Savitri Devi

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Savitri Devi

Savitri Devi Mukherji (born Maximine Julia Portaz, September 30, 1905, Lyon, FranceOctober 22, 1982, Essex, England) was a French writer, of mixed English, Lombard, and Greek ethnicity, who became enamoured with Hinduism and National Socialism. She worked to synthesis the two creating an unique racial ideology that proclaimed Adolf Hitler an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu.

Although mystical in her conception of National Socialism, and often classified as an advocate of so-called National Socialist mysticism, Savitri Devi saw the new political doctrine as a practical faith without the requirement of metaphysics. Her writings have become a major influence in the study of esoteric Hitlerism.


Born as Maximine Julia Portaz, the daughter of a Greek/Lombard Italian father and an English mother. She was born two and a half months premature weighing only 930 grams (2.05 lbs), and expected to not live.

Early impressions

Portaz formed her political sympathies and antipathies early on. From childhood throughout her life she was a passionate advocate for animal rights, thus colouring her impression of the practitioners of Kosher slaughter. Her earliest political affiliations were for Greek nationalism. Thus, during the First World War, she was outraged by the Triple Entente's invasion of neutral Greece.

Education and activism

Portaz studied philosophy and chemistry, earning two Masters Degrees 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). Portas impressed her teachers with her vibrant, penetrating mind.

In early 1928, she renounced French citizenship and acquired Greek nationality. Joining a pilgrimage to Palestine during Lent in 1929, Portas realised she was, and had always been, a National Socialist. In 1932 she travelled to India in search of a living pagan culture. Formally adhering to Hinduism, she took the name Savitri Devi ("Sun-rays Goddess" in Sanskrit). She volunteered at the Hindu Mission and wrote A Warning to the Hindus to offer support for Hindu nationalism and independence, and rally resistance to the spread of Christianity and especially Islam in India. On June 9, 1940 she was married in a Hindu ceremony to Asit Krishna Mukherji, a Bengali Brahmin with National Socialist convictions who edited the pro-German newspaper New Mercury.

Arrest and imprisonment

After the war she travelled to Europe in late 1945 (as the wife of an Indian — she was Savitri Devi Mukherji now — she had a British passport). Her first stop was England, where she made contacts. She then visited her mother in France and then travelled on to Iceland where she witnessed the eruption of Mount Hekla. She then returned to England, then travelled to Sweden where she met with Sven Hedin.

On June 15, 1948, she took the Nord-Expreß from Denmark to Germany, where she distributed many thousands of copies of handwritten leaflets encouraging the “Men and women of Germany” to “hold fast to our glorious National Socialist faith, and resist!” She penned her experience in Gold in the Furnace (which has been reedited in honour of her 100th birthday under the title Gold in the Furnace: Experiences in Post-War Germany).

Arrested for posting bills, she was tried (in Düsseldorf on April 5, 1949), for the promotion of National Socialist ideas on German territory subject to the Allied Control Council, and sentenced to three years imprisonment. She served eight months in Werl prison, where she befriended her fellow National Socialist and SS prisoners, (recounted in Defiance) before being released and expelled from Germany. She went to stay in Lyon, France.


In April of 1953, she obtained a Greek passport in her maiden name in order to re-enter Germany, and she began a pilgrimage, as she called it, of holy sites of the Third Reich. She flew from Athens to Rome then travelled by rail over the Brenner Pass into "Greater Germany", which she regarded as "[t]he spiritual home of all racially conscious modern Aryans". She travelled to a number of sites significant in the life of Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers Party), as well as German nationalist and heathen monuments, as recounted in her 1958 book Pilgrimage. [1]

The National Socialist International

Savitri Devi became friends with Hans-Ulrich Rudel, and completed her manuscript of The Lightning and the Sun at his home in March of 1956. Through his introductions she was able to meet a number of German émigrés in Spain and the Middle East. In 1957 she stayed with Johannes von Leers in Egypt. In 1961 she stayed with Otto Skorzeny in Madrid.

Savitri Devi took employment teaching in France during the 1960s, spending her summer holidays with friends at Berchtesgaden. In the spring of 1961, while on her Easter holiday in London she learned of the British National Party. This group emerged after the Second World War when a handful of former members of the British Union of Fascists took on the name. (The original BNP was absorbed quite quickly into the Union Movement --it is not connected with the present BNP.) She met with the British National Party president Andrew Fountaine. Beginning a correspondence with Colin Jordan, she became a devoted supporter of his organization the National Socialist Movement.

In August 1962, Savitri Devi attended the international National Socialist conference in Gloucestershire and was a founder-signatory of the Cotswold Agreement that established the World Union of National Socialists (WUNS). At this conference she met, and was greatly impressed with George Lincoln Rockwell. When Rockwell became leader of WUNS, he appointed William Luther Pierce editor of its new ideological journal: National Socialist World (1966-68). Along with articles by Jordan and Rockwell, Pierce devoted nearly eighty pages of the first issue to a condensed edition of The Lightning and the Sun. Because of the enthusiastic response, Pierce included chapters from Gold in the Furnace and Defiance in subsequent issues.

After retiring from teaching in 1970, Savitri Devi spent nine months at the Normandy home of close friend Françoise Dior while working on her memoirs. Concluding that her pension would go much further in India, she flew from Paris to Bombay on June 23, 1971. In August she moved to New Delhi, where she lived alone, with a number of cats and at least one cobra. Her husband continued to live in Calcutta, visiting Devi from time to time. During his final illness, he moved in with her and fasted until he died, on March 21, 1977.

Savitri Devi continued correspondence with National Socialist activists in Europe, the Americas and Jordan: John Tyndall, Matt Koehl, Miguel Serrano, and Ernst Zündel. She was the first to claim to Zündel that the Holocaust was untrue; he proposed a series of taped interviews (conducted in November of 1978) and published a new illustrated edition of The Lightning and the Sun in 1979.


She died in 1982 in Sible Hedingham, Essex, England at her friend Muriel Gantry's house; the cause of death was recorded as myocardial infarction and coronary thrombosis. She was en route to lecture in America at the invitation of Matt Koehl at the time.

Her ashes were sent to the National Socialist White People's Party shrine in Arlington, Virginia where they were placed next to those of George Lincoln Rockwell.


Savitri Devi was influenced by writers and thinkers like Julius Evola and Oswald Spengler, and in turn she influenced the Chilean diplomat Miguel Serrano. Among her ideas was the classification of “men above time”, “men in time”, “men against time”.

In 1982, Francisco Freda published a German translation of Gold in the Furnace; the fourth volume of his annual review, Risguardo (1980-), was devoted to Savitri Devi as the "missionary of Aryan Paganism".

Revilo P. Oliver wrote that he saw the potentiality of a future religion venerating Adolf Hitler "in the works of a highly intelligent and learned lady of Greek ancestry, Dr. Savitri Devi."




See also

External links

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