The Lightning and the Sun is Savitri Devi’s magnum opus and one of the founding texts of post-World War II National Socialism. Written in Europe from 1948 to 1956 and published in India in 1958, The Lightning and the Sun sets forth a unique and stunning synthesis of National Socialism with the cyclical Traditionalist philosophy of history and Hindu mythology. Savitri Devi’s goal was to create a new National Socialist religion. She aspired to be the Saint Paul to Hitler’s Jesus. Paul of Tarsus took Jesus, who was a religious prophet and a failed political revolutionary, and turned him into a divine incarnation, creating a religion which served as the vehicle for the triumph of Jewish values over Rome. Savitri Devi sought to transform Adolf Hitler, who was also both a prophetic figure and a failed political revolutionary, into a divine incarnation-an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu-hoping to create a religion that would serve as the vehicle for the triumph of National Socialism over egalitarian modernity. In spite of its near-legendary status, The Lightning and the Sun is a notoriously hard to find book. The first edition consisted of only 1,000 copies and is quite rare. The 1979 Samisdat reprint is long out of print and also quite rare. The most readily available edition is William Pierce’s dramatically abridged version, which cuts two thirds of the text and was not authorized or checked by Savitri Devi. The Savitri Devi Archive’s new edition of The Lightning and the Sun reprints the complete and unabridged first edition and corrects its many typographical errors. It also updates the citations, adds a number of explanatory notes, includes a helpful Editor’s Foreword, and provides a detailed index. With this new edition, which is edited and manufactured to the highest academic press standards, The Lightning and the Sun has finally found a worthy embodiment. About the Authoress Savitri Devi (1905-1982) is one of the most original and influential National Socialist thinkers of the post-World War II era. Born Maximine Julia Portaz in Lyons, France, she was of English, Greek, and Italian ancestry and described her national¬ity as “Indo-European.” She earned Master’s degrees in philosophy and chemistry and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Lyons. Her books include A Warning to the Hindus (1939), L’Etang aux lotus (The Lotus Pond) (1940), A Son of God: The Life and Philosophy of Akhnaton, King of Egypt (1946), later republished as Son of the Sun (1956), Akhnaton: A Play (1948), Gold in the Furnace: Experiences in Post-War Germany (1952), Defiance: The Prison Memoirs of Savitri Devi (1958), Pilgrimage (1958), Impeachment of Man (1959), Long-Whiskers and the Two-Legged Goddess (1965), Souvenirs et réflexions d’une Aryenne (Memories and Reflections of an Aryan Woman) (1976), And Time Rolls On: The Savitri Devi Interviews (2005), and Forever and Ever: Devotional Poems (2012).
In this window onto the roots and evolution of international neo-Nazism, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke reveals the powerful impact of one of fascism’s most creative minds.
Savitri Devi’s influence on neo-Nazism and other hybrid strains of mystical fascism has been continuos since the mid-1960s. A Frenchwoman of Greek-English birth, Devi became an admirer of German National Socialism in the late 1920s. Deeply impressed by its racial heritage and caste-system, she emigrated to India, where she developed her racial ideology, in the early 1930s. Her works have been reissued and distributed through various neo-Nazi networks and she has been lionized as a foremother of Nazi ideology. Her appeal to neo-Nazi sects lies in the very eccentricity of her thought – combining Aryan supremacism and anti-Semitism with Hinduism, social Darwinisn, animal rights, and a fundamentally biocentric view of life – and has resulted in curious, yet potent alliances in radical ideology.
As one of the earliest Holocaust deniers and the first to suggest that Adolf Hitler was an avatar– a god come to earth in human form to restore the world to a golden age – Devi became a fixture in the shadowy neo-Nazi world. In Hitler’s Priestess, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke examines how someone with so little tangible connection to Nazi Germany became such a powerful advocate of Hitler’s misanthropy.
Hitler’s Priestess illuminates the life of a woman who achieved the status of a prophetess for her penchant for redirecting authentic religious energies in the service of regenerate fascism.