, according to most archaeologists, there is “no sense of sin” in the Religion of the Disk as Akhnaton conceived it; that it is “absolutely unmoral.”2
1 The Bhagavad-Gita, IV, verse 7-8.
2 J. D. S. Pendlebury, in Tell-el-Amarna (edit. 1935) p. 156. Also Sir Wallis Budge in Tutankhamon, Amenism, Atenism and Egyptian Monotheism, (edit. 1923), p. 114.
And I thought: “It is to be expected. To ‘live in truth’ is not scrupulously to avoid lies and deceit and all manner of ‘unfair’ dealings, if these be expedient in the service of a higher purpose; it is not to mould one’s conduct upon Moses’ Ten Commandments and the nowadays accepted standards of Christian morality — the only morality that most people, including archaeologists, can think of. It is to live in perfect accordance with one’s place and mission in the scheme of things; in accordance with that which is called, in the Bhagavad-Gita, one’s swadharma, one’s own duty.” And another remark of Professor Pendlebury, came to my memory, namely that this “unmoral” character of King Akhnaton’s solar religion “is enough to disprove any Syrian or Semitic origin of his movement.” Others have seen in the young Pharaoh’s reaction against the death-centred formalism typical of ancient Egypt before him and since, the proof of a definite Aryan influence from the kingdom of Mitanni. No one can yet tell whether such is the case. But undeniably, Akhnaton himself was partly Mitannian, — partly Aryan.
I recalled the reverence in which the ancient Persians, who were Aryans, held the idea of truth for the sake of truth.
And I thought: “There is only one morality in keeping with that cult of truth, which is also the cult of integral beauty; and that is the morality of detached action. The ethics of individual happiness, the ethics of the ‘rights of man’ — of every man — are untrue. They proceed, directly or indirectly, from the ethics of Paul
1 J. D. S. Pendlebury, Tell-el-Amarna, p. 156.
2 In particular Sir Wallis Budge.
of Tarsus who preached that all nations had been created ‘out of one blood’, by some all-too-human heavenly father, lover of all men. They proceed from the Jewish ethics, — that mockery of truth — that put the inferior in the place of the superior and proclaim the Jewish race ‘chosen’ to rule the world, if not materially, at least in spirit. They are a trick of the cunning Jew, with a view to reverse for his own satisfaction, and ultimately for his own selfish ends, the divine order of Nature in which men, as all creatures, are different and unequal; in which nobody’s ‘happiness’ counts, nor even that of the highest men.
“We have come to expose and to abolish those ethics of equality and of individual happiness which are, from time immemorial, the glaring antithesis of the Aryan conception of life.
“It is the superior man’s business to feel happy in the service of the highest purpose of Nature which is the return to original perfection, — to supermanhood. It is the business of every man to be happy to serve that purpose, directly or indirectly, from his natural place, which is the place his race gives him in the scheme of creation. And if he cannot be? Let him not be. Who cares? Time rolls on, just the same, marked by the great Individuals who have understood the true meaning of history, and striven to remould the earth according to the standards of the eternal Order, against the downward rush of decay, result of life in falsehood; — the Men against Time.
“It is a man’s own duty in the general scheme of creation that defines what are his rights. Never are the so-called ‘rights’ of his inferiors to define where lies his duty
1 Acts of the Apostles, Chap. 17, verse 26.
“It is a race’s own duty, its place and purpose in the general scheme of creation, that defines what are its rights. Never are the so-called ‘rights’ of the inferior races to define the duties of the higher ones.
“The duty of the Aryan is to live consciously ‘in truth’, ruling the rest of men, while raising himself, through detached action, to the state of supermanhood. The duty of the inferior races is to stay in their places. That is the only way they can also live ‘in truth’ — indirectly. Aryan wisdom understood that, long ago, and organised India according to the principle of racial hierarchy, taking no account whatsoever of ‘individual happiness’ and of the ‘value of every man as such’.
“Alone in our times, we National Socialists militate in favour of an organisation of the whole world on the basis of those selfsame eternal principles; of that selfsame natural hierarchy. That is why our cause is the cause of truth. That is why we have the duty — and therefore the right — to do anything which is in the interest of our divine cause.”
* * *
In a flash, I remembered my lost manuscript, and I continued thinking: “Yes, I can do anything provided I do it solely for the cause, and with detachment — with serenity. Then — but only then — I am above all laws; or rather, submitted to one law, namely, to the law of obedience: of blind obedience to anyone who has authority over me in the National Socialist organisation in the case I am acting under orders; and in any other case, of absolute obedience to tine commands of higher expediency, to the best of my own understanding of them.
“Presently, if I am absolutely detached, — if I am free from all desire of personal recognition; free from all personal
delight in deceiving our enemies; free from all personal pride, from all sense of personal importance as the author of my book — then, and only then, I have the right, nay, the duty, to lie, to crawl, to make the otherwise most contemptible exhibition of myself, in order to try to save my manuscripts from destruction....
“I must not feel ‘clever’ and be pleased with myself for deceiving the Governor. It is not my cleverness that did it; it is, through my agency, the unfailing, invisible Powers that watch over the interest of the cause of truth. I am, in all that, as it is written in the old Sanskrit Writ, nimitta matra — nothing but an instrument.
“I must, also, not feel sorry to break my word, and to repay the enemy’s leniency with what the Democrats would call ‘cynical ingratitude’. I am a fighter for the Nazi cause, openly at war with these people for the last ten years, and, from the day I was able to think, at war with the values that they stand for. All is fair in war. All is fair in our dealings with that world that we are out to remould or to destroy. There is only one law for us: expediency. And I am right, in the present circumstances, to act accordingly, not for myself, but in the interest of the sacred cause, remembering that I am, an instrument in the service of truth; as it is written in the old Sanskrit Writ, nimitta matra, — nothing but an instrument.
“And if, by some miracle, my book is saved, I must not feel happy in the expectation that one day, in a free Germany, my comrades will read it and think: ‘What a wonderful person Savitri Devi Mukherji is, and how lucky we are to have her on our side!’ No; never; it is I, on the contrary, who am privileged to be on the side of truth. Truth remains, even if people of far greater
talent than I ignore it, deny it, or hate it. It is I who am honoured to be among the élite of my race — not my comrades, to have me among them. Any of them is as good as I, or better.
“As for my book, without the inspiration given the by the invisible Powers, I would never have been able to write it. The divine Powers have worked through me, as through thousands of others, for the ultimate triumph of the Nazi Idea. I have not to boast. I have but to thank the Gods for my privileges, and to adore. As it is written in the old Sanskrit Writ, I am nimitta matra, — nothing but an instrument in the hands of the immortal Gods.”
I also thought: “It is difficult to be absolutely detached. Yet it is the condition without which the right action loses its beauty — and perhaps, sometimes also, a part of its efficiency. It is the condition without which the one who acts remains all-too-human; too human to be a worthy National Socialist.
“It is, however, perhaps, even more difficult for a woman than for a man to remain constantly detached — a serene instrument of duty and nothing else, day after day, all her life.”
From the depth of my heart rose the strongest, the sincerest craving of my whole being; the culminating aspiration of my life: “Oh, may I be that! In the service of Hitler’s divine Idea, may I be that, now, tomorrow, every day of my life; and in every one of my future lives, if I have any!”
I remembered a conversation I had once had with my beloved H. E. about the routine in Auschwitz and in one or two more concentration camps in which she bad been in service. “We had nothing to do with the gassing of the Jews,” had she told me; “that was the
men’s job. And those who did it, like all the men in service in the camps, in fact, were S.S. men.”
I had wondered why, and asked her. “Surely the women cannot have been too squeamish to turn on a tap,” had I said; “I would have done that willingly.”
“It was not the rule,” had simply answered H. E. “I do not know myself ‘why’. But it was not.”
Now, I understood; now, I knew: “why.” Now, I knew that “next time”, also, if we got to power again, it would be just the same, for the spirit of our Ideology would not change; for, only in keeping with the immemorial Aryan ideal of detached action did we, then, and could we, again, take those drastic steps for which the distorted “moral” sense of this decadent world condemns us and carry to its end that which a French official in occupied Germany has called our “appalling logic” (not knowing what a compliment in disguise he was paying us.)
But few are the women of this generation who can raise themselves to that height of detachment, equally opposed to the hypocritical squeamishness of the pacifist and to the impulsive violence of the passionate; few are; even among those who call themselves National Socialists — who wish to be National Socialists — the women who would neither feel sorry for the “poor” Jews, “human beings, after all,” expecting in terror, behind the wall, the gush of deadly gas, nor be personally delighted at the thought of “another two hundred of them less!”, but who, with a serene satisfaction of conscience, neither greater nor lesser than that which they would experience in the accomplishment of any necessary task, pleasant or unpleasant, would rid the Reich of one more batch of parasites, if not of active enemies, and think no more about it.
In the light of our ideal of ruthless service of the
highest truth, rowdy gloating is nearly as bad as squeamishness. Both are signs of weakness. And “a National Socialist should have no weaknesses.” It was thus decided — and no doubt wisely — that those alone who were the least likely to become weak in one way or another in the exercise of certain duties, should be trusted with those duties. Naturally, anybody could turn on a tap. But the idea was to allow to do so those alone who, well-knowing what they were doing, would do it without hesitation or haste, without reluctance or morbid pleasure, without pity or hatred, with serenity, simply because it had to he done. And it would again be the same in the future, until, in a cleansed and regenerate world, the absence of any further opposition to our golden-age philosophy would render all murderous violence unnecessary.
I remembered the arguments of those people who maintain that “for the legitimate progress of science” or for the ultimate purpose of “relieving suffering humanity”, any torture can be inflicted upon the beautiful innocent beasts of creation, in the process of experimentation. I had always known they were wrong. I still knew it. But I now wondered what I would answer, if one of those people told me, using my own words “Why not, if it be done with perfect detachment?” And after a minute’s reflection, I replied in my heart to that question.
“Absolute detachment as regards the action itself is not sufficient,” thought I. “The ‘duty’ in the name of which the action is done must really be duty — not any fanciful ‘obligation’; not the pursuit of any personal or even human goal; it must have nothing to do with the satisfaction or happiness of individuals, no matter how many those individuals be (numbers do not count). It
must be in harmony with the supreme goal of Nature, which is the birth of a godlike humanity. In other words, the only ideal in the service of which the infliction of suffering and death is justified, is the triumph or the defence of the one world-order capable of bringing forth a godlike humanity. That alone can justify any; thing, for that alone is in the words of the Bhagavad-Gita, “the welfare of the world.”
“The élite of the Aryan race can well raise itself to the status of ‘heroes like unto the Gods’ without that accumulation of ‘scientific’ information that the decadent intellectuals of today value so much. To sacrifice a single one of the beautiful creatures of the earth to that is a crime. On the other hand, the ‘heroes like unto the Gods’ will not be the sons of a diseased humanity, patched up at the cost of complicated medical interventions fruit of intensive laboratory research. They will be the sons of generations of healthy men and women. And the answer to disease and physical decay is not increased experimentation upon healthy animals, purposely injected with all sorts of morbid germs, nor larger hospitals, nor new treatments. It is the ruthless elimination of the incurable and the sterilisation of the sickly. To experiment upon a healthy beast with a view to find out the means to prolong the lives of deficient human beings who would be better dead — to ‘save’ men who can in no way contribute to the reign of supermanhood — is a crime against Life. To inflict suffering upon any creature — be it upon the vilest of human beings, and a fortiori an innocent animal — for a reason that is not worth it in the light of Nature’s supreme goal, is a crime. And those people who, reversing the natural scale of values for the sake of silly man-centred sentimentalism, look upon Claude Bernard and Louis Pasteur as ‘great
men’ while considering Julius Streicher as a ‘war criminal’, deserve wholesale destruction.”
I had expressed more or less the same idea in my unpublished book Impeachment of Man, written in 1945–46, — that book of which Frau S. had once told me that “it will be publishable in fifty years’ time, not before.” I felt however that, in spite of my quotation from the Goebbels Diaries on the first page, the manuscript of that book would not alarm the British authorities. It was not obviously political, — not political at all, in fact, although it condemned without ambiguity the man-centred standpoint of our enemies; their whole philosophy of life.
Then again I thought of my other manuscripts; and I tried to maintain, with regard to their fate, that attitude of absolute detachment which is the attitude of the strong. “I have done my best to save them,” reflected I. “I have lied; I have acted, without regretting it or boasting inwardly of my ‘cleverness’. If I remain detached, surrendering ‘the fruits of action’ — the fate of my writings — entirely to the higher invisible Powers, then, and then alone I shall be worthy of the sacred Tradition of Aryandom; worthy of our Ideology, which is inspired by the same spirit. Nay, then and then alone I shall be training myself to act with absolute detachment in the future, whatever I might be called to do for our cause: then and then alone, being selfless, I shall have the right to condone anything, and to do anything.
* * *
On Friday the 10th June I did not seek an interview with the Governor, although I knew he would come to the “Frauen Haus” on his weekly visit. I thought I would refrain from all further intervention in favour of
my manuscripts. But when the Governor actually passed before my open cell in company of Fräulein S., — Frau Oberin’s assistant — and of the unavoidable interpreter, I somewhat could not help expressing the desire to speak to him.
“My time is eleven o’clock,” answered he roughly; “I cannot stop and speak to each prisoner according to her whims.” And he walked past.
But after a few minutes I was called and ushered into the recreation room where the three people I have just mentioned were standing.
“Well, what is it you wish to tell me?” said Colonel Vickers before whom I stood, looking as dejected as I possibly could.
“I only wished to ask you whether, perchance, you can give me any hope concerning the fate of my manuscripts,” said I; “I have already told you that I do not intend to publish them. Yet the anguish at the thought that they might be destroyed allows me no rest, no sleep at night. I have put so much of my heart in these writings that I want to keep them, be they good or bad, as one wants to keep an old picture of one’s self . . .”
Colonel Vickers gave me a keen glance and interrupted me: “You told me all that stuff the other day,” said he. “I know it. And can’t be always busying myself with your case and listening to your pleas. You don’t seem to realise that you are no longer a free woman. You have forfeited your freedom by working to undermine our prestige and our authority in this conquered country, — a very serious offence, I would say a crime, in our eyes. Moreover, you despise us and our justice, in your heart. You had the cheek to tell me, the other day, to my face, that you hold the war criminals to be innocent, after they were duly tried and duly sentenced by British
courts, the fairest in the world. In this prison, in spite of your offence and of the heavy sentence pronounced against you — the heaviest a British judge has given a woman for a political offence of that nature — you were treated leniently. And you have repaid our kindness by writing things against us.
“Do you think I am in a mood to read your damned Nazi propaganda for the sake of telling you how much I dislike it? I have more important things to do. I told you — I gave you my word — that I would call you to my office when I have read it. I shall read it when I please — not when you tell me to. And that might be in three months’ time, or in six; or in a year. You are here for three years. You must not imagine that we are going to release you without first being sure that you can harm us no longer. In the meantime, if you come bothering me again in connection with that manuscript of yours, I shall destroy it straightaway. Why on earth should I be lenient towards you, may I ask you? I have seen two wars, both of them the outcome of that German militarism that you admire so wholeheartedly. Why should I show mercy to you who in your heart despise mercy, and mock humanity? To you, who sneer at the most elementary decent feelings and who have nothing but contempt for our standards of behaviour? To you, the most objectionable type of Nazi whom I have ever met?”
I kept my eyes downcast — not to let Colonel Vickers see them shining with pride. Not a muscle of my face mowed. To the extent that it was possible, I purposely thought of nothing; I tried to occupy my mind with the pattern of the carpet on which I stood, so that my face would remain expressionless at least as long as I was in the Governor’s presence. But within my heart, irresistibly, rose a song of joy.
“You can go,” said Colonel Vickers, addressing me after a second’s pause.
I bowed and left the room.
On the threshold of my cell, unable to contain myself any longer, I turned to the wardress who accompanied me. “You would never guess what a glorious compliment the Governor has just paid me!” exclaimed I. And a bright smile beautified my tired face.
She was astonished that the Governor could pay me any “compliment.” after all that had happened, and especially after the recent search in my cell.
“He told me,” said I, “that I am the most objectionable type of Nazi that he has ever met!” And I added, as she smiled in her turn at the sight of my pride “When I was on remand, Stocks, who used to call me down to his office now and then, for a chat, once confided to me that, in 1945, there were eleven thousand S.S. men imprisoned here in Werl. It is not too bad an achievement, you know, — and especially for a non-German — to be, in the eyes of a British officer, more ‘objectionable’ than eleven thousand S.S. men . . . What do you think?”
“I think you are unbeatable,” replied the wardress, good-humouredly.
In my cell, I pondered over the Governor’s words.
I now had almost the certitude that my manuscripts would be destroyed. Still, for a while, I forgot all about them in the joy and pride that I experienced as I weighed in my mind every sentence Colonel Vickers had addressed me: “You despise us and our Justice, in your heart . . .”; “You sneer at the most elementary decent feelings, and show nothing but contempt for our standards of behaviour . . .” There was at least after the Public Prosecutor
who had spoken at my trial, a man from the enemy’s camp who seemed to understand me better than most people did outside Nazi circles. Far from telling me that I “surely did not mean” the “awful things” I said, — as the hundreds of intellectual imbeciles I met both in the Fast and in the West — this soldier did not even need to hear me say the “awful things” in order to be convinced that I meant them none the less. An intelligent man, he might not have wished to understand that the responsibility for this war rests with England rather than with Germany. But at least, he understood me. He seemed no longer to believe, as he had so naively a week before, that I “cannot but” look upon any human life as more sacred than that of a cat. Perhaps he had read enough of my book to lose his illusions on that point. Or perhaps someone — Miss Taylor, or some other person connected with my trial — had been kind enough to enlighten him. Anyhow, I felt genuinely grateful to him for his accurate estimation of me, for there is nothing I hate as much as being mistaken for a person who does not know what she wants. He understood me. And his words flattered me. His last sentence: “You are the most objectionable type of Nazi that I have ever met,” was, in my eyes, the greatest tribute to my natural National Socialist orthodoxy yet ever paid to me by an enemy of our cause.
It occurred to me that Colonel Vickers had been in Germany since the Capitulation. Someone had told me so. Then, he must have met quite a number of my brothers in faith, even apart from the eleven thousand S.S. men that Mr. Stocks had mentioned. No doubt, he exaggerated a little when he declared me the “most objectionable” type of all. With the exception of my unfortunate collaborator Herr W., who got caught for sticking up my posters in broad daylight, other Nazis are, as a
rule, far more practical, and more subtle — i.e., more intelligent, — than I. In which case they should be more “objectionable” than I, in a Democrat’s eyes.
But, reflected I, most of them are Germans; and many have had the privilege of being brought up in a National Socialist atmosphere. That is somewhat of an excuse in the conception of the Democrats who have such a naive confidence in the power of education. I, a non-German Aryan who never had the benefit of a Nazi training, came to Hitler’s Ideology by myself, of my own free will, knowing, at certain of its fundamental traits, that I would find in it the answer to my strongest and deepest aspirations. And not only did I welcome the leadership of National Socialist Germany in Europe before and during the war, but I came and told the Germans now, after the war, after the Capitulation, after all the efforts of the victorious Allies to inculcate into them the love of parliamentarism, of everlasting peace and of Jewish rule; “Hope and wait! You shall rise and conquer once more. For still you are the worthiest; more than ever the worthiest. And no one will be happier than I to see you at the head of the Western world. Heil Hitler!” In other words, repudiating, defying, reducing to naught my Judeo-Christian democratic education, — feeling and acting as though it had never existed — I identified myself entirely with, those who proclaimed the rights of Aryan blood, myself a living challenge to the defilement of the Aryan through education: a living proof of the invincibility of pure blood.
And in addition to that, I pointed out how our National Socialist wisdom is nothing else but the immemorial Aryan Wisdom of detached violence thus justifying in the light of the highest Tradition, all that we did, ill that we might do in the future.
From the democratic standpoint, perhaps that is, after all, more dangerous and therefore more “objectionable” than the so-called “war crimes” that I had not the opportunity to commit. Perhaps Colonel Vickers had merely made a statement of fact, implicitly recognising the meaning of my attitude, the meaning of my whole life. For which, again, I thanked him within my heart.
* * *
But, as I said, I now felt sure that my precious book, my “best gift to Germany,” would be destroyed.
And although, on the evening of that day, Fräulein S. came to my cell to ask me to sign a paper in connection with my possible release, I soon outlived the joy that the Governor’s words had provoked in me. In fact, my awareness of being so “objectionable” front the enemy’s standpoint, made me deplore all the more the loss of my manuscripts, especially of Gold in the Furnace. I felt more than ever, — or imagined — how much indeed I could, one day, on the eve of Germany’s liberation, contribute to stir up National Socialist enthusiasm, through those pages, written with fervour. And the thought that I would he no longer able to do so distressed me.
But then again I recalled the words of the ever-returning Saviour, in the Bhagavad-Gita: “Seek not the fruits of action . . .” And I concentrated my mind on the teaching of serene service of truth regardless of success or failure; and I beat all my efforts on the renunciation of my book.
“Break that last tie that hinds you to the realm of consequences, and you will be free!” said the clear, serene voice within me, the voice of my better self. “Win that supreme victory over yourself, you who fear nothing and nobody, and you will be invincible; accept that
supreme loss inflicted upon you by the enemies of the Nazi cause, you who have nothing else to lose but your writings, accept it as thousands of your comrades have accepted the loss of all they loved, and you will be worthy of your comrades; worthy of your cause. Remember, you who have come to work for the resurrection of National Socialist Germany, that only through the absolute renunciation of those who serve them to all earthly bondage, can the forces of Life triumph over the forces of death.”
And I recalled in my mind the beautiful myth of the visit of the Goddess Ishtar to the netherworld, as it is reported in the old Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh.
To bring back to life her beloved, the God Tammuz, — the divine Youth Who dies every winter and rises in glory from the dead every spring — Ishtar-Zarpanit, Goddess of love and war, — Goddess of the double forces of creation: fecundity and selection — went down to the netherland, attired in all her jewels. At the first gate, she left her earrings; at the second, she left her armlets, at the third, her bejewelled girdle, at the fourth, her necklaces, and so forth, until she reached the seventh and last gate. She left there her last and most precious jewel, and entered naked into the Chambers of the dead . . . Then alone could she bring back to life the young God Tammuz — invincible Life — prisoner of the forces of death.
“The price of resurrection is absolute renunciation, sacrifice to the end,” thought I. “Inasmuch as they have retained something of the more ancient wisdom under their Jewish doctrine, even the Christians admit that.”
I felt an icy cold thrill run up my spine and an unsuspected power emerge from me. My mind went back to the unknown man of vision who wrote down the myth of Ishtar, seven thousand years ago, thus helping me to
realise, today, in captivity, that unless I willingly despoiled myself of everything mine, — unless I looked upon nothing as mine — I could not work for our second rising.
I felt that I had come so that, through me, as through every true National Socialist, the eternal Forces of Life might call from the slumber of death the modern Prototype of higher mankind; the perfect godlike Youth, strong, comely, with hair like the Sun and eyes like stars and a body surpassing in beauty the bodies of all the manmade gods. I identified in my heart that creature of glory with the élite of Adolf Hitler’s regenerate people. And I knew that the ever-recurring call to resurrection resounded today, through us, through me, as our battle cry in the modern phase of the perennial struggle “Deutschland erwache!”
And the voice of my better self told me: “Unless you have sincerely, wholeheartedly, unconditionally, put aside your last and most precious treasure, — snapped your last tie with the world of the living — the Prisoner of the forces of death will not come forth at your call. Come; free yourself once and for all of all regret, of all attachment; give up your writings in sacrifice to the divine cause; and be, you too, a force of resurrection!”
Tears rolled down my cheeks.
I pictured within my mind the face of our Führer — stern, profoundly sad, pertaining to the beauty of things eternal — against the background of his martyred country, first in flames and then in ruins; also against the background of those endless frozen white plains where snow covered the slain in battle, while the survivors of the Wehrmacht, of the S.S. regiments, of the Leibstandarte, that élite among the élite, driven further and further east as prisoners of war, went their way to a fate often worse than death. And I burst out sobbing at the memory
of that complete sacrifice of millions, offered as the price of the resurrection of real Germany, — of Aryan man, the godlike youth of the world.
I looked up to the Man who inspired such a sacrifice, after having, himself, sacrificed everything to the same great impersonal purpose; to Him, Who never found the price of resurrection too high. And once more I recognised in Him the Saviour Who comes back, age after age, “to establish on earth the order of truth.”
I gave up all regret of my lost book. “Let them destroy it, if they must,” thought I.
And in an outburst of half-human half-religious love, — exactly as when faced with the threat of disfiguring torture, on the night of my arrest — I uttered in my heart the supreme words: “Nothing is too beautiful, nothing is too precious for Thee my Führer!”
And again, as on that night, I felt happy, and invincible.