Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Wanna say I don't know less? Listen to stuff you should know more. Join host Josh and Chuck on the podcast packed with fascinating discussions about science, history, pop culture and more episodes. Dive into topics like was the lost, city of Atlantis Real? And how does pizza work? Say goodbye to I don't know. Because after listening to stuff you should know you will listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees. So four whole months, the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. Bing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. What's esoteric? My hitlerism's **** that is 2 Hitler starts in a row. Ah, Jesus Robert. Well, it it it fits with this episode. This is behind the ******** podcast about the worst people in all of history. I'm Robert Evans, I'm the host, and my guest today is Jamie. One last name now. The Beyoncé of No Billy wins. The Beyoncé of behind the ********. Yeah, you. You are the podcaster formerly known as the Beyoncé of behind the ********. Yeah. They're the Beyoncé of my heart. Thank you. Yeah. There we go. Here we go. Ohh, Jamie. How are you doing today? I'm good, I'm good. I I think that that's true. I'm good. I have to add. I have to add, probably good. I have to add a bag to my Spirit Airlines flight, but that's about as as challenging as it's getting today. Speaking of monsters, that is the greatest monster of all. Hey, it's great. It's online interface. Yeah, you have to, like, swipe your credit card if you sneeze on a Spirit Airlines. I I have this friend. His name is Lenny, and he listens to the podcast so he may hear this. And Lenny is one of the one of the most experienced travelers I know. And at one point, I was taking a flight with him in Eastern Europe to Ukraine through Wizz Air, which is one of the worst Airlines flight plan I've heard of Wizz Air. Yeah, they're terrible. Never had the pleasure. There was a moment where they started hassling us about our bags and it became clear that we weren't going to be able to like, fit everything like that. We were going to have to take stuff out. And the line from him that I'll never forget was, I guess, well, I guess I'm wearing all my pants today. I've heard multiple pairs of pants on how if you're not going on to a Spirit Airlines flight wearing 5 jackets like, what are you even? You're you're robbing yourself you're. I've been on a Spirit Airlines red eye next to like an actively drunk person multiple times. No, that's just normal. I know, but if you yeah, you're right, you haven't wept. If you haven't wept and throwing things away while waiting to get in. It's Spirit Airlines. Have you even flown? We have gotten off topic. Very off topic, Jamie. Yes. Have you ever heard of Savitri Devi? No. Ohh, good. Oh, boy. Jamie, you are in for a ****** ******* treat. Oh, I love when you don't tell me in advance. OK. OK. Yeah, this is one I'm gonna guess almost nobody's listening to has heard of, but she's one of the most important people for understanding where we are right now in the year 2020. Like the most the most recent headline that ties directly to her is you remember when the FBI arrested all those members of the base that that neo-Nazi group that's planning to start a second civil war by randomly firing? Do a crowd in Virginia that was full of armed people. Yeah. That whole, that whole hullabaloo? Yes. Yeah. Well, she's kind of behind all that, although she died decades before it happened. So that's today's story. Nice. Let's do it. So now, Jamie, we're gonna start like, we start every good day by talking about our low buddy. Shouldn't call him a buddy. Adolf Hitler. It's weird because I can call Stalin a buddy, but I feel like calling Hitler a buddy is a bridge too far. I don't know. On this show, I feel like there are just rules that are different. Yeah, they're they're old friends at this point. So, yeah, Hitler was at his point. He was a secular ruler, Jamie. He was not a, not a, not a, not a like, I think. I think there's a lot of misconceptions about. Kind of the nature of of his power and like, his regime because of all of these, like, history channel documentaries and this industry of books on Nazi occult history and, like, Nazi magic and the Hellboy movies that like to hear it. Yeah, yeah. I mean, they're great movies. At least one of them is. But like this idea that, like, you know, the Nazis were like full of full of magic. Right. And that Hitler, like, believed all sorts of, like, weird, kooky, a cult stuff about, like, raising the dead and and and aliens. And **** and it's just not true. There were some funky occult ties to National Socialism, but there were people phrase Oh yeah, yeah, Oh yeah. Funky cult ties. Yeah, baby. Yeah, but they weren't to Hitler, they were to like kind of like side figures, like the B list of the Nazis. A lot of those guys were kind of into the occult, but like you're a listers really were were were pretty secular guy beyonces the Nazi beyonces as opposed to, I'm trying to think of like like the Nazi Jeremy Renners. How dare you speak his name in this forum? I thought we we made a pact to never speak of him again. We we never signed that contract. We never did. It was under negotiation for a long time. Yeah, it is still in arbitration. Now, the two list society spelled fool society, like the top racks on people's jeeps. Was it well, Subarus people? Subarus? The Tula Society was a German cult group in the early 20th century in Germany, and it provided some of the early funding and leadership for the Nazi Party. Heinrich Himmler held bizarre, quasi magical beliefs for his whole time in power, and he was kind of into some weird he thought he was like a reincarnated Prince and some **** but Hitler himself was not at all. Into a cold stuff and the only guy really close to him who was was Rudolf Hess, who was his deputy and for a long time his best friend. This is the guy he like Co wrote Mein Kampf with. Like Hess and Hitler like ******* type before Hitler. His ghost his his like his ghost writer. Yeah, kind of like more like his, Umm, his muse. Yeah. And also the guy who was a competent typist. Both. I mean, you got you got you. If if your muse is also a competent typist. Yeah. Who says the perfect person doesn't exist? Yeah, Rudolf Hess. That's what people say about Rudolf Hess is he was the perfect person, so. He was also the deputy fearer for a while. Yeah, ohh 66666. Yeah, he was a cool dude, but he wasn't really in the picture for very long. He got increasingly marginalized after Hitler came to power in 33, and in 1941 he kind of went ******* and got on a plane and flew to Great Britain while the two countries were at war. How would you define *******? I would define ******* as like independently hopping in your private plane and flying to a country that your country is actively bombing to try to parachute down and negotiate for peace between your two nations without anyone asking you to. I would describe that as pretty bug ****. Yeah, that's that's not this is like a new term for me and now this is the only like reference point I have for it, so I'm not gonna know how to how to define bug **** moving forward. OK, so bug **** is when like the world is falling apart and you're like, **** it and you and you go the **** *** and then you is that it? Kind of, yeah. Like it was a kind of thing where like there was no chance of ever working. He did not have the authority to to to sign a peace treaty for Germany and Britain did not have any interest in talking with him or making peace with Germany at this point. So he basically just flew in, crash landed in England and got arrested and spent the rest of his life in prison. And it was a huge embarrassment for Hitler because this, this is like his right hand man who in the middle of the war like flies. His enemies country to, like, try to negotiate without Hitler's approval. It was it was very weird. And because Hess was like this occult dude into astrology and all this **** and like this weird. He was actually kind of like a Buddhist. Like he's a weird dude sick. But because he held all these weird beliefs and he ****** *** Hitler so badly. Hitler bands, like all of this weird occult **** that had cropped up around the Nazi party in 1941. So yeah, so after 41, like really most of that. Stuff is illegal. Heinrich Himmler gets up to a little bit of it with the s s because he's got a castle and he he's just a weird dude. We'll get into some of that in the later episode. The important thing to understand is that, like, yeah, Hitler was like a distinctly not wooley guy. Like he's not a new age sort of dude. Engineer like if I he's like the guys on Reddit who like if you mention you so much as mention your Zodiac sign, they're like, she's not credible. She's fine. She's a she's lost. Yes, like yes. I love that type of person. Feel confident saying that 100% of Hitler's biographers agree he would have been extremely on Reddit? Like, more on Reddit than anyone has ever been on red? Sure, yeah, no, he would be the most ready guy of of all of them. And we have to admit that that is very what's his sign? That that's very his sign of him, wouldn't you say? I don't know. He's such a Taurus, but he's such a Taurus. Sure. OK, continue. That's. I assume you're referring to the maker of really shoddy handguns, which is, I think they're Brazilian. Terrible guns. OK, no, I'm just trying to cancel on the behind the ******** board. Never. Either way, advocating the tourist sign or the tourist firearms brand is not going to go well for you, OK? Yeah. So now Hitler. So he's not into the occult at all. He's not a big fan of Christianity either. Umm. He felt it was fundamentally Jewish because Jesus was Jewish, which is, you know, not an irrational point of view within the logic of being a Nazi. And he worried that weaken the German people. But he also respected Christianity for its ability to inculcate good values in the German people. And the primary good value and inculcated was making lots of babies because most Germans. Catholic and Catholics aren't big fans of condoms. I'm not not sure if you're aware of that. No, I know I wouldn't have arms if it weren't for this attitude. None of us would. Now. Hitler himself was a baptized Roman Catholic. All his life he probably didn't really believe much of anything other than that that Hitler was a cool dude, but he felt it was important to maintain this image. Now there were some among his followers that it was Nazism's destiny to become the new great German religion. But Hitler himself pushed back against this, insisting in Mein Kampf that National Socialism, quote, is not a religious reform but a political reorganization of the German people. He believed, quote it is criminal. Tried it and destroy the accepted faith of the people as long as there is nothing to replace it. And it is possible that given enough time, Hitler would have tried to replace Christianity with something else, but he never attempted to do so. And as far as we know, the supernatural, as it's generally known, played very little role in the Nazi regime. But, and here's where the real episode starts. In the decades since Hitler shot himself in that bunker in 1945, Naziism has changed quite a lot the actual political and historic beliefs of the original Nazis and of Hitler. Itself have been twisted and shifted into something even weirder. It would be too much to say that this new form of Nazism is more dangerous than the original, given the 10s of millions of people who died from the original Nazism. But it's probably accurate to say that the fact that Nazism has mutated into what we call esoteric Hitlerism has made it better able to survive in the era of the Internet. Now, esoteric Hitlerism is a term used to refer to a number of different strains of post war Nazi thought that put a bizarre religious. And a cult spin on Nazi racial theories and on Hitler himself, often seeing the man as essentially the avatar of a God. 4 Chan and Eight Chan are, in the modern age two of the most prolific vectors for this the spread of this brand of nonsense. Sure, there are strains of it in Brenton Terrence manifesto and in Anders Breivik's manifesto. And today we're talking about the woman who invented all of this, the single person who became the living link between the Nazism that tried and failed to conquer Europe and the modern Nazi movement that spawns mass shootings and attempted mass shootings. On a monthly basis today, her name was Savitri Devi and she was a huge ***** ** ****. This is someones feminism somewhere. Yeah, this is some ***** ** **** feminism. She is a feminist icon. She's a feminist icon. Feminism is the law now. Mm-hmm. Feminist. This is a woman who spent her whole life living alone with a pile of cats and changing naziism forever. OK, well, what if she just did the first half? You know? Then it was not she was not willing to do. Just. First, she's like, OK, so I'm in a pile of cats. That's great. Yeah. What else could I do? And that was her second idea. That's embarrassing. That was her second idea. We hate it. Does she does start first, focused on the cats and then move straight to naziism, though? It's it's remarkable. Yeah. So she was born Maximiano Portas on September 30th, 1905, in Lyon, France. Her mother, Julia, came from Cornwall, the town with the 36th dumbest name in all of England. Her father's ancestry was a melange of various Mediterranean peoples without access to birth control. He was mostly Italian and Greek, although young Maximiliane was born a French citizen. She latched onto her father's Greek ancestry from the very beginning. Some of this had to do with the fact that Leon had a large and active Greek expat community and her dad was a prominent member of it. She also nursed an early fascination with Roman history. Her name Massimiani was actually just the female form of Maximian, the proper first name of the emperor. Marcus Aurelius. So she's a she's a big old nerd. I really have to emphasize what a nerd she is. I feel like I've met versions of this girl in, like, sophomore English classes, and they're like, actually something, something. And you're like, stop it, stop it, please. Just like. Finish reading. Their eyes were watching. God, let's move on. I was the male version of this for a while. I mean, I took three years of Latin because I was such a a Roman history nerd. OK, Robert, some of us took five years of Latin and do we remember a ******* thing? Of course not. No, no, I of course not. A *** **** word I like, like when I was in high school, like in junior high. In high school, if you were like in the quote UN quote advanced classes, they would be like, let's teach them a language they can't use. So stupid, *** **** totally useless term. Did you have to? I mean, that's one of those. Do you use that textbook that was about the the Romani family? Did you do equate Romani? Oh no, no, ma'am. I was like ******* Kilius and Quintus. I remember those names. They were like the ******* the IT was like a bunch of Pompeii people who all die at the end of the book. Our our everyone died at the end of our textbook. That's. Wait. Was it like we have? We have the. We had the Corneliani family. It was like Cornelia and her brother Marcus. And then they had a friend named Sextus. Who? They sound like ******* losers. They weren't they. There you're your family sounds way better because our family there was like 3 books in total and the whole second book. So like all of 8th and 9th grade, they're just stuck in a ditch. They're like in a ditch. Their carriage is in a ditch, they can't get out. They're staying at an inn. The innkeepers yelling at them, they're stuck in * ****. They're stuck in a ditch for a whole month, and then they go to Rome and and and everything is fine. That sounds like a nightmare. Yeah, nightmare. Yeah. So horrible. Massimiani would have gotten a lot. Well, no, she wouldn't have. She would have been the most annoying person in our Latin class. Yeah, I don't like when people are in the Latin class and they're also like, into it. I'm like, Umm, we should be learning a real we have to learn to pronounce anything, right? You never had to speak because there was no practical reason to speak it. Well, no one knows either. Like, you've got ecclesiastical Latin, but there's no way to know if it was exactly the same as what the Romans spoke. So we just didn't give a ****. It was great, yeah. My teacher, Miss Cook, would come and shoot. What was the thing she would say she was like? OK, Discipuli at discipuli like, she's like, hello students, let's learn Julius Caesar. And then we would just talk about how the family was stuck in the ditch all day. All day. Horrible. Yeah? Well, Maximiano spent her young life stuck in that ditch, and that ditch was called being a huge nerd for Mediterranean classical civilizations. Is a strong willed child, which here is a synonym for unspeakably arrogant and a giant pain in the ***. Sure, she felt strongly about just about everything. That is how they describing children and everything. Yeah, strong willed, yeah. She was known to be utterly immovable once she'd latched onto an idea. Uh, one strong opinion she developed early was that British people were terrible, which is not an accurate. She hated her mother's English friends and the way they prattled on about illnesses and their dying families. Harsh. God, that's so harsh. Like, I wish my family wasn't dying and she's like, shut up. Jesus Christ. Yeah, we get it. She didn't like French people very much either, and the particular cause for her hatred of the French was the French Revolution. She read about it as a little girl in school and was instantly furious. The Republican ideals of equality, liberty and fraternity disgusted her. She was punished at school for making an obscene gesture at a plaque of the declaration of the Rights of Man. And again, how she's like eight or nine. Yeah, she's like a ******* little kid at this point. That is like, that is so funny. Yeah, the declaration of the rights of man. Which small child Savitri Devi flipped off includes such controversial takes as people are innocent until proven guilty, people have the right to liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression, and people should be able to speak and write with freedom. Wow, some real hot, hazy Shawn out there. Yeah, geez. OK, so she was, like, born to be harmful. She was born to be a fascist. She like she as a small child. She's like people aren't equal. What is this ******** **** that's so the little flipping off to human rights you do? You do feel like we should have known? We should have known? I mean, I love flipping off old documents too, but to me, it's the Magna Carta. In the Magna Carta knows why. The Magna Carta knows what she did. Oh yeah. The Magna Carta shakes in her boots whenever you come walk. The Magna Carta is a messy ***** and I have no time for it. That OK, Robert? Gee, I can't believe you just called a female document a *****. Messy. You're setting a bad example, Robert. Feminism is documented misogyny. It's just she's she's literally shaking right now. She's here. Oh no, he's in the room with. You didn't tell me the Magna Carta was in the room today. She's literally. She drove me here. Double she's well, I don't have a drivers license. I don't know what you want. I I don't know how much further to take this bit Jenny, so I'm just kinda later in life. In 1978, Savitri Devi told an interviewer a beautiful girl is not equal to an ugly girl. So she remained pretty consistent about her belief in the fundamental inequality of human beings, like her whole life. And she's getting really granular about it too. Yeah, yeah, OK. She's granular about ******* everything now. Chief motivating factor in her childhood. I have to say it was completely understandable. She felt a deep, powerful sense of rage at the abuse of animals by human beings. OK, starting at age 5, yeah, starting at age 5, she began expressing to her parents concern at the abuse of animals she witnessed in a daily basis. She was horrified by circuses, the fur trade and the eating of meat. While still in elementary school, she became a committed vegetarian and eventually a vegan. Maximiliane Portas was particularly disgusted by the abuse of cats by peasants on the French countryside. The only real biographer, Nicholas Goodrick Clarke, claims this quote disgusted her and turned her against mankind. And since most people listening probably don't know anything about the history of cat torture in Europe, I didn't know anything about the history of cat torture in Europe. I'm going to have to talk about that now for a little while. It's like a thing, Jamie. OK? ******* like specific to this region. Cat torture, all of Europe really. But like, yeah, specifically to France, like the French ******* hate cats history. OK, alright, I'm listening. They are ********. About cats, OK, yeah, today we rightly Revere cats as our moral and intellectual superiors, and we have organized our society around pleasing them. This is right and good, but cats have not always been beloved in the West, while they are considered basically wholly in Islam. They're like ritually clean. Like you can have them in in mosques and stuff all over the place. You have to wash your hands after touching them if you're going to go pray. There's a long Christian tradition of seeing cats as demonic entities, and to be fair, Islam is kind of ****** on the subject of dogs. So I guess whatever of the big religions you pick, you're gonna be terrible to one of the good animals. I don't know why. Yeah, it's weird. Now, in the 15th century, Edward, Duke of York, announced that if the devil inhabited any living animal, it was the cat. And for centuries, all around Europe, good Christians tortured and murdered cats for almost no reason. And he brought Belgium. They held an event called Canton Stote, the festival of Cats, which sounds awesome, but actually just involve drunken townsfolk throwing cats from the top of the church. And a hard cobblestones and then lighting them on fire. No. Yeah. Yep, I am. Hey, OK. It's always really frustrating when you hear a story about the underclass and it's like you're playing to stereotypes about the underclass. Yeah. Don't some of those stereotypes on the pavement? I mean, I'm gonna be honest. I bet the rich people got to go up first and throw the nicest cats just to set a good yeah. And then yeah. And then yeah, they would privately be throwing cats at hard marble floors as well. Yeah. My God, it's horrible. And Ken Stott still takes place in Eupora every May, but they use stuffed animals now, which just stop. Just just stop. It's not a good tradition. It would be so easy to not do it. It would be so easy. Do they, do they eat the cat? Like, do they? Or is it just we're just killing the cats? Not that that makes it better? No, no. They're just murdering cats for no good reason. OK, cause it's fun. That is worse and people are horrible. But Jamie, you know who doesn't randomly torture cats in Belgium? Your sponsors. You know, that is exactly right. No, we do that. Sophie vets every sponsor to make sure they do not torture cats in Belgium. Yes. Is that that's true? That's Robert doesn't lie, Robert. I. OK, OK. It is a small country, so the vetting's pretty. Busy. Like you'll notice I did not say for example. Canada. No, you certainly didn't true back. No, I did not. Now Canada just got cancelled before our very eyes. Ohg. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one meant mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. 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You maybe even heard the rumors from your friends and loved ones. But are any of the stories about government conspiracies and cover ups actually true? The answer is surprisingly or unsurprisingly, yes. For more than a decade we here at stuff they don't want you to know have been seeking answers to these questions. Sometimes there are answers that people would rather us not explore. Now we're sharing this research with you for the first time ever in a book format, you can pre-order stuff they don't want you to know now. It's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read or wherever you find your favorite books. We're back, Jamie. Yeah. Those were good ads. Good. Yeah, Jamie, good products. After all those good ads, Are you ready to hear more about the systematic torture of cats by generations of Europeans? I just got a cat. Robert. This is not fair. I love cats. Oh my God. Shout out, flee, shout out to flee my cat. He's got a big neck when I say about my so he's got a big neck. Free shout out to Roach, one of the side characters in the the first version of the movie with Keanu Reeves, where some of the people are bank robbers, but they're also surfers. Ohh, you're talking about the Keanu Reeves surfing movie with with what's his name? We covered it on the bill cast. What is it? Yes, Roach. Roach is the one who bleeds out in a plane. Point break. He's a good character. We're talking. We're talking about point break. Yes. Point break. That's the movie. A classic, yes. Now, in France, there was a centuries old tradition of burning hundreds of cats to death and gigantic bonfires. Louis the 16th even famously lit Paris's cat fire in 1648. Bruler lichatz, the king sent the cat fire. Yeah, of course. Who else? Jamie? Who else? This is just all news to me. Just I. Me too. I OK, I'm good. I'm glad that this wasn't like common knowledge. I would be horrified if I just didn't you know, even burning cats. OK. I it like. It doesn't surprise like obviously like you have to assume earlier times people are. More callous to cats and dogs because them being like what they are now is kind of a more recent development because we have all these extra resources. But I didn't realize it was this, like, cruel. This is a lot. Yeah, thing is something the cat fire that's like bad writing. Hmm. Yeah, so the king would would, yeah. So bruley leichtes, which I am not going to pronounce more correctly than that because it's a horrible thing. And **** **** France as it was called, varied in a number of different ways. Sometimes it was just massive bonfires we're living cats were tied together and like huge pyres. Sometimes living cats were tied above small fires on like a spit and then roasted to death. Sometimes cats were set in wooden cages and burnt to death in some towns people known as. For amounts, cat chasers would soak cats and fuel, light them on fire and chase them through town, to the amusement of citizens. People wonder charge counts are so upset all the time. I know, right? So they have them. They're in a breast species. Yes, they are. Yeah. I would be ******. We you should be. I'm ******. The charred remains of these tortured cats were taken home as good luck charms by people in 1730 as revolutionary sentiment simmered and bubbled throughout French society 2 Parisian. Prentice printers got fed up with their masters and abducted their cats. They staged a massive public trial, the Great Cat massacre, as it's become known to history. Now, this was tied more towards issues of class hatred than hatred of cats, but the cats will end up actually like, but they end up being the scape cats for the whole situation. Exactly that. And that's also the worst way to die as a as a symbol for something that has nothing to do with you. Yeah, those cats have no understanding of class theory. With someone like murder me and then they were like, well this has something to do with like my opinion on the new Taylor Swift record has nothing to do with Jamie, but I killed her as to send a message. It it would be like if one group of aliens came to Earth and murdered you for something they knew human beings were going to do 100 years in the future, something you're completely incapable of understanding or knowing about. Yeah, like, just yeah. This, like, it's just wild. But these apprentices felt their masters treated the family cats better than their workers. And because they couldn't quite, you know, murder their bosses, they got a crowd together and they captured a bunch of rich people's cats. And then they put them on trial and sentenced them to be hung until dead. And they hung just a ******** of cats to death. That is, they made like the owners of the Cats Watch. It was super ****** **. I don't know what to do right now. Well, I think what you can do right now is you can get a little bit into the head of a sensitive young soul like massimiani Portas. Because a lot of this stuff was still going on in France. It wasn't at its worst, but like cat torture and burning was still happening in the countryside. And she sees this as a little girl and is like. This is part of why she hates those like, you know, French revolutionary values of freedom and equality is she's like, well, clearly this is all ********. Look at what they're doing to these animals. Like, where's their, you know, equality and freedom and like, like, like, she. That's kind of like where she comes at this from, right? Yeah. Yeah. So she's deeply sympathetic to animals and particularly cats, and basically incapable of being sympathetic to human beings. And yeah, so we got an interesting story. I'm gonna be interested in how she Galaxy brains being sympathetic towards the plight of of of brutally murdered cats to becoming a fascist. But you know, fascism finds a way. Fascists, to be honest, like it's common for all of us to fascism. Well, you know it. Not committing cat murders, but like, no hating people because of how garbage they are and thinking fascism is the only way to fix it because people just can't be allowed to to to live on their own. OK, need to should. I thought you were saying cat specific reasons. I'm like, well, this is a true education. Yeah. Now, Massimiani was very good in school. She was a bright student. She read and wrote constantly. And her very favorite writer was a 19th century French poet named Charles Leconte de Lisle. And here's how Savitri's biographer describes Leconte de Lisle's work in the book Hitler's Priestess, which is really the only decent biography of Savitri Devi. Interesting quote, the Count de Liles own tragic view of the universe. His romantic colors were always tinged with somber pessimism. Strongly appealed to Maximiliane, he regarded all religious symbols as fragments of the divine truth. But the profusion of faiths over time convinced him of the relative value and ultimate vanity of every doctrine but set by a sense of cosmic futility. Leconte de Lisle rejected Christianity and evoked the stoical heroism. Barbarian and exotic peoples in his famous poem cycle poems barbaras, he was also powerfully attracted to Hinduism following the translation of its sacred texts in the 1840s. Maximiano felt a profound sympathy with the Conta Liles view of life's fragility, the vanity of existence, and the illusion of the world has romantic poems about the ancient Egyptians, the Scandinavians, the Kelts and Hindus, their proud paganism and heroic action. Yet final resignation in the face of death and Oblivion confirmed her own aversion to Christianity and helped her form her own. Fatalistic worldview O Goths didn't exist in the early 20th century, but Maximianus clearly that she is a proto goth. It's again, it's just like if there had been a hot topic for her to, you know, be a manager at, a lot could have been avoided. Imagine how many hot topic employees were saved by that business. Yeah, a lot of them. Imagine how many fascists we avoided by, for example, the existence of Kylo Ren. Fanfiction there. Honestly, honestly, it's it's wow that actually hit for me. Wow that hit that. People. People need an outlet, you know? And if you don't, this is what happens, right? You're just like if you can make it ***** and palatable, you're going to prevent something bad. This was a a young girl who desperately needed to be distracted and nothing distracted her, and that is a problem. And that lays out a pretty clear track for you to really. I mean, I just. Yeah, send me back in time with a Jack Skellington hoodie for this woman. Oh my God, that would have solved so many problems I want created some others. I mean. Anyway, I she still would have been a deeply annoying person, but like I had a Jack Skellington hoodie, but also I had never seen the movie. I was a total poser. Oh boy, that's going to get you cancelled harder than anything else today. And then I saw the movie and guess what? I didn't like it very much. I watched it. It's fine. It's fine. Yeah, well, actually, I don't. Yeah, I think it's maybe not so good. Beautiful animation, though, anyways. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You get to judge it for its time. Ah, do I anyways. It was no. For example, the little toaster. I don't know. I do. I do prefer the chair. Yeah, yeah. What's up? No, no, it didn't **** kids up. I loved the brave little toaster. Damaged me forever. Really? That's why he. Oh my God. But he was so brave, Robert. He was so brave. He ****** me. That's why you throw bagels, right, Robert? I don't know. It's why I'm scared of ******* radiators. We're gonna do some exposure therapy for you with the brave little toaster. That's why he doesn't toast his bagels. He only throws them. That's. I mean, that's the thing. Tragic. Tragic. Imagine the path we could have avoided. I know Massimiani Portis was very political as a young girl, and when World War One started in 1914, she, at 9 years old, knew very clearly that she did not trust the Entente Powers. So, like England, France, you know, Russia. Some of this likely came from the fact that Greece's king Constantine was very pro German and refused to get into the war on the side of either the Untaught or the Central Powers. But the king of Greece's Prime Minister, a guy named Venizelos, which I'm probably mispronouncing, disagreed with the king. He was very pro British and supported Greece getting into the war. The two fought over this for years until in 1916, a group of Pro Venizelos Army officers staged a coup against the king. There were rumors that the undaunted backed this, and those rumors seemed credible in light of the fact that French and British troops landed in Salonica and Athens in 1915 and 16 to force Greek compliance in their demands for military access to the Macedonian front so they could better fight Austria, Hungary. That's a lot a history there, but basically she's very pro grease and wants Greece to stay out of the war because she also likes Germany, hates the English, hates the French, and she's ****** *** because England and France back this Prime Minister. Who wants Greece to get into the war? And they also **** with Greek sovereignty and stuff. And she gets really angry over all and and how old is she at this point? Like where where are we, 910, eleven years old? You know, by 1916, when imagines, did you know what was going on in the world when you were nine or ten years old? Like, how aware were you? I was pretty well, I mean, not 911 happened when I was like, 12. And that was definitely, like the start of me getting political, I guess. Yeah, I was. I was in World War One sense. Yeah. You know, World War ones, that level of thing, right? Where, like, even a little kid is gonna, like, you're gonna pay attention to that ****. It's kind of a big deal. You won't have a fully formed opinion, but you'll you'll know what's going on. You'll know what's going on. I guess. I'm just like, it would be so bizarre to me if someone was like jamies beliefs at 8 years old. Was 911, was school got out early? Day it. And this is where I should note that this is going to be an imperfect episode in terms of that sort of thing, because our main source on this is Hitler's priestess, which is a biography that's fairly decent, but also flawed because it's mainly based on Savitri Devi's own biographical writings of her recollections of her own life. Like, there's just not a lot of information. There's not a lot of weren't a lot of people to go back to and like, talk to about her and as a child and stuff who are still alive when she became relevant. Oh, if I was written. 98 if I could write about, like, what I thought, I thought at 8 years old, I'd be like, Jamie was a brilliant genius who had strong opinions on foreign policy. OK, got it. Well, but that said, given the I I don't think we shouldn't discard all of this. Because if you look at the thrust of her life, she does live the life of someone who's always been very political. I mean, she's too entirely sure. Yeah, exactly. That's a vibe. So, yeah, Venizelos and his men. Took over part of Greece with the backing of Britain and France and those two countries were happy to recognize his government well. They carried out a brutal 10 month blockade of the Greek provinces that stayed loyal to the king and young Maximiano. I watched all this as she grew into an adolescent girl. Some of her earliest memories were news reports of protests from Athens of Royalist crowds railing against the contant and Maximiliane sided with them and considered the ants treatment of Greece to be basically criminal who discussed was reinforced after the war in the wake of the Central Powers defeat. The Ottoman Empire was broken up and Greece was given control in the Versailles Treaty of a city called Smyrna. Now Smyrna is a city on the Agean coast of Anatolia, which is modern day Turkey. It was the center of a nearly 3000 year old Greek community that lived on the coast of Anatolia. Greece, with some justification, thought that a lot of Anatolia ought to be part of Greece because it was culturally and historically Greece and the newly created nation of Turkey did not agree so with the backing of the Versailles Treaty Greece. Invaded Smyrna in 1919 to make good on the promises that you know had been made to them by the Entente, and the fighting was a disaster from the beginning. The Ottoman Empire had been defeated in the war technically, but on the ground an actual battles their soldiers had performed pretty well. They fought off a big invasion at Gallipoli. The birth of the Turkish nation after the fall of the Ottoman Empire was met with the swelling of nationalist fervor and Anatolia, and this helped to spawn a powerful insurgent Turkish movement dedicated to defeating the Greek invasion. So a truce. Was reached in 1920, but like many recent truces in Turkish military history, it was not a real truce and around the same time King Constantine was restored to the Greek throne. This turned the remaining great powers of Europe against Greece, and even though they promised Greece, Smyrna and the Versailles Treaty in 1921, they basically like were like **** that **** and pulled all of their support. Do we know where the where the Greeks at this time stood on cats? Umm, you know, they're closer to the Middle East, so I'm gonna guess more pro cat. More pro cat. OK, OK, more power. So OK. That, yeah. I think that tracks. Yeah. The further in that direction you get more pro cat, less pro dog. You know, I think that's generally fair. So just these Western, they've got a lot of dogs. Yeah. Yeah. Everything is right in the middle. You know, dog, maybe they just lit cats and dogs on fire. I don't know. I did not do that research. OK. These are the questions I have. Robert, take a believe them. So the French and Italian Governments, like, betray Greece 1st and they sign. Agreements with the Turkish leader Mustafa Kamal and to ignore the promises they've made in the Versailles Treaty to Greece, Britain held out the longest. But when Greece launched an offensive in Anatolia and March of 1921, all of the Allies suddenly adopted a policy of neutrality. Britain banned for their arms sales to Greece, while France was happy to allow its weapons makers to sell straight to Turkey. The whole effort to incorporate the Greek regions of Anatolia into the Greek nation ended in disaster and military defeat in 1922. Greek forces fled Asia Minor and the Turkish. Army conducted a campaign of extermination and ethnic cleansing on their agian coast. They massacred some 30,000 Christians, a mix of Greeks, Armenians and Franks, in order to ensure no Greek independence movement would ever crop up on their coast again. Awesome. The Smyrna debacle? Yeah, this This is why there's no real Greek community in Anatolia anymore. Not like there was for 3000 years prior. This is like what wipes out that community. Yeah. So you can see why a Greek nationalist like Maximiano Portas, who is like 1516 years old then and like really actually starting to like understand the world, is it furious about all this? And it it breeds in her a powerful hatred of the Entente Powers, particularly of of France and of of England. And she basically felt that, like all these fancy words they had about liberty and democracy were ******** when they couldn't even hold the basic promises and protect the lives of 10s of thousands of innocent. Like civilians, which of course the Fairpoint. Very valid, yes. Yeah, yeah. Now I'm not trying to like ignore the Turkish point of view in this too. Like Greece is not in the right here as a country either. Like everybody's in the wrong, although Turkey massacres 30,000 people. So I'm going to say maybe they're more in the wrong, but this is complicated. But this is sort of how massimiani is very much on the side of Greece's ****** over. And this is an entirely like a crime committed by the the Entente powers against against Greece and it sets up the rest of her life in a lot of ways. So other influences on her developing mind were the sight of French crowds in Leon cheering uproariously at the brutal terms of the Treaty of Versailles when they were announced. She was horrified when the French government stationed black Senegalese troops to occupy the Ruhr, Germany's industrial heartland. Now this is one of those moves by France that engendered a whole **** litter racism in central Europe. It was a big influence on a lot of early Nazi thinkers, too, and obviously black soldiers aren't any worse than white ones, but as civilians living under military occupation, you're going to hate. Ever foreign soldiers occupy your country, and if those soldiers are the only black people who ever met, it wasn't a great move on France's behalf. Jesus Christ. Yeah. So I'm trying to set up all of, like, this is like, the **** that, like, is forming. She's 1213141516. Is all this is going on, like, formative ******* years? Yeah. Yeah. So she hates France, she hates England, she hates black people. She hates Turkish people. She's. A lot more hate. She loves cats. This is the Conservatives cats one. Yeah, yeah. Jesus. In 1923, a freshly graduated Max Miani Portis left France to attend College in Greece. She was just on the edge of 18 and furious with the status quo in Europe, without any real clear idea of how she thought things ought to be instead. She did, however, know that she was obsessed with Hellenism, which is like ancient Greek culture. She saw the old. She's a. She's a dork. Yeah, she's a big. Looking she daughter. She's like, wait, Helen of Troy? Absolutely. Oh my God, she would not shut up about the Elliott. She was a ******* you know, like, I've read multiple translations and you're like, can you not? OK. She has strong and profoundly thirsty opinions on Achilles. She's like ranked gods and goddesses Hut to nut. If she'd seen the actual movie Troy that came out like a decade ago, she would have been furious. Because there's no way Brad Pitt was as hot as the Achilles in her mind. Beautiful, yeah. She believed the old Greeks had been, quote, a civilization of iron rooted in truth. A civilization with all the virtues of the ancient world, none of its weaknesses, and all the technical achievements of the modern age without modern hypocrisy, pettiness and moral squalor. Now, this is, of course, wildly inaccurate. The ancient Greeks were, like, unbelievably ****** **. They also did a lot of cool **** obviously, like every other ancient common knowledge. But yeah, that's all ancient people do. A lot of cool ****. All Aztecs. Amazing ****. Horribly ****** **. Romans? Amazing ****. Han Chinese amazing ****. Horribly for everybody. Yeah, in the Greek specific case, they ****** a bunch of little kids. They repeatedly put narcissistic idiots in charge of their city states. They made numerous blunders that ensured their period of military and economic might was short lived. And they also created some of the most influential philosophy and fiction and art that has ever been made in the history of the human race. Complicated people massimiani does not get a complex picture of ancient Greece. It's just the good ****. Yeah, yeah. Good Lord, you might say, like, I don't know, like I want to say here, understanding of Greek history was not deep. It was certainly incomplete. That said, pretty much only like the only thing Europeans would write about the ancient Greeks in that. Was wildly positive. You weren't going to get, like, critical, like, commentary on, for example, pederasty in ancient Greece in ******* 1920. Like, if you're just not going to read that. Yeah. So her love of Greece was mostly focused on obsessing over their incredible art and fantasizing about the idealized culture that she believed had existed there. Right? I mean this. I mean, we as children, all red revisionist history about horrifying cultures. I was obsessed with ancient Rome, who among a lot of the same reasons, of course, because you're just like, oh, it seems like they only did dope stuff and we're cool outfit. Well, I will say I was kind of a ****** ** kid. So when I learned about, like, all of the ******* crucifixions and **** I was kind of like, hell yeah. Wow. But you're so metal. I mean it. It is pretty ******* metal. You're so ******* metal. We'll talk about what they did to Spartacus and his friends one of these days, but it's ******* one of like, the biggest mic drop moments in the history of torturing people to death with wood. I think that's fair to say. Such a hyperspecific. So she moves to Greece. She's super happy for a while. Obviously best place in the world for this girl is ******* Greece at this point in time. And the time she spent discovering the wonders of Athens, which rules coincided with some very important goings on in Germany. And I'm going to quote again from the book Hitler's Priestess quote years later, she would recall that she spent such a sunlit afternoon upon the Acropolis on 9th October 1923, the fateful day of Hitler's putsch, when he and his followers had attempted to. New against the Bavarian government and staged a March to the felled Heron Hall in the center of Munich. The police successfully broke up the March in 16. Martyrs of the early Nazi movement fell beneath the hail of bullets. When details of the incident were published in the World Press the following day, there was some discussion over lunch at the International Home Hostel, which is where she was crashing at the time. Massimiani admits that she did not yet connect Hitler with her own dream of a new racial order based on her view of classical Greek antiquity. However, she strongly sympathized with him as the an enemy of the Allies. The account of his contempt for the Versailles Treaty and saw parallel between his nationalist idea of 1 state for all Germans and the Megali idea among the Greeks, which is the idea that, like Greece should recoup its ancient like power and like take over the places that it controlled back in the day. She little idealized argument. Yeah, she engaged in a heated argument in defense of Hitler with the French manageress of the hostel. So God, so we've lost arguing about Hitler with the hostile. No, we lost her. She's been gone for a while. But you know who won't argue in support of Hitler with the French hostile owner in Athens who? Robert? The products and services that support this podcast products and services would never, ever hurt us or do something wrong. I've been saying it for years. I have all agreed for years. Left fingers crossed for * **** pill ad right after meth. Yeah. What a great transition, both of you. Just wonderful work you. So thank you. 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So it was during this first visit to Greece that Massimiani Portas would have seen the symbol for the first time that would come to define her life and legacy. I am talking, of course, about the swastika. Odds are good she would have encountered it for the first time in the National Museum of Athens, which hosted a huge amount of what were believed to be Trojan artifacts which had been uncovered by the pioneering and controversial archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. Now Schleman was not a professional archaeologist, which is not weird for the time. Most of like the archaeologists of this. Are like gentlemen adventurers who I mean get are nerds. Basically the people in the people in like the mummy movies who are just wearing khakis, exact money, people in Tarzan. That was the most accurate thing about the Mummy movie, other than the way mummies react to shotguns, they're all they're all named Clayton. Yeah, yeah, so schlieman, yeah. Throughout the mid 1800s had been a very successful German arms merchant, trading raw materials for the ingredients to make ammunition, and he nursed a deep obsession with the Iliad his entire life. In his late Middle Age, he decided to take his fortune to the Agian and try to uncover the true location of the ancient city of Troy, unlike pretty much any like. Traditional archaeologist Schliemann used the Iliad as a guide. He thought this book was like, basically, essentially accurate, and he followed the poem as if it had been a work of serious historical scholarship. And shockingly enough, this kind of worked. In 1871, after three years of searching, Schliemann found what was very likely to have been the site of ancient Troy. His methods of digging it up were brutal. He used crowbars and battering Rams and destroyed countless thousands of artifacts, including, ironically, what a lot of archaeologists now believe was the. Actual physical evidence of Troy. He dug too far down, basically because he would. He ****** ** and probably destroyed what actual Trojan relics there were. But he does find what a lot of people think was the site of Troy. It's just other **** was built there and he dug up the wrong **** anyway. It's ****** **. Yes, yes. So his research or his digging, despite all the **** destroyed, produced hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of artifacts which people at the time believed to be Trojan and many of those artifacts. More than 1800 of them were emblazoned with various types of swastika, and, I'm going to quote next from Scientific American. He would go on to see the swastika everywhere, from Tibet to Paraguay to the Gold Coast of Africa. And as Schliemann's exploits grew more famous and archaeological discoveries became a way of creating a narrative of national identity, the swastika grew more prominent. It exploded in popularity as a symbol of good fortune, appearing on Coca-Cola Products, Boy Scouts and Girls Club materials, and even American military uniforms. The antiquities on Earth by Doctor Schliemann at Troy acquire for us a double interest, wrote British linguist Archibald Sayce in 1896. They carry us back to the later stone ages of the Aryan race. Oh dear, on Coca-Cola products. Probably get it was just a product or service advertised, but it wasn't a Nazi. It's you like, I I spent some time living in India and it's ******* there. Swastikas all over the day. And it it is weird. It takes. You never really get used to it because of like, what it means to the West. It's always like there's so many swastikas around here. That is. I mean, that is fascinating to, like, track the history of a symbol and like how it affects different areas of the world differently. That sounds extremely jarring. I I actually, I have. Some, like, tapestries that I picked up in India that have little swastikas on them in parts. And it's one of those things where it's like every now and then, like, they're not the same as the Nazi swastikas, but they're close enough that people will be like, what's. Oh no, yeah, you're right there. I need to leave your home right now. Yeah. I mean, they're. Yeah. You're like most people because they're pretty small. So most people aren't getting enough. The blank. They're not Nazi. Ohh, not Nazi swastikas. See, Robert, if I was over your house and you said that I would be like. I actually my Uber is here, you know, like, if you're like, they're not nasty swastikas. Nazi swastikas. So calm down. Yeah, it's like that. And they offer me a Miller Lite. They're not. Not these guys. Would you like a Miller Lite? No, exactly. No. My standard greeting people. Yeah. Yeah. That's how you greet all your guests. That specifically how I say to hello to the officers who pull me over for speeding? No, no, I would be interested. I I know I've gone down that Wikipedia hole at at one point of just like tracking the symbolic, the symbology of the spastica, it's it goes back so fleeman there's criticism to schleman. Honestly, for his methods, but he's not in any way a Nazi. Like, he's just a guy who finds a bunch of swastikas buried underground, and he's just an unqualified archaeologist using his money. In a weird way, he's he's very controversial. Still, there are aspects of what he did that a lot of people praise because he got a lot of **** right? But he also destroyed a huge amount of cultural antiquities. He's an interesting person. You should read about schleman if you're interested in archaeology, OK? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it seems like a lot of those gentlemen explorers. Really delighted. And, you know, like, yeah, destroying and selling off pieces of ancient history that had nothing to do with them. All of them are problematic. Yeah, I will say Schleman is one who comes from, like, a purer place of just being really into this history. But yeah, you know, they're all problematic. So #problematic, yeah. Now the the swastikas he found increasingly all over the world played directly into a shared delusion that was spreading like a disease among many of the eras. White people, the myth of the ancient Aryan. Now an actual historical terms. Arian is a term used to refer to the Indo Aryan language group. It was never a racial classification. The term started being used because early linguists noticed strange similarities between languages like German, Romani, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and Sanskrit. Well, the term Aryan was initially applied to speakers of various Indo Iranian languages. The understanding of the word became corrupted in the late 1800s. This occurred along the same time that colonialism started to reach its absolute zenith. And there were a lot of white folks looking for reasons to justify the fact that they were basically plundering and enslaving the entire world. There were also a lot of white folks looking at their increasingly multiracial societies, which at that point like meant Italians and slobs breeding with Germans and British people. And we're getting concerned about this fact, and I'm going to refer back to Smithsonian Magazine again, quote. The rising interest in eugenics and racial hygiene, however, led to some to corrupt Arian into a descriptor for an ancient master racial identity with a clear through line to contemporary. Germany. As the Washington Post reported in a story about the rise of Nazism several years before the start of World War Two, Arianism was an intellectual dispute between Bewhiskered scholars as to the existence of a pure and undefiled Aryan race. At one stage of Earth's history in the 19th century, French aristocrat Arthur de Gobineau and others made the connection between the mythical Arians and the Germans, who were the superior descendants of the early people, now destined to lead the world to greater advancement by conquering their neighbors. The findings of Schliemann dig in Turkey then suddenly had a deeper ideological. Meaning, for the nationalists, the purely Aryan symbol Schlieman uncovered was no longer an archaeological mystery. It was a stand in for their superiority German nationalist groups like the Rechamber Abunda 1912 anti-Semitic group and the Bavarian Freikorps paramilitary. Basically, the proud boys of the era used the swastika to reflect their newly discovered identity as the master race. Now the reality is that swastikas appeared damn near everywhere in human history. It's a common design, and a striking one and a bunch of different groups of people have independently figured it out. And time and people should stop talking to you about your blanket and actually just relax. They're pretty small. If you're if nowadays the swastika is the swastika, like, it's a Nazi thing. Unless you're in India, because the world's big. But back in these days, like, if you're looking at, like, ancient history, it's best to kind of look at the swastika, like, humor. That weird S doodle we all put on our trapper keepers back in the 90s? Hundred percent, yes. Like, no one invented that. It just showed up everywhere. That's the ******* swastika in prehistory. It's just all over the damn place I would get that, but of course. Yeah. Oh, I have that blanket. Yeah. Yeah, it was not seen as this though, by a lot of people and anthropologist Gwendolyn Lake notes quote when Heinrich Schliemann discovered swastika like decorations on pottery fragments and all archaeological levels at Troy, it was seen as evidence for a racial continuity and proof that the inhabitants of the site had been Arian all along. The link between the swastika and Indo European origin, once forged, was impossible to discard. It allowed the projection of nationalist feelings and associations onto a universal symbol, which hints served as a distinguishing. Laundry marker between non Aryan or rather non German and German identity. That's fascinating. So the I mean, because you can understand the logic, but it also is kind of absurd to assume that, like, oh, this symbol is always, surely must mean the exact same thing thousands of years ago as it does to me today now. The people then were as dumb as the people who planned the Iowa caucuses. Wow. That's why all this happened. Robert, my, my dog worked on the Shadow app. So really, watch your mouth. Your dog. That is funny person involved with that ***. Sunny invested in the shadow app. I have to say it. Wow. Bad does this. All this math adds up. Yeah. I mean, of course he kept, he was talking about Shadow app for and I'm like, that can't be real. And then probably thought it was the dog. From what was that movie with the the Dogs and cat that talk and they find their family. I'm so bad at the names terrible. I don't know a good movie. Homeward bound, homeward move. I haven't seen homeward bound. Sunny definitely just wanted to harm people and he wanted to harm the discourse and that's why he invested in Shadow app. That's fair. That's fair. Go. You could call him the Hitler of the Iowa caucuses, which a lot of people do. I mean, many have, but it makes me uncomfortable. Sitting in Athens reading the news of Hitler's movement in Germany and staring at ancient swastikas on beloved Greek artifacts, things started to come together and maximiano portis's mind. She moved to Greece permanently in 1928 after finishing college and renouncing her French citizenship. The very next year, 1929, she went with her mother and aunt on a trip to the Holy Land that wound up having just as deep an impact on her developing mind as the swastika. Now, Massimiani had never been very religious, her mother and aunt were, though, and while they failed to inculcate. Love of Christ and Massimiani they did succeed in making her hate Jewish people. Which is not the part of Christianity to transfer, if you're gonna pick one of all. I mean, there's so many different horrible things to take away from Christianity, and that is that is the worst of all that. Yeah, she got none of the good stuff, just the anti-Semitism. OK, yeah. She yeah. It's not great. It's not so great. I'm starting to think this lady maybe not so nice, not heading in a great direction. Yeah. Now, a lot of this was tied to the fact that Massimiani was so in love with Greek culture, and she was really ****** *** because she was like, particularly love with, like, ancient Greek Pagan culture, like the old Greek gods and their myths and stuff. And none of that stuff was very relevant other than this, like, an academic thing by this point in history and Christianity. Judaism are obviously hugely relevant in Europe. And she hated this. And she blamed the Jews for the fact that nobody, other people weren't as into Greek history as she was. Like, this is like the core of it for her is like, she's in love with like, Zeus and **** and she's like, why don't people like this as much as I do? It's the Jews. She's become a chaos nerd. No, it's not. It's not great. Yeah, that's really bad. So her trip to the Holy Land with her mom and aunt was a bit of a weird one. No, OK. I mean, OK, I'm listening. Yeah. She was revolted by the obese since they played to judeo-christian holy sites. And as she touristed her way through Old Jerusalem, she felt, in her biographers words, overwhelmed and repelled by the exotic nature of the Jews, their attire, their customs observances and festivals. This strange dark men and broad brimmed hats and long black coats hastening to prayers at the Wailing wall. OK, now. It's interesting that Goodwin Clarke, Portis's biographer, mentions this, specifically seeing these Jewish people and being, like, horrified by the way they look in their coats and and hair locks and long black coats. It's possible that precise moment never happened, but it's worth noting that this moment bears a striking resemblance to a tale Adolf Hitler told regularly about the supposed moment that he specifically gained his hatred of Jewish people. And here's how he wrote about that moment in Mein Kampf. This is takes place in Linz. Oh, sorry, in Austria, maybe his boy wrote this part. We don't know. Vienna once, as I was strolling through the inner city, I suddenly encountered an apparition in a black caftan and black hair locks. Is this a Jew? Was my first thought, for to be sure they had not looked like that in Linz, where he grew up. I observed the man furtively and cautiously. But the longer I stared at this foreign face, scrutinizing feature for feature, the more my first question assumed a new form. Is this a German? This is like a huge moment in like Hitler lore. It's possible that. The reason that that Portis writes her own thing, like her own story this way is that she's hearkening to Mein Kampf because, again, she writes about this later. It's also possible they just were similar people and had a similar moment. Xenophobes. If she's the primary resource for herself she and seems to have like a fair grasp on storytelling, it makes sense that she would pull. It does make sense. She's like, oh, this is the end of act one, where's my inciting she needs she wrote her own inciting incident. If it didn't, yeah. I'll, I'll take a leaf out of you know, it's like, uh, you know George Lucas stole from from great Japanese cinema to make Star Wars and in a very similar fashion, Savitri Devi stole from Adolf Hitler. The kurasawa of not true artists steal, Robert. It's what they it's what they often saying for generations. Yeah, that is funny. I mean I feel like that same logic of like, you have to have a story to go with your hatred. They they have that same logic on like Iron Chef, you know, like you have. They have like, there has to be a story that goes with this dish and sometimes you're like, sometimes it just is. Sometimes just cook some ******* food, *******. Sometimes you just make some food and it's bad and it's terrible. Yeah. So. Maximiano would go on to claim that after this visit to the Holy Land, she decided that Hitler's campaign of hate against Jewish people was not just a matter of German concern, it was an international crusade. She came to believe that all of the formerly Pagan nations of Europe had to throw off their judeo-christian heritage and, like, reconnect with their Pagan roots. And this is the first time she realizes that she's a national socialist. And she the way she described it, she realizes she's always been a national socialist. And so she falls fully in love with Hitler at this point. And she's not a German Nazi, though. And initially, the way she decides to, like, act on this newfound Nazism is to basically try to revive Greek nationalism and Pagan beliefs, kind of with the structure of national socialism over them. And so she returns to Athens and she sets to work trying to cobble together her own Greek version of Nazism, but focused around a religious component that involved. Return to worshipping the ancient Greek pantheon. I mean always with this woman. Yeah, uh, now. By this point the ancient Greeks had become sort of the ubermensch in her own mind, and this conception was nursed by the bits of Hitler speeches that made their way over into the press and her part of the world. By 1930 she finally read mine camp for the very first time, which introduced Maximiano to Hitler's theories about the Aryan race. His ideas about the superior race, consistently undermined by the evil Jews, jelled remarkably well with Maximiano's own beliefs about the ancient Greeks and the Jews she became increasingly. Assessed with the Arians and in part the idea of seeking out the remaining evidence of their existence, and at the time it was generally understood that India had been conquered and ruled by the Aryans. Many among the weirder Nazi set saw Hinduism as an example of a pure Arian Pagan tradition uncorrupted by Judaism. They found the Hindu caste system deeply intriguing as well. For reasons that should be obvious, it enshrined a small number of superior beings and power over a vast number of less valuable individuals in 1932. Maximiano's father died and she decided to take this as an opportunity to travel to India to seek out the truth of the ancient Aryans. It's like a Nazi version of eat, pray, love. Yeah, this is in another world. This is a very cute movie and she just took every room is the same from it. It's Liz. You remember that horrible Cameron Crowe movie? Elizabethtown? Orlando Bloom drives across the country with his dad's ashes and it's like, I'm glad we had this talk and you're like, what the **** are you? Sounds like 40 different movies, Jamie. It's no, it's the same. It's the same. All my Elizabethtown heads will know it's the same Paula Deen's in that movie. Cursed. Oh God, Speaking of Nazis. Now, so Savitri decided she's going to go to ******* India. And she's not the only person with this idea of going to India to seek out the Arians. In fact, in 1935, Heinrich Himmler's s s founded the Anna nearby, a scientific think tank dedicated to finding evidence of the ancient Aryans, and they actually sent multiple expeditions into India and Tibet. Massimiani went to India to find evidence of the Arians, too, but she also went there to see first hand evidence of a civilization founded upon which she believed was a natural racial hierarchy. She felt that Indian society looked how the world would appear in the year 8000 after 6000 years of Nazi rule. Very specific woman 8000. The Jonas Brothers didn't even think that far. The Nazi joke brothers are huge in the year. Shut up. Enjoy this moment. That was that was great. That was. That one was. I do not get that joke. The Jonas Brothers first single in 2006 or maybe seven, was a song called Year 3000. They said not much has changed, but we live underwater. That's all they knew about. Age, Jamie. Well, they'd say there's a lot to change that not much is changed. They calculate the year 3000. Not much has changed. I've been the cats are engaged. 3000 Now, my kids channels. I don't live under water. It's a weird. It makes no sense. OK, sorry, Robert, continue your podcast. But she's thinking to 8 year 8008 thousand. She already has you. You have to give her credit. She is 8 times as ambitious as Hitler. God, yeah, yeah. So upon her arrival in the country, her beliefs were seemingly confirmed when she watched a parade celebrating Rama, a deified Aryan hero. The parade featured huge numbers of dark skinned Indians bowing and worshipping a lighter skinned statue of Rama. And Rama is most assuredly not white, although he is often depicted as lighter skinned. But he is. He's definitely Indian, but it was not uncommon for Europeans who were attracted to India in this. To decide that a number of ancient Hindu heroes and gods were in fact white, this was like a common thing. And in fact, Maximiano's favorite poet who we talked about earlier, Laconte Lyle, had actually written a poem about Rama that referred to him as thou whose blood is pure, thou whose body is white, and a subduer of all the profane races. So yeah, everyone's a little bit of a Nazi in colonialism. That's kind of the deal. That's kind of their thing. It's kind of, I mean. Yeah, not shocking. And if you're if you're interested in the story of Rama, one thing I would recommend that super accessible. There's a movie online by Nina Paley who's a female graphic artist who's amazing called Sita sings the Blues. If you just Google that, it's the whole movie free. It's one of those beautiful pieces of animation. It's why I went to India in the 1st place. Incredible movie. Oh wow. And one of the things it does really well is it has all these scenes where like individual, like myths from like Hindu mythology are explained by like groups of people arguing about them, which if you actually go to India. Is how you learn about myths. Like if you talk about the myth of Sita and Rama to like a family, everyone in the family you like it like multiple different versions of the story and people will argue with each other like it's not like Christian Orthodoxy or whatever, like it. Very, very complicated stuff, but fascinating. So yeah, Massimiani is convinced that this guy is white though, and she falls in love with India and eventually finds her way to an ashram in Bengal where she's able to live cheap. And learn Hindi and study Hindu religious traditions. She gets a job outside of Delhi teaching English and Indian history. And she grew more and more taken with Hinduism until in 1936, she adopted a Hindu name, Savitri Devi, taken from a Hindu solar goddess. This woman is obsessed with sun gods, and goddess loves gods and goddesses so much. She's such a dork. Yeah, it's specifically sun gods and goddesses. She's ******* obsessed with Akhenaten too. It's weird. There was a girl in my middle school who was. Call me Artemis. And we were like, no. OK, no, no, we did. We did in our and and and if I was also a dork. But not that kind of dork. Not God. No, no, no. I was just a normal, bright, eyes loving dork. I'm. I'm a big believer in calling people by whatever name they prefer to be referred to. Unless it's the name of a God or goddess. Then I just start. I just get furious. Yeah, I'm not going to. I'm not going to push that behavior. Well, she was she was Artemis for all of 8th grade. And then she went back to and just just Alex for the rest of, as far as I know, her life. That's fine, yeah, yeah, any other name, really. Now, early on in her time in India, Savitri had hiked to the top of the hill and seen a beautiful Indian fortress, one of many such colossal ancient relics that dot the country. She was taken by its beauty and equally horrified by a more modern Jesuit hospital that had been constructed nearby. This was powerfully symbolic to her, and she claimed that it cemented in her a deep need to protect Hindu India from being infected by judeo-christian taint. Starting in 1937, she began working as an anti Christian preacher for Swami Satyananda's Hindu mission in Calcutta. For two years, she crisscrossed the country meeting with various tribal elders and arranging public debates with Christian missionaries. And I'd like to quote now from an article by Conrad Elst, an ideologist who's analyzed this history quote thoroughly familiar with the mentality and methods of her adversary. She could destroy the credit of the imported religion in the minds of the villagers and prevent or undo many conversions. There was a sharp contradiction between her own racist and anti egalitarian. Convictions and the reformist and egalitarian program of the Hindu mission. To the Hindu mission, Hinduism was a value to in itself. To Savitri Devi it was but an instrument of her imagined Aryan race. In her years as a preacher, she kept her non Hindu preoccupations to herself. But in her memoirs she declared that she conceived of her reconversion mission as an exercise in deception. From the racist Aryan viewpoint, it was necessary to give the most backward and degenerate Aborigines a false Hindu consciousness, she wrote. This is one of the major areas where you'll run into disputes about Savitri Devi. The common view on her legacy is spoiler, that she proposed a synthesis between Hinduism and Nazism. And aspects of this are true. But it would be more accurate to say that she found Hinduism a useful tool for advancing naziism. And I'm going to quote again from else essay, in contrast with the Hindu nationalists, but in tune with Indian Marxists and casts, she believed that the concept, nation and a program of nationalism could not apply to India in 1938. We used the slogan make every Hindu and Indian nationalist and every Indian nationalist a Hindu. Now, this seems to be something not legitimately. Yeah. And she didn't really believe it. In her autobiography, years later, she expressed the belief that nationalism could only exist within members of the same race. And she thought that all the different castes in India were different races. And we're getting into the weeds here too much. But it's important to understand for what comes next that Savitri Devi advocated for Hindu nationalism, but not because she believed strongly in it. Because she saw it. Is a useful tool for harming the British Empire in advancing Naziism OK her main goal, so she's merely Co opting it for her own sinister purposes. It's a little more complicated than that because she also loves it like she's she's takes on a lot of Hindu beliefs. It's this is a weird story and there's no, like, super simple answer to it. But it's not as simple as she just becomes Hindu and also Nazi. Like it's weirder than that too. No one added this out. I need people to know what what I've been forced to endure. You just, like, literally did that into the microphone. Literally. It was hard. I I had to. I'm sorry. I can see Robert right now. And he wiped his nose on the mic and he was like, licked it and then licked it. You licked Robert Evans. You licked it. All of this gets edited out now. Many Hindu nationalists were very bullish about the Nazis because Great Britain owned India and ruled it as a brutal colonial oppressor. And they figured, you know, the enemy of my enemy, right? Yeah. Not all of them felt this way. There were a lot of Hindu nationalists who were against the Nazis because they were like, well, but they're Nazis. So again, yeah. Paint everybody with the same brush. Yeah. Yeah. But Savitri got along very well with the set of Hindu nationalists who are like, yeah, the Nazis seemed good. And she was. Particularly taken with Doctor Asit Krishna Mukherjee, one of India's few actual committed Nazis. In 1937 and 38, Mukherjee started to publish a bimonthly pro Nazi magazine, the New Mercury. Savitri met him in early 1938, and they didn't instantly fall in love, but she fell in love with like his mind. She was probably bisexual, but certainly wasn't interested in Mukherji in any way. But she falls in love with like. This guy's naziism, basically they're that kind of so they're God. That's so. I mean, yeah, it's not. Yeah, that's bleak because it's like, yeah, I mean, if you're going to marry a Nazi. And they're not even attracted to them. No excuse. No excuse either way. But you know what I mean. She has a little bit of an excuse, but we're getting to it. So you are cutting this lady all kinds of slack. Robert. I'm just explaining her. Do you have a crush now? She so she doesn't. They don't get together right away. She loves his understanding of Nazi ideology, and particularly his emphasis on the myths of the old Arians and Mukerji was, like, obsessed with the Fool Society, the tool society, and it acquired a lot of their occult writings. So he's like that kind of nerd. OK, and Mukherjee seems to, like genuinely appreciate savitri's ideas and the fact that she was just as much of a nerd for Nazism as he was. But he was baffled by her insistence on staying in India while Nazi Germany, like, rose to the heights of its power. In early 1939, he asked her what have you been doing in India all these years, with your ideas and your potentialities, wasting your time and energy? Go back to Europe, where duty calls you. Go and help the rebirth of Arian Heathendom, where there are still Arians, strong and wide awake. Go to him, who is truly life and resurrection. The leader of the Third Reich, go at once. Next year will be too late. And he was kind of right about that. But she was convinced that she could. Yeah. Yeah. I'm like, well, historically. OK. Yeah. Savitri, though, was convinced that she could do more for the cause of Nazism in India than in Germany. She'd become close with members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, an India Hindu nationalist movement that we're very similar to the Nazis. The founder or one of the founders, KB Hedgewar, formed the group to defend Hindu society from daily onslaughts by outsiders, and he included Muslim Indians as members of that group. Like all fascist organizations, the RSS had a uniform khaki shorts. A white shirt and a black cap, RSS members met daily to train with bamboo beat sticks called Lofties and to learn about Hindutva Hindu nationalism. In 1939, Savitri wrote a warning to the Hindus. The books forward was written by GD Savarkar brother to one of the cofounders of the RSS and according to an article by South Asian affairs analyst Peter Friedrich quote Devie advanced VD Savarkar's thesis of Hindutva that India is a Hindu nation of Hindu people and only for Hindu people. She claimed that Hindu society. India itself called Hinduism the national Religion of India and suggested that Hindu should tell non Hindus we represent India, not you. Therefore India is ours, not yours. Shears urged Hindus to recover along with their national consciousness, their military virtues of old to re become a military race. The method, she said, should be the organization of the young men and pledge bound military like batches with Hindu nationalism as their only ideal. And here's where I pause to note that the current Prime Minister of India. Narendra Modi is a member of the RSS. A warning to Hindus is still considered to be a deeply influential text within the Hindu nationalist movement and the RSS. Modi probably read it as a child, and the list of his crimes and the thousands of murders and mosque bombings and beatings carried out by Hindu nationalists against Indian Muslims would go beyond the scope of this episode. But it is worth noting that the current authoritarian lurch by India, the world's largest democracy, owes at least a decent amount to the work of Savitri Devi. So that's cool. You're in love with her, Robert. Oh my God. I mean, it is a sign of where this is going that I kind of glossed over the fact that she played a role in the establishment of what's starting to become a fascist dictatorship in India. We just have so much extra ground to cover. We have so much to cover. We don't have time for the Fascist dictatorship today. We have some time, but we have. OK, OK, well, we'll make time. We'll make time for the fashion. In 1940, Britain and Germany went to war. Savitri's extremist beliefs were well known at this point, and she was forced to marry Mukherji in order to stay in the country. So that's why they get married. It's a it's basically a green card thing. Yeah. Got it. She described it as a sexless marriage, primarily to allow her to stay in the country. And she did what she could for Nazism while in India, spying on British military positions for the access and facilitating communication between Subhas Chandra Bose, leader of the National Indian. For me, a pro axis group, and the Japanese government in a different world, these contributions might have played a role in a Japanese invasion of India. But World War Two went the way it did, and Hitler eventually shot himself in a bunker to avoid capture. I'm familiar with Etree learned of his death through an overheard conversation from 2 Muslim men on the Marabar coast. She was inconsolable for days over the death of her hero and the end of the belief system she had dedicated her life to championing, but Mukherjee told her not to worry. This was merely part of the cycle of ages. And the Dark Age brought on by Hitler's defeat would someday end. And likewise, Jamie, part one of this episode, must now wind OK. But this dark Age will continue on Thursday with Part 2 of the story of Savitri Devi. OK. How you how you doing, Jamie? I'm OK. I'm just unclenching. That's important for the next two minutes and then we got to talk about it again. I got a BK. Always be clenching. Yeah. Go plug your plug cables first. Oh, right, leave that in. I want people to know that I had to be overshare. I had to pee and also leave in Robert blowing his nose on the mic and yeah, licking it off. Chris, leave that in. You can edit out. It's gonna be horrible. Chris, you can edit out the part where Robert is like, Yum delicious after licking his own snot off the mic, but everything else should probably stay in. Legally abuse. You could probably report me to HR. Could be fun, could be fun. My Twitter is dad Jamie Loftus help, and my Instagram is at Jamie Christ superstar, and I'm touring for the better part of February. You can go to my website,, to find out where. Yay? Yeah, and you can find Sophie on Twitter. Finding her at Y under score Sophie, under score Y and that's it. That's all you can find of us online this episode, which are on, including the full free text of Hitler's priestess. If you want to read this book, the episodes over go. Stop the French from murdering cats. Yes, great. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. 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