(1905 - 1982) was one of the staunchest proponents of Nazi
philosophy, both during its heyday
and after its defeat in World War II
. Born Maximiani Portas of mixed Greek
descent, she developed an aversion to the human-centric Judaeo-Christian tradition
early in her life. She viewed the world as a naturalistic pageant
, where humans
were not more important than other animal species. Any imposed order should arise from the natural superiority
of some species
to others. Ironically, she held some human races to be inferior to others, despite the fact that she was a vegetarian and despised cruelty
towards animals. She admired and even worshipped Hitler as the putative tenth avatar
, who had come to restore the natural order in the cosmos
She lamented the eclipse of ancestral Aryan tribes and customs of old in Europe by the Judaeo-Christian tradition and was searching for a society which preserved the order of the ancient world. She eventually found such a society in India, whose caste system represented a social hierarchy that appealed to her sensibilities. She took on the Indian name Savitri Devi in the 30s and was actively involved in activities of Indian socio-political organizations sympathetic to Hitler, such as the Hindu Mahasabha and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
(Aside: It is to be noted that any respect Hitler commanded in India had a lot to do with his defiance of the British, who were the colonial rulers of India at the time. Other reasons for Hitler sympathy in India sprung from the great interest in Indian traditions taken earlier by prominent Germans, such as Max Mueller and from Hitler's dramatic transformation of Germany from a defeated power in World War I to a war machine that stood up to the likes of Britain and France.)
She was eager to return to Europe and experience the thrill of the early victories of the Third Reich. However, her German citizenship in a British colony proved to be a problem in her leaving India for Europe when war broke out. In the hopes that she would secure her journey to Europe by marrying a British subject, she married Asit Chandra Mukerji in Calcutta. Mukerji, a Brahmin from Bengal had Nazi sympathies as well, and had made a deeply positive impression on her when they first met. Due to other war-related developments, it became clear that she would not be able to travel to Europe for the duration of the war. Trying their best to help the war effort against the Allies, the Mukerjis would entertain British officers in their Calcutta home and induce them to leak sensitive pieces of intelligence, which they would then transmit to the Japanese front, not far from Bengal.
After the Axis powers lost the war, Savitri Devi undertook a pilgrimage of Germany undergoing denazification in the late 40s. By vocally expressing Nazi sympathies, she voluntarily landed herself in prison alongside actual Third Reich officials and redeemed herself partially of guilt that she could not stand up and be counted among the Nazis during the war. During her pilgrimage, she also vehemently denied the Holocaust and distributed pamphlets proclaiming the imminent return of the Fuehrer.
She dabbled in the mystical side of Nazi philosophy, linking it, among other things, to the Vedic religion of Ancient India and the solar religion of Ancient Egypt, which was perpetuated by Akhnaton. Other books written by her include The Lightning and the Sun and The Impeachment of Man. She died in relative poverty and obscurity in 1982 at Delhi, India.
Nicholas Goodrick Clarke has written a biography of Savitri Devi, called Hitler's Priestess.