R. G. Fowler
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Defiance is Savitri Devi’s vivid and impassioned memoir of her arrest, trial, and imprisonment on the charge of distributing National Socialist propaganda in Occupied Germany in 1949.
In September of 1948, Savitri Devi entered Germany with eleven thousand propaganda posters and leaflets condemning the Allies, proclaiming that Hitler was still alive (which she believed to be true at the time), and urging Germans to resist the occupation and to hope and wait for the Führer’s return.
It was a quixotic, futile gesture, born of a spirit of defiance and a thirst for martyrdom.
For more than six months, Savitri Devi travelled throughout western Germany distributing thousands of posters and leaflets, making contact with the underground network of faithful National Socialists, and writing her book Gold in the Furnace.
On the night of February 20-21, 1949, Savitri Devi was arrested in Cologne, interrogated, and taken to the Werl Prison. She was tried in Düsseldorf on April 5, 1949, convicted, and sentenced to three years imprisonment in Werl.
While in Werl, Savitri Devi befriended a number of German women imprisoned as war criminals. She also completed Gold in the Furnace and continued work on her magnum opus, The Lightning and the Sun. Defiance can be read as the companion volume to Gold in the Furnace, since it takes place at the same time and tells the story of its creation.
Savitri Devi was released early from prison on August 18, 1949 at the request of Indian Prime Minister Nehru.
Defiance is Savitri Devi’s most readable book. It is not primarily a work of philosophy or history, but a gripping first-person narrative that often reads like a novel. Defiance does, however, contain Savitri Devi’s most profound and moving philosophical meditation, “The Way of Absolute Detachment,” in which she uses the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita to console herself before the prospect of the destruction of her writings and to explain the proper National Socialist view of the relationship between duty and practical consequences. Reading Defiance, one quickly understands why the Allies imprisoned Savitri Devi and, once she was in prison, tried to keep her away from the other “political” inmates: her spirit of defiance is contagious.
Until now, Defiance has been almost impossible to find. Published in a tiny edition by Savitri Devi’s husband A.K. Mukherji in Calcutta in 1951, it was distributed privately by the authoress to her friends and comrades, and it has not been reprinted since. This deluxe, numbered hardcover second edition is being published in commemoration of the 102nd anniversary of Savitri Devi’s birth, on 30 September 2007. The new edition will also contain a number of previously unseen illustrations from the Archive.
All Savitri Devi Archive books are manufactured to the highest quality standards. They are printed on heavy, acid-free paper. The pages of both hardcovers and paperbacks are in smyth-sewn signatures. Hardcovers are bound in durable cloth with gold-stamped spines. Dust-jackets and covers are printed on heavy, glossy stock. Given proper care, these books will outlast us all. With a little luck, they might outlast the Kali Yuga.
About the Editor
R.G. Fowler is General Editor of the Savitri Devi Archive’s Centennial Edition of Savitri Devi’s Works and Archivist of the online Savitri Devi Archive (www.savitridevi.org).
Printed on acid free paper.
No animal products are used in the production of this book.
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