Savitri Devi - The Egyptian Conquest of Nubia

Author : Srimati Savitri Dëvi Mukherji (Maximine Portaz, Maximiani Portas)
Title : The Egyptian Conquest of Nubia
Year : 1979

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The following brief article (1,005 words) appeared in the January-February 1979 issue of White Power (page 11). At first reading, it struck me as unworthy of Savitri Devi. It is surely the least significant of her works. It is a brief historical vignette, padded out with long quotations and offering scarcely any analysis. Furthermore, the assertions that ancient Egypt was an “Aryan” nation and that an Egyptian Pharaoh had “fine, Nordic features” struck me as suspicious, because they are errors that Savitri Devi never would have made. The Ancient Egyptians were a Mediterranean Caucasoid people. They were not Aryans, and although they did have fine features, they were not Nordic. The origins of this article were clarified by Martin Kerr, the then editor of White Power, who sent me a photocopy of the original manuscript of the essay, which, along with an accompanying letter, I have transcribed here. The letter makes it clear that Savitri herself did not think much of her efforts and explains why, under the circumstances, that she could not do better: I hope I didn’t bore you with my “bit of ancient history.” I was too crushed by the awful heat of Delhi’s summer (it is summer, here, since March) to go to the length of writing something of my own inspiration for White Power. I am not of those privileged ones who have air-conditioning in their lodgings. I have merely a fan above my bed, in my one room and kitchen tiny flat. And that fan—under which I am lying, whenever I am not forced to get up, either to go and get food for my cats, or to go and teach my few private pupils: earn my living and that of my animals, home ones and strays who depend on me—that fan, I say, does nothing more than agitate burning air (45 degrees centigrade in my room, under the fan, a few days back: hardly less than outdoors in the shade). Now you can imagine the furnace in the sun! And when one goes out on foot, be it to walk to the station where one can hire some conveyance, you can imagine what it feels like. I am exhausted when I come home from my lessons or from shopping, and the only thing I am fit for is to call back into my mind the little I once learnt about ancient times. . . . Excuse me if for just now I do not write any more. I intend to write about my late husband—Sri A.K. Mukherji—for the National Socialist World. He deserved it. But I must wait till I can be myself again—after this heat. End of June, beginning of July, the “monsoon rains” are expected. Hurray! That means on the first day a sudden fall in temperature of 25 degrees (centigrade) and a downpour, amidst thunder and lightning. Lovely! Apparently Savitri had volunteered to contribute to White Power, but the enervating heat of the New Delhi summer had robbed her of the creativity and concentration necessary for writing anything original, so she dashed off a few lines about 12th dynasty Egypt and Nubia. The manuscript is also revealing. First, it makes clear just how much Savitri was suffering from the heat, for she did not even finish the Nubia article, but broke off in mid-thought and, in effect, turned the text into a personal letter. Second, it is clear that the last few paragraphs of “The Egyptian Conquest of Nubia” as published in White Power—including the mistaken racial descriptions of the Ancient Egyptians—were written by another hand. According to Martin Kerr, he was their author. I have indicated these additions in bold below. The title, illustrations, and captions were also provided by Kerr. According to Kerr, the additions were not shown to Savitri before the article was published, but he was confident that they would meet her approval, and if they did not, he would have published her corrections in a subsequent issue. Savitri never complained. It should be noted that the additions to Savitri’s text, aside from the minor errors of racial anthropology, are quite intelligent. They draw an edifying lesson for the present day from an otherwise abortive historical vignette. R. G. Fowler ...

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