by Savitri Devi
Edited by R.G. Fowler
Illustration: Adolf Hitler
If you know the name of the portrait painter, please contact the Archivist.
Savitri Devi’s For Ever and Ever . . . is a book of sixteen “prose poems” written in 1952-53. (From this point on, I am going to “modernize” the spelling of the title to Forever and Ever and drop the ellipses.)
Forever and Ever is one of three books left unpublished at the time of Savitri’s death. The others are Hart wie Kruppstahl (Hard as Steel), written 1960-63, a tribute to German National Socialists before and after the Second World War, and Tyrtée l’Athenien (Tyrtaios the Athenian), a novel set in ancient Greece, written circa 1964-68, but not finished.
These books were thought lost, but were preserved by a French friend of Savitri, who informed the Archive of their existence on 13 April 2006.
Still unknown is the fate of a fourth unfinished book, Ironies et paradoxes dans l’histoire et la légende (Ironies and Paradoxes in History and Legend), begun in 1979 but abandoned after one and a half chapters due to Savitri’s deteriorating eyesight.
On 2 September 2006, the Archive received a photocopy of the typescript of Forever and Ever. To be more precise, we received a typescript of 65 pages (three unnumbered front pages, plus 62 numbered pages) comprising the first fifteen of the sixteen poems. Fortunately, multiple copies of the final poem, “1953” (“And Time Rolls On . . . ”) survive, and the poem has already been published.
To celebrate Savitri Devi’s 101st birthday, 30 September 2006, the Archive will publish Forever and Ever one poem at a time.
The first poem, “1918,” is below. But first a few words about the pages that come before it. The title page reads FOR EVER AND EVER . . . By SAVITRI DEVI (PDF). The second page bears the dedication “To A.H.,” which needs no elaboration (PDF). The third page bears the epigraph of the book: “Wenn alle untreu werden, So bleiben wir doch treu . . .” (“When all become unfaithful, We remain faithful still . . .”), the first two lines of Max von Schenkendorf’s 1814 “Treuelied,” which was adopted by the SS (PDF). Then follows “1918” itself.
There may, however, be a page or two missing from the manuscript. After the fifth poem is a page bearing the words “DAYS OF GLORY . . .” (PDF). After the tenth poem is a page bearing the words “DAYS OF HORROR.” (PDF). These pages divide the book into three sections. There is, however, no corresponding title page before the first poem. If such a page existed, however, judging from the other pages, the title it bore probably began with the words “DAYS OF.” It is, furthermore, possible that there was a fourth section of the manuscript, since the final poem,“1953,” may have been placed in its own separate section.
In transcribing and editing these poems for publication, I have translated the German epigraphs, corrected any spelling and grammatical errors, and “Americanized” and updated the spelling. I have not altered Savitri’s sometimes eccentric capitalization practices. Nor have I altered her punctuation, although I have pruned her sometimes long ellipses down to three dots each. I provide PDF images of the manuscript for those who wish to check my editing or bypass it altogether. Just click the title of each poem.
—R. G. Fowler
“Es war also alles umsonst gewesen. Umsonst all die Opfer und Entbehrungen, umsonst der Hunger und Durst von manchmal endlosen Monaten, vergeblich die Stunden, in denen wir, von Todesangst umkrallt, dennoch unsere Pflicht taten, und vergeblich der Tod von zwei Millionen, die dabei starben.”
—Mein Kampf, 1939 edition, pp. 223-241
Hail, Thou exalted One, Whom I have never seen; maker of a new world—my Leader!
From the dawn of Time, in ceaseless aspiration, I sought Thee, I, the undying Soul of higher mankind, strong and fair. I sought Thee in exile, and slavery and shame, unable to forget the glorious destiny befitting me in spite of all. From age to age, along the path that leads to certain death, I turned around to contemplate an everlasting dream; and all my being leaped towards the Savior and the Lord Who was not there, but Who would come, one day, and set me free, and give me back the wings of youth; towards Thee, beloved Leader, Whose name no one yet knew.
When wouldst Thou come? Hundreds of years rolled by; new Kingdoms rose and fought, and in the mist, of time, slowly withered away; and gods changed names. One thing remained: the unpolluted stream of divine blood within the veins of the Gods’ chosen people, and the dim consciousness in these of a great duty to fulfill. When wouldst Thou come? From age to age, in the deep slumber of prosperity, again and again I call Thee. But the bright sky was dead and dumb.
When once more all was lost, when all lay in the dust, when songs of hate echoed across the sacred Rhine, then didst Thou come—unknown; alone; out of the millions who awaited Thee; just one of them and nothing more, apparently; but one of them in whom the betrayed gods of Aryandom lived and suffered and shone; one of them in Whose voice, the voice of the exalted Race of heroes dead in vain was soon to speak; and one in Whom the chosen lords of Earth, brothers of the immortal Youth, Baldur the Fair, were soon to hail their own invincibility. My Leader,—our Leader—Thou was there, somewhere, unnoticed, on a bed of pain. But it was not the torment of the body—the maddening torture of Thy burning eyes, blinded by poisonous gas;—it was not even the atrocious threat of possible unending night, that gripped Thy heart in agony. It was the news of the betrayal of Thy country, the humiliation of surrender, and the thought of all those who had died in vain in four long years. Oh, how the vision of their day to day dutiful sacrifice haunted Thy sleepless nights!
Thou laidst in mental agony a thousand times more horrid than any torture of the flesh. And from Thy blinded aching eyes, tears of powerless rage, tears of shame inexpressible, of boundless love and hate, rolled forth. No heart was torn as Thy great heart over the tragic fate of the millions whose blood was Thine—and mine; for indeed it was the same: Aryan blood.
Out of hunger and strife and devilish deceit, a new tremendous Power was taking shape in the bleak East. While on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, the entire West, in childish glee, danced to the sound of drunken tunes, insulting Thy defeated people. Thou feltst the knife-thrust of their spiteful gaiety hundreds of miles away, wile all round Thee Thou couldst but see Thy people’s hunger and despair, and bitterness in harsh revolt against an unjust fate, against the accusing lies of a whole world.
And at that feeling, and at that sight, Thy ardent, bleeding heart aches with more love and with more hate—love for Thy martyred Nation, Thy greater Self, Whose life mattered alone; fathomless love, to which no sacrifice would ever be too great, no price too high if it could buy freedom and resurrection; hate for the workers of disaster, for those aliens whose cunning and whose wealth had long deceived and bribed the whole ignorant world, and turned the West against the best of its own flesh and blood.
And love and hate made Thee the Man who was to be—the Leader long awaited. The world was soon to see, through Thee, Thy people free; through Thee, the chosen blood protected and united within the growing Realm; through Thee, the god-like youth marching along the highways, with songs of conquest, in the morning sun.
But I, Thy follower, Thy worshipped to be, Thy seeker through the gloom of Time, had not yet heard Thy name. Not far beyond the moving frontiers of the Realm, I awaited Thee unknowingly, deeming myself to be a thirteen year-old maiden, while many centuries of age indeed I was; while before my dark eyes, fair shadows of a radiant past appeared and disappeared, reminding me of a forgotten world; foretelling me the glory of Thy great world to come.
And to the ugly crowd of liars and of cowards, I turned my back instinctively. Not even for a second did I feel happy as I heard the bells of victory. Their victory; not mine—I could have said: not ours. I knew Thee not. (Who knew Thee, then?) And I knew not Thy people. But at the news of their defeat, my hears was sad, as though the triumph of their enemies were, in my eyes, the triumph of guile and treachery and above all, of sickening mediocrity—of all I hated in the world. I knew Thee not; and yet I sought Thee in my dreams. Thy great Idea was mine; had been from the beginning, the very yearning of my lonely soul. I was already Thy disciple, and Thy lover and Thy worshipper . . .
1 “So it was all in vain. In vain all the sacrifices and privations, in vain the hunger and thirst of sometimes endless months, in vain the hours in which, gripped by mortal fear, we nevertheless did our duty, and in vain the death of two million, who died thereby.”—trans. R.G. Fowler.