Defiance (chapters 1 - 7)

by

Savitri Devi


Calcutta
1951


Chapter 1
THE EMPTY TRAIN
“I have some papers here, . . . dangerous ones; would you like to see them?” said I to the tall and handsome young German walking by my side along the underground passage that led to the platform from which I was to take my train, in the station of Cologne, the night between the 13th and 14th of February 1949. I had met the man a few hours before, at the “Catholic Mission” of the same station, and we had talked enough for him to become convinced that he could trust me, as I could trust him — to say the least.

He stopped for half a second and looked around to see if anybody was following us, or if any passerby could possibly have overheard my words. But we were the only people in the long, gloomy corridor. The young man turned to me and answered in a low voice: “Yes; give me one.”

I pulled a poster twice folded in four out of my pocket and put it into his hand.

“Don’t stop to read it now,” said I, “but wait till we get into the train, and then go and read it in the toilet, where nobody can come and disturb you. You have heaps of time. See if you think such papers can be useful, and tell me so quite frankly. If you want more, I still have plenty left.”

The young man hid the precious paper in the inner pocket of his coat and continued to walk by my side in silence, helping me to carry the little luggage I had. We reached the platform. The train was there, — practically

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empty, for it was not to start till an hour later, at 1:12, if I remember well. A fierce wind was blowing. And it was bitterly cold.

The young man helped me to lift my suitcase into the railway carriage and then stepped in himself, and went to read the poster in the best hiding place, as I had suggested. The words he read, written in large capital letters below a black swastika that covered about one third of the page, were the following:

GERMAN PEOPLE,
WHAT HAVE THE DEMOCRACIES BROUGHT YOU?
IN WAR TIME, PHOSPHORUS AND FIRE.
AFTER THE WAR, HUNGER, HUMILIATION, OPPRESSION;
THE DISMANTLING OF THE FACTORIES;
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE FORESTS;
AND NOW, — THE RUHR STATUTE!
HOWEVER, “SLAVERY IS TO LAST BUT A SHORT TIME MORE.”
Our Führer is alive
AND WILL SOON COME BACK, WITH POWER UNHEARD OF.
RESIST OUR PERSECUTORS!
HOPE AND WAIT.
HEIL HITLER!
The paper was signed “S.D.” — i.e., with my own initials.

The young German came out of his corner. There was a strange light in his bright grey eyes and a strange assertiveness in his voice. “Give me as many of these posters as you have. I shall stick them up for you!” said he. He was no longer the lonely, hungry, dreary prisoner of war who had just returned home after four long years of all manner of ill-treatment at the hands of Germany’s enemies. He had become once more the soldier of a victorious Germany — of an invincible Germany — and the

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herald of Hitler’s eternal Idea; once more his old self, that nothing could kill.

I admired him, and recalled in my mind the words I had once heard in a village in Saarland, some six months before, from another sincere National Socialist: “We are waiting for the spark.” Could it be that I was something of a spark — a spark of faith and hope — in the midst of the unending gloom of the present day? As that thought entered my consciousness, tears came to my eyes, and a thrill of immense elation ran through my body and seemed to lift me above myself. Through the windows of the train, I could see, in the dim artificial light, the torn outlines of what had once been a wall — ruins, nothing but ruins wherever one sets one’s eyes in unfortunate Germany; the torn and prostrate body of Hitler’s martyred country. But before me, against that background of desolation, stood the young man (he could not have been more than thirty) fifteen times wounded on the battlefield for the cause of the New Order; over three years a prisoner of the French in a slave labour camp in the burning heart of Africa, under the whip of African auxiliaries; hungry; without work; apparently without a future (he had told me of his plight) but now erect and hopeful, once more aware of his invincibility. The German soul gleamed, more alive than ever, in his sparkling eyes — a tangible reality — and addressed me through his voice.

“Who wrote ‘these’”? the young man asked me, referring to my posters.

“I.”

He gazed at me, visibly moved.

“You,” said he; “you, a foreigner!”

“I, an Aryan, and a National Socialist,” I replied. “No Aryan worthy of the name can forget his debt of gratitude to the Führer — the Saviour of the whole race —

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and to Germany who now lies in ruins for having fought for the rights, nay, for the very existence of superior mankind.”

My answer, which bore the accent of sincerity, seemed to please him. But he did not comment upon it. He only asked me a few questions.

“Where did you get ‘these’ printed?” asked he, again speaking of my posters.

“In England.”

“And you brought them over yourself?”

“Yes, myself. Three times I entered Germany with three successive supplies of different leaflets or posters, and seven times I crossed the border between Saarland and the French Zone with a greater or lesser number of them. I was never caught yet. The unseen heavenly Powers take care of me.”

“And how long is it you have been doing this?”

“I began eight months ago. I would have begun as soon as I came from India — three years ago — had I managed then to obtain a permit to cross the frontier under some pretext or another. But I had to wait.”

The young German walked up to me and took me in his arms.

He was much taller than I, and much stronger. I could feel the pressure of his athletic body, and see his bright eyes looking down, straight into mine.

“So it is for him, for our Führer, that you have come from the other end of the world to help us in the midst of our ruins!” said he. There was deep emotion in his voice. He paused for a second, and pursued in a whisper: “Our Führer; out beloved Hitler! You really love him. And you really love us.”

I felt a wave of untold happiness fill my breast. And I flushed crimson.

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“I adore him,” said I, also in a whisper. “And I love all he stands for and all he loves. You, his faithful countrymen, you are the people to the service of whom he dedicated his life; his living Germany, so beautiful, so brave, and so unfortunate.”

The bright grey eyes peered still deeper into me, as though trying to decipher the story of my life. “And you,” the young man asked me at last, “who are you?”

“I have told you: an Aryan from far away.”

Out of doors, the bitter wind continued blowing, and I could see the ruined wall against the dark background of the night. In a flash, I recalled the sight of the whole country; miles and hundreds of miles of crumbling walls; streets in which — like in the Schloss Strasse of Koblenz, which I had just seen — there was not a single house standing. But along those streets, marching in a warrior-like manner, and singing on their way, I pictured to myself the veterans of this lost war and of these following years of persecution, side by side with the youth of resurrected Germany — the Army of the Fourth Reich, one day; out of chaos: order and strength; out of servitude and death, the will to live and to conquer. And I smiled, as a tear rolled down my cheek. I felt inspired, as seldom I have been.

“Do you remember,” said I, “the grand days when you used to parade the streets and sing the song of conquest?

We shall march further on,
If everything falls to pieces;
For Germany is ours today,
Tomorrow, the whole world.”1

1 “Wir werden weiter marschieren,
wenn alles in Scherben fällt;
denn heute gehört uns Deutschland,
and morgen, die ganze Welt.”

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Hundreds of flags bearing the sacred sign of the Swastika hung from the windows, in festive array; thousands of outstretched arms greeted your onward march — the beginning of an endless future in which you believed. Do you remember how strong and how happy you felt then?

Disaster followed, I know, with its trail of untold misery: hunger, destitution, servitude, utter ruin — that horror in the midst of which we stand. And yet, from the depth of my heart I tell you: the song of triumph was not a lie; still the stupendous dream will become true; is already becoming true, in spite of the phosphorus bombs, in spite of four years of unprecedented hardships of persecution, of “de-Nazification.” Nothing can keep it from becoming truer and truer as time goes on, — “for Germany is ours today, and tomorrow, the whole world.”

I paused, and a flash of unearthly exultation brightened my face. I spoke with the compelling assurance of one for whom the bondage of time and space had ceased to exist. “What I think and feel today,” said I, — “I, the insignificant foreign Nazi, — the whole Aryan race will think and feel tomorrow, next year, in a century, never mind when, but surely one day. I am the first fruits of the future love and reverence of millions for our Führer and for his ideals. I am ‘the whole world’, conquered by his spirit, by your spirit; the living sign, sent to you by the unseen Powers, in the hour of martyrdom, to tell you, faithful Germans, that the world is yours because you deserve it.”

The young man gazed at me with great emotion, and pressed me a little tighter in his arms as though I were indeed the reconquered world. I was intensely happy. I knew I was doing no harm. For this man was not Herr G. W. an individual. And I was not Savitri Devi

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Mukherji. There was nothing personal in that spontaneous gesture of his, or in the reverent abandon with which I accepted it and responded to it. This young soldier was, in my eyes, Germany’s youth, fearless in the midst of persecution as well as in battle; one of those “men of gold and steel” whom I had exalted in the book. I was then writing. And to him, I was a foreign Nazi — Germany’s friend — nothing less, nothing more.

He gazed at me for a minute without speaking, as though a friend, in these atrocious days, were something worth looking at.

“I know you mean every word you say,” he whispered at last; “and I thank you: and I shall help you. After all we suffered, it is refreshing to hear you speak. You rouse hope and self-confidence in our hearts. You make us feel what those who fought in the early days of the struggle must have felt after the first war. What is it that gives such force to your words?”

“My love for the Führer. I feel inspired when I speak of him.”

“Our Führer!” repeated the young man, with passionate devotion, echoing my own feelings. “You are right. I’ll help you as much as I can. Give me all the posters you have.”

He loosened his embrace. I took out of my bag a bundle of some four or five hundred posters, concealed in fashion magazines, and gave it to him. He hid it carefully in his clothes. “That is all?” he asked me.

I smiled. “No,” said I; “but leave a few for the rest of Germany; won’t you?”

“You are right,” said he. And he smiled for the first time. He took my hands in his and gazed at me as though he were seeing the last of me. “When and where can I meet you again?” said he. “We must meet again.”

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“I have no permanent address,” I replied. But if you care to leave yours — when you have one — at the “Catholic Mission” of this station, I shall find you. I shall come back here after exactly a week — sometime next Saturday night — and ask your address from that place. In the meantime, be careful, oh, be careful! Don’t commit any blunder that might land us both into trouble. I don’t say ‘don’t betray me’, for I know you will never do that.”

The young German’s frank, earnest eyes looked at me more intently than ever, and his strong hands squeezed mine in a gesture of reasserted comradeship. “Never!” said he. And, lowering his head almost to the level of mine, he whispered: “The mark is there, upon my flesh. It does not come off. You can trust me.”

The mark . . . I understood, — and felt an admiring affection, verging on reverence, grow in me for that new friend. My face beamed.

“So, you were in the S.S.?” said I, in a low voice, in the tone a Roman maiden would have said to a Roman veteran: “So, you were in the Pretorian Guard?”

“I was in command of S.S. men,” answered the young man, with pride, also in a whisper.

I thought of all he had told me of his sufferings at the hands of our foes. And as I looked up to him, I remembered the first line of the song of the S.S. men. “If all become unfaithful, we remain faithful indeed.”1

I heard noise, — a door being opened and shut again — and I startled. But it was not in our carriage. Still, I was aware that the train would not remain empty for long.

“I will soon be going,” said I. “You’d better get

1 “Wenn alle untreu werden, so bleiben wir doch treu, . . .”

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down now, while nobody is watching. I’ll see you next week. But for heaven’s sake, be careful! Auf wiedersehen. Heil Hitler!”

“Heil Hitler!” replied the young man, returning my salute.

He got out of the train and went his way. I watched his tall figure disappear in the bitter cold night.

A few minutes later, the train started. Sitting in a corner of the dark compartment, where more people had now taken place, I too was going my way — going to distribute more tracts, to stick up more posters, in another part of Germany; going to help to keep the Nazi spirit alive among other compatriots of my Führer.

I was cold, but happy — oh, so happy!


Chapter 2
THE ARREST

A week later I returned to Cologne.

Some vague presentiment warned me I had better go straight to Koblenz. But I overcame that feeling. Or rather, the desire to see Herr W. once more was stronger in me than the desire to avoid taking unnecessary risks.

I remembered every word the young German had uttered from the minute I had met him. The story of his three years’ captivity in Africa haunted me. I admired him for having stood so brilliantly the test of persecution; and I loved him with the same strong, warm affection — the same feeling of sacred comradeship in life and death — as I do any real Nazi. I did not stop at Cologne to find out whether he had stuck up my posters or not. I knew he had. I trusted him implicitly. I stopped for the sheer pleasure of meeting him again. I was planning to go with him for a long walk, somewhere on the border of the Rhine, outside Cologne. The weather was bright. In the daytime, in the sunshine, it was not too cold to sit down, provided there was no wind. I would buy some food and cakes enough for the whole day, — I thought and we would go and sit in some lonely and lovely place. I would spread my thick grey cloak upon the ground for us to be more comfortable. And the S.S. officer would talk to me with friendliness and understanding and faith — would tell me about the grand days that came and went and will come again; would speak of the recent humiliations and of the unavoidable revenge; of the Führer, of greater Germany, the foundation stone of future Aryandom

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(all I stood for, all I wanted, all I loved) while the unchanging Rhine would roll past us its sunlit waters with the selfsame everlasting murmur. I wanted to hear him tell me, as hundreds had before him, how beautiful was the Führer’s inspired countenance when he addressed the cheering crowds. I wanted to tell him, as I already had ten thousand others, how happy I was to be waiting in Germany, instead of elsewhere, for the return of the Leader and Saviour.

I got down from the train and, after leaving my things at the cloak room, went straight to the Catholic Mission where I asked the woman on duty what seemed to me a most non-committing question: “Could you be kind enough to tell me the address of Herr W., who was here a week ago in search of a room? He told me he would leave his address with you.”

I did not know that Herr W. was already under arrest, nor that, for the last four or five days, the police were searching for me all over Germany.

The woman on duty — who perhaps knew — looked a little embarrassed, “Herr W?,” said she. “Are you quite sure it is that name?”

She was turning over the pages of a copybook in which were written down the names and addresses of many people who had obtained lodgings through the Mission. But she did not seem to me to be seriously trying to find the name. Still I replied to her question.

“Yes, Herr W.,” said I. “I met him here, in this place, exactly a week ago. I could not say whether the Catholic Mission has managed to find him a room or not. But he told me he would leave his address here wherever he went. It surprises me that he has not done so. Would you be kind enough to look carefully?”

I had no time to say more, for at that moment a

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policeman stepped in. He walked straight to me and said: “May I see your papers, please?”

It was not the first time I had shown my passport to a German policeman. Generally, the man had a look at it and gave it back to me at once, without any comment. This man did not give it back to me, but said: “Would you follow rue to the police station? We have some point to make clear. Leave your things behind; no one will touch them.”

I at once scented danger. But I felt extraordinarily calm, — calm as only an absolute believer in fate could feel. “I suppose this had to happen one day,” thought I. “However, I shall do all I call to ‘slip out’ if possible. But if I am caught, I am caught. And I shall not behave as a coward under any circumstances.”

I entered the police station — a bare, whitewashed room in which there were two other men in police uniform (one, obviously of higher rank than the other, seated at a table, near a telephone) and a prisoner, seated in a corner. “Surely not a political prisoner,” thought I, as soon as I saw him. He did not look as happy as I.

The man at the desk offered me a chair. I sat down. Then, the policeman who had brought me in handed over my passport to the man, and the latter examined it with utmost care, for a long tine. “A British passport,” said he, at last. “But you are not English, are you?”

“Half English and half Greek,” I replied. “My mother is English. I have acquired British citizenship by my marriage.”

“Your husband is English?”

“No. Indian.”

“And where is he now?”

“In Calcutta, as far as I know.”

The police officer was apparently not interested in

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my husband’s whereabouts so far away. He changed the conversation.

“You have travelled quite a lot, I see from the visas on your passport,” said he. “What prompted you to come to Germany?”

“I came to gather firsthand information in order to write a book,” I replied — and it was true; I was, in fact, writing my Gold in the Furnace, a passionate picture of National Socialist Germany in the clutches of her persecutors, at the same time as a personal profession of faith in Adolf Hitler. I added: “This is stated in a letter which you will find in my passport; a letter from the French Bureau des Affaires Allemandes recommending me to the Occupation authorities.” And this too was true. In that letter the head of the above mentioned Bureau begged “the French and Allied Occupation authorities to afford every possible help and protection to Mrs. Mukherji, author of several works on historical and philosophical subjects, who is now going to Germany and Austria in order to gather the necessary material for a book about those countries.” (Useless to say, he knew nothing of my convictions, and could not suspect what sort of a book I intended to write nor what activities I intended to carry on in Germany.)

The police officer looked at me, a spark of amusement in his eyes, as though he were thinking: “Possible; quite possible. You underground fighters are up to anything that can forward your ends.” He took the letter and had a glance at it, but did not read it. He probably did not know French. Whether the document seemed authentic to him or not, I could not tell. Anyhow, it did not impress him enough for him to send me away as a harmless person under the protection of Germany’s present-day masters. He continued to question me.

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“You are a writer?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“We want to know if you have anything to do with a certain leaflet and poster affair . . .”

I understood it would be difficult to “slip out,” this time. Yet, I felt exceedingly calm — as though I were acting; as though the person sitting in my place and answering the questions were not my real self. (Nor was she, in fact. My real, free, unattainable Self lives in millions of individuals, in Germany and abroad; wherever there are Aryans who share our ideals; wherever the Nazi spirit flourishes in all its strength and pride. It cares little what might happen to the material, limited I that was speaking at the Police Office of the station of Cologne on that night of the 20th February 1949).

I pretended not to understand the German word for a leaflet, the word Flugblatt.

“What sort of thing is a Flugblatt?” asked I, not without repressing a tendency to laugh.

“A paper with some propaganda written upon it, intended for distribution,” replied, this time, not the man at the desk but the other one — the policeman who had brought me in. And he added, drawing a swastika upon a blank page and handing it over to me: “If you do not know what is a Flugblatt, do you know, at least, what this is?”

“A swastika,” said I; “I believe everybody knows that.”

“The symbol of National Socialism,” he emphasized, “And the immemorial Symbol of the Sun,” I added. “In India, it is looked upon as a sacred sign for thousands of years.”

“And do you also look upon it as a sacred sign?” asked the policeman. I gazed at him with defiance — and

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a pinch of irony. I knew I was playing with fire, but I enjoyed it. I naturally enjoy defying danger.

“Surely I do,” said I. “I too, am a worshipper of the Sun.”

That answer was rigourously accurate. In my mind, I recalled my years of struggle in faraway India; my lectures against the Christian ideology of equality, false meekness and false humility, in the shade of banyan trees, before white-clad crowds. And before that, my struggle in Greece against the monkeyish mentality of a levantinised “intelligenzia,” in the name of the eternal Aryan ideals which in those days — twenty-five years ago — I still called “Hellenic.” “All my life, I have indeed fought for the same truth. under that same age-old holy Sign,” thought I. And the prospect of being arrested — which had never worried me — suddenly became almost attractive in my eyes. True, I would lose the little usefulness I might have had. But what a splendid culmination of my whole life history it would be, to suffer — at last! — a little of what so many thousands of my comrades have been suffering for the last four years at the hands of our persecutors! I now nearly wished I would be arrested. Still, I was determined not to hasten the fact by unnecessary admissions. I would let it to the invisible Gods to decide where and how I should continue to bear witness to the glory of National Socialism. If I “got away with it” this time, that would mean I was more useful free. If I did not, it would mean that, in the long run, I would be more useful in jail — or dead, if the enemy would do me the honour of killing me.

The man at the desk addressed me again.

“You know a certain Herr W., a former S.S. officer, don’t you?”

And for the first tine I realised, — I knew, as clearly

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as if the man had told me so — that Herr W. had been arrested. I felt any blood go cold, for I knew (from others, who knew it from direct experience) to what extremes of brutality the present-day masters of Germany — or the Germans in their pay — can go, when dealing with one of Hitler’s faithful ones, caught red-handed in the action of defying them. “Poor dear comrade!” I thought; “I do hope they have not been torturing him. Anyhow, I’ll take all the responsibility on myself, if it comes to the worst.”

“I have met him,” I replied, paling a little.

The police officer was watching me with hard, scrutinising eyes — the eyes of an expert observer.

“Go and fetch her things,” he ordered the other policeman, “and bring them all here.”

The policeman left the room.

“So you met him,” said the man at the desk, turning to me and speaking once more of Herr W. “Where and when did you meet him?”

“Here in Cologne, some time ago.”

“Here, in this railway station, exactly a week ago,” replied the man. “And you had an appointment with him. You said so when you were asking for his address, at the Catholic Mission, just now. Do you imagine you, are not observed? What business had you with that young man?”

“I just wanted to see him again.”

The mean seized a telephone from against the wall, and I soon heard him speaking to some “Herr Oberinspector” — asking him for instructions as to what he should do with me. I remember bits of the conversation

“She has been in touch with that man. . . . But she has a British passport, — in order, as far as I can see. And a letter of recommendation addressed to the Allied Occupation

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authorities by some important French Bureau in Paris. . . . Yes, yes Herr Oberinspektor. . . . No; nothing like as old as that. Her passport states forty-three, but she does not look more than thirty-five, if that. . . . Yes, certainly, Herr, Oberinspector. . . . No; not yet. . . . We shall see. The policeman is gone to fetch her luggage. . . . Yes, certainly; I think so too. We shall see. . . . Yes, Herr Oberinspektor.”

The policeman did not take long to come back. He was holding my travelling bag in one hand, my handbag and my attaché case in the other. He put the former in a corner on the floor, the two latter upon the table. Then, he pulled out of my handbag one of my leaflet-posters twice folded in four, (there were a few there, as I had been distributing them in the train on my way to Cologne.) He unfolded it, and laid it before the officer at the desk. “Exactly the same ones as those found on G.W.” said he. “Those Nazis! More active and more arrogant than ever, if you ask me! What do you think of that?”

The man at the desk did not reply to him, but read the paper (the text of which I have translated in the preceding chapter) and spoke to me:

“How do you account for the presence of this in your bag?” he asked me. “Did Herr W. give it to you? Or someone else?”

I knew it was now useless to try any longer to hide the truth from the police. This time, I would not “get away with it.” And the more accurately I would tell the truth, the lesser would Herr W.’s responsibility in this affair appear in comparison with mine, and the lighter would be his sentence, — the sooner he would be free. He deserved to be free, after all his years of service during the war and his three years of captivity in the horror camp, in the middle of Africa. I could afford to go to jail.

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Perhaps I deserved to go, — for not having come back to Europe before the war; for not having been, during the war, as useful as I might have been in Europe, if I had managed to come. Moreover, even if these considerations had not arisen, and if it had been, not Herr W. but someone else who had worked with me, I should have felt it my duty, anyhow, to take the entire responsibility of any action for the Nazi cause in which I had played a part, however small. That responsibility was an honour that I could not fail to claim.

I looked straight at the man at the desk and replied clearly and firmly, almost triumphantly: “Those posters are not Herr W.’s; they are mine. I wrote them. And it is I who gave Herr W., all those he had, — I alone.”

The man bad expected me to accuse Herr W. and do everything I could to shun personal responsibility. He had forgotten, apparently, that we are not Democrats. He gazed at me with surprise and with interest — as someone gazes into a shop window at some object that has not been seen in the market for many years and that one never expected to see again. But he made no comments. There were no comments he could make. He simply told me:

“I am sorry — very sorry — to have to inform you that you are under arrest.”

I was smiling. I was remembering my first journey through ruined Germany, less than a year before. “If I can do nothing more for them, in these days of horror, may I at least suffer with my Führer’s people!” had I then prayed to all the Gods in heaven. For nine months, I had experienced a little of the hardships to which the Germans were submitted for the last four years. Now, I would stand by them in the hands of Germany’s persecutors. The Gods had granted me my heart’s desire.

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“I am happy,” said I, “for this opportunity to bear witness to my lifelong ideals.”

And the three people present could see that I was not lying, nor “putting on a show.” I felt so happy that I must have looked it.

It was about two o’clock in the morning.


Chapter 3
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

“Have you any more of those posters?” asked the policeman who had just come back with my things.

“Only a few,” replied I.

“Give them all to us.”

I asked for my bag, took a key out of my purse, and opened the attaché-case which the man had laid before me. I pulled out several old French fashion magazines, Marie-Claire, took twenty or thirty leaflet-posters out of each one, and put them on the table. The policeman counted them. They were, as far as I remember, one hundred and twenty. He handed them over to the officer at the desk who counted there in his turn, but did not find exactly the same number.

“That is all you have?” the policeman asked me.

“Yes,” I answered, lying as calmly and naturally as I had, up till then, told the truth.

“Surely you had more than that!”

“I had, indeed,” said I; “but I have distributed them all.”

“How many did you distribute?”

“Of this sort, four thousand; and six thousand of a smaller size, bearing a longer text,” said, I — which was perfectly true. What I most careful hid was the fact that I had three thousand more of these latest posters in a trunk which I had left at somebody’s house, somewhere in the French Zone. For nothing in the world was I going to say a word about that trunk. Fortunately, the name and address of the friend in whose care I had left it was nowhere to be found in my papers.

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“Have you any more of your leaflets of the former sort?” asked the policeman.

“Only one or two, which I was keeping as a remembrance,” said I. “They are somewhere in my bag, I believe. The rest I have finished distributing weeks ago.”

“I see you did not waste your time in Germany!

“I hope not.”

But I felt uneasy about a certain number of addresses which I had written down in a notebook that — I knew — lay in my handbag. I bitterly reproached myself with not having relied solely upon my good memory to remember them. Now, there was only one thing I could do. And I did it. While the policeman by my side was busy counting my posters for the second time (to see if he had not made a mistake) and while the man at the desk was once more telephoning to the “Herr Oberinspektor” to inform him of my arrest, I slipped my hand into my bag and carefully took out the dangerous notebook. I knew the most important addresses where on the two first pages. I pulled these out as quickly as I could, on my lap, under the table; I tore them to pieces and then, taking out my pocket handkerchief and pretending to cough, I swiftly thrust the pieces into my mouth, kept them under my tongue for a second or two, to soften them, and managed to swallow them silently, with a sigh of relief.

I then tore out the other pages on which were written addresses of all sorts, some of real friends, some of mere acquaintances — of people who had no knowledge of any convictions, let alone of my activities in Germany, such as a London editor and an English nurse whom I had met in a café in Paris. And I began tearing them quietly up, as I had the few first ones. “These cover more paper; they will be more difficult to swallow,” I was thinking;

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“but I shall swallow them all the sane, for the sake of the one or two comrades whose names are there, among many indifferent names.”

But the policeman (who had finished counting the posters) caught sight of me. “Hula!” said he, “Give us what you have there, on your lap.”

And before I had had the time to swallow the hits of paper, he had got up and seized them from me. “Yes, give us that! It will make an interesting jigsaw puzzle for the Criminal Department,” he added, gathering the tiny bits into an empty envelope, which he handed over to the man at the desk.

The latter turned to me once more. “You mentioned your “ideals” a while ago,” said he; “but surely you were not working for ideals alone. Who paid you?”

“Paid me!” I felt a wave of indignation swell me breast: and nearly choke me. “Nobody ever paid me,” I burst out, furious at the thought of having been mistaken for an ordinary mercenary agent. “On the contrary, I gave practically all I possessed for the cause I love; and would have given the little I have left, had I remained free in Germany.”

“You had no employ. On what did you live, and where?”

“I lived on any jewels, of which I had a whole boxfull, and which I sold bit by bit as I needed money to travel and to do what I was doing. And I had no fixed abode. I spent my nights at any “Bunker Hotel” or “Station Mission” — or in station waiting rooms, when I had no money at all.”

This second statement was not rigorously true. I had, no doubt, lived much in that way, lately, since my last return from England (and even so, I had often spent a night or two at friends’ and sympathisers’.) But before

23

that, I had enjoyed the hospitality of comrades to whom I shall remain grateful as long as I live — people who had lodged me for weeks and weeks, while they had hardly enough room for themselves; people who had fed me on their own scanty rations, while I, not being in any way connected with the Occupation, was not allowed a regular ration card; people who had hidden me at their own risk, knowing I was in their “Zone” without a permit, on the sole ground of our common National Socialist faith, of our common goal. I had been told not to go back to them on account of some difficulties they had had with the Military Government in my absence. But I loved them just the same. And I was, naturally, very careful not to let the police suspect the existence of such connections of mine.

The police officer at the desk looked at me a little sceptically. “How are we to believe you,” said he. “What you tell us is strange.”

“Yes, strange; but true,” I replied. “Whoever will examine my trunk, now at the cloakroom, will find there seven or eight empty jewel caskets. These once contained necklaces and armlets, and earrings and rings, and an enormous brooch, all gold, and all of Indian workmanship. Those I sold, not only in order to live but to finance my journeys abroad and the printing of my propaganda.

The policeman who had brought my things in spoke in his turn: “A German could have done what you did for the Idea alone, but you are not a German.”

“And yet,” said I, “I insist upon the fact that I have not acted for money, nor for any manner of personal profit, but solely for the principles that I have always professed. It is true that I am not a German. Yet have I identified myself with the cause of National Socialist Germany because it is also the cause of Aryandom — of

24

higher mankind; the only cause worth living for, in our times; at least, the only one in which I am sufficiently interested to live for it entirely.”

I spoke the truth, and expressed myself vehemently. I was boiling with indignation at the idea that these men had taken me for some fishy professional conspirer. The policemen believed me in the end — as others were to, during my following trial — because they could not do otherwise. My words bore the unmistakable stamp of sincerity.

“Maybe you are genuine,” said at last the man who had brought in my things. “But it was rather difficult to admit it at once. So many people act for money.”

“I am not ‘many people’,” said I proudly, almost haughtily; “and I have never acted for the same motives as the venal herd of men and women, — not I.”

“Where did you get this stuff printed?” asked the policeman, pointing to my hundred and twenty posters that lay upon the desk before his superior.

“Somewhere, outside Germany,” I answered.

I thought I had better make that point quite clear, so that no German printers might be suspected, even if some had, perchance, taken part in similar activities. But, for nothing was I going to add a single word which could have rendered my true statement more precise.

“We ask you where,” insisted the policeman.

“Somewhere, beyond the boundaries of this unfortunate country,” I repeated. “Maybe in Kamchatka. The world is wide. Search the world.”

The man at the desk was looking at me with apparently increased curiosity. The policeman, whom my answer seemed to have irritated, again spoke to me.

“Never mind,” said he, with a wry smile, “don’t

25

tell us now, if you don’t wish to. You will tell us later on. We have methods to force such ones as you to talk.”

I shuddered, for I knew what this meant. Not only had I read about those few cases of “confessions” of so-called “war criminals” extorted by torture which have been now and then, among thousands of others of which I nothing was ever published, brought to the notice of the English-speaking world, in English and American official reports, since 1945, but I knew of many more concrete instances of that nature from my own comrades — people who had themselves had a taste of the above mentioned “methods,” or who had seen them applied upon their closest friends. I was faced with the torture chamber in all its horror. And for a second or two, I felt my blood go cold, and my heart weaken.

But that was not for more than a second or two. And I doubt whether the two men near me — let alone the two others in the corner — were able to notice it. At once, I pulled myself together.

“Apparently, my turn has come,” thought I. “Others have faced this bravely. Why not I too?”

And I recalled in my mind the thousands of National Socialists who had stood the horrid trial without uttering a word, — my comrades, my betters, the legion of the unflinchingly faithful in the midst of which I would, at last, — I hoped — win myself an honourable place with this opportunity.

And I thought, also, of the unseen, everlasting Power, source of all strength and of all greatness, whose glory I had witnessed a whole night long, with my own eyes in the lava and flames of Mount Hekla in eruption, less than two years before; the One Whom the Hindus call Shiva, Lord of the Dance of Life and Death.

“Put Thy strength in me. Thou bright, impassible

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One, Who roarest in streams of molten rock and shinest in the Sun, and Whose majesty clothes the inviolate snowy peaks!” I prayed within my heart. “The truth I am here standing for is Thy Truth, — the eternal truth. Put Thy invincibility in me!”

And I was filled with a wave of immense, serene, unearthly joy. Looking straight at the men before me, with a happy face, I said simply: “I am a National Socialist, and hope I shall remain faithful and worthy to the end. You can do whatever you like to me. But nothing can kill the Idea which I represent.”

I remember my words, uttered in German, clearly and with ease, in the stillness of that whitewashed room, before those Germans who had accepted to collaborate with the enemies of Germany for reasons better known to themselves — perhaps because they really hated our Ideology; perhaps just because they had families to feed. There was not a trace of fear left in me; also not a trace of vanity. I knew and accepted my personal nothingness, but I was raised above myself in calm, endless joy; joy at the idea of possible martyrdom — the greatest joy I had ever experienced. And joy made me eloquent. All the aspiration, all the faith, all the pride, all the love of my life were expressed in my simple statement “I am a National Socialist . . .” While from the depth of my consciousness, something told me: “You have been saying that, under one form or another, for the last six thousand years.”

And beyond and before the host of my beloved comrades, who have suffered for Hitler’s cause now, since 1945, as well as from 1919 to 1933, during the first struggle, I realised the presence of the millions of older witnesses of the truth, from the beginning of the Age of Gloom — the “Kali Yuga” of the Sanskrit Scriptures — in

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which we live, and earlier still, from the beginning of the decay of man. The Nazi martyrs of our times form but the latest ranks of that broader legion of honour of all times. Had I, indeed, from life to life, for centuries, borne witness to the selfsame truth before the successive agents of the selfsame forces of disintegration? And would I, that very night or the next day, or the day after, be given another chance of winning for myself, once more, a place among the everlasting Legion — or a chance of keeping my place in it? I smiled, in my dream of defiance in suffering, as many of those of old must have done.

And, thought I, there were people, also, who had suffered for the sake of falsehood — for the sake of ideals of sickness and weakness and death; of those very principles in the name of which the modern degenerate world condemns us, the living Aryan Heathens. There were people upon the like of whom I could myself cause torture to be inflicted, if I had power and judged it expedient — or if my superiors judged it expedient — for the triumph or defence of the Nazi cause. Among such people, there were some no less sincere than I — and all the more dangerous. I had surely never felt any love or sympathy for them. Nor did I now. But I could not help recognising some sort of parallelism between their fearless fidelity to the end and that of my comrades who had stood the test of pain, and — I hoped — mine; the parallelism that exists between a beautiful landscape and its upside-down image in still, gloomy waters. I recalled a picture I had seen, years and years before, upon a window of stained glass, in a French Church: the picture of some early Christian martyr — I could not remember which — writing with his blood upon the floor, as he died, the Latin Words: “Christianus sum.”

“Truly, I should hate myself,” thought I, “if I could

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not bear, for the sake of my Führer and of my Aryan faith, what so many followers of a Jewish religion or of some modern Jewish doctrine, bore, in olden times or but a few years ago — some, at our own hands — for the sake of their superstitions and of their errors!”

And once more I welcomed the prospect of being tried and of standing the ordeal, with the help of all the Gods, and of repeating, before tougher men than the ones I had hitherto faced, my proud profession of faith: “Ich bin Nationalsozialistin . . .”

The policeman who had last spoken to me had now gone out to fetch the trunk which I had left at the cloakroom. The plan at the desk was silent. I was sitting still, in the same place. Then again, but for the last time, I had a moment of weakness — for the policeman’s statement, and the threat it implied, and the expression with which he had underlined it, haunted me; a moment, not of fear of suffering, but of reluctance at the thought of physical disfigurement. I looked at my long white hands that rested upon the table before me, and found them beautiful. Convinced that they would probably soon be torn out of shape, I felt sorry for them for a second. Then, realising how mean it was of me to bother about my appearance in such a circumstance, I felt ashamed of myself. In my mind, I recalled the stern face, the large magnetic blue eyes of the one Man of my days whom I ever worshipped; the kind smile with which he used to address all those who loved him — with which he doubtless would have addressed me, had I only been wise enough to come back to Europe in time. And passing one hand under my coat, I pressed through my clothes, the little glass portrait of him that hung between my breasts on a gold chain. Tears came to my eyes. “Nothing

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is too beautiful for thee, my Führer!” thought I in an outburst of half human, half religious love. And again I felt happy and invincible.

I was taken, in what they call in London the “black Maria,” to the Headquarters of the Criminal Department of Cologne. The prisoner who had been sitting in the corner with his custodian all through my first interrogatory at the Police Station, travelled with me, but, naturally, in a different cabin.

The “black Maria” stopped in a part of the town I had never seen. I got down, accompanied by the policeman who had taken charge of my luggage, and I was ushered into a whitewashed room, very simply furnished, in which were standing a tall strong man, with a rosy face and straight, dark brown hair, and another one, of moderate height, thin, yellowish, with small sharp eyes, and black hair in short regular waves. “Looks decidedly Jewish,” thought I of the latter, as I walked in. And that first impression of mine, the man merely confirmed by the way he talked.

He bade me sit upon a bench and, after the policeman who had brought me in had gone away, had a glance at one of my posters, the whole bundle of which lay upon the table.

“Look at this nonsense!” said he, speaking to the tall man, to whom he handed the paper. Then, turning to me he asked me: “What prompted you to stick up these?”

“My conscience; and the pleasure of defying the oppressors of my Führer’s people,” answered I, with absolute sincerity.

The man gazed at me, at first with astonishment, then with an evil look, and said nothing. It is the other one who spoke to me.

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“And you mean to tell us that no offer of money inclined your ‘conscience’ that way?” he exclaimed, with a sceptical smile.

Once more, the burning indignation that had possessed me at the Police Station rose within me. Nothing makes me so wild as to hear people express doubts about my sincerity — mostly on grounds of “normal” standards and “average” psychology (and on account of my education in an eminently democratic country) as though “normal” and “average” standards had ever been applicable to me; and as though my liberal Christian education had ever had any other result than to afford me repeated opportunities of taking consciousness of my nature as a born Pagan, and a hater of half-measures, equally free from “human” feelings, personal ties, conventional scruples and average temptations. I forgot entirely where I was and spoke with the same aggressive freedom as I would have in a tea party that were not a diplomatic one.

“They have already made those dirty hints at the Police Station whence I come,” said I, with unconcealed rage. “They would! People of moderate or less than moderate intelligence judge others according to themselves. Consequently, the whole accursed Democratic world is incapable of admitting, let alone of understanding, our earnestness and our detachment. And you people take me for the equivalent of those well-paid agents of England and the U.S.A. who used to help the French résistance during the war. Well, once and for all, know that I am not and never shall be. Nobody paid me. Nobody ever will. There are no foreign power’s “big business” interests behind our underground activities, as there were behind those of the anti-Nazis in the days we were victorious. Therefore we have no money. And the rare non-Germans who actively stand by ruined Germany now, in 1949,

31

single-handed, at their own risk, do so solely for the sake of the truth the German people represent in their eyes. But even if we had enough wealth to buy professional agitators — even if we were as rich as all the Jews of the U.S.A., rolled in one — know that I would still work for the mere pleasure of helping the Nazi cause because it is mine — because I love it — and of defying my Führer’s enemies because I hate them. I am not, and I shall never be a professional agitator.”

The thin yellowish man, who had been listening to my tirade with particular attention, threw me a glance of responsive hatred. The other one, who seemed just rather surprised, asked me where I had been during the war.

“In Calcutta,” I replied.

“I was on the Russian front, — a less comfortable place,” said the man. “That is probably why I am less enthusiastic than you about all this, although I am a pure German. We suffered on account of this damned war. You did not.

“I wish I had,” I answered, with all my heart; nay, with that painful feeling of guilt that has pursued me ever since the Capitulation. “I wish I had been able to leave India in time, and at least to share the hardships of the Germans under unceasing bombardment. But whatever my mistakes, which I hope to expiate, the fact remains that the Führer is not responsible for the war and its trail of miseries. He did everything within his power to avoid it, — you should know that, as you were here at the time — and everything within his power to stop it, once it was forced upon him and upon Germany. Don’t blame him, and don’t blame National Socialism, for your sufferings. Blame the traitors you had at home. And blame the Jews and the slaves of Jewry who had

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the upper hand in all Aryan countries. First and foremost, blame those two vilest of all the complacent instruments of the international Jewish money power; those two arch-criminals: Churchill and Roosevelt!”

To my surprise, the only reaction of the tall man to this was the deep sadness I could read upon his face. But the thin yellowish fellow interrupted me violently. “It is Germany’s fault,” he shouted. “She only had to surrender before. Why did she not?”

Reluctantly (for I did not like the look of the man and did not wish to speak to him) I replied: “The Führer wanted to spare the German people the humiliation of ‘unconditional surrender’ and the subsequent sufferings it implies. No German — no true Aryan — can blame him for that.”

The Israelitish-looking man did not allow me to finish what I was saying.

“The Führer!” he repeated ironically, interrupting me once more, with a vicious expression in his eyes, and making a nasty noise — an imitation of spitting — intended to show contempt. “You mean Master Hitler, I suppose. Well . . . Master Hitler wanted the whole world. Why could he not keep his hands off Poland, eh? And why did he go and attack Russia, to have millions killed there for nothing? If you care for the Germans as much as you pretend to, you should be the first one to hate that . . .” (and he used, to designate the Saviour of the Aryan race, a most vile word).

I felt all my blood rush to my head and tears of rage fill my eyes under the insult — far more than if it had been directed against me personally. I tried to keep my balance, but my voice trembled as I spoke.

“I have not come from the other end of the world to criticise a single one of my Führer’s decisions,” said I.

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“I am only sorry I did not manage to come here during the war. And still more sorry I was not killed, along with so many of my superiors, in 1946.”

But as I thus spoke, something within me was telling me: “No, don’t be sorry! All this will pass, like a shadow upon drifting sands. Don’t be sorry. One day, you will witness the irresistible revenge; you will take part in it and treat the Führer’s enemies even worse than they treated your comrades — for you are more single-minded, and have more imagination than they.”

And I smiled to the sweet prospect of a future Nazi Europe in which I would forget nothing of all I had heard against our beloved Hitler, since the very day I had landed. “Forget nothing, and forgive nobody,” I dreamed.

The thin yellowish man looked at me more devilishly than ever, as though he could read my thoughts, and walked out.

The other man turned to me and said: “You are lucky to have fallen into our hands, bold as you are — luckier than those who used to fall into your friends’ clutches, not long ago. For we are at least human. The enemies of the régime you praise, when arrested by the Gestapo, fared far worse than you ever will with us. How would you have liked to be in their place, I wonder?”

“What a funny question!” (I nearly said: “What a stupid question!”) “How could I ever have been in their place? What could anyone have told the Gestapo against me, without at once being proved a liar? My Nazi orthodoxy is — and always was, I hope — above reproach.”

“Yes,” replied the man, who had apparently learnt his lesson from the Democrats during these four years. “But, I repeat: what of the people who were against the régime?”

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“I could not care less what happened to those,” said I, still with as much spontaneity and as much ease as if I had been at a non-diplomatic tea party. “They were the enemies of all I love. In my estimation, no treatment applied to them was too rough, if it resulted in effectively putting an end to their activities.”

“And what if we . . . I mean the Democrats, the Occupation authorities who are now in power . . . treated you in a similar spirit?”

I smiled, — for the suggestion was downright funny. “Democrats, acting with as much thoroughness and consistency as we would . . . why, one has to go beyond the Elbe, to the Russian Zone and to Russia itself, to find that!” thought I. And talking of the Western variety of Democrats — of the milder and more hypocritical sort — I said:

“They would, if they believed in what they stand for. But they don’t. They don’t know what they want. Or rather all they want is to keep their present jobs, with fat salaries and little work. Their toleration is just the indifference of the lazy, of the blasé, of the old. We know what we want. And we are young.”

The man looked at me intently, then went and shut the door that the other fellow had left half open. “I never believed there were foreigners such as you,” he said, coming back to his place by the fire. “You are just like anyone of our German Nazis. . . . Just like anyone of us before many lost faith,” he added in a low voice, “for I too had your outlook and your ideals once. We all had them. But again, would you be the same if you had suffered from the war as we have?”

“I am absolutely sure I would,” answered I, with conviction. “And what is more, I am sure you and any of the others you mention would also, if you had realised the everlasting soundness of our doctrine. Truth lies

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above personal gain and loss, and above the fluctuations of a nation’s history. And in the long run, truth conquers.”

As I uttered those two last words, I automatically glanced at the seal of hematite upon the ring I wore on my middle finger; the crest of the old family out of which my mother sprang; under the picture of a wolf, the motto: Vincit veritas — truth conquers. And I thought of the fearless Viking who had landed in England with his warriors, over a thousand years ago, to become the founder of that English family destined one day to give birth to me, Adolf Hitler’s follower, “the missionary of Aryan Heathendom,” (as the Consul of regenerate Italy in Calcutta once called me) — the insignificant, but uncompromising fighter for truth. And I prayed within my heart that my trial would prove that the old Nordic family had not decayed in me. And I recalled, also, the title chosen by the most Aryan of all the Pharaohs, Akhnaton, son of the Sun,1 to be adjoined to his name through the ages: Ankh-em-Maat — Living-in-truth. And I prayed that I too should never fail to “live in truth” to the end, whatever was to happen.

* * *
At that moment, a short man in civilian clothes, looking, in spite of his fair skin, even more Israelitish than the thin yellow one who had gone out, opened the door and bade me roughly to get up and follow him. He took me to a long flight of steps leading underground and, pointing to it, he shouted to me: “Down!”

“The Yid has grown accustomed to knock us about these last four years,” I thought. “But the game will

1 Of the early fourteenth century before Christ.

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come to an end. Everything does. And then? Our turn again, I hope! And this time . . .”

And staring down at the fat little man, shorter than myself, I passed before him almost smiling at the idea of what might well happen “this time,” when my friends are once in power (whenever that may be) and I walked down the steps with both hands in my pockets.

The stairs led to a long, dimly lighted corridor with a row of heavy doors each side. The man took me to one of those doors, which he unlocked, and ushered me into a small, cold and perfectly dark cell, in which a woman was already lying upon two or three planks of wood that rested upon iron supports. (I could vaguely see her form upon that primitive bed, as a little light from the corridor fell into the cell when the man opened the door.)

Pointing to the form upon the planks, the man said to me: “If you wish to lie down, ask this woman to make a place for you. You have no bed to yourself.”

“Couldn’t I lie on a rug upon the floor?” asked I.

“As you please,” replied the little man. And he took me to a corner under the stairs, where there were a few rugs. I picked out one — any one; they were all as ragged and dirty as could be — and came back. The man shut the door of the cell upon me.

It is an unusual experience to feel one’s self locked up in a cell, with a threat of torture to meditate upon, until it pleases the police authorities to give orders for the door to be opened again. Fortunately, I had long overcome the first uneasiness the threat had created in me. I was conscious only of joy at the prospect of soon becoming worthier of my German comrades who have suffered for the National Socialist cause. “I am already a little nearer to them now,” thought I as I shivered in

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the cold room, and as my eyes slowly grew accustomed to the darkness. Then, I took to inspecting the place. It contained nothing else but that primitive “bed” on which lay the motionless woman, apparently asleep. It was pitch dark, but for the tiny slit at the top of the wall facing the door. And the cold, less bitter than out of doors, was more penetrating — less bearable; it entered into one’s bones. And the walls were damp, and the floor — of bare earth — was muddy.

I spread the filthy rug in a corner and lay upon it on my side, my knees up to my chin, in the position of an unborn baby, so as to keep myself as warm as I possibly could. To sleep was out of question. I left my mind drift where it pleased.

First, I thought of the Führer whom, for several months already, I knew to be alive. I recalled the great mass gatherings of the days of the Third Reich, and the title of an article in a magnificent book — a publication of those grand days — which I had seen at a comrade’s house: Unser Hitler; the words that summarised the feelings of the first resurrected Aryan nation. Those feelings were mine, also; oh, how thoroughly mine! I held between my hands the little glass portrait I had. It was warm, for having been in close contact with my flesh. There was in its touch a magic sufficient to keep me happy, were I forced to remain upon that malodorous rug for weeks. “Mein Führer,” I whispered, with tears in my eyes, as I devoutly kissed the precious likeness, “ich bin glücklich; so glücklich!” Hitler’s language came to me spontaneously, as the most natural means of expression, although my knowledge of it is anything but perfect. And I imagined him coming back one day, and addressing the crowds of a new free Germany in an atmosphere of unprecedented enthusiasm.

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The Third Reich all over again, in more strength and more splendour than ever. And the tears that filled my eyes slowly ran down my cheeks. Never, perhaps, had I visualised the inspired face more vividly. Never had my beloved Leader appeared to me more fascinating in his manly beauty, more lovable, more godlike. Would he ever know how much I loved him? Would anyone in Germany’s future joyful crowds, remember me for five minutes? But what did it matter, whether they did or not? And what did it matter even if “he” — the one man for whom (and for whose people) I would do anything — never knew of my existence? Individuals did not count. I did not count. Verses of the Bhagavad-Gita came back to my memory: “Act not for the sake of the fruits of action”;1 “the wise act without attachment, desiring nothing but the welfare of the world.”2 Never had the old summary of Aryan philosophy seemed to me so beautiful as it now did. The sacred words soothed me, tempered the exaltation of my heart with heavenly serenity. “No,” thought I, “it does not matter whether anyone remembers me one day or not, even ‘he’. All that matters is ‘the welfare of the world’, — the New Order — and my fidelity without hope or desire of recognition on this earth or elsewhere, simply for the sake of love; love of my Führer, love of the ultimate Reality (of what they call God) it is all the same, for he is the mouthpiece of everlasting truth, the embodiment, in our times, of Him Who spoke in the Bhagavad-Gita, and I have loved Him age after age.”

And I prayed more ardently perhaps, than I had for many weeks: “Help me to rid myself of my incurable



1 The Bhagavad-Gita, II, verse 47.
2 The Bhagavad-Gita, III, verse 25.

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vanity, immortal Gods! Help me to forget myself entirely; to be just a useful tool in your hands, for the triumph of what is eternal. Kill all pettiness in me!”

Then, I recalled the distant home that I had left over three years before. It could have been about four o’clock in the morning — yes, quite two hours since my arrest. “Four and sixteen. It must be about ten o’clock in Calcutta,” thought I. And I remembered my old flat, with its terrace facing the south, and the beautiful big tree, full of kites’ and crows’ nests, that one could see from the terrace; and my husband, in his spotless white dhoti, reading or writing as he smoked his water-pipe. I remembered my beautiful cats — two glossy masses of purring fur, one black, one with yellow stripes — basking in the sunshine. Something from within told me that I would never see them again, and that thought brought a shadow of sadness across my consciousness. But it was just a passing shadow, quickly gone. I had other things to think of. I recalled my first contact with my husband, former editor and proprietor of the now long-forbidden New Mercury — the only National Socialist magazine then published in India under the auspices of the German Consulate. A Greek living in Calcutta had taken me to his office and introduced me to him in 1938. And the almost first words the Brahmin supporter of our New Order in the world had addressed me, as soon as he knew who I was, rang, clearer than ever, in my memory “What have you been doing in India, all these years, with your ideas and your potentialities? Wasting your time and energy. Go back to Europe, where duty calls you! — go and help the rebirth of Aryan Heathendom where there are still Aryans strong and wide-awake; go to him who is truly life and resurrection: the Leader of

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the Third Reich. Go at once; next year will be too late.”

“Oh, had I but listened to him! Had I not, in my vanity, imagined myself ‘useful’ in the East, and had I come in 1938!” thought I, for the millionth time since my return. And I sobbed bitterly, also for the millionth time, over the opportunities of service on my own continent which I had thus missed.

“It serves me right to be here, and it would serve me right if they tore me to pieces,” I concluded. “Yes, may I suffer now the utmost, and partly at least expiate the fact that I did not come before!” And once more I welcomed all the horror implied in the policeman’s allusion to the “methods” that would probably be used to make me speak. And then again picturing myself my husband, reading or writing under an electric fan amidst the ascetic simplicity of our barely furnished flat, I thought: “At least, when he hears of my trial, he will know that I have not been ‘wasting my energy’ in Germany! . . . Or will he just say of me: ‘What a fool! Why could she not manage to remain free, — and useful? Surely, she went and did something childish and spectacular, instead of devoting herself to silent, unnoticed, solid work!’?” And I remembered how the wise, supple, and mercilessly practical idealist he is, used to scold me, during the war, for my “noisy haste,” my “lack of diplomacy,” my “woman’s brains.”

“Perhaps he was right about me,” thought I; “although I hope to show myself, now, less stupid than I seem.”

The cold forced me out of my reflections. The dampness of the muddy ground had penetrated me, through the rug on which I was lying. I shuddered from top to toe, and my teeth clattered. I shook myself out of an

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icy-cold sensation that felt like a touch of death. “Pull yourself together, Savitri,” thought I, as though speaking to myself. “You can’t afford to get ill — not in these people’s clutches. You have better to do. You mean health, resistance, invincible youth — the Nazi spirit. You need your strength to show them who you are; to defy them.”

This thought acted upon my body as a cup of strong, hot coffee. Although I had had nothing to eat since eight o’clock in the morning, and had travelled all day and a part of the night, and had not slept, I suddenly felt light and active, nay aggressive — ready to fight once more. I got up, and sat against the wall, and took a small comb out of my pocket, and started to comb my hair regretting that I had no looking glass — and no torch light. I should have liked to have a wash, for I felt sticky and dirty. I would have liked one or two other minor commodities, also, for I realised that it was with me “in the manner of women” — biblical language being, I suppose, the most elegant way of putting such delicate matters. But there was no water, and all commodities were out of question. I had to manage as I could until someone would open the cell.

Did I make any noise while trying to find, in the darkness, a safety pin which I had dropped? Or did the woman asleep upon the “bed” of planks wake up by herself? I could not tell. But she moved, and stretched, and asked at last: “A new one, here?”

“Yes, a new one,” I replied. “I am sorry if I disturbed you.”

“You did not disturb me,” said she — whether or not out of courtesy, I shall never know. “How long have you been in?”

“I have no idea. Perhaps an hour; perhaps more.

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Time seems long, when one is not asleep, — even if one has plenty of things to think about,” said I.

“I must have slept a lot. I was tired.”

The woman paused a minute and again asked me: “Where did ‘they’ get you?”

“At the station, just as I had come out of the train.”

“That’s bad luck. And may I ask . . .” — she hesitated a little as she spoke, but curiosity overcame her hesitation — “may I ask you what you had done?”

“Nazi propaganda. I have been distributing tracts against the Occupation and sticking up posters with a swastika as big as ‘that’ at the top of them,” said I, delighted to relate my exploit to a listener who might be also a sympathiser. And instinctively, although we were in the dark, I made a gesture showing how large the holy Sign was, on each one of my latest papers.

The woman rose at once, and sat upon the planks. Her interest in me increased immensely, all of a sudden. “Good for you!” she shouted, heartily congratulating me. “I am entirely on your side. In Hitler’s days we had plenty to eat; since these swine came, we have been starving. I am here for having ‘pinched’ someone else’s ration card.”

“This one’s loyalty to the Führer is rooted in her stomach,” thought I with a little amusement, and I must say, also, with a little contempt. Still, I could not help liking the perfect innocence with which she admitted it, as though it were the most natural form of loyalty in the world. And I was grateful to her for her sympathy.

“How long do you think we are to stay here?” I asked the woman.

“I can’t tell. They’ll come and call us when it suits their convenience. Today is Sunday. They might take

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their time about it. But don’t fear: they will not leave us here. This is no prison. They will question us and send us to some other place — send you, at any rate; for I hope to get away with it. I know what story I shall tell them, and I am sure it will work.”

“I have no explanation to give them as far as I am concerned,” said I. “I would not invent one to save myself, even if I could: I am much too proud of the little I did. But I would enjoy misleading them about other people, and encouraging them along false tracks that would lead them nowhere. By God, how I would! They told me at the Police Station that they would use all means to make me say who printed my posters, but I am, determined not to speak whatever they do.”

“Don’t boast before you leap,” retorted the woman. “You don’t know what you are talking about. The ‘means’ they use in cases like yours are pretty nasty, and I know people with your ideals who died of pain in their clutches. True, that was in ‘45’ and ‘46’ just after the damned Occupation had set in. Now — I hear — they are growing milder, i.e., weaker; are getting tired of ‘de-Nazifying’ us.”

“They must have found out it is useless,” said I with as much pride as if I were speaking on behalf of all the National Socialists of the world. “I’ll show them how useless it is in my case at least!”

“Would you like to share my ‘bed’?” asked the woman, after a few seconds of silence. “I’ll push myself against the wall as much as I can. You must be tired.”

“Thank you,” said I. “I was, but I am not now. I am happy. I feel nearer my persecuted comrades, since I am here. Do you mind if I just pace the cell to keep myself a little warm?”

“Surely not. I am not going to sleep again, anyhow.”

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“In that case, perhaps you will not mind if I sing, also?”

“Why should I?”

“Right. I thank you. It will do me good.”

Morning was drawing nigh. I could see it by the ray of light that now came in from the slit in the wall. I turned towards that ray of light — the symbol of hope; the forerunner of the rising Sun — and sang the immortal Song that used to accompany the onward march of Hitler’s conquering hosts; and that one day, thought I, will again accompany their resumed onslaught against a decaying civilisation

“Standards high! Close the ranks thickly!
Storm Troopers, march on, with a calm, firm step!
Comrades, whom the Red Front and the Reaction have shot,
March in spirit within our ranks! . . .”

And as I sang, I recalled in my mind the young German who composed that song at the age of twenty, and died a martyr’s death at the age of twenty-two: the hero Horst Wessel, living forever.

I saw two pairs of feet step outside the narrow slit at the level of the street, whence the light came. And I thus knew that two Germans were listening to what appeared to them as Germany’s voice reaching them from the depth of a prison-pit. And in the circumstance, Germany’s voice was my voice, — the voice of a foreign Aryan; the homage of the regenerate Aryan minority from the four corners of the earth, to Hitler’s fatherland.

And tears of joy ran down my cheeks as I sang the last two lines, my right arm outstretched towards the invisible dawn:

“Soon will Hitler’s banners be waving along all the highways.

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Slavery is to last only a short time more.”

* * *
Time dragged on. I could guess there was sunshine in the street. But the cell was as cold, and practically as dark, as ever. The woman, although she said she was no longer sleepy, had gone to sleep again — out of sheer boredom. I was pacing the narrow space between her “bed” and one of the walls, my hands in my pockets, happy, although I was cold and hungry.

I deliberately refused to think of my discomforts. What were they, indeed, compared with the atrocious conditions in which so many of my German comrades had lived for months on end? I recalled in my mind the fact that in Darmstadt — one of the postwar anti-Nazi extermination camps under American management — the thermometer had reached 25 degrees below zero centigrade within the cells, during the winter 1946–47. And I thought of the systematic starvation to which National Socialists had been submitted in Schwarzenborn, in Diez, in Herstfeld, in Manheim, in the camp 2288 near Brussels, and a hundred different other places of horror. I had nothing to complain of, surely. But even if it happened that I ever had, in the future, thought I, I would deliberately refrain from doing so, from a sense of proportion. And when our days would come back, I would stigmatise our enemies in every possible manner for the sufferings they inflicted upon my comrades, never upon me; and even so, stigmatise them, not for their brutality, but for their hypocrisy. In the meantime, I would never, never do anything to obtain from them the slightest leniency.

I heard someone walk down the steps and unlock one of the cells near mine and call a prisoner’s name. I

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heard him lock the cell behind him as he took the prisoner away. And several times, similar noises, in the same order, informed me that another prisoner had been taken upstairs. My turn would come. I waited.

At last, after a lapse of time that, to me, seemed endless, my cell was unlocked. I saw the little stout man who had brought me down standing in the corridor with the thin yellowish one who had spoken so, vilely against the Führer, before me, during the night, and whom I detested for that very reason — and whom I would have detested all the more (and not less) had he not looked so Jewish. The short man called out the name of my companion, Hildegard X., who was to follow him, while the yellowish fellow took a glance at me and said: “I feel sorry for you. There was no necessity for you to go through all this . . .”

I burst out in anger. There is nothing I loathe like personal sympathy from anti-Nazis — even when it is sincere, let alone when it is not.

“Keep your pity for yourself,” said I, stiffly, almost haughtily. “I am happier than you and than those who will judge me . . .”

The door was slammed on me, otherwise I would have added: “I have a great love and a great idea to live for; you have nothing but your pockets, the whole lot of you!”

I waited, now alone in the cell. Time seemed long, long, unbearably long. Then again I heard footsteps in the corridor, and the noise of a key turning in the lock, and I saw the door of the cell open. The same short fat man called me: “Mukherji, follow me!”

He took me upstairs and passed the room to which I had at first been brought the night before, up another

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floor or two, and then through long corridors on each side of which there were doors. On some of those doors, as I passed by, I could read the words: Verbotener Eingang — i.e., no admittance. And as I could not forget the policeman’s hint at “forcing such ones as me to speak,” I wondered: “Are these the chambers in which they apply their ‘methods’?” Had I heard someone scream from behind one of the forbidden doors it would not have astonished me in the least. I prayed within my heart, as I walked along: “Lord of the Dance of Life and Death, Mahadeva, keep me worthy of the great love which Thou hast put in me!” And I recalled a line of the glorious song of the S.S. men: “Never will one of us weaken . . .”1 And, pulling out the little glass portrait of the Führer that I wore upon my breast, I kissed it once more, without my custodian noticing what I was doing.

I was first ushered into a fairly large room in which stood two women. One of them locked the door behind me and ordered me to undress.

“Completely?” asked I, feeling, a little uneasy at the idea of letting even other women see in what state I was.

“Completely,” answered the wardress.

Then, it came to my mind that she might be sufficiently shocked not to notice the portrait around my neck. “After all, it is perhaps better so,” I mused. And I undressed, making excuses. “This happened,” said I, “just after my arrest; and I had neither water, nor any of the necessary commodities, nor clothes to change, as all my things were already in the hands of the police. I am sorry.”

1 “Wollt nimmer von uns weichen . . .”

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“Oh, that’s all right; quite all right,” replied the woman. She did not seem shocked in the least.

The other woman, who looked just as Jewish as any of the two men I have already mentioned, was gazing at me, apparently with great curiosity. She seemed to be observing every movement of mine and every line of my body, as I gradually rid myself of my clothes. “She must be trying to see if I will betray by any gesture the presence of compromising papers, rolled up and concealed within my linen,” I thought. “Well, if so, she is taking trouble for nothing. The only such papers I had, I have already swallowed hours ago. They must be digested, by now.” But the woman finally spoke:

“How old are you?” she asked me.

“Forty-three.”

She made no comments. I wanted to ask her what my age had to do with this inspection. But I said nothing.

“For what offence are you here?” she again enquired.

“For Nazi propaganda,” I answered, with a proud smile.

She was obviously much younger than I, but had a worn out face, with deep wrinkles under the eyes. And I imagined — gratuitously, I admit, and perhaps maliciously — that her body would have looked no less flabby and sickly — worn out — if it had been bare. Mine, I knew, was anything but that. And as, rightly or wrongly, I took the woman for a Jewess, I was glad to catch hold of such a tangible reason for despising her — or rather for despising once more, in her, the whole of Jewry at its worst, and the whole degenerate civilisation, product of the influence of Jewry upon the weaker representatives of the Aryan race. I forgot for a while how much I needed a hot bath. Stark naked before her in the sunshine, I

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felt happy to thrust upon that woman the sight of my firm and well-shaped form, as a living instance of Aryan superiority. I merely uttered two words in answer to her question. But in the smile that accompanied those words, she could perhaps read my defiant thoughts.

“And see how lovely we Nazis look, even at forty-three!” said the smile, — “even after a sleepless night upon a filthy rug in the mud. It is only to be expected we are the youth of the world!”

She pursed her lips and gave me a vicious glance, and spoke with forced irony: “Nazi propaganda,” she repeated; “you have come a little late, I am afraid.”

The words stung bitterly, and sunk deep into the raw wound in my heart. Who indeed knew better than I how delightful it would have been to have made use of my proselytising zeal in Europe under the Third Reich, instead of wasting it in indifferent surroundings? But I was too conscious of my strength in the present, for the thought of the past to depress me. And the bright sunshine pouring through the window turned my mind to the joy of an irresistible future. I remembered that nothing can prevent a great nation from accomplishing its natural mission, and that a few years up or down make a very little difference in the long run. I smiled still more defiantly and answered:

“No, on the contrary; I have come a little too early.”

The woman who looked like a Jewess was silent — aware, perhaps, that, from her point of view. I was only too right. The other one, who had now finished examining my stockings, told me: “You can put on your clothes again.”

Neither seemed to have noticed the priceless little glass object that hung on a golden chain around my neck.

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I was then taken to another room within the same building, a much smaller room in which several men, some in police uniform others in civilian clothes, were standing or sitting. One of them, seated in a dark corner opposite the door, was the Oberinspektor to whom particulars about my case had been given on the telephone from the police station, already before my arrest — a good looking man, rather stout, with the most pleasant manners. He asked me “if I would mind” answering a few questions. And after taking down my name, age, etc. he bade me relate to him “what I had done in Germany from the start.” My statement, he said, would serve as evidence in my trial. Of course, I was not compelled to make any statement. I could, if I liked, refuse to reveal anything of my history until the day I would appear before my judges. But I was only too pleased to speak about myself, provided I could do so without harming people who were on our side. I did not mind harming myself. For over twenty years my real self had remained in the shade: all but a very few exceptionally intelligent people had guessed the connection between my life-centred philosophy, my hatred of the Christian values, my Sun worship — my Aryan Paganism, openly professed — and the modern political Ideology of which I very rarely spoke, and had understood how passionately I identified myself with the latter. It had been expedient to let most people ignore the fact, especially during the war. I thus never got into trouble; nor did some of my closest collaborators. But now that, at last, I was caught, it mattered little if I told the authorities a little more than they already knew or suspected, about me. “One may as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb,” thought I: “Let me have the pleasure of informing these people of the fact that the persecuted

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Idea means more to me, a non-German, than all their ‘humanitarian’ twaddle ever will mean to anybody, including themselves!” And I said: “I shall do so willingly, and tell you the whole truth,” — determined all the time, however, to conceal whatever could, directly or indirectly, implicate any other National Socialists, in or outside Germany.

“I first came to Germany from Sweden,” I pursued, “and distributed, from the windows of the Nord-Express, from the 15th of June at about 6 p.m. to the 16th, at about 9 a.m. in 1948, over five hundred leaflets which I had written myself. Then, after a short stay in England, I came back through France, crossing the frontier, this time, at Saarhölzbach, and distributed, from the 7th of September to the 6th of December 1948, both in the three Western Zones of occupation and in Saarland, over six thousands other leaflets, the text of which I had also written myself.”

The Oberinspektor interrupted me. “Your first leaflets were printed in Sweden?” he asked me.

“They were not printed at all,” replied I. “I wrote them in my own handwriting, four or five at a time, making use of carbon paper, and spent the two nights before my departure doing so.”

It pleased me to mention that detail — which is perfectly accurate — and thus to impress upon the bystanders the double fact that I had acted upon my own initiative and that I was not to be discouraged by physical hardships.

“And where was your second supply printed?” asked the Oberinspektor.

“I have already declared at the Police Station that, on no account, would I answer that question.”

“All right; continue to relate your journeys to and

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from. This is just a voluntary statement of yours, in which you can be as brief as you like.”

I resumed my story; informing the police that, for the second time, I had gone to England in December 1948 “to spend Christmas with old friends” and that, after my third journey back to Germany, I had distributed a third supply of about four thousand papers — those precisely in the possession of which I had been arrested — which could be used both as leaflets and as posters. Again I carefully avoided mentioning a single detail susceptible of rousing suspicions about others than myself. My two hands in my pockets, I spoke with ease, with concealed amusement, and a secret feeling of superiority. I selected without difficulty what I wished to say, as a grownup girl who thinks, while speaking to a lot of first-form schoolboys: “This I can tell them; it is of no importance — and if I don’t tell them, someone else will, anyhow. But that is none of the kids’ business.” I remembered with what apparent simplicity with what calculated harmlessness, my clever husband used to talk, during the war, to the American officers that I used to bring home from the “East and West Club.” And I thought, looking around me at the half a dozen men that nearly filled the narrow room: “Surely these are just as willing to be deceived as those were.” And I despised them once more in my heart.

I related the last episode of my free life in Germany so as to make Herr W. appear as totally unaware as possible of what he was doing when he took my posters to stick up.

“But you knew his political views?” the Oberinspektor remarked.

“I did not, nor do I to this day,” answered I, lying with utmost naturalness. “I only hoped he was not

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violently against National Socialism. But of that too, I was not sure; so much so that I felt uneasy after he had gone away with my posters. One is, indeed, never sure.”

“Then, how could you believe he would stick up the posters once he would have read them? — for you told us that he did not read them before you left him, and did not yet know exactly what they were about.”

“The truth is that I am a fool, and that I acted on impulse,” said I. “I knew the young man had suffered a good deal from the war, as thousands of others. And — I imagined — gratuitously, without even asking him — that he held the Democracies responsible for it all, as I do, and that he therefore might be willing to help me in my single-handed struggle. It was perhaps a mistake on my part. I don’t know. It was a risk I took, at any rate.”

“And you offered the young man money?”

“No — because I had none. But I told him I would be glad to meet him again. And if all had gone well, I surely would have done my best to help him, knowing as I did that he was in need.”

“And you had no friends in Germany, save those you met occasionally on your way, as you did Herr W? You had no letters from abroad recommending you to anybody?”

“I had a letter from Monsieur C., of the Bureau des Affaires Allemandes, 36 rue de la Pérouse, in Paris, recommending me to the special care and protection of the Allied Occupation authorities, and another one, from the same person, addressed to me, and telling me that I could go to see, on his behalf, Monsieur H. and Monsieur G., in Baden Baden, and a couple of other gentlemen in Saarbrücken and in Vienna — for I intended to go to Austria too. Both letters are to be found in my hand-bag, I believe.”

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I had conversed with Monsieur C., and with Monsieur G., and with one of the fellows in Saarbrücken. Knowing they were all notorious anti-Nazis, I did not care two hoots if they got into trouble on account of me. On the contrary: the thought of such a possibility thoroughly amused me.

“Do you mean to tell us that you do not know any Nazis in Germany?” I heard a voice ask me, from a group of men who, although seated in the opposite corner, near the window, seemed to be following my cross-questioning with great interest.

“I know only two Nazis in the wide world; one is the Führer — the Gods be with him! — and the other is myself,” replied I, with as much imperturbable seriousness as a comic actor on the stage.

There was silence in the audience — I mean, among my interrogators — and a smile (that the smilers themselves would have liked to repress) appeared upon one or two faces. I felt that my strange statement needed a word or two of explanation, and I added: “Yes, God alone, ‘who probes into men’s hearts,’ knows who is a Nazi and who is not. What do I know? It is only too easy to deceive me. So I repeat indeed: I am sure of nobody’s National Socialist faith, save, of course, of the Führer’s and of my own.”

The explanation was irreproachably logical. There was no answer to it — except torture. But the men in that little room seemed quite different from those I had first come in contact with — Germans, no doubt, most of them, but much less interested than the former in the future (and even in the present) of Democracy; in other words, men who served Democracy in a more truly democratic spirit, i.e., with no genuine zeal. Or perhaps, just men in a hurry to go home and have lunch — for it must

55

have been well nigh half past one or two o’clock in the afternoon. Not one of them renewed the threat. And I began to feel convinced that one could make fun of the whole system of political coercion in occupied Germany, with practical impunity (at least now and in the Western Zones) provided one had sufficient contempt for it from the start, and sufficient pluck.

A tall, slim, fairly elegant man, who had not yet spoken, asked me if I knew for sure that Adolf Hitler is alive. “You say so in your posters. Is it just a means to give hope and courage to his people, or do you really believe it?” said he.

“I am sure of it,” I replied.

“And how did you come to know it? One of his followers must have told you so.”

“Not at all. An Indian astrologer told me so.”

The audience was again taken back. They had been wondering what I was going to say, as they knew, by now, that I would never mention a single German name. They had not expected that answer.

“And you believe in such forecasts?” the tall man asked me.

“I do — when they are made by people who know the science of the stars. I suppose twenty-five years spent in the Near and Middle East have only increased my natural tendency to superstition.”

Again the explanation, though a little ironical, was irreproachably consistent. There was nothing to reply.

But the tall man, for his misfortune, started a discussion with me on purely ideological grounds. A mistake, from his point of view — for any such discussion between a Democrat and a National Socialist only serves to show how weak the former’s position is, compared with that of the latter. And a mistake which he aggravated by

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choosing to discuss the spirit of Indian philosophy, with which he appears ill-acquainted.

“I fail to understand how you, who seem to be interested in India (since you took the trouble of learning two Indian languages) can at the same time identify yourself so completely with an ideology of murder and violence (sic) such as National Socialism,” said he, who had himself visited India during the war.

“And what makes you think that the Indians are incapable of murder and violence?” asked I. “The long history of India, — which I once used to teach in an Indian college — leads rather to the contrary conclusion.”

“Maybe. But . . . Gandhi, the apostle of nonviolence. . . . And the masters of Indian spirituality . . . who were all pacifists...” (sic).

“All pacifists!” thought I; “what a joke! Obviously, this man has never read the Bhagavad-Gita.” But I was not astonished. I knew he would speak thus, — and put the shrewd Bania1 politician of modern India on a level with the Aryan seers of old. I knew the abysmal ignorance of most Europeans who pretend to understand “Indian philosophy.”

“Gandhi does not represent India,” I replied. “He has himself admitted that the two great influences that count in his life are that of Jesus Christ and that of Tolstoy — one of the most Christian-like figures of modern times. The fact that, soaked through and through in such foreign philosophy, he has acquired great fame and played a considerable role in India, is just one more blatant sign of India’s decay from the high level of wisdom to which the ancient Aryans had attained there,

1 Belonging to one of the merchant castes, — that of the “Modh-Bania,” in Gandhi’s instance.

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when they laid the foundations of her caste-ridden civilisation.”

The topic was unusual at the Police Headquarters of Cologne; and every man present was listening intently, including the Oberinspektor in his armchair. I only hoped the Germans knew enough English to grasp the full meaning of what I was saying, — for the tall man had addressed me in English, and I had answered him in the same language. I pursued, as though I were delivering a public lecture: “I do not know how far unconditional nonviolence was practised by the civilised people of the Indus Valley, before the warrior-like Aryans poured down from the North. If, as some maintain, it was, then, I am all the more right in declaring that India’s historic civilisation — Sanskrit civilisation — is not a product of the Tropics, but a Nordic civilisation stamped upon a tropical land, which is not at all the same thing. It is the outcome of the genius of ancient invaders whose spirit was practically the same as ours. You will not find a trace of that bold spirit in Mr. Gandhi’s pacifism — nor in the great philosophies of escape from life, products of lassitude and disillusionment and despair, more consistent than his, that sprang in Antiquity from the minds of Kshatriyas who had renounced the duties and the privileges of power. But you will find it in all its purity in the Bhagavad-Gita, the Book that proclaims that “there is nothing more welcome to a Kshatriya than a righteous war,”1 and that tells the warrior: “Slain thou wilt obtain Heaven; victorious, thou wilt enjoy the earth; stand up, therefore, O son of Kunti, full of resolution, and fight!”2



1 The Bhagavad-Gita, II verse 31.
2 The Bhagavad-Gita, II verse 37.

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“But . . . I heard that the Bhagavad-Gita also preached nonviolence,” said the man.

“No,” answered I. “That is the mistake of those who read it with an incurably Christian mentality. The Bhagavad-Gita, written for warriors, preaches violence in a detached spirit — utmost violence (if necessary) with perfect detachment; the action which is duty, according to each one’s natural role in the world, performed thoroughly, but without passion, and never, never for personal ends; the selfsame thing which we National Socialists preach — and live — today; and that we are the only ones to live, in this degenerate world.”

The tall, elegant man found it advisable to drop the topic. Perhaps he regretted ever having brought it up, thus giving the Germans who were present the opportunity to know — if they had not suspected it before — how ancient, how eternal, Hitler’s spirit is, and how indissolubly linked with every awakening of Aryan consciousness.

He asked me a question apparently less likely to provoke, within German hearts, secret reactions, undesirable from the Allied point of view.

“How is it,” he asked me, “that a certificate of Greek nationality issued by the Greek Consulate of Lyons (France) and dated 1928, was found in your bag?”

“I was of Greek nationality before I acquired British citizenship by my marriage.”

“Then how is it that, in your passport, opposite the French visa authorising you to enter the French Zone of occupation in Germany, it is specially stated that you are French?”

“Oh, that just means that I purposely omitted to tell the French authorities that I had chosen Greece at the age of twenty-one. I told them — because I thought it

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would induce them to grant me the military permit more easily — that my father was a French citizen, (which is true, whatever be his origin) and that I was “born French” (which is no less true whatever be my origin, as any child born in France, is or was, in my time, considered French). All that interested me in the matter was a means to enter Germany. And I was not mistaken: they gave me that means.”

“And why did you not retain your French citizenship, when you were twenty-one? Surely it was more advantageous than a Greek one.”

“I know it was. Most Greeks settled in France are ‘French citizens’ for that reason. And they told me so in Greece itself, when I went and claimed my Hellenic nationality. They told me I would never enjoy in Greece the position my diplomas would have given me in France. Yet I replied that I would earn my living by washing plates and dishes, rather than be called French.”

“And what diplomas had you?”

“I was ‘licenciée ès lettres’ — what they call in England ‘master of arts’ I believe. And I was afterwards to acquire the degree of ‘master of sciences’ — ‘licenciée ès sciences’ — also, and finally of ‘doctor of literature’ (‘docteur ès lettres’).”

“And what grievances had you against France?”

“I never forgave her the way she forced Greece into the first World War on the side of the Allies, with the complicity of Mr. Venizelos, against the will of the Greeks. I held her responsible for the Greek disaster in Asia Minor in 1922. And although I am not a German, the manner she behaved in the Ruhr in 1923 thoroughly disgusted me — how I remember it! And I looked upon her citizenship as a shame, and did not want it, however

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advantageous it might have been. There was, then, no question of emergency for me, as in 1948.”

“And family considerations influenced your decision, I suppose . . .”

“No, a thousand times no. Even if both my parents had been Greeks by blood, I doubt whether that would have added much to my determination,” said I. “What mainly attracted me were those eternal Greek ideals of perfection that I was very soon to call Aryan ideals. Greece — the oldest Aryan nation in Europe to have given expression to those ideals in life and culture — was a symbol in my eyes. And I was not astonished to see the French Government who had betrayed the Greeks of Asia Minor, behave so shabbily towards Germany a year later — although I was far from suspecting, then, the full meaning of rising National Socialism, and the part it would play in my life.”

“And what does National Socialism mean to you?” asked the man. “And what would you have done, then, if you had realised what you believe to be its full significance?”

“To me, National Socialism is the only outlook worthy of the natural aristocracy of mankind, of the best representatives of the Aryan race. It is the expression of undying Aryan Heathendom in our modern world. Had I realised that when I was twenty-one, I would have done anything to become a citizen of the Third Reich, and to serve its interests at home with all my love, all my energy and all my intelligence. But I realised it two years later, and I did my best for the Aryan cause in the two old hallowed centres of Aryan culture: Greece and India.”

I had replied unhesitatingly. The man judged that he hid better put off questioning me for the time being. Somehow, whatever he had asked me, my reply had

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always turned out, in the end . . . ad majorem Germaniae gloriam. It was too much for the prestige of the Occupation, — especially considering the fact that I am not a German. Moreover, as not a word of this conversation had been written, God only knew how it might be repeated and interpreted by the Germans who were present. These, of course, were all good Democrats — or they would not have been there. But could one ever tell in occupied Germany, who was a good Democrat and who was just putting up a show? The gentleman ordered that a stenotypist be sent him to his house, in the afternoon, to take down my answers in black and white, and bade me follow him into the car waiting downstairs. He was, outwardly at least, most courteous, and I would even say, most friendly.

On our way out, he told me that he belonged to the British Military Intelligence. I reflected and concluded that I had been discreet. True, I had revealed a good deal of my personal feelings. But that had no importance; it concerned nobody but myself. I had not said a word that could be of any use to the enemies of National Socialism in the present or in the future.

The car took me to the house the man occupied with his wife and two children.

Seated in a corner, with my face to the window, I enjoyed the drive as thoroughly as I would have on an ordinary Sunday afternoon, had the gentleman not been a British “M.I.” in occupied Germany, and I not a prisoner. The weather was cold and bright — the weather I like — and the road pleasant. I had entirely forgotten my body in the earnestness or craftiness of my replies to the different questions that had been put to me at the Police Headquarters, and I now felt the pangs of hunger no longer. I could easily have continued to discourse

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the whole day. But for the present, I just looked out of the window at the trees along the road, at the bright cloudless sky and at the passersby.

I was aware of the invisible link that bound me to the latter — as to all Germany — more strongly than ever since my arrest. A woman on the roadside pointed at the motorcar in which I was, to her two or three year-old child, that was crying. There was nothing remarkable in such a gesture: she would have, just as easily, pointed at anything else, to make the boy forget why he was crying. But as I saw her do it, tears came into my eyes, as though that woman had been eternal Germany drawing to me the attention of her distressed sons of 1949 and telling them: “Weep not over the disaster: it will be avenged. And already, in spite of it all, you are the winners — not those who persecute you. See: wherever the Aryan consciousness is wide-awake it is on your side!” Spontaneously, I had given the simple gesture a secret meaning. Why not? Everything in the universe is connected with everything else and with the invisible, and has a secret meaning that people do not know. I was a living centre of Aryan consciousness. And the fair-haired babe now crying in his mother’s arms would march in a few years’ time along this same road, in the ranks of the resurrected Hitler Youth. In my humble way, among thousands of others, I existed in order to make this possible.

It must have been not far from half past three when we reached the house — the lovely, warm, comfortable house in which, the Englishman told me, I would spend the rest of the day and the following night until I was taken somewhere else, (I did not yet know where.)

“I thank you for lodging me here,” said I. Yet, I added immediately: “But would you do so if I were German?”

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“But you are British,” replied my host.

“Any nationality attributed to me (in the sense the world now conceives nationhood and nationality) would be artificial,” said I. “I am just an Aryan.” And I thought of Herr W., and wondered: “How are they treating him who, being an S.S. officer, is worth more than I?” It would perhaps have been better to have left me in the cold, dark cell. I did not want personal consideration from Germany’s oppressors — from the willing or unwilling agents of the enemies of Aryandom.

The Englishman’s wife came to take me upstairs to have a bath. She was a young, very attractive woman, with fiery red hair — a Scotchwoman; a fine Nordic type. And as I gazed at her, I thought for the millionth time “Why could not at least the best physical specimens of Aryans all support the one Ideology worthy of the race — ours? Why do they — even in Germany, let alone in other places — allow the cunning of the Jew to divide them in the name of utterly non-Aryan principles?” But I said nothing. And as I followed her through a warm corridor, taking a glance, as I went, at the blue satin hangings that adorned one of the bedrooms, I realised, with such sadness that I could have cried, that some Germans had been turned out of their comfortable home to make place for this M.I. and his family. “Where were they now?” thought I. How were they living? It was in one of their rooms that I was to sleep that night. . . . But perhaps they would not mind my presence in their house so much as that of the British official, if only they knew me.

I was still trying to picture to myself the lawful inhabitants of those lovely surroundings when I reached the bathroom.

“You can use any soap you like”; said the M.I.’s wife. You have bath salts here in the corner. And here

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is a clean towel. If you need anything, do not be ashamed to tell me.”

“I thank you,” said I, “and beg to be excused for all the trouble that I am giving you. I would only like . . . some clean underclothes. I believe I have some in the brown suitcase that they brought here with me. And the cardboard box that is in the same suitcase I would need also. And again excuse me for putting you to such inconvenience.”

“It is quite all right. I want you to be comfortable. And you’ll have something to eat when you come down.”

The lady’s voice was sweet and friendly; her manners perfect. I could not help feeling that I was ready to like her, provided she was not against us. I was even beginning to wonder if she were not secretly on our side, and were not treating me so well precisely because of my convictions. But if it were so, she would never tell me. Or would she? I tried to know.

“Did they tell you why I was arrested?” I asked her.

“No.”

“I wrote and distributed papers against the Occupation. I am a Nazi — a real one. I tell you so because I do not wish you to be kind to me without you knowing what I stand for.”

“But it makes absolutely no difference to me,” said the M.I.’s wife. “You have every right to stick up for your convictions, as we all have. Personally, I do not bother my head with politics: I have enough to do with my household and my two kids. For me, you are just a fellow woman of mine.”

“Then, why arrest me? And why persecute Germany? And why persecute National Socialism all over the world?” I wanted to say. But I said nothing. It would have been useless. This charming lady had no say

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in the detested decisions of the victorious Democracies. And, thought I, her beautiful Aryan children would grow up under the New Order anyhow. The next World War and the next following peace — our peace — would come before they would be fifteen, I hoped.

Smiling at this possibility, I bathed in a tub of green marble, and felt as fresh as a rose. I walked downstairs in my clean clothes, humming the old song:

“Germany, awake from your bad dream!
Give not, to alien Jews, a place within your Reich!
We want to fight for your resurrection
Aryan blood must not be submerged!”1
And I could not help thinking: “What would the lawful inhabitants of this house say, if they heard me?” I felt quite sure that they would be secretly pleased. And as I passed before the kitchen, I did all I could for the two young German servants who were working there to hear me. Did they, or not? And if they did, what feelings did the old “Kampflied” rouse in them? I shall never know.

I entered the room I had been assigned: a neat little basement room, with pink flowers on the windowsill. I lay upon the bed — a comfortable bed — and shut my eyes just for a while; to rest, for I knew I would soon be cross-examined again. There was a soft knock at the door. “Come in,” said I. It was the M.I.’s wife herself, holding a tray.

“I have brought you an omelet, a few slices of cake, bread and butter and jam,” said she.

“Oh, thank you!” answered I, in an impulse of


1 “Deutschland erwache aus deinem bösen Traum!
Gib fremden Juden in deinem Reich nicht Raum!
Wir wollen kämpfen für dein Auferstehen.
Arisches Blut darf nicht untergehen!”

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gratitude: the lady was so friendly. But at once I recalled Herr W., and a painful feeling filled my heart and apparently, my face became sombre.

“You must be hungry,” said my hostess. “Since when have you had nothing to eat?”

“Since yesterday morning. But that is nothing to mention.”

“Dear met you would perhaps have liked a little more, then?”

“No, really not. I have more than enough with all this, and am very thankful. I was only thinking . . .”

“What were you thinking?” “. . . thinking . . . how I would be happy if I could share this with the young comrade who was arrested in connection with me, a German who has already suffered a thousand hardships and the most beastly treatment at the hands of the French. Poor boy! if I had not given him those posters to stick up, he would still be free.”

“The French might have been somewhat rough, but I am sure we will treat him kindly,” declared my hostess.

“Do you think so? I am not so sure. He is faithful and courageous, and deserves every consideration even from our enemies. But he has not a British Indian passport,” I replied bitterly.

“But what can you do, now?”

“Nothing, I know. Only, I think of him — and of the thousands of others — and I feel a little ashamed of myself when I see how kind and considerate you are to me.”

“You should not. You did not ask for it, I know. And you, too, are faithful and courageous.”

“I have not yet suffered; I have not yet proved my worth,” said I, meaning every word I said.

“Don’t talk; your coffee will be getting cold.”

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“Yes, that lovely coffee! I have smelt it as soon as you came in,” I said, pouring out a cup of it for myself, as I sat down. “How did you guess I liked coffee better than tea?”

“I thought you would, as I was told you are half continental.”

I was sincerely touched. “Do sit down, and stay a while with me,” I asked the charming woman who, after all, was not responsible for the nonsensical discrimination the Allied authorities seemed to make between my German comrades and myself. “May I know your name?”

“Mrs. Hatch.”

“I am Mrs. Mukherji — Savitri Devi Mukherji. Tell me, Mrs. Hatch, why are you so kind to me?”

“Because one should be kind to everybody; and also because I like you. My husband has talked about you.”

“Has he indeed? And what did he say? I am sure he does not like me!”

“Why do you think that? On the contrary, he finds you strangely interesting, and . . . let me tell you . . . unusually clever.”

“I? But I am the one — the only one — damned fool among all those who share my Ideology! In fact, had I not been so stupid, I never would have got caught.”

She laughed heartily. I finished my omelet, and poured myself out another cup of coffee.

“Your coffee is excellent,” said I. And I could not help adding: “Yes, I do wish my German comrades had such coffee to drink...”

Even those who were free could obtain, then, but very seldom anything else but a tasteless decoction of chicory — “mook-fook,” as they called it, and that, without sugar and without milk. And again, in my mind, I recalled Herr W., and wondered how he was being

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treated. The thought of him pursued me. And I remembered the anti-Nazi starvation camps that the Allies had (I knew it from comrades who had suffered in some of them) established in occupied Germany. But I realised it was of no use mentioning these to this woman she would avoid answering me — whether she knew the facts or not — and would politely drop the topic. Moreover, what could she do, even if she were sincere and bold enough not to shut her eyes to such uncomfortable realities? Other Democrats — other “humanitarians,” responsible ones — would answer for all those horrors when the day of reckoning would come: I thought of that delightful day, while munching bread and butter and raspberry jam — as other people think of the long-desired events that will bring great joy into their personal lives.

“I am told that you come from India and that you write books. Have you written anything about India?” the M.I.’s wife asked me.

“Yes, a book in French, and two others in English, long ago. But my other books are on other subjects.”

“For example?”

“For example: the Religion of the Disk — a particularly beautiful and pure form a Sun worship, put forth by a Pharaoh of the early fourteenth century before Christ, King Akhnaton, one of the greatest historic figures of all times.”

“How interesting! And how did you come to choose such a subject?”

“Just because I too, am a worshipper of the Sun, the Source of all life and health and power,” said I.

“Are you, really? So you don’t believe in Christianity?”

I smiled. The question seemed almost absurd to me. How could anyone indeed believe in Christianity and

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have our ideals? But I was contented to answer: “Certainly not,” without further explanations. There was another knock at the door, and the M.I. himself appeared — Mr. Hatch, I now knew his name. A young girl, a typist, was with him.

“Are you now ready to be cross-questioned once more?” he asked me, as his wife left the room with the half-empty tray.

“Surely.”

He sat down, and so did the typist, and so did I. And again, for the safety of Democracy, the gentleman peered into my past — to the extent I was willing that he should peer. And again, the things I said seemed strange to him, in spite of his long experience with “political cases,” — the truer, the stranger.

“When did you decide to go to India?” he asked me among other things.

“In 1932.”

“And what attracted you there?”

“I wished to see with my own eyes, and to study, a civilisation uniting many separate races, for thousands of years, under a social system founded upon the idea of natural racial hierarchy — our idea. It appeared to me that the sight of India could suggest, in some way, what our New Order extended to the whole world would loot: like after six thousand years of existence.”

“And you did not become a little sceptical about the value of your principles when you saw real India, with its filth and misery?”

“No, on the contrary, never was I so strongly convinced of the necessity of a rational, worldwide caste-system — the purest Aryans forming the highest castes — if the world is one day to become worth living in. But the sight of India’s ‘filth and misery’ as you say so well,

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did teach me (or rather, strengthen in me the conviction) that the ‘live and let live’ attitude of the Indians — and of most Westerners — is no good, and that our future worldwide organisation should impose that which the Indian system has failed even to stress, namely, limitation of breeding among the inferior races, along with our well-known sterilisation of the unfit, and elimination of the dregs of humanity of all races.”

“Did you not go to India for any other reason?”

“Yes, to find there, in the religious rites, customs and beliefs, something of a living equivalent of the old Aryan cults of Europe — both of Greece and of the North; of my Europe in its entirety — which Christianity has abolished.”

“And what did you do, mainly, all those years you were there?”

“I fought Christianity — and Islam, the two international religions of equality, whose adherent any man of any race can become; the two great lasting delusions, rooted in Judaism, that set up the Jews as a ‘chosen’ people, as the channel of divine revelation, in the eyes of untold millions in the East and in the West. I fought them — both — with passionate tenacity, using any platform that was offered to me, speaking, and sometimes writing, in the name of the traditions of India, but in reality in the name of my — of our — life-centred philosophy; of the eternal Philosophy of the Swastika, not because it is ‘Indian’ in any way, but because it is mine — ours. Indeed, I did nothing else.”

“How is it that you remained there so long?”

“I did not intend to, at first. I meant to come back to Europe after a couple of years. Then, I got interested in my struggle there — which was, in fact, an aspect of our struggle. I thought myself useful — perhaps making thereby a mistake. I felt I was preparing in the distant

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East the advent of our world New Order. And had we won this war, I must say that, perhaps, my humble efforts would not have been entirely wasted.”

The typist only wrote down those of my answers that seemed to be of some interest in connection with my coming trial. I often had the impression that Mr. Hatch asked me a great deal of technically useless questions, out of sheer personal interest in the history of a non-German National Socialist — a relatively rare specimen.

“To sum up,” said he, after an hour or two of conversation with me, “it is your own philosophy of life, your essentially aesthetic attitude to religious and social problems, and your interpretation of world history that made you a National Socialist?”

“Nothing made me a National Socialist. I always was one, by nature, by instinct, and could not have been anything else even before I knew what to call myself. But it is true that the factors you mention — and others too — have helped me to become more and more conscious of my Ideology.”

“What ‘other factors’, for instance?”

“My awareness of the Jewish danger on all planes, and not merely in the economic sphere; my strong sense of Aryan solidarity; my inborn hatred of moderate views and of half measures.”

When the typist had gone away, Mr. Hatch came back to me with another man, a Jewish-looking sort of fellow, before whom I repeated some of the things I had said concerning the historical foundation of my Nazi convictions.

“Personally, I like your ancient Greek stuff well enough,” said that other man, “your Spartans, and your Olympic games and what not. But couldn’t we have that without National Socialism?”

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“No. It is impossible.”

“But why, impossible?”

“If you cannot yourself see ‘why’, it just means that you grasp nothing at all of the real Hellenic spirit, or nothing of National Socialism — or perhaps nothing of either,” I replied.

On that remark of mine, both that man and Mr. Hatch walked out. I watched them go. The former was crude, the latter refined — English, and gentlemanlike. But they were both average men. A certain admixture of Jewish blood, probably, in the case of the former, and a successful Judeo-Christian education coupled with vested interests, in the case of both, could never allow them to see things as they are. And never, perhaps, since those horrid days of 1946 that followed my landing in England, had I felt so keenly that we are the misunderstood minority — the only one — that bears the torch of eternal truth in this hateful, decaying Western world, we National Socialists, we, the modern Aryan Heathen. And once more I longed for the divinely ordained general crash — the end of “Kali Yuga,” or the “Dark Age” — when that world would sink into nothingness while the survivors among us would organise upon its ruins the new earth, the Golden Age of the following Cycle in time, the worldwide New Order.

I stood up upon a chair and looked out of the window at the bright, moonlit sky. I remembered the night I lead spent on the slopes of burning Hekla, nearly two years before — a bright night like this one, but in which the face of the full moon was obscured by a cloud of volcanic ash, and in which long streaks of lurid green light, fringed with purple — northern lights — hung from the zenith over the flaming craters and the streams of lava and the shining snowy landscape. Oh, that night; that divine, unforgettable

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night! It was on the 5th of April, 1947. What was 1 destined to do, on the 5th of April, 1949?

And I thought of Lord Shiva, the Destroyer, whose forehead bears the crescent of the moon, and I prayed “Put the right answers in my mouth, O Lord of the Dance of appearances! Use my voice to tell the world, in adequate words, that the truth that inspires us is Thy eternal truth, and that our beloved Führer is the Chosen One of the Gods . . .”

And I pressed in my hands, with tender devotion, the little portrait of the Leader, which I wore around my neck. But again, I heard a soft knock at the door. It was Mrs. Hatch.

“You are not uncomfortable here?” she asked me. And before I had time to answer, she added, as she put on the light and saw me: “You look happy.”

“I am happy.”

“But you must be tired, after all this cross-questioning?”

“No,” said I; “not at all.”

And this was true. I was too happy to be tired. I was aware of being useful. Every word I said was, in a way, our answer to the efforts of the Democrats to “de-Nazify” us. And our answer was, irrefutable, I knew it. And what is more, they knew it too.

“I came,” said Mrs. Hatch, “to ask you what you would like to eat for supper. It is nearly nine o’clock, and you must eat something.”

“It is kind of you to ask me,” I replied. “But I would be quite content with another cup of your lovely coffee. I am not hungry. I have had lunch at half past four or so.” “You surely will have a cup of coffee. I am so glad you like it. But you must have also something to eat, to

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make up your strength. You will be going away from here tomorrow, early in the morning, and you will have another strenuous day. So do tell me what you would like.”

“Oh, anything — except meat, or things cooked with meat or in animal fats.”

“That is easy enough. I shall be back in a minute.”

But I retained her. “Do you mind telling me — if I am allowed to know — where they are taking me tomorrow?” I asked.

“To Düsseldorf.”

“Düsseldorf!” I repeated. “I am glad. The place is full of memories. Oh, I am glad to be tried there!”

Mrs. Hatch left the room. And I followed the, thread of my thoughts. I recalled in my mind the darkest days after the First World War, when the National Socialist struggle had begun, in Germany; the days when the French occupied the Ruhr. I was then in France, a college girl of seventeen. From what I heard of it from private sources, the behaviour of the French in the Ruhr had revolted me beyond words. “Then,” I remembered, “the name of Düsseldorf was practically every day in the papers. Who would have told me that, one day I was destined to appear there before a military Court, for having defied Germany’s enemies? And I thought of the earliest phase of the Struggle — when I merely knew of its existence. And I thought of a speech which the Führer had delivered at Düsseldorf three years after the French had settled there — on the 15th of June 1926 — a speech that had impressed me. . . . And I remembered myself, passing through the station of that same town, exactly twenty two years later, — when all was over; when all seemed lost — and thrusting leaflets on the platform from a window of the Nord-Express. Now, I was to be tried

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there for similar activities, after so many Germans who had suffered and resisted. . . . I felt honoured. And then, I realised — as perhaps I never had before to the same extent — that my humble history was also a minute in the history of National Socialism; in the history of proud Germany, the champion of Aryan rights. Of course it was. And it would remain so, forever. I felt raised above myself at that thought.

But already Mrs. Hatch was back with my supper.

“Do sit down, and keep me company while I eat,” said I. She sat down. Then, suddenly smiling: “I wanted to tell you,” she said, “that I have seen your beautiful Indian jewellery.”

“But I have hardly any left. What you have seen is nothing!”

“Whatever it be, I like it . . . including your earrings in the shape of swastikas. They are so lovely!”

“A swastika is always lovely,” answered I. “It is the Wheel of the Sun, — and our holy Sign.”

“But the Indians also hold it sacred, I am told; don’t they?”

“Yes, because they owe the essentials of their religions ideas to the ancient Aryans, conquerors of India thousands of years ago.”

“Tell me, also: is it that you became a vegetarian in India?”

“No; I always was one, from my childhood.”

“Is it for reasons of health, or is it a matter of principles, with you?”

“It is a matter of principles. I refuse to have any part in the infliction of suffering and death upon innocent animals, especially when I can well live without doing so.”

The woman looked at me, a little surprised. And

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she asked me the question that hundreds had asked me already, that hundreds more were to ask me, to this day: the unavoidable question: “In that case, you don’t approve of the violence committed upon human beings in the name of your Ideology?”

“Of course I do! Why shouldn’t I?” I replied, hiding genuine irritation — for that question always irritates me. “I do, wholeheartedly, provided that those who make use of violence do so either to obey orders (in the case they are subordinates) or — in the case they are allowed to take initiative — solely to forward the ends of the Party, the triumph of our Idea, the application of our programme in its proper spirit, and never for any personal ends.”

“But surely you would not have done yourself some of the things the Nazis did,” said the naive lady.

“I undoubtedly would have — and worse things than you can imagine — had I only been given an opportunity,” answered I, with the fire of sincerity, knowing I was right. “And I am prepared to act in the same manner, if ever I get a chance to . . . next time. But of course, as far as possible, always in a detached spirit. I would brush aside all personal feelings including my hatred for anyone who hates my Führer, and consider the sole expediency of the measures I would apply — nothing else.”

“You refuse to have a part in the murder of innocent animals, you say, and yet, you would send any number of human beings to their doom if you or your superiors judged it ‘expedient’, i.e. if it suited your ideological ends!”

“Most certainly.”

“I fail to understand you. You baffle me.”

“Animals are not anti-Nazis” said I, so calmly and so spontaneously, — so naturally — that, in spite of her fathomless naivety, the woman recoiled a little. But she

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clung to her illusions as though her confidence in life depended upon them. “I can’t believe you!” she said. “I do not want to believe you; you look so sweet!”

“What you, and I, and a thousand other people might believe or want to believe has absolutely no importance. Facts alone count,” answered I, in a tranquil voice, with a happy smile.

There was an unbreachable abyss between the usual man-centred outlook of that softhearted woman, brought up in a Christian atmosphere to the influence of which she had responded, and myself, and us all. I recalled the words by which Monsieur Grassot, the Assistant Director of the French Information Department, at Baden Baden, had characterised our merciless consistency: cette logique effroyable — that appalling logic. And once more, as on the 9th of October 1948, before the desk of that official, I thought: “The degenerate world that exalts the Christian values (with what appalling hypocrisy!) will never be won over to our point of view. It will have to perish wholesale before we can build our world. Let it perish! Then the surviving young Aryans of all lands shall follow us.”

When Mrs. Hatch had gone away, after wishing me a good night, I wrote to my husband a letter of which the wording was more or less the following:

Sricharaneshu,1 the immortal Gods have been pleased to honour me: I am under arrest since the night before last for having distributed in occupied Germany several thousands of National Socialist leaflets, which I had written myself. I have given practically all I possessed


1 “Lotus-footed one”; a formula of respect used in India when addressing a superior (father, husband etc.), in writing.

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for our sacred cause. Sweet liberty was the last treasure I had. Now, I have given that, too. I am happy, exceedingly happy. I feel a little worthier, now, of my persecuted German comrades, whom I admire as the world’s living élite.

I hope you are well. May Mahadeva, Lord of Life and Death, be with you.

With utmost love and reverence.
Heil Hitler!

Your,
         Savitri
And I remained a long time awake, wondering whether I would ever see my old home in Calcutta once more, and have a heart to heart talk with the one man in Asia who seemed to know me and to understand me perfectly.

Then, I slept like a log.

* * *
The following morning, after breakfast, I was taken to Düsseldorf. Mrs. Hatch, who had things to do there, sat by my side in the car. Her husband and another man accompanied us.

I had rested, and was in the best of spirits — feeling strong, and in a mood to use defiant speech at the slightest opportunity. I was beginning to realise that those Englishmen, in whose hands I was now, would never apply to me the “methods” of which the German policeman in Cologne had reminded me the existence as a matter of course. They were too squeamish, or too Christian-like, or too afraid of the consequences — afraid of the immense advantage I would take of a personal experience of torture, in my anti-democratic propaganda, no sooner I would be free — or perhaps (who knows?) too good

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psychologists; too thoroughly convinced of the uselessness of any “methods” of intimidation in the case of such “fanatics” as myself. I despised then a little — instead of admiring them — and felt all the more aggressive, instead of all the less so, as they would probably have expected. And I enjoyed the drive along the great Reichsautobahn.

The Sun was bright, the air invigorating. The car rolled along the straight, smooth, shining road, at full speed. I remembered I was going to be tried, and that my trial would be a fact, and that as a fact, — past and ineffaceable — it would remain in the recorded or unrecorded annals of the persecution of National Socialism. One day, the guest of resurrected Germany, seated with other Nazis — free, proud, powerful, merciless and happy — I would speak about it; and say whatever I liked against the slaves of the Jews and the traitors (all of them liquidated, by then) and the “swine-Occupation,” then, the mere memory of a bad dream. This thought thrilled me before hand. I was already — now, powerless and a prisoner — the happiest person in the car. A strange excitement, a sort of intoxication from within, prompted me to speak, to say something irrefutable that would remind the other occupants of the car that their Democracy, — their money power — is not the only force in the world.

“These lovely Autobahnen are one of the lasting achievements of the Third Reich — and a symbol,” said I defiantly. “I cannot help thinking of the great days every time I move along one.”

Mr. Hatch and the other man looked at me with tired faces — evidently not in a mood to respond to attack. Mrs. Hatch said softly:

“We have preserved those truly beautiful roads, and

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we do what we can to keep them in good order as long as we are here.”

“Right: because you use them yourselves ‘as long as you are here’. And how long do you think that will be, if I am not indiscreet?” asked I with a sarcastic smile.

“I don’t know.”

“Nor do I. But I can say that much: it will be as long as the invisible powers will permit; not a minute longer. One day, the Allied troops — and civilians — will run for their lives along these roads and along the roads of their respective countries, pursued by fire from all sides, and not knowing where to go. That will be the day of unfailing Nemesis; the day of my yearning; the day when I shall gloat and gloat and gloat, wherever I be. Tell me: what will you people do, then, to keep me from gloating?”

“Oh, let us talk of something else!” said poor Mrs. Hatch, harassed, exasperated, perhaps crushed by a sudden intuition of the terrible future at the sight of my face — for if what she read there was the spirit of an utterly powerless Nazi, what would resurrected National Socialism look like, once more in all its conquering power? “Let us get away from politics!”

But I was pitiless. “I am not talking ‘politics’,” said I; “I am only stating how I expect to enjoy myself, one day, never mind when. To think of it is the only pleasure left to me, now that I am caught, and of no further use to my cause.”

“Is there not anything or anybody you love in this world, save your cause and the people connected with it?”

“No,” replied I, with all my heart.

There was silence; and the car rolled on. The Sun was now higher in the sky, the air, a little warmer — or a little less cold.

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Before we reached Düsseldorf, Mrs. Hatch and I were again talking — this time, about cats, if I remember well. It is one of the few decidedly non-controversial subjects of which I am able to talk with interest and. understanding and firsthand knowledge.

* * *
In Düsseldorf, I was first taken to one of the police buildings and left there — with Mrs. Hatch — in a room, to wait until someone, seated in the adjacent room, was ready to question me. Mr. Hatch and the man who accompanied him disappeared from my sight.

On the wall facing me in the room in which I was waiting, I noticed large boards bearing statistical sketches in different colours, supposed to represent the progress of “de-Nazification” in Germany, thanks to the organised efforts of the Occupying Powers and of the Germans won over to the cause of Democracy.

I could not help drawing Mrs. Hatch’s attention to those boards — for the sight of the coloured lines standing for thousands of “de-Nazified” Germans made me wild; and she happened to be the only person in the room besides myself.

“Have you seen all this damned tommyrot stuck up, about the place?” asked I, although I had promised not to talk “politics” any more. “What right have the rascals, anyhow, to try to ‘de-Nazify’ people, after pretending, all these years, to be the champions of ‘free’ self-determination? And what if some people choose to use their freedom to put themselves, willingly and joyfully, under the discipline of National Socialism? I did that, precisely — I who am not a German; I who was brought up in the most democratic of all countries, the cradle of the silliest ideas about ‘equality’ in modern times. Let them

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draw their blue and yellow lines, and let them multiply the number of ‘de-Nazified’ Germans by twenty, to see how many thousands of marks they have pocketed!1 I am a permanent slap, a living defiance to all their ‘de-Nazification’ schemes — and so will be, at the first opportunity, I hope, their forced converts to Democracy all over Germany!”

Poor Mrs. Hatch replied to my tirade in a sweet voice:

“I have never believed in statistics.”

“Nor have I.”

“Then, why are you so upset?”

“They believe in them,” said I. And all my hatred for the Allied Occupation since 1945, and for the Allies themselves since 1939, could be felt in the way I stressed that word they.

“No, they don’t; that much I can tell you,” replied Mrs. Hatch. “But even if they did, why should you care? It is in your interest to deceive them, for the time being, is it not?”

“I loathe them!” I exclaimed, without paying serious attention to her last words — which I were to remember months later. “But then, if you are right,” asked I, in reply to her first statement, “why all these figures, all these coloured lines, all these lies — and all the grim apparatus of bribery and fear that stands behind them?”

“I don’t know. Perhaps to occupy a few thousands

1 Every German who was a member of the N.S.D.A.P. was compelled to have a certificate of “de-Nazification” in order to be allowed to work. And he had to pay at least 20 marks to the Allied authorities, for such a certificate.

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of worthless clerks who would otherwise be unemployed,” admitted the sweet — and patient — lady.

I wanted to say: “It that be indeed what you believe, then why do you stay here on the side of Germany’s oppressors?”; to which Mrs. Hatch would probably have replied that she was no militant idealist of any sort, and that she had two children. But I had no time to speak. The door was opened and I was called into the adjacent room. I took leave of Mrs. Hatch, asking her to excuse me if I had really hurt her feelings on any occasion, now or the day before. She wished me “good luck” in my coming trial and left the place.

There were several men in the room into which I was ushered. One of them again asked me many of the questions that had already been posed to me. I replied in exactly the same manner as at first. Then, I was told that I would be prosecuted for violation of the article 7 of the Law 8 of the Occupation Statute in Germany, which forbids any sort of propaganda “aimed at keeping alive the military or Nazi spirit.”

A tall Englishman of agreeable manners, wearing the police uniform, asked me if I cared to make a short statement — just a sentence or two — expressing in a nutshell the purpose of my “offence.” This statement would be read in public at my trial, said he; but I was not compelled to make it if I did not wish to. In a flash of imagination, I pictured myself a hall full of people — mostly, at least, if not all Germans — and my words read to them an encouragement to all those who shared my faith; a warning to the others. Surely I was not going to miss such an opportunity of telling the martyred nation why I had come.

“I am only too glad to speak,” said I with a bright smile. “Know, then, that it is not merely the military

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spirit, in the narrow sense of the word, but National Socialist consciousness in its entirety that I have struggled to strengthen, — that I will again struggle to strengthen, as soon as I get a chance to do so: — for in my eyes, National Socialism exceeds Germany, and exceeds our times.”

My words were taken down. None of the men present made any comments.

I was told that I would appear on that very afternoon before the Lower Control Commission Court, but that my final trial would probably not come before several weeks time. They would first have to sort out and to read the numerous books, papers, letters, notes, etc., that were in my luggage, and of which many would constitute evidence against me. “Evidence in my favour,” thought I, taking a longer view of things, and also well knowing that the police authorities would find, in all that written matter, more than enough to impress them about my absolute sincerity. I remembered there were, in my bag, two letters addressed to me, during one of my short stays in London, by Mr. B. a very fine English friend of mine — the inmate of an anti-Nazi concentration camp in England, during the war. Both ended with the sacred formula: “Heil Hitler!” The police would not be able to harm the gentleman, at any rate. There is no law forbidding a British subject, writing to another British subject in England or within the British Commonwealth, to end his or her letters with those two words. Moreover, the address in the corner of the page was no longer his. He was now far away, overseas — in safety. Yet nobody, admittedly, save a hundred per cent National Socialist, would receive letters ending with “Heil Hitler!” in 1948. And I was glad at the thought that our enemies would become more and more convinced, as they went through

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my things, that I was no paid agent of any description.

But why speak of Mr. B’s letters? There was, in my attaché case, the beginning of my book Gold in the Furnace, that fiery profession of Nazi faith written in my own handwriting, and dedicated “to the martyrs of Nuremberg”; and there was the first part of The Lightning and the Sun, a philosophical book that I was writing slowly, along with the other, and that is — perhaps even more than the other, for those who can read between the lines, — the expression of all we stand for, the justification of all we did.

I recalled in my mind the last paragraph of the Chapter 3 of the former book, which I had written in a café in Bonn on the 12th February 1949, a few days before my arrest: “Today, we suffer. And tomorrow, we might have to suffer still more. But we know it is not forever, — perhaps even not for long. One day, those of us to whom it will be granted to witness and to survive the coming crash, will march through Europe in flames, once more singing the Horst Wessel Song — the avengers of their comrades’ martyrdom, and of all the humiliations and of all the cruelties inflicted upon us since 1945; and the conquerors of the day; the builders of future Aryandom upon the ruins of Christendom; the rulers of the new Golden Age.” I knew the words by heart; they came after a vitriolic impeachment both of Communism “that most cunning of all mass delusions,” and of Democracy “the rule of the scum.” I was glad to know that Germany’s oppressors would read that (the philosophical book they were perhaps incapable of understanding) and learn what at least one non-German National Socialist thought of then. But at the same time, I was convinced that they would destroy the unfinished book — I surely,

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would have destroyed any equally eloquent anti-Nazi writing that would have fallen into my hands, if I had been in power, and, which is more, I would have destroyed the writer with it. I felt profoundly sad at the thought, for I loved that book of mine, the youngest and fairest child of my brain. In none of my former writings, had I so, passionately poured out my whole being as in this one. Had they sworn to me that they would spare it on the condition that I should be killed or tortured, I would have chosen death or torment without hesitation — anything to preserve the sincerest words I had ever written, so that, one day, a few among my Führer’s people might read them and say of me: “She loved and admired us.”

I would, thought I, do my best to save them. So I went up to the man who had just told me about my trial, and spoke to him. “My own writings will serve as evidence,” said I, “but may I ask if they will be given back to me after the trial is over? Or can I be again tried on account of some of them, specially of a certain book which I was writing?”

“In this trial, you are charged with distributing tracts and sticking up posters, not with writing books. Your leaflets and placards are the only things with which we are concerned.”

“Then, my unfinished books will not be destroyed?” asked I, hardly daring to be hopeful.

“That, I cannot tell you. It all depends upon the Court. If the Court judges your writings subversive, it will order their destruction; otherwise not,” replied the man, somewhat impatiently.

I, who knew how “subversive” were the three first chapters of my Gold in the Furnace, — even the first part of The Lightning and the Sun, of which the spirit is no less Nietzschean — felt all hope abandon me.

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I looked sadly out of the, window, at the sunny courtyard and at the bright blue sky. I pictured to myself, beyond the wall that faced me, the hundreds of miles of ruins I knew so well. “When we have lost the war, when, my Führer’s people are persecuted, when all I have loved lies in the dust, it is mean of me to grieve over my book,” thought I. “They have burnt all manner of Nazi literature they could lay hands upon, beginning with thousands of copies of Mein Kampf; why should they not destroy also my insignificant prose?” But still I was depressed. Then, from the serene depth of bygone ages, everlasting words of wisdom emerged into my consciousness — words of the Bhagavad-Gita, of which I had never experienced the overwhelming beauty as I did now: “Considering as equal pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, gird thyself for the battle; thus thou shalt not incur sin”1 . . . “in a spirit of sacrifice, devoid of attachment, perform thou dutiful action, O son of Kunti.”2

And tears came into my eyes as I remembered the divine sentences. And I prayed ardently that I might — even now — serve the Nazi cause with efficiency and perfect detachment — indifferent to all forms of personal glory or personal satisfaction; to everyone and to everything save God — i.e., the truth — and the Führer, God’s living mouthpiece; and duty.

* * *
I was then sent to the “Stahlhaus,” now the Headquarters of the British Civil Police. An English policewoman, Miss Taylor, was put in charge of me. I told her


1 The Bhagavad-Gita, II, verse 38.
2 The Bhagavad-Gita, III, verse 9.

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why I was under arrest, in case she did not know it already. I did not want her — or anybody — to take me for an ordinary, “criminal case.” After a few minutes, she asked me the tiresome old question that I have answered a hundred thousand times since my return to Europe: “You don’t really mean that you condone the awful things that the Nazis did?”

“What ‘awful things’?” asked I, with undisguised contempt: I never loathe the Democrats’ hypocrisy so intensely as when that question is posed to me.

“Well, violence of all sorts: killing off people by the thousand,” replied Miss Taylor.

“And why not?” said I, “if those people were obstacles to the stability of the régime and to the creation of a more beautiful world? I believe in removing obstacles. Moreover” — I added — “I am thoroughly disgusted with the scruples of people who take slaughterhouses and vivisection chambers as a matter of course and yet dare to protest against our real or supposed ‘atrocities’ upon objectionable human beings.”

“But they were human beings, however objectionable you might find them.”

“I have never shared our opponents’ superstitious regard for the two-legged mammal,” said I, with an expression of contempt. “I consider all life sacred — until it becomes an obstacle to the higher purpose of Creation, which we, National Socialists, have set ourselves to forward. And alone selfish or idiotic human beings — the most dangerous of all beasts — can stand in the way of that.”

“But there is no higher purpose than the happiness of all men,” said the policewoman, whether in earnest or not, I do not know.

“You might think so; I don’t,” answered I. “My

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firm conviction — which I suppose I can express freely, as you Democrats stand, or pretend to stand for ‘freedom’ — is that the highest purpose of life is to forward the growth of a superior humanity, whose role is to rule a healthy world. No means are too ruthless that can bring us nearer to that goal.”

The policewoman was not only cultured, but intelligent. She understood that my attitude was rooted in lifelong reactions — in my very nature — and that it was, therefore, unshakable. Neither on that day nor later on — on the several occasions she accompanied me to and fro between my prison and Düsseldorf — did she ever again speak to me as though I might be brought to accept the current scale of values of what I call the decadent world. She admitted that I was “absolutely consistent,” — and if she thought “appallingly consistent,” she did not say so. And she declared that she herself would react as I do, “if she had my convictions.”

I lunched with her, insisting, as always, on vegetarian food for myself, after which I was taken back to the building in which I had spent the morning, nay to the room where I had waited with Mrs. Hatch for them to call me for cross-questioning — the room of which the walls bore coloured statistical accounts of the “progress of ‘de-Nazification’ in Germany.”

One of the men in Civil Police uniform whom I had met in the morning — I think he was called Manning, but I am not quite sure — entered that room with me and shut the door. I scented that something different from my other sittings was intended to take place, and mentally, I prepared myself for the worst, praying to the Gods to assist me.

Mr. Manning — or the gentleman whom I took to be

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Mr. Manning — sat down and bade me take a seat opposite him. “Now,” said he, in a soft, low, insinuating voice, “you see we are not doing any harm to you. You cannot complain of our behaviour, can you?”

“Up till now, I admit I cannot.”

“Then, would you not care to help us a little by telling us who printed those posters of yours? You can be quite sure nobody will ever know that you gave us the information. Moreover, we assure you that no harm will be done to the printer or those connected with him.”

I felt a wave of indignation rush to my heart as if the man had insulted me in the filthiest language — and more so. I could have strangled him with my own hands with delight, not for wishing to know who had printed my propaganda (that was only natural on his part) but for having the impudence to imagine that I could give away a comrade. Who did the fellow take me for? I looked at him straight in the face and replied with contempt: “I am no traitor!”

“That, we know,” said the man, his voice still softer; “we know. But could one call this treachery? We shall find out anyhow.”

“Then, find out if you can,” answered I, “and don’t ask me. You will never get a word from me.”

Then, recalling the threat of the German policeman in Cologne on the night of my arrest, I pursued: “If you are really keen on making me speak, why don’t you try on me your wonder-working Democratic ‘methods’ — those you have used upon thousands of my betters, you who criticise us for being ‘brutal’, you who pretend to have fought to deliver the world from our impending tyranny? Come along! Don’t be squeamish! Remember that I too am a Nazi, — a monster by definition — and by far nearer the conventional type of Nazi that you

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people hate and dread, than most others. If I were in your place, and you in mine, I would not waste precious time arguing. I would do what all representatives of well-organised services of coercion have done from the beginning of the world, and will do till the world ends. Do the same! — and let me, one day, give public lectures about the episode, to my own delight, and to that of all the enemies of Democracy! In the meantime, I might not speak — I sincerely hope I shall not, although it is always rash to boast before hand. But you will at least have done your best for the defence of the decaying order in Western Europe — if you really care about it as much as the Allied controlled press would lead us to believe.”

The man — on behalf of the Democratic world — listened to that bitingly ironical discourse with apparent equanimity. And he replied, again in his soft, low insinuating voice; “No, we shall not apply any sort of physical pressure in your instance; it is out of the question . . .”

“You prefer to apply it in the instance of defenceless Germans, who cannot expose your ‘humanitarian’ lies before the world and tear your prestige to pieces, because you do not allow them to travel,” I burst out, interrupting him. But the man seemed to pay no attention to what I said. “We shall not submit you to any sort of physical pressure,” he repeated, ignoring my impeachment; “but we give you the confidential assurance that, if you tell us who printed your posters, we shall spare your writings — all of them, however subversive they be.”

I marvelled, inwardly, at the psychological insight of that man. He had guessed that the irretrievable loss of my unpublished books would be a greater torment to me than any agony of the body. But even that did not

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work. On the contrary. A strange reaction took place in me: I felt that my last link with the, world of appearances had been snapped; that henceforth, I was free — freer than the roaring Ocean that no man can control. In that fraction of a second, under the pressure of emergency, I had rid myself of my strongest attachment: the attachment to my life’s creation.

“Burn them, then,” said I, with exaltation. “Burn them! — although I know I could never write them again as they are. Better not a trace be left of whatever I produced, rather than I become unworthy of my Führer and of my faith — of all I have lived for, all my life!”

My eyes were filled with tears. But I regretted nothing, and meant every word I said. I possessed nothing nearer to my heart than my own sincere writings, the children of my soul, my only children. And the austere joy I now experienced was — I presume — akin to the joy of a mother who sends her sons to a dutiful death, rather than incur shame.

The man gazed at me, and seemed surprised. In vain, he coaxed me for a long time more. “I thought you were extremely anxious about the fate of your writings,” said he.

“I was,” I replied. “I would undergo any torture, if that could save them! But I will not save them at the cost of honour. I am a National Socialist and a worshipper of the Sun — not of any Jewish god or prophet. And I am the granddaughter of William Nash, an English gentleman.”

The man again looked into my face, and said with an accent of sincerity, lowering his voice still a little more: “I understand you.”

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I then appeared before the Lower Control Commission Court, in a different building. Not a real sitting of the Court, but just a dull procedure — quickly over, I must say.

The man in uniform who had been cross-questioning me asked the Court that I should be kept on remand for a fortnight, and submitted both to a physical and to a mental examination by British doctors. The Court agreed. And I left the hall, followed by Miss Taylor, who was now to take me to my new abode: the women’s prison in Werl, near Soest, Westphalia, some eighty or ninety miles from Düsseldorf.

In the corridor, as I came out, I saw my comrade and collaborator, Herr. W., dragged along by a tough German policeman who held him by his sleeve. He looked thin exceedingly pale, and dejected — the shadow of himself. He had swollen eyelids and (at least, it seemed to me) a blue mark — doubtless the mark of a blow — upon his face. I was neither enchained nor held, and I had undergone no ill-treatment, thanks to my British-Indian passport. I gazed at him — who fortunately did not see me — and remembered the last words he had addressed to me in the empty train: “I shall never betray you. . . . The mark does not come off. . . . I was in command of S.S. men.” And tears filled my eyes. I knew he had not betrayed me.

And I felt small before him — and all the others, who had suffered ill-treatment, ever since 1945. What had I not done to acquire, in war time, that British-Indian passport of mine, so that I might, under a pretext, leave India to serve our cause more efficiently on my own continent! And now I felt ashamed of the advantages that the document gave me. I regretted that I was not treated like the others — like those who share my Nazi faith; my equals; and my betters; all those I love.


CHAPTER 4
ON REMAND

On that day, the 21st of February, in the evening, after a beautiful motor drive, I arrived before the doors of the Werl prison. Miss Taylor had conversed with me with the utmost courtesy and cordiality during the journey — about Marcus Aurelius, whom she knew well and admired; about Christianity, which she forgave me for detesting; about the religion of the Sun as it appears in the hymns of King Akhnaton of Egypt, and in the immemorial hymns of the Rig-Veda, the most ancient verses that have come down to us in an Aryan tongue. We talked also a little of more modern subjects. And she began to realise — perhaps — how thoroughly National Socialism expressed my whole Pagan philosophy of life, and how inseparable that whole philosophy is from my very being.

I got down from the car and waited. It was already dark. A warder in greyish-green uniform opened the door and let us into a room on the left. Another man, also in uniform, seated at a table in that room, signed a paper that Miss Taylor handed over to him, acknowledging that I had actually been transferred into his custody, in other words, that she was no longer responsible for me. He also put me a few questions. Then a young woman in khaki uniform, who had been called for, came in and bade me follow her. I took leave of Miss Taylor, and crossed with my new custodian a courtyard on all sides of which were high walls, nearly entirely covered with creeper. Then, the wardress opened a large iron door with one of the two huge keys that she held, and

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shut it behind me. I followed her along a path with a high wall on one side — the wall that separated the prison grounds from the street, I presumed — and, on the other, a building from which came a smell of food — the kitchens of the prison. That path led us into an alley in the midst of an open, grassy space, surrounded with buildings — four-storied ones on the left, and in the distance; a one-storied, elongated one, on the right. In all I saw hundreds of barred windows, now most of them lighted, each one of which — I guessed — corresponded to a prisoner’s cell. Then, again the wardress opened a huge door with her key, and I crossed a sort of covered yard, — a paved space between two workshops — in the dark. Another door was opened before me — and, as always, shut after me, immediately I had passed — and I emerged into a rectangular courtyard, surrounded on all sides with the walls of a one-storied building. The ground floor was dark. But the windows on the first floor — all barred, like those I had seen from the much broader open Space which I had just crossed on my way — were lighted. Two flights of steps, each of them protected by a roof, led to the first floor from that courtyard. We went up the one on the left. The door at the top was again shut. The wardress opened it, walked in and turned to the right. I found myself in a long, dimly lighted, fairly wide and perfectly silent corridor with rows of doors each side of it. The wardress took me along, right to the end, and ushered me into a small room in which were an elderly lady in dark blue uniform, obviously an important member of the prison staff, and a young woman, seated at a table before what seemed to me to be a book of accounts. Along the walls of the room ran large shelves upon which heaps of clothes and linen were neatly piled

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The elderly lady — who, with her wavy hair, now white, her blue eyes and regular features, must have been pretty in her youth — took down my name, age, etc., and asked me the nature of my “offence” — at the hearing of which both her face and that of the wardress brightened imperceptibly. Those German women did not dare to tell me: “You are on our side; good for you! But I felt at once that in their eyes, I was innocent, if not praiseworthy, although surely stupid — stupid enough to have let myself get caught.

“Well, those are your convictions,” said the white-haired lady. She made no further remarks but asked me — as that had to be written down as a matter of routine — what was my religion.

“I am a worshipper of the Sun,” replied I, sincerely, not without causing a little surprise; far less, however, than there would have been, had I not already stated that I was wedded to an Indian.

“Did you, then, adopt your husband’s religion?” the old matron asked me.

“Not at all — although, of course, he too pays daily homage to the fiery Disk, as every true Brahmin does, in India. I evolved my present religious outlook from the earliest days of my youth, and I can say that I spent my life regretting that my country — Greece — ever left off worshipping her old natural and national Gods (Apollo in particular, the fairest of all) to turn to a doctrine imported from Palestine. I went to India precisely in search of a civilisation as entirely free as possible from Judeo-Christian influences of any sort.”

“But you were christened?”

“I was.”

“So you did, officially, belong to a Christian Church, in your youth?”

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“To the Greek Church.”

“And which service would you like to attend, here in prison: the catholic or the evangelical? They are the only two we have.”

“I wish to attend neither,” said I; “I only hope it is not compulsory.”

“It is not. But you will find time long in your cell, on Sundays.”

“I am prepared to put up with a little discomfort for the sake of consistency,” I replied. “I have never loved the Christian mythology — nor the doctrine. And the days I used to attend Church services on the sole ground that, historically, Christian pageantry has won itself a place in the life of every Aryan nation in the West, — and that the music is sometimes beautiful — those days, I say, are far, far away; irretrievably gone.”

I was classified as “dissident” in the catalogue, and taken to the cell number 121, in the C wing of the prison, where I was to live as long as I remained “on remand.” As I was a British subject, I was allowed to keep the civilian clothes that I was wearing — a dark brown tailored suit and overcoat — and my attaché case, emptied of all its former contents except a few sheets of blank paper, a towel, a piece of soap, a looking glass, and the English translation of the Bhagavad-Gita. I deeply appreciated the gesture of the persons, whoever they be, who had left me that hallowed Scripture to read and to meditate upon in my cell.

The cell contained an iron bed, fixed to the wall; a table, a stool, and a cupboard. Light came from a high window — with iron bars on the outside, — of which the topmost part alone could be unfastened to let in a little air. The floor was covered with earthen-coloured square bricks. In the thick door lined with iron, there was a

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small round hole in front of which hung, on the outside, a metal flap. By lifting that flap, one could at will look into the cell from the corridor; while the prisoner could never look into the corridor from the cell. The walls were whitewashed. The inner side of the door — the iron side — was painted in light grey. It all seemed — and was — perfectly clean — as it would be, in an establishment of which at least the material management was entirely in German hands.

“Leave your attaché case here, and come with me,” said the wardress that was accompanying me; “before I lock you up, you must see “Frau Oberin.” Frau Oberin, whose name I learnt much later, was the person in charge of the women’s section of the prison, the “Frauen Haus.”

I was ushered into a fairly large and very neat office room nearly opposite my cell, in which a young woman between twenty-five and thirty, dressed in black, was seated at a desk. She had brown hair, and blue eyes, and a sweet face. On the walls of the room I noticed one or two pictures — photos of classical paintings, chosen with much taste — and there were flowers on the windowsill and flowers in a vase on the desk before the young woman. “In former days,” I could not help thinking with a certain sadness, “there would have been here also, no doubt, a lovely portrait of the Führer.” It only occurred to me after a minute or so that, then, I would not have been there.

The wardress left the room. The young woman at the desk, who had returned my evening’s greeting, had a look at my chart, which the wardress had handed over to her. “What is it that you are here for, may I ask you?” said she, addressing me after a moment. “You must excuse me; but I simply cannot remember what is forbidden by every article of every law — and, in your

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particular case, by ‘the article 7 of the law 8 of the Occupation Status’. Moreover, I am accustomed to prisoners, and can see by your face that you are no ordinary delinquent.”

“I am here for Nazi propaganda,” said I, with obvious pride.

“That!” exclaimed Frau Oberin — and an enigmatic smile gave her face a new expression. “Will you not sit down for a while and have a cup of coffee — of real coffee, I mean, not of ‘mook-fook’?”

Was that the spontaneous reaction of “de-Nazified” Germany’s officialdom at the news of National Socialist underground activities carried on by a foreigner? I ardently wished it were. Or was it just the personal reaction of this individual woman, who, incidentally, happened to hold a responsible post under the authority of the British occupants, of the land? And if so, how far was she on our side, or, — like good Mrs. Hatch — sympathetically disposed towards me merely as a person? Was the “real coffee” for the guiltless woman, who had neither stolen nor committed murder, or was it for the friend of Germany who had striven, in her humble way, to keep the Nazi spirit alive in the hearts of Hitler’s persecuted people? In other words, was this young woman kind to me in spite of my being a National Socialist, or because I was a National Socialist? I did hope that the second possibility was the one corresponding to fact. But I could not ask — especially while Frau Oberin had made no comments whatsoever about my “offence.”

I seated myself in the comfortable armchair that she had offered me. Soon a lovely smell of coffee filled the room, as the young woman prepared the exotic beverage upon a small electric stove which she had taken from a cupboard. She poured out a cup of it for me and another

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one for herself. She talked to me in a friendly manner, as though I had not been a prisoner and she the head of the Women’s section of the prison.

“When did you first come to Germany?” she asked me, after I had told her that my home was in India.

“On the 15th of June 1948,” replied I.

“And you had never come before?”

“Alas, no. I was six thousand miles away, during the great days,’’ said I, with infinite, sincere sadness.

“It is a pity.”

It was, indeed. But Frau Oberin did not stress the point. She asked me about the customs and beliefs of India, and about the women’s dress, the sari, of which I described the grace to her, as best I could.

“A crowd of Indian women on a festive day, in the atmosphere of one of those old temples of which you spoke a while ago,” said she, “must be a beautiful sight.”

“It certainly is,” answered I. And I related to her, as vividly as my knowledge of German permitted, the “Vaishakha Purnima” festival as I had admired it in the great temple of Rameshwaram, in the extreme south of India, on the 17th of May 1935: the procession, headed by handsome half-naked torch bearers, and by magnificently harnessed sacred elephants, along the huge pillared corridors of the temple, at night; the crowd — men in spotless white and women draped in silk of all colours with jasmine flowers in their black glossy hair, and flowers in their hands — gathered around the sacred tank to honour the passage of the chariot carrying the statues of the God incarnate. Rama, and of his consort, Sita, hardly visible under heaps of flowers; and the reflection of the full moon in the sacred tank; and the unreal splendour of the deeply sculptured surrounding colonnades in the light of the full moon; and, above all that, the glory of

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the tropical sky — violet-blue, unbelievably luminous in its depth — with one tall coconut tree, one alone, shining like silver in its midst, from behind the intricate architecture of the temple.

Frau Oberin gazed at me in wonder. “How lucky you are to have such remembrances!” said she. And for a while her blue eyes seemed to follow, beyond time and space, the stately outlandish scenes that I had tried to evoke. Then she added: “It astounds me that you could leave India and your husband and household to come to us and do what you did, after we had lost the war.”

On impulse, I wanted to reply: “Do you take me for one of those turncoats who, after praising all that the Führer did for fifteen or twenty years, began to change their minds when the Anglo-Americans landed in Normandy, and who, after the Capitulation, concluded that Democracy was decidedly the only salvation for mankind?” But I said nothing of the kind. I knew in my heart that Frau Oberin had never doubted my sincerity, and that she meant no harm. Recalling the age-old festival that I had just described, I simply said: “India means more to me than most people think, and not less; and so does Germany. Rama, the virtuous warrior, whom the people of the Far South worship to this day in the great temple by the sea, is the half-historical half-legendary Aryan conqueror of the luxuriant South. In him, the caste-ridden masses of India bow down to the hallowed Race that once brought India the Vedas, and the cult of male gods, and warrior-like ideals, along with the everlasting principle of the natural hierarchy of races. My contact with Hinduism has only given me further reasons to feel proud of being an Aryan. It has, if anything, made me a better National Socialist. Few people realise that, since the days of the Aryan conquest of India,

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— the dawn of Sanskrit civilisation — never and nowhere in the world has a serious attempt been made to bring the natural, the divine Order into existence in living society, save here in Germany, under the Führer’s inspired rule. It was my duty to come over anyhow — all the more so, now that the war was lost; now that the whole Aryan world had turned against its Saviour. As for my husband, I have given him no reason to blame me — except that I was foolish enough, for once, to allow the police to detect me in my activities. But at that he will not be surprise: he knows what an ass I can make of myself in practical matters.”

Frau Oberin laughed. We talked a long time more, — mostly about India. The young woman had read the Bhagavad-Gita in a German translation, with a sincere effort to understand it. And although she quite frankly admitted that much of it remained obscure to her — as I admit much does to me — she was sensitive to the beauty of its essential teaching of action with detachment. I quoted to her one or two of the classical passages that I happened to know by heart.

“I am now beginning to understand why we were told such a lot about ancient India in the Hitler days,” said she at last.

I opened my mouth to speak, but I said nothing. I was not quite sure whether I should add anything to all that I had already said. A few words, thought, I, often leave a deeper impression than a good many. But Frau Oberin spoke again. “I am also beginning to understand one of the reasons why there are, and were — even under the Third Reich — so few really genuine National Socialists among us,” she said.

“And why?” asked I.

“Because the hold of Christianity upon us is still

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very strong, — stronger than it seems at first sight, even upon those of us who reject the bondage of the Church.”

“I am sorry the Roman emperors did not nip in the bud what they then called the ‘new superstition’,” said I, repeating what I had written in an Indian newspaper in 1945. “They would have rendered a service to the Aryan race.”

But time was passing. “I shall send for you sometimes, and have further talks with you,” said the young woman as I left the room. And she told me also that she would not deprive me of the few gold bangles, chain and rings that I was wearing. “They suit you; as long as you are on remand you can keep them,” she assured me. I thanked her — for I now knew that, for the time being at least — I would not be separated from the precious little glass portrait that hung around my neck.

* * *
The wardress on duty brought me my supper in my cell — some macaroni, bread and marmalade; for I had told the man who had received me at the door downstairs that I ate no flesh.

I was told that the light in my cell would have to remain on all night “unless the English governor of the prison permitted the contrary.” I — who cannot sleep with the light on — hung my clothes over the electric bulb in order to make the room as dark as possible, and pulled the bed clothes over my head, in addition to that.

Piously, I held against my breast the portrait of the Führer that I wore on my gold chain. I felt happy at the thought that I was now locked up in that cell for the love of him. Even there, between four walls, nay, especially there, I would bear witness to his greatness, to the everlastingness of his Idea, to the mission of the people whom

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he so loved. And my testimony would be all the more convincing for the fact that I was not one of that people. Then, I remembered the woman who had given me the portrait, — not long before; since my latest return from England. I recalled her fine, rather sad face, that used to take on an inspired expression as she evoked the joy and glory of Hitler’s days. She was one of the most lovable National Socialists I knew personally. I had spent a couple of days under her roof somewhere in the French Zone. And she had given me that invaluable little likeness as a remembrance of the Greater Germany that I had not seen, as a token of her friendship, and as something to replace the gold swastika that had dropped off my chain in London, in November 1947, and that I had never found again. And as I had somewhat hesitated to take it, — knowing it was the only one of its kind that she possessed — she had told me: “It does not matter. I give it to you with all my heart because you are worthy of it. You are one of us.” I had thanked her with tears in my eyes. Nothing touches me more and gives me greater joy than the love and confidence of other Nazis, especially of those who have stood the test of suffering as that woman has.

And now I wondered how I could, without the authorities suspecting any connection between my friends and myself, let her — and a few others — know that I was in captivity. Those in the French Zone at least would not learn it from the newspapers: I remembered that Monsieur P., a French official in Baden Baden, had once told me that “acts of resistance were never given any publicity” in the papers under French licence, “in order not to encourage further trouble.” I thought of the three thousand posters that were in my trunk in the care of friends. How would I now write — clandestinely — to

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those people and ask them to distribute the propaganda themselves, as I could no longer do so? And I hoped and prayed that none of those with whom I had come in touch would suffer on account of my arrest. If my trial was really “about the posters alone,” as the Englishman in Düsseldorf had assured me, there was no earthly reason why they should, for I had, indeed, in this matter, acted entirely on my own initiative; nay, against the advice of one or two other National Socialists — far more intelligent than myself — who had warned me that activities of such a spectacular nature were “yet premature.” But one could never be sure. Suspicion and fear, and not coolly thought out reasons suggest to the occupants of a defeated country the steps they take against all manner of underground resistance. I knew that, and consequently, felt uneasy. The thought worried me a long time before I could go to sleep, on that and the following nights. It was to worry me bitterly all the time I remained in prison — and some months after my release.

* * *
I was awakened early in the morning, as the wardress on duty opened my cell. A prisoner, dressed in blue, and wearing a brown jacket and a light grey apron — like the one I had seen, the evening before, in the old matron’s room — came in to remove the sanitary pail, and brought it back after a while, well cleaned, and smelling of phenol. She also brought me a jug of water. I returned her “Guten Morgen!” and got out of bed.

“Oh, you need not get up at once,” said she; “you are only on remand.” She had a coarse, but sympathetic face. I wanted to speak to her.

“I shall not sleep again anyhow; so I may as well get up,” said I.

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“If you want some more water or anything else,” she continued, “you just have to press upon that electric switch. It will light a bulb above your door in the corridor. The wardress on duty will see it and ask you what you need, and send for me (or another one of us) to give it to you.”

“I know; the other wardress, who was here last night, has explained that to me. Still I thank you for telling me. I would like a little more water, if possible.”

“I’ll bring you some.”

The door of the cell was again locked, after she had, gone out.

Then came my breakfast, brought in by another prisoner — a heavily built young woman, with a red round face, dark hair and grey eyes.

“All that!” I could not help exclaiming as I saw the amount of food she had laid upon the table. There was a pint of hot tea, with milk and sugar; a large tin can of porridge; six slices of beautiful white bread — such as I had not eaten even in postwar England, let alone in starving Germany — a piece of butter, and a large spoonful of orange marmalade. “Is it all for me?” I asked the wardress, a very sweet, kind-looking, blue-eyed blonde.

“Yes, of course,” said she.

“But I have never had such bread, even when I was free. And I could not eat so much anyhow. Are they giving me a special diet because I am a ‘political case’?”

“No. The ‘political cases’ here, are treated exactly like the ordinary criminals — given in the morning one single slice of dry, black bread, and a tin of ‘mook-fook’ (chicory) without sugar nor milk. You are given a special diet because you are a British subject.”

“But I hate the Occupation as much as any German can.”

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“That makes no difference. In their eyes, you have a British passport; that’s enough.”

“Can I give a slice of my white bread to this woman,” asked I, seeing with what longing eyes the prisoner was gazing at the quantity of food she had brought me. “You can,” whispered the wardress; “but don’t allow anyone to see you, for it is against the rule.”

“I am accustomed to do things against those people’s rules,” said I, referring to the present-day masters of Germany. I smeared a piece of bread with a little butter and jam, and gave it to the woman. “Thank you!” exclaimed the latter. “Oh, I do thank you!” She folded the bread in two, put it in her pocket, and disappeared, as another wardress was calling her from the corridor, to help in the distribution of black bread and chicory to the bulk of the prisoners. She would eat the “delicacy” in her cell, as soon as she would be off duty. It was probably the first slice of white bread and the first butter she had tasted since the Capitulation. For the millionth time, I recalled in my mind the ruins and desolation I had seen, and the appalling starvation that had succeeded, since 1945, the horror of the phosphorus air raids. “Poor dear Germany — my Führer’s country!” thought I, as tears filled my eyes.

Turning to the wardress who still stood in my cell, I asked her: “Could you not manage to give my porridge and my tea, and four slices of bread, to some of those who are here for the sake of the same Idea as I, — to my comrades, the so-called ‘war criminals’? As there is not enough for all, could you give it to . . . the best ones; you understand what I mean . . . to the sincerest ones; those . . .”

“I understand,” she replied; “and I’ll willingly do

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as you say. But not now at once. Later on; when there is next to nobody in the corridors. . . . They must not know, you see, or else there will be trouble.”

“Thank you!” said I, “I cannot tell you how grateful I am to you. It is not much, I know. But it is now all I can do for the people who have fought for the same ideals as I; the people whom I love and admire.”

“Be sure I shall help you as much as I can,” said the woman in a very low voice. “I was in the Party myself . . . and so were several others of us. We understand you — and love you — although we cannot speak. Keep the food in some corner. I shall come to fetch it later on. Auf wiedersehen!”

I could not see the sky from my cell, for the window panes were made of nontransparent glass. Yet, I was happy.

Having no pen and ink, — not even a pencil — I could not write. I paced the room, from the wall below the window to the door and back, over and over again, like a captive tigress in her cage. I was impressed by the similarity of any position to that of a wild beast in a “zoo.” “But I have my great love and my great ideals, and pride to uplift me and sustain me,” I reflected. “What have the poor captured lions and tigers, panthers and leopards, to make up for the loss of freedom and adventure? I am a thousand times more fortunate than they.” Never had I realised so vividly what a long-drawn torture the life of a wild beast in a cage must be — what a trial my life behind bars would have been, had I not been so proud and so glad to confess my Nazi faith in these times of persecution. And I prayed that in our new world, one day, I might raise my voice with sufficient eloquence to

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have all the beasts of the circuses and “zoos” given back to their native jungles.

Then, I thought of my friends far and near, especially of all the Germans with whom I had been directly or indirectly in touch just now or formerly. Again, I carefully went over all that I had said during my two days’ cross-examination in Cologne and in Düsseldorf — I remembered it with extraordinary clarity, and felt I would remember it forever. And I decided that I had not let out a word, not made a gesture, not allowed my face to take on an expression that could possibly have implicated any other National Socialist. No, indeed I had not. I felt quite sure of it. And still, could one ever tell what the police are capable of finding out? I was happy, for I had nothing to blame myself for — not even my arrest, in fact, that had come as a consequence of someone else’s. If “they” did discover things that I hoped and prayed they would never discover, it would be through no fault of mine. But then, my friends would suffer none the less — suffer, and (who knows?) perhaps believe, or be induced by our enemies to believe, that I had spoken when, in reality, I had not. I would have felt perfectly happy but for that ever-recurring worry; that feeling of impending danger for others in spite of all my efforts to protect them from it.

I sat down, and took to reading the Bhagavad-Gita — the only book I had in my cell, and the one which I would have chosen to read, anyhow, in my present mood, even if I had had a whole library at my disposal. I read the first lines that drew my attention as I opened the book — the following words of the God incarnate to the warrior in search of wisdom:

“Even the devotees of other Shining Ones, who worship

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full of faith, they also worship Me, O son of Kunti, though contrary to the ancient rule.

“For I am indeed the enjoyer and Lord of all sacrifice. But they know Me not in essence, and hence they fall.

“They who worship the Shining Ones,1 go to the Shining Ones; they who worship the ancestors, go to the Ancestors; to the Elementals go those who sacrifice to the Elementals; but my worshippers come unto Me.”2

I withdrew my eyes from the book for a while and mused: “Today, also, there are thousands who, in the depth of their hearts, aspire after the Truth, and who yet pay homage to leaders who will not lead them to it; there arc thousands who, nay, fight furiously against us, the witnesses of the Truth, without knowing what they are doing. They are misguided by externals, and ignore the eternal, the kernel of wisdom, the real Way of life and regeneration — the essence — and therefore they shall fall.” I thought of the many who, could have sided with us and who did not; who had begun to do so, but who had stopped on the way; who had preferred half-truths, afraid as they were to face the divine laws of Life — divine truth in life.

I read a little further: “Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest, whatever thou offerest or givest, whatever thou doest of austerity, O son of Kunti, do thou that as an offering unto Me.”3 And I prayed that I might always live up to that everlasting teaching. I identified, as I have from the start, our cause with the cause of Life, the cause of God.


1 The Devas.
2 The Bhagavad-Gita; IX verses 23, 24, 25.
3 The Bhagavad-Gita; IX, verse 27.

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But the nurse in charge of the infirmary unlocked my cell and stepped in to make my acquaintance. She was a short, thin, elderly woman of pleasant bearing, dressed in white.

“Well, my dear child, that which you have done is awful,” said she, after inquiring about my health. But I knew by the tone of her voice that she was not really indignant. And her eyes were smiling while she spoke.

“Why, ‘awful’,” asked I, returning their smile.

“But you are English — and you have been working against the Occupation, here in the British Zone! So you are a traitor to your country.”

“I? To begin with, I really have no country. I mean, I am only half-English. What can I do about it? But above England, and above Greece — whose citizen I was before my marriage — and above any particular State with more or less artificial boundaries, and above any more or less pure section of the Aryan race, I place the Aryan race itself. To it, at least, I know I belong. To it, — and to those who have fought to bring it back to its original purity, and to give it back its God-ordained mastery over the world — I have given my wholehearted allegiance. The traitors are not such ones as I; no! They are, on the contrary, the people of Aryan blood who have sacrificed the real, the highest interests of the race to the apparent immediate interest of some selfish State — whether the British State or any other — and to the welfare of a handful of selfish capitalists, mostly Jews. The greatest traitor of all is that complacent instrument of international Jewish finance who governed England during this war: Mr. Winston Churchill.”

“Gosh, she’s right!” burst out the wardress, who had come in while I was speaking, and who had been

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waiting for the to finish my tirade, to tell me to follow her to the Governor’s office.

I walked out of my cell. The nurse gave me a sympathetic smile as she locked the door behind me.

* * *
I crossed, this time in the sunshine, the courtyard that I had seen the day before in the dark. I again passed between the two workshops, and emerged into the broad open space surrounded with buildings with five endless rows of barred windows (four stories and a ground floor). Around a more or less triangular lawn, men-prisoners were taking their morning walk, silently, two by two, under the supervision of their warders in greyish-green uniforms. They themselves wore brown trousers with a yellow stripe along the side. I had been told that there were, in the men’s section, over one thousand eight hundred prisoners, out of which one third at least were political ones (so-called “war criminals”) and more than another third . . . Poles, guilty, for the most part, of such offences as black-marketeering and robbery with or without violence. And as I passed by with the wardress, I looked at the men walking around the dewy, sunlit lawn. And each time I spotted out from among them an individual with a fine face and a noble bearing, I wondered if he were not one of the so-called “war criminals,” and wished I could speak to him.

Again, as on the preceding evening, I followed my custodian past the kitchens of the prison, and I reached at last the courtyard from which I had taken my first glimpse of the premises of my new abode. I now saw in broad daylight the creeper that entirely covered the high walls of the buildings on my right and of the central building facing tee. “How green and beautiful it must

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be in the spring!” thought I. I also noticed the clock at the top of the central building. It marked twenty past nine.

The door was opened and I was ushered into an office on the right side of a fairly broad corridor. I stood before the desk of Colonel Edward Vickers, the British Governor of the prison — his name I had read on the door as I had entered.

“Yours is an offence of a very serious nature — an offence against our prestige in this country,” said the Governor, addressing me. “However, it is the Court’s business to judge you, not mine. All I wanted to tell you is that you are here in a prison, and that there are rules which you will have to obey, as every other prisoner. You will be fairly treated, — in fact, you will enjoy the privileges of a British subject, since you are one. But I cannot allow you extra privileges. In particular, you cannot have food specially cooked for you in consideration of your strictly vegetarian habits. You shall be given all that is neither meat nor meat soup in the daily diet for British prisoners.”

“I am grateful for that, and have never expected undue privileges,” said I.

In fact, I wanted to ask as a favour that no distinctions whatsoever be made between the Germans and myself. (I now knew that they received no meat anyhow, so that my only existing scruples in matter of food did not come in the way). But I reflected that, if I accepted the special British diet — which was incomparably better than theirs — I would easily be able to pass over to them whatever niceties I might be given. I already knew that of the hundred and seventy or so inmates of the “Frauen Haus,” twenty-six were so-called “war criminals” — former members of the staff of German concentration camps and so forth, during the great days; people against

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whom our enemies had succeeded in loosening the fury of a whole world. I was impatiently looking forward to make their acquaintance, and to show them all marks of comradeship I possibly could. Naturally, all my best food would be for them — for those of them, I mean, that were “in Ordnung,” i.e., real National Socialists, for I had already been told — to my amazement — that half of them were not. I therefore said nothing.

“A British doctor will examine you this afternoon, and another one in a day or two,” continued the Governor. “Have you anything to say concerning your needs apart from food?”

“I would be grateful if the light in my cell could be switched off at night,” said I. “I cannot sleep with it on.”

“We generally keep it on so that the wardresses on duty might be able to look into the cells at night and see what the prisoners on remand, are up to. We do so in case some might try to commit suicide,” emphasized Colonel Vickers. “But I have no such fears in your case — goodness me, no! And if the doctor sees no objection, I am quite willing to allow you to have the light put out. Anything else?”

“I would also like to have a few sheets of paper and a pen and some ink, or even an ordinary pencil — if it is possible — to write a couple of letters.”

What I wanted to do in reality was to try to remember the plan and at least certain passages of the three first chapters of my Gold in the Furnace and to rewrite these the best I could. And when that would be finished, I would continue the book clandestinely. The Englishmen would not be all day long at the “Frauen Haus.” And I was beginning to feel that the members of the German staff, if not all in Ordnung, were at least all

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sufficiently hostile to the Occupation — all sufficiently German — to allow me to write in peace provided that they did not thereby get into trouble.

The Governor looked at me with suspicion, as though he had guessed my intentions. “I am certainly not going to give you paper for you to continue your propaganda in this prison,” said he, sternly.

“I have not the slightest intention of carrying on any sort of propaganda, or of doing anything which is against the rules,” answered I, with utmost naturalness. “I would only have liked to write a few letters. But if I cannot, of course, it does not matter.”

Apparently, my naturalness was somewhat convincing for the Governor was kind enough to give me a writing pad and a pencil. “I hope you understand,” stressed he, however, “that every word you write will be censored.”

“Most certainly,” said I. But in the depth of my heart I thought: “That we shall see!” And after thanking the man I left the room, feeling that I had won a victory.

But the more I remembered his unfriendly face, abrupt speech, and patriotic indignation at the idea of my offence against British prestige in occupied Germany, the more I knew that the best I had to do was to avoid, as far as possible, all direct contact with him, and — whenever that could not be done — to speak as little as I could and to appear as dull, nay, as stupid, and therefore as harmless as my limited capacity for acting permitted. For, of all the representatives of the Allied Powers whom I had met up till now in the unfortunate land, he was the one who, for some mysterious reason, — without having cross-examined me — seemed to consider me the least “harmless.”


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Back in my cell, I at once put down in black on white whatever I remembered of the three first chapters of Gold in the Furnace — and of the beginning of the fourth chapter, that I had started writing in a café in Hanover a day before my last journey to Cologne and my arrest. I also wrote down the titles of the proposed following chapters. Of these, there would now be one less, for the one I had planned about my intended visit to the “places of pilgrimage” — Braunau am Inn, Linz, Vienna, Münich, Nuremberg — could not be written. For even if I were to be released quicker than I expected, I would surely not he allowed to remain in Germany — and perhaps not be allowed to remain in Europe — unless, of course, they kept me long enough for the coming crash to free me. “Never mind,” thought I, “I shall go to the places of pilgrimage one day, anyhow.”

Then, I set myself to continue the fourth chapter of my lost book — the story of the unforgettable night during which I had distributed my first five hundred leaflets. “By the way,” I reflected, “why should I not, here, try to distribute a few copies of my latest ones among the members of the staff who seem to be in sympathy with me and also, if possible, among the so- called ‘war criminals’?” (I was longing to get in touch with these.) So I wrote several times the text that I knew by heart — not upon the pad that Colonel Vickers had given me (that, I would use actually for letters, so that he might be convinced that I was a “good girl”) but upon the paper which I already had, and which I also used for writing my book. I hid the copies carefully under a loose brick of the floor, between the back of my cupboard and the wall. Then, I returned to my Chapter 4.

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The day passed quickly. With all the sincerity, all the love of my heart I projected unto those long, rough sheets of paper, in tight writing, the living picture of what I had, until my arrest, considered as the most beautiful night in my life — yes, even more beautiful than my watch on the slopes of roaring and burning Hekla, under the northern lights; even more beautiful than the night during which I had worshipped the midnight Sun, on the beach of Rif Stangir, facing the Arctic Ocean. I was happy, — exceedingly happy. Even if the beginning of my book were destroyed, I would recreate it. I was already remembering more and more passages of it, which I wrote down immediately, each time, on separate sheets. It would never be like my first writing, but still, it would be the product of the same spirit. As for the first part of The Lightning and the Sun, I had some hope that they would perhaps not destroy it, after all: they would not be sufficiently perspicacious to see that, specially the second chapter on “Time and violence,” was the most glaring justification of all that we did and are prepared to do again — a systematic, philosophical justification, beyond the passions of yesterday and today.

In the afternoon, I was taken to the infirmary, where the British doctor examined me, in the presence of the matron of the prison, of the nurse in charge, and of a prisoner who worked there under the latter’s supervision.

I could not take my eyes off that prisoner. She could leave been about thirty-five or forty. In the shabby blue uniform she wore — like all the others — she displayed the classical beauty of a chieftain’s wife in ancient Germany: a vigorous, well-built body, created to comfort a warrior and to give birth to heroic sons; a queenly bearing; a regular face in which one detected serene strength, and pride — and lofty dreams, also; authority and inspiration.


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Her pale blonde hair, as glossy as silk, shone in a ray of evening sunshine. Her large, luminous blue eyes, of which the glance could, occasionally, I knew, be as hard as stone — now smiled at me. “You are the ‘new one’; the one who is here for having defied our oppressors; I have heard of you,” they seemed to tell me. And, while the doctor was examining my heart and liver and lungs, my black eyes, full of admiring friendliness, answered and said “Yes, I am. And you are surely one of my comrades. My Führer’s compatriot, you are too beautiful not to be also one of his faithful followers!” And I imagined her amidst the cheering crowds of the days of glory, greeting hint as he passed by, with the ritual Nazi salute and the triumphal worlds: “Heil Hitler!” And tears came to my eyes.

Before telling me that I now could dress, the doctor looked at the glass portrait that hung around my neck on a gold chain. But he did not say a word. The old matron took me back to my cell.

The next day — which was the 23rd February, and the nineteenth anniversary of Horst Wessel’s death — I experienced one of the great moments of my prison life. I saw that prisoner of whom I have just spoken walk into my cell, with the nurse who accompanied her. She held in her hands a tray on which were disposed several objects — a plate, a bottle, a cup containing some pills — for it was her job, twice a day, to go round with medicine to all the cells of which the inmates needed any. I, however, needed none.

“We have come to pay you a visit — to see how you are,” said, the nurse with cordiality. “This woman, who is one of our ‘war criminals’ is keen on making your acquaintance.”

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I felt my heart leap with joy, and my face brighten. The nurse pulled the door shut and told the prisoner she could, for a minute, put her tray down, upon the table. The latter did so; and then, addressing me:

“Yes,” said she, “I am a ‘war criminal’. My name is H. E. I am one of those from the Belsen trial — the trial as a result of which poor Irma Grese was sentenced to death; you must know, surely, I was sentenced to fifteen years’ imprisonment.”

H. E. of the Belsen trial! Of course, I knew. I actually remembered her name for having seen it in the papers. And with irresistible vividness, the atrocious past suddenly rushed back to my consciousness. I heard, once more, the wireless of those days barking at me from all sides, wherever I went, the news of those sickening trials — the Belsen one and the others — along with its daily insults against all I loved and (what was perhaps even worse) its daily slimy sermons about the “re-education” of Germany in view of her “reintegration into a more humane and better world!” Those were the days in which, crushed to the depth, I had hated all men save the persecuted Nazi minority; in which I had aspired after nothing but the utter destruction of all humanity — including us, the henceforth powerless handful; including myself; the days in which, if I had not actually committed suicide, it had only been because, before I left this earth, I wanted to see that vulgar, idiotic, ungrateful Europe, then busy torturing her own élite — that Europe, who would have tortured our Hitler, her Saviour, had she had a chance to do so — writhe and groan, and bleed to death, one day, never mind under whose whip, to my delight.

Once more, for a minute, I felt all the bitterness, all the passion, all the despair of those weeks and months, as I saw, standing before me, calm and dignified, and

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friendly, that living ancient German, — that eternal German — the embodiment and symbol of the regenerate master race, vanquished and persecuted, for the time being, by its inferiors.

I put my arms around her neck and my face against hers, and kissed her.

“There are no ‘war criminals’ in my eyes,” said I; “there are only victims of the slaves of Jewry. You are my comrade — and my superior, for you have suffered. I am proud to meet you; and proud to share your captivity, now that I can do nothing else for our ideals.”

A tear rolled down one of my checks as I spoke. The sky blue eves with golden eyelashes gazed at me intently, with tears also in them. H. E. embraced me as an old friend. “It is the first time I feel, since those horrid days, that someone really loves us,” said she, with deep emotion.

“I have crossed land and sea — half the world — to tell you and all faithful Germans that I love and admire you, perhaps even more now, in the dark hours of tribulation, than when you ruled the earth from the Volga to the Atlantic and from the Arctic Ocean to the Libyan desert. I am glad I have come at last. I have seen your invincible spirit (I am nine months in Germany). And I want it to triumph. And it is bound to triumph, sooner or later. The world belongs — in the long run — to the pure-blooded warriors who fight for health and order and truth to prevail.”

“It does one good to hear you after all that we suffered,” replied H. E. “It makes one feel that, even vanquished, we have not fought entirely in vain.”

“In vain! Of course not,” said I. “Already Adolf Hitler has raised Germany to the status of a holy land in the eyes of every worthy Aryan of the world. Otherwise, I would not be here.”

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H. E. gave me a proud and happy smile. “Tell me,” said she, “what is it exactly you did.”

“I distributed leaflets and stuck up posters bearing the following words — which I wrote myself — under a large black swastika,” answered I. And I recited to her the whole text of my papers.

“What, now, in 1949?” she exclaimed, after listening attentively.

“Yes; and in 1948 also.”

“Splendid! And how right you are about the hunger and humiliation! And about the plunder of our country by those hypocrites!” said she. “But are you sure, that ‘he’ is alive — really?”

“Yes.” “Oh, if only you were right!”

“I have confidence in those who know.”

“But tell me again: We who are here and in a hundred other prisons for having done our duty with all our hearts, how long more have we to suffer? It is already nearly four years since I was arrested.”

“None will remain here for more than a year or two longer,” said I. “The inexorable Nemesis that awaits these people will come. Nothing can prevent it. And perhaps our enemies will set us free before it comes. They can do anything, when they are afraid. Perhaps you and I shall leave this place together, who knows? And I honestly tell you: I would then be even happier on account of your release than of my own. I mean it. For you have suffered enough.”

“Oh, now it is nothing! You should know all we went through in 1945!”

“You will tell me, one day.”

“I shall. For we must meet again — and as often as we can.”

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“Surely. But listen; I was going to forget to tell you something very important: I have heaps of white bread, here, porridge, tea with milk and sugar and what not. As you can imagine, I only accepted the British diet in order that you, my comrades, might profit by it. One of the wardresses came this morning and asked me if I could not give her a slice of white bread for one prisoner who is sick and cannot digest the other. I gave it gladly. But I have plenty more, not only from this morning but from yesterday. Take it — and the tea and porridge also, and whatever I can put by — for yourself and for those who share our faith.”

“I do thank you!” exclaimed H. E. “I love tea! — and so do the others. I’ll give the porridge to H.B. — another one from the Belsen trial. She works hard and is always hungry.”

“What do you get to eat in the mornings?”

“A single slice of black bread and a tin of chicory, without sugar or milk,” said my new friend, confirming what I had heard two days before.

“But they must not see you in the corridor with all that food and drink, or there will be trouble,” put in the nurse, who seemed quite willing to help us provided it could be done quietly.

“I’ll hide it all under my apron,” said H. E.; “see; like this. Nobody will find out.”

“Do come back when you can! I’ll put by for you whatever I can spare. I don’t eat much.”

“But you must eat, to keep up your strength.”

“The mere knowledge that I will soon be given, in my trial, a new opportunity for defying our enemies, makes me feel strong and happy. Every time I think of it . . . it is as though I had wings . . .”

My new friend pressed my hand in hers. “I must

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be going, now. I’ll come back,” said she. “Auf wiedersehen!”

I gazed at her and smiled, and then, took a glance at the nurse. “She may not be on our side, but she would do us no harm,” I thought. And turning to H. E. and raising my right arm I said: “Heil Hitler!”

“Heil Hitler!” repeated she, as she returned my salute.

“You should not do that,” said the nurse in a whisper, on the threshold of my cell. “You never know who might be looking in through the spy hole.”

* * *
A day or two later, I was again taken to the infirmary. A different doctor, — a short, thin man, with reddish hair —walked in just as I entered. “The mental doctor,” thought I.

The nurse in charge and H. E. were not, this time, allowed to remain in the room.

The doctor bade me take a chair, seated himself opposite me, and started talking to me, apparently, in a friendly manner, in reality, with studied purposefulness — to find out if the working of my mind presented anything “pathological,” in which case he would report me as “unfit to undergo trial.”

One hears of prisoners who, intentionally, do all they can to appear as “pathological cases.” I was surely not going to take that course. I was much too keen on being tried. Even if that meant speaking to the Court — that is to say, to the German public — only for half an hour, I was not going to miss the opportunity. So I was just natural — as I had been before the men who had cross-questioned me in Cologne and in Düsseldorf; as I had been, from my childhood, in any of those innumerable

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talks in which I had shocked average people as a matter of course, without even taking the trouble to do so; without caring whether I did so or not.

The doctor noted a few particulars about my family, education, and life.

“Half Greek, half English, with a little Italian blood on your father’s side, born and brought up in France, and wedded to an Indian. . . . If ever any one had the right to be an internationalist, it is undoubtedly you!”

“No,” said I: “I am a nationalist of every Aryan country. It is not the same thing.”

Amazed as he was at the glaring accuracy of that altogether unexpected summary description of myself, the doctor was, perhaps, still more taken aback by the spontaneity with which I had opposed it to his casual statement. Decidedly, I knew who I was and what I wanted.

I pursued — less with a view to enlighten the professional psychiatrist than for the pleasure of thrusting at the presumed Democrat the flawless consistency of my position

“What is an ‘internationalist’? A man who loves all nations as his own? No; but a fellow who loves only himself — and his lesser, his lower, his least valuable self at that; his dull amusements; his silly little hobbies — and who has discovered, in the empty phraseology of our decadent epoch, a marvellous excuse to live for nothing and to die for nobody. I am not — I never was — that! I might be the daughter of people of different nationalities, in the narrow sense of the word, but I am (thank goodness for that!) of one single race, the Aryan, and I put my race above myself, — and above others; and the everlasting ideals which the best men of my race have

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embodied from time immemorial, are the only thing I have ever really lived for. Any country that boldly stands for them is my country.

“I have loved Greece passionately, not merely for the fascination of her far-gone past, but because, outside a repulsive, Levantinised, French-speaking apish minority of Greeks, product of decay, there are, still today, — after centuries of non-Aryan influences — thousands of healthy peasants and sailors who live honourably and in beauty, as Hellenes; because there are, in genuine modern Greek literature, sprang from the people, supremely beautiful works, in which the age-old cult of strong, sane, all-round perfection, is masterfully expressed. I have loved the English because, as a whole, they are a fine nation, endowed with many solid Nordic qualities — incomparably better than their leaders. I have loved India, because, being what she is, a land of many races, she has clung throughout centuries to the only social system fit for such a land — a system such as we would extend to the whole world, if we were to rule it. And I love Germany as the living symbol of Aryan regeneration in our times: the cradle of National Socialism; the Führer’s hallowed fatherland. I would not do less for her than I would have done for Greece when I was an adolescent. By the decree of a strange Destiny, I have experienced — lived — not one, but several nationalisms, unusual as this may be. All are alike — amazingly alike. And behind all, there is — and always was, from the very beginning — that insatiable yearning after the ideal beauty of my own race, on the physical and on all other planes; that worship of eternal Perfection in a perfect human élite, an élite ‘like unto the Gods’, to use an expression current in Homer.”

“And have you met any men and women who actually

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represent, in your eyes such an élite?” asked the mental practitioner.

“Few, in the wide world, in all my life; many — in proportion — in this martyred land, where I have lived only nine months,” said I.

“And you would be prepared to die for Germany?”

“Gladly,” replied I with the unwavering directness of conviction. “Germany herself has died — materially — for the Aryan race. I am sorry I have not died with her, in 1945.” I paused. In my mind, I recalled the unforgettable sight that had struck my eyes in my first Journey: against the golden background of a summer’s sunset, the endless succession of torn and charred walls that lead once been Hamburg; and the other cities through which I had passed — heaps of ruins; and all that I had seen since. “But,” I added, after a few seconds, “one day, she shall rise in power and glory from the dead.”

I then imagined some thousands of little men like the psychiatrist — “crusaders to Europe” and fighters “for peace and Democracy” (and the interests of big businessmen) — running away or trying to run away before tight formations of irresistible tanks; and I smiled in anticipation. Fortunately — for him — the psychiatrist did not ask me why I was smiling.

“Would you never help a people who were not of Aryan stock?” asked he, instead.

I reflected: “Why not?” In fact, I had done so already, during this war, although in a very humble, non-spectacular manner. . . . And I remembered my exultation at the news of the fall of Singapore, and of Rangoon, of Mandalay, — of Akyab, on the border of Bengal — one after the other; and also . . . at the news of certain detached sections of the Democratic forces in Burma, now and then

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suddenly and mysteriously encircled by the Japanese, and killed off as they tried to escape from the jungle set on fire, news which the papers, as a rule, did not report. Oh, those glorious days!

“I surely would, if such a people were our allies,” said I, with perfect truthfulness, in answer to the doctor’s question, “or,” — I pursued, in order to give the conversation a trend as philosophical as possible — “if they were struggling, be it against a nation of more or less Aryan stock, who had tried to impose upon them one of the great international equalitarian superstitions, such as Christianity. In 1780, for instance, I would have willingly helped Tupac Amaru in his rising against the Spaniards and the Catholic Church in Peru, in the name of the rights of the Inca, children of the Sun, from whom he was descended. First, there was nothing better to do in Europe, in those days, as far as I remember. And then, I prefer anyhow a healthy, nature-worshipping tribe of Red Indians, in its place, to so-called Aryans who go about preaching — and practising — the gospel of legalised interbreeding among the Christian converts of all races; whose outlook on life leads to the growth of a bastardized mankind. Moreover, the Spaniards . . .”

I was going to launch into a historical dissertation about the import of Carthaginian and, later, of Moorish blood in the bulk of the population of Spain, but the psychiatrist interrupted me.

“Why are you so mercilessly against all mixture of races?” he asked me. “You must admit that some exceptional individuals had both what you call Aryan blood, and other blood too.”

“Anyone with a slight knowledge of history admits it,” said I. And to make it clear that I, — that we — are not afraid of facing facts, I became explicit. “There is

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for instance, the poet Pushkin,” I added. “And the greatest philosopher-king of Antiquity, Akhnaton of Egypt . . .”

“Well, then . . . ?”

“Such instances are glaring exceptions. They do not impair the fact that ‘all the great cultures of the past have sunk into nothingness because the original, creative race’ (who had evolved each one of them) ‘died out, through contamination of blood’,”1 answered I, quoting a well-known sentence of the Chapter 11 of the first part of Mein Kampf. “Great individuals who happen to be of mixed blood — and who are great in spite of it, not because of it — cannot but recognise that truth themselves, if they be sincere. Akhnaton did, for one, accept the principle of the separation of races as the natural and desirable order of affairs, decreed by the Sun.” And I quoted the verses of the “Longer Hymn to the Sun,” written three thousand three hundred years ago by the young Pharaoh, “Living in truth”:

“Thou hast put every man in his place,
Thou hast made them different in shape and in
Speech, and in the colour of their skins;
As a divider, Thou hast divided the foreign people.”
“It is perhaps precisely because his splendid solar philosophy was so thoroughly Aryan in spirit,2 that the Egyptians rejected it,” I added.

And I was ready to quote Sir Wallis Budge and Pendlebury. “Those ‘re-educators’ of Germany have the obnoxious habit of taking us Nazis for ignorant fanatics. I shall show this man that we are anything but that,”



1 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, I, Chap. XI, p. 316 (edit. 1939).
2 Modern scholars have pointed out its similarity to that expressed in the Rig-Veda.

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thought I, with malicious satisfaction. But again, he did not give me an opportunity to pursue my discourse. He was obviously more interested in my attitude to personal problems than in my views on archaeology.

“What do you do with the right of the individual to choose the mate he pleases?” he asked me.

“I strongly deny any such ‘right’,” replied I sincerely. “At least, I deny it to all individuals save those who, of their own account, put the interest of superior mankind above everything else — the only ones who are worthy to be free, for they will never misuse their freedom.” I had answered some of the doctor’s very first questions frankly enough for him to know already that I had never “misused my freedom” in any way.

“And you stand for the sterilisation of the unfit no less than of the cross-breeds, as the Nazis all do?”

“Absolutely. I might be — unfortunately — less intelligent, less efficient, and especially less supple than many of my comrades and superiors (otherwise I would not be here),” said I “but I am not less Nazi than any of them.” I uttered these last words with unconcealed pride, glad to be the last among the world’s élite rather than the first among the more popular worshippers of mediocrity.

“Would you go as far as upholding the elimination of the unfit?” asked the psychiatrist.

“If you mean the elimination of the idiots, of the insane, and of all those afflicted with painful or repulsive incurable diseases, yes, most certainly. But I would be willing to keep a person who, though from our standpoint unfit to have children, is, in other ways, active and capable and willing to work; especially if he or she shares our ideals wholeheartedly and can therefore be as useful as many of those who breed families.”

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“In other words, you do not accept the value and dignity of every human being.”

“Certainly not!”

“Nor the right of every man to live?”

“Certainly not. The dregs of humanity have no right to live — and no right to immobilise in their service the energies of healthy people. Shall I tell you of an experience of mine?”

“Do.”

“Well, long ago, — it was, if my memory does not fail me, in February, or March, 1922 — I visited the famous asylum of Laforce, in the Southwest of France. I was sixteen (in fact, I had to say I was eighteen in order to be allowed in). Such a repulsive collection of monsters I had never imagined when I had been told of ‘idiots’! The sight has haunted me for years. I felt not pity, but physical loathing, as in front of something unclean. But what made me downright indignant was to witness those numerous young, perfectly healthy, and sometimes pretty nurses, go to and from one of the idiots to the other, — bustling, loving, maternal — to wipe spittle from some hanging jaw, or to remove a bedpan from under some inert, speechless, brainless, distorted body. It shocked me. It disgusted me — like the sight of a man devoting his whole life to a chimpanzee would shock all sane people; more so, in fact, for a normal chimpanzee is at any rate better than those freaks; a healthy fish is; any healthy creature is. To think of the time and devotion wasted upon the monsters for the sole reason that they, are supposed to have a ‘human soul’, and to realise that such ‘abnegation’ is admired, in most Christian countries, — instead of being despised, as something absurd and degrading — would have been more than enough to make me hate the Christian attitude to life, if I had not

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done so already. It was enough to make me greet with cheers, a few years later, the much criticised application, in Hitler’s new Germany, of moral standards more worthy of a strong and sane nation of Aryan blood. The remorseless cult of health, of sanity, — of beauty — is surely one of the features of National Socialism that has the most powerfully attracted me.”

“Don’t you see any beauty in the feelings which your system mercilessly crushes out of existence,” asked the psychiatrist.

“What feelings? The sickly affection which a potential mother of healthy children squanders upon an idiot, or upon a good-for-nothing fellow with rotten lungs or rotten genitals?” replied I, indignantly. “No; indeed, I can see no ‘beauty’ there. I despise such feelings. Not only would I grant them no possibility of satisfaction whatsoever, if I had a say in the management of any country, but I would turn out of the country (or simply liquidate) any person who encourages them in himself or in others. Such people are degenerates — therefore undesirables. For there is, I repeat, no beauty in degeneracy.”

“But what about the feelings of a healthy man or woman for another healthy person of the opposite sex from what you and your friends call an ‘inferior race’?”

“There too,” said I, “there is nothing but an insult to the divine laws of order and propriety; no beauty, but only shame.”

“But think of all the suffering your system would bring into the world, — which it did, in fact, bring, during the short time it remained in force! You take no account whatsoever of individual happiness.”

“Indeed not, of the individual happiness of sickly-minded people! We could not care less what ‘human

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tragedies’ our effort to build a beautiful world might provoke in their lives. If individuals will cultivate morbid feelings, — feelings unworthy of a superior race — in the midst of a well-organised healthy Aryan society, then they must suffer. There is nothing in that to make a fuss about. It is just an uninteresting — and, moreover, temporary — detail in our grand new civilisation. And what happens now is far worse. Now, it is we — the sane and virile — who have to suffer in the midst of a society organised for the survival and success of the weak, and ugly, and morbid and mediocre; of all the worthless; a society that draws the little inspiration it pretends to have, from ideals of sickness and disintegration and death.”

The mental doctor gazed at me. Decidedly, I knew what I wanted. It would never be of any use trying to convert me to the “humanitarian” and democratic conception of life. And I was certainly not mad. I only, perhaps, at times, seemed slightly abnormal, but precisely for the apparently total lack, in me, of that little dose of instability and inconsistency, of those human contradictions, that all “normal” people possess — save we. It was interesting to try to measure how complete that lack was. The psychiatrist asked me: “How long is it that you have these views?”

“I have always had them,” replied I. And this was absolutely true — too true for the doctor to believe at once. “How, ‘always’?” said he.

“Yes, always,” answered I. “Once, when I was ten, I was sitting in the corner of a tram-car in my native town, with a book in my hand — Poèmes Barbares, of Leconte de Lisle, which I was bringing home — and I was sobbing. The words I had just read were those put by the French poet in the mouth of an old bard deploring

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the end of the Heathen world and the coming of Christianity, the religion of the meek:

“. . . . the axe has mutilated the forests;
The slave crawls and prays, where swords once
         clattered,
And all the Gods of Erinn have gone away. . . .”1
And I, — the future Nazi — was sobbing because the old Heathen world of the strong, of the proud, of the beautiful, — ancient Aryandom — had been obliterated, and because I thought I could do nothing to bring it back.”

The doctor asked me many questions more about my childhood. I answered with ease, for I remember my whole life with extreme lucidity.

“Admittedly, you have no ties now,” said the practitioner at last. “You love nobody in the world but those who share your views and serve your cause, and do not care two hoots what might happen to the others, be they your nearest kith and kin.”

“Perfectly true! And that is why I am free — even now. For what can one do to a person with no ties?”

“Yes; but try to remember and tell me: had you no ties in the very beginning, in your earliest childhood, long, long ago, — before you felt, in so strange a manner, the lure of ancient Barbarity? Before you were a potential National Socialist?”

“I always was a potential National Socialist, even then,” replied I, to the surprise of the psychiatrist. “I mean that I always had the unwavering faith and ruthless determination of one, in my very blood. As far as


1 “. . . la bathe a mutilé les bois,
L’esclave rampe et prie, où chantaient les épées,
Et tous les Dieux d’ Erinn sont partis à la fois.”
                                    (“Le Barde de Temrah”)

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I can go back into my past, doubt and compromises and ‘problems’ were foreign to me. When I was less than two, and used to sit in my perambulator and pull the tassels off my blue and white woolen rug, one by one, exclaiming ‘you come’! (I remember that and other details as though it were yesterday), then already, I divided people into three groups — as I do now — the useful ones; the indifferent and harmless; and the dangerous. But, naturally, I was then still self-centred, or hardly beginning to grow out of my self-centredness, and ‘useful’ were those who did immediately and without protest what I wanted; who gave me a plaything I coveted, or let me walk when I wanted to walk and stop when I wanted to stop. The dangerous ones were all those who hindered me, and, I must say, even more, those who harmed any animal or spoilt any plant — for I loved living creatures, as I do still; I found them beautiful, and it is through them that I spontaneously grew detached from myself. Hardly a little older, I could, if left to do so, inflict endless studied suffering by way of reprisal upon anyone who had kicked a dog or pinned a live butterfly on a piece of cardboard. And I never forgot such deeds. And never forgave any man or child who had committed them.

Soon the ideal of a just and healthy world — of a world from which all injurers of living beauty would be drastically eliminated; in which I would no longer be told that I was to ‘forgive’ them for the sake of little Jesus — became, in my consciousness, the centre and measure of all things, in the place of my insignificant self. And I looked upon myself as the champion of such an ideal. And the ‘useful’ people became, in my eyes, those alone who seemed to forward it — not those who did good to me, as a person, but those who felt and thought as I did, just as now; and the dangerous ones were those who attempted to persuade

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me that there were things more lovable than my dream of beauty, things such as, for instance ‘sick and suffering humanity’ to which healthy, beautiful and innocent beasts could be sacrificed. How I hated those people and their mania of saving what I never loved, and considered not worth saving! But what I want to say is that, whether at the age of two or twelve or forty, I have never really loved or hated a person but for what he or she represented in my eyes; not for his or her love or hatred of me, but for his or her love or hatred of the ideal which I loved. Only indifferent Nature I have always loved for her beauty alone.”

“And you were never worried by the problems of so many adolescents?” asked the psychiatrist.

“Problems?” repeated I, with a certain contempt, “no, I never experienced the existence of any — save of . . . economic ones, in later life. The others, the psychological ones, the sexual ones, etc., that seem to worry so many people, I looked upon as things totally foreign to me, out of my reach, but of which it was good for me to acquire some purely bookish knowledge in order to be able to write about them at my University examinations. Especially all that fuss about Freud and his ‘‘repressions’ — very fashionable in my College days — I witnessed with contempt. ‘Decadent stuff’, I thought, and nothing more. And I was much amused when I heard of the somewhat rough manner we handled the old Yid before kicking him out of the Third Reich. ‘I wish all those who spend their time trying to discover “complexes” within themselves instead of doing something more useful were treated likewise,’ I often said. I surely never gave a thought to such things . . .”

“But,” said the doctor, “there are other psychological problems; there are conflicts of allegiances, for instance . . .”

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“Not for me! I have only one allegiance!”

“But supposing, for the sake of argument, that you came to know that someone whom you loved had worked against your cause, would that not be painful to you?”

“It would be painful to me to think that I did not know it before, to have him or her liquidated in time, yes. But where is the ‘moral conflict’ in such a feeling?”

“But if you loved the person?”

“As soon as I would know of treason, I could not love him or her any longer. On the contrary, I could feel but loathing for such a person.”

The psychiatrist forgot how accurately he had himself summed up my mentality only a while before, and asked me a silly question. “But,” said he, supposing it were someone who, from the start, had never had your views . . . ?”

“In that case, I never would have loved him or her, from the start. There could have been, between us, at the most, relations of courtesy, even cordial relations — if I judged it necessary, or expedient — but deeper feelings (on my side at least) would have been out of question. No. Remember please that people like me — like us — people with a single allegiance, are free from ‘moral conflicts’. That is our strength.”

“That makes you monstrous.”

“People who aspire to supermanhood are bound to look monstrous, to men of a decaying civilisation,” said I, as though speaking to all Democrats in the name of all National Socialists.

“There is no superman-hood, and there never will be a super-mankind,” replied the psychiatrist. “There is only our poor, imperfect but dear humanity — dear in

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spite of all its weaknesses; our living humanity, full of contradictions, of inconsistencies, worried by ever-recurring problems, who struggles and suffers . . .”

“Gosh, what the long-drawn influence of a Jewish religion can bring some people to value!” exclaimed I, with the feeling that all our opponents had indeed spoken through that red haired man seated before me. “Well, I know nothing is absolute and therefore nothing can be perfect within time, especially at the end of a period of decay like our age is. But if you love present day humanity as it is, I tell you I don’t. And never shall. I love the living gods — my comrades, in my eyes the forerunners of a regenerate age. And if they are not destined to rule the world, well, away with such a world! Quickly a shower of atom bombs upon it and, in the place of its meaningless chatter about ‘love’ and ‘peace’, the voice of the howling wind over its ruins, — and ours!”

The psychiatrist got up. So did I. The interview had been long, very long. I was only sorry that it had not been public.

I was taken back to my cell. And there, I ate two slices of white bread and orange marmalade, with the best of appetites — feeling grateful to mother Nature for having made me one of the living instances of what Mr. Grassot, of the French Information Department in Baden Baden had called on the 9th of October, 1949 our “appalling logic.” Then, I smeared a third slice, and a fourth one, and put them by for my new friend H. E. to take on the following morning. Then, I sat at my table and continued Chapter 4 of my Gold in the Furnace.

* * *
My new friend now came every morning with the sister in charge. She stayed two or three minutes, took the

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food and drink I had for her, exchanged a few pleasant words with me, and went away.

One day she came, not with the nurse, but with one of the wardresses, and for once sat down upon the stool which I offered her. “I came today with Frau So-and-so, so that we might talk a little freely,” said she, as the wardress seated herself upon my bed. “Frau So-and-so is ‘in order’.”

The wardress gave us a smile of assent; and H. E. continued; “Ever since they have arrested us, these people have been trying to rub into our heads that we are monsters on account of the things we did, especially of the gassing of the Jews. The priests they have sent us to bring us back to Christian feelings have been repeating the same to us, for three and a half years, namely that that, of all things, was something appalling. You are not a German, although one of us. You have in these matters an impartiality that none of those enemies of Germany can pretend to have. Tell me frankly: what do you think of that feature of our régime?”

“It was necessary,” replied I unhesitatingly. “The only pity is that, first, so many dangerous Jews were never gassed, never even arrested; and second, that the slaves of Jewry were not gassed with their masters — to continue to serve them in the next world, if such a thing exists, like the slaves of dead chiefs were supposed to follow them, in remote antiquity. I admit it would have been doing the Yids a great honour, to give them an escort of pure Aryans to the gates of Hades; but it would have cleansed the Third Reich — and the world — of a considerable number of traitors.”

Both the wardress and H. E. smiled.

“How nicely you put it!” exclaimed my new friend. “But, — I am only telling you, for the sake of talk,

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what ‘they’ say on the other side — it seems that ‘it is wrong’; that it is a ‘crime against humanity’.”

“Humanity! Let me laugh!” I burst out. “How long will you and others condescend to listen to their Christian twaddle? What would you do if you had bugs in your bed, sucking your blood? What would ‘they’ do — our opponents, the wonderful ‘humanitarian’ Democrats (who cease being ‘humanitarians’ when it comes to showering phosphorus bombs by the million over Germany, as you must know better than I); what would the clergymen whom they send you do, in similar circumstances? Kill off the bugs, naturally. And their eggs with them. And they would not care how they would do it, as long as it were quickly done. Yet bugs are so made by nature that they cannot possibly be anything else but parasites; while Jews could go and work with their hands, like better races do, but will not. They have chosen to be, from the beginning of time, the parasites of every other nation kind enough to let them live, be it ancient Egypt, be it modern Germany. And when at last, the exploited nation, driven to exasperation, becomes aware of their unseen joke and awakes and begins to treat them as parasites, then, they pose as martyrs, and expose ‘antisemitism’, and finance atrocity campaigns all over the world, and succeed — alas! — in uniting all the uncritical, squeamish ‘humanitarians’, all the ‘decent people’ of the world against that nation, the clever rogues! But it is no fault of theirs, I readily admit. They have always been what they are. It is, first, the fault of those idiots of Aryan blood who have tolerated them so long — who, even, have more than once made use of them (as the princes and dukes of old did) to squeeze money out of other Aryans, (their subjects but, I say, their brothers). It is the fault of all those who have, in the past and now, treated racial

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differences lightly and who have preached that a Jew who becomes a Christian is as good as any Christian of Aryan blood, or that a Jew domiciled in Germany is a German and a Jew domiciled in England an Englishman and so forth. . . . Such rubbish! It is the fault of all those who were and who are taken in by that nonsensical talk, as though they had no brains to think better and no eyes to see the glaring truth all around them. It is never the fault of the bugs, if a house is overrun with them; it is the fault of the housewife . . .”

“My God! You are right!” exclaimed H. E. “There is no difference whatsoever between what you say and what they used to tell us, during our training, in the Hitler days.”

“I should think not!” said I. “It is not because I was not here, during the great days, that I am less aware of the truth than those who were. And it is not because I was brought up in one of the countries that make the most fuss about Democracy, — namely France — that I stand for order and authority. and for drastic steps wherever the future of the Aryan race is concerned, any less than you; or that I am in the least, less devoted to our Führer.”

H. E. smiled, and squeezed my hand warmly. “My dear, I never doubted it!” said she. “Indeed, when I think of you, I only regret that you were not here in our days. You would have been happy. And you would have been given among us a place worthy of your fervour and capability.”

“All I regret is that I could have been a little more useful in Europe during the war than I was so far away in the East . . . and also that . . .”

“And also what?”

“And also,” said I, “that I have never seen the

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Führer — nor any of his great collaborators. You have seen him, surely?”

“Yes, many times. I have greeted him in the streets of Berlin, as thousands of others have. But I have never spoken to him.”

The wardress got up and told me that, although she would very much like to please me, she could not possibly remain with H. E. any longer in my cell. “But,” she added, “if I am on duty on Sunday afternoon, I’ll bring her again.”

“Yes, do! I will be so grateful to you,” said I. “And is it not possible for me to come in contact with one or two more of my comrades?”

“I’ll see,” said the wardress; “I’ll see what I can do.”

H. E. saluted me: “Heil Hitler!” “Sister Maria — the nurse in charge — does not want us to say that,” she explained, “but Frau So-and-so is one of us.” Frau So-and-so smiled sympathetically.

“Heil Hitler!” said I, raising my hand.

* * *
Life continued for me, happy, in the expectation of my trial soon to some. I finished Chapter 4 of my Gold in the Furnace, and started writing Chapter 5, about “de-Nazification.” I put all the fervour of my heart into my work; and the words I wrote were words of faith in the future. “What a difference with ‘46’ and ‘47’!” I often thought to myself. “Then, I was free — and desperate. Now I am captive, but I know we shall rise again, one day. As long as that is true, what does the rest matter?”

And I remembered a play that I had written in those awful days, — a play entitled Akhnaton, that pictured the

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persecution of the most beautiful form of Sun worship in Antiquity, under the Pharaoh Horemheb. Nobody had even suspected the meaning of that play — save a handful of English-knowing German friends of mine. Now, I quoted at the top of the page, under the title of my Chapter 5, — “De-Nazification” — the words of the old hymn of hate intoned by the priests of Amon as they cursed King Akhnaton, after his death:

“Woe to thine enemies, O Amon!
Thy City endures,
. . . But he who assailed thee falls . . .”
“From a literary standpoint, much better, but in spirit, just as bad as the speeches of the self-appointed custodians of ‘human values’ at Nüremberg,” thought I. And a cold sensation ran through my spine as I realised, perhaps better than ever, that, in the realm of Time, the fury of our enemies is as lasting as our divine philosophy; that there always were vested interests opposed to our truth; that there always would be, as along as Time lasted. But still, nothing can destroy us. And, below the ancient words of victorious hate, I quoted one of the undying sentences of our Führer: “Every attempt to combat a ‘Weltanschauung’ by force fails in the end, so long as it does not take the form of an attack in favour of a new spiritual conception.”1

And for a while, I thought of the encouragement contained in those true words: What “new spiritual conception” could indeed supersede ours, the one which is, in the Führer’s own very words, “in full harmony with the original meaning of things”?2


1 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, I, Chapter 5, edit. 1939, p. 189.
2 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, II, Chapter 2, edit. 1939, p. 440.

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Out of touch with my free comrades; out of touch with Herr W. — now surely, like I, “on remand” in some prison — out of touch with my husband and with my friends abroad, yet, I felt myself linked to all Germany and to all the world, even more so than when I had been free. And although from my cell I could see neither the sky nor the Sun, I felt myself linked to them beyond the world. When I guessed the red glow of evening behind my nontransparent windowpanes, I would put my stool upon the table and stand on it, and gaze at the fiery Disk through the narrow opening at the top of the window, and pray: “Put Thy power in me, Source of all power! And keep on inspiring me, that my life may always be a beautiful hymn to Thy glory, and a testimony to truth!” And when, after that, I again sat down to write, I felt that the strength and brightness of the Sun filled indeed my whole being, and set the seal of duration — the seal of truth — upon what I wrote.

Once a day, I was taken out for a quarter of an hour’s walk around the courtyard, by myself, under the supervision of the wardress who happened to be on duty. For I was still “on remand,” and had not the right to join the other prisoners in their “free hour” — which was also, most of the time, a free half hour or a free quarter of an hour.

In the evenings the wardresses on duty often used to come and have a few minutes’ talk with me in my cell. They were mostly young women, curious to hear something about the wide world, and perhaps even more, keen on questioning a foreign National Socialist who had proved her sincerity. I soon learnt to know them by their names, and to like some of them more than others. H. E. — who now came regularly every morning — had told me of four who, to her knowledge, were “ganz in

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Ordnung,” i.e., who shared our faith wholeheartedly, whether officially “de-Nazified” or not. I loved those, naturally. I knew I could rely upon them. But I must say that the others behaved also in a friendly manner towards me. None seemed to look upon me as anything else but a genuine friend of Germany — a praiseworthy person. They held, however (and how rightly!) that I perhaps could have been more useful, had I been a little less trusting and more supple.

They often asked me about the things I had seen in the Near and Middle East, in the course of my travels. And I evoked before them the ruined temples of Upper Egypt, and the Valley of the Tombs of the Kings, and the Nile between Aswan and Wadi-Alfa; or the austere splendour of the desert of Iraq, under the moon; or the beauty of the Malabar coast or of the Bengali countryside, just after the rains. And they asked me about my life in India, and about India during the war.

I spoke lengthily about the appalling Bengal famine of 1943 — the result of the general requisition of the rice harvest by the British, for the British and American troops in Burma and for the staff of the “indispensable services” in case of emergency. I evoked as forcifully and as vividly as I could the endless rows of starving men, women, and children — living skeletons — come from the countryside to await death along the busy avenues of Calcutta; and those whom one met seeking for something to eat in the stinking dust-heaps, while fighters for Democracy, stuffed with food — and whisky, at eighty rupees a bottle — could be seen tottering out of “Firpo’s” — the fashionable ultramodern restaurant — and getting sick upon the pavement. “One third of the population of Bengal is said to have died of starvation or of the consequences of long-drawn undernourishment,” added I.

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“And the people who were at the bottom of that are those who, in 1945, had the impudence to pose as defenders of ‘humanity’ and to accuse the vanquished of ‘war crimes’.”

The reaction of my listeners was the reaction I had obtained all over Germany, wherever I had related what I had seen in Calcutta from March to December, 1943. “Yes, how dare they speak of us?” they all agreed. And I thought: “These women had perhaps never heard of the Bengal famine before. Now, they will go home and comment upon it in the presence of other Germans. And that will contribute to increase the general loathing for the hypocrites now busy dismantling the German factories in the name of peace and trying to keep down National Socialism in the name of liberty. So, I suppose I am not entirely useless, even here . . .”

One of the wardresses asked me if, during the war, there were many people in India on our side.

“That all depends when,” I answered. “In 1940, everybody was on our side — save the British settlers, the Anglo-Indians, who aped them, and, naturally, the Jews. You should have seen the enthusiasm at the news of the fall of France; at the expectation of the fall of England! That lasted till 1942. In 1943, it was already beginning to wane. In 1944, it was gone. In 1945, many of those who had spoken the loudest, even before the war, about the “unbreakable bonds of Aryan solidarity” and so forth, turned their coats and welcomed the “era of peace, justice and true Democracy” that the United Nations were supposed to have inaugurated. Unfortunately, I must say, this phenomenon is not particular to India. Exactly the same course of evolution has been followed by a great number of Icelanders — pure Nordic people . . .”

“And by some Germans, too . . . still more unfortunately,”

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put in one of the wardresses whom I knew to be, herself, “one of us.”

* * *
One afternoon, I was taken by the wardress on duty to a room opposite the offices of the British Governor and of the Chief Warder. There, I was joined by the gentleman with the insinuating voice — Mr. Manning, I believe — who had tried in vain, in Düsseldorf, to make me tell who had printed my propaganda, and by a young English woman.

“We have come to ask you a few more questions,” said the man, as he took his seat. And he bade me sit down. “First, we have been examining your posters and the two Leaflets found in your bag very closely,” he pursued; “and we have practically come to a conclusion as to where they probably were printed. Would you care to know our conclusion?”

“Why not?”

“And would you tell us if we are right or wrong — just that?”

“No,” replied I. “I have sworn to myself that I shall not tell you nor anyone a word concerning the printing of those papers, and I shall stick to my decision.”

“You would not even tell us ‘yes’ or ‘no’?”

“Not even ‘yes’ or ‘no’. You are not compelled to let me know what you have inferred from your examination of my leaflets. I have not asked you to.”

I spoke thus in order to hide my genuine anxiety. For I knew the police was clever — or I thought it was.

“I can see no harm in telling you,” said the man. “We strongly suspect that your papers were printed in France.”

He kept on watching me intently, expecting to detect

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upon my face a sign of fear or relief. He had told me, in fact, only to provoke a reaction on my part. And his statement might even have been a complete lie, for all I know.

However, it might also have expressed a genuine opinion. And somehow, somewhere in the depth of my consciousness, I did feel the nearest approach to a sigh of relief — and to a sudden propensity to laugh; for my papers had all been printed in the heart of London. But, to my knowledge, my face — with the help of the Gods — remained as blank as though the man had been talking to me in Chinese. And I made no reply. To have said “yes” would have at once raised suspicions — “How was it that my scruples had so quickly vanished?” the man would have wondered. And he would have perhaps found out that I was trying to lead him along a false track. On the other hand, I could not have said “no.” That might have led him to think of London.

“So you will not tell us anything?” asked Mr. Manning (or whatever his name was) at last.

“What made you suppose that my papers were printed in France?” asked I, in return.

“Well . . . certain particularities in the print,” answered my interrogator. “We are practically sure of it,” he added.

“I have nothing to say,” I declared, putting on a feigned expression of concern, — as though the papers had really been printed in France and as though I feared it would soon be discovered by whom.

The man did not insist. But I believe that he felt more and more convinced (if he ever had been at all) that the propaganda had come out in black on white in some Parisian back shop. He took a paper and a penholder and noted something. Then he asked me if “I minded”

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enlightening him on a few more points concerning “my past.”

“It seems you were in India during the war,” said he; “how is it that you were not in Europe working for your cause?”

“Only because I materially could not come in time,” replied I. “I did everything, absolutely everything I could to come. But I waited months for my passport. And the last Italian boat that I was hoping to take never left. Italy entered the war a fortnight too soon.”

“And you had . . . set plans, as to what you were going to do in Europe?”

I reflected: should I tell the truth or not? After all, what did it matter, now that I was caught anyhow? I did not care any longer if “they” knew.

“I intended to broadcast war propaganda in favour of the Axis, in Greek, in French, and in Bengali,” said I. In my voice one could have detected the infinite regret that I had not in fact done so. But my interlocutor looked upon me with nearly as much interest as if I had. “. . . with the deliberate intention of broadcasting on behalf of the Axis . . .” he wrote down upon his paper. And turning to me he asked: “Did the Party know of your intention?”

“I hope some members of the Party did, at least,” replied I.

“And what did you actually do in India, after the failure of your scheme?” was the next question.

My answer — in perfect keeping with the truth, if not with all the truth — sounded like a joke calculated to thrust the man from the sublime spheres of what appeared to hire as premeditated high treason, clown to utter triviality: “I fed stray cats,” said I simply.

“Cats!” exclaimed the man cross-questioning me.

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“Yes, cats,” I repeated; “about hundred and fifty of them a day, during the Bengal famine, and some dogs too. Twice a day, I used to go down with rice, fish and milk for them, and feed them in turn in two or three courtyards where they used to gather. And there was a queue of about fifty of them, kittens and all, every evening along the winding iron staircase that led to my terrace. And I had thirty-five in my house alone. You can enquire whenever you like whether I am speaking the truth or not. All the locality knew me, during the war, as “the cat ‘mem-sahib’!”

“How lovely!” said, with a smile, the young woman who was sitting opposite me, listening. “I too, simply adore cats!”

My interrogator had the good sense not to ask me why I had not devoted my whole energy to human beings. He wished to avoid useless discussions. But he did say; “Surely, you did not do nothing but that?”

“Indeed not,” I replied with utmost ease. “I also wrote a pamphlet entitled Non-Hindu Indians and Indian Unity, about the Hindu-Muslim problem; and a book entitled Joy of the Sun — the life of King Akhnaton of Egypt told to young people; and another book, A Son of God about the same three thousand three hundred year-old Pharaoh.” All this was perfectly accurate. But it did not seem to satisfy my questioner’s curiosity.

“You also used to receive members of the Allied forces in your flat,” pointed out the latter at last. “Or am I mistaken?”

He was not mistaken. That, I knew. It was nearly a fortnight since I had been arrested and, evidently, thought I, some sort of an enquiry had been made about

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me in India. It was no use trying to deny known facts. But, . . . there was a way of presenting them . . .

“My husband was always there when those men carne,” said I, not knowing at first what else to say — for the remark had somewhat surprised me — and pretending I wished to assert my innocence from a moral point of view.

“We never had the slightest doubts about that,” replied the man. “But how did those people become acquainted with you?”

“I used to bring them home every Wednesday evening from the ‘East and West Club’, then situated in Chowringhee Terrace,” said I, in a casual manner.

“And why were you so keen on bringing them home?”

“To put them in touch with my husband.” My words must have had the accent of sincerity, for what I said could not have been more true.

“Ah, ah!” . . . muttered the police official.

“Certainly,” pursued I, with imperturbable assurance; “my husband as an Indian, and an old-fashioned one, a real one, well-versed in Sanskrit lore, astrology, etc., and all subjects particular to India. Now, the very purpose, the raison d’être of the ‘East and West Club’ — the laudable intention of Rev. Charles Milford and of his wife Mary Milford, its founders — was precisely to put members of the Allied forces, both British and American, in touch with interesting Indians; to give then a taste of Indian home life and pleasant memories of their stay in the East. I was just fulfilling the purpose of the Club to the best of my capacity.”

Without flattering myself, this was logical, plausible; irreproachably well put.

“And what did your husband talk about with our

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men?” asked my interrogator, Mr. Manning, or whatever was his name.

“I could not tell,” replied I. “Perhaps about Indian history; or about astrology, if they were interested. I was not generally present at their talks.”

“Why weren’t you?”

“Because it is not the habit of Indian wives to sit in the company of strange men. At the Club, of course, it was different. We were all modern there. But at home, I observed the old custom. At the most, after serving coffee to the men, I used to show them my cats . . .”

“And what did you talk about when alone with them at the Club or on your way home?” asked my interrogator.

“About the heat; or about Indian food; or something like that. I never used to say a word about the war, or about politics.”

“Didn’t they ever ask you what views you had?”

“Yes,” replied I; “they did. But I always told them I had none, and that I was interested only in Antiquity. It avoided all possible unpleasantness . . .”

The man took to questioning me about my husband. “Does he hold the same views as you?” he asked me.

“I hope so,” answered I. “I used to believe he did, of course. But, as I said already in Düsseldorf, I know nothing of other people’s views — although I cannot help feeling that any high-caste Indian proud of his own tradition is bound to hold our views, knowingly or unknowingly.”

“Your husband seems in sympathy with you all right, if one judges him by his letters,” declared the man. “How long is it since you have not seen him?”

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“Over three years.”

“And he does not feel lonely, without you?”

“I hope not. I believe him to be spiritually rich enough never to feel ‘lonely’. I never do, who am, spiritually — and intellectually — his inferior.”

“I cannot understand why on earth he married you.”

“It would perhaps be better to ask him,” replied I, with a pinch of irony.

The young woman who was present exclaimed: “A very good answer!”

At last Mr. Manning — or whoever he was — asked me how I had managed to distribute my papers in public places all over Germany, for so long, without getting into trouble.

“I suppose I used to give them only to the right people,” said I.

“I am sure you did, — otherwise you would have been in jail months ago. But how did you recognise those who shared your ideology? That I would like to know.”

“I don’t know myself. I used to feel them, somehow, even before they spoke,” I replied.

“I bet she just picked out the handsome ones!” put in the woman, summing up what she thought of my way of detecting at first sight who was a National Socialist and who was not.

“Well, this was doubtless supposed to be a joke, but there is some truth in it,” said I, to the surprise of both my interlocutors. “When I used to see, in a face, not merely regular features and the external signs of health, hut that indefinable stamp of combined intelligence, willpower and fervour; of serene and patient strength, of courage and love — of all round sanity

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which constitutes real beauty, then I used to say to myself: ‘This one looks like one of us; let me talk to him — and perhaps I shall give him a couple of leaflets’. And I never made a mistake, although I am no expert at reading thoughts. That alone would go to prove that every National Socialist is one among a real human élite; a brotherhood of higher beings.”

“We will see you again in Düsseldorf on the 7th,” said the man at last, putting an end to our talk. Then, I had a moment of weakness; I remembered the beginning of my book that was in the hands of the police. I could not help asking Mr. Manning (or whatever his name was) whether he had read it and what he thought of it.

“Well,” answered he, “I cannot exactly say I like it. It may be well written; I am no literary critic. But I don’t know where you went and got your information about Dunkirk. It is all false . . .”

“What is false, for instance?”

“It is false to pretend that our troops were scared of the Germans; also to say that Hitler sincerely wanted peace . . .”

“Oh, that is all right!” thought I condescendingly. “Who wants to admit that his country’s army was ever scared of anybody? And who is prepared to agree that the ‘enemy’ has acted in good faith?” I turned to the police officer: “Do you think that there is any slight possibility that my manuscript might he spared?” asked I unable not to plead in its favour at least once. “If the statements I make in it are so obviously and so shockingly false as you seem to think, then it is surely not dangerous; nobody would take it seriously. I do not intend to publish it anyhow. That is obvious from its contents.”

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“I cannot answer ‘yes’ nor ‘no’,” said the man. “The decision does not lie with me.”

“Could you not at least, if they consult you, point out that the writing is not dangerous. It is too out and out National Socialistic anyhow, for anyone to take the trouble to read it, save a handful of enthusiasts . . .”

“I don’t quite agree with you there,” said the man. “Personally, had it not been for the dedication, I would not have found out that it was Nazi stuff before I came to the second chapter, (sic). As for your other manuscript,” he added, speaking of the first part of The Lightning and the Sun, “it is not political at all . . .”

I was amazed — dumbfounded. “Either this man must not have read the first line of my writing,” thought I, “or, . . . he must be a perfect idiot, or he is trying to deceive me.” But I said nothing. I prayed the invisible Powers that all my readers in the circumstance might remain blind to the meaning of my writings, and not destroy them. A slight, very slight ray of hope — which I did not dare to encourage — dawned on that day, in my consciousness, for the first time since my arrest: “Perhaps, they will spare my manuscripts all the same . . .” My reason rejected it as something utterly absurd. My heart clung to it.

* * *
On the following Sunday afternoon, as the prisoners of the D wing — the so-called “war criminals” — were corning back to their cells from the recreation room, the door of my cell was opened and . . . in stepped two of the latter; my friend H. E. and a tall, slim, also blonde younger woman. The wardress oil duty — one of those who were, in H. E.’s words, “entirely in order” locked the

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door behind them. “Splendid!” exclaimed H. E.; “now, we are free for a while.”

And spontaneously, — as though a miracle had happened, and the Occupation with all its trail of shame and misery had been wiped away in the twinkling of an eye, and the grand days had come back — the three of us raised our right arms in the ritual gesture and uttered from the depth of our hearts the magical syllables — cry of deliverance; war-cry; cry of love that nothing call smother; Germany’s cry of joy at the long-delayed re-conquest of her real free self: “Heil Hitler!”

My left arm around H. E.’s waist, the flame of defiance and the light of fervour in my eyes, I stood between the two blonde daughters of resurrected Germany, I, the dark-eyed daughter of the Mediterranean; the messenger of the faithful Aryans of the Far South and of the whole world. And there was no difference between them and I.

“Once,” thought I, — after the divine minute had passed and I was again able to think — “the salute was compulsory, and the two words also. One walked into a grocer’s shop and uttered them as a matter of course, half the time without thinking about what one was saying — as one says ‘Good morning!’ — and then, turning to the shopkeeper, one added immediately: ‘Give me a pound of sauerkraut please.” . . . . Now . . . the two words, already four years forbidden, have really become holy words; now, those alone pronounce them at all, who mean them, with all their heart and soul, — who would die uttering then; and those who titter them together — as we three — feel hound to one another forever. Now, they have re-conquered their meaning and their power; the spell-like power they had, among the storm-fighters of before 1933.”

H. E. introduced me to the other prisoner, H. B.

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another victim of the Belsen trial. They both sat upon my bed, and for two hours — until the feeding time came — we talked freely. “My dears,” said I, “how unpredictable is the slowly unfolding pattern of life! Three and a half years ago, when I read about those disgusting trials in the papers, and saw your names in print, among many others, and believed all was lost, who could have told me that one day, I would meet you in prison, and have the joy of telling you: ‘Nothing is lost, as long as we keep our spirit. — Hope and wait!’ And who can tell us today whether, in a few years to come, we shall not be greeting together the return of our Führer amidst the delirious enthusiasm, this time, of a whole continent? Fortunately the world is governed by the Invisible. And the Invisible laughs at the U.N.O., and at the Occupation Status and at the Control Commission, and all such ephemeral inventions of silly dabblers in politics.”

The two women told me something of the atrocious way they and the rest of the German staff in charge of the Belsen camp were treated in April 1945, when the British Military Police took possession of the place. They spoke of the lorries full of frenzied Jews, sent there especially to inflict all manner of ill-treatment upon them — and especially upon the S.S. men, warders of the camp. They described to me how, after four days’ horrid confinement, without food nor water, in their own filth, they had themselves been made to bury, with their own hands, under the threat of British bayonets, the bodies both of the dead internees and of the slain warders, and were not given even water to wash themselves of the stench, but were compelled — rather than nothing at all — to use their own urine for that purpose. They told me of the howls of the unfortunate S.S. men whom they saw disembowelled alive by creatures wearing the British Military

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Police uniform (let us hope, for the honour of the Aryan race, that these had all some amount of Jewish blood) and of the thin, long-drawn, high-pitched shrieks of the tortured.

I listened intently. With my naturally vivid imagination, I pictured to myself the ghastly scenes. And I felt every hair of my skin stand erect, and an icy cold sensation run along my nerves and penetrate me through and through. It was surely not the first time that I had heard of such achievements of the fighters for peace and reformers of mankind. I knew of plenty of atrocities performed by the “maquisards” — the “heroes” of the French “résistance” — especially from August 1944 onwards; French people had told me themselves of these things in 1946. And I remembered many similar facts of which I had heard in Germany. But, few instances of anti-Nazi barbarity as repulsive as those I had just heard, had yet been related to me by the very people who had witnessed them hour after hour, for days on end. These surpassed, if possible, even the horrors of Schwarzenborn and of Darmstadt . . .

I gazed at the two women. In my mind, I recalled other tortures, outlandish ones, equally ghastly, but more long-drawn, more methodical, more scientifically studied, more artfully applied, things unheard of, that took place in imperial China, in Korea, in old Japan, and that I knew. And something akin to enthusiasm possessed me. I smiled at the vision of the wide world, spread before me, and at the endless unknown possibilities that might be offered to me, who knows how and when, in the course of the next thirty years. “My martyred comrades, my loved ones!” said I, in a clear, almost inspired voice, “‘They’ have thrown you to the Jews. May I, one day, be given the power and the opportunity to throw them

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to torturers of Mongolian blood! — to yellow men, with blank faces and slit eyes. On that day, I shall avenge you! By the unseen Forces, heavenly, earthly and subterranean, that govern all things, I swear it!” And as I said that, I felt a current of power ascend my spine and emerge from the top of my head; and deathly destructive waves rush forth from my body, irresistible. In invisible space, where nothing is lost, that energy, released in an impulse of righteous indignation, is still now working to bring about the downfall of our enemies. Who can stop it?

* * *
On the 7th March, I was again taken to Düsseldorf. Snow had been falling for several days, and under the grey sky, the landscape had become dreamlike I gazed at it from the windows of the car, with passionate admiration, — conscious that the time was drawing nigh, when I would see nothing but the prison courtyard, day after day — and I talked to Miss Taylor, the English policewoman, who had come to fetch me and who sat at my side.

“You are not too unhappy in jail?” she asked me.

“I? Not at all. I am, on the contrary, very happy,” replied I. But I did not tell her that I owed most of my happiness to the fact that, glad to seize upon this opportunity of mocking the Occupation authorities, the German staff left me do practically all I liked.

“You would be happy anywhere,” remarked Miss Taylor.

“Perhaps,” said I.

In Düsseldorf, the hearing of my case was put off another week. And I was taken back to Werl in the afternoon. “I wish they could keep on adjourning my

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trial like that” said I in a joke, “and thus afford me the pleasure of a motor-drive every eight days!”

On the 14th of March, once more Miss Taylor was waiting for me at 7 o’clock in the morning. Once more, from the windows of the car, I watched the scenery and the passersby, as we rolled through Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen, etc. . . . Every time I saw ruins, I inwardly prayed for speedy revenge, and I longed for the day when I would see flags bearing the swastika hang from the windows of the rebuilt houses.

At Essen, I asked to get down from the car for five minutes pretexting “a very urgent necessity.” Miss Taylor got down with me but, as I had expected, did not follow me behind the ruined wall that I had chosen as a screen between myself and possible onlookers. Taking a piece of chalk out of my pocket, I wrote upon the smooth surface that had once been a part of a German home, the sweet, the triumphal — and now defiant — words that contain the whole of my emotional life: “Heil Hitler!” Sooner or later, from that road on the side of which the car was now waiting for me, or from another, someone, — some German workman out of employ, cursing the damned Occupation for his present-day misery; some housewife, remembering how lovely life was, under the Führer’s rule, compared with now — would come to this lonely spot and read them. And for a minute, his or her heart would beat in tune with mine, thought I.

At Düsseldorf, I was confronted in Court with my unfortunate collaborator — Herr W. — I, on the bench of the accused; he, although still himself a prisoner on remand, in the witness box. He looked dejected — if not quite so much so as when I had had a glimpse of him, two days after my arrest. Doubtless, he had suffered in prison.

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He gave a very clever account of how we had started talking at the “Catholic Mission” of the railway station of Cologne. We had talked in presence of the woman on duty at the mission on that night. And after a while, — in order that she might not follow the conversation (for who knew what views she held?) — we had talked in French. Herr W. had related to me the horrible story of his three years’ captivity in the heart of Africa; and I, practically sure that he was one “of the right sort,” had translated to him, from the English original, passages from the third chapter of my Gold in the Furnace. Now, before the Court, Herr W. said nothing that could lead one to believe that, as a National Socialist, or even simply as a German, he had liked the spirit of my writing.

“She read to me, in French, a few passages from some book,” said he — he did not, in fact, state that it was from that one — “but it was much too difficult for me to understand, as my French is not good. I just nodded my head in assent, out of courtesy, without grasping what it was about.”

In reality, he had agreed enthusiastically with whatever I had read to him. But I was glad he did not say so, for his sake and for mine. “The less attention is drawn upon that book of mine the better,” thought I. Herr W. pursued: “As for the lady’s views . . .” He was probably going to say that he never even suspected them. But I was only too glad to proclaim them.

“Don’t be afraid of saying that I am a National Socialist,” shouted I from my corner. “Now that I am caught, let the whole world know it! I am proud of it.”

There were signs of increased interest among the German public come to hear the case. Miss Taylor, sitting at my side, told me, however, not to speak until I was questioned. The judge asked me “not to interrupt,” and Herr W. resumed his account. He pretended that

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he had no political faith whatsoever since the end of the war — he could hardly say he had never had any before, being a volunteer S.S. man since 1939 — and he stated that he had taken my posters to stick up merely because he was expecting that I would have paid him for doing so! He added that he was out of employ, and in dire need of money — which, doubtless, was true.

I listened from my bench and compared what I was hearing with what Herr W. had told me a month before, in the empty train. I remembered his enthusiastic readiness to stick up my posters as soon as he had seen one of them. I recalled the devotion with which he had spoken of the Führer: “Our beloved Hitler! So it is for the love of him that you have come to us, from the other end of the world!” His words, and the warmth with which he had uttered them, I could never forget. And now . . . he denied in public that common sacred faith that bound us! . . . And why? No doubt, to avoid a heavy sentence for himself in his own coming trial. “I would never do that — I, who never was even a member of the N.S.D.A.P., let alone of the S.S. élite,” thought I.

Yes; but then, I reflected, I had not toiled three, years in a slave labour camp in the Congo, under the whip of Negroes, with hardly anything to eat. And I had not been wounded fifteen times in the Führer’s service. And I had not, now, undergone cross-questioning under the same horrid conditions as this young man probably had; nor had I, in prison, to endure the same hardships. What had I been doing, at least up till 1942, while he was fighting upon the battlefields of Europe? Walking down Chowringhee Avenue under my bright-coloured parasol, feeling happy; boasting of Germany’s lightning victories and talking of the coming world New Order, in Indian tea parties! And even after that, I had not incurred any

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danger. So, naturally, now, I could afford to be defiant.

I felt deeply ashamed of my first reaction of self-righteousness and severity. “Poor boy!” thought I, “he has the right to try to avoid further useless suffering. He has proved who he is, in ten long years of action. And nobody believes him, anyhow, when he says that “he no longer clings to any ideology.”

The judge asked me if I had any question to put to Herr W., or anything to add to what he had said. I declared that I had “nothing to add.”

During our midday meal. Miss Taylor commented upon my collaborator’s attitude and spoke of his “lack of moral courage.” “It must not surprise you,” she concluded; “they are all like that. You should have seen the ‘top ones’ on trial at Nuremberg, shifting the responsibility unto one another — each one merely trying to save his own skin . . .”

“I refuse to hear a word of criticism, let alone of blame, against the martyrs of Nuremberg,” said I. “Even if what you say were true — which I do not believe for a second — still they are my superiors, and I have no business to find fault with them; much less to allow anti-Nazis to find fault with them in my presence. If you care at all to talk to me, talk of something else.”

“You are the limit, really!” exclaimed the policewoman. “But remember that you are not a German . . .”

“Maybe.”

“. . . and that you do not represent Germany.”

“I have never pretended to. Still,” said I — and a defiant smile brightened my face — “let me tell you that ‘next time’, when the Democracies are crushed and lie in the dust, twenty times more devastated even than Germany is now, then, you will not find in the whole world

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a single non-English person to stand by you in admiring loyalty as I stand by the Germans today. You will not even find mercenary friends, as you did last time, for you will have no money left. Germany today has no money, no power, no international status. But she has the magic of Hitler’s name, and his everlasting Idea. What will you have, to retain a foreigner’s devotion, when your material power will be gone?”

Miss Taylor made no answer. There was none to make.

In the afternoon other witnesses — Wilhelm Kripfel, the policeman who had first dealt with me, and his superior, head of the police office in the Cologne railway station; Gertrud Romboy, the woman on duty at the Catholic Mission of the same station, on the night I had made the acquaintance of Herr W. there; the Oberinspektor Herr Heller, and the man who, in Düsseldorf, had taken down my statement as to “why” I had contributed to keep the Nazi spirit alive, were heard in turn.

Gertrud Romboy’s account of the enthusiastic manner in which Herr W. had spoken of me, was, from the standpoint of the Court, most damaging to the young man. It showed as plainly as could be that, although he might have been hungry, nothing else but a sincere National Socialist faith had prompted him to help me. And, while I would have admired Herr W. had he boldly stated this, himself, I was indignant as I heard Gertrud Romboy imply it so obviously, as though she were doing all she could to render the sentence against him as heavy as possible. Indeed, she told the truth and all the truth before the Lower Control Commission Court, as she had sworn she would. She was none of us — or, in the circumstance, she would have lied, or feigned ignorance. But

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even more than her apparent desire to bring punishment upon Herr W. (as well as upon myself) the hasty confidence with which Herr W. had spoken to her and given her a leaflet of mine on his return from the platform of the station, amazed me. Could he not have, first, taken the trouble to find out whether the woman was safe or not? I recalled the fact that, if Herr W. had been arrested at all, it was because, after sticking up as many as he could of my posters all night, he had not stopped doing so when day had dawned; that, actually, thinking himself alone in the midst of a ruined part of Cologne, he had applied fifteen of them in a row against the smooth surface of what had once been the wall of a bank, at 8:30 a.m. or so, — in broad daylight. I had read those details in a summary of his arrest, and of the witnesses’ first statements, that had been handed over to me in prison. Now, for the second time I thought, — notwithstanding all the respect I had for the young man’s sincerity and zeal, and for the genuine efforts he had made to save me from arrest —: “I never would have believed that an S.S. man could be such a clumsy fool!”

It was decided at last that, “given the very serious nature of the charges against me,” my case exceeded the competence of the Lower Control Commission Court and would therefore be heard at the next sitting of the High Court of similar character. I was told that the final hearing would not be further postponed. (The mental doctor’s report, read by the judge, stated indeed that I was “of more than average intelligence” and “fully responsible” and “fit to undergo trial.”) I was asked if I wished to be defended. I replied that I was quite able to defend myself — or rather to state, myself, the reasons that had prompted me to act as I did. “I am proud of what I have done.” I added, “and would begin again if I could

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though, — I hope — this time, less clumsily, taking full advantage of bitterly acquired experience.”

The judge took a pencil and a piece of paper. “Will you repeat this, if you please?” said he.

“Most gladly!” answered I. And I repeated the sentence, smiling at the German public. And the judge wrote it down.

“So you don’t want a lawyer to defend you?” he asked me, when he had finished.

“Oh,” said I, “if it is the custom, and if I am not to pay him, I don’t mind having one. But I wonder what he will be able to say in my favour. Anyhow, I also wish to speak, personally. I hope I shall be allowed to.”

“You will,” replied the judge, “provided you do not intend to make a long political speech.”

“I just want to make a short one,” said I. The public laughed. “Moreover,” I added, “I do not know how far it will be ‘political’, for in my eyes National Socialism is far more than mere ‘politics’.”

* * *
As I was walking down the large staircase by the side of Miss Taylor, a woman — who had been listening among the public — approached me and said: “I would very much like to have a talk with you.”

“So would I,” I replied, “but I am not allowed to.”

Miss Taylor intervened. “Come along,” she said; “you are not to get in touch with the public.”

But I turned to the woman who had spoken to me — and to all those who could hear me — and said: “Know, yourselves, and tell all Germany, that neither threats nor bribery, neither severity nor kindness, will ever ‘de-Nazify’ me; that, in my eyes, the interest of National Socialist Germany is the interest of the Aryan race at

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large; and that I am waiting for the Day of revenge and resurrection. Wait for it, you too, in the same spirit. Heil Hitler!”

Miss Taylor — who had not understood all that I had said, but who had guessed, more or less, what it could be — held my right hand down to prevent me from making the ritual salute. I looked at her and said: “That is easy. But all the might of the united Democracies cannot hold my spirit down.”

She replied nothing.

She took me to another building, and gave me a cup of tea. An Indian, whom I had noticed by the side of the representatives of British justice during the hearing of the witnesses, came in and introduced himself as the envoy of the Indian Consulate in Berlin, specially sent to attend my trial and to interview me. He looked like a South Indian, and told me he was called Francis. “A Christian from the Southwest coast,” thought I. And I was right, for the gentleman told me a minute later that he was from Travancore. I had visited the place in 1945. We spoke about it for a while. Then, he asked me “how I had come to be mixed up with National Socialism,” and, for the hundred thousandth time I had to point out, in as concise a manner as possible, the logical connection between my life long yearning after the ideals of Aryan Heathendom — which are ours — and my departure to caste-ridden India. “the land that had never denied the Aryan Gods,” in 1932. The things I said were the least likely to flatter the feelings of an Indian convert to Christianity, brought up, in all probability, in an atmosphere of democratic “liberalism” — in other words, of lies. But I could not help it. I spoke the truth.

“Would you like us to try to have you sent back to India?” asked the official.

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“I would love to go back for some time,” said I. “There are a few things I would like to ask my husband, when I see him again. But on no account would I run the risk of getting stuck there — like I did in 1939 — where interesting developments start once more in the West.” I thanked the gentleman, however, for the interest he took in me.

After that, Miss Taylor brought me back to Werl. In the motorcar, travelling with me, was, this time, my luggage, which the police had given me back.

“I wonder what they did with my manuscripts,” I could not help saying.

“They told me they kept whatever was of a political nature, and gave you back the rest,” replied the policewoman.

I felt my heart sink within my breast, believing my precious writings were now lost to me and to those for whom they had been written. I spoke little during the journey. Over and over again, I read the list of the things which the police had given back to me, grateful to Miss Taylor for letting me see it before hand. Several large and small “copybooks” were mentioned in the list. But I did not remember how many copybooks I had. There was one ray of hope: the Programme of the N.S.D.A.P. was definitely mentioned on the paper. I recalled the booklet bearing upon its bright-yellow cover a picture of the red white and black swastika flag — and thought: “If they can give me back that, they can give me back anything!” But I did not dare to believe it. When we reached Werl, Miss Taylor, who had herself taken charge of the few jewels I still possessed, handed them over to the prison authorities. My Indian earrings

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in the shape of swastikas were there with the rest. They were mentioned on the list. My luggage was carried to the “Frauen Haus” and, on the request of Miss Taylor — who was kind enough to understand my desire to inspect it at ease — deposited in my cell, under my bed.

As soon as I was alone, I opened it. And my heart leaped: there, before me, lay the thick light brown copybook with a red binding in which were written, in my own handwriting, the three first chapters of my Gold in the Furnace, and a few pages of the fourth! And there was, under it, the dark red copybook containing the first part of The Lightning and the Sun, and the whole typed manuscript of my unpublished Impeachment of Man, finished in 1946, with a quotation of Dr. Goebbels, an extract from the famous Diaries, added in early 1948 upon the outside page . . . ! I could hardly believe my eyes. I took a glance at the precious pages, to see if any had been torn out, or if any lines had been effaced. No; all was in order — just as I had left it on the day of my arrest. Tears filled my eyes. And an overwhelming gratitude rose from the depth of my heart, not towards the police or the British authorities, enemies of all I stand for, who had spared my writings not knowing what they were doing, but towards the Lord of the unseen Forces Who had compelled them to spare them, knowing fully well why. Now more than ever I felt sure that, sooner or later, National Socialism was destined to triumph. I smiled; and in an outburst of almost ecstatic joy, I repeated the words of Leonardo da Vinci, read long ago: “O mirabile giustizzia di Te, Primo Motore!” I felt so light, so exultantly happy, that I would not have found it strange, had my body been lifted from the ground.

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I continued examining my things. The police had kept the photograph of a young German whom I had met somewhere in the French Zone. Knowing who I was, and what I was doing (for I had given him, too, a bundle of leaflets) the youngster had had the courage to sign his name under the few words he had written behind the photo: “Remembrance from an S.S. soldier.” I now felt anxious for him, and prayed with all my heart that “they” might never find him. Mr. B’s letters ending with “Heil Hitler!” they had also kept; as well as two issues of a certain English review containing several beautiful portraits of the Führer. But the other portrait I had of him, — one of the best ones; and one that had been following me in all my travels for who knows how long — they had left me. That too, I could hardly believe. And yet it was true! There was the adorable face gazing at me once inure, now as always; the Face I have yet never seen in the flesh, but whose light sustains me in the struggle for the triumph of truth. “Mein geliebter Führer!” I whispered with devotion, holding the priceless photograph to my breast. I then lay it upon the table against the wall, facing my bed. And I continued my inspection.

The police had also left in my possession a booklet of military songs and another one of Fighting Songs of the Movement, and . . . one sample of each one of my leaflets, as a remembrance! Attached to the longer one — the one I had composed in Sweden, in May, 1948 — was a small square of typed paper containing the methodical enumeration of the four mistakes in German that had been found in the printed text. I could not help being amused at the ironical haste they had shown in correcting them, as though to tell me: “Look here; before indulging in Nazi propaganda, you’d better go and improve your German a little!”

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“I certainly shall,” thought I, as though answering the challenge in my mind. And I felt ashamed of myself for not having studied Hitler’s language more thoroughly, years and years before.

At last, I sat down and started copying, in the thick light-brown copybook with a red binding, Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 of my Gold in the Furnace, which I had, all these days, been writing upon loose sheets of paper. Then, I wrote the title of Chapter 6, “Chambers of Hell,” and laid down the plan of it.

* * *
Life continued for me, the same — or nearly the same. The wardresses came and had talks with me in my cell, as before. Frau Oberin often came herself, although, as a rule, she preferred calling me over to her office. Once, she told me how “oriental” I appeared to her in my outlook on life.

“‘Oriental’ in what way?” asked I.

“Well, there are certain values,” she said, “that we accept implicitly. They may be Christian, or whatever you like to call them, and be, as you say, ultimately traceable to foreign influences. But they have become a part of our subconscious self. I have never met, even among those who share your views in Germany, anyone who rejected those values as cynically as you do. From the little you told me about the Hindu attitude to morality — life-centred, as opposed to man-centred — I conclude that your long stay in India has greatly influenced your philosophy.”

“Never!” said I, vehemently. “I hated the man-centred creeds — all of them; the ancient and the modern; the religious and the political, and those that are both —

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with bitter hatred, years before I even thought of going, to India. I cannot remember myself but as a rebel against such Christian ideas as ‘the dignity of all men’ (just because they happen to be ‘human’) and the ‘value of all human souls’, etc. Still, in India, I was often told I was profoundly ‘Western’ because I had nothing of the other-wordly mysticism, and nothing of the resigned acceptance of things as we find them, that are supposed to characterise the ‘East’; also because I used to say that, even if I could, I would not wish to break away from the endless circle of births and rebirths, but would prefer to come back to earth again and again, for life is lovely, at least among the higher forms of its highest manifestations. The Indians were right. I am thoroughly European — but a European of ancient Europe, exiled in our times; an Aryan, impermeable to those Christian values that have nearly killed the soul of this continent and therefore as foreign to most of our contemporaries as would be a resurrected daughter of the Pagan North or of Pagan Greece.”

“You are perhaps right,” said Frau Oberin.

“I know I am right. And that is why I look so, ‘Eastern’ to you, in spite of my National Socialism, and so ‘Western’ to so many Indians, in spite of my life-centred outlook. But I am not alone. I know quite a number of people — here, in Germany — who are just as ‘cynical’, i.e., just as radical as I am concerning the moral values brought to us by the Jewish Weltanschauung to weaken us and to destroy us. In them, — the true disciples of Nietzsche — I put my hope. They are the ones who shall ‘march still further on, when all falls to pieces’ as it is said in the old Kampflied to which a more than material meaning can be given,” concluded I.

“Perhaps,” said Frau Oberin. “I doubt, however,

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whether you will find anyone to understand you in this prison.”

“I have already found one, at least.” “Who?”

“One of the so-called ‘war criminals’.”

“Your friend H. E.? Yes; it may be. She speaks very highly of you, indeed. She seems to like you.”

“I am glad if she does. I admire her.”

“What would you say if only you knew some of the men, imprisoned here for so-called ‘war crimes’? There are some perfect types of idealists among them, — people according to your heart.”

“Oh, I wish I could come in touch with them!”

“Unfortunately, that is not possible,” said Frau Oberin. And she added: “Don’t tell anybody that I have been speaking of them to you. As the head of the ‘Frauen Haus’, I have to be very, very careful about all that I say.”

“Rest assured I shall not speak,” replied I; “but do tell me: you do not really accept any other values but ours, in the bottom of your heart, is it not so?”

Frau F. Oberin looked at me sadly, and just replied: “I repeat: I have to be very, very careful.” And she changed the conversation. She told me about her brother, who had been killed on the battlefield in Russia, and she showed me a picture of him, — an energetic looking and handsome young man, with light, wavy hair.

“I loved him very dearly,” she said.

“She has sacrificed more than I ever can, for the cause I love,” thought I. And I recalled the thousands of German women who have lost one or more than one of their dear ones upon the battlefields of Russia and elsewhere. I was alone. I had nothing to lose, save my manuscripts; and they had been given back to me. I

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looked at Frau Oberin’s sweet and dignified face, and felt humble.

* * *
I was no longer alone during the “free time.” Two new prisoners — a Czech woman, charged with espionage on behalf of Russia, and a Belgian woman already sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for “collaboration with Germany during the war” and waiting in Werl (with her two-year-old daughter) for the Belgian police to take charge of her — now accompanied me around the courtyard, a few minutes in the morning and in the afternoon.

I used to speak freely to the latter, since the day she had told me why she had been sentenced. She professed to admire all I stood for although — she herself admitted — she had followed her German husband (one of the right sort, garrisoned in Belgium during the war) “not because of his National Socialist faith, but because she loved him.”

“I could not even flirt with a man who did not wholeheartedly share our faith, let alone love him,” had I spontaneously replied to that. “But, of course,” I added, “I should perhaps better be silent. For I have no experience whatsoever in the matter. Had no time for it — even when I was young.”

I hardly ever spoke to the other prisoner, who was “on remand.” It was Miss Taylor who had told me who she was. And the nature of the charge against her did not render her particularly sympathetic to me. However, once, I had no choice but to walk around the courtyard by her side, as we were alone.

“Little Kareen and her mother have a visitor today,” said the woman: “the child’s father, I believe.” And she

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added: “I too, have a child — a boy, twice as old as Kareen. And my husband too is a German.”

“Yes, some damned Communist, most probably,” thought I to myself. I was not interested.

“In general, if I am not mistaken,” said I — just to say something — “there is not much love between Germans and Czechs.”

“That is true — unfortunately,” replied the woman. And she related to me some of the ghastly happenings that took place in her country after the war. “The Czechs were particularly cruel to the S.S. men,” she said. “In several places, they hung in a row as many of them as they could lay hands upon, not by their necks, as one might think, but by their arms; and then, they lit fires under them, leaving them to die the most atrocious death, as slowly as possible.”

I had not the slightest doubt that the young woman spoke the truth. She had no interest to lie to me, and to run down her country in my eyes. Moreover, the picture she had evoked was in perfect keeping with all I knew already about anti-Nazi atrocities. And never, perhaps, did I feel in more complete agreement with a certain German comrade of mine who had told me, in 1948, that, “when the day of reckoning comes” not a single Czech should be allowed to live. However, I controlled my feelings. “Fortunately,” said I, as calmly as I could, “there exists a divine Justice, immanent in this world. Its machinery grinds slowly, but grinds fine — and is deaf to tardy demonstrations of repentance. I am waiting to see what bloody pulp will drop, “next time,” from its merciless iron teeth. I am waiting to see all the martyrs of our cause avenged a hundred thousand times, and to rejoice at the sight.”

The young woman said not a word. Perhaps she

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suddenly realised that I had identified myself with National Socialist Germany far more than any foreigner could, in her estimation, and she regretted having spoken too much.

* * *
A member of the British staff of the prison named Stocks — a tall, fat man, with a jolly, red, round face, and twenty-nine years of coercive service in such rough and interesting places as the treaty ports of prewar China — used to invent (whenever he could) some pretext to call me over to the building in which stood the Governor’s office, and to have a chat with me (in some other room, needless to say). A wardress always came with me and sat there during our conversations. The man was a little coarse, but friendly. He radically disagreed with me on most important questions — he would never admit, for instance, that Mr. Churchill, acting, willingly or unwillingly, as an agent of international Jewry, bears the responsibility for this war. But he agreed with me that a healthy baby of good Aryan blood can never be “conceived in sin” and, in his forceful and picturesque language, dismissed the teaching of the Christian priests on that point as “a lot of b . . . ls.” Moreover, he used to give me odds and ends of useful information about some members of the prison staff — telling me, for instance, that the interpreter who used to accompany the Governor in his visits to our “Frauen Haus,” on Friday mornings, had been, himself, a political prisoner in Werl, under the National Socialist régime; or that the other German whom the British had appointed as the head of the men’s section of the prison was “a man who had suffered in Hitler’s days” (which I had immediately translated, in my mind, as “a confounded anti-Nazi”). And I knew I

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could say practically anything to him without fearing he would go and repeat it to the Governor.

“Why do you use those people in your services?” asked I, once, speaking, precisely, of all those German enemies of National Socialism who hold well paid posts under the Occupation. “Don’t you realise that they are the scum of the earth?”

“Most of them are,” admitted Stocks. “But . . . we have to show some consideration to those who helped us.”

“Hum!” thought I, “not merely anti-Nazis, but active traitors, eh! Nothing surprising: every anti-Nazi of Aryan blood is a traitor to his own race — a fortiori a German one.” And I remembered some information I had gathered in 1946, in London, from a very reliable source, — to my horror — concerning traitors in Germany during the war. But I said nothing.

“Don’t you realise,” asked I again, another time, “that you cannot ‘de-Nazify’ the Germans any more than you can ‘de-Nazify’ me?”

“We all know that,” answered Stocks.

“Then, why do you pretend to try? Why do you keep up the farce? You are only sowing hatred.”

“Maybe; but it is a part of our policy. We have to do it, whether we believe in it or not.”

“But, again, why?” said I. “To deceive the Russians? Or to continue. deceiving your own people?”

“I am only repeating: it is a part of our policy,” replied the man. “And I wish I could meet you in free surroundings, when you are yourself free.”

“But,” said I, “when the West is sufficiently scared of Communism to realise the necessity of standing united against it, then, it will simply have to accept National Socialism as the only salvation. There is no other policy.

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Only a totalitarian organisation inspired with an ideal as radical, as uncompromising as that of Marxism, can beat totalitarian Marxism; the united Democracies can never prevail against a totalitarian block.”

“But they did, this time,” answered Stocks — a little hastily. “We beat you in this war.”

“No,” said I, with a bitter smile; “don’t believe it. Your then ‘gallant allies’ the Russians did it; not you. And next time you will have the choice between being kicked about by them or by us — unless it be by both . . . who can ever tell?”

“But you and your friends would never ally yourselves with the Communists?”

“I don’t know. It would not be worse than allying ourselves with you sneaking people, at any rate. Personally, I loathe you both. They stand for an ideology of disintegration which is the opposite of ours, in spirit. You have no ideology at all and fight — or rather incite other people to fight — for your big businessmen’s pockets, which is even more repellent in our eyes. A sincere Communist can, sometimes, be brought to acknowledge his delusion and to join us. There are no sincere Democrats, apart from downright imbeciles. You people can never be brought to join anything great. You are too afraid of excess, too devoid of strong impersonal feelings, too hopelessly mediocre.

“Next time,” I pursued. “I shall do what I am told; what we shall all do. I don’t know — and don’t care — what that will be. I have absolute confidence in those, infinitely more intelligent than I, who live solely for the triumph of the eternal Aryan values, as I do, but who fully understand the intricacies of ‘Realpolitik’, which I do not. I shall do what they tell me — even be your ally (for a time) if they decide I should. But I shall not, for all

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that, change my opinion about you and your parliamentarism, — your worship of quantity as opposed to quality; your false ‘human’ values, your lying ‘individual freedom’. I know the worthlessness of all that — and yours.”

The man looked at me with interest. He offered me a cigarette which I politely refused for I do not smoke. Then, at last: “You see,” said he, “you are deadly serious about things. We are not. Why are you so serious? Why don’t you just live, have a good time, and let things take their course?”

“But I do live,” replied I. “In fact, my life is far more interesting, far more intense, than that of most of you Democrats.”

“But you don’t enjoy yourself!”

“I did — a few years ago. And I shall again,” said I, thinking of “enjoyments” of an entirely different nature from those the former British “bob” of Shanghai had in mind.

“But when?” exclaimed he, “you will soon be getting too old.”

“I shall enjoy myself now — next week or the week after — when I speak before you mighty ones of the day, at my trial,” I answered. “And in a few years’ time, when our turn will come to be vindictive and arrogant; harsh; and bitingly ironical. I shall not be too old to gloat, if I am not able to do anything better.”

“But we are not vindictive,” said the man.

“You think so? I don’t.”

“Well, I am not, at least. If I were the judge, I would set you free.”

“Would you, really?” replied I. “Then, why are you here in service in occupied Germany, if you don’t care more than that about the future of Democracy?”

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“I am here for my bread and butter,” declared Stocks. “And I am, naturally, loyal to those who pay me.”

“I am here for the triumph of order and truth. And I am loyal to my Führer and to his faithful people whom I love and admire. All the riches of the world could not detach me from them.”

The man laughed. “That’s all very well,” he said: “But you see, I love and admire nothing but pretty women. And all I care for is to have a good time.” And he started talking in a light and loose manner about what a “good time” meant to him.

The wardress who had brought me in was sitting on her chair, opposite me, and looking out of the window. I was thinking: “What a pity this German woman does not know English! For the talk of this representative of the democratic forces in uniform would do nearly as much harm, I presume, to the flimsy prestige of the Occupying Powers, as a dozen of my posters stuck about the walls. I must tell Frau Oberin and the others about it!” And in fact, I did tell them. But for all practical purposes, I decidedly preferred Stocks to the Governor. I was — rightly or wrongly — under the impression that, even if he had been in the Governor’s position, he would never have interfered with my activities in jail. He seemed far too engrossed in his own affairs.

* * *
H. E. spent another Sunday afternoon in my cell — alone, this time. She repeated to me, in detail, the account of the Allied atrocities she had witnessed in 1945, and the story of the iniquitous Belsen trial; of which she was one of the main victims.

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“The witnesses against us, mostly, if not all Jewesses, had been flown over by the Allies to England, to America, or goodness knows where, immediately after their statements had been taken down. They did not appear in our trial, which was conducted merely upon the evidence they had given. Moreover our judges knew not a word of German, and we not a word of English; and the interpreters who translated what we said (and what our accusers had dictated before they had left) were all Jews.”

I wrote down every word she said — matter for Chapter 6 of my Gold in the Furnace.

“You should not write those things,” said H. E.; “if ever they searched your cell and found out that I have been telling you all this . . . I would have to suffer for it terribly.”

“Rest assured they will never find out, even if I do write down every item of it,” said I. “Look at this!” And I handed over to her the rough paper on which her account was in black and white.

“What language is this?” asked she, at the sight of the unfamiliar signs.

“Bengali,” replied I; “my husband’s language.”

“And you write it from left to right, like German?”

“Naturally. It is also an Aryan tongue — derived from Sanskrit. All Aryan tongues are written from left to right.”

“But would they not find someone to decipher it?”

“Let them!” said I. “Nobody could ever translate to them what this means to me. See, here, for instance, those five words in a row — all very harmless, current Bengali words, without any connection with one another. Well, they each begin with the same letter as each one of the names of the camps in which you worked from 1935 onwards. I shall understand, when I use these notes. Nobody else possibly could.”

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“You are more resourceful than I thought,” remarked H. E.

“One has to be.”

“But tell me: you will repeat all I told you of our enemies’ atrocities in that book you are writing, will you not?”

“Naturally. Or rather, I shall repeat some of them, lest my Chapter 6 become longer than the rest of the whole book.”

“But that is in English!”

“Don’t fear. The book is not to be published before I am free, anyhow. And that will not be tomorrow. If they discover it in the meantime, they will not understand that the information conies partly from you.”

“Be very careful,” repeated my new friend.

“Rest assured I shall,” said I. “Only you must promise me that, when our day comes again, you will expose those people’s horrors publicly, and add the weight of your priceless testimony to my impeachment of their hypocrisy.”

“Naturally, I shall!”

“When I am sentenced, I hope they will put me in the D wing, with you and the others,” said I. “You will introduce me to those who are ‘in order’ and who have suffered. And in our recreation hours, I shall hear more about the ghastly behaviour of those ‘defenders of humanity’, and when I am free, I shall be in a position to write a book about their crimes — and their lies — alone; to disgrace them before the whole world. Oh, how gladly I shall do it! In fact, in a way, I was lucky to get arrested and thereby to come in contact with you. Look what damaging evidence against ‘them’ I would have missed, if I had remained free! And I would not have known you, either. I only hope they will not refuse to put me in the D wing.”

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“Why should they?”

“Precisely, for fear that I might hear too much.”

“There is something in that, of course. Still; where else could they put you? You are a ‘political’, if not a ‘war criminal’ like us.”

“I had not the opportunities you had to become a ‘war criminal’ — unfortunately,” replied I. “Yet, if they knew a little more about me, they perhaps would look upon me as one. There are many varieties of ‘war crimes’ as you know. By the way — I never asked you — what is it that made you a ‘war criminal’ in their eyes, apart from your National Socialist faith? I mean: what were you charged with? And what did you actually do? You can safely tell me. Personally, I could not care less what any of us might have done to the Jews and traitors who stood in the way of the New Order. What ever you did, I can never blame you. I probably would have done worse myself, had I been given a chance. But if it be something likely to lessen the value of my chapter from the propaganda point of view, I shall just not mention it.”

H. E. smiled, and patted my shoulder affectionately: “I know you are safe and loyal,” said she; “But you can mention it without fear: all I did was to give a few slaps to one or two of our internees — not for the pleasure, of course, but because I had caught them stealing. I never flogged or ill-treated any of them, whether in Belsen or in my other camps, as the Jewesses accused me of having done. Nor has H. B., who came here with me the other day.”

“Good God!” exclaimed I. “And you have got fifteen years just for that! Why, I have done more than that!’’

And in a low, very low voice, I started talking: “Yes, surely, if I had managed to come to Europe, it

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would have been a thousand times better. Still, you know, where there is a will, there is a way . . . So, during the war . . .”

H. E. was listening intently. When I had finished, she asked me in a whisper “Have you been relating this to anyone in Germany?”

“Only to one comrade; an absolutely reliable man who had promised never to say a word. But I thought I could, to him . . . and to you.”

My friend squeezed my hand. “Oh, with me, it is all right! We understand each other. But give me the assurance you will never speak of this to anyone in this prison, nor let out a word likely to put ‘those people’ on the track, during your trial.”

It was my turn to smile. “My dear! If only you had heard me talk to ‘those people’ — our persecutors. I have made fools of them right and left . . . while giving then) the impression that I was the biggest fool in this world. Not any later than the other day, when that tall police officer came from Düsseldorf to question me — you know? The man I mentioned to you on the following morning — you should have heard me! And mind you: I never spoke a word against our Ideology. I never said I did not firmly believe in it, or that I regretted what I have done — On the contrary! As far as my feelings and philosophy are concerned, I am always perfectly truthful. So am I, also, about the facts which ‘those people’ know already or are bound to discover . . . As for the others, as for the contributions of mine of which there is no trace . . . that is a different thing . . !”

But H. E. said: “Be careful, however; for we are living in atrocious times. Prudence will help us to survive, until our day comes.”

The wardress on duty, — one of those who were “in

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order” — opened the door to tell us that time was up. “Good bye, then,” said I, to my friend. “And come again. We have plenty of interesting things to tell each other. Heil Hitler!”

“Heil Hitler!” replied H. E. as she walked out of my cell. The wardress smiled at us, and shut the door behind her.

* * *
One morning, — I had finished Chapter 6 of my book, and was now busy writing Chapter 7 — the door of my cell was opened and in came Fräulein S., Frau Oberin’s assistant. “I am not stopping, this time,” she said, cordially; “I only rushed in to tell you that the date of your trial has been fixed. It will be on the 5th of April.” She handed over to me a copy of my charge chart, both in English and German, and a paper summoning me to appear before the Court on the mentioned day. And she left.

At once, a more than earthly joy filled my heart; and tears carne to my eyes. “The 5th of April!” I repeated, with an ecstatic smile, “the 5th of April! . . . So, it will be exactly two years after that night; two years after my unforgettable Watch of Fire . . . !”

And as vividly as though it had been only a day before, I remembered the dreamlike landscape of Iceland: the bright nocturnal sky, streaked with transparent, moving hangings of lurid green and purple; the honey coloured moon, obscured by a long black cloud of volcanic ash; the shining snowy hills all round me, wider the phosphorescent lights of heaven; and before me, the lava stream, with the gaping mouths of fire that appeared in its dark, convulsed crust, and, beyond that, the seven craters of the erupting Volcano, two main ones, five small

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ones, flaming and smoking and projecting white hot quarters of rock in flashes of pink light. I remembered the incandescent boulders that loosened themselves from the crust of the lava stream, and rolled down its steep black and red surface before my eyes (one had nearly rolled over me). And I remembered the unceasing tremor of the earth beneath my feet and the solemn, awe-inspiring roar of the burning Mountain, echoing at regular intervals the sacred primaeval Sound: “Aum!” And I recalled how, exultant, ravished in religious rapture, I had walked up to the lava stream — as close as I possibly could — singing a hymn to Shiva, Lord of the Dance of Life and Death, in the language of far-away Bengal. Then had begun my whole night’s watch along the river of fire, in a spirit of adoration, from about 11 o’clock until sunrise.

And like on that Night at the sight of the flames, of the smoke and of the northern lights — and at the sound of the regular, subterranean roar, — tears rolled down my cheeks; this time, tears of joy before the beauty of invisible correspondences in time and space; and tears of gratitude towards my Destiny. “O mirabile giustizzia di Te, Primo Motore!” thought I, once more. “Hast Thou decreed that I should exalt the grandeur of National Socialism) before the German public, exactly two years after that unforgettable experience? Hast Thou decided to render that day twice sacred in the history of my life?”

Whatever would be the sentence pronounced against me, I knew, now, that the day of my trial would be my greatest day. “Only when I see the Führer with my own eyes, on his return, will I be as happy,” thought I. And I knew, now, that one day, he would return; that one day, his people would acclaim him again, in delirious crowds. And in my mind were blended, as two parallel manifestations of the Divine, the roar of the burning

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Mountain at regular intervals: “Aum! Aum!” and the equally irresistible roar of Germany’s millions, a few years back and in a few years to come: “Sieg! Heil! . . . Heil Hitler!”

My humble testimony, to be given on that hallowed 5th of April, would be one of the first stirs in the depth preceding the new great outburst of indomitable power and elemental joy.

* * *
I told everybody about this miraculous coincidence of dates: Frau Oberin, her assistant, my friend H. E., the wardresses who were “in order” and even those who were not (or rather, of whom I did not know whether they were or not). Then, one day, I was called to meet the lawyer who had been appointed to defend me. I met him in the room in which Mr. Manning (or whatever was his name) had questioned me, three weeks before, about “my past,” and in which I had had, since that day, a few talks with Mr. Stocks.

The lawyer was a short man, young, of agreeable approach, in military uniform as the rest of them.

“Do you intend to plead guilty or innocent,” he asked me.

“Guilty,” said I, as regards the main charge against me. “I mean ‘guilty’ technically speaking; for in my own eyes, far from being blamable, I have just done my duty. As regards the two minor charges, I shall plead innocent.”

The two minor charges were that I had crossed the border between the French and the British Zone, without a military permit for the latter, and that I had been found in possession of a five pound banknote, and of one thousand and some odd francs of French money.

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“You are right,” said the lawyer; “everybody travels from one Zone of Western Germany to another without a permit, nowadays; and all foreigners keep some foreign currency for the day they will leave the country, knowing very well one cannot exchange marks at the frontier. I have some French francs myself — otherwise I could not even hope to have a cup of coffee in a French station, on my way back to England. But you cannot get away with your main charge: the evidence against you is overwhelming.”

“I would not deny what I have done, even if I could,” replied I; “I am far too pleased with it. It is one of the best things I did in my life.”

“Do you intend to speak?”

“I do.”

“If I were you,” said the lawyer, “I would speak as little as possible. You could just answer the questions the judge will put to you.”

“But,” exclaimed I, “I am not going to miss this golden opportunity of saying a few things which I wish the German public to hear! I have nothing to deny. But I wish to state why I have acted as I did. It is a public profession of faith I wish to make. Goodness me, it is a long time since I have not been able to make one!”

“I suppose you realise,” answered the lawyer, “that the more you speak in that trend — in other words, the more passionately Nazi you appear — the heavier will be the sentence pronounced against you.”

“How heavy, for instance?” asked I, out of curiosity.

“Well,” said the man, “normally, if, without denying your faith, you do not speak too much, you should get away with a year’s imprisonment at the most. In ’45 or ’46, of course, you probably would have been shot. But we are now in ’49. Still, if you say things likely to

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make the judge loose his temper you might be given anything varying from a few years’ detention to a death sentence. Mind you, I do not believe for a minute that we would ever go, now, to such extremes of severity. Remember, however, that, rightly or wrongly — wrongly in your eyes; rightly in our own — we are here to put down National Socialism, and that the more ardently you stick up for it, the worse it will be for you. Remember that you are appearing before a military Tribunal and that, whether it actually chooses to do so or not, the Court has the power to condemn you to death.”

I looked at the man, and smiled; and said, from the bottom of my heart: “Oh, I wish it would use that power in my case!”

There was in my voice the unmistakable accent of sincerity; the yearning of years; the burning regret of wasted years; the thirst of redeeming martyrdom. Surprised as he seemed, the lawyer must have been convinced that I had spoken according to my genuine feelings. “Why such a haste?” asked he, “Are you tired of life?”

“No,” said I. “I am anything but tired. But I believe that, even if they just mentioned it in the papers in two or three lines, my condemnation to death would perhaps do more to kindle the National Socialist spirit in Germany than the ten thousand leaflets I have distributed and than all the books I might write. And that is not all. There would be, also, the joy of the last sunrise upon my face; the joy of the preparation for the greatest act of my life; the joy of the act itself . . . . Draped in my best “sari” — in scarlet and gold, as on my wedding day, in glorious ’40 (I hope they would not refuse me that favour) — I would walk to the place of execution singing the Horst Wessel Song. I, Savitri Devi, the ambassador of southernmost and easternmost Aryandom as well as a

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daughter of northern and southern Europe. And, stretching out my right arm, firm and white in the sunshine, I would die happy in a cry of love and joy, shouting for the last time, as defiance to all the anti-Nazi forces, the holy words that sum up my lifelong faith: ‘Heil Hitler!’ I could not imagine for myself a more beautiful end.”

“I see you are decidedly a ‘real’ one,” said the lawyer. “And I do not know what one can invent to defend you in the circumstance. Still, I hope your dream of martyrdom will not materialise.”

“If the immortal Gods think I can be more useful alive, then, and then alone, I shall be glad to live,” answered I; “To live, — in order that one day, — I hope, — all our enemies bitterly regret that the military Tribunal of Düsseldorf did not sentence me to death on the 5th of April 1949, when it had a chance.”

* * *
I was brought back to my cell. A strange exultation possessed me. For a long, time, I paced the room to and fro; I sang — although it was forbidden to sing. Then, I gazed at the Führer’s portrait that stood upon my table, against the wall. I remembered the lawyer’s words: “The Court has the power to condemn you to death.” And now, just as a while before, my heart answered: “I wish it did!”

A ray of sunshine fell directly upon the stern and beautiful Face, and made it look extraordinarily alive. “Yes,” thought I; “I wish they did kill me. It would be lovely to die for thee, my Führer!” But again, after a while, I reflected: “It would also be lovely to continue to live for thee, and, one day, to greet thee on thy return!”

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And I prayed intently, with all the fervour of my being, to the Power within fire, within the Ocean, within the storm, within the Sun; the Power Whose majesty I had witnessed two years before, in the burning and roaring Mountain: “Decide Thou my fate, Lord of Fate! For Thou alone knowest how Thou canst use me for the triumph of truth. I shall do nothing to avoid the heaviest possible sentence from our enemies. I shall defy them, happen what will — and bear the consequences with a smile, whatever these be. I feel, I know, it is my appointed role to defy them and their ‘de-Nazification’ schemes. If they kill me, I shall be glad. But if they spare me in spite of my defiance, I shall take it as a sign from Thee that National Socialism shall rise and rule again.

“Lord of Life, Thou hast raised the everlasting Doctrine under its modern form; Thou hast appointed the Chosen Nation to champion it. Lord of Death. Thou hast allowed the forces of death to prevail for a while. Lord of Order and of Harmony, Lord of the Dance of appearances; Lord of the Rhythm that brings back spring after winter; the day, after the night; birth after death; and the next age of truth and perfection, after each end of an age of gloom, Thou shalt give my beloved comrades and superiors the lordship of the earth, one day. If I survive this trial, I shall take it as a sign from Thee that this will be in my lifetime, and that Thou past appointed me to do something in our coming new struggle.”

I felt happy, having thus prayed. I then sat down, and laid down in black and white the few points I wished to stress in the speech I would make before my judges.

When that was done, I read a section of the Bhagavad-Gita.


CHAPTER 5
THE GLORIOUS DAY

It was a lovely spring day. Seated in the motorcar by the side of Miss Taylor, I gazed out of the window at the new landscape: tender green grass and tender green leaves; and flowers, masses of flowers; lilacs and fruit blossoms, white, pink, yellow, red, and pale violet, in the sunshine. And, I gazed at the pure bright sky. I knew this was my last day of relative liberty. I was, now, really going to be tried — and sentenced. After that — whatever the sentence was to be — I would no longer be taken to Düsseldorf every week or fortnight; no longer be given glimpses of the outside world. And I breathed deeply, as though to take into my body all the freshness and all the vitality of the invincible living earth. Never in all my life had I found the fragrance of spring so intoxicating; never had things seemed to me so beautiful. At tunes — when the car rolled past some particularly fascinating spot — an intense emotion seized me, and tears came to my eyes. I felt as though, through the glory of her sunlit fields and of her trees covered with blossoms, Hitler’s beloved fatherland was smiling to me — greeting me on my last journey to the place where I was destined to defy her oppressors.

My luggage was travelling with me, at the back of the car. It is, it seems, the custom: there is always a hope that a prisoner on remand might get acquitted, in which case he or she is set free at once, without having the trouble to come back to prison in order to fetch the luggage left there. However, I had known nothing of

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the existence of that custom until Mr. Harris, the British Chief Warder at Werl, had informed me of it on that very morning while I was waiting in his office for the car to come. When, on the night before, the matron of the prison had told me that I was to take all my things with me, I had been at a loss to understand why. And, — ill acquainted as I still was with the mysterious ways of British justice — I had feared that, perhaps, my precious manuscripts were to be used as evidence against me and then destroyed. All night I had not slept, wondering how I could possibly save them, if that were the case. And early in the morning, when my dear comrade H. E. had come, as usual, to fetch her tea, porridge and white bread — and, this time, to wish me “good luck” in my trial — I had told her: “I fear they regret having given me back my writings. It looks, now, as if they want them, for I was told to take all my things to Düsseldorf. But I shall leave my manuscripts here behind the cupboard, rolled up in my waterproof. Tell Frau So-and-so; she is on duty, I believe. And ask her to hide them for me until I come back. Or hide them yourself, somewhere in the infirmary. Nobody will look there. Save them! — not for my sake, but for the sake of the truth I have written in those pages.”

“I promise I shall do so,” had answered H. E.: “And at your trial, remember that we will all be thinking of you, and that we all love you,” she added, speaking of those of my comrades, the so-called “war criminals,” who were genuine National Socialists, and, perhaps, of all the members of the prison staff — Frau So-and-so and others — who were too.

“I hope I shall be worthy of your love,” had I replied. “This is my greatest and my happiest day. Heil Hitler!”

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“Heil Hitler!” had said H. E. raising her hand in her turn.

Now, in the car, I was thinking of that last greeting, and looking at the landscape. Suddenly I realised the tragic fact that H. E. and H. B., and Frau M. and Frau S. and Frau H. and all my other true comrades, of whom I was now beginning to know the names, and thousands of others, all over Germany, had not seen the beauty of spring since 1945. I knew it before, no doubt. I had never felt it so painfully. “Poor dears!” thought I. “Until when?” And some were captive even longer still: Rudolf Hess was, for instance, since 1941. “Yes; until when?”

The vivid picture of them all, cut off from the world of action for such a long time, after the intense life they had lived during the first struggle and the glorious following years, saddened me profoundly. And I also recalled all those who had been killed off as “war criminals” by our enemies. “Oh, thought I,” if there is any such thing as consciousness after death, may they hear me today! I shall speak as though they were present.”

The car rolled on. Between expanses of lovely countryside, we crossed the ruined towns: Dortmund, Duissburg, Essen, . . . As we were passing before the skeleton of the immense Krupp factories, Miss Taylor said to the policeman seated on the other side of her: “A part of these are being repaired and will soon be working again — for us. Really, war is a stupid business! We wrecked these factories and tomorrow we will again be buying from them.”

I could not help putting in my word — although I was a prisoner, and the policewoman had not addressed me. The fact is that I had despised the representatives

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of the Allied Occupation from the start, and that all their outward courtesy to me had only served to increase in me that contempt. I never cared if I did hurt any of them, individually, through the way I expressed my resentment towards them as a whole.

“And what about the hundreds of factories which you people have been and are still dismantling?” said I, bitterly.

“That was, — and is — a great mistake on our part, from the standpoint of our interest,” replied Miss Taylor. “Sooner or later, we will have to help to build then up and to equip them anew, for the sake of our own defence against Bolshevism. Ultimately, it is the British taxpayer who will suffer for the damage we are doing.” It looked exactly as though the representative of the Allied Occupation was trying her best to propitiate me — the defender of National Socialism; Germany’s friend . . . Did I also represent the future — the coming revenge of the dismembered Nation — that the policewoman felt so keenly the necessity of doing so? If that was the case, her attempt only had the contrary effect.

“It will serve you right; oh, how it will serve you right!” I burst out. “Why did you, in 1939, go and wage war upon the one Man and the one people who could have kept back Bolshevism? Why did you ally yourselves with the Russians in order to crush National Socialism? You only deserve to perish, and I heartily wish you do! I wish I have the pleasure of seeing you, one day, not all exterminated — that would be too glorious and too merciful an end — but ground down to the level of a twentieth-rate nation, mourning, for your past splendour for a generation or two and then forgetting even that; a nation having less in common with the builders of the historic British empire than the unfortunate

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Greeks of today have with those of the Periclean age. I wish I could come back, from century to century, and tell you, with merciless glee, over and over again, until you sink into the unconsciousness of the dead: ‘This gnawing decay is the wage of England’s crime in 1939.’ And I wish to see the same slow paralysis, the same nightmare of dwindling life in death, torture the descendants of all those Aryans who from 1939 to 1945 — and after 1945 — sided against Hitler’s great new humanity. May it spare those alone who will recognise the treachery of their unworthy fathers and spit at their memory and boldly join the resurrected New Order.”

To my own surprise, this vitriolic tirade, apparently, prompted Miss Taylor to propitiate me all the more. She started pleading for the British people while admitting the “mistakes” of British policy. (The crime of 1939 she euphemistically called a “mistake.”) “Many of us are growing to believe that it would perhaps have been better for us to ally ourselves with Germany,” said she.

“Well, begin by building up the factories you spoilt and putting an end to your ‘de-Nazification’ nonsense,” said I, speaking in the name of the German National Socialists, “and then, perhaps, we shall condescend to consider what we might do. But even then,” — I added after a pause — “what about the magnificent forests, Germany’s pride, that you have massacred? I wish that, in the next war, three at least of your people are killed for every tree you have cut down, out here — apart from those who will die so that my comrades and superiors will be avenged.”

“And yet, we are not so bad as you think,” said Miss Taylor, determined to draw my mind away from bloodthirsty thoughts — if she could. “Be impartial and

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look how we treat your friends, here: we are releasing the political prisoners little by little; and they don’t work in prison, like the others . . .”

My first impulse was to interrupt her and to say “What rubbish! My comrades, the so-called ‘war criminals’ in Werl, all work. More so, I know that one of them at least — H. B. one of the victims of the Belsen trial — is forced to empty the sanitary pails from the cells, along with the thieves and murderesses appointed to that work. I have seen her do it. I have seen her empty my pail. Don’t tell me tales!” But in order to say that, I would have had to admit that I was in touch with some of the so-called “war criminals.” Miss Taylor would perhaps tell Colonel Vickers . . . And then? No; it was better for me to say nothing; to continue listening to the lies of democratic propaganda . . .

“They don’t work?” said I, feigning ignorance and astonishment. “Is it so, really? What do they do, then, all day long?”

Miss Taylor seemed pleased to think that I believed her. “I don’t know,” she answered. “Those who like can write their memoirs. Some do. General Kesselring is writing his. I know. We allow him to. As for General Rundstedt, we even set him free on parole — free to travel about Germany, to go and see his family, and come back to a comfortable prison till his next leave! Indeed, I tell you, the French would never do that! Nor the Germans themselves, if ever they had us. As for the Russians . . .”

“Hum!” thought I, “I wish I could investigate into that statement of hers about Rundstedt. If it is true, there must be some fishy business behind it. These people do nothing for nothing.”

And can the political prisoners have light in their

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cells after 8 p.m.? asked I, — knowing perfectly well that my friend H. E. had no light after eight o’clock any more than the others, whether “war criminals” or ordinary delinquents.

“Certainly,” said Miss Taylor.

Then she started speaking about the English men and women arrested in England, during the war, under the 18B act. “The ‘internment camps’ in which they were placed,” said she, “had nothing in common with the ‘concentration camps’ in which the enemies of the National Socialist régime suffered in Germany.”

“You’d better not expatiate on that subject,” observed I: “I know too many 18Bs.”

“I know a few too,” answered the policewoman.

“I bet you do,” said I. And to show her how impossible it was to convince even a moderately well-informed Nazi that such a thing as “humanity” exists among our opponents, I added, with an ironical smile “Perchance, do you know anything about the torture chamber in Ham Common?”

“I never heard of it, and I don’t believe it ever existed,” exclaimed Miss Taylor. “You, of course, will believe anything provided one of your own lot says it!”

“And even if I did, that would not make me more gullible than the most ‘enlightened’ Democrats,” retorted I. “But I happen to know a man — and an Englishman, too — who was tortured, during the war, precisely in the place I just mentioned, for no other reason except that he was one of us and that he knew, or was supposed to know, too much. And you had other such places, although you pretended — and still pretend — to be horrified at our ‘barbarity’. Now, don’t tell me the contrary, for you will be wasting your breath.”

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Miss Taylor deemed it useless to continue her plea. However, she made an ultimate attempt to placate me, — and at last, she spoke of something that was true: “We have spared your writings,” she said.

She was right, — for once. They had, indeed, done so. And I wondered whether the French or the Americans — let alone the Russians — would have done it. (I would certainly not have done it, in the case of an anti-Nazi manuscript fallen into my hands, had I had power.) I was grateful to the Gods for what I considered as a miracle. But I was not in a mood to give credit to our persecutors, whatever their nationality.

“Oh,” replied I, “I suppose you only spared them because, in your eyes, they appeared written with too much fervour to be dangerous . . . for the time being . . .”

But in the bottom of my heart, I repeat, I thanked the heavenly powers for the fact that the precious pages were lying somewhere in safety, in Werl, and that I would find them again — and continue writing them — after my trial would be over, if I was allowed to live.

* * *
We reached Düsseldorf. We waited a little before entering the hall in which I was to be judged. Along with my other things, my few items of jewellery had been given back to me. I had them in the attaché case I held in my hand, as on the day of my arrest. Among them, were my Indian earrings in the shape of swastikas. “I have half a mind to wear those,” said I to Miss Taylor, “What can ‘they’ do? Give me six months extra, a year extra, for ‘contempt of Court’? Let them! The pleasure of wearing the Sign of the Sun and of National Socialism, in front of everybody, is well worth it!”

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Miss Taylor gazed at me to make sure that I was speaking seriously. To her amazement, I was. “What a baby you are, for a woman forty-three!” she said at last. “I really fail to see what good this can do, not for you (I know you don’t care) but for your precious cause. The people who have come to hear you will no longer take you seriously when they see you trying to defy us by such a showy exhibition. Do as you like, of course. It’s all the same to me. But in your place . . . from your point of view . . .”

I reflected. Perhaps there was something in what she said. “After all,” thought I, “it matters little. They will see what I am, fast enough, when I open my mouth . . .”

The witnesses whom I had seen on the 14th of March were all there: Gertrud Romboy, — who pretended not to notice me — the policeman Wilhelm Kripfel, the Oberinspektor Heller, and the others. A man whom I did not know, dressed in lawyer’s robes, approached me and told me that he had been appointed to defend me, as, at the last moment, my lawyer had been prevented from coming. (It occurred to me that, in reality, he had possibly decided that it was impossible for him to defend someone so glad to suffer as I was, for her beloved cause, and that he had just shifted the task unto a colleague.) I repeated to this man what I had already told the first lawyer, namely that, under no consideration did I wish to appear less responsible than I was, or less fervently National Socialist, and that I would myself see to it that I did not.

When the lawyer had gone, a man in military uniform came up to me and put me the most unexpected question of all: “Well, Mrs. Mukherji,” said he, “how is your book getting on? You surely have finished

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Chapter 4. How many new chapters have you written while on remand?”

I was taken aback. “Is this man sent to find out what I have been writing in prison, so that ‘they’ might control it and, if they like, destroy it?” thought I. “What shall I tell him? To pretend I have completely forgotten about the book will not do; it would arouse suspicion — for he would not believe it.”

“My book?” said I, turning to the man, and speaking with as much naturalness as I possibly could, “I have not touched it. I had many letters to write, and wanted to finish them before doing anything else. And also, I was not in a mood. I shall continue writing later on — if it is allowed. Otherwise I shall wait till I am free. It is no use getting into trouble with the prison authorities.”

I hoped the man believed me. But I was not at all sure he did. He opened a cardboard cover he carried in his hand and showed me a typed copy of the first pages of my book up to the beginning of Chapter 3. I had completely forgotten about that copy — one of the three I had typed in London, on my last journey, precisely to save as much as I could of the book in case it ever fell into the hands of the police, on my return to Germany. (I had left one in England, at a friend’s, and had sent the other to India.) But whatever I had written since my return was, of course, not in those copies. To this one I had barely had the time to add, in my own handwriting, just before my arrest, a page or two of my Chapter 3. I read once more the last words I had copied — my personal comment upon a true episode illustrating Germany’s spirit in the midst of atrocious conditions, in May, 1945: “Hail, invincible Germany! Hail, undying Aryan youth, élite of the world, whom the

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agents of the dark forces can starve and torture, but can never subdue! That unobtrusive profession of faith of two unknown but real Nazis, in 1945, is, itself, a victory. And it is not the only one.”

“You wrote that, is it not so?” the man asked me.

“Yes, I did,” replied I. And I could not conceal a certain pride in the tone of my voice. For I was aware that my ardent tribute of admiration to Germany, now that, materially, she lay in the dust, was also, — and all the more, precisely because I am not a German — a victory of the Nazi spirit over force of money, over force of lies, and even over force of arms. But I said nothing more.

The man walked away after wishing me “good luck” in my trial.

* * *
At last, the time came for me to appear in Court.

“Your comrade has got six months,” Miss Taylor told me — she had just heard from someone what sentence had been pronounced against Herr W. —“I suppose you will get a year or so.”

“You forget that I am not going to lie, and say I did it in the hope of money,” replied I. “I am far more interested in what the Party will think of me in 1955 than in what ‘these’ people might do with me now. I also bear in mind what fact I am about to leave behind me, forever, in the irrevocable past.”

For a second or two, I held in my hand, with love, the little portrait of Adolf Hitler that hung around my neck. “May I speak as though thou wert here present, listening to me, my Führer!” thought I, as I crossed the threshold of the hall and walked slowly to my place in the dock, my head erect, my eyes bright with joy.

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The hall was packed with people — representatives of the press, and members of the German public. “There has never been such a crowd of onlookers in a trial like this since 1945,” said Miss Taylor.

Under the enthusiasm that possessed me, I felt supremely calm — blissful; the word is not too strong a one. I felt invincible. I knew I was invincible. I embodied the Nazi spirit — the everlasting soul of Aryan Heathendom, in its primaeval strength, pride and beauty. My face must have beamed, and I must have looked beautiful — as one always does when one is raised above one’s self. I felt as though, from all the prisons and concentration camps in which our enemies still retain them, from their destitute homes, from their beds of suffering — and from beyond the limits of the visible world — my martyred comrades and superiors had fixed their eyes upon me and were crying out to me: “Speak for us, who cannot speak! Defy in our name the forces that have broken our bodies and silenced our voices, Savitri, daughter of the Sun,1 Aryan woman of all times!”

On the left, against the wall, behind the judge’s seat, was spread out the Union jack — in the place where the Swastika banner would have been seen, in former days, above a portrait of the Führer. But the sight of it, — reminder of the fact that Germany was occupied — did not disturb me (any more than that of the two Jews whom I noticed, seated right in front, on the first bench, among the public). Nothing counted, nothing existed for me, but the living spirit that I represented, and the living Nation — the Nation Hitler so loved — that I felt looking


1 My Indian name, Savitri, means in Sanskrit “Solar Energy.”

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to me from beyond the narrow limits of that hall, waiting for the few words that she would never forget.

An overwhelming consciousness of solemnity — a sort of religious awe — took hold of me as, exactly two years before, on the slopes of the divine Volcano. A cold, delightful thrill ran along my spine and throughout my body. In a flash of hallucinating memory, I recalled the roar of the burning Mountain, and the tremor of the earth — like a throb of subterranean drums accompanying the Dance of Destruction. I could not sing, as when I had walked up to the stream of lava. But somehow, within my mind, I identified the ever-vivid remembrance of the eruption with an anticipated inner vision of the coming collapse of the Western world, in the thunder and flames of the next war. And, along with that deafening, crushing, all-pervading noise, — answering it, covering it, dominating it — I heard within my heart the music of the victorious Song, of the Song of Resurrection — the Song of my undaunted comrades, alone alive among the dead; alone standing, and marching, in the midst of the general crash; alone worthy to thrive and to rule, upon the ashes of those who chose the way of disintegration and death — our Song, in the struggle, in victory, in the dark years of persecution, in the unconditional mastery of the future forever and ever: “Die Fahne hoch! . . .”

Never had I felt its conquering tune so powerfully within my nerves, within my blood, as though it were the mystic rhythm of my very life. Tears filled my eyes. I remembered the hundreds of miles of ruins that stretched in all directions, beyond the spot where I stood, — the torn and prostrate body of holy Germany. All that would be avenged, one day, in a volcanic upheaval. And above the noise of crumbling Christian civilisation, the

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Song of the young hero Horst Wessel would resound heralding the final New Age. And above the flames and smoke, the triumphant Swastika Flag would flutter in the storm, against the glaring background of explosions unheard of . . . “. . . Bald flattern Hitlerfahnen über allen Strassen . . .”

Oh, how happy, how invincibly happy I was!

I looked at the judge, at the public Prosecutor, at the lawyer, at the other representatives of the long-drawn Occupation, in military uniforms, and at the two ‘Yids’ grinning on the front bench — delighted at the idea of watching a Nazi’s trial. And I thought: “Where will these all be, in ten years’ time? While we . . . we shall survive because we deserve to; because the Gods have decreed that we shall. May my attitude show today how indeed we deserve to rule, we, the sincere, we the fearless, we the pure, the proud, the strong, the free, the detached — the beautiful; we National Socialists! For if I, the least among us, am worthy, then how much more so the others!”

The judge made a sign, and everybody sat down.

Then, he asked me, for the sake of formality, my name, my age, etc. . . . and the procedure began. After the hearing of several witnesses, I was acquitted of the minor charge of having been found in possession of a Bank of England five pound note. I think I can say that the answer of one of the witnesses, named Mr. Severs, finally decided my acquittal. Shown a five pound banknote, he stated that he could not recognise, in it, the one found in my handbag on the day of my arrest. And the next charge was brought forth, namely that, while not being a German, I had entered the British Zone of control without the required military permit — for, as I

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have already said, my permit was good for the French Zone only.

Again, witnesses were heard, as in connection with my first charge. I was beginning to feel a little bored — for my main charge was the only one that really interested me — when to my surprise, I noticed in the hands of the lawyer, who was seated in front of me, a letter written in my husband’s bold and elegant handwriting, so well-known to me. Or was I mistaken? I peeped over the man’s shoulder and, at the bottom of the last page, I read the signature: Asit Krishna Mukherji. It was indeed a letter from my husband. Curiosity — mingled with a certain feeling of apprehension — stirred me. And when, at last, the hearing of my case was put off till the afternoon, I asked the lawyer to let me have the message. He willingly agreed. I read it in waiting for my midday meal.

It bore in large letters, at the left top corner of the first page, the word “confidential,” and was addressed “to the Chairman of the Military Tribunal, Düsseldorf.” It was an extremely clever and shameless plea for clemency in my favour. In four pages of obsequious prose, it contained, along with some accurate statements, — such as a passage about my lifelong yearning after the old Norse Gods no less than those of ancient Greece — some half-truths, artfully dished up, and a sprinkling of blatant lies. The accurate statements were casually made, in such a manner, that it became very difficult if not impossible to draw from them the logical conclusions, i.e., the seriousness, the solidity — the orthodoxy — of my National Socialist faith. The half-truths were twisted, with experienced ease, into downright lies. The fact, for instance, that, after three atrocious years of despair, I had regained confidence in the future of my race in

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Sweden, mainly through a conversation with a world-famous National Socialist of that country, the explorer Sven Hedin, in 1948. was presented as though I had, myself, become a National Socialist in 1948! And even so, according to this letter, my socio-political convictions boiled down to just a “personal admiration for Adolf Hitler”! The spirit that had animated my whole activity in India — the spirit, nay, that had prompted me to go to India — the land that had never denied its Aryan Gods — was most carefully concealed. And, worse than all, I was presented not merely as an “intensely emotional” and gullible woman, who had “certainly been exploited by interested people,” but as “an out and out individualist” (sic) who “could not but be emphatically opposed to any régime of absolute authority” (sic).

In spite of my growing indignation, I could not help admiring the serpentine persuasiveness that my husband displayed in dealing with our enemies. This was indeed a letter of my subtle, practical, passionless, and yet unfailingly loyal — and useful — old ally; of the man I had seen at work, day after day, during and already before the war, for years; of the man who had, to some extent, prepared and made history, without anyone knowing it — save I; who, had only Germany and Japan won this war, would have been, today, the real master of India. But that accusation of “individualism,” written against me in black and white, (never mind with what laudable intention) was more than I could stand. Turning to Miss Taylor after I had finished reading the letter I burst out: “Have a look at this masterpiece of slimy diplomacy, for it is well worth it!”

The policewoman read the document. “It is most cleverly laid out,” concluded she, handing it back to me. “Naturally, I — who am beginning to know you, by now

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— can see through it. But the judge does not know you. I tell you: your lawyer could take a splendid advantage of this and . . .”

“And obtain an incredibly light sentence for me — lighter even than Herr W.’s,” said I, with contempt. “An incredibly light sentence, at the cost of honour! And you think I am going to stand for that?”

“Stand for what?” replied Miss Taylor, genuinely astonished. “There is no question of honour. Your husband has not insulted you. He has only, with amazing mastery, exploited the very truth for your defence. He says a few true things — among others — doesn’t he?”

“True things! My foot! I’d very much like to know which,” I burst out. “He admits that my whole philosophy has its roots in my preeminently Pagan consciousness, which is, of course, true enough. But that is about the only accurate statement he has made in this disgraceful letter. He mentions my love of animals, too, and my strong objection to any infliction of suffering upon them, for whatever purpose it be; but he does so only in order to imply that a fortiori I surely object to our ruthless treatment of dangerous or potentially dangerous human beings, which I do not, as I told you a hundred thousand times. And he knows, better than anyone, that I do not — any more than he does himself. And he should know that I don’t want to pass for a silly humanitarian in front of everybody, even if that could set me free. I have not come here to be set free, or to get a light sentence. I have come to bear witness to the greatness of my Führer, whatever might happen; to proclaim the universal and eternal appeal of the ideals for which we fought, and to defy the forces of a whole world bent upon killing our faith. It is the only thing I can do, now. And nobody shall keep me from

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doing it. I don’t want to be excused, defended, whitewashed, as though I had done something wrong. And especially not, with such damaging hints as those. Have you noticed that passage at the bottom of the second page, in which I am presented as though I were one of those sentimental non-German females whose main, if not sole, contribution to the war effort of the Third Reich consisted of dreaming about the Führer as often as they could? Such a soppy lot! I don’t want to be lumped with them; they are not my type. And what would my comrades think of me?”

“Now, don’t get excited,” said Miss Taylor, “and let your imagination run away with you. Who tells you that your husband tried to ‘lump you’ with such women? He has just used the words ‘personal admiration’ to characterise your feelings towards your Leader. What is the harm in it? You do admire him, I suppose.”

“I worship him. But that is not the point. I tell you my husband has written those words purposely, so that our persecutors might not take me seriously. The proof of it you call see a few lines below, where I am described as ‘never having been interested in the political side of National Socialism’ — as though it were possible to separate the ‘political side’ from the philosophical, in an organic doctrine as logically conceived as ours! You can see it in that mendacious statement where I am called ‘an individualist’ naturally opposed to ‘any régime of absolute authority’. I, of all people, an ‘individualist’! I, opposed to authority! What a joke! Doubtless, I value my individual freedom — the freedom to salute my friends in the street, anywhere in Europe, anywhere in the world, saying: ‘Heil Hitler!’; the freedom to publish my writings with every facility. Doubtless I hate the authority now imposed upon me —

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and upon all those who share my faith — in the name of a philosophy different from ours. But which National Socialist does not? And I surely would like nothing better than to see an iron authority impose our principles — my own principles — upon the whole world, breaking all opposition more ruthlessly than ever. Which National Socialist would not? I am in no way different from the others. But my husband has been trying all the time to persuade our enemies that I am. There lies his whole trick: he has tried to persuade them that I admire our Führer without being, myself, a full-fledged National Socialist, aware of all the implications of his teaching; in other words, that I am an over-emotional, irresponsible fool. And that is precisely what makes me wild.”

“He only did it to save you,” said Miss Taylor. “And I am sure there is not one of your German friends who would not understand that.”

“They might. But he should have known, after eleven years of collaboration with me, that I never wanted to be saved,” replied I; “and if anyone dares to read that letter in Court, I shall say a few things that will make its author regret ever having written it. I shall prove that I was what I am — and he too — years before 1948. I don’t care what might happen to both of us as a consequence!” I was out of my mind.

“Now, don’t be silly; don’t be a child,” said Miss Taylor, softly: “and especially, don’t speak so loudly: it is not necessary for everyone to hear you. Nobody forces you to make use of this letter. Tell the lawyer not to produce it, and he will not. But it was written with the best of intentions, I am sure. And that you should appreciate.”

“I probably would,” said I, after a moment’s reflection, “if only I could be sure that he wished to

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save me, not in order to spare me hardships for my own sake, but solely because he judges me more useful to our cause — or at least less useless — free than behind bars. If that were the case, I would forgive him.”

“Quite possibly that is the case,” replied Miss Taylor.

We had finished our meal, which had been served to us at the “Stahlhaus” — now the British Police Headquarters. We returned to the building in Mühlenstrasse where my trial was taking place. I handed back my husband’s letter to the lawyer, telling him most emphatically not to mention it under any consideration.

“But you don’t seem to realise to what an extent I could exploit that letter in your favour,” said he.

“I know you could, but I forbid you to do so,” replied I. “My honour as a National Socialist comes before my safety, before my life, before everything — save, of course, the higher interests of the cause.”

“All right, then. It is as you like.”

No sooner had I thus made sure that my responsibility would be fully acknowledged, I regained my calm — and joy.

The procedure concerning my second minor charge continued. The judge now wished to put me a few questions, “But first, are you a Christian?” he asked me — for I was to swear to tell the truth.

“I am not,” replied I.

“In that case, it would be no use you swearing upon the Bible,” said he. “Upon what will you swear?”

I reflected for a second or two. No, I would not name any book, however exalted, however inspired. I would name, in a paraphrase, the cosmic Symbol of all power and wisdom, which is also the symbol of the resurrection of Aryandom: the holy Swastika.

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“I can swear upon the sacred Wheel of the Sun,” said I, firmly, hoping that, if the judge and the other Britishers present did not understand what that meant, most of the Germans would. I spoke thus, for I did not intend to tell any lies. If a question were put to me about things I wished to keep secret, I would simply refuse to answer it. One can always do that.

But the judge did not accept my suggestion. Perhaps he knew, after all, what the Wheel of the Sun is. He asked me not to swear at all but to “declare emphatically” — in some non-confessional formula so devoid of poetic appeal that I have completely forgotten it — that I would tell “the truth, all the truth and nothing but the truth.” I did so; and then explained why I had not bothered to obtain a military permit for entering the British Zone: an official of the French Security Service in Baden Baden (92 Litschenstrasse) had positively told me, that “nowadays” one could travel wherever one liked in western Germany provided one had an entrance permit into one Zone. This was a fact.

The judge, however, this time, did not acquit me. “This is, of course, a purely technical offence,” said he. “Yet, it has been committed.” And he proceeded to the examination of the witnesses in connection with the main charge against me — namely that of having indulged in Nazi propaganda. Once more I became thoroughly interested in what was going on in my immediate surroundings.

All the witnesses were witnesses on behalf of the Prosecution — witnesses who were called in to prove that I had indeed done that with which I was charged, and that I had done it intentionally, fully aware of what I was doing. Every word they uttered “against” me, filled me with satisfaction. At last, — after how many years of concealment

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for the sake of expediency, — I was appearing public in my true glaring colours. Had it been possible for me to continue to be useful in the dark, naturally, it would have been better. But it was no longer possible. So I was glad to see the picture of my real self emerge little by little, from accumulated evidence, before a few representatives of my Führer’s people. “Let them know,” thought I, not without a certain pride, “that in this wide, venal world that accuses them and condemns them, and reviles them, because — for the time being — they failed to conquer, they still have at least one faithful friend!”

Finally, the police official before whom I had made a voluntary statement on the 21st of February, came forth and read that statement: “It is not only the military spirit, but National Socialist consciousness in its entirety that I have struggled to strengthen, for, in my eyes, National Socialism exceeds Germany and exceeds our times.” I smiled. “Nothing could be more true,” thought I. The newspaper reporters took down the words. “They will not dare to publish them, lest their licences be cancelled,” thought I again — “for that would be pouring oil upon the fire.”

It was the Public Prosecutor’s turn to speak. He summed up the evidence that the witnesses had brought, putting special stress upon my own statement which the last witness had quoted. He then proceeded to give a brief account of my academic qualifications and of my career. “Here is a woman who is obviously intelligent,” said he; “who has obtained the highest degrees a University can confer upon a scholar — she is a master of sciences; a doctor of literature; — who has travelled over half the surface of the globe; who has taught history and philosophy to students, and held public meetings; who can

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speak and write eight languages and who has published a few books lacking neither in original thought nor in erudition; and yet, . . . in spite of all that (sic) we are compelled to acknowledge that she is a fervent National Socialist . . .”

From the corner where I was seated, just opposite him, I lifted up my head with pride as though to say: “Surely I am! It is my greatest glory.” But I could not help being amused — at the same time as a little indignant — as I heard the words “in spite of all that.” “The damned cheek of this man!” exclaimed I, in a whisper, to Miss Taylor — for she was the only person I could possibly speak to — “‘in spite of all that’ he says, as though a higher education, experience of foreign lands, thought, erudition and what not, were incompatible with a sincere Nazi faith! I wish I could tell him that my little knowledge of history and my prolonged contact with people of all races have made me more Nazi than ever — if that were possible!”

“Shhh! Don’t talk,” said the policewoman.

But the Public Prosecutor had caught from his place the movement of my head and the happy smile that had accompanied it.

“See,” pursued he, “she gladly admits it. She is smiling. She is proud of it!”

“I am!” exclaimed I.

There were responsive smiles of pride and sympathy among the German public. But the judge asked me “not to interrupt.” And the Public Prosecutor Continued. “A fervent National Socialist,” said he, “and an active one, to the extent of her opportunities. She has come all the way from India in order to do what she could to help the dangerous minority with which she has identified herself completely — the minority that has never acknowledged

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defeat. She has printed at her own cost, brought over to Germany at her own risk, and distributed a considerable number of those papers which constitute the ground of the present charge. Her case is particularly serious, for she illustrates how strong a hold National Socialism still retains today upon certain people — unfortunately more numerous than we are generally inclined to believe — who are, precisely, anything but irresponsible agents or men and women swayed by the lust of material gain. She represents the most dangerous type of idealist in the service of the system that has brought nothing but destruction upon this country and upon the world at large. We only have to look out of the windows of this hall to see what National Socialism means: ruins. We only have to remember this war in order to understand where that system has led the people whom it had succeeded in deceiving. And if we remain here today, it is to avoid further war, further suffering, further ruins, by keeping the pernicious Ideology from regaining appeal, and power. The accused, Mrs. Mukherji, has, I repeat, come to Germany on purpose to strengthen it: on purpose to undermine the work we have set ourselves to do. And during the few months of her stay she has already, through her leaflets and posters but, doubtless also through undetectable private propaganda, — through her conversations, through her whole attitude — done more irreparable harm than can accurately be estimated. I therefore demand that an exemplary sentence should be pronounced against her by this Court.”

I could not say that these were textually the words used by the Public Prosecutor. I have not stenographed his speech. But this was the general trend of it. And some of the sentences I remember word by word, and have reported here as they were uttered.

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I boiled with indignation, as could be expected, when I heard the man slander our faith and declare — his arm stretched backwards, towards the window behind him — that the ruins of Düsseldorf and of all Germany were the result of National Socialism. Surely, I would answer that accusation, at least reject it in a biting sentence, when my turn came to speak. Yet, the best answer to it would be, no doubt . . . the next war — direct consequence of the defeat of Germany in this one; and divine punishment for England’s refusal to conclude with the Third Reich an honourable and lasting peace. Oh, then! Then, I would gloat to my heart’s content over new and even more appalling ruins — not in Germany, this time. And if I met such people as that Public Prosecutor, I would laugh in their faces and tell them: “Remember how you used to say that the ruins of Germany were the work of National Socialism? Well, whose work are your ruins, now? No doubt, that of your confounded Democracy — of that Democracy you once had the impudence to try to make us welcome. Eh, look now and see where it has brought you! Ah, ah, ah! How it serves you right! Ah ah ah!” Oh to speak thus, one day, with impunity, to our enemies half-dead in the dust!

Yet, I could not help admiring the way the man had, from the democratic standpoint, characterised me. After one’s own people’s love, nothing is more refreshing than the acknowledgement of one’s harmfulness by an enemy. For years, I had positively suffered from the fact that our opponents did not seem to believe me when I expressed my radical views and uncompromising feelings. God alone knows what forceful language I had always employed! But half the time the nonentities — the “moderate” people, the “decent” people, usual supporters of all we hate the most — would tell me, in the patronizing

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tone which grownups sometimes use when speaking to adolescents: “You say that, but you don’t really mean it; surely you would not do it!” Had I been in a position to do so, I would have gladly sent them all to their doom, — even without them being dangerous to us — for the sheer pleasure of showing them that I did mean it, and was in no mood to be taken for an irresponsible chatterbox. Now, here was, at last, a man from the “other side” who knew that I “meant it” and “would do it” all right, if only given half a chance; a Democrat in whose eyes I was “the most dangerous type of idealist.” I thanked him, in my heart, for recognising my calculated purposefulness no less than my love and hate, and for not treating me as an emotional child. I thanked him for demanding “an exemplary punishment” for me. Had he demanded a death sentence, I would have been fully satisfied.

The judge told the lawyer that he now could speak. The latter declared he had nothing to say. It was the Public Prosecutor himself who reminded the Court of the existence of my husband’s letter.

“The accused does not wish that letter to be produced,” said the lawyer.

“Certainly not!” shouted I, from my corner. “I don’t want the whitewash. It is nothing but a concoction of half-truths and downright lies, anyhow.”

This public declaration was enough to deprive the document of whatever practical value it might have had. The judge did not insist. He turned to me; “Do you wish to speak?” he asked me.

“I do,” replied I; “although I have nothing to say for my defence, I would like to state the reasons that have prompted me to act as I did — if those reasons interest the Court.”

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“They certainly do,” said the judge, giving me, at last, the opportunity that I had been so eagerly awaiting.

I had prepared a short but precise, and — as far as I could — well-composed speech, containing more or less whatever I wished to say. I forgot all about it. I forgot the presence of the judge, as well as of the other representatives of British power in conquered land. I felt again raised to the state of inspiration which I had experienced on entering the hall, on the morning of that unforgettable day. I found myself speaking, not merely before the British Military Tribunal of Düsseldorf, but before all Germany, all Aryandom; before my comrades, living and dead; before our Führer, living forever. My words were mine, and more than mine. They were the public oath of allegiance of my everlasting self to my undying race and its everlasting Saviour and Leader.

“I have never had the conceit to believe that by distributing a few leaflets and sticking up half a dozen posters, I would, alone, provoke the resurrection of National Socialism, out of the ruins and desolation in the midst of which we stand,” said I, in a clear voice that was, also, mine and more than mine. “Those ruins are not, as the Public Prosecutor has, just now, tendentiously asserted, the consequence of our Führer’s policy. They are, on the contrary, the marks of the savage war waged upon National Socialist Germany by the coalesced forces of disintegration from East and West, lavishly supported by Jewish finance, to crush in this country the kernel, the stronghold of regenerate Aryandom. The heavenly Powers, Whose ways are mysterious, have permitted the disaster of 1945. It is their business — and not mine — to raise National Socialism once more, in the future, to such prominence that its right to remain the one inspiring force of higher mankind shall never again be questioned.

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I, the powerless individual, can only, as I wrote in my posters, ‘hope and wait’.

“Whatever I have done, I did, therefore, not in order to win immediate success for the cause I love, but in order to obey the inner law of my nature, which is to fight for that which I firmly believe to be true. The most sacred Book, revered throughout India, — the Bhagavad-Gita, written hundreds of years ago, — tells all those who, like myself, are militant by heredity, warriors by birthright, to fight steadfastly, regardless of gain or loss, victory or defeat, pleasure or discomfort. And our Führer has written, in the self-same spirit, in Chapter 2 of the second Part of Mein Kampf: ‘Whatever we think and do should be in no way determined by the applause or disapproval of our contemporaries, but solely by the obligation that binds us to the truth which we acknowledge’, or, to quote the actual text itself: ‘Allein unser Denken und Handeln soll keineswegs . . .’.”

Compelled as I was, by order of the Court, to speak in English, I was at least going to quote those words of Adolf Hitler also in their original German (which I happened to know), for the edification of the public, when the judge interrupted me:

“I am not concerned with what your Führer wrote or said,” he burst out, irritated. “And please remember that you are not here addressing a political meeting, and turn to the Court, i.e., to me, and not to the public, when you speak.”

“All right! But don’t believe I really mind in what direction I speak,” thought I; “In all directions, there is Germany!” And, turning to the judge, I said: “I am sorry if the Court is not interested in what my revered Führer has written. But, in a speech intended to explain what motives have prompted me to act as I did, I could

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not help quoting those words of his, for their spirit has ruled my life, even before I knew of them; and it rules it today, as before; and it shall always rule it, inspiring every thought, every sentence, every action of mine.”

“Well, continue,” said the judge impatiently.

“I have just stated,” pursued I, “that I have acted, first, to express myself, to fulfil my own nature, which is to live according to my dearest convictions. But that is not the only reason. I have come, and I have acted as I did, also, in order to give the German people, now, in the dark hour of disaster, in the hour of martyrdom; now, in the midst of the ruins heaped all round them by their enemies, — who are, at the same tune, the enemies of the whole Aryan race — a tangible sign of admiration and love from an Aryan of a far-away land. One day, — I know not when, but certainly some day — the whole Aryan race, including England, including the nobler elements of the U.S.A. and of Russia, will look upon our Führer as its Saviour and upon the German people, — the first Aryan nation wide-awake — as the vanguard of higher humanity. I have done this in the gloomy years 1948 and 1949, so that it might remain true forever that, foreshadowing that great day to come, one non-German daughter of the Race, at least, has remained faithful to the inspired Nation, — grateful to her for sacrificing her all, in the struggle for the supremacy of true Aryandom — while so many, even among her so-called friends, have proved unfaithful and ungrateful. I have done it because, notwithstanding my powerlessness and personal insignificance, I know I am a symbol — the living symbol of the allegiance of Aryan mankind to the Führer’s people, tomorrow, in years to come, forever, in spite of temporary defeat, humiliation, occupation; in spite of the efforts of the agents of the dark forces to keep Germany

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down; nay, because of the superhuman beauty of National Socialist Germany’s stand in the depth of defeat, humiliation, and persecution.

“And there is a third reason why I acted as I did. I did so to defy the victorious Democracies, thus heralding the final victory of the Nazi spirit over the power of money. Yes, I did it to defy you, the enemies of our eternal faith, hypocritical ‘champions of the rights of man’, ‘crusaders to Europe’ and what not; powers who have allied yourselves to the Communist forces to crush National Socialist Germany and — if possible — the National Socialist Idea, on behalf of the Jews. The easy task, you have done, and done thoroughly: night after night, for months, for years on end, you have poured streams of phosphorus and fire over this unfortunate country until nothing was left of it but smouldering ruins. With up-to-date bombers, — with Jewish money — how easy that was! And now, you have set yourselves to a more difficult task: the ‘conversion’ of Germany to your democratic and humanitarian principles; the ‘de-Nazification’ of all those who once shared the same faith as I. The future will tell, I hope, how futile that grand-scale task was, nay, how it carried within it the seeds of the reaction that will, one day, crush the powers in the name of which it was undertaken. In the meantime, already as early as yesterday, I distributed those papers, written by me alone, and under my sole initiative and my sole responsibility, in order to defy your ‘de-Nazification’ campaign; in the meantime, as early as today, I stand here and defy it and defy you, once more, in the name of all those, Germans or foreigners, who ever adhered to our National Socialist faith, sincerely and in full awareness of its implications.

“I stand here and proclaim, with joy, that neither

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threats nor promises, neither cruelty nor courtesy, nor kindness can ‘de-Nazify’ me — a woman, not a man, and not a German woman at that; me, a nobody, who has never enjoyed any manner of power or privileges, or personal advantages, under the Nazi régime, but who, admires it without reservations, for the sheer sake of the beauty of the new generations of supermen that it was creating, under our eyes. I repeat: how easy it was to smash the material power of the Third Reich! But to alter the faith even of the most insignificant foreign admirer of Hitler’s New Order, is not so easy. It is impossible. All your soldiers, all your battleships, all your tanks, all your super-bombers and all your propaganda — all your power and all your money — cannot do it. Nothing can do it. I have acted as I did, in order to stress that fact. And now, powerless and penniless as I am, and a prisoner, now more than ever, all your ‘de-Nazification’ schemes fall to pieces at my feet. Whatever you do with me, today, I am the winner, not you. And along with me, in me, through me, the everlasting Nazi spirit asserts its invincibility.

“I have nothing more to say. I thank my stars, once more, for the opportunity afforded me to express in public, before this tribunal, my unflinching loyalty to my Führer, my loving admiration for his martyred people. And . . .”

I was going to add that my only regret was that, on account of the censorship, my words would surely not be reported in extenso in the papers of the following day; and I would have ended my speech with: “Heil Hitler!” But the judge, once more, interrupted me:

“We have heard enough, more than enough,” said he. “You might have your convictions — with which I am not concerned — but I am here to apply the law.

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Certain Powers have fought six years to put down that régime which you so admire. And the law, today, expresses the will of those Powers, who have won the war at the cost of great sacrifices. As for you, not only are you not sorry for what you have done, but you take pride in it . . . You use the most provoking language . . .”

I did not hear the rest of what he said; for in my heart, I was ardently praying to the invisible Forces: “May this man condemn me to death, unless you have set me aside to play a useful part in our second rising!”

At last the judge concluded: “. . . As a consequence, the Court sentences you to three years’ imprisonment, with the possibility of being deported back to India within that time.”

I was dumbfounded — and a little disappointed. My first impulse was to exclaim: “Only that! I presume you people are not really serious about ‘de-Nazification’ and the like.” But I said nothing, remembering my prayer. “It must be that we shall indeed rise again, and that I will then have something to do,” I thought. And once more, I felt quite pleased. The idea of going back to India — now that I would not he allowed to remain in Germany, anyhow — delighted me. I would have my book printed there, quietly, after finishing it in jail. That would be fine! And I would come back, — and bring it with me — as soon as things changed. In a flash, I recalled my home, my cats. And I was moved. But I repressed all expression of emotion. Many people among the public, newspaper reporters and others, seemed willing to speak to me. I would have been only too glad to speak to them. But Miss Taylor would not let me, unless I first asked the judge’s permission. So, turning to him I said: “Could I not have a talk with the representatives

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of the press at least, if not with other people also?”

“No,” replied he stiffly, “you cannot have any press interviews, if you please.”

“All right,” said I. I waited till he and the Public Prosecutor and the other Britishers had left the hall. Already, quite a number of onlooking Germans had left also. But that, I could not help. Turning to the few that were still there, before Miss Taylor (who had walked ahead of me) had the time to look around, I lifted my arm and said: “Heil Hitter!” Several would have answered my salute, had they dared to.

A young press reporter, a woman, followed me down the staircase. “I so much would like to interview you,” she told me.

“We are not allowed to talk,” replied I, “that is democratic ‘liberty’. But you have heard me speak, haven’t you? Could you not follow all I said?”

“That is just it,” said she; “I followed most of it, but there is one passage I did not quite understand. And I also wanted to ask you . . .”

Miss Taylor intervened. “The judge told you that you can’t have press interviews,” she put in.

“Well,” exclaimed I, “I have an hour or two more of relative freedom to enjoy before going back to prison for three years, and, damn it, I intend to take the fullest advantage of it if I can!”

But the press reporter had already vanished.

* * *
Miss Taylor took me to another building and there, kindly offered me a cup of tea and — which I appreciated infinitely more — presented me with a bottle of ink and a thick copybook, priceless gifts, now that I was going to

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jail for good. It appeared to me that she was inclined to be much more considerate, — nay, that she could even be friendly towards me — when there were no other members of the police about the place. “The book you are writing, you will finish in prison,” said she. And she added, to my amazement: “You will finish it with this ink, and on this copybook. Thus you will have a lasting remembrance of me.”

“If you really intend to help me, knowing who I am and what I am writing I cannot but thank you,” replied I suddenly moved. “But do you? And would you still, if you knew all I have written already, and all I hope to write?”

“Why not?” said Miss Taylor. “You are not writing against England,”

“I am not; that is true. I am writing against those who, in my eyes, have betrayed the real interests of England no less than of all Aryan nations. And those are, I repeat, all those who fought to destroy National Socialism, through criminal hatred or through ignorance.”

“I am too much of an individualist to be able to say that I like your régime,” said Miss Taylor, “but I can understand all that it means to you, and I like you. I like the attitude you kept throughout your trial. I appreciate people who stick to their convictions, and who fear nothing.”

I wanted to say: “Then, why do you accept to serve under the Occupation authorities, who are here to do all they can to ‘de-Nazify’ Germany? The virtues you say you love in me are just the rank and file virtues you would find in any one of us National Socialists. How can you wear the uniform of our persecutors, if you mean what you say?” But I did not speak. I knew Miss Taylor would not follow me so far. She was not one of

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us, after all. “It is very kind of you to help me,” said I, only. “Few gifts have I received, which have pleased me as much as yours.”

Then, I went and took out of my brown attaché case my Indian earrings in the shape of swastikas, and I put them on “Now that I am sentenced,” said I, “I am wearing these. With them on, — like in the great days — I shall, from the windows of the car, for the fast time, admire the beauty of the German spring (for the last time for three years, at least). And with them on, I shall walk into prison. Can anyone prevent me?”

“No one will try to,” said Miss Taylor. “We are not in the Russian Zone.”

These last words stirred my resentment. “Damned hypocrites,” thought I, “you perhaps imagine I am going to like you any better than I do ‘them’, for allowing me that tiny satisfaction for two hours. If so, you make a mistake. I detest all anti-Nazis alike.” But I said nothing.

Another English woman in police uniform, whom I had seen at my trial, had tea with us. Men in uniform passed by us, occasionally. Some stopped a minute. They saw my earrings, but made no remarks. I looked straight into their faces with something of the aggressive expression with which I used to look at the Englishmen, Frenchmen, — and specially Jews — whom I crossed in the streets of Calcutta in glorious ’40, ’41, ’42. In my mind, I recalled those years. And I recalled my trial, and the prayer I had addressed the Gods, and I thought: “More glorious times are to come, since these people have not decided to kill me. This is the sign I had asked for. I must accept it and not doubt.” I was happy.

“I think your case will come out on the B.B.C.,” Miss Taylor told me, among other things.

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“I hope it does,” replied I, not out of vanity, but from a practical standpoint of propaganda. “I know it will never suit ‘them’ to broadcast the whole of it; still, better a little encouragement to our friends all over the world than none at all.”

Yet, I did not think only of our friends. I also had our enemies in mind. “It will do them good to see that they cannot even ‘de-Nazify’ a non-German,” thought I. “I wish it would induce them to stop that large-scale farce!”

Then, suddenly, I remembered a few of the ‘Yanks’ who used to come to our house in Calcutta, during the war — useful ‘Yanks’ (from our point of view); a little childish, loving food and drink, gullible, more loquacious than soldiers should be, and — a great point — not a bit suspicious of us; ‘Yanks’ who took my husband for an interesting Indian Democrat, and me for . . . a half-pathological case (for what else could be a woman who spends her time writing hooks about Antiquity and feeding stray cats?).

Now, those ex-crusaders to Asia, ex-fighters for humanity and Democracy on the Burmese front, if they happened to switch their wireless to the B.B.C. London, would hear of “Savitri Devi Mukherji, sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by the Military Tribunal of Düsseldorf, for Nazi propaganda in occupied Germany.” They would remember the name, the house, — and, perhaps, some of the things they had casually said, in that house, and forgotten: things that were, naturally, “not to go any further”; and, perhaps, also . . . some occurrences, . . . that had remained unaccountable.

And they would say to themselves: “Gee! If we had known that!” . . .

I could not help laughing, as I imagined their reactions —

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and their retrospective rectifications of opinion concerning that woman who lived “outside this ideological war and outside our times” — as some said — and who had a house full of cats. Appearances are deceptive, especially in wartime.

But Miss Taylor got up. “I must now take you to Werl,” she said, “or it will be eleven o’clock before I can come back.”

I followed her to the car that was waiting for us downstairs.


Part II
WHISPERS

CHAPTER 6
THE DOORS CLOSE

The car carried me through the half-ruined streets of Düsseldorf, for the last time. I was not destined to see the town again — at least, not for a long time. As I sat and gazed at it through the window, I thought: “It is, now, a fact forever that I have been tried here, today, the 5th of April, 1949.” And turning to Miss Taylor, I said “How sweet it is to ponder over the irreversibility of Time, and the irrevocability, the indestructibility of the past! Only the great moments of our life count. The rest of it is just a long preparation in view of those blessed hours of intense, more-than-personal joy. I have lived such hours today — others on the night of my arrest, the most beautiful night of my life; others in glorious ’40, when I thought the world was ours. Nothing can rob me of those divine memories. Oh, how happy I am?”

I paused, and smiled. We were now outside the town, rolling along the great Reichsautobahn. I continued: “It is the same in the life of nations: it is not the length of historic epochs that matters; it is their intensity — and their beauty. Before the twelve ineffaceable years of King Akhnaton’s rule at Tell-el-Amarna, millenniums of Egyptian history fade away into dullness; Greece is Periclean Greece — a few brief years of unparalleled glory; and the history of Germany, in the eyes of generations

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to come, will be the history of the twelve ineffaceable years of Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship . . . plus, — I hope — that of his second coming and second reign; in other words, the history of National Socialism.”

“What about Bismarck?” said Miss Taylor. “And what about the Pan-Germanist movement, already before the first World War?”

“Bismarck, and the Pan-Germanists after him, only prepared the ground for Adolf Hitler,” replied I. “It is the Führer who gave Pan-Germanism its right meaning — its only possible meaning in the world of tomorrow, in which material frontiers will have less and less importance; it is he who integrated it into broader Pan-Aryanisin, showing the Germans the only solid ground upon which .they can and should claim supremacy.”

“Which ground?”

“The fact that they are the first Aryan nation wide-awake, as I said just now, at my trial. Oh, I am glad I said that! I am glad it shall now be true forever that I said it, even if people forget it. You remember, once, you reminded me that I am not a German? Well, in one way, so much the better — for it is precisely because I am not one that the few truths that I have expressed today take on all their meaning. Don’t I know that?”

Miss Taylor did not answer. But I recalled in my mind a few verses of Victor Hugo which I was made to learn in the school where I used to go, as a child, in France. The verses, end of a passionately patriotic poem written after the defeat of France in 1871, were the following:

“. . . Oh, I wish,
I wish I were not French so that I could say
That I choose thee, France, and that, in thy martyrdom,
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I proclaim thee, whom the vulture torments,
My country and my glory and my sole love!”1
In school, we were asked to admire these words. Now, I could not help comparing them with my own sincere homage to Germany, after the bitterest defeat in her history. “Hum!” thought I, with a feeling of satisfaction; “that is all right enough. But Victor Hugo was French. I am not German. It makes a hell of a difference — even if my homage be less dramatically worded than his and, in addition to that, nothing but prose.”

* * *
Apart from Miss Taylor and myself, a policeman in uniform and a young Englishman, sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment for theft and also going to Werl, had taken place in the car. I told that young man what sentence I had been given, and what for, in answer to which he started vehemently proclaiming his personal adherence to the democratic principles in the name of which England had fought. I looked at him with inner contempt, and experienced once more that malignant contentment which I always feel at the sight of the worthlessness of our opponents. I said, ironically: “How interesting it is to hear you defend Democracy!” — which meant in reality: “How lovely it is to meet such an ardent Democrat, who is at the same time a thief!” (the words that I would doubtless have plainly uttered, had I


1 “. . . Oh, je voudrais,
Je voudrais n’être pas Français, pour pouvoir dire
Que je to choisis, France, et que, daps ton martyre,
Je to proclame, toi que ronge le vautour,
Ma patrie et ma glorie et mon unique amour.”
         Victor Hugo “A la France” (L’Année terrible)

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not wanted to avoid possibly hurting Miss Taylor, who had, only an hour before, made me that invaluable present of ink and paper). I then completely lost interest in the man, and I looked once more out of the window.

That road to Werl, that I was beginning to know so well, I was following for the last time. I was, now, really going to prison — to stay there. And I was happy to go, and happy to wear my symbolical earrings on the way, and to keep my defiant attitude. I knew that I would always keep it; that it was the very meaning of my life; that it would stick to me, even after I were dead, no doubt, in the minds of the few who might remember me. Yet, the sunlit fields, full of daisies and buttercups, and the tender green bushes along the road, and the fruit trees covered with blossoms seemed to me still more beautiful than they had in the morning. For this time I knew I would not see them again. “Another spring like this one will come and go, and I shall not see it,” thought I; “and another will follow, and I shall not see that one, either, and a third one will come, and I shall not see that, unless they decide to send me back to India. But it does not matter. I would not exchange my destiny for anybody’s — not even for that of my comrades who died in 1940 with the illusion of victory in their hearts. For I know, now, that, one day, I shall see the resurrection of National Socialism — and the revenge I have so longed for . . .” Thus I reflected. And I was happy. In the splendour of that German spring — the first I had seen; the last I would see for a long time — I hailed the everlasting victory of Life over Death. “As these trees have bloomed out of the bleak barrenness of winter,” I thought, for the hundredth time, “so, one day, out of those ruins of which the sight now haunts me, the martyred land will live and thrive and conquer again.” And tears came to

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my eyes as I imagined myself among the frantic crowds of the future, on the Führer’s return. Still, along with deep happiness, there was now a certain sadness in my heart, because of the overwhelming loveliness of the countryside that I was admiring for the last time.

The car rolled on. I was silent, — lost in the contemplation of the bright sky and new green earth and bright coloured flowers; breathing the fragrance and radiance of life reborn; clinging eagerly to the sight of the sunlit world, as though my last hour of relative liberty had been also the last hour of my life. I knew that every revolution of the wheels under me — now rolling at full speed — was taking me nearer to Werl, nearer to captivity. And I realised, more than I ever had before, how sweet freedom is. And although I regretted nothing — although I would have reacted just the same; spoken the selfsame words of faith and pride; defied the enemies of National Socialism with the selfsame aggressive joy, had it been possible for me to go through my trial again — I had, for a minute, the weakness to admit, in my heart, that it would have been lovely to remain free. And tears came to my eyes. But then, suddenly, I recalled H. E. and my other comrades and superiors imprisoned at Werl, and elsewhere, all over Germany: I recalled Rudolf Hess, a prisoner since 1941, and felt ashamed of myself. Yes, who was I to feel sad for the beauty of spring when the very sight of it had become, to them, like the memory of some former life?

My sadness persisted — perhaps even increased — but was no longer the same. I could have burst out weeping, had it not been for the presence of Miss Taylor and of the two men (and especially of the German driver) and for my desire to keep my standing at any cost. But I would have wept over my comrades’ long-drawn captivity, not over

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the prospect of my own; over the persecution of National Socialism — the faith of Life and Resurrection in our times: the faith of the young, of the healthy, of the beautiful — in the midst of that invincible rebirth of Nature, in spite of it, in a spirit that was, and is, in my eyes, an insult to it. I imagined H. E. free again, one day, crossing in the opposite direction that threshold of gloom towards which the motorcar was now carrying me. That day would surely come. But when? When, thought I, would the doors of all the prisons of Germany, and elsewhere, of all the postwar concentration camps, be thrust wide open, and when would we, militant National Socialists, — the youth of the world; the children of spring — come forth and sing, once more, along the highways, our triumphant songs of the great days? Oh, when?

We entered Werl. The Sun had set, but it was daylight still. The road that led to the prison was one mass of flowers. Hanging over the walls of the private gardens that lay both sides of it, thick carpets of new green leaves and millions of tender petals, — white, yellow, pink, red, pale violet — nearly touched the car. I gazed at them, and inhaled as deeply as I could their intoxicating fragrance, as we drove up to the huge dark prison doors.

I got down from the car. I helped the driver to take out my luggage. Then, Miss Taylor rang the bell. And we waited . . .

A golden sky shed its light upon the many-coloured flowers, upon the quiet street through which we had come and the quiet little space where that street met the one that ran parallel to the prison walls; and upon those great high walls themselves, — the forbidding limit of the different world into which I was now to enter definitively; to which I already belonged. The windowpanes of the neighbouring houses facing west, shone like gold. And a soft

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breeze brought me the breath of the gardens, — the breath of the world of the free. We might have waited half a minute: perhaps a minute. Again, I thought of my comrades — some six hundred men and a few women, among, whom H. E. — behind those walls for nearly four years. And I realised in absolute sincerity that, had it been possible, I would have gladly remained, myself, a captive forever — renouncing the right to see trees and flowers and even the divine sky for the rest of my life — if, at that price, I could have set them free. I would have, indeed! (I would now, — after tasting freedom once more, in full knowledge of its worth.) And I prayed to the One Whose effulgence is the effulgence of the Sun: “Give them back freedom and power, Lord of the unseen Forces that govern all that can be seen! Restore our New Order, image on earth of Thine eternal Order! — and I don’t care what happens to me.”

I heard the noise of a key in the thick iron keyhole. Slowly, the huge heavy doors were flung open. I crossed the threshold . . . and could not help turning around my head to take a last glance at the lovely, peaceful evening, at the golden sky; to breathe the smell of flowers once more. There was something solemn in that ultimate, fleeting vision of beauty. There was, in that instant, an experience that I would remember as long as I lived. I was not unhappy — on the contrary: a deep, serene joy filled me, and I crossed the threshold with a smile. I knew my place was there, among the others who, like I, (though more intelligently, more efficiently than I) had done their best for the Nazi cause and who, like I, had fallen into our enemies’ hands. And I was intensely aware of being, for once in my life, in my place, — in my place at last! In my place, at least in the hour of persecution, I who, years and years ago, should have come and

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shared with those of own race and faith, the glorious life of the great days; I who should have come during the first struggle for power, — when I was twenty — instead of wasting my energy in Greece . . .

With a resounding noise that made me involuntarily shudder, the huge heavy doors closed upon me. Tears came to my eyes. I was now in my new home. And I thought of H. E. whom I would soon meet again; of the other so-called “war criminals” whom I would have the honour and the joy of knowing. For surely — I thought — I would be transferred to the D Wing. I was happy — and moved. Once more, in a flash, I recalled the glory of spring beyond. the now closed doors, — and, also, the skeletons of houses and factories, the miles and miles of charred and blasted walls that cried for vengeance under the sky, day and night; and the people for whom I had fought, in my clumsy manner, and for whose freedom I would have undergone anything. “Germany,” thought I, “in former years, I did not know myself how much I loved thee!” And I felt that there was, between my Führer’s people and I, a definitive link that nothing could ever break nor slacken.

* * *
Miss Taylor took leave of me after the German warder had signed the paper she handed over to him, (thus testifying that I was no longer in her custody.) I had drawn my scarf over my head to hide my earrings from the sight of the warder. Members of the British police in Düsseldorf had seen me wearing them, it was true, and had expressed no objection. But I did not know who these warders were; and if, as Mr. Stocks had once told me, the man whom the British had appointed as the head of the male section of the prison was a notorious anti-Nazi,

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there was no reason not to presume that some at least of the warders were of the same kind. And I knew — from my comrades — that a German anti-Nazi is generally much worse than any representative of the Occupying Powers (with, of course the exception of the Jews). After a while, a wardress from the “Frauen Haus” came to fetch me. Two prisoners, — ordinary delinquents — walked ahead of us, carrying my luggage, while the wardress and I talked in a friendly manner.

We reached the staircase leading to the “Frauen Haus.” Frau So-and-so and another one of those who were definitely “in order” were on duty that night, along with the wardress who had come to fetch me, and a fourth one. It is Frau So-and-so who opened the door for us on the landing. “Well . . . ?” asked she, as soon as she saw me.

“All right,” replied I. “Got three years. Expected much worse, especially after speaking as I did.” Then, after a minute’s pause I enquired about the one thing that had worried me all day: “Do you know if H. E. has found my manuscripts?” said I, eagerly. “I asked her to hide them . . .”

“Your manuscripts are in safety in Sister Maria’s office,” replied the faithful wardress. “H. E. and I saw to it. You’ll have them back tomorrow morning.”

“Thank you!” exclaimed I, from the bottom of my heart; “oh, thank you!”

I was taken back to my cell, and Frau So-and-so ordered some supper for me. While I was waiting for it, the four wardresses gathered around me. They admired my earrings, and commented upon my sentence. “Three years is a long time,” said one; “why, that woman in No. 48, who is here for having killed her newborn baby, has got only three years!”

“Naturally,” replied another; “a German baby more

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or less makes no difference in the eyes of ‘those people’, while a blow to their blinking prestige does.”

“Well,” put in a third one, “we must try to put ourselves in their place. We have lost the war. It is a fact. And here is a woman who comes all the way from India and takes our side openly. In ’45, they would have shot her. Of course, times are changing — and rapidly, it seems.” And turning to me she said: “I was afraid, however, that even now ‘they’ would give you more than three years. You were lucky.”

“Anyhow, don’t imagine it is my fault if ‘they’ sentenced me only to that much,” said I: “for it surely is not. I spoke the truth, and was not a bit afraid of ‘them’, I can assure you.” And I repeated, summing it up the best I could, what I had stated in my speech before the military Tribunal. The wardresses were amazed “You said that and ‘they’ left you get away with three years! Gosh, it looks as though times are changing!”

“‘They’ perhaps wished to make a good impression upon the Indians, who knows?” suggested I. “The last time I was in London, I was told that there was now a terrific Communist propaganda campaign going on, all over India. These Johnnies probably want to show the Indians how lenient they are, compared with the Russians. They want to propitiate their ex-colony . . .”

“That’s it, that’s it!” exclaimed the fourth wardress. “They are afraid. A good sign!”

“You know what you would have got, if the Russians had caught you in their Zone?” put in another. “Deportation for life to Siberia, or something like that . . .”

“I believe it,” said I. “And so would I, if I had the power to do what I please with one of our sincerest opponents, send him or her to deportation for life — or to immediate death. The Communists are our real enemies,

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and know it. But these people . . . these soppy Democrats, these liars, they don’t know themselves what they are nor what they want. Yesterday, they joined the Reds to crush our Ideology. Tomorrow, when they are sufficiently scared of the Reds, they will crawl in the filth to lick our boots — after all they did to us — and implore our help against the Reds . . . . Our help! I wish we keep them crawling as long as it is expedient, or as long as it amuses us, and then give them a good kick and turn against them! But, of course, I am not the one to decide in that intricate game of convenient alliances. It exceeds my brains by far. All I know is that I despise the Democrats whatever they do, and that, if they imagined they were going to gain the slightest sympathy from me by being lenient to me, they made a great mistake. I wish I can, one day, make them feel sorry they did not kill me when they could have . . .”

“My God, if only they could hear you now, I bet they would already feel sorry!” said one of the wardresses, laughing.

I laughed too. My supper was brought in: six slices of white bread, some macaroni and cheese baked in the oven, some butter, some plum jam, a bun with raisins and a jug of hot tea, with sugar and milk. The wardresses, wished me good appetite and good night, and left my cell. I ate the macaroni, a slice of bread, a little of the jam, and put all the rest by for my friend H. E.

Then, I wrote to my husband a letter of twenty pages reproaching him with having tried to save me from captivity when I did not want to be saved, and telling him how happy I was to have spoken as a true National Socialist before, the representatives of the Allied Occupation and before the German public.

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* * *
The next day, early in the morning, H. E. came to my cell. The wardress on duty — who was “in order” — pulled the door behind her. We talked a few minutes. “I hear you have got three years,” said my comrade; “you were lucky. I expected you would get at least five; and most of us said ten.”

“Yes,” replied I: “I know. And yet, I did all I could to show the judge and every person present that I was not afraid to suffer for our cause.”

I repeated to her the essential of what I had said in my speech. And I told her about the letter my husband had written, and specified that I had forbidden the lawyer to mention it. H. E. looked at me intently and said “You are truly one of us. I shall never forget you. As you say, the heavenly Powers have spared you for you to take part in our coming struggle.” She put her arm around my waist and squeezed my hand, while I rested my head upon her shoulder for a second or two. I was happy.

“You know,” continued H. E. after a while, “in all my career, I met only one non-German whom I could compare with you. It was a Polish woman whom we caught spying on behalf of England during the war, and whom we shot. I was present at her trial, and remember her speech. You remind me of her . . .”

“Thank you very much for comparing me with an agent from the ‘other side’!” said I, jokingly.

“You must not laugh,” answered H. E. “She might have been misled; she might have been, without realising it, ‘a traitor to her own race’, as you so rightly call all Aryans who opposed us, — for she was no Jewess, I can assure you. But she was sincere and fearless, as you are.

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And as I saw our men led her out of the hall, I could not help regretting she had not devoted her fine natural qualities of character to our cause.”

“Well,” said I, “I am glad she was caught and shot. To waste Aryan qualities in the service of Jewish interests, knowingly or unknowingly, is sacrilegious: it is casting pearls before the swine. But tell me: what do you think of the letter I wrote to my husband last night, in answer to his effort to ‘excuse’ me in the eyes of the authorities? See . . .” And I translated to her one or two sentences out of it.

“You should not send it,” said H. E. “It will sadden him, without any profit to the cause. Poor man! He only wrote as he did to try to get you off, as any one of us would have done, if it had been possible. He did his best for you — and for us. Promise me you will not send that.”

“Perhaps, then, I shall not. I shall alter that and a few other passages . . .”

“Yes, do,” said my friend. And anticipating that which I was going to ask her, she added: “I shall bring you back your manuscripts as soon as Sister Maria comes. They are safe. Frau So-and-so must have told you . . .”

“She did. I do thank you for keeping them! I was afraid for them although, apparently, I had no reason to be.”

I then gave her the food and tea that I had put aside for her on the evening before, and my morning’s porridge and white bread. “I’ll take half now and half when I come back,” said she, “for I’ll never be able to carry all that along the corridor without being noticed.”

We parted as usual, greeting each other with the mystic words: “Heil Hitler!”

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* * *
I was working on the Chapter 7 of my Gold in the Furnace, — of which Sister Maria had just brought the manuscript back to me — when Fräulein S. (Frau Oberin’s assistant) came into my cell and bade me follow her “to the Governor’s.” To my surprise, I was not taken downstairs and across the prison grounds to the Governor’s office, but just across the corridor to Frau Oberin’s office, where the Governor was waiting for me. (This surprised me, because it was a Wednesday; and the Governor did not generally come in touch with the prisoners there, save on his regular visits to the “Frauen Haus” on Friday mornings.)

Colonel Vickers was sitting at Frau Oberin’s desk. The German interpreter — about whose politics I had heard, from Mr. Stocks, more than enough to dislike him heartily — and Mr. Watts, a dark man with a prominent paunch, who, occasionally, used to replace the Governor — were also present, the former standing up, the latter seated in an armchair. Frau Oberin and the matron of the prison, — the elderly blue-eyed lady, with white hair, who had received me on the day of my very first arrival at Werl — were standing up. So was Fräulein S., who had just entered the room with me.

The Governor gave me an abrupt “Good morning” in answer to my salute, and addressing me rather bluntly, said, to my great astonishment: “The Court has, I see, sentenced you to three years’ imprisonment. Your case is no business of mine, as I have told you once already: I am here only to look after you during the time you remain in my charge. But I cannot help noticing that yours is the heaviest sentence ever given a woman by a British Court, for such an offence as yours, since we are in this country. There must be a reason for it, for our justice is fair. However, you have the right to appeal for

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a revision of your sentence, — if you like — provided you can produce sufficient evidence to show that it should be revised. But I must warn you that, if you do so without serious grounds, you run the risk of getting a still heavier sentence for having made us waste our time . . .”

“I have not the slightest desire to appeal either for justice or for clemency,” said I, standing before the desk, with a ray of morning sunshine upon my face, feeling happy. “Had I wished to, I would have, already during my trial, made use of the letter which my husband had sent the authorities to try to whitewash me. I refused to do so. Moreover, given the present circumstances, and given all that I stand for, I consider my sentence extremely lenient.”

“All right,” replied Colonel Vickers, accepting, possibly with a little surprise, but without comments, the unexpected glimpse I had thus just given him of my real self. And, turning to Frau Oberin and to the matron, he said, speaking of me: “She must wear the prisoners’ clothes; and she must work. She will be given the special British diet, as before, being a British subject. But that is all. And if she is ever caught distributing food to other prisoners, her privilege will be cancelled.”

The interpreter translated the words into German for the benefit of Frau R. the matron. Frau Oberin knew enough English not to need a translation.

Then the Governor said to me: “I hope you understand me.”

“I do,” answered I, — all the time firmly determined to continue to give the best of my special food to H. E. without getting caught.

“If your behaviour is satisfactory” pursued he, “you will, regularly, be remitted of one quarter of your penalty, which means that you will serve two years and three

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months instead of three years, in supposing that you are not sent back to India in the meantime.”

“May I know,” asked I, “When they are likely to send me back to India?”

“Regularly, not before you have served at least one third of your term of imprisonment, that is to say, not before one year,” replied the Governor. “So you have not to think of that possibility for the present. Have you anything more to ask?”

“I would like to know,” said I, “If I may have light in my cell till 10 p.m.?”

“No.” answered Colonel Vickers; “it is not the rule. And I can see no reason justifying an exception in your case. Besides, it is natural that you should go to bed early, as you will work all day.”

“It is all right,” said I inwardly resentful, outwardly indifferent. “I only asked that, as I was under the impression that political prisoners were allowed light in their cells longer than the others.” I remembered what Miss Taylor had told me the day before, on my way to Düsseldorf.

“Political prisoners are the last people to whom we give light after time — the last ones, in fact, to whom we grant any privileges,” said Colonel Vickers. And, (ignorant as he was of what Miss Taylor had told me about General Kesselring and others writing their memoirs, and General Rundstedt being temporarily released on parole) he added: “We do allow light after eight o’clock to some; but those are all prisoners who write for us, or who do secret work for us in one way or another” (sic).

I pretended not to pay the slightest attention to what I had just heard (as though it did not interest me) and I put forth no further claims concerning light, or writing facilities. I knew the German staff would be easier to

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tackle, in these matters, than the representative of British power in occupied Germany. At least the staff of the “Frauen Haus” would be. And the as days were getting longer and longer (a fact which no Occupation forces could alter) I would soon be able to write till ten or half past ten at night anyhow. But I was impressed by Colonel Vickers’ statement: and I immediately drew my own conclusions from it. It threw, indeed, unexpected complementary light upon Miss Taylor’s discourse about British “kindness” to so-called “war criminals.” Now I knew — from a responsible authority — how selective that supposed “kindness” was, extending as it did only to those willing to “do secret work” for Germany’s victors. . . . Well, I was certainly never going to win myself privileges at the cost of such a bargain. Not I!

“Now, I have little time to spare,” the Governor at last told me: “if there is anything you think you need, you can ask Miss M., who is in charge of the women’s, section of this prison. And you can do what she permits you to do. Good morning.”

I bowed in reply, and now Fräulein S. took me back to my cell. The person the Governor had said I should consult and obey, “Miss M.,” was none other than the one whom we prisoners knew as Frau Oberin. She had always shown a particularly sympathetic interest in me, and H. E. who was in Werl so long, had told me that she was a “first class person,” well disposed in our favour and “absolutely reliable.” And when I had asked my friend whether the lady was actually “in Ordnung,” i.e., a sincere National Socialist, she had replied: “She could not tell us so even if she were. Like all those who have managed to retain a job under ‘these creatures’, she is, compelled, to be exceedingly careful. But she will help you as much as she can. She has helped me a lot.” Doubtless,

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I would be able to write, if it depended upon her, thought I. And again I felt that, the less Colonel Vickers suspected the fact that I was writing, in prison, under his nose, such a book as Gold in the Furnace, the better it would be for me; and the better for the safety of the book — the better for the Nazi cause, which the book was intended to serve, one day.

* * *
In my cell, I continued to write my Chapter 7 on “Plunder, Lies, and Shallowness.” Upon my table, open at different places, were spread out three or four issues of the Revue de la Presse rhénane et allemande, — selected typed extracts of the German newspapers concerning happenings in occupied Germany, which a French official in Koblenz had very kindly handed over to me as “useful information” for my proposed book, in perfect ignorance of the nature of the book and therefore of the spirit in which I was to use any document.

Time passed. Some two hours after lunch, Oberwachtmeisterin S. the lady who used to supervise the prisoners’ work in the whole women’s section, came in. Middle-aged, short, and a little stout, but extremely elegant, — dressed with utmost sober taste — she was energetic, firm, efficient, of more than average intelligence, and could be charming when she liked. She had always been charming in her relations with me, showing more interest in my career as a writer and in my activities in India than most other members of the prison staff. However, I had not yet made out whether she was “in order” or not. H. E., who knew her much longer than I did, thought she was, but was “not quite sure.” Frau S. herself had repeatedly told me that, since the end of the war she was “fed up with all ideologies” and that she did

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not wish to hear a word about any. All I knew with certainty was that she was one of the members of the staff with whom I had the greatest pleasure of talking.

She walked in and asked me with a smile: “Well, how are you getting on? And what has the Governor told you, this morning?”

“He said I must work,” answered I.

“And what work would you like to do?” enquired Frau S. “What are you able to do? — for here some of the prisoners knit, others make nets or bags or baskets; others, who know the trade, make dresses. Do you know how to make anything?”

“I am afraid I don’t,” replied I. “But I can learn.”

Frau S. smiled again. “It takes time to learn,” she said. “It is better to do what one is made for.” And after a pause she asked me: “Apart from writing, and from lecturing in public — and, doubtless, also privately, to your husband and all your friends — what did you do when you were home in India?”

“I used to give lessons in languages, and do translations, when I needed more money than my husband could afford to give me. Otherwise, I did a little painting, I went to a few tea parties; did practically nothing.”

“A National Socialist woman should be skilled in all manner of household work,” said Frau S. watching me ironically, to see how much the irreproachable orthodoxy of her statement would impress me. She was not the first person in Germany to remind me of that, and to make me feel utterly ashamed of myself. For a second, the acute awareness of possibilities lost forever, — the retrospective vision of the woman I could have been — was painful to me. And I looked at Frau S. with such depth of sincere sadness that the irony vanished from the glance of her sparkling grey eyes.

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“Perhaps I was wrong not to have striven, in my youth, towards that all-round realisation of my womanhood implied in our ideals,” said I. “I don’t know. I somehow seemed to feel that I was destined to be a wanderer all my life . . . Anyhow, it is no good thinking of the past. Now, my household is my cell. And I shall try to keep it as clean and tidy as I can.”

Frau S. patted me on the shoulder. “I am sorry if I made you feel sad,” she said; “I did not intend to. Now, tell me frankly: what would you really like to do? What would you do if you were free?”

“Continue to write my book,” replied I, unhesitatingly.

“Well, continue now,” said the Oberwachtmeisterin, to my amazement and to my joy. “I shall bring you, for the sake of formality, a little easy work which you will finish in an hour or so. The rest of the day, continue your own real work — your work that matters.”

I was deeply moved. “I can find no words eloquent enough to thank you,” exclaimed I, in a sincere outburst of gratitude, as tears came to my eyes. “This is the greatest favour you could do me. And...” — I could not help adding — “I cannot bring myself to believe that you would regret your kindness if you knew what I am writing.”

“I don’t want to know — now,” replied Frau S. “It is in English, isn’t it? I can’t read English. One day, if it is ever translated into German, as I hope, I shall be glad to read it.”

“If the Gods spare my manuscript till then, answered I; “and if my comrades consider it worth translating . . .”

Frau S. smiled, squeezed my hand, and left the cell.

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I was happy. Before my written tribute of admiration to Germany could be translated and published, things would surely have to change a lot. Did Frau S. really think they were likely to? And so quickly? It would be a miracle. But I believed in miracles. My condemnation to three years’ imprisonment only — after the attitude I had shown throughout my trial — was a miracle. The presence of my precious manuscripts, intact, upon the table before me, was a miracle.

I looked up to the bright sky; to the Sun, king of all the Gods, that shone beyond my nontransparent windowpanes and my iron bars. “Invisible Forces Who govern all things visible,” I prayed, “give my German comrades freedom and power. . . . Oh, bring back our grand days!”

* * *
The next day, the 7th of April, in the afternoon Frau R., the matron of the prison, came to fetch me. “Take your things with you — all your things,” she said. Two prisoners, whom she had brought with her, caught hold of my trunk and dragged it out of the cell, while I took my coat, my attaché case, some books, all I could carry. My manuscripts, too voluminous to be hidden, I pushed into the draw of my table, with my inkbottle, pen and pencils. The portrait: of the Führer was there too, between two sheets of paper, as Frau Oberin had told me; in the morning, that it was safer for me not to keep it out, at least in the daytime when so many eyes could see through the spy hole of my cell. Before I left the place, however, the matron opened the drawer.

“You must take these papers also,” said she; “everything.”

“But these I need,” ventured I to reply. “These are my writings.”

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“The Governor said you are to work,” answered Frau R.; “he did not mention writing.”

“I know. I heard him myself. But in the evenings, mayn’t I do something to occupy myself? The Governor told me he had no time to enter into the details of my daily routine, but left that to Frau Oberin. I’ll ask her whether I may write after working hours.”

“Others clean their cells and mend their stockings after working hours,” said the matron. “However, if Frau Oberin allows you to write, I have no objection. She is responsible. I only do what I am ordered.”

“So, must I take my papers or leave them here?” asked I, inwardly anxious.

“All right. Leave them,” agreed the matron, to my relief. “But we must ask Frau Oberin, before you may definitely keep them.”

I was taken into the little room into which I had entered on the very first day I had come to Werl. I was asked to undress, and my civilian clothes were put away, carefully catalogued along with the rest of my possessions. And I put on the prisoners’ uniform: over prison linen and a thick grey woolen petticoat, dark blue overalls and a grey apron. I was also given a dark blue woolen pullover and a black jacket to wear when I went out into the courtyard during the “free hour,” or even in my cell, for it was still cold.

I took off every bit of jewellery I wore — gold bangles, gold chain, rings — all save the iron bangle on my left hand (in Bengal, the sign of the indissolubility of marriage). Before giving up my gold chain, I took off the glass portrait of the Führer that I used to wear on it, and put it in my pocket. But the watchful matron caught any gesture: “What are you trying to hide?” she asked

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me. I had no alternative but to show her the precious little object.

“I don’t want to part with this,” said I, eagerly. “Don’t take it away from me! It is the last treasure I have. It will do no harm to anyone if I wear it around my neck on a plain piece of string, as some other prisoners wear a cross. Nobody will even notice it.” I was moved, as I uttered these words. The little object was our Führer’s likeness. It was also the gift of a sincere Nazi, who loved and trusted me, whom I loved and trusted; the gift of persecuted Germany, to me. “Oh, don’t take it away from me!” said I, again.

“All right, then; keep it,” replied to my surprise, and joy, Frau R. — she who seemed, so much of a disciplinarian. Had she been touched, in spite of herself, by the spontaneous expression I had given my feelings? Or did she calmly consider it her duty as a German to show kindness towards a true friend of her country) I shall never know.

I thanked her enthusiastically for the favour she had thus done me. Then, as I gathered a few toilet objects to take back to my cell, I asked her: “May I also take this box?”

“What is in it? Face powder? You are not to use that, here in prison,” said the matron.

“It is only talcum powder,” replied I with ease, opening the box, practically full, at the bottom of which I had hidden, the day before, carefully wrapped in soft paper, my Indian earrings in the shape of swastikas.

Frau R. examined the box, without caring to empty it; saw that it was indeed talcum powder, and said, to my delight: “Yes, you can keep it.”

I then; looked at myself in the large mirror that the room contained, and was disappointed. Prisoner’s clothes,

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decidedly, did not improve my appearance. I looked much better in my brown tailored suit, or in my lovely dark red frock (both gifts of comrades in England on the occasion of my departure to Germany) or, of course, in any of my “saris.” But I realised that, now, I was dressed like H. E. and the other captive Nazi women, who had all suffered so incredibly more than I for our common cause. And the clumsy, ill-fitted uniform appeared to me as a mantle of glory. And I smiled at myself in the mirror.

“Well you look a pretty girl all the same, in those clothes, don’t you?” said the matron, good-humouredly.

“I do, I know,” replied I with conviction. “An intense inner life — like ours — always makes one pretty.”

In my mind, as a memory from another world, I recalled the Greek nationalist that I had once been — the girl of eighteen who wore hand-woven, brightly embroidered frocks of peasant cut, bought in Athens, and who proudly used to declare: “Paris dictates its taste to all women save me.” And I recalled the woman who had sailed to India a few years later in search of an unbroken Aryan tradition, and who adopted the Indian “sari” to look more of an ancient Greek, more of a Pagan Greek, more of an Aryan Heathen of all times. How all that stress upon externals now seemed childish, desperately childish to me! Had I, for that, missed my fulfillment and done only half my duty? For the spirit of eternal Aryan Pagandom was here, in the ardent hearts and disciplined lives of men in brown or greyish green uniforms, not there, in the Near or Middle East, in vain draperies, nor even in unbroken traditions, followed with less and less understanding. And now, after the disaster, it lived and gleamed, invincible, in the hearts

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and lives of the selfsame undaunted minority — in my comrades, so many of whom wore prisoners’ clothes like I would, henceforth. Far better than that of the bejewelled woman in Greek or Indian dress, the picture the looking glass now sent back to me symbolised the realisation of my lifelong yearning; was the picture of my real self.

As I was coming out, I met Oberwachtmeisterin S. in the corridor. I had not seen her all day. She told me, (doubtless out of courtesy) that my new clothes suited me well; and then, addressing me as though I were a friend, not a prisoner, she said: “Do you know that your case has come out on the wireless, last night? They broadcasted one or two of the things you told them at your trial. Indeed, you spoke well.”

She followed me into my cell. The wardress on duty, who accompanied me, left us and went her way. “They also stated that you sold your beautiful Indian jewellery in order to finance your activities in Germany,” pursued Frau S.

“It is true,” replied I. “But why speak of it on the wireless? Any sincere National Socialist would do as much, I hope. However, if the little they said about me, and especially the little they broadcasted of my speech in Court, has contributed to make even one extra German feel proud of his natural Aryan nobility; if it has made even one realise, more vividly than before, what a great thing Adolf Hitler has done for Germany in making her the conscious stronghold of reborn Aryandom, then I am happy; then I don’t mind sitting here three years — or ten, at that — without seeing a tree . . .”

But as I uttered these words, the fleeting picture of bright green fields full of violets, daisies and buttercups; of fruit trees covered with blossoms — the glory of Spring —

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rushed back to my memory like a vision of lost paradise, and tears filled my eyes. Yet I still meant all I said.

“Without seeing a tree!” repeated I after a short pause, during which the fleeting vision had forced itself upon my mind, more alluring than ever. “Oh, how beautiful the trees were, in their springly garb, on the day before yesterday, — my last day of liberty! How beautiful were the bushes and the fields full of flowers, along the great Reichsautobahn . . . and how lovely the pure sky, and the sunshine, the divine sunshine! . . . I took a last glance at all that and the heavy doors closed upon me. But it does not matter. It is my place, here, among my persecuted comrades — among those who loved our Führer to the end. And if, even from here, indirectly — through the comments of our enemies upon my case — I have been, at least once more, of some use, well, I am glad.”

Frau S. gazed at me earnestly. “I should not tell you this,” said she, lowering her voice, “but I shall, all the same. And you must believe me, for I speak the truth. Beyond those heavy doors that closed on you, every faithful German, every true and worthy German, respects you and loves you.”

Had I just been told that the world was now mine, I would not have felt more intensely moved. “My Führer’s people,” whispered I, as the tears I tried in vain to hold back ran down my cheeks; “the men of iron, whom he so loved. They!”

In a flash, I evoked my first unforgettable glimpse of the martyred land ten months before: the ruins of Hamburg, the ruins of Brem, of all the towns I had seen on that night of the 15th of June 1948. I recalled the words two humble railway men had then addressed me — instead of denouncing me to the police — when they caught me

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distributing my first handwritten leaflets: “We thank you, in the name of all Germany,” words I would remember as long as I lived; words of the working élite of pure blood, erect and dignified amidst the most appalling material desolation. I had seen more of that élite, since then; I had admired it. I knew, now, that no force in the world could kill it; I knew that it would always be there for me to continue to live for — I, who in the despair of 1945, had declared to someone, in India, my desire to “turn my back on mankind, forever.” And lo, a responsible woman and a German was telling me that, in the heart of that superhuman suffering élite I now had a place . . .

“No glory,” replied I to Frau S.; “no broad-scale international honours, absolutely nothing in the world could touch me more than that which you have just said. Tell those faithful Germans of whom you speak, that I am aware of the sacred link that binds me to them, forever and ever. Tell them that I too, love them.”

“I shall,” said the Oberwachtmeisterin.

And she added, in a very low voice: “Among them are people whom I know personally; people who once held important posts in the Party — in which I was too. But promise me you shall never say a word of all this to anyone, not to Frau Oberin, not to any of the wardresses, however much ‘in order’ they be; not even to your friend H. E. Can you really keep it secret?”

“I promise I shall,” said I.

“I’ll come and see you again tomorrow morning,” said Frau S. “Auf wiedersehen!”

“Auf wiedersehen!”


CHAPTER 7
HUMILIATION

The next day, the 8th of April, in the afternoon, I was transferred to cell No. 92, in the B wing.

My trunk, my attaché case, all my things, had been put away into the common cloakroom where the belongings of all the prisoners were kept. But Frau Oberin had allowed me to have my manuscripts, and a few books: H. R. Hall’s Ancient History of the Near East; a book about the Mythology of Ancient Britain; Dr. Herbert Gowen’s History of Japan; two books of Mongolian history, and one about the Art and Civilisation of Ancient America, — apart, of course, from my precious English translation of the Bhagavad-Gita.

I loved those books. They reflected my lifelong interest in the history of all civilisations; they represented something of that stock of information out of which I had drawn, for years, picturesque illustrations in support of our philosophy. I was grateful to Frau Oberin for allowing me to keep them; more grateful to her still for allowing me to keep my manuscripts and to continue writing. I was grateful to the Oberwachtmeisterin, too, for her silent and sympathetic collaboration.

I put my manuscripts into my table drawer. I hid the Führer’s portrait in the cover of the Mythology of Ancient Britain, and Das Programm der N.S.D.A.P. (which I had also managed to keep with me, for references) between the illustrated pages of the Art and Civilisation of Ancient America. I then disposed the books upon two of the shelves of my new cupboard —

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much smaller than the one I had in cell 121 — and lay upon my bed, less in order to rest (for I was neither sick nor tired) than in order to reflect.

I could not make out why I had been transferred here instead of to the D Wing, where were the cells of all my real comrades. Had they put me in this cell only for the time being? Or was I never to go to the D Wing at all? And again, why?

Once, and once only — on the morning following my return to Werl, before the Governor had come — I had been sent down to spend my “free hour” with those of the D Wing, who had welcomed me with joy. I had had the honour of walking around the courtyard by the side of Frau R. — formerly holder of a responsible post in the management of the Ravensbrück concentration camp, now a so-called “war criminal” sentenced to lifelong imprisonment by our enemies, — and of hearing her address me as a friend. And I had had the pleasure of telling her: “Don’t believe you will stay here all your life! Oh, no! I was but yesterday still in touch with the outer world, and I can assure you that things are changing. An implacable justice will one day fasten its grip on these people and avenge you, avenge us all, and bring us back to power, this time on a world-wide scale, — although I do not know myself how.” And the woman, nearly four years captive, had smiled to me and answered: “I wish you are right. Oh, how I wish it! One always hopes.” But time had come for us to go back to our cells, and we had parted. And then, the Governor had come, as I have already related. And I had had no further contact with my comrades — save of course with H. E. who, as usual, came every morning to my cell, collected whatever tea, white bread, porridge or other food I had for her, greeted me with a sincere: “Heil Hitler!” whenever we were

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alone (or when Frau So-and-so or any other of the wardresses who were “in order” happened to be on duty) and departed, always in a hurry. I had, morning and afternoon, been sent out with the ordinary delinquents, thieves, black-marketeers, abortionists and so forth. And, goodness, how dull these were! They talked about practically nothing but food . . . and men — trivialities.

While I was in No. 121, I had been given a plant in a flowerpot — a pretty plant, with peculiarly tinted leaves, green on one side and violet on the other, or dark red on one side and pink on the other. I had admired it for five minutes and then, I had watered it regularly and kept it as well as I could. But I had been too completely absorbed in other thoughts to pay much attention to it. Now, I remembered the beautiful and harmless living thing, and regretted that I had not bothered to take it with me. For the first time, I missed it. For the first time, I pondered over the loveliness of its shiny coloured leaves. To my own surprise, the idea that nobody would water it, this evening, brought tears into my eyes and a feeling of guilt into my heart. “Poor plant!” thought I, “I must tell one of the wardresses (or Frau Oberin herself, if I see her) that I want it.” But accustomed as I was to be sincere with myself, I could not help wondering whether I would have given it a thought, had I been in a cell of the D wing, next to some woman whom I could love and admire and with whom I could expect to talk, during the “free hour”, about the excellence of National Socialism, the crimes of the Democracies, and that irresistible revenge that I was — and am still — so intensely longing for.

My evening meal was brought to me, as usual. The wardress on duty was one of those whom I liked the most, one of those who were “in order.” I told her about the

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plant. “Of course you shall have it back,” said she, most amiably; “you shall have it, perhaps not at once, — for Frau R. is now very busy supervising the distribution of bread and “coffee” — but certainly tomorrow morning. I am glad to see you love your plant. I have already noticed how it has grown, since the day it was given to you.”

“Could I also ask you,” said I, “why they put me here instead of in the D wing?” “I don’t know myself,” replied the kind wardress; “It baffles me, too, believe me; for your place is there, with the political prisoners not here, with this lot. But I have heard that you were put here by order of the Governor . . .”

“But why?” exclaimed I; “why? Does the Governor imagine he is going to ‘de-Nazify’ me by separating me from my comrades, or what? If that is why he did it, dear me, what a fool he must be! For I have remained for years — by force of circumstances — out of touch with people of our faith, compelled to hear nothing but the damned ‘humanitarian’ propaganda of our enemies, wherever I went. Did that ‘reform’ me? No fear! It would have made me even more of a Nazi than ever, if that had been possible.”

“You are right,” agreed the wardress. “We all know this is just nonsense. No one can ‘reform’ a responsible man or woman who knows what he or she wants. But what can we do? We have no say in the matter — nor has Frau R. nor Frau Oberin herself. We have lost the war and our country is occupied. We are all as powerless as you — all in bondage. The representatives of the Occupying Powers do what they like here, as everywhere else in Germany.”

“I know,” answered I, bitterly, all my hatred for the

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Allied Occupation filling my heart, along with that consciousness of the uselessness of effort, which is the most painful feeling of all. “I know. Oh, for how long, for how long more?”

“Nobody can tell.”

I would have willingly continued the conversation. But Frau X. had no time. “Your supper will get cold. And I have also to take back the container,” said she, after a short pause, for the sake of putting an end to our talk. I emptied the large round aluminium vessel, of American make, in which the food had been brought to me; as usual, I put by whatever I could for H. E., and ate the rest.

When the wardress came back, she told me that it was the turn of the prisoners of the B wing to go to the recreation room (where every separate batch of us was allowed to spend two hours every week or so). And she added, — as one’s presence there was not compulsory — : “Would you care to go too? Just to see how you like it? I know it is no company for you. But it can be an experience for you. Take it in that light, as I can’t send you to the recreation room with the D wing, however much I would like to do so.”

Her kindness and consideration touched me all the more that I knew that she was “in order,” and that she understood, as only one of us could, how painful this separation from my comrades was to me. I thanked her.

“I shall go,” said I, making up my mind. “Even if these are not political prisoners, they are at least German women, most of them. And among them, I dare say there are some good elements; perhaps even . . .”

“Don’t you go and try to indoctrinate them,” interrupted Frau X., forestalling in me a very natural propensity

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“You never know whom you are speaking to, in that lot. Be careful!”

I said I would be. Yet, I could not help hoping that, even among those women I would find some who, whatever might have been their weaknesses, had retained enough German pride to look back to the National Socialist régime with nostalgia, and, along with me, a foreigner, — along with us — to yearn for its resurrection; some whom, in course of time, I might trust.

* * *
I walked out into the corridor. Some prisoners were already there; others were coming out of their cells. The wardress was opening the doors, one after the other. I had, suddenly, the most vivid impression of being in a sort of “zoo,” of which the keeper was now letting the inmates out for a while. I had noticed how wild beasts do not rush out of their cages as soon as the iron bars are lifted but how, strange as this might seem, they slowly walk out, as though they knew that the freedom offered to them is only relative, and temporary — hardly worth mentioning. The imprisoned women did the same; even after the wardress had flung the doors wide open, they did not appear in a hurry to come out. They came forth slowly, and pulled behind them the iron bars that shut their cells from outside; or they loitered inside for a minute or two, putting away the utensils in which they had eaten their supper, adjusting a comb in their hair, or seeking a pocket handkerchief. They knew that it was not liberty that they were going to enjoy, but just two hours’ relaxation in the recreation room of the prison. And I was an animal in the “zoo” no less than any of them; only, perhaps, a little wilder and prouder animal than most of them — a Bengal tigress, straight from the jungle.

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One of the two cells next to mine — that both bore upon their doors a Z. (standing for Zuchthaus, i.e., penal servitude) in the place of my G. (Gefängnis, i.e., imprisonment) — was not opened. “She does not come out?” enquired I, referring to the inmate of the closed cell, towards which I pointed.

“No,” answered one of the prisoners in the corridor; “she is punished; she’s got a fortnight’s ‘Hausarrest’.”

“What for?” asked I, casually, — not really interested, but trying to be courteous.

“For standing half-dressed against her window and dropping love letters to the men, when they come to work in the courtyard.”

The prisoner walked along with me, in the direction of the recreation room. “A silly woman,” she pursued, commenting upon the behaviour of the one who was confined to her cell. “I know it must be hard to be shut in for two weeks, and to work on nothing but dry bread and water. But she asked for it. I would not do what she did. Would you?”

The question was enough to stir me out of the polite indifference with which I had, hitherto, listened to the pathetic story. “I? I should think not!” exclaimed I, shocked at the very idea of someone addressing me such mad words as a matter of course. And I added, hardly able to conceal my contempt for all manner of sentimental affairs: “I have never written a love letter in my life. I always had better things to live for.”

“You are ‘new’ here, I think,” said the prisoner, changing topics, as we entered the recreation room together.

“Yes. I was sentenced on Tuesday — three days ago,” replied I. “But I have remained over six weeks ‘on

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remand’ before that. I was then in No. 121, in the C wing.”

“And may I ask you what you are here for?” the woman ventured to say, somewhat shyly, as though she feared being indiscreet.

“For Nazi propaganda,” answered I, simply.

The woman gazed at me with mingled surprise and admiration. “Oh,” commented she, “that is something honourable, — something laudable. For what have we gained with these swine and their Democracy? Nothing but misery. You see, me: I was not a bad woman; not a jailbird by any means; I had never stolen a pin. But now life has become so hard, so impossible! Out of sheer need, I took fifty marks and an old pair of shoes from a neighbour who was none the poorer for that but who went and reported me none the less. I was caught, and got a year’s imprisonment. That would never have happened to me in the Hitler days. We had everything we required, then; and plenty to eat for our children. You were right to fight those Allied bastards. I only wish they had never got you. It is a pity. How long did they give you?”

“Three years.”

I suddenly recalled Hildegard X. . . ., my companion in the dark damp cell in which I had been put on the night of my arrest. She had spoken in the same spirit, using nearly the same words. Was the loyalty of the German masses to their Saviour, to such an extent, the mere expression of an unfailing gratitude of the stomach? Perhaps, thought I, although the admission saddened me a little. But I reflected: “And why not? . . . Germans are animals, in fact, like the rest of men; animals first and then Aryans; and National Socialists — Aryans fully aware of their God-ordained superiority — last of all. It is natural. Only a few among them, and incredibly

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fewer still among other Aryan people, are National Socialists first and last, supporters of our Ideology solely because it is true, independently of their own comfort or discomfort. And it would be foolish on my part to expect to find representatives of that free and steadfast minority among these women.” All I could do was to wish for the continuation, nay for the increase of material hardships as long as Germany remained occupied, and even after that as long as my friends did not come back to power, bringing order and prosperity with them. Then, the régime would be more solidly established than ever.

I sat down on a bench by the first of the two tables that occupied the room, thinking of this, and firmly determined to exploit the grievances of that woman whom need had led to theft, and to induce her to look upon the return of our régime as her only possible salvation and her sole hope. But I had not the opportunity of doing so: the woman went and sat at the other table, and started playing dominoes with two prisoners who seemed to be waiting for her there. And other women surrounded me.

A short, darkish, middle aged woman, condemned, I knew not for what offence, to long years of penal servitude, sat just opposite me. I remembered her face for having seen her clean my cell several times, and I knew her name for having heard the wardresses call her. “How is it that they put you with us instead of in the D wing,” said she, addressing me as soon as the wardress had closed the door, after the last prisoner had come in. “And did they give you a black jacket? You should have a dark blue one. All the ‘politicals’ have dark blue jackets.”

“And we, who have been sentenced to penal servitude

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have brown ones, and those sentenced to mere imprisonment for nonpolitical offences, black ones,” explained her neighbour on the right hand; while her neighbour on the left hand (who wore a black jacket) said to me: “You should complain to Frau Oberin, and ask her to put you in the D wing.”

It was, the first time that I heard that different colours characterised, in Werl, different categories of female prisoners. I had never seen H. E.’s jacket for the simple reason that she hardly ever wore it — and had not yet worn it on her morning visits to my cell. And I now felt utterly humiliated at the idea of being made to wear a black jacket, like the ordinary criminals, I who had believed, up till then, that I was dressed entirely like H. E. and my other beloved comrades. My heart sunk within my breast; and I could have wept. But I pulled myself together. “I wish I could,” said I, answering the suggestion of that prisoner who had advised me to speak to Frau Oberin; “but I don’t think it would be of any use: somebody told me that I am separated from the other ‘politicals’ by order of the Governor.”

“That makes things a little more difficult,” remarked the woman. And another one added, nearly immediately: “But why should the Governor take such a step against you?”

“I am sure I don’t know,” said I. In reality, I was wondering whether he had suspected that, while still on remand, I had, through H. E., been distributing a few copies of my posters among the so-called “war criminals.” (I had, in fact, also distributed some to certain members of the staff, but of that the Governor could not possibly have any knowledge, for their things were never searched.) Then, I reflected that, had any search revealed the presence of papers of mine in cells of the D wing, my friend

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H. E. would have told me so. “No,” thought I; “the reasons for my banishment to the B wing must be more subtle: sheer fright that I would keep our spirit alive in the D wing — or perhaps, that I might hear, from my D wing comrades, too many instances of British and Allied atrocities.” But I said nothing.

“In whatever wing they care to put you,” declared the dark-haired woman seated opposite me, “I respect you. You have defended your faith, and done no harm to anybody. I have no time for politics, but still I say: if those people who have come here to give us lessons in toleration really believe in ‘individual freedom’, as they pretend to, why can’t they recognise you the right to be a Nazi, and to express your convictions publicly if you feel you should?”

“Quite!” exclaimed I, glad to find a sympathiser with some regard for consistency. “And why don’t they recognise that right to us all? Why are so many of my German comrades in captivity since 1945, for the sole crime of having done their duty? Of course the Democrats are hypocrites. Don’t ask them to be just, — or even logical. Hatred and not logic has been the motive of their behaviour towards Germany, since and even before 1939. Well, let them reap hatred! Let them suffer a hundredfold what they have done to the élite of the Aryan race, and perish wholesale! They deserve it.”

A young woman seated on my right, was listening to me with interest — although obviously not with sympathy. So were two or three others, among whom was a coarse-looking blonde, seated at the other end of the table.

“It may be that you have done no harm to anyone,” said the former, giving me a suspicious look. “But you can’t come and tell us that your German pals have done

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‘nothing but their duty’ as you say. We know them too well.”

“Hear! hear!” shouted the latter — the coarse-looking blonde — before I had time to put in a word. “And you would not look upon them as ‘the élite of the Aryan race’ if you had spent four years in Ravensbrück as I have. It is all very easy to come and stick up for Nazism when you don’t even know what it is . . .”

I felt my blood rush to my head, as though someone had given me a slap. However, I controlled myself. “Excuse me,” said I, in a cold, biting voice, “although I am not a German, I undoubtedly know more about Nazism than you do. I don’t fight for what I don’t know, like the monkeys who compose the majority of mankind, even in most Aryan countries. But that is not all: you seem to think it was the fault of the régime if you were in Ravensbrück. May I ask you whose fault it is now, if . . .”

I wanted to say: “. . . if you are again ‘inside’ — for you are surely not guilty of sticking up posters against the Occupation, as I am.” But the prisoner on my right, — the one who had spoken before the fair-haired woman — interrupted me. “It is no use picking quarrels,” said she. Every one has the right to hold the views he or she likes — even to be a Nazi. What I don’t admit — what I never will admit — is that one should arrogate to one’s self the right to behave in a beastly manner, as so many Nazis have . . .”

It was my turn to interrupt her: “As if we had the monopoly of ‘beastly behaviour’ as you call it!” I burst out. “Yes, now, since the disaster of 1945, the whole world speaks about nothing but our real or supposed atrocities. Don’t I remember the wireless in London spouting out the vilest calumnies against us, in shops,

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in restaurants, wherever I went, on my arrival from India in 1946, — during the infamous Nuremberg trial! Don’t I remember that culmination of a long-drawn campaign of lies! And what about the crimes of the anti-Nazis, before and especially since 1945? What about the atrocities of those ‘fighters for the rights of man’, damned hypocritical swine, the lot of them? What about their air raids upon Germany, to speak of something you all know: two hundred thousand civilians killed in Hamburg in one hellish night; twenty-two thousand in a small place like Düren, on the 16th of November, 1944; over thirty thousand in Koblenz on the 22nd of the same month; nearly half a million in Dresden on the 13th February, 1945, and so forth . . . Tell me: if that is not ‘beastly behaviour’, what is?”

There was silence. Even the woman formerly interned in Ravensbrück did not dare answer me, for fear of what the others might say. I felt that I had practically won the discussion, with that precise reference to the phosphorus horror that these women had all undergone. More so: I felt that I would win as many discussions as I liked in Germany, with that argument in support of my thesis; that the Allied bombers, quite definitely (although quite unwillingly) had given grist to my propaganda mill for the rest of my life.

“And if you say that this was an unavoidable calamity of total war, and can in a way be understood, if not, of course, excused,” pursued I, with increased assurance; “if it is not beastly enough to condemn these bastards, what about the less well-known but no less real horrors of the anti-Nazi concentration camps, after the war, and up to this day, not only under the Russians but here in western Germany also? What about the treatment inflicted upon innocent men and women, all these years, in

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places like Schwarzenborn and Darmstadt, for no other reason that they were National Socialists? I know some who have died, in these and other camps of horror, tortured mostly by Jews, under Allied supervision; I know one in Koblenz, — one of the finest characters I have ever met — who is dying, after three and a half years of martyrdom; who was beaten, starved, made to lie, shivering with fever, in a freezing cold cell. And there are thousands of others whose health has been, ruined forever. Is that not ‘beastly behaviour’ on the part of the Democrats, who pretend to give us ‘lessons’? Their lessons! Their ‘re-education’ schemes and what not! They are not fit to give ‘lessons’ to the wild man eating tribes of Africa (if there still be any), let alone to us, their superiors; to us who at least are not liars.”

Several of my hearers were now inclined to take my side. But the coarse-looking blonde and two or three others (who, like her, I was afterwards told, had spent some time in concentration camps during the great days) and the woman on my right, remained decidedly prejudiced against me. They gave me glances of undisguised enmity. The woman on my right spoke. “That’s all very well,” said she, turning to me; “we know you people are not liars; we know it too well, in fact. We know to what extremes of brutality you can go, in action and not merely in speech; for I am sorry to tell you that the Allied atrocities, during and after the war, revolting as they might be, do not excuse those of your precious pals. Mind you, I do not speak of you, personally; you are a foreigner; you have admired the National Socialist ideology for years; you have identified yourself with it; and you have the courage to come and support it the best way you can, here, in the land of its birth, after the war, when the whole world is against it. That is one thing.

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Behaving as your pals did is another. You were not here, then, and you don’t know what went on in their concentration camps. We were in them; we had friends in them; we know. You seem to be hurt because you are not given a cell in the D wing. You think it is an honour to be there. I tell you, you don’t know those of the D wing; you have no idea of the things they did . . .”

My heart started beating faster, as though I felt the woman would say something that I could not possibly hear without flying at her. Already she had said too much. Even more still, perhaps, than her verdict upon my comrades, her hasty reservations as regards me; her confidence that I was surely more “humane” than they, irritated me as an insult in disguise, — all the worse if it was intended to be a compliment. What was there in me that made her feel so cocksure about it at first sight?

“What did they do, which I would not have done — or which you believe I would not have done?” asked I, speaking slowly, in a tone of provocation. “I don’t mean, of course, those who worked for money, or out of fear, being themselves internees promoted to certain minor posts when the camps were understaffed; I speak of the genuine ones — my equals and my superiors!”

“The genuine ones?” replied the woman. “All right; you shall know. Take for example that one who works in the infirmary . . .”

My heart beat still a little faster: the prisoner was referring to my beloved H. E. As though to make it quite clear to me, a woman who had been silent up till then called out: “You mean E., don’t you, not the other one?” (For two so-called “war criminals” worked in the infirmary.)

“Naturally, I mean E.,” said the speaker. (In Werl, the prisoners were all called by their surnames, save by

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their close friends.) “She is ‘genuine’ enough, isn’t she? Well, you might or might not know that she was three years a member of the staff in Auschwitz; and next to the head of the camp, mind you; no mere wardress. I was not there myself, but somebody who was there six years, and who is now here, told me that she saw that woman, one day that she had lost her temper, flog a wounded prisoner until the poor thing was bleeding from top to toe, and then pull off her bandages, flesh and all. She saw it herself, she told me. She said that had anyone reported it to her, she would not have believed it.”

I did not believe it. I knew from the start that it was another of those innumerable lies that I was condemned to hear until my comrades would come back to power, one day, and silence the slanderers once and for all. I knew it was a lie, not because the alleged action was gruesome; but because it was a pointless, a useless action; not because I thought my dear friend H. E. incapable of murderous violence — on the contrary, I sincerely hoped she was capable of it, if necessary — but because I believed her to be too thoroughly and too intelligently National Socialist to allow herself to be guided by anything else but considerations of impersonal expediency.

“Another time,” said I, sarcastically, “you should cook up a cleverer story than this one, if you wish to impress people who have heard as many lies as I have.”

“But it is not a story; it is true,” insisted the woman; “true, and horrible enough!”

“Well,” said I, “let us put it another way. Let me tell you that, if that person whom you mention had killed her alleged victim, and cut her up in bits, and eaten the bits with mustard sauce, still I could not care less. Are you satisfied, now?”

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The woman got up, and left the table. So did two or three others, among them the coarse-looking blonde.

“You should be careful about what you say, here in the recreation room,” said one of the remaining prisoners. “Things get repeated, and work their way to the Governor’s ears. Especially that woman whom you just spoke to, you don’t know what a nasty type she is. Fortunately she is going away the day after tomorrow or so. She has finished her term.”

“What is she here for?” I ventured to ask.

“Abortion,” answered the other prisoner. “She was, formerly, in some camp for the same offence. So were those two who looked at you in such a way and got up. The third one was in too, but for selling on the black market, during the war. And I was told that she is half Jewish, although she does not look it.”

“No, a quarter only,” put in another woman, who joined the conversation. “I know: one who knows her has told me; it is her grandmother, who was a Jewess, not her mother.”

“It is just the same.” replied I, with obvious contempt for such subtle discriminations.

“Quite right!” remarked the woman who had spoken first. Then, after a while, taking me aside, she said: “You know, I understand you. I too . . .” She probably wanted to say: “I too, am a National Socialist.”

I looked at her, a little sceptical, and then thought: “Who knows? Perhaps she speaks the truth?”

“Do you really mean it?’’ I asked the woman.

But before she had time to answer me, the door was opened; the wardress on duty appeared at the threshold. We were taken back to our cells.

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* * *
I lay upon my bed, but did not go to sleep for a long time. I thought of these women with whom I had spent two hours; of the discussion I had had with them; of those who were against me, and of those who seemed sympathetic. But even the sympathetic ones were lukewarm; I felt that the great cause for which I lived exclusively was only the second or third concern in their lives, if that. Even that last one who had spoken to me somehow did not seem to me to be genuine . . . “Oh,” thought I, “if only I were in the D wing, with my comrades!”

I thought of the last afternoon H. E. and H. B. had spent in my cell; I recalled all that they had told me of the atrocious treatment inflicted by the Allied Military Police, in 1945, upon them and especially upon the S.S. men in charge of the Belsen camp — men whom I imagined handsome and strong; fearless, disinterested; absolutely devoted to our Führer and to our cause; Nazis like myself, and a hundred times better than myself. And I recalled the words I had spoken from the depth of my heart, in answer to that evocation of horror: “‘They’ have thrown you to the Jews. May I, one day, be given the power and the opportunity to throw ‘them’ to torturers of Mongolian blood!” Then, I suddenly remembered that the next day — the 9th of April — was the day on which the irresistible Mongol, Kaidu, had crushed the coalesced forces of Christendom at the battle of Leignitz, in 1241, exactly 708 years before. “The Aryan race was then united (more or less) in the Christian faith,” thought I; “But now, pretending to champion the obsolete Christian values, the whole West has consented to become the tool of the Jews, and to fight and persecute us, the sole upholders of the eternal values of Aryandom. What if, when the Mongols come again, we were on their side — for the sake of expediency?” It might seem

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— and perhaps it was — a mad thought. But after all why not? I would not be worse than allying ourselves with the judaised plutocracies of the West, as I had once told Mr. Stocks.

I remembered the half-historical half-philosophical book I had begun, a year before: The Lightning and the Sun. I had not written a word of it since December, 1948. Now, I sat at my table, pulled the manuscript out of the drawer and, (for once, instead of writing my Gold in the Furnace) continued the Chapter 4, about the birth of Genghis Khan.

The wardress on duty — who was “in order” and who liked me — kindly left the light on in my cell till eleven o’clock.

* * *
Days passed. My new cell, much narrower than the first one (it was not wide enough for me to stretch out both my arms completely, from one wall to the other) presented at least the advantage of having one transparent windowpane, through which I could see the sky. Like the first one, only facing the south instead of the west, it looked over the inner courtyard around which the prisoners used to walk, two by two, during their “free hour.” The D wing used to go out with a part of the A wing; the rest of the A wing used to join the B wing; and the C wing — the most numerous, for many of the larger cells there used to accommodate three prisoners instead of one — went out alone.

Standing upon my table, my face against the one transparent windowpane, I gazed at my comrades of the D wing during their free time. I gazed at them as an exile gazes at the hills and fields of home, across the forbidden frontier; or as a young girl, forced to become a

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nun, gazes from behind the windows of the cloister at the forbidden world in which she has left her heart. And I idealised them. There was naturally an abyss between them and the other prisoners, the proper delinquents of all descriptions. And my ardent imagination broadened it. Most of the D wing prisoners were innocent women made to suffer for the mere fact of having held responsible posts in the coercive machinery of the Third Reich. Some, like H. E. were sincere, selfless idealists, real National Socialists. Not being given the opportunity to know who was who, I looked upon them all as real National Socialists. And my love transfigured them. Tears dropped from my eyes as I watched them walk around and around the courtyard in their dark blue jackets. To be with them appeared to me nearly as good as being free — even better, in a way; for not only would I have contributed to keep up the Nazi morale among them, but I probably would have heard, from them, more facts damaging to our enemies than from most free Germans; and I could have collected these in a special book. (That was, indeed, thought I, what the Governor feared.)

H. E. who nearly always walked by the side of the same lovely blonde, sometimes looked up to my window. I then stretched out my arm and saluted her. On her daily morning visits, she used to tell me to be patient. Perhaps things would change, with time. Already the whole D wing was protesting to Frau Oberin against the decision that had thrown me among the ordinary criminals. And I used to put my arms around her neck and rest my head upon her shoulder and tell her: “At least, I have you, five minutes a day — you, who represent so much in my eyes; and I have my book, which I am writing. It is something, you know that they did not

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destroy that! A true miracle.” And I often added: “I wish I could read to you, in Chapter 6, all that which I wrote about your last days in Belsen, from what you told me yourself.”

H. E. promised me she would try to come one Sunday afternoon, when Frau So-and-so would be on duty.

As for my own daily free time in the courtyard, it was dull, to say the least; and often depressing. So much so that, had it not been for the sake of walking in the sunshine a few minutes, and breathing a little fresh air, I would never have left my cell at all — or I would have gone out once or twice a week at the most. The company of my own thoughts, of my remembrances, of my few books, was more pleasant to me than that of the great number of the ordinary delinquents who, as I have said already, spoke about nothing but trifles, or gossiped about one another, and seemed incapable of holding an interesting conversation more than once. And yet, I had something to learn from them. In those dreary walks around the courtyard, twice a day, in company of the coarsest and commonest elements of Germany, I learnt how to discern many good qualities under the layer of selfishness, callousness and vulgarity that life — and more specially postwar life — had set over them. Among them were good-looking, healthy and strong women, who would have remained or become useful mothers, had the National Socialist régime lasted; had the wretched conditions created in Germany by defeat, not forced them into an unnatural life. “My Führer would understand and forgive their weaknesses,” thought I; “He would love them in spite of all, for they are daughters of his people, and they have suffered.” And I loved them too, — save, of course, those who, having already taken to criminal life during the great days, had brought punishment

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upon themselves, then, and who bitterly hated our régime. Still, I could not help resenting my banishment from the D wing.

I would have liked to talk to the woman who had last spoken to me so sympathetically in the recreation room. Somehow, she did not seem keen to be with me during the “free hour.” She took her place in the row, always by the side of the same other prisoner, and merely greeted me occasionally in the corridor with a “Guten Tag!” which I returned. The first question put to me by practically every woman with whom I walked around was the same: “What sort of food do you get, you who are a ‘Britisher’?” It was natural, for they were all hungry; and they also all had complaints about the poor quality of their food, no less than about its quantity. H. E. whose diet was exactly the same as theirs, and whom I could trust to speak the truth, had told me that they all were “fed like pigs” — or rather worse, since pigs are generally given enough to eat, if not more than enough.

I felt ashamed to mention my white bread, porridge and orange jam, as I could not give them any. But the women seemed to know all about it — probably from the prisoners who used to help the wardresses on duty in distributing the food. I spoke of my midday meals, which were as tasteless as anything, being composed of potatoes and other vegetables (nearly always cabbage and carrots) merely boiled. The women showed a certain surprise at such austerity: “But we thought you British subjects were given meat with your vegetables,” said they.

“I never eat meat,” replied I: “never ate any, in fact. And I would not eat vegetables mixed with gravy. I told the Governor, when I came.”

To my great satisfaction, I had not to put up with the endless silly “why?”s and “wherefore?”s that the

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mere mention of my abhorrence of animal flesh used to, provoke, as a rule, even among “intellectuals” — perhaps especially among “intellectuals” — of democratic upbringing. These simple women, brought up in the rigid discipline of our régime, were far less interfering, far more tolerant, far more liberal than most upholders of “individual freedom” that I have met. Not one even tried to force unto me the man-centred moral outlook which she might have had herself. The only comment that one of them once made was: “I know two other people who, like you, never eat meat. And they both have your views, too.”

But the women often asked me what I did with my extra white bread: “I give it to Sister Maria, for the sick ones,” I used to answer, concealing, out of tactfulness, the fact that I preferred to give my white bread to H. E. and to my genuine comrades of the D wing. One of the prisoners to whom I had once thus spoken, burst out, with undisguised resentment: “Sister Maria? I’d bet you anything that she eats it herself — or shares it with her darlings! The sick ones don’t see the colour of it, I tell you.”

“What makes you think that?” asked I, trying to look only casually interested. “And first, whom do you mean by ‘her darlings’?”

“Whom I mean? Why, those two who work, at the Infirmary, of course; the E., woman, especially, — she is the favourite of all the staff, from the Oberin downwards, and Sister Maria’s more than anyone else’s; and Frau So-and-so’s, naturally. And not she alone: all the ‘war criminals’ are. They seem to think them wonderful; while they treat us, ordinary delinquents, like dogs.”

It was painful to me to detect in this woman — as I had in many others — that bitter hostility towards the so-called

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“war criminals.” “Jealousy, no doubt; thought I, “nothing but jealousy.” And I did not reply. The woman did not like my silence. She understood that, in my heart, I took the side of my comrades. “And you too, seem to think them wonderful probably because they have your views — or because you think they have,” she pursued; “well, you can go and report what I said, if it pleases you; I don’t care!”

“I am a fighter, not an informer,” replied I with pride; “I would, no doubt, denounce a person if it were my duty — that is to say, if we were in power, and if the matter were serious; but now, and for trifles like this? No; I have better things to do.”

Other women would tell me, during the “free hour,” all that was going on in the prison. “You know, that one in that corner cell up there; stout, with brown, wavy hair; Emma, they call her . . .”

“Well, what about her?”

“She has again caught eight days of ‘Hausarrest’. And that dark Polish woman with short frizzy hair, also.”

“Why?”

“For dropping love letters to the men and for answering rudely to Frau Erste, (the matron). The Pole is always getting caught for writing love letters. She also calls out obscene words in her language, when men cross the courtyard, for there are plenty of Poles among them. She is mad on men.”

I was not vaguely interested. I used to answer something — make some anodyne remark — simply for the sake of courtesy.

But once one of those who seemed to know the life history of nearly every inmate of the “Frauen Haus,” took to talking to me about another Pole, or so-called so.

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“You have never met that one,” said she “for she is in the A wing. But all the ‘old’ ones, like myself, know her, for she has been here a long time. Formerly, she spent six years in Auschwitz for doing I don’t know what against the Hitler Government . . .”

“Six years in Auschwitz,” thought I; “why, she must be the one whose statement was reported to me in the recreation roost; the one who slandered my Friend H. E. . . .”

I was interested, this time; and very much so. “What about her?” asked I, preparing to listen with all my attention.

“Well,” replied the prisoner, “she can’t bear men: she likes women. And you’d never guess what she did last year, at Christmas time, when we are a little freer than usually . . .”

“What?” enquired I.

“Well, there was then another one who also liked women, (she is out, now.) So they managed to get together and . . .”

The woman described to me, in full detail, one of the filthiest perverted sexual performances of which I have ever heard — something too disgusting to be written in black on white. “And they were caught,” she added; “and dear me what a row it made! . . .”

“The female should never have come out of Auschwitz,” said I, with a feeling of nausea. “One who can do such a dirty thing as that, for ‘pleasure’ does not deserve to live!” And after a pause, I could not help adding: “Indeed, it is refreshing to hear that such a bitch has worked against us. I always said: those anti-Nazis are the scum of the earth!”

“One has to agree that many are,” replied the woman. However, they are not all like this Pole.

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“Perhaps. But one could not find a single such depraved specimen among us,” said I with genuine pride. “No sexually debased man or woman, no unclean person of any description, can be a National Socialist. Of that, I am absolutely sure.”

I could not help being impressed by the enormous proportion of Poles and Czechs imprisoned at Werl for theft, complicity in theft or burglary, black-marketeering, and . . . abortion. The greatest number of German women with whom I came in contact during the “free hour” were also there for abortion. Every time they thought it was possible . . . they tried to lessen their guilt in my eyes, and sometimes, they succeeded in doing so. “It is not our fault; it is the fault of those swine,” one told me, speaking of the Allied occupants. “In 1945, in 1946, even in 1947, it was terrible, out here. There was nothing to eat. Our girls used to go with those brutes for a slice of bread — or a packet of cigarettes, that bought much more. And not for their own stomachs, most of the time, but for the sake of their starving families. They often became pregnant, and then called us to ‘help’ them . . .”

I thought of those fine German girls who had been healthy and happy Hitler-maidens a few years before . . . And tears filled my eyes. “Avenge that unutterable misery, and avenge that shame, invisible Lord!” I prayed within my heart, looking to the cloudless sky. And, turning once more to the woman, I said: “You are right; it is the fault of those swine; and still more the fault of those who brought about the downfall of National Socialism: the fault of the traitors, here in Germany; of the Jews and of the slaves of the Jews, all over the world.”

“But things are changing,” the woman pursued;

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“and the Allies are the first ones to find it out, whether they like it or not. Those very men we lay with for a packet of cigarettes in ’45, we would not touch with a pair of tongs, now that we are no longer starving. Every their officers we loathe. We want our own men.”

“You are quite right,” said I, sincerely wishing that she spoke the truth.

“I myself don’t approve of abortion,” continued the prisoner, coming back to her first topic. “I might be guilty of it, but I know it is not right. But on the other hand, what is one to do with so many children in times like this? And they come, sometimes, whatever people do to avoid them. What do you say?”

It was difficult to express what I thought — not because I had strange views on the subject (I had, on the contrary, exactly the same views as any other National Socialist) but because I had not the slightest experience of the problems, of the difficulties, of the daily conflicts of what is supposed to be “life”; because, in fact, I had never had a personal life nor even desired to have one, and could not, therefore, buttress my views with arguments as convincing as those another person would have used. I felt that, whatever I said would remain abstract; would sound like a party catechism, although it would not be just that. However, this could not be helped. And I spoke. “On principle, I strongly condemn abortion save when it aims at getting rid of the undesirable product of some shameful union,” said I. And I explained: “By ‘shameful union’ I mean the union of a man and woman of different races, or of whom one at least is a sick person or a weakling. In practice, of course,” — I added — “if abortion were carried on among the inferior races, it would not matter much (although I would prefer to limit their numbers by

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other means). But it is surely a crime to destroy a potential child of pure Aryan blood; to refuse a place in the world to a soul that the heavenly Powers had deemed worthy to take birth amidst the highest form of humanity. I know that, as you say, times are hard. And I know that this Allied Government will do nothing to make them less so; nor will the puppet so-called German Government that will, sooner or later, take its place. But the real national Government that will come back, one day, will help the healthy families of pure blood, just as it did in the past.”

“Yes,” said the woman. “And I wish to goodness that it comes back as quickly as possible. But what are we to do in the meantime?”

“Struggle in silence; hope and wait,” replied I. “What else can one do?”

The woman had already asked me, another day, if I had any children, and I had told her that I had none. She now looked at me sceptically, as though to say: “It is all very easy in theory. But I would like to hear what you would say if you had a family of seven, and were expecting the eighth, and had nothing to give them to eat,” (which was, she had told me, the case of one of the women whom in her euphemistic language she had actually “helped”).

And we talked of something else.

Other women would tell me about their private affairs, — their husbands, their children, their lovers, their neighbours and their mothers-in-law. One, who had accompanied me several times during the “free hour” was a woman of twenty-six who had already three children from her husband and who was expecting a fourth one from another man. “He has left me for another woman,” she one day told me; “so what could I

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do? I found this man, who is much nicer than he was, and who will marry me, when I get out of this place; he will take the children too, he says. (They are now at my mother’s.) And he writes to me; and such loving letters!”

I was bored. Rut I was thinking to myself: “Twenty-six, now, in 1949. So she must have been sixteen at the outbreak of the war; and ten in 1933. She must remember . . . I wonder what the great days meant to her; what they mean to her now . . .” And turning to my companion I said: “I sincerely wish you every happiness with the man you love. Personally, all I want is to see the Hitler days come back; more so: all I want is to see the Führer’s spirit rule not only Germany, but the world, forever and ever . . .” And I imagined myself coming back, one day, to a new National Socialist Germany, a resurrected Germany, who would open her arms to me. And I was happy in anticipation, and smiled.

But the woman had not listened to my last words. “The Hitler days,” said she, with utmost naturalness: “and who does not want them to come back? I do for one. We were all so happy, then. We had plenty to eat. And although we worked hard, we worked in joy. And we had plenty of fun, too. I remember my months of compulsory labour — the best time in my life. There was a camp of youngsters not far from the place we were. And we used to meet them whenever we could. You have no idea what lovely, handsome young men they were! There were three, especially, who liked me; and . . .”

“It is always the same,” thought I, thrilled for the millionth time at the evocation of that tremendous collective labour effort in the midst of songs and merriment, and yet a little depressed; “it is always the same: speaking

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of the great days, nine people out of ten tell me: ‘They were splendid because, then, we enjoyed ourselves’, while only one says: ‘They were splendid because, then, we were building a new world, founded upon health and truth’. Oh, how I wish all my Führer’s people; how I wish all the Aryan race could feel as that one! But I suppose the new spirit cannot permeate them all in a day. Great changes in depth take time.” And turning to the pretty young woman who walked by my side, I told her: “One day, the revenge will come, and then, days even more glorious than those you witnessed. For the Führer is alive.” And as I said that, I imagined, travelling through radiant space in which there are no barriers, subtle, silent waves, preparing, slowly and surely, in the realm of the invisible, by which all things visible are conditioned, the return of our beloved Hitler.

But the young woman said simply: “Of course, he is alive.”

“How do you know it?” asked I, genuinely surprised at the unhesitating naturalness of her remark. “Who told you?”

She answered, equally surprised at my question: “Why, everybody knows it!”

We continued to walk around the courtyard, and for a while, we did not speak. Above us, around us, all over Germany, all over the world, the subtle waves were patiently continuing their unseen play; preparing “the Day for freedom and for bread” in their unexpected manner, with mathematical accuracy.

But the “free hour” was over. We stood in two rows, and, beginning at one end, each one of us called out: one, two, etc., — the number of her place — a formality that we went through each time, so that the two

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wardresses who accompanied us might know that none of us was missing. While this was going on, I heard the young woman who had walked by my side call to another one who stood not far from us in the row behind mine: “Irmchen, eh, Irmchen! Don’t forget to come to the recreation room this evening. I’ll show you the letter my Fritz has written to me!”

* * *
I did not go to the recreation room. Instead, I continued writing Chapter 8 of my Gold in the Furnace, which I had just begun.

Before she went home, Frau Oberin came to any cell. She often came. And I was always glad to see her. Although she had never yet said a word from which I could infer that she was in sympathy with my views, she had managed to gain my confidence. I felt I could tell her practically anything I liked. She would never do any harm to me or to any one of us.

“Your cell is rather small,” said she, that evening, after she had returned my greeting. “As soon as there is a larger one available, I shall put you there.” And she asked me in a most friendly manner: “You are not too unhappy here, anyhow?”

“I suppose I should not be, since I can write, thanks to your kindness,” said I. “Still . . .”

“Still what?” enquired Frau Oberin.

I put forth the grievance I had in vain tried to conceal several days. “Oh, do put me in the D wing!” exclaimed I; “Do! You don’t know how depressing the contact with this lot of prisoners is to me, at times! I have nothing to say against them, but I cannot talk to them as I would to those of the D wing.”

“You would like to have the pleasure of indoctrinating

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the D wing ones, wouldn’t you?” said Frau Oberin with a mischievous smile.

“I hope they do not need indoctrinating,” replied I unhesitatingly. “I hope indeed they are as good National Socialists as myself. I would just like to enjoy some interesting talks, if I am to talk at all. If not . . .”

“Listen,” said Frau Oberin, kindly interrupting me, “nobody, I believe, understands you, here, better than I do, and nobody is more willing than I am to make your life tolerable. I would give you a cell in the D wing straightaway, if only I could. But I don’t give orders, here, as you have perhaps already guessed. I have to consult the German head of the prison, who is also the Public Prosecutor, in whatever I do. And above him is the British Governor . . . It is the latter himself who has expressly forbidden us to allow you to have any contact with the so-called ‘war criminals’.” And she tried to make me understand that, technically, I was not in the same category as they. “You see” she explained “you are a proper political prisoner, while these women are here for having inflicted ill-treatment upon internees in concentration camps or for having been found guilty of such similar offences as are now classified as ‘crimes against humanity’. You have never done things of that nature.”

“Only because I never had an opportunity,” replied I. (And from the intonation of my voice, it was — I hope — evident that I meant every word I said.) “Crimes against humanity,” I repeated, full of contempt for the hypocrisy this expression reveals on the part of those who coined it; “only when we Nazis do them are acts of violence thus labelled. When the Democrats do them, in the interest of the Jews, they are acts of justice!”

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“You always seem to forget that we have lost the war,” said Frau Oberin, with sudden sadness, and bitter irony. She talked to me as though I were a German. And in fact, I myself often forgot that I am not one.

“But again, why does the Governor insist that I should be separated from my comrades?” asked I, coming back to the point. “What difference does it make if they and I did not do exactly the same things? We all worked for the same cause.”

“You idealise the D wing ones,” said Frau Oberin.

“They are not all ardent National Socialists as you seem to think. Some never had any politics at all, and just obeyed orders — any orders — just because they were in service.”

“Whatever they be,” replied I, “they are victims of this hated Democracy; victims of our enemies. They have suffered for the cause I love — even those, if any, who do not love it as much as I do; even those who, at the time, might have been indifferent to it. Therefore I love them. Oh, do put me with them! How will the Governor find out? I could remain here, in this cell, so that he would see me here when he inspects the place on Friday mornings; and I could, if you allowed me, spend my ‘Free hour’ with the D wing ones and go to the recreation room with them. Why not? Put yourself in my place!”

“I do put myself in your place,” said Frau Oberin softly and sadly. “I have already told you, nobody here understands you better than I do. Still: don’t insist, for you only make my position more painful to me. I cannot do what you ask me, however much I would like to. Things of that sort always leak out. I would lose my job and not get another. And I cannot afford to risk that: life is already too difficult for us all. But I shall

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do all I can to make your life here less dull. I was, for instance, thinking of asking the Governor to allow you to give the other prisoners, now and, then, a lecture about your travels in India and other places. I am sure they would all enjoy it. Perhaps it could be arranged. Today, I have come to tell you of one prisoner who is a little less coarse than most of the others and who, having heard of your academic qualifications, is keen on meeting you.”

“Who is she?”

“A Polish woman. I might as well tell you at once she is definitely anti-Nazi, as most Poles are. But she is somewhat cultured. There are plenty of subjects about which one can talk with her. She speaks both French and English, apart from German and, of course, her own language. Would you care to meet her? I would at least make a diversion for you.”

“I did not come to Germany to meet Polish women and to talk French and English,” thought I. Yet, something told me I had perhaps better accept Frau Oberin’s suggestion. Who could tell? The Polish woman might, indirectly, prove useful, in one way or another. So I accepted. And Frau Oberin left me with a kind word.

The next morning, the Oberwachtmeisterin ushered the woman into my cell. “I hope you will be friends,” said she, smiling. But she was far too perspicacious not to know all the time that we could never be friends. There was irony in her words and greater irony still in her smile. Apparently, she knew me better than, hitherto, Frau Oberin did.

I generally used to leave the Führer’s portrait upon my table from six o’clock in the evening — the time all the cells were definitely shut for the night — to the time I woke up and got ready, the following morning. However,

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on that morning, I had somehow forgotten to hide it. It was there like a visible, living presence. And it was too late to hide it now. Moreover, why hide it, Frau S., — whom I was beginning to love more and more — had already seen it several times in its hiding place, and did not seem to object to it in the least. (She had told me of the beautiful large one that she had herself, in her house, during the great days, and that she had burnt, out of fear, “when the Americans had come.”) The wardress on duty, a very amiable blonde, one hundred percent “in order,” did not object either. The Polish woman probably objected. But it was all the same to me whether she did or not.

She was moderately tall, thin, red-haired, neither good-looking nor downright plain. As soon as the door was shut, she sat down and introduced herself. She was a real Pole, she told me — not a Jewess. She had remained in Germany after the end of the war, afraid to go home, she said, on account of the Communists whom she did not like. And she had been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for black marketeering. She admitted she had done wrong, but half-excused herself by saying that times were so hard that it was very difficult to live honestly. Anyhow, her time had now come to be sent back to Poland, and she was in a fix as to what she was to do. She did not like being in Werl. The food, especially, did not agree with her. But even so, to remain there would be better than to get caught by the Communists and to be packed off to some concentration camp . . . The mere mention of Communism seemed to scare her out of her wits. And the more I listened to her talk, the more I despised her, for I had been told that she was anti-Nazi. I detest anti-Nazis of any description; but I despise those who are at the same time anti-Communists.

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Such people have no sense of reality, or they simply do not know what they want.

“I believe there are many Poles who, like you, hate Communism,” said I.

The woman, who had come knowing what I am (she told me so herself a little later) thought she had found, between herself and me, a ground of agreement. “Not ‘many’ but all real Poles hate Communism especially now that they suffered under it,” said she; “All, I honestly tell you,” she insisted, “save a handful of traitors who profit by it. And these are mostly Jews.”

My contempt for her reached its limit — for I find inconsistency sickening. “And why didn’t those real Poles join us, during the war, if they are as thoroughly as you say against the Reds?” asked I, sarcastically. “If my memory does not fail me, the Führer had once proposed them an alliance, which they were foolish enough to refuse, preferring a pact with England — who, incidentally, let them down. Or is it that they woke up too late in the day, when the Reds, — who by then had become England’s ‘gallant allies’ — were already there? Many people seem to wake up late in the day, also outside Poland.”

The woman could not have felt too comfortable between Hitler’s portrait, on the table by my side, and the lashing of my merciless tongue. As for myself, I suddenly had the impression that this sort of conversation could well take place in some police office of occupied Europe, under our resurrected New Order, — provided my comrades would, then, have the good idea of using me in the repression services; and provided, too, that I, once in service, had still a little time to waste. (“And why should they not employ me, then, after all?” though I in a flash. “I am sincere, radical, incorruptible — reliable —

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and would enjoy such work. I also know a few languages. I might lack a little diplomacy; but