Savitri Devi was a philosopher, a religious thinker, and a tireless polemicist and activist for the causes of animal rights, European pagan revivalism, Hindu Nationalism, German National Socialism, and — after the Second World War — pan-European racial nationalism. She also sought to found a religion, Esoteric Hitlerism, fusing National Socialism with the Traditionalism of René Guénon and Julius Evola. All told, she was one of the most extraordinary personalities of the 20th century.
She was born Maximine Portaz born in Lyons, France on September 30, 1905. Her mother, Julia Nash was English, descending from Viking stock. (She claimed that the name Nash is derived from Ash, as in the World Ash Tree.) Her father, Maxim Portaz, was three fourths Italian from Savoy, one fourth Greek. Because of her mixed-European heritage, she identified herself simply as “European.” She also described herself as a “nationalist of all nations.”
For an account of her life and work, read R. G. Fowler’s tribute to Savitri Devi on her 100th birthday: “Woman Against Time: Remembering Savitri Devi’s 100th Birthday.” (Translations: German, French, Czech, Norwegian.)
Savitri Devi died on October 22, 1982 in Sible Hedingham, Essex, England at the home of her friend Muriel Gantry. For a sad account of her passing, see Muriel Gantry’s “The Last Days of Savitri Devi,” selected from her correspondence by R. G. Fowler.
For more information on Savitri Devi’s life, work, and influence see R. G. Fowler’s website The Savitri Devi Archive.
Counter-Currents has reprinted several works by Savitri Devi online:
- “Cosmotheism in Savitri Devi,” an excerpt from Defiance
- “Incurable Decadence,” chapter 11 of Souvenirs et réflexions d’une Aryenne
- “Paul of Tarsus, or Christianity and Jewry,” an essay from 1957
- “Race, Economics, and Kindness: The Ideal World,” chapter 11 of Impeachment of Man
- “The Religion of the Strong,” chapter 1 of Souvenirs et réflexions d’une Aryenne
In addition to R. G. Fowler’s “Woman Against Time,” Counter-Currents has also reprinted several works about Savitri Devi:
- Paul Brundsen, “Life is Worship: Savitri Devi’s Son of the Sun.” French translation here
- R. G. Fowler, “Enemy and Exemplar: Savitri Devi on Paul of Tarsus.” Translations: German, French
- Alex Kurtagic, Review of Defiance
- Alex Kurtagic, Review of Gold in the Furnace
Three of Savitri Devi’s books are currently in print in English and available for purchase here. For her views on animal rights, vegetarianism, and Deep Ecology, see her manifesto Impeachment of Man. For accounts of her clandestine propaganda activities in Occupied Germany see Gold in the Furnace: Experiences in Occupied Germany. On her subsequent arrest, trial, and imprisonment, see Defiance: The Prison Memoirs of Savitri Devi.
The best introduction to Savitri Devi’s life and work is And Time Rolls On: The Savitri Devi Interviews. Unfortunately, it is now out of print, but Counter-Currents in conjunction with the Savitri Devi Archive will bring it back into print next year.
For information on forthcoming volumes by Savitri Devi, including the long-awaited republication of the complete and unabridged edition of The Lightning and the Sun, see The Savitri Devi Archive News page.