November 30, 2005

Impeachment of Man

Woman Against Time: Remembering Savitri Devi's 100th Birthday
R.G. Fowler Libertarian Socialist News: 10/22/2005
Savitri Devi was a philosopher, a religious thinker, and a tireless activist on behalf of National Socialism, Indo-European paganism, vegetarianism, animal welfare, and deep ecology. She also dabbled in fiction- writing and espionage. In 1958, with the publication of her magnum opus, "The Lightning and the Sun," she emerged as one of the most original and influential National Socialist thinkers of the post World War II era.
Savitri Devi was born Maximine Portaz on 30 September 1905 in Lyons, France at 8:45 a.m. She died shortly after midnight on 22 October 1982 in Sible Hedingham, Essex, England. Of English, Greek, and Italian ancestry, she described her nationality as "Indo-European." Savitri Devi had remarkable intellectual gifts, which she manifested at an early age. As a young child she learned French and English from her parents, then taught herself Modern Greek and some Ancient Greek. In time she became fluent in seven languages (English, French, Modern Greek, German, Icelandic, Hindi, and Bengali) and had knowledge of several others (e.g., Ancient Greek, Italian, Urdu, and other Indian languages). Savitri Devi also earned two Masters Degrees, in philosophy and physics- chemistry, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Lyons. Her first two books were her doctoral dissertations: "Essai-critique sur Théophile Kaïris" (Critical Essay on Theophilius Kaïris) (Lyons: Maximine Portaz, 1935) and "La simplicité mathématique" (Mathematical Simplicity) (Lyons: Maximine Portaz, 1935).
Savitri Devi also had a vast knowledge of religion and history, particularly ancient history, as well as an amazing memory, particularly for dates and names. She was also a brilliant and mesmerizing teacher who could lecture at length on countless topics without reference to notes. A self-described "nationalist of every nation" and an Indo-European pagan revivalist, Savitri Devi embraced National Socialism in 1929 while in Palestine. In 1935, she traveled to India to experience in Hinduism the last living remnants of the Indo-European pagan religious tradition. Settling eventually in Calcutta, she worked for the Hindu nationalist movement, which defended Hindu tradition from all universalistic and egalitarian ideologies, such as Christianity, Islam, Communism, and liberal democracy. In 1939, Savitri Devi married a Bengali Brahmin, the pro-Axis publisher Asit Krishna Mukherji (1903-1977). During World War II, she and her husband spied for the Japanese.
In 1935, while studying at Rabindranath Tagore's Shantiniketan Ashram in Bengal, Maximine Portaz, at the suggestion of some fellow students, took the pen name Savitri Devi. Another focus of Savitri's interest while in India was a fellow sun- worshipper, the Ancient Egyptian "Heretic Pharaoh" Akhnaton (14th century BC), who was surely one of the most remarkable and enigmatic personalities in history. Nearly 60 years later, "Son of the Sun" is still one of the best books on Akhnaton. It is beautifully written, with a novelist's eye for concrete and colorful details. It is rigorously researched, drawing on all the relevant literature of the time.
Savitri revered National Socialist Germany as a Holy Land for all Aryans. But she never saw it during its glory days. Her first glimpse of it was in 1948, in ruins. Savitri's greatest work is "The Lightning and the Sun" (1958), which synthesizes National Socialism and the Aryan cyclical theory of history and advances the stunning claim that Adolf Hitler was an avatar — a human incarnation — of the Hindu god Vishnu, the sustainer of order. Savitri Devi was also a passionate crusader for vegetarianism, animal welfare, and deep ecology. She summarized her views on these matters in "Impeachment of Man." Savitri's other writings include "Souvenirs et réflexions d’une Aryenne" (Memories and Reflections of an Aryan Woman) (Calcutta: Savitri Devi Mukherji, 1976), her most comprehensive presentation of her philosophy.

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