BERCHTESGADEN; OBERSALZBERG; KÖNIGSSEE
Salzburg — another artificial frontier between Germany and Germany. “Until when?” thought I, as I entered the Customs’ Office, carrying as much as I could of my luggage, while the porter followed me, holding my heavy suitcase.
A Customs’ officer in uniform addressed me: “Leave your things here: the men who will examine them have not yet arrived; you have ample time to go and have a cup of coffee — or change some money, if you need to,” said he. I thanked him for the information, and walked into the Exchange Office.
“How many marks will I get for twenty thousand francs?” asked I. I wanted to get rid of my francs first. (The dollars would be easily changed anywhere, I reflected.)
The girl at the desk calculated . . . “Twenty thousand . . . You will get a little more than two hundred marks. The German mark is worth nearly, if yet not quite, a hundred francs, nowadays. It has gone up.”
My face brightened, and a cry of triumph sprang from my breast: “Oh, how glad I am to hear that!”
Five years before, one had given seventy-five and even sixty-five francs for a mark, and the official rate of exchange had been eighty. In a flash, I recalled those atrocious days, when Germany was hungry; when her factories were every day being, dismantled by “diese Lumpen,” — as I usually called the Allied Powers, unless I was absolutely compelled to be polite. I repeated, with all the convincing stress of sincere joy: “Oh, how glad I am!”
The girl at the desk gazed at me in surprise: travellers who came to change money did not, generally, express their feelings so vehemently. Moreover, from the point of view of the average tourist, who wishes to buy as much enjoyment as he can with as little money as possible, there was, in the steady rise of the German mark, nothing to be glad about — on the contrary!
“But you are losing through the fact that the mark has gone up,” said she. “Don’t you understand it?”
“Of course I do; but I could not care less!” replied I with enthusiasm. “I can see only one thing in what you tell me: the tangible sign that Germany is rising again — economically, at least. Well, it is surely not everything. It is hardly the beginning of that which I am longing to see. But it is something — specially when one looks backwards into these eight horrid years. A hundred French francs for a mark. A hundred and ten, in six months’ time. And next year hundred and fifty, — I hope! I remember the days when ‘they’ had put forward that satanical ‘Morgenthau Plan’ of theirs . . . Where is the damned plan now? ‘Gone with the wind!’ — gone where all their utopian schemes — including the ‘European Army’ under American command, their latest — will go, one after the other (I hope!). Nothing can stop the German people in their forward march — nothing! Oh, I am so glad! — Give me, please, whatever marks you can for twenty thousand francs.”
The girl, who had listened to my half-political half-lyrical tirade with silent pride and quickened interest, took my passport. “But I thought you were German!” said she, as she looked at it.
“I am Greek,” answered I. “Or partly Greek and partly English, to be more precise.”
She gazed at me, more amazed than ever. In her mind, my tirade and my passport could not possibly both be genuine. One of the two was necessarily false. She could not doubt the sincerity of my tirade any more than the colour of my eyes: it showed; it was too evident to be denied. She therefore doubted the authenticity of my passport . . .
“Hum!” muttered she, referring to my nationality; “nobody would have thought so!”
And she added, as though to explain more clearly what she meant: “Both England and Greece fought against us during this war.”
“That may be, but I did not!” exclaimed I in protest. “From the other end of the earth, where I was then, I did all I could to help Germany’s war-effort. And I shall always regret I had not the opportunity of doing much more. Don’t lump me with those who worked for the victory of the dark forces!
The girl gave me a sympathetic smile. “Far from ‘lumping’ you with our enemies, I am, on the contrary, convinced that you have done, — and, which is more, that you are still today doing — all your duty,” replied she.
“Yes,” reflected I, while she was counting the money; “it was and it is the duty of any racially-conscious Aryan like I to stand or fall with National Socialist Germany.” And turning to her I said: “You are right: I have at least done and am doing my best.”
I wanted to explain my attitude. But just then, another person stepped in, also wishing to change money. And the girl remained under the impression that I was a German travelling with a false passport.
* * *
Five minutes later, at the Customs, where I had gone back, I was feeling a little uneasy as I opened my suitcase. Not that I was, like in 1948, travelling with several thousands of Nazi leaflets. But I had quite a number of copies of my two books Gold in the Furnace and Defiance — now both printed — as well as of my yet unpublished prose poems For-Ever and Ever. And those writings are surely as National Socialistic as any of my former leaflets or posters, and surely as dangerous — if not more so — from the democratic standpoint.
My uneasiness increased as the Customs’ officer lay his hands upon a copy of Gold in the Furnace, opened it, read the dedication — “To the Martyrs of Nuremberg” — saw the frontispiece — a photograph of the Werl prison — read the last words of the preface: “Heil Hitler!” and asked me: “You have plenty of these books with you?”
“Just this copy,” replied I, lying with genuine indifference I had suddenly become perfectly calm — inwardly also — as always, in similar circumstances.
“After all, how is this man to guess that I am ‘Savitri Devi,’ the author of the book,” reflected I. “I have re-become ‘Maximiani Portas’ in the eyes of the world.”
But it looked as though the man were not satisfied with my answer. He took another book out of my suitcase, — Defiance, this time — and opened it likewise! He saw the frontispiece; my
own photograph, with the author’s name, Savitri Devi, written below it; he turned over the page, read the dedication:
To my beloved comrade and friend
and to all those who suffered for the love of our Führer,
for the greatness of his people,
and for the triumph of those everlasting truths
for which he and they fought to the bitter end.
I had not thought of this possibility . . .
Once more the man looked intently at me and then . . . at the photograph.
I was planning with calm: “If there be trouble, I shall tell these people that the books were written by my twin sister who uses the pen name of ‘Savitri Devi.’ Maybe they will believe me and not make any further enquiry . . .”
But I did not need to put the practicability of my plan to test. For the man gave me the unmistakable smile of comradeship — the same that had brightened Luise K.’s face, and Frau J.’s; the smile that meant as much as a hand stretched out to me and the words “I congratulate you!” And without uttering a syllable, he put the book back, shut my suitcase himself, and applied upon it, with chalk, the cross indicating that I was free to continue my journey, — free to carry my written tribute of allegiance to my German comrades and superiors.
* * *
The Sun was already high when I woke up on the following morning in Berchtesgaden.
I went to the window, pulled aside the blinds, and gaped for ravishment at the sight of the landscape: behind the slanting roofs of the houses that faced my hotel, steep hills, covered with woods; and behind these: other hills, of a darker, bluer green; and still further, and still higher: snowy peaks that shone like silver against the radiant blue sky. The river — the Salzach, a greyish-blue mountain torrent, — rushed passed, noisy and full of foam, under the bridge that I had crossed the night before, when coming from the station to this hotel situated right opposite.
I opened the window and breathed deeply, I felt light and
young; invigorated with cosmic life; for once, unaware of all my past omissions, weaknesses and failures, as though I were reborn. The fragrance of pine woods and the keen air from the snowy peaks, and their resplendent, dreamlike whiteness welcomed me in the hallowed mountain resort, the name of which is forever linked with that of Adolf Hitler: Berchtesgaden.
But how quiet it all was! — how unlike what it had probably been during the great days! And “he” was no longer there. At this thought, I forgot the splendour of the woods and of the shining mountain range, and was again seized by the old feeling of irreparable failure, of inexpiable guilt. Had I only been able to come ten years before, I could have seen “him”; perhaps heard his voice address me personally (who knows?). And when disaster came, I would have disappeared with him, died with him, or died for him — one of the three. While now? . . . Now, everything was so silent — on the surface at least. Now, of all I loved, everything looked dead — save the pine woods in their spring-like loveliness, and the emerald-green meadows, full of daisies and buttercups, and the distant white peaks, so white against the pure sky, so blue. But I recalled Luise K. and Frau J. and the Führer’s old tutor and the H. family; and the young workman in the train, on my way to Braunau, and the guards at the false frontier, awaiting with me the resurrection of the Greater Reich, and the Customs’ officer at Salzburg who had given me the smile of comradeship and allowed me to take my books into the country, fully knowing what they are and what I am. And it seemed to me as though they all said: “Are we not also alive, although it may be that, at first sight, we look dead? Have you already forgotten how ready we all are to open our arms to you who love ‘him’ as we do? You will find us everywhere in this silent, occupied, enslaved land — us, ‘his’ people.”
And at the thought of them — and of the comrades I was expecting to meet very soon, — I felt ashamed of having, be it for a second, questioned the growing hold of our faith upon the German people. And I was sure that, no less than in Linz and Braunau, I would find here, along with the evocative remnants of the recent past, unmistakable signs of the triumph of our spirit in a future without end.
I washed and dressed speedily, went downstairs and had a cup of coffee, and, after asking my way to Obersalzberg, walked out into the sunshine.
I followed the road along the riverside, as I had been told. More wooded slopes, behind which rose further snow-clad ranges, faced me on the opposite side. I admired them as I walked on. I also admired the beauty of the houses and gardens along both the roads bordering the river, or, here and there, upon the slopes, in the midst of trees; the neatness of the little town (much larger, by the way, than I had thought) and the river itself, the roaring bluish-grey river that ran its way on my right.
My attention was, however, soon attracted by some mooing of cattle. It seemed strange to me, as I could see no farms in the neighbourhood, no cattle grazing in any meadows nearby. It sounded as if it came from somewhere on the side of the road. I walked a few steps further and found myself before an open courtyard at the back of which stood a rectangular building, neither attractive nor ugly in appearance: a building that could have been anything. But as I read the notice upon one of the open doors that led into the courtyard — the harmless, casual (definitely “non-political”!) notice, that ninety-nine per cent of the “reasonable” two-legged creatures of this earth would have read as a matter of course and forgotten a minute later, — I shuddered. The notice ran: “The entrance of the slaughterhouse is forbidden to all those who are not working within its enclosure.”
So, that is what this building was! And that is what the lowing meant: the reaction of instinctive fear before impending death; death as sudden as painless as possible — at least, I hoped so, — but still: death. That within this town, that Adolf Hitler’s presence has sanctified for all times to come! I recalled in my mind a passage from the famous Goebbels Diaries referring to the Führer’s respect of animal life and his definite objection to flesh eating: “He” (Adolf Hitler) “is more than ever convinced that meat eating is wrong. He knows, of course, that he cannot upset our whole food economy during this struggle. But after the war, he seriously intends to tackle
that problem also.”1 The mere fact that the notice I had just read was worded in German, in “his” language — natural as this was — appeared to me as a sacrilege; and the existence of this house of death at the foot of those hills in which he chose his abode, as a still greater one. For he had not wanted that. He had wanted a Germany, a Europe — a world — without slaughterhouses. And “after the war,” he intended to set himself also to the task of bringing about such a world. Oh, had we — had he — but won this war!
I recalled that series of laws against any form of cruelty to animals, which had always been, in my eves, one of the greatest moral achievements of the Third Reich: I recalled the fact that certain standing horrors in the way of experimentation upon live animals, in certain foreign universities, of which I knew, had been forbidden, during this war, by order of the German Occupation authorities; I recalled also that commandment of our glorious National Socialist creed, contained in a booklet compiled by Alfred Rosenberg, and alluded to by his accusers at the Nuremberg Trial. “Thou shalt believe in the presence of God in all living creatures, animals and plants.”2
No régime in the West has ever done as much as ours to impose upon people the conviction that animals have rights. No faith in the West or in the East has ever proclaimed as clearly as ours the priority of animals over potentially dangerous human beings — let alone over actually dangerous ones. No state has ever acted tip to this particular scale of values — my scale of values — with such absolute consistency as the German National Socialist State.
It occurred to me that it was, perhaps, this particular and thoroughly heathen scale of values which had, more than anything else, cut me off from my environment, and made me what I am, before I even knew what to call myself. My oldest grievance against the Jews, and the one thing that had indeed made me beforehand impervious to any sort of sympathy for them, was the “kosher” slaughter-house. And in my heart I had always despised any meat eater who talks of “humanity” and of “universal
1 The Goebbels Diaries, New York edit. 1948, p. 188 (Entry of the 26th of April, 1942).
2 Quoted by M. Bardèche in his book Nuremberg II, ou les Fauxmonnayeurs, p. 88.
love,” and considered any founder of a new era, who happens to be of that description, as thoroughly inferior to our Führer.
“He” not only ate no flesh, and tolerated no “kosher” slaughterhouses in his Aryan land; but he was, “after the war” — after victory; after Germany would have controlled the West, and become in a position to acquire the foodstuffs of the whole world at cheap rates — planning to suppress, gradually but thoroughly, once and for all, that standing dishonour of so-called civilisation: the slaughterhouse in general, however “perfected” it be. He was planning to do away with that industry of death, not only out of respect for animal life, but also because he saw something definitely ugly and unhealthy in the fact of higher mankind feeding upon corpses of slaughtered beasts when other food is available; and also — above all, perhaps — because he realised, more keenly than anyone, what a thing of horror the life of a professional killer must be, and because he could not bear the thought of any son of his people being urged, through custom and circumstances, into such a life.
And I thought once more, for the millionth time, as I bore all this in mind: “Oh, had we but won this war! Had our beloved Führer but been given the opportunity of carrying out his great plans!”
* * *
I walked on, found the road on the right, of which the girl at the hotel had spoken — the road leading uphill, to Obersalzberg. And I slowly followed that road, deeply inhaling the fragrance of the woods that stretched on both sides of it.
The sun was becoming hotter and hotter. Now and then I stopped and looked back at the landscape below me. The actual valley through which I had come was no longer to be seen; the slopes on the opposite side of it were also now practically hidden from me, for the road was winding through new hills, equally covered with woods. But the higher ranges shone as gorgeous as ever, dazzling white, under the Sun. The further I went up, the better I could see them. And more snowy peaks appeared behind the new green hills through which the road led me. I sat down for a while upon a log on the border of the road and listened to a bird’s twittering, to the rustling of leaves — to the Voice of
Life within the woods. Occasionally a car, or a motorcycle, passed by and disappeared in the direction of Obersalzberg.
I got up and resumed the uphill walk, feeling that every step took me nearer to the place where my Leader had sat in all his glory. I imagined the cars that must have rolled up and down this magnificent road, then, in the great days, carrying officials and distinguished visitors to him who was the visible soul of Germany, and the centre of the Western World. How all was calm and quiet, now that “he” was no longer there! And again the one question imposed itself upon my consciousness: Where is “he” now, if alive? Shall I ever be granted the honour and joy of seeing him face to face, once more in power? And along with that one question, the one same old regret that has been torturing me since 1945, and that will apparently keep on torturing me till I die, unless I see “him” one day, at the head of the West: “Oh, why have I not come before?” And the one same inexpressible bitterness filled me, as I walked on and on, through the dreamlike landscape.
I crossed a young couple. They greeted the; we exchanged a few commonplace words:
“Lovely weather, isn’t it?”
“A little too hot, however. We should have taken the bus.”
“Oh, it makes little difference. At any rate, I prefer to walk.”
“Aufwiedersehen! — Aufwiedersehen!”
I went my way and they theirs. I was thinking: “Indeed I do prefer to walk. In the glorious years, when “he” was here, I might have taken the bus — or a private car — and reached the place an hour earlier. But now? To see the ruins of the immortal Dwelling? — its ruins . . . or rather the bare site where its ruins once stood . . . For I knew that the very foundations of the once lovely Berghof — Adolf Hitler’s house — had been systematically blown up. Now, had I dared, — had I not feared being censured even by my comrades for “pointless exhibitionism,” — I would have walked all the way barefooted, as pilgrims in India walk miles and miles to certain sacred spots. For the place had become, through the seal of martyrdom, twice holy in my eyes.
I walked on and on. It cannot have been, by now, far from eleven o’clock. The Sun was indeed unusually hot, and seemed so even to me, who had just come from Athens. The snowy
peaks, that dominated the scenery on my left as well as behind me, impressed me as the picture of untarnished indifference above all the destructions, persecutions and resistances in the world. But I had not come to seek divine Indifference.
I caught up another couple, and this time, it was I who spoke first: “Guten Tag! Can you be so kind as to tell me whether it is still a long way to the Hitler house?”
“The Hitler house?” replied the man, “It is just around the corner; on your right, after the first turning of the road. But there is nothing to be seen there; ‘they’ have not only blown up the very ruins, but ‘they’ have poured tons and tons of earth over the site, so that nothing might show, not even the plan of the house!”
That clear reference to the irreparable deed stirred all my hatred against those who perpetrated it. “I have not come to examine details of architecture,” I burst out; “I have come to sit upon the spot till sunset, and to think of the coming revenge. Auf Wiedersehen!” (I nearly said: “Heil Hitler!”)
And I went on, hastening my footsteps, without noticing whether the apparently bewildered man and woman had returned my words of farewell or not.
* * *
There were now hardly any trees on either side of the road or on the slopes that I could see at some distance before me. These, as well as the whole space that led downwards to the depression on my left, were covered with grass. Woods could be seen below, and above: in the depression itself; on the slopes that faced me on the opposite side of it; and, on my right, beyond the masses of earth, gravel and stones that formed like a wall along the border of the road.
But suddenly I halted and held my breath, meanwhile an icy sensation ran along my spine and throughout my body: I had just noticed what looked like the cornerstone of a wall, emerging, along with a few withered treetops, out of the enormous heap of sand, gravel and pulverised blocks of mortar that towered before me. And I had understood: this was the place where the famous Berghof — the Hitler house — had once stood in all its loveliness, in the midst of lawns and flowerbeds and trees;
this was what “they” had reduced it to, so that no trace of it should be left; so that men should forget! . . .
I felt tears well up to my eyes, and my mouth quivered. I crossed the road to see the devastated site from a few yards’ distance. Yes, it was the site of the Berghof, unmistakably! Above it — at the edge of the wood that extended from there to the top of the hill — ran, parallel to the road along which I was walking, a whole foundation wall that had withstood both the power of dynamite and the power of hate. And another wall that formed with it a right angle could also be detected, although it was entirely buried under earth and gravel, save for one end of it the, block that had first attracted my attention. That; and withered branches, sticking out of the general desolation — tops of trees or bushes that had apparently grown upon the ruins, and that had been buried alive by those who had set out to kill the very ruins themselves. I shuddered before the enormity of the hatred that had urged men to work out this systematical destruction seven years after the end of the war. How long would it last, that relentless execration of our Führer, of us, of all we stand for; that savage and methodical will to erase whatever reminds the world of him, of us, of all that he and we have created together? wondered I, as I gazed at the pure blue sky — so blue! — at the green meadows full of buttercups, at the woods and the bright mountain ranges in the distance, and then again at the place where the Berghof had stood. How long would the world persecute us?
And from the depth of centuries — through my intuition of history: about the only form of intuition which I possess — came the answer: “Forever!”
In a flash, I recalled the yellowish desert covered with scattered ruins under the burning sun of Egypt: all that now remains of the proud City-of-the-Horizon-of-the-Disk, seat of King Akhnaton’s New Order — which lasted twelve years like ours — mercilessly torn down stone by stone by his enemies, over three thousand three hundred years ago — another historic instance of the untiring persecution of all that which is godlike.
And in a loud voice, as though speaking to myself, I recited with bitterness the first lines of the hymn of hate intoned by the priests of Amon — the embodiment of the Money Power in Egypt at the time — after the destruction of the sacred city:
“Woe to thine enemies, O Amon! . . .
Thy city endures, but he who assails thee falls . . .”
And with still greater bitterness I paraphrased the words of old, adapting them to present-day circumstances:
“Woe to thine enemies, O Israel! . . .
Thy unseen rule endures, but he who assails thee falls . . .”
The persecution of that which is godlike — and of those who are godlike; of those whom the dark forces, in possession of money, can neither buy nor frighten — appeared to me to be a perennial feature of human history. It would last as long as the world.
“But we too will last to resist it, and to crush it in the end!” thought I. “Our faith is rooted in truth. And we have the Powers of Light — the Shining Ones, as the Aryans of India still call Them to this day — on our side. And I recalled a sentence of one of my own writings: my final verdict on our enemies: “They cannot ‘de-Nazify’ the Gods!”1
Still, the sight of the desolation of this place, glaring sign of the victory of the evil: forces for the time being, filled me with resentment, with hatred, with grief; once more, with the awful awareness of defeat.
I crossed the road again, walked a few yards further uphill in search of a place from which I could reach the Berghof site. I discovered something like a path — a trodden track in the midst of gravel, showing me the way many others had come before me. I followed that track slowly and reverently, feeling myself on holy ground, and sat down upon the bare earth, fairly far away from the road. And there, I sobbed desperately, as I had not for years.
* * *
Exhaustion — and time — gave me back a certain amount of composure, and I was again able to think.
A soft warm breeze brought me the healthy emanation of the woods. Before my eyes spread in the sunshine a mountain scenery, the equivalent in beauty of which I had seen only in Kashmir. I imagined my beloved Leader in one of those moments of relaxation that he must have enjoyed sometimes,
1 Gold in the Furnace, edit. 1952, p. 87.
even if it were seldom. I pictured him on a spring day like this, letting his star-like eyes, athirst of infinity, rest upon those meadows and woods, those dark green and violet hills, those shining white ranges, the harmonious outlines of which close the horizon, and, beyond them, — in spirit — upon that luminous bluish valley that one guesses rather than sees from here: the valley in which lies Salzburg. I pictured him alone, in tune with the Soul of this land, that he so loved, breathing its power and its beauty, communing with it and, through it, with the Essence of himself and of all things — immanent Godhead — while his magnificent dog, the creature of devotion who was never to betray him, never to forsake him, lay, watchful, at his side. I pictured him, — or rather, I felt him — all-loving, all-knowing, above happiness and sorrow, detached in the midst of worldwide action, looking over this dreamlike scenery on the border of that extended Germany, which he had reconquered, into the realm of eternity that was — and is — his impregnable realm; into that intangible world in which success and failure fade into nothingness before the one thing that counts: timeless Truth; sure that he was right whatever men might say, whichever events might occur; sure that Germany’s mission was — and is — that which he proclaimed; sure that Germany’s higher interest was — and is — (in the words of the most ancient Aryan Book of wisdom) “the interest of the universe.” Sure, and therefore serene. Sure, and therefore sinless, — perfect.
And I lost myself in the contemplation of this real Adolf Hitler: the one of whom no newspaper has ever spoken, and whom no man (even among those who have seen him, perhaps) ever understood. All the forces of my being embraced him — Him — in an act of adoration, as the only One I had loved, life after life, for millions of years. I felt nearer to him than ever; nearer to him than before his parents’ desolate grave; nearer to him than on that most beautiful night in my life — the 20th of February, 1949 — when I had been so happy to be arrested for the love of him and of his people.
But then, as my glance fell bank upon the torn and tortured earth upon which I was sitting, one fact imposed itself upon me: “He” is no longer here; I cannot see him in the flesh, as I would have then.” And I sank back into the old unbearable feeling of once possible, nay probable, but now irretrievably lost
happiness; of guilt that nothing can ever wash away, — into hell. For that is hell: not a place, but a state of consciousness; the knowledge that one has missed, through one’s own fault, the fulfilment of one’s real mission, and, that it is henceforth too late . . . There exists no feeling worse than that one.
For the millionth time that feeling caught hold of me, as strong, now, upon the ruins of the Berghof, after eight years, as then, in that primitive South Indian café in an out-of-the-way hamlet of the Western Ghats, in which I had, in 1945, three weeks after the fact, first heard the news of Germany’s capitulation and been told that Adolf Hitler was dead. For the millionth time, my accusing inner voice rose against me, as merciless and as bitter as ever: “Where were you, all these years? Why did you not come in time? You would have seen ‘him,’ your Führer, the one Man you worship. You would have seen him in this setting, at the height of his power. What were all the joys you have had, compared with that joy? Now . . . see! Nothing is left of the lovely Dwelling; nothing is left of the great Reich; nothing is left of all that ‘he’ had built or planned. And you will never see him. It is too late; too late. You came too late. Why did you not come before?”
Oh, those words, which contain the one real torment of everlasting damnation: “too late!”
I started weeping once more as I looked back into my useless life. Yes, where had I been at the time my beloved Leader had risen to power? Somewhere in South India. Where had I been, when he had spoken at that great Nuremberg Party Rally, before five hundred thousand people? In Lucknow: listening to him on the wireless: speaking of him . . . instead of being there on the spot, one among the many thousands — the confounded fool that I was!
I remembered details of my life in Lucknow, in September 1935, during those unforgettable days: the dark red silk “sari” that I was wearing, while the aether waves brought me, over six thousand miles of land and sea, the music of the Horst Wessel Song, and then — in the midst of that religious silence of the multitude — Adolf Hitler’s voice; the conversation that I had had with my Indian friends about the spirit of National Socialism and that of the age-old Caste system; the song that the fifteen-year-old daughter of the house — a graceful, fair-complexioned
Brahmin girl named Atashi, — had played upon the harmonium after supper:
“Nanda, Nanda, Nanda Rani . . .”
— a Bengali song which had remained ever since, indissolubly associated in my consciousness with the memory of the famous Party Rally. I remembered the gold swastika that I always wore on a chain around my neck — and that I had lost in London in 1947 — and my Indian earrings, also in the shape of swastikas, that I was now wearing. I had wanted to be the link between the Aryan Tradition, kept alive in India, and that great Aryan revival of the West that National Socialism embodies. But who (save one man) had understood what that meant, even among my closest collaborators?
I remembered the words which that exceptional man — destined one day to give me his name — had addressed to me on the very day he had met me: “Go to him, who is truly life and resurrection: to the maker of the Third Reich. Go at once: next year will be too late!”
Why had I, in my incurable conceit, thought myself useful in my far-away field of action, and not listened to him?
And again I imagined Adolf Hitler sitting alone before this dreamlike perspective of wooded hills and valleys and proud snowy peaks. I pictured his stern features, stamped with willpower that nothing can break; his inspired eyes, radiating love that nothing can kill; selfless, boundless, conquering love.
How many thousands of people had seen that extraordinary Face of his, and yet not understood it; not responded to the love that shone in it?
Foreign journalists, writers, ambassadors — some of whom had, afterwards, earned money by slandering him — had seen him; I, never. Opponents of his; enemies of all he stands for, — such as the Communist leader Thälmann — had seen him; I, never. Traitors, who secretly worked against him: traitors, who on the 20th of July, 1944, tried to kill him, had seen him; I, never!
I recalled the most wondrous sights I had admired in journeys over half the surface of the earth: the Bosphorus; the Acropolis of Athens: Delphi; Karnak; the Upper Nile; the temples of South India, of Khajuraho, of Bhubaneshwar; moonlight over the desert of Iraq; moonlight over the Marble Rocks and the Narbada Falls; the Backwaters of Travancore; the
Caves of Ajanta and of Ellora — that marvel among marvels; Ellora, of which I had written, meaning it: “One can die, after having seen this!” — the Midnight Sun; Mount Hekla in eruption; the Himalayas — no end of inspiring beauty; no end of history and legend. People envied me for having such memories . . . And yet . . . I would have renounced them all for the joy of feeling “his” eyes rest upon me — for five minutes, once — just once! — for the privilege of greeting him — just once! — with my arm outstretched and the spell-like words expressing on my part centuries of love: “Heil, meinem Führer! Heil Hitler!”
The merciless: accusing voice rose within me once more and told me: “You should have thought of that twenty-five years ago, you silly fool! Now it is too late — too late!”
Time passed. The shadows of the trees above the ruined site were slowly turning.
I continued weeping, in the hot silence of the afternoon. I had not moved from the place where I was sitting. A few people — about ten in all — came, one after the other, wandered here and there upon the site, without speaking. One or two of them passed quite close to me — looked at me, greeted me discreetly, and went their way, respecting the solitude that I was obviously seeking.
How long would the accusing voice of self-criticism keep on torturing me? It had been doing so, day and night, for already eight years. I knew it was right. In one of the beautiful rooms of the famous Dwelling; the scattered stones of which lay buried under the tons and tons of earth upon which I now sat, I could have seen the Builder of reborn Aryandom — the Founder of my faith — then, had I come, in time. But I had not. What could I do now, but nothing? It was too late — alas! Would it still be too late if our Hitler be alive, as some say? I wondered. But was he really alive? I did not know what to believe.
I lay upon the earth and gravel brought here in order to destroy all trace of his passage, and I sobbed as desperately as before. Then, from within — from far-away; from I do not know where; perhaps from another world — Something spoke to me; soothed me; not my own voice but “his” — or rather some strangely keen awareness of what “he” would tell me if he could reach me, be it from the world of the living or from beyond.
“It is never too late! Live for my Germany, and you shall never part from Me!”
And again, as in Leonding before his parents’ grave, I knew with certainty what “he” — “He,” Who can never die — expects of me, in the name of the logic of the National Socialist creed; in the name of the logic of my whole life.
And from the depth of my heart I thought, “Jawohl, mein Führer! — I shall. Don’t I already love Thy Land as though it had always been mine, and Thy people as my brothers? Is Thy Land not already mine? — “holy Land in the eyes of every racially awakened Aryan.”
And I felt power in me — more-than-human power, in spite of all my failures.
* * *
The resplendent snowy range beyond the hills that faced me was already changing colour. And the Sun was less hot, and the shadows longer.
I saw three men appear one after the other, coming from the road, along the same track that had guided me. They followed that which had seemed to me like the trace of a wall running perpendicularly to the one which could be detected a few yards behind me, at the edge of the wood. And they halted. One of them, who had probably visited the Berghof in the days of its splendour, was explaining its topography to the other two. Sentences that he uttered reached me now and then: “. . . and here was the hall in which the Führer used to hold council . . . ,” “. . . here stood a huge window, some six metres long; a gorgeous window . . . ,” “. . . and here . . .” Gestures accompanied and stressed his words.
I was strangely moved. The little I heard of the man’s description suddenly gave new life to the hallowed site. The Dwelling, seat of beauty, seat of power, seat of my Leader’s communion with the Infinite at his moments of restful solitude, rose in precise outlines out of the past. Had I only come a few years before . . . The bitter thought rushed back to me in a flash. But I had no time to ponder over it. I wanted to hear, to know, from one of those who had seen. I got up, wiped my tears on the back of my hand (for I could not find my pocket handkerchief) walked straight to the newcomers and greeted
them: “Guten Abend!” And then, addressing the one who had been acting as a guide: “Excuse me,” said I, “if I am so bold as to disturb you. I heard you describing the Berghof as it once stood. I understand that you have seen it; that you have probably seen the Führer within these walls now reduced to dust. I was six thousand miles away during the glorious years. I have now come for the first time and have been sitting here from half past ten in the morning, thinking of the past and of the future. Do you mind if I listen to your description?”
The men were all three between thirty-five and forty-five, i.e., old enough to have lived the enthusiasm of the early days of National Socialism.
They considered me with surprise, yet felt they could trust me, for my words rang true — and, after all, who would come and sit a whole day upon the ruined site of the Berghof unless he (or she) were a sincere follower of Adolf Hitler? “It is a pity indeed that you were not here before,” said the man whom I had addressed. “No description can give you an accurate idea of the place of beauty that this house was, when you have not seen it yourself. You have seen pictures of it, probably?”
“I have,” said I.
“We are here just above the hall from which one looked out on the surrounding scenery from a huge window, several metres long.”
“I have seen pictures of that window and, if I remember well, a picture of the Führer standing by it. Now, alas! even the stones of the house have been pulverised, and their dust hidden — covered with earth — so that we should forget that this place is holy; so that we should cease coming to it as to a place of pilgrimage. But I shall never forget — never forget, and never forgive, as I already said a hundred thousand times. I only hate the damned Americans all the more for this savage and pointless desecration!”
“The damned Americans are not the authors of this deed,” replied the man, to my astonishment. “It is these gentlemen of the S.P.D.,1 who compose the present-day Government of Bavaria, who ordered it.”
“Yes, — unfortunately.”
1 The “Social Democratic” Party.
This unexpected information brought new tears into my eyes. “I should never have thought it,” said I, with sincere grief. “But surely the American Occupation authorities were behind those who gave such an order, weren’t they?”
“Bitterly as I myself detest the Occupation as a whole and the Americans in particular, I am compelled to say that this is, to my knowledge, entirely the work of our criminal S.P.D. Government.”
I did not know what to say, or to think. There is nothing so painful to me as the awareness of the fact that Aryans, — let alone Germans, his own people, — can, and so often do, hate Adolf Hitler, their Saviour. The idea that some Germans hate him to that extent was positively unbearable to me.
“I just do not know what to think,” I kept on saying. “It seems to me too monstrous for one to believe. And yet, I do believe it, for I know hatred has no limits — any more than love. I know that there is nothing that those slaves of the Jews cannot do. But one thing I can say, and that is that I cannot look upon such people as Germans.”
“We look upon them as traitors and scoundrels, — the worst enemies of Germany,” replied the man.
He then asked me where I had spent the time during which our régime had lasted.
“In India,” replied I. And I added, expressing aloud that which I had been thinking with such bitterness half an hour before.
“Few Europeans have seen as much as I have of that ancient and wonderful land; few have lived as intensely as I have in connection with all that they have seen — for I approached India in the light of my National Socialist outlook: the only light in which a western Aryan can really understand it, strange as this may seem. And yet, I tell you in all sincerity: I would renounce all the joys I have had, for the one joy of having seen Adolf Hitler at the height of his glory, or for the satisfaction of having proved him my loyalty at the hour of disaster.”
“And you have now come from India?” asked one of the other two men.
“No, from Greece. I arrived three days ago. Was yesterday in Braunau; the day before, in Leonding . . .”
“I understand . . . And you say it is the first time you come to Germany?”
“The first time I come to Obersalzberg,” replied I. “I spent a year and some months in Germany in 1948–1949.”
The third man asked me in his turn: “And you intend to remain in Germany?”
“If I can,” answered I; “if the heavenly Powers judge that I should . . .” (As at Leonding, I remembered my daily prayer to the Lord of the invisible Forces, whoever He be: ‘Send me or keep me there where I shall be the most useful in the service of the National Socialist Cause, which is the cause of Truth.”) And I added, summing up in a sentence that which I had been thinking the whole day — that which I had been thinking for eight years —: “My one regret in life is that I did not come long ago; before the war; nay, before the Seizure of power . . . and that I have never seen the Führer.”
“You are right,” said my interlocutor; “there has never been a man like him and there has never been an ideal comparable to his. Unfortunately, he put too much of his confidence in people who were not worthy of it, and who, through their mistakes — not to say their treason — brought about his downfall and that of Germany. In particular, he trusted implicitly whoever had stood by him in the early phase of the struggle. That was his only weakness.”
“Gratitude, appreciation of past services, is no weakness,” thought I; “moreover, the memory of past services did not blind him to later realities. Roehm had surely rendered services to the Cause, and yet . . . our Führer did not hesitate to sacrifice him, in June 1934, when he judged it necessary . . .”
I was going to tell the man what I was thinking, but had no time to. Another one of my new friends (for they were, apparently, all three “friends,” i.e., on our side) put further emphasis on that which his comrade had said: “Yes,” stressed he, “you say you so desperately regret not having come to Germany before . . . In one way, it is better that you did not come . . . You are an idealist. You have lived National Socialism through the beautifying perspective of distance. Had you been here, specially after the Seizure of power, you would have discovered many things — and many people — to criticise . . . Why, for instance, did the Führer not . . .”
“Our Führer can do no wrong! Don’t criticise him!” exclaimed I, interrupting with vehemence. “He can neither order not allow anything which is not justified. As for his followers — or those who pretended to be such ones — you can judge them: you are a German. I have no right to do so. I have never criticised any German — save, of course, the all too obvious, well known traitors. Not that I am incapable of detecting failures — words or deeds out of keeping with the National Socialist doctrine or spirit — but it is, with me, a matter of discipline. It is not my job to pick out faults in other National Socialists, but only to do my best to be, myself, as good a one as I possibly can. And I am sure that, had I had the privilege of coming earlier, all the shortcomings of which you speak would have in no way altered my allegiance to the Führer and to the Reich. You were taught the National Socialist principles; I discovered them within my heart, within my own logic, within that best of all demonstrations of them: the history of all the nations of the world. And, fully knowing what I was doing, I came to Adolf Hitler as to the only Leader in our times who speaks and acts according to those principles, true for all times; as to the only one who (to repeat a very old and exalted expression) ‘lives in Truth.’ Nothing can detach me from him now, and nothing could have done so then. The truth of a doctrine is independent of the faults of a few of its real or supposed supporters. And he, — our Hitler — and his régime, are the very embodiment of the National Socialist doctrine.”
The man to whom I had first spoken answered me this time
“All you say is perfectly consistent; could not be more so. The only trouble is that we lost the war. Had we but gained it, rest assured that the Führer would have himself put order in our affairs, and that many Party members who were no National Socialists at all (but only pretending to be) would have got what they deserved. And the promised new era would really have begun.”
“It has already begun,” said I with conviction.
The three men gazed at me in bewilderment.
“Our enemies rule the world,” replied one of them. “We are persecuted: — powerless. How can you say: ‘Our era has
already begun’? You know yourself what the post-war world looks like.”
“It is twenty years since Adolf Hitler became the master of Germany. And it was yesterday exactly sixty-four years since he was born. Tell me,” said I, “what did the Roman world and Europe at large (Europe destined to be the seat of Christian civilisation) look like in year twenty or even in year sixty-four A.D.? Could one have then believed in the triumph of the Christian values for two thousand years? Nobody believed in it, in fact, save the early Christians themselves. Christ was dead, and his followers, a persecuted handful lost among the many strange sects of the Roman Empire. And. Yet . . .”
The three men were, for a while, silent; as though overwhelmed by the immensity of the hope that my words implied. Something told them that I was right, although they hardly dared to believe it. At last, the one to whom I had first spoken — the eldest of the three — asked me (and there was deep emotion in his voice)
“What makes you have such confidence in us, German people? You have not seen us at our best, in the great days.”
“That is true,” replied I; “But I have seen you in the dark days of trial: hungry, destitute, uprooted from your homes, persecuted in your own land, slandered by the whole world — vanquished (for the time being, thanks to those slaves of Jewry who, even under the National Socialist régime, had managed to work themselves into responsible posts). And yet . . . I have admired you then — even more so, perhaps, than I had in glorious ’40; more so than I had in ’42, when the Swastika Flag fluttered over the Caspian Sea, over the Libyan Desert, over the Arctic Ocean . . . I shall never forget the emaciated, proud and dignified faces that I met in Germany, then; the sombre glance of those young men who had, to the end, trusted the Führer and believed in the invincibility of the Reich, and waited till the very hour of the Capitulation for the miracle that was to give Germany the mastery of the earth, and who, even then, had forsaken neither that confidence nor that certitude — for they felt within themselves, in their day to day struggle from the bottom of the abyss, the living proof of their own superiority so many times proclaimed. I shall never forget the words I have exchanged with those men of gold and steel (as I called them in a book
of mine); I shall never forget that I have, for months, lived a dangerous life in Germany, and that not a single German has betrayed me — not for any reward: not for the bare necessities of life; not for milk for his starving children. Oh, how I admired you then, my comrades, my superiors! And how I admire you now, in your silent, stubborn, untiring resistance, to the agents of disintegration and to all their lies! . . .”
The Sun was setting. The gorgeous snowy range facing us was pink. I stretched out my right arm in a broad gesture, as though I were, beyond this barrier of mountains, and beyond this life — this minute in time — speaking to the German Nation of all times; and I continued, after a pause:
“As Alexander the Great lay upon his death bed in Babylon, in 323 B.C., on his way back from India, his generals asked him whom he appointed as ruler of his world empire. He replied: ‘The worthiest!’ I was an admirer of the godlike Macedonian, embodiment of conquering Aryandom, before I became the disciple of the Builder of the new Aryan Age: Adolf Hitler. And today, from this sacred spot on which he stand, I tell you — you three, and you eighty millions — from the depth of my heart (and I wish my persecuted superiors in Spandau, in Werl, in Landsberg, in Wittlich, in Breda, in Stein, in all the prisons and camps of our enemies, in and outside Germany, could hear me): “German people, you are the worthiest! I tell you today, remembering the ancient words, true forever — Alexander’s will: — my dearest desire is to see you rise out of this long-drawn humiliation, and rule the world!”
The three men had listened to me in solemn, reverent silence, fully conscious that, through my voice, a mysterious, divine Destiny had uttered its decree. And indeed I was not, in that magical moment, a mere individual, but a symbol. I was remote heathen Aryandom — Alexander’s Hellas; the beautiful primitive Hellas of the Iliad; also the wise and warlike India of the Bhagavad-Gita — acknowledging the existence of its eternal Nordic Soul in present-day pure-blooded Germany. The three men felt it — although they could not have, perhaps, just now, analysed that feeling; although they perhaps lacked the historical background that would have enabled them to do so.
I turned my back to the road, gazed at the copper-coloured sky between the trees: the Sun’s glow, after the Sun had
sunk behind the hills. I stretched out my right arm in the age old ritual gesture — the National Socialist salute — in the direction of the hidden Orb.
“As He — the Father-of-Light — will certainly rise, so will you, my German brothers!” said I. “As He is immortal, so are you. Es lebe Deutschland! Heil Hitler!”
The three men lifted their right arms in their turn, and the everlasting Words, profession of faith of a new age, resounded loud and clear over the buried blocks of mortar that had been Adolf Hitler’s house, over the dreamlike landscape that is and always will be his beloved Germany: “Heil Hitler!”
We stood, for a minute or two, in silence. Then, the eldest of the three men — the one to whom I had first spoken — looked at me intently and said: “You are right — right in spite of this relentless hatred that strives to crush us; right in spite of these ruins: we are living in year twenty of a new Age. And whether our Führer be alive or dead, this new age is his, and ours — Germany’s. He has re-given us full consciousness of our mission and of our rights. Nothing can hold us back in our onward march!”
* * *
The three men accompanied me to the spot where I had been sitting, and where I had left my things. They remained there with me for a while. We spoke of the new Age. We spoke of our Führer. “Do you believe he is alive?” my new friends asked me.
“I was practically sure of it,” answered I. “People who seemed to know had told me so. But now other people, who also seem to know, tell me that he is dead. I do not know any longer what to believe. All I know is that, if he be alive, all I want is to see him once more in power; and if he be dead in the flesh, all I want is to see those who love him and who embody his spirit rise to power and control the West — and, with the help of the Gods, the world — in his name, forever. All I know is that, whether he be alive or dead in they flesh, he is immortal. He is Germany.”
“You are right, he is.”
And after a pause, the same man asked me: “And what do you intend too do, now?”
“I have already told you: remain in Germany, if I can possibly find work there (the little money I have will be exhausted within less than a month) and contribute — in what way? I do not know, but in some way — to the resurrection of the great Reich as ‘he’ wanted it to be; continue writing books, if I can do nothing better.” (I told my new friends a little about the books I had already written and about my life.)
“You will find plenty of sympathy in Germany, and a lot of people who, for the love of this Idea, will help you to stay,” replied the man. The land is quiet — on the surface. But rest assured: National Socialism is as alive as ever — far more so than those Johnnies of the Occupation and their henchmen, the German time-servers, now in; power, seem to think. You probably know that without us needing to tell you so. And now . . . the air is getting chilly. We should go back to our hotel. We have a car. Would you like us to give you a lift?”
“It is exceedingly kind of you, but I wish to stay here a little while longer,” replied I. “Moreover, I prefer to go down on foot, as I have come.”
They wished me good luck, and I greeted them — and they, me — with the unchanging words of faith: “Heil Hitler!” And they departed.
I had not told them why I wished to stay a while longer. I judged it was better not to: it might be that they would have failed to understand my gesture and considered it childish, and despised me within their hearts (who ever knows?). But as I heard their car roll away in the direction of Berchtesgaden, I walked up to the only standing wall, at the edge of the wood, discovered upon it a fairly smooth plastered surface, and wrote upon it, with a pointed stone, the following words:
Einst kommt der Tag der Rache. Heil Hitler!
Then, my right arm outstretched, I sang the old “Kampflied” out of which the sentence is taken, and slowly walked down the beaten track, back to the road, feeling that I had done all that I now possibly could: accomplished the magical gesture; uttered the irresistible incantation of revenge and awakening, destined to bind free Germany to her Führer, for all times — “free Germany, conscious Germany, stronghold and hope of reborn Aryandom,” thought I.
I walked further uphill, visited more ruins: houses of
different close collaborators of Adolf Hitler, blown to pieces by order . . . of the Americans? . . . or of the S.P.D. Bavaria Government?
The moon now shone in the pure sky. Under its livid light, the ruins took on a ghostly appearance. Towering above them and above the whole landscape (and still covered with snow) stood in the distance the steep rock at the top of which is built the famous “Eagle’s Nest” — another of the Führer’s cherished abodes. This was not destroyed (I had been told) but is today . . . a café, and tea room.
A few steps away from the ruins of the Berghof, the house in which the Gestapo officials were formerly lodged has also, been transformed into a tea room and guest house. I stepped in, more for the thrill of feeling myself sitting there where important defenders of our New Order — as uncompromisingly devoted to it as myself — had once sat, than for the sake of a cup of hot coffee. I experienced that thrill, that same feeling of reverence coupled with ever-recurring sadness (bitterness of defeat; sadness for not having come before) that is the keynote of this whole pilgrimage of mine. And I felt even sadder, as the woman who served me told me that, “on account of the snow,” that still lay, over a metre deep, upon the road, my walking up to the Eagle’s Nest on the following day was “out of the question” — ausgeschlossen. I had not the money to remain several days more at Berchtesgaden, waiting for the snow to melt. So I had to make up my mind to see the Eagle’s Nest another time.1
Late in the evening, in bright moonshine, I followed the downward road through the woods, back to Berchtesgaden. Many times, the ever-recurring sadness gripped me. And yet, deeper than it and stronger than it was, the soothing conviction — once more strengthened in me upon the desolate site of the Berghof, by the words I had exchanged with those three Germans — that National Socialism will, in the end, impose itself upon the Aryan world.
* * *
Early next morning I walked from Berchtesgaden to Königssee, where I spent the whole day, alone by the lake.
The road is beautiful — running for five kilometres through a hilly track of land covered with emerald green meadows and
1 I saw it on the 5th of June, 1954, on my second visit to Obersalzberg.
dark woods, with, here and there, a picturesque looking house — guest house or farm — and a few fruit trees, every one of which was now (the twenty-second of April) a mass of pink or white blossoms.
Many cars rolled passed me. I noticed only one: a car running full-speed in the direction of Königssee and bearing in English the hated words: Military Police — reminding me (as though I did not know it!) that Germany is still occupied by the victors of 1945; still now, in 1953, eight years after the disaster. “Until when? Oh, until when?” thought I. I knew the blunt excuse, repeatedly set forth: if the Western Allies, were not here, then the Russians would be. The Western Allies are waiting for the German Federal Parliament — the Bundestag, — to ratify their agreements with the Bonn Government concerning the utopian “European Community” (based upon big business interests) and the “European Army” supposed to defend it (and them). Then, once those agreements are ratified, the Allied forces (of which I had just seen and heard a noisy and speedy instrument of action) will no longer be “occupants” but “friends”; friends in the common struggle “for the defence of Western civilisation” against the common foe: Communism. But I still failed to understand what there is for anyone of us to choose between Communism and capitalistic Democracy. And I hated the “values” of Western civilisation — those Judeo-Christian values, which I had so bitterly fought, all my life, to uproot — as fiercely as ever. In the name of those unnatural “values” which we deny, which we detest, coalesced Communism and capitalistic Democracy had stirred the fury of a whole world against National Socialist Germany; in defence of those “values” they had waged war on our Führer, on our régime, on our healthy, heathen faith, and staged the all-too-famous, sickening “war crime” trials after our defeat, and branded us as “monsters,” “murderers” etc. Why on earth should we, now, become the allies of Democracy against Communism rather than those of Communism against Democracy? thought I, for the millionth time. True, Democracy lacks the fanaticism in which lies the strength of all conquering ideas, and I had myself written that, inasmuch as they are more stupid, its votaries are easier to deceive than their ex-allies of the East. “But what if, after crushing their ex-allies and present-day rivals, with Germany’s help,
the Democrats managed to impose their unseen control — the Jews’ control — and their hated way of life permanently upon Germany?” I now wondered . . . And the mere idea of such a possibility made me shudder from top to toe. I forgot to look at the smiling landscape and walked mechanically, wrapped up in my bitter thoughts; longing for the Third World War whatever it might cost — even if my dearest comrades and I should perish in its flames — provided it be the best opportunity for Germany to free herself from the pressure of both the international, man-centred creeds, and to rise and conquer and rule once more, under the sacred Swastika banner.
I walked on, with that intense, one-pointed yearning which has filled every minute of my life, all these years.
Immediately before one reaches the lake, there is, on one’s left (there was, at least, in 1953) a railed-off square of American military ground and, in front of it, one one’s right, a post guarded by a sentry. I saw, standing there, the first American in uniform whom I was to meet in Germany after three years’ absence: a very young, fair-haired man, who looked exceedingly bored. I glanced at him with undisguised contempt and went my way. I walked past an open-air café, also on my right. From somewhere behind the trees, in the shade of which were disposed the many neatly-laid garden tables, came a horrible noise banging and shrieking and squeaking, howling and rattling, that which the “common man” of U.S.A. calls “music” — jazz. It grew louder and louder — more and more horrible — as I neared the lake. When I actually reached it, it became unbearable.
I have been tortured by all sorts of noises: by all-night kettledrum and castanet concerts in every part of India, including the half-wild hill districts, and by my neighbours’ wireless sets in Europe as well as in Asia. But this was something worse than all other noises rolled in one. That which came out of my neighbours’ wireless sets was sometimes musical. And the deafening rhythmical brawling and drum beating of the hill tribes of Assam or of the Kohls of Bihar expressed at least something: the collective soul of an altogether inferior people, no doubt, but a living soul; something natural; something real. While this — if anything — expressed a derivation to boredom on the part of bastardised descendants of once healthy European emigrants, steadily and rapidly sinking to the level of apes in
spite of — nay, with the help of — every manner of ultra-modern technique. Those whom one is used to call “savages” always had been inferior people, or (if the scholars who consider them not as primitives but, on the contrary, as products of decay of better races, be right) they sank to their present-day state slowly, gradually, over centuries of hardly noticeable degeneracy. They, at least, were in their place, and had not invented “de-Nazification.” These creatures — unfortunate Germany’s occupants — stretched out in the sunshine on the border of this dreamlike mountain lake, or drinking Coca-Cola before the luxurious café that seemed to be their gathering centre, were people partly, if not entirely, of my own race; some of them, — perhaps — descendants of Germanic emigrants without admixture of South European blood: purer Aryans than myself, strictly speaking. And they were here “to keep the Russians away,” no doubt, but also to keep (as long as they could) National Socialism from rising again in Germany. Bastardised Aryans, and pure Aryans in the service of the enemies of their race, trying their best to combat boredom with Coca-Cola and jazz, in this land that they have been oppressing and defiling for eight years! Definitely, I preferred the Kohls!
Thus were my thoughts as I gazed at the steep wooded hills behind which rose further hills, and finally, shining snowy peaks; at the blue sky; and at the gleaming reflection of all that beauty in the smooth waters of the lake — Königssee: the Royal Lake, — that our Führer has loved. The American noise shocked me as a profanation both of Nature and of Germany; sounded to me like a drunkard’s obscene brawl shattering the peace of a cathedral. And the thought that I could do nothing to stop it brought back into my heart the acute consciousness of defeat, so bitter, that it was physically painful to me. I walked as fast as I could along the road that ran parallel to the border of the lake, away from the vulgar noise, away from the silly Yanks — away, away, in the direction of the woods. A series of sheds, under which boats were being built or repaired, hid from me, for a while, the sight of the lovely landscape. An old man was standing before one of them, perhaps waiting for somebody. I could not help speaking to him.
“What a horrible noise!” said I. “Is it every day the same?”
“Yes; every day, or practically so,” answered he. “That is the ‘Amis’ — a plague on them!”
“I am glad to see you don’t like them any more than I do!”
“Who likes the damned Occupation forces, be they American, English, French or Russian? Who wants them? We shall welcome anything — any new development — that will force them to leave this land, the accursed lot of them! For they will never go of their own account; they are having too good a time, here, at our expense.”
“I wish a day comes when they will all find things so changed that they will long to go, but will not be able to . . . I wish not one of them shall come out of Germany alive!”
“And it might well be so . . . Anyhow, I can tell you one thing: you are not the only person to wish it . . .”
Less than hundred yards from us, the ‘Amis’ persevered in their endeavour to combat boredom, unaware of our conversation; unaware of the resentment of the great Nation that they are trying in vain to convert to their idiotic conception of life; — unaware of their impending fate.
I greeted the old man and walked on, — uphill. On my right, a road led to an attractive café looking over the lake. I followed that road, reached a terrace from which the view was gorgeous, sat at one of the garden tables there, and relaxed — to some extent. The jazz noise, although one could still hear it distinctly, was not so loud; no longer unbearable.
* * *
I relaxed — or tried to, — for a while. I let my eyes rest upon the beauty of the lake. But even though it was no longer a positive physical torment, the jazz noise kept on reminding me of the Occupation forces in general and, in this case, more specially of the Americans, in Germany. And I could not think of anything else.
“U.S.A., the nation-killer,” reflected I, my elbow on the table, my chin in my hand, my eyes looking towards the lake without really seeing it, the coffee, that had been brought to me a quarter of an hour before, getting cold; “U.S.A. the nation-killer, that is not itself a nation but merely a federation of interests . . .
I suppose that is the reason why I detested it so fiercely, even before the war . . .”
I remembered a Greek woman who had once come over from America to my native town in France, for her brother’s wedding, bringing with her young son, aged ten or so. I had asked the little boy what he was, and he had replied unhesitatingly: “An American!”
“But how can that be? Your father and mother are both Greeks, as well as your grandparents, uncles and aunts.”
“It makes no difference,” had answered the boy. “I am born in the U.S.A. I am an American. I want to be one. What does it matter to you? Am I not free to be what I like?”
“No, Yanaki; one is not free to be what one likes. You can love and serve the U.S.A. if it pleases you. But you cannot be an American. Moreover, there is no such thing as an American people: there are only different people of our continent whose fathers went and settled in America. Each one belongs to his own fatherland, — when he is lucky enough to have one, like you, whose whole family is Greek . . .”
“You are like my granny: you must always argue,” had said the lad. “Only with her, it is God; with you, Greece. And call me Johnny, not Yanaki. I tell you I am an American!”
That conversation between a child and myself, nearly thirty years before, now came back to my mind. Yes, that — the fact that it makes nearly every European who is born there forget his blood and the land of his blood, — was what had, from the beginning, set me so violently against “Amerika.” That, and also the description of the slaughterhouse in Chicago in a famous French book.1 The former had filled nee with indignation, the latter with disgust. And then, — years later — came the war, and Roosevelt, that deficient specimen of humanity, jealous of the healthy world we were creating; Roosevelt, whom his morbid envy, coupled with effective power, had turned into a positive criminal — and America’s intervention: Roosevelt’s achievement, without which National Socialist Germany would have won the war.
But it was only because the Germans and Italians born
1 Scènes de la vie future, by Georges Duhamel, translated into English under the title: America: The Menace.
in the U.S.A. held themselves to be “Americans,” that Roosevelt’s policy had been conceivable. The root of the evil — the fact that stamped the U.S.A. as a force of disintegration — lay there, in the Greek child’s answer to me; in the answer that millions of children — and grownup people — descendants of pure-blooded Europeans of all nations, would have given me, had I reminded them of the sacred brotherhood of blood am an American. I want to be one.”
And I thought of that sinister “American,” descendant of German emigrants, Eisenhower, the “Crusader to Europe,” who burnt the German people alive in streams of flaming phosphorus, in order to crush National Socialism, the purest expression of the Germanic soul. “And how many descendants of German emigrants, and how many men of Nordic blood are there to he found among the ‘Americans’ responsible for the Nuremberg Trial and other shameful mockeries of justice of the same sort?” reflected I.
I had a sip of coffee — completely cold, by now, — and continued thinking.
What was there at the back of all that? What made little Yanakis and millions of others — young Greeks, young Italians, young Englishmen; young Germans such as Dwight Eisenhower (or his father or grandfather) had once been, — want to be “Americans”?
There was, first, the influence of the American school, telling them how “great” the U.S.A. are. Most people believe what they are told. Those who, already in their childhood, question the very principles they are asked to accept as basis of all truth, are rare. And then came the material facilities which the U.S.A. offer to clever boys and girls who wish to “get on in life.” It needs not only an adventurous spirit but also a tremendous contempt for the country in which one is born, to refuse deliberately all such facilities, preferring the perspective of a bitter day-to-day material struggle — life-long insecurity — to “a situation” as a citizen of that country. Didn’t I know it! — I who had refused French citizenship! And how should the child born in the U.S.A. feel such contempt, when he has believed what he has been taught at school and when, as it is the fact, in most cases, he does not possess a sufficiently definite
scale of values of his own to be shocked to such an extent by the things he sees and hears, that he would rather undergo anything than be “an American”?
I thought of my own childhood in France. What had really set me against France? The knowledge, rather than the actual sight, of hypocrisy, injustice and cruelty on an international scale, and the direct contact with inconsistency and shallowness, and with that detestable French habit of making fun of everything; that entire lack of fanaticism, so contemptible, and so boring, to a born idealist and a born fighter. But how many foreign children born in France had, to my knowledge, waited till they became twenty-one to proclaim, in a spectacular gesture, their refusal of French nationality and of all the material advantages attached to it? How many adolescents, — let alone children, — had been in lasting rebellion against the hypocrisy of the war propaganda inflicted upon us in the French schools, during the First World War (of the tale that the Germans were “monsters” for having marched through defenceless Belgium, while the French, who landed in defenceless Greece a year later, were not . . .)? How many had been upset at the news of the long blockade of Greece by the Allies, in 1917? Or of the French atrocities in the Ruhr, after the war? I had been a very peculiar child, in whose heart such things had had a tremendous echo. Such things, and other horrors also: instances of the way man treats dumb animals (I remembered that the little I had then known of slaughterhouses and vivisection chambers had been the great nightmare of my childhood, and my oldest grievance against “civilisation,” for which France was supposed to be fighting).
A new and louder sound-wave rolled over the smiling waters and brought me the banging and shrieking of jazz — the soul of the Africanised U.S.A. And I recalled the words of the Greek emigrants’ child: “I want to be an American. Am I not free to choose?”
“Free, after having his head stuffed with nonsense about the ‘greatness of the U.S.A.’ from the age of six!” thought I, bitterly. Then, in contrast with that, the ever-vivid memory of my own rebellion against the values that one had tried to teach me to hold as the highest, filled me with pride. “Free to
choose! . . .” I too, had been told that, over and over again, in the course of my democratic education. And that was, in my whole upbringing, the one thing that I had retained — and put to profit! “Free to choose” — free to say — and to do — what my conscience told me . . . The trouble for the Democrats, who had given me that blessed liberal education, was that my conscience and theirs did not have the same conception of right and wrong. Mankind’s “universal conscience,” of which they made — and still make — such a fuss, apparently did not exist in me. And my conscience had weighed their Christian — their so-called “human” — scale of values, instead of swallowing it unquestioningly as something wonderful, as they had expected. It had weighed it, and found it wanting. It had considered their man-centred morality issued from the Christian teaching, and found its attitude to the animal world repulsive, its attitude to “all men,” silly, and felt for it nothing but contempt, and for the bastardised “civilisation” resting upon it, nothing but hatred. My conscience had discovered that I had no better reasons to be loyal to France than I had to support Christianity. And I had chosen to be loyal to my Aryan blood: the one thing pure, the one thing real in me, in spite of that blending of nationalities that I represent. And I had chosen Adolf Hitler’s life-centred, cosmic, — heathen — scale of values even before I had known of its existence. I had used that “individual freedom,” that “right to choose” that the Democrats so loudly proclaim; used it to identify myself with National Socialism in all its uncompromising aggressiveness, in all its healthy violence, pride and youthful joy, and to expose, in its name, the false idea of a “universal conscience” and the standing lie of “individual freedom.”
“Free to choose anything — even one’s national allegiance” . . . (And how many times have they not repeated it, to this day! They have killed all our martyrs for not having betrayed Germany in the name of that non-existing “universal conscience,” supposed to be present in “all men”). Well and good! Just as many choose the U.S.A., the Dollar-land, in which one “gets on in life,” so had I finally chosen Germany, the Nation that gave her all in defence of the rights of Aryan blood. The French had taught me: “Tout homme a deux patries: la sienne, et
puis la France” (every man has two fatherlands: his own, and France). But I was free not to believe them. I was free to work out my own conclusions, in accordance with my “reason and conscience.” And my “reason and conscience” had told me, more and more clearly, that “every Aryan has two fatherlands: his own, and National Socialist Germany.” Every person goes to that which he or she really loves, really wants. More than to “get on in life” — or to acquire a professorship in France, — I had wanted to feel myself in perfect oneness with Something true and great, and everlasting; Something that I could admire without reservations, and fight for, without the slightest hope of personal gain — for the love of it alone.
A pity, surely, that I could not yet go and tell this, on the wireless, to all the Democrats of the world; rub it into their heads until they became sick of hearing me! A pity that I could not gather those clever defenders of the rights of “conscience” who staged the sinister Nuremberg farce, and put before them the question — the puzzle: “What do your Lordships say when they come across an exception to the dull rule of “universal” conscience — like me; someone who feels “free to choose,” and who chooses Nazism; someone who has a conscience of her own, which is not universal; and which tells her, as plainly as plain can be, that “right is nothing else but the Führer’s will: that which he orders; that which others order in his name; that which is in accordance with his spirit”?
* * *
The Sun was not unusually hot. And people were having lunch at the neighbouring tables. It was getting late.
I had long drunk my coffee, and would have welcomed something to eat: — a boiled potato and a plate of lettuce salad; or a slice of apple tart, or both. But I had a long way more to go, and would run out of funds if I were not very careful. Since the day I had spent in Braunau I had been living on dry bread and coffee and was none the worse for it. So I decided to continue.
The Americans had at last ceased producing their insane noise. “The monkeys are quiet; feeding time, apparently,” thought I, with relentless hostility towards them and towards the Occupation as a whole. At that moment, an elderly man
came forth, carrying a photographing machine. He stopped at every table where people were eating, spoke a few words — asking everyone whether he should take a picture of him or her — and went away, as nobody seemed interested. He came to me, put me the same question with utmost courtesy and dignity, without insisting in the least. He had a sympathetic face with regular, energetic features; racially irreproachable. I wondered what his convictions were, feeling inclined to believe that, with such a face, he could hardly be anything but an admirer, when not an active follower, of our Weltanschauung. But I had no time to start imagining and supposing: I had to decide within a few seconds whether I should have a photo of myself taken or not. “Two marks for three pictures,” said the man; he would send them on to me wherever I pleased . . .
“Two marks . . .” That meant three cups of coffee with three buns — three meals, for me. And I did not require the pictures . . . But nobody had said “yes” to the old photographer. He would leave the place without having earned anything, if I also refused. And it was so pleasant to hear his voice, after that jazz noise — honest German, after the Negroid brawl. And who knew what he had gone through, to be forced to earn his living in that insecure manner, at his age? — poor, dear old man!
I took two marks out of my purse, and asked him to photograph me. It would be, anyhow, a tangible remembrance of the lake which our Führer loved.
When it was finished, we talked. It turned out that the man was, indeed, perfectly “in order” — as much on our side as anyone can be. He took me to his house, a few steps away from the terrace; introduced me to his family; offered me a second cup of coffee with a bun, that I gladly ate. And we spent about an hour praising the Führer and the great Days; deploring the disaster and all its consequences; telling each other the reasons we had to believe in the invincibility of the National Socialist spirit and in Germany’s resurrection.
* * *
I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering in the woods around the lake, in the hot sunshine, in the fragrance of pine trees;
in the contemplation of the shining waters, of the surrounding hills and of the blue sky, and of the inner vision of him, whose thought constantly filled my consciousness. All was silent, save for the usual noises of life in forests: rustling of leaves, birds’ voices, humming of insects — noises that never disturb me but, on the contrary, lull me into meditation. Now and then, also, could be heard the motor of a pleasure-boat cutting its way over the luminous water surface.
The perspective of the lake, that stretched out in length between the steep hills (with their upside-down reflection within it) was magnificent. I thought of him — our Leader — who loved Nature so reverently, coming to relax in this abode of radiant peace. And the question rose in my heart, as it had so many times already: if he be alive, on what landscape do his eyes now rest? Where can he be? Would I ever see him Again I envied all those who had once sat with him before this vision of beauty. And again I put myself the practical question: “What can I do, now, for him and for Germany, apart from writing books?”
“Continue thinking day and night of revenge and resurrection, as you have these last eight years replied my innermost Self. “Thought is also something real, something positive, in the realm of the Invisible. And the realm of the Invisible governs this visible world.”
I was sitting alone at the foot of a pine tree, quite near the border of the lake. For a long time, I watched the ripples on the surface of the water. Then, I threw a pebble into the lake, and followed the transmission of the movement it had stirred, in broader and broader concentric circles, endlessly . . . It is said that the spreading vibration does not stop at the limits of the water that has transmitted it, but prolongs itself, indefinitely, throughout the earth.
“And such are also — probably — the magnetic waves that the power of thought sets in motion in the realm of the Invisible,” reflected I. “Nothing can hold them back. And who can tell what amount of energy they represent when relentlessly produced day after day, hour after hour, for years and years, be it by a lonely, powerless individual like myself? Completely out of the clumsy individual’s control, but faithful to the impersonal Purpose of the indefatigable Will that sent them
forth — the individual will, no doubt, but also the collective Will behind it — on and on they go, through limitless space, preparing, maybe at the other end of the earth, that which will, sooner or later, bring about the materialisation of the one Purpose; making the lonely, powerless, clumsy, but conscious and sincere individual personally responsible for that materialisation and for every happening that leads to it . . .”
I was raised above myself at this glorious feeling of responsibility.
It was anything but the first time that this idea had come into my head. All through my life, even as a child, I had felt myself personally responsible — and wished to be personally responsible — not only for everything which I had (with or without success) tried to do, but also for everything which I had wanted; he it for events that were, as such, entirely out of my reach. And I had, later on, proclaimed as loud as I could that I held myself morally responsible for anything that had been, that was, or that would one day be done for the triumph of National Socialism; in particular, for anything that was done in the name of the Third Reich. But seldom had I been so acutely, so tangibly aware of the truth of this statement, as I now was. Now, I watched the concentric circles upon the shining surface of the lake, rising and sinking at calculable distances from one another, further and further away from the common centre where my pebble had disappeared into the depth. And I knew that similar waves of unseen magnetic power linked me — and every one of us, who embodies our one-pointed collective Will — to every present and future development which contributes, directly or indirectly, to the triumph of our truth. The waves of burning indignation that I had sent out seven years before, during the dismal Nuremberg Trial, against the four Allies, were now in Egypt, in Kenya, in Persia, in Korea, in Indo-China, all over the world, working to bring about der Tag der Rache — the Day of Revenge — the downfall of our persecutors.
There is nothing sweeter than to feel oneself personally responsible for the destruction of those who hate all one loves; nothing more elating than the knowledge: “I, I shall crush them — and avenge my tortured comrades; I, powerless, insignificant as I may seem, shall at least contribute to that end through the uncontrollable working of patiently concentrated
and consciously directed thought! I, — or rather we — alone against the power of arms, against the power of money, against the power of lies! We . . . or rather He — the Lord of the unseen Forces, in harmony with Whose divine Will we think and act and live, already preparing in the realm of the Invisible our second Seizure of power on the visible plane . . . !”
Oh, to feel that; to know that!
Our opponents, Democrats and Communists, can, of course, also produce thought-waves. But the Democrats at least are, in that respect, no match for us, reflected I. They drink Coca-Cola, and dance to the sound of jazz bands, and have love affairs, and worry about their psychological “problems,” while we send out, relentlessly, into impalpable aether, the irresistible magnetic currents that steadily undermine the whole structure of their silly world, opening the way for the future Brown Battalions.
And I sat, with my spine erect, upon the mossy ground, gazed for a long time at the dazzling white peaks that dominated the scenery at the other end of the lake, and then shut my eyes, cutting myself off from all things visible. And while inhaling and exhaling the fragrant air of the woods, I pinned my mind unto the inner vision of the Cosmic Dance at the back of which stand the everlasting laws of being — our hope; our victory, whatever may happen. And I imagined the glorious Figure through which India has expressed the idea of that Play of forces without end: Shiva, Lord of the Dance, Lord of Life and Death, serene, and merciless, surrounded with flames — the supreme, non-human, immanent Godhead Which we all worship, without knowing it, we, heathen Aryans of the West.
And at the back of Him, filling the immensity of limitless Space, I imagined — I saw, with the inner eye, — the resplendent Wheel of the Sun; our Sign, older than the world; our eternal Swastika.
And I was filled with ecstatic joy at the feeling that we are eternal, and that nothing can destroy us.
It was late when I walked back to Berchtesgaden.