Amazon series Man in the High Castle is based upon a book by the same name. Deviating quite substantially from the original book by Phillip K Dick written in 1962, it nevertheless keeps the basics of the plot. This is a world in which the Axis powers have won the war, with Germany having developed the atom bomb first and incinerated Washington DC with it.
America has been carved up between victorious Germany and Japan, with a thin sliver of neutral territory in between. The American Reich is a pure white state, having eliminated Jews and blacks. In the Japanese Pacific States, the superiority of Japanese rulers and settlers is not in doubt, but it nevertheless has both black and white populations.
Man in the High Castle is much bleaker than Fatherland, the 1994 movie based on the Richard Harris novel in which a stalemate between the USA and an undefeated Germany has led to a Cold War situation between these superpowe
Not to be outdone Netflix has pushed its own version of fascist dystopian alternate history. Leila is an Indian Hindi-language series directed by Deepa Mehta, Shanker Raman and Pawan Kumar. Based on the 2017 novel by Prayaag Akbar, Leila follows the story of Shalini, who tries to find her missing daughter in a totalitarian regime in the year 2040.
In this state India is now under the iron heel of Hindu fascists who divide religious communities in a form of apartheid. Not only is this series festering anti-Hindu stereotypes, but is a complete inversion of reality. Fatherland could have happened had the D-day landings failed.
Man in the High Castle is exaggerated by the fact that the main scientists who could have developed the atom bomb for Germany had been forced out by the Reich; many were Jewish.
However, Man in the High castle does demonstrate just how normalised Nazism can become. John Smith did not start out as a committed Nazi. His best friend Danny was Jewish. It was circumstances of a Nazi victory and occupation of America in 1946 which turned him into one, and made him dedicate his life to the Reich, to identify with it, to become one with it. Just as Leila in our present day reality shows how normalised Hinduphobia is. Just like Nazism it has its roots in the very western civilisation which produced it. Yet this same civilisation constantly denounces indigenous Hindu aspirations as fascist.
In the Netflix series Jaguar, Spanish actress Blanca Suarez teams up with anti-fascist activists to hunt down Nazis who have taken refuge under Franco’s regime. Set in the 1960s, the series is fictional. There was no such group in Spain doing this. What is not fiction is that Spain under Franco did become a refuge for fleeing and escaping Nazis.
This included Leon Degrelle, leader of Belgium’s fascist Rexist movement and Walloon SS legion who collaborated with the occupiers during the war. Louis Darquier de Pellepoix, Commissioner-General for Jewish Affairs under the Vichy Régime found refuge here, protected from extradition by Franco. Otto Skorzeny, Austrian-born German SS-Obersturmbannführr (lieutenant colonel) in the Waffen-SS who had rescued Mussolini, was another and freely travelled between Spain, Argentina and other countries.
Spain also became sanctuary for members of the OAS, radical far right terrorist organisation that wanted to keep Algeria in French hands. Just like fleeing Nazis, OAS members were helped by elements in the Catholic Church to find refuge in Spain and then flee to Latin America, where there military experience would help the Argentinian military junta in crushing dissent during the Dirty War.
Now all this did not stop Franco being courted by the victorious allies. Despite him owing his victory in the Spanish Civil War to being armed by Hitler and Mussolini, Spain was seen as a strategic ally in the Cold War against communism. It helped that Franco was never a fully-fledged fascist; his dictatorship was rooted in the conservatism of the military, Catholic Church, monarchists and landowners.
The fascist element in the victorious Nationalists, the Falange, were gradually marginalised after the Axis defeat in the war. Nevertheless, and despite his neutrality, Franco owed his position to Nazi support against his Republican opponents. Spain, a dictatorship in Europe until 1975, was courted and treated as an ally by western democracies despite its fascist roots.
This was merely the start of western democracies co-opting fascism. Operation Condor was a United States-backed campaign of political repression and state terror involving intelligence operations and assassination of opponents.
It was officially and formally implemented in November 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of South America. Argentina’s intelligence agency SIDE employed Nazi war criminal and Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie, who had fled justice to Bolivia. In 1947, Barbie had recruited as an agent for the 66th Detachment of the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC).] The U.S. used Barbie and other Nazi Party members to further anti-communist efforts in Europe. They then helped him flee to Bolivia aided by elements within the Catholic Church.
In exile, Barbie developed excellent relations with Bolivian dictators Hugo Banzer and Luis García Meza. Argentina was also where Adolf Eichmann fled to in 1950, where Josef Mengele had gone the year before. Croat fascist leader Ante Pavelic fled to Argentina in 1948, and then to Spain in 1957.
Argentina’s president Juan Peron openly encouraged these ‘ratlines’ which operated with the connivance of Catholic Church clergy such as Bishop Alois Hudal and Father Krunoslav Draganovic. US intelligence meanwhile either ignored these ratlines or themselves employed former Third Reich scientists under Operation Paperclip. These Nazi scientists were to play prominent roles in NASA and the development of missiles
After the Second World War Australia continued to project its image as a working man’s paradise, that is for whites. Arthur Chilfley, Labor deputy leader and Minister for Immigration said that no “half-castes” would be allowed. A “mongrel Australia” was to be prevented. White Australians who married Asiatics were to be deported.
The Labor government was ecstatic that natural blondes could be found from among the refugees fleeing the Baltic states. A quota was applied on Jewish immigration but former Nazis were welcomed as ideal racial stock. Perhaps this should not be surprising when we realise that this was a nation so racist that at one point it was going to name its capital Aryan City. For posterity, it was fortunate that the name Canberra was chosen instead. Not all those linked to the Third Reich needed such mechanisms of escape.
Many stayed right where they were, in their positions in the new democratic West Germany, and beyond. Maurice Papon joined the Vichy regime and took an active part in rounding up French Jews for extermination. His escape from justice by hoodwinking the Gaullist Free French allowed Papon to continue his racist and repressive policies into the 1950s by crushing Algerian demands for independence as prefect of Constantine.
He also imposed curfews on Algerians in Paris and blocked an enquiry into the massacre of forty of pro-FLN demonstrators in Paris on 17 October 1961, and the subsequent and incarceration of thousands. He managed to keep his Nazi past hidden until 1981 as he served successive French governments. This should hardly come as a surprise. Despite what FA Hayek wrote in Road to Serfdom, Nazism was not anti-western.
It came from western thought. However, the bit Hayek got correct was that it had roots in the Left. In its original German, Nazism is ‘National Socialism’. This is not just a name, but a reflection of the reality. Just as with Australia’s Labor Party pushing whites only immigration after 1945, the 1922 Rand Rebellion in South Africa had both the South African Labour Party and Communist Party backing hardcore racist ideas with the slogan ‘Workers of the World Unite for a White South Africa’.
Now India’s academia, media and political elite are dominated by the political Left, with strong Marxist leanings. Indeed Nehru strongly admired the USSR, and even China until it attacked India. Hence outside news agencies are dependent upon this Anglophone vampire elite for its sources of information. These sources constantly pump out the threat of a Hindu Far Right.
This has of course infiltrated the entertainment industry with barely concealed propaganda in series such as Leila, and also Quantico where Priyanka Chopra uncovers a plot by Far Right Hindu fascists.
The reality of course is very different. Not only is this Hindu threat a complete myth, but the very ideological mechanisms which manufacture this myth deny their own sordid past, and indeed present. In reality, it is not Hindu political forces that had admired, been inspired or even collaborated with fascism. It is the Left, including self-avowed Marxists.
Furthermore, it would not even be accurate to call India’s self-alienated Hinduphobic elite leftist.
They more accurately resemble colonised natives with Stockholm Syndrome who lambast their ancestral culture at every opportunity.
By identifying with their long gone colonial power, they resemble the slave Steven from Django Unchained who is lost and orphaned once his oppressive master Calvin Candy is shot. Candy may be dead, but Steven just cannot let go because outside the plantation he is just another slave, deracinated, without any importance.
The USSR rehabilitated many former Nazis into the security and administrative machinery of East Germany, especially the police and Stasi. Otto Ernst Remer rounded up the July plotters who had tried to assassinate Hitler in 1944. After being released from Allied captivity in 1950 he established the Socialist Reich Party.
This was well received in East Germany and like other postwar radical German nationalists, received Soviet backing. Fritz Grobba, Hitler’s former spymaster in the Middle East, became ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He also became the Soviet Foreign Ministry director of Arab affairs in Moscow, facilitating the arms deal between Czechoslovakia and Nasser’s Egypt. Former Nazis such as Grobba were essential to the Communist penetration of Arab countries. In 1983 Remer returned to Syria from where he advocated a new Axis between Germany and the USSR in order to save the white race from the Yellow Peril of Red China. Remer said that Soviet help was essential if Germany was to be reunited and restored to its former greatness as under the Reich.
The GDR conveniently rehabilitated former Nazis and even adopted their anti-Semitism as an official policy. But then the communists had long collaborated with their supposed polar opposite. In 1932 the Nazis joined Communists in organising the violent Berlin transport workers’ strike. Goebbels shared the same platform with Walter Ubricht, leader of the German Communist Party and later leader of Communist East Germany. Goebbels even wanted a geopolitical tryst with the USSR.
The mutual Non-Aggression Pact on 23 August 1939 between Germany and the USSR was followed by the notorious treaty of friendship which resulted in the rape and division of Poland. On 11 February 1940 a trade treaty exchanged Soviet raw material and food for German machinery and military equipment. Stalin sent personal congratulations to Hitler for his quick victory over France while Soviet propaganda beamed extravagant displays of pro-Nazi sympathy. Millions of tonnes of grain, timber and metals poured into Germany from the USSR.
The Soviets even shipped materials to Germany from fellow Axis power Japan across its own Trans-Siberian railway. Soviet oil-fuelled Panzers and the Luftwaffe with German machinery and arms replenishing the supplies of the USSR. Even after the Nazi-Soviet Axis fell, Stalin is said to have said that the combined forces of the USSR and Third Reich would have been invincible.
As late as February 1945 Hitler said that both he and Stalin could have created a durable entente. In some ways they did. With the blatant antisemitism of Stalin manifest in the purging of Jews from communist parties in Soviet-occupied Europe, and most of all the Doctor’s Plot, the USSR became the messiah for those nostalgic for a pure Aryan fatherland.
James Madole of New York’s National Renaissance Party wanted to deport all non-whites from America, had interchangeable portraits of Hitler and Stalin and attracted ex-Communists to his party membership. The godfather of British neo-Nazism, Colin Jordan, felt that the USSR was less of a threat to the white race than western capitalism
Meanwhile, India’s communist parties, the chattering class champagne socialist Anglophone elite, Stalinist professors and a whole other disparate motely bunch consider Hindu political aspirations to be fascist, Nazi and somehow linked to the Third Reich. It does begin to look a bit stupid
Now with all the talk about the democratically elected government of India being Hindu fascist, a reincarnation of Nazis, and impending genocide of minorities, one would have thought that post-independence India would have been the ideal climate for fugitive Nazis.
But the only tenuous link the anti-Hindu demagogues can come up with is Savitri Devi, a French-born Greek fascist, Nazi sympathizer, and spy who served the Axis powers by committing acts of espionage against the Allied forces in India. Born as Maximiani Julia Portas in 1905 in Lyon, Enamoured with ancient Greek culture, Maximiani repudiated Christianity, though retaining its anti-Semitic prejudice.
In 1932, she travelled to India in search of a living pagan Aryan culture, believing that the country represented “the best of racial segregation” as she became drawn to Nazism, and adopted the name Savitri Devi. In 1940, Devi married Asit Krishna Mukherji, who edited the pro-German newspaper New Mercury. She described it as a chaste marriage, concluded purely for passport reasons and to prevent her deportation from India.
They passed information on to Japanese intelligence officials and the Japanese military found it useful when they launched attacks against Allied airbases and army units. After the war Savitri left for Europe where she became involved in neo-Nazi circles and prominent in spreading Holocaust denial. While in this context her views were in ideologically familiar territory, her views on Hinduism as a racist hierarchical system had nothing to do with Indian civilisation at all.
They were merely her own racist, colonialist, white supremacist and anti-Semitic fantasies which were firmly rooted in western civilisation, culture and political thought. In this, she was hardly alone. Indeed it remains the mainstream of western thought regarding India and Hindus
However the anti-Hindu Left and Right believe they have other aces up their sleeve. RSS chief Gowalkar apparently; praised Nazi Germany and antisemitism in 1939. Actually when he used the term ‘race’ it was in the context of community. Like many in India, and indeed the west, he was not familiar that Nazism was something more venomous than just the national yearning of the Germans.
Also what he wrote was in 1939, before the war and Holocaust. Indeed he expressed pride that Hindus had never engaged in antisemitism. This is hardly sympathy for Nazism. Defeated with this they argue other points. VD Savarkar who coined the very term Hindutva was pro-Nazi.
Actually, he urged Indians to join the Allied war effort, and in 1948 expressed support for the creation of Israel. What about Nathuram Godse who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi? Was he not in the RSS? Yes, he was but he left it. He had also once been in the Indian National Congress. But if we want to find fascism at this point we do not have to look far. And it is not in the ideas of Gowalkar, Savarkar or Godse. As for Savitri, this person had no impact on Hindu thought; unlike in western countries where her ideas would resonate in the mainstream. But they would resonate in Pakistan and among Islamic jihadists.
In October 1938 in Karachi, the Sind Muslim League leader Abdullah Haroon drew a parallel with the situation of Sudeten Germans under Czechoslovakia and admiringly referred to Hitler’s actions to liberate them. A parallel was made with Muslims in India. When Jinnah came to Cairo for an international Islamic conference, he made it a point to meet with the Nazi collaborator Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Amin al-Husseini.
In 1951, the latter presided over an international Islamic conference in Pakistan which was attended by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan. Within a year of independence, the Pakistani government under Jinnah revoked the rights of 2000 Bene Yisrael Jews who formed the minuscule Jewish community of Pakistan. This included denial of political representation. The synagogue which had stood for decades in undivided India in Karachi was set alight and Jews were attacked.
This resulted in the large-scale emigration of the community, mostly to India. By the early 1950s, only an estimated 250 Jews remained in Karachi. On 09 September 1948, Jinnah’s assistant secretary sent an urgent telegram to Pakistan’s Ambassador in the US Mirza Abol Hassan Ispahani asking him to immediately provide the names of specialists to be sent to provide medical treatment to Jinnah. It was, however, emphasized “that the doctors must not be Jews.”
The tone had been set for the nation’s narrative. In March 2004, a spokesperson for Lashkar-e-Toiba, was quoted in Greater Kashmir newspaper as saying that they “will take revenge in India as Yahud (Jews) and Hindus are two sides of the same coin.”
This should come as no surprise. Many German war criminals found refuge in Egypt where the fascist Green Shirts had praised Hitler as “Abu Ali”. King Farouk was known for his pro-Nazi views while Anwar Sadat spent three years internment for supporting Hitler. Otto Skorzeny was respected by Egypt’s revolutionary leaders including Nasser.
The Mufti himself arrived in 1946, as did Remer in 1953 who claimed that international Jewry was oppressing Germans and Arabs. The Egyptian Information Ministry was led by Omar Almin, churning out anti-Semitic propaganda. He was close to the Mufti and was in fact Nazi émigré Johann von Leers who converted to Islam. Another Nazi German expat, Louis Heiden, became Louis Al-Hadj and translated Mein Kampf into Arabic.
Egypt’s Nazi expat community applauded Nasser’s expulsion of all Jews and helped train his army on military techniques such as in the Suez War. Yasser Arafat was among those who benefited and enjoyed a close relationship with Skorzeny. He was also in contact with Remer in Damascus. Indeed neo-Nazi Germans fought with Arafat’s Fatah organisation. Von Leers had worked in Goebbel’s Propaganda Ministry, writing books calling for the extermination of the Jews. When he escaped American internment arrived in Cairo in the 1950s, he was welcomed by the Mufti. He showed exuberance in his newly found faith of Islam by praying that Allah would strike Adenauer dead and making this revealing comment:
If there is any hope to free the world from Jewish tyranny, it is with the Moslems, who stand steadfastly against Zionism, colonialism, and imperialism.
Italian fascist Claudio Mutti founded the Italian-Libyan Friendship Society with Gaddafi in 1969, published an Italian translation of both the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Gaddafi’s Green Book, and then converted to Islam, publishing a book on the quotations of Ayatollah Khomeini, to complement his existing works praising the “conservative” revolution, Russian nationalism and Romania’s Iron Guard.
Former Nazi war criminals also found refuge in Syria. Among these was Eichmann’s assistant Alois Brunner who was convicted in France in 1954 for the murder of 100,000 Jews. He lived in Damascus from the 1950s, protected by successive Syrian governments in which he served unrepentant in his role in Nazi genocide.
He had previously fled to Cairo in 1954, until he finally made Syria his home for over three decades. Remer himself moved there in 1962. Brunner made a living advising Syrian police on torture techniques. Two further Eichmann aides Karl Rademacher and SS Captain Theodor Dannecker, were also employed by the Syrian security forces. And so it was with a new generation of Nazi adherents. In 2005 America’s best known racist and national socialist David Duke was invited to address a government-sponsored rally in honour of President Bashar al-Assad.
Al-Husseini had toured Bosnia in 1943 meeting Muslim leaders and speaking in mosques in order to drum up volunteers for the Muslim legion known as SS-Handschar. One of the main recruiters for Handshcar was a young Alija Izetbegovic, later to be elected president of Bosnia in 1990 as Yugoslavia was on its deathbed. At age of 16 following the German invasion of Yugoslavia, Izetbegovic had founded Al Hidaya, the Muslim Youth Society closely associated with the militant Young Muslims, which he himself actually joined in 1943. Hence his election as president sent shockwaves among Bosnia’s Serb population.
The Nazi-Islamic Axis came in useful when former Nazi war criminals found sanctuary in Arab countries. Egyptian security apparatus was transformed by the arrival of Alois Moser, SS-Gruppenführer who was involved in the extermination of Ukraine’s Jews, and Egen Eichberger a former battalion commander in the Sonderkommando. Egypt also welcomed Joachim Däumling, formerly of the Gestapo and who had served with the Ustashe in Croatia. As for al-Husseini’s influence, PLO leader Yasser Arafat made this revealing comment on 2 August 2002:
We are the mighty people. Were they able to replace our hero Haj Amin al-Husseni? There were a number of attempts to get rid of Haj Amin, whom they considered an ally of the Nazis. But even so, he lived in Cairo, and participated in the 1948 war. I was one of his troops.
Arafat was of course also backed by India. In fact, it was India that was the first non-Arab country to contemporaneously recognize the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s authority as “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.” A PLO office was set up in the Indian capital in 1975, with full diplomatic relations established in March 1980.
India recognized Palestine’s statehood following the declaration on 18 November 1988. By contrast India did not formally recognise Israel until 1992. This was long before the government of the BJP and any threat of Hindu fascism.
Again the question is asked. With all these Nazi fugitives in Latin America, Spain, the Middle East, and being rehabilitated by western democracies and the Warsaw Pact, why did they do find a natural home in India? Surely a climate infused with Hinduism which is apparently such a home to Nazi thought would have had more flocking to it?
The answer would be that for its first decades India was dominated by secularists and socialists, not by the right-wing RSS and BJP. This however falls flat. Nehru struck up a friendship with Nasser of Egypt, the same dictator who had welcomed Nazi fugitives. It was Nasser who impressed Nehru’s ambassador to the UN, Krishna Menon, to read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Nehru himself said in 1953:
“In practice, the Hindu is certainly not tolerant and is more narrow-minded than almost any person in any other country except the Jew.”
Yet if India was dominated by such a vile person why was it not a refuge point for fleeing Nazis? In fact where does this accusation of Hindu fascism and affinity for Nazism even come from?
Outsourcing of White Guilt
In the eighteenth century, the Germans believed that they had been the victims of great power rivalries, notably between France and Austria. Their own patchwork of states was split across central Europe, with Prussia being the largest. But there was no actual state of Germany. German intellectuals, therefore, sought solace in an exotic land where like themselves the people were subjugated, India.
Thinkers such as Frederick von Schegel (1772-1829), his brother August Wilhelm (1765-1845), (1767-1835) and Arthur Schopenhauer (1778-1860) were beyond being mere students of Indian literature and philosophy. They were infatuated with the ancient land. In 1827 Humbolt declared:
The Bhagavadgita is perhaps the loftiest and the deepest thing that the world has to show.
Hegel (1770-1830) said that the Germans were direct disciples of Indian philosophy and culture. Herder was like many German Romanticists until the end of the nineteenth century, who believed that mankind, or at least the Aryans, came from the mountains of Asia.
Schopenhauer (1788-1866) preferred Buddhism and Hinduism over Christianity. Nietzsche went further in stating that Christianity had caused a “slave morality” and that it was inferior to Buddhism. In 1803 Schlegel said
“Everything, absolutely everything, is of Indian origin.” A superior race of ancient Indians had colonised Egypt to produce its ancient civilisation.
Looking to India was also part of the attempt of Europeans to give themselves cultural and civilisational origins cleansed of their ultimately Jewish heritage through the filter of Christianity and the Bible. Humanist ideas which followed the Renaissance and the opening up of the East to European exploration had led to a greater awareness of the antiquity of Indian civilisation.
Kant and Herder saw analogies between the myths and philosophies of Europe and India which helped them to cleanse the former of its Judaic heritage, and in doing so tried to find the origin of Western culture in India and not the Near and Middle East. Indeed this theory claimed an Aryan invasion of Europe before we have the theory even applied to India.
The ancient Celts, Norse, Greeks, Goths, all were sought as sources of which to build a new authentic German identity. It was also noted how most European languages were related to each other and must have a common origin. Into the fray came Sir William Jones, a lawyer and an Orientalist, and founder of the Asiatic Society in Calcutta. He knew several languages including Hebrew and Chinese. In 1783, Jones left for India as justice for the Supreme Court and used the new surroundings to learn Sanskrit.
Not only did he notice the affinity it had with Latin and Greek, but in a paper given to the Asiatic Society on 2 February 1786, Jones observed that Sanskrit was more copious, refined and perfect than either. He used the Sanskrit term “Arya” for noble, to refer to those languages of a particular group. This led to other scholars delving deeper into the linguistic similarities, and both Indo-European and Indo-Germanic were used to categorise these languages.
So was “Aryan”, and this whole debate over linguistic origins attracted the attention of Friedrich Schlegel in Cologne in 1802, who began studying Sanskrit and thus learnt the antiquity of Indian culture. Believing that European peoples descended from the Indian Himalayas, he published an Essay on the Language and Wisdom of the Indians in 1808.
Schlegel proposed that in the distant past, a nation of priests and warriors from the Himalayas had been transformed into murderous hordes and not only conquered India, but also struck far north into the cold forests of Germany and Scandinavia, claiming evidence for this migration existed in Sanskrit references to a sacred mountain revered by Hindus. This attracted the attention of Sanskrit scholar, Theodor Benfey, in the university city of Göttingen.
Using linguistic rules for flora and fauna, he attempted to reconstruct the original habitat inhabited by the ancestral Aryans and published his findings in 1869. Benfey surmised that northern Europe with its beech and pine forests bore the closest resemblance to this mythical homeland. Thus on very tenuous evidence therefore he rejected the Himalayan origin theory.
As Germany headed towards unification, nationalists lapped up Benfey’s ideas with glee, as it hypothesised that the forebears of nineteenth-century Germans had been energetic conquerors of the ancient world, sweeping from Europe as far as India.
But language now became linked to race, antisemitism and the reinjection of Christianity. “Aryan” was the term used by French racist thinker Arthur de Gobineau in his 1855 work on human inequality to describe his hypothetical master race. Because he regarded the Germans as the purest example of this white or Aryan race, Gobineau became extremely popular in Germany. Ernst Renan made the link between language and race, seeing anything “Semitic” as inferior to the Aryan.
In Hamburg Schopenhauer, influenced by romantic thinkers Tieck, Novalis and Hoffman, learn to admire the Greek elements in Christianity while despising any deemed Jewish. In 1870 Wagner also pushed for the de-Judaising of German Christianity. However, what was happening in Britain with respect to expanding the Christian faith in India, was to have even greater significance in relation to ideas of an Aryan race. While German interest in India was emotional, romantic and mystical, the British had practical motives to hold on to their imperial jewel.
The Brahmins commanded respect from all sections of society and were not regional to any part of the subcontinent. Christian missionaries meanwhile knew if the respect accorded to Brahmins was destroyed, it would make conversion of Hindus easier. Hence the rush by missionaries to learn Sanskrit and the church background of many nineteenth-century Indologists.
The axis between missionaries and imperialists was to lay the foundation of an anti-Brahman bias which continues in Indian academic circles to this day and found its father figure in Macaulay. Thomas Babbington Macaulay (1800-1859) introduced the English language and a Eurocentric bias to Indian education which remains supreme to this day. The Eurocentric bias was heavily influenced by a Christian ethos. Coming from a deeply religious family where his father was a Presbyterian minister and his mother a Quaker, Macaulay believed that the spread of Christianity would help the subjugation of India.
This would be an axis of evil, combining German romanticism with British imperialism. Frederick Max Muller (1823-1901) would become regarded as the greatest Indologist of his generation with his incredible knowledge of the Vedas and Sanskrit. Indeed his ideas are regarded as infallible to this day. Müller was an interesting mixture of German Romantic and Protestant missionary ideas.
This scholar first came out with the idea that white-skinned, blond-haired and blue-eyed Nordic Caucasians known as Aryans invaded India in 1500BC and oppressed the darker-skinned indigenous inhabitants of India known as Daysus. The invasion was supposedly recorded in the Vedas. It was Muller who would assist Macaulay to indoctrinate the Indian elite, and alienate Hindus from their past. It was only after German unification in 1871 that he retracted his views and said that Aryan did not mean race but referred to language.
However, by now racist ideas about Aryans had run perilously rampant. His disavowal was ignored by many which therefore prepared the ideological basis for Nazism. On 1 July 1935, at the SS offices in Berlin, the pseudo-academic wing of the SS was formed to propagate this Aryanised racist version of history, archaeology and culture.
This was the Ahnenerbe which would push scholarship more in keeping with Nazi thinking. Centuries of careful research and academic rigour would be swept away in the desire to prove how the tall, white, blond master race of Aryans brought civilisation to the darker inferior races. Western science, scholarship and academic rigour were openly flouted in the desire to prove the superiority of the Aryan race.
From 1936 it was headed by Dr. Walther Wüst, an authority on the ancient literature and religion of India, who had learnt Sanskrit, Vedas and Indian philosophy at Ludwig-Maximilian University, under prominent Indologist, Wilhelm Geiger. He saw the Rig Veda as proof of how the Nordic race had swept from Europe across Asia. On 1 February 1937, Himmler appointed him president of the Ahnenerbe.
He was impressed by his racial interpretation of Vedic text, and his talk of a blond haired, blue eyed white master race ruling India. Both Himmler and Wüst believed that four thousand years previously, European conquerors, the primeval and mythical Aryans, had spread into Asia to become a ruling elite such as Brahman priests, Mongol chiefs, samurai warriors, and the ruling aristocracy of China and Japan. These ideas were common among German ultranationalists, popularised by the Reich’s most famous racial pseudo-academics, Hans FK Günther.
However due to high mortality rate in the tropical climate, Günther said that India’s ruling Aryan race were forced to marry into native families thus losing their blond hair, blue eyes and white skin. Nevertheless, he claimed to discern Nordic traits in India’s ruling Brahmin elite, claiming that they were on average, taller, lighter skin, and had brown hair, narrower face and nose as compared to other Indians.
The Ahnenerbe launched expeditions to Tibet, Iceland, South America and Japan to find evidence of this lost master race. It was this pseudo-academic world of the Ahnenerbe laid the foundations for the Final Solution.
One would have thought that these ideas would be on the lunatic fringe, when in fact they are mainstream. The other ideas of the time such as the Hamitic invasion myth of Africa, various people being the Lost Tribes of Israel, the Sun Language Theory of Ataturk, are mostly dismissed as racist ideas of the time.
The Hamitic theory has reared its head periodically, with terrifying results in the Rwanda genocide of 1994 when Tutsis were killed for being invading ‘Hamites’. But most of all it infects narrative on India. From across the political spectrum the Aryan invasion theory is accepted as scientific and historical fact.
They ignore all the evidence that the homeland of the Vedic Aryans was India itself. The seas and rivers of India were lauded in scared hymns, notably the region of Saraswati which is praised as the mother of the Aryans and a goddess. The river itself dried up in 1900BC and this marks the end of the Vedic Age and the beginning of the decline of what was once called the Indus Valley Civilisation. Instead, the new masks of colonialism share the racist myth of an Aryan invasion of India in order to make the dominant Hindu culture of India into a historical fraud. In this utter cultural arrogance, any ancient and detailed indigenous accounts are ignored or dismissed.
This even goes as far as ignoring the latest archaeological discoveries of the Indus-Saraswati civilisation which, using western scientific methods, have exploded the myth of an invading Aryan race. Just as the German romanticists imposed their frustrations by creating a mythical view of India, so do the present liberal and progressives who see Hinduism as just one long litany of either race war between invading white Aryans and their darker subjugated masses, or Marxist class war in its most classic form. Even the very Dr Ambedkar whose name they invoke against the Hindu caste system and Brahminist oppression dismissed this racial myth. So if there is no evidence, then why continue it?
In the 1973 cult folk horror film, policeman Sergeant Howie investigates the disappearance of a girl on a remote Scottish island. A devout Christian, Howie is horrified to find a society that is openly centred on beliefs that are overtly sexual.
Willow deflowers male youth as part of a sacred rite, she is the subject of bawdy songs in the pub her father runs, couples have sex in public, boys celebrate the facts of life in graphic songs. But most damning of all to Howie is that the islanders openly reject their Christian past to return to a revamped pre-Christian paganism. Indeed his presence is needed as a human sacrifice to be burned alive due to crop failure.
The movie itself reflects a time when society itself was changing. Accepted norms were being subverted. The contraceptive pill, abortion, easy access to contraception, almost equal rights for gays, legislation to prevent discrimination on the basis of race or gender came up against the resistance of Mary Whitehouse for society losing its moral compass, Enoch Powell warning that a pluralist society would fail, and an economy that was stagnating. In the Wicker Man, Howie may be stuffy and unlikeable but he provides a figure we can all relate to. The pagan islanders may be freer and have more fun.
But the stuffy Howie is not going to burn anyone alive as part of his beliefs. Hence in this film, we can see the conflicts of Britain at that time playing out. Lose our moral compass and ethics and anything is possible. If that dark pagan past comes back it will not be all songs and naked girls leaping through flames as part of some fertility rite. Those same flames will consume a human offering.
Now understanding this is most important in working out the narrative regarding Hindus. Why is caste co-opted into racial issues by BLM activists and neo-Nazis alike? Why is Narendra Modi, a dark-skinned indigenous person from India, from poor background, backward caste, called variously an upper-caste Hindu fascist, racist and white supremacist? Why is Prem Nath Kovind, President of India, lambasted as being part of the right-wing extremist and neoliberal capitalist BJP, when he himself grew up in a mud hut and is Dalit? Why is this present ruling party called fascist when it has repealed legislation proscribing the very existence of LGBT people?
In fact, when we look at further facts it gets worse. The CAA was legislation to fast track asylum requests from minorities in neighbouring countries where non-Muslims suffer discrimination or the constant threat of extermination. Yet it was reported as a law to discriminate against Muslims by a right-wing fascist Hindu government; of course, it was never asked why so many Muslims from neighbouring Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan would want to live under this Hindu regime seemingly intent on their annihilation.
When the violence at Godhra is mentioned the burning of Hindu pilgrims in the Sabarmati Express is either omitted or, as with Himmler and the Jews sent to the gas chambers, they are denigrated as subhuman ‘extremists’.
When the Indian government is accused of being intent on the annihilation of minorities, no mention is made of the very real extermination of indigenous Hindus from Kashmir by Pakistan and western-backed Islamic imperialists; who want to do the same thing with respect to Pakistan and Kashmir that Hitler did with Germany and Austria, as well as Czechoslovakia and Poland.
To understand this one needs to look at the narrative. It is monotheist. Out of the dominance by the church came secular ideologies such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, communism, fascism, Nazism and a host of others which increasingly defy right and left categorisation. Humanism, atheism and secularism also came out of this and are not the neutral terms they claim to be. Being a sister faith Islam is also part of this western narrative. But Hinduism is not. Instead of religion and faith we have Dharma and Rta. Instead of a linear version of time there are cycles of destruction and creation.
The concept of utopia would make no sense when we have an understanding of society based on astrological observations of the cosmos. Just as the German romanticists were the original outsource pioneers, so their contemporary ideological offspring see India as the ideal dumping ground for their toxic waste of bankrupt ideas. It makes it easier for them to think that nasty diseases like racism and Nazism were not part of the superior western civilisation.
Instead, they had an alien source. And what better source than the largest surviving pagan society that exists. Unlike the indigenous peoples of America and Australia who can now mostly be found in museums, Hindus have refused to go extinct no matter what is thrown at them; whether it be terrorist violence or the very toxic utopian ideas that have failed in western societies. For a culture and civilisation that believes itself to be unquestionably superior, this is an anathema. Hence we have the drama Leila, trying to show a future Hindu fascist dystopia.
While this has no historical basis at all the very civilisation pushing it via online streaming does. Under the church, pagans were exterminated or forcibly converted; such as the Saxons under Charlemagne. Jews were massacred in pogroms from the Crusades onwards, in fact right into the time of the gas chambers. Under Islam, pagans were exterminated while Christians and Jews could exist as inferior dhimmis paying the jizya poll tax. But when it came to India it was a different story.
Despite burning people alive and forcible conversion by Francis Xavier, the church made little headway. Mughal emperor Akbar had to soften the hard edges of Islamic rule. Leila projects this history of others as if it will be part of Hindu thought. Even worse when we come to the modern-day we find that ideas misunderstood by Gowalkar were very well understood by the western mainstream.
Churchill praised Hitler until 1937. The Nazis had many friends in powerful places, but perhaps none were more influential than Harold Harmsworth, aka Lord Rothermere, the owner of the Daily Mail in the 1930s. Rothermere congratulated Hitler on his invasion of the Sudetenland, and secret papers declassified and released in 2005 showed that he also wrote to Hitler in 1939 congratulating him for the annexation of Czechoslovakia, praising his “great and superhuman work in regenerating your country,”. King Edward VIII was also a Nazi sympathizer, as was his lover, Wallis Simpson. They visited Germany in 1937 and were entertained by and photographed with Hitler and other senior Nazis. But beyond this, Nazism is enmeshed with aspects of western consumer culture more than we would like to imagine.
In 1938 motoring magnate Henry Ford was awarded the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the highest medal Nazi Germany could bestow on a foreigner, having been admired by the Nazis. French perfume entrepreneur Coco Chanel worked as an agent for the occupying Germans, leading her to flee to Switzerland to avoid criminal charges for her collaborations as a Nazi spy once the war ended. It was in fact Churchill’s intervention at the end of the war that prevented Chanel’s punishment for spy collaborations, with the fear that she would expose the pro-Nazi sympathies and activities of certain top-level British officials, members of the society elite and the royal family.
Staying with fashion we find German clothing manufacturer Hugo Boss joining the Nazi party in 1931. Boss already produced uniforms for the SA. Now he won contracts to produce for the SS. The brothers Adolf and Rudi Dassler also joined the Nazi party, in 1933, and became also members of the National Socialist Motor Corps. Adolf took the rank of Sportwart in the Hitler Youth from 1935 until the end of the war. Already producing sports shoes, their company now supplied footwear to the German military. After the war their acrimonious fallout led Adolph to form Adidas, and Rudi to found Puma.
In 1937 the Nazi run German Labour Front established the manufacture of a motor vehicle, the “people’s car” that was affordable; Volkswagen. The company would admit in 1998 that it used 15,000 slaves during the war effort. German historians estimated that 80% of Volkswagen’s wartime workforce was slave labour. They were hardly alone in this. BMW used slave labour, mainly from Dachau.
Siemens (at the time: Siemens-Schuckert) exploited the forced labour of deported people in extermination camps. The company owned a plant in Auschwitz concentration camp and exploited the forced labour of women in the concentration camp of Ravensbrück. IG Farben collaborated with the Nazi regime, profiting from guaranteed volumes and prices, and from the slave labour provided by the concentration camps. BASF (leader of the chemical industry of the IG Farben) built a chemical factory in Auschwitz by the name IG Auschwitz. It was the largest chemical factory of the world and achieved notoriety owing to its production of Zyklon-B.
This company would later be refounded as BASF. IBM’s German subsidiary Dehomag gave the Nazis a way of tracing Jews and dissidents using the powerful automated search tools using the IBM machines. It enabled them to search databases rapidly and efficiently, and the methods were used throughout occupied Europe by the Gestapo and others to locate and arrest its victims, contributing to the Holocaust.
Now when you balance this out against words written by Gowalkar in 1939, who nevertheless supported the Allied war effort and denounced antisemitism, it looks very suspicious. Are the words written by Gowalkar in ‘We, Our Nationhood Defined” enmeshed into India as much as the Adidas and Puma sports clothing and shoes which had their roots in Nazi collaboration? Or the perfume and Handbags of Chanel? The clothing and aftershave of Hugo Boss? Ford, Volkswagen and BMW vehicles? The manufacturing of IBM, BASF and Siemens? Historically did any of the so-called Hindu fascists benefited from slave labour in concentration camps?
When western commentators and their pet Indian ‘Gunga Din’ collaborators spout off about Hindu fascists they do not actually mean fascists. They mean heathen, pagan, backward, uncivilised idol worshipper, polytheist. It is merely that spirit of religious holy war revamped under the guide of progress. They escape with it due to lack of analysis and using their power to silence critics long before cancel culture and woke theory were even thought of.
What they forget is that we are in a new era. Just as those activists who want to topple statues relating to slavery and colonialism conveniently forget that we live in a century when the imperialist powers are not the same ones as even fifty years ago, so the anti-Hindu cancel culture of both left and right forget that geopolitical tectonic plates are moving.
As India, long lambasted as cesspit of Hindu superstition and caste prejudice, moves centre stage and becomes indispensable to democratic nations, that Hinduphobia is already looking as outdated and prejudiced as the late stand up comedian Bernard Manning who was notorious for his racist jokes. And it is India under a Dalit president and a backward caste prime minister, both indigenous and followers of the surviving pagan culture which will have the last laugh.
Use of the term ‘Hinduphobia’ – 1866-1997
Civilising the ‘Hindoo’ Savage : Part One