Yesterday, an Argentine reflexologist named Marcela Baez Mansilla, who also goes by the names Marcela de de Mahieu or Marcela Baez Mansilla de de Mahieu, took issue with my reporting that the Franco-Argentinian scientific racist anthropologist Jacques de Mahieu had been associated with Nazism, and she took to Twitter to share her upset with Scott Wolter, the former television personality who used de Mahieu’s research in his book From Akhenaten to the Founding Fathers (2013). I guess it’s as good a time as any to discuss why Jacques de Mahieu is not an unbiased source of information about Aryan conquest of the ancient Americas.
Mansilla is the wife of de Mahieu’s son, Xavier Marie de Mahieu. In 2012 the couple, along with Hecto D. Buela, put out a new edition of Jacques de Mahieu’s Templars in America (the book based, explicitly, on arguments Eugène Beauvois had pioneered in the late 1800s and early 1900s). They also run a pro-de Mahieu blog and participate in online discussions of de Mahieu’s views to advocate for their correctness. Obviously, she is not entirely unbiased here.
Wolter, for his part, replied to Mansilla in Spanish that “unfortunately, you are wasting your time trying to have an honest conversation” with me about de Mahieu’s white supremacist and Nazi collaborator past. Mansilla, for her part, offered that de Mahieu could not have possessed white supremacist or Nazi views because he was “an anthropologist, sociologist, philosopher, university professor, etc.” When I replied that Josef Mengele was a doctor and that titles do not convey morals, she promptly blocked me from viewing her tweets while continuing to write tweets defending de Mahieu. She suggested that I would be sued for defamation for linking him to the Nazis (the phrase I used was “Nazi sympathizer”), apparently unaware that Scott Wolter himself identified de Mahieu as a “Nazi collaborator” in his 2013 book before arguing that de Mahieu’s collaboration with the Nazis was “irrelevant and unimportant” to the understanding of his later views of Aryan global dominance.
Fortunately, in the United States one cannot libel the dead. Jacques de Mahieu is long dead. And still a racist even in his grave.
Time magazine identified Jacques de Mahieu as a member of the collaborationist Vichy French regime in 1998, and the Argentine press long claimed that de Mahieu and his boss, former president Juan Peron, had Nazi sympathies. It is a matter of record that Peron imported hundreds of leading Nazis and Nazi collaborators, including Dr. Josef Mengele and Jacques de Mahieu after World War II. It is also a matter of record that Peron gave de Mahieu the task of creating the intellectual framework for his own authoritarian and semi-fascist government.
More damning still is that no one can dispute that Jacques de Mahieu served as the president of the Argentine chapter of the Círculo Español de Amigos de Europa, better known as CEDADE, a Spanish neo-Nazi organization, until his death in 1990. CEDADE famously published books praising Nazism and denying the existence of the Holocaust in the middle and late twentieth century.
If that wasn’t enough, de Mahieu claimed that the Vikings of America used swastikas as their symbols, and his book was translated into German by none other than Wilfred van Owen, a deputy of Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels.
This information is important because de Mahieu’s politics found a perfect reflection in the scientific racism and pseudohistory he promoted in his academic and political offices. It is surely no coincidence that de Mahieu “discovered” that white Europeans had traveled from Europe in the early Middle Ages, colonized Latin America, and gave to the Native peoples such rudiments of culture as they possessed. He appropriated the specific claims made by Eugène Beauvois but tweaked them a bit for Peronist sympathies. Beauvois had posited that the Irish first colonized Latin America, followed by the French Knights Templar. De Mahieu removed the Celtic Irish—who shared too much with the hated British and (white) Americans—and settled on the more Aryan Vikings (specifically from what became the German duchy of Schleswig) as his first great colonizers, followed by the Knights Templar. (He did not entirely exclude Irish monks and other fringe history favorites, but he reduced their influence compared to the claims of other fringe historians.) Thus, de Mahieu’s revision of world history prioritized Aryan and French people, who just happened to be the Peronists’ favored post-War refugees, i.e. Vichy French and Nazis, over both Native peoples (of course) and especially anyone associated with the British Isles. (Ireland has long been closely tied to Britain, formally or informally, and the United Kingdom still includes part of the island of Ireland.)
Note, too, that such a pseudohistory also plays into Argentina’s historical grudge against the United Kingdom, a grudge that continues to play out in repeated conflict over the Falkland Islands, which Britain seized from Argentina in the 1830s. More importantly, it also serves to reinforce Argentina’s culture self-conception as being an outpost of European civilization in the Americas, the most European and the least Native American of all of the Latin nations. This pseudohistory gives Latin America (and therefore by extension Argentina) a “European” history as old as almost any of the post-Roman nation-states of Europe. Specifically, in tracing the culture of Latin America to German Vikings, it makes Argentina older than Anglo-Norman Britain, which became a world power only after the Norman invasion 1066—a century after de Mahieu claims that Vikings from Schleswig colonized the Americas, starting in 967.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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