Born as Maximine Julia Portas in 1905, Savitri Devi was the daughter of Maxim Portas, a French citizen of Greek and Lombardian Italian ancestry and an Englishwoman, Julia Portas (née Nash). Maximine Portas was born two and a half months premature, weighing only 930 grams (2.05 lbs), and was not at first expected to live. She formed her political views early. From childhood and throughout her life, she was a passionate advocate for animal rights, which was related to her views of Jews as the practitioners of kosher slaughter. Her earliest political affiliations were with Greek nationalism.
Portas studied philosophy and chemistry, earning two Masters Degrees and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Lyon. She next traveled to Greece, and surveyed the legendary ruins. Here, she became familiar with Heinrich Schliemann's discovery of swastikas in Anatolia. Her conclusion was that Ancient Greeks were Aryan in origin, thus finding the reason for the influence of their culture upon later civilizations. Her first two books were her doctoral dissertations: Essai-critique sur Théophile Kaïris (Critical Essay on Theophilius Kaïris) (Lyon: Maximine Portas, 1935) and La simplicité mathématique (Mathematical Simplicity) (Lyon: Maximine Portas, 1935).
She was the tutor of the philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis (1922–1997), as he revealed in a radio interview by Katherine von Bulow (France Culture - 20/4/96).
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Famous quotes related to early years:
“If there is a price to pay for the privilege of spending the early years of child rearing in the drivers seat, it is our reluctance, our inability, to tolerate being demoted to the backseat. Spurred by our success in programming our children during the preschool years, we may find it difficult to forgo in later states the level of control that once afforded us so much satisfaction.”
—Melinda M. Marshall (20th century)