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.
“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;
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
“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,
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
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.
“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?”
“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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.”
“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.
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
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
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 . . .”
“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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.”
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
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
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.
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.
“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
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
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
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
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?”
“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
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.
“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
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!”
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.”
“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?”
“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
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: 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
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.
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.
“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,
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
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?”
“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
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
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.
“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
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
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!”
“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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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,
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.”
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.