02 September 2008

"Nazi Criminal Caught at Trance Party in Goa"

The above headline was widely used by the Indian press last June. The story allegedly involves an 88 year old German man, internationally sought for war crimes, trying to sell a rare piano over the Internet, a lead which finally led to his arrest by authorities flown from Berlin, as he desperately tries to flee the scene on a taxi towards Karnataka.

This was a hoax spread by an Indian blogger who successfully exposed the lousy job being regularly done by several newspapers in India.

Yet, anyone who knows the trance scene in Goa would not be so surprised if the story were true. In this environment, there is a silence by which nobody openly talks about their past - no questions asked. It is not so much that Westerners may be involved with the drug scene, directly or not. The fact is that many have gone to India to forget about who they are in the West. Moreover, note what I wrote about the trance scene in northern Goa a few years back:
A mosaic of diverse peoples interacted closely in the region: villagers, trance freaks, backpackers, Israeli ex-soldiers, Japanese hippies, Osho sannyasins, Nepalese workers, Goan businessmen, beach vendors from Karnataka, Kashmiri traders, European charter tourists, drug dealers, junkies, sadhus etc. Though populated by petit criminals and many other marginal types, the socio-economic order in northern Goa was rather determined by shady deals (…). As freaks pointed out, even though the ‘scene’ is potentially dangerous (due to drugs, strangers, corruption and lawlessness), the situation in the region was exceptionally peaceful.
In this contact zone you can find some marvelous individuals, as well as some shady types – from various nationalities, ages, and walks of life - people who can really give you the creeps. As I mentioned above, it is not easy to find out about who these people actually are. As such, a Nazi criminal in the shadows of a trance party in Goa would not be, after all, too far off reality.

Not only hippies were fascinated with India. Former Nazis were interested in Hindu mythology, to the point of inverting the Hindu swastika, a symbol of peace and good luck that can be traced back to the Neolithic, misused to represent a horrible ideology of hatred and racism.


  1. I thought that the swastika was a Buddhist symbol. How widely used in Hindu ideology is it?

  2. Hi - The Hindu swastika is very commonly seen in India, particularly on religious architecture (temple walls). It is not as common in Buddhism though. Hindu is more than 4,000 years old, whereas Buddhism is "only" 2,500 years old. :-) Thanks for your comment. TT