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Was Castoriadis tutored in French as a child by a Nazi mystic?

Weird.

I was talking to a colleague about Castoriadis; he hadn’t heard of him previously, and was intrigued. On getting home, he searched on the internet and found multiple sites claiming that Savitri Devi, fascist mystic, tutored Castoriadis (presumably in French) from 1932-1935. Born in 1922, Castoriadis would have been 10-13 years old in these years.

Savitri Devi was the adopted name of Maximine Julia Portas, born in 1905 to a Greco-French father and English mother. She became a fascist very early in life, and would certainly have been one from 1932-1935. She was an active spy for Axis Powers during Workd War II, and continued public pro-Nazi pilgrimages and wrote books of fascist ideology and adulation until her death in 1982. She supported the British National Party,  and her ashes are supposedly housed alongside those of George Lincoln Rockwell of the American Nazi Party of America. 

She similarly renounced Christianity early on and became an advocate of the notion of aryan paganism, which she pursued to India, where she believed Hinduism was a living aryan paganism.

Devi/Portas always claimed to be in India 1932-1935, and the only proof to the contrary seems to be this claim by Castoriadis. He would have been 10-13 years old at the time.

I’d never heard of this before and was a bit stunned: Castoriadis joined the Communist Party as a teenager, and fled Greece pursued and attacked by fascists and stalinists alike. The idea that he was educated at such a crucial point in his life by one of the a famous-and famously weird-fascist ideologue was definitely a surprise.

My searches reveal the exact same wording and reference in all the online sources, all of which reference a radio show and a date. The wording in these web sites, in all cases, seem to trace to a 2015 book called The esoteric codex: naziism and the occult, by Hans Tilde.

The radio show itself is three hours and in French. It was recorded in 1996.  It’s in French and three hours long, so it’ll take me some time to find the right spot.

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One thought on “Was Castoriadis tutored in French as a child by a Nazi mystic?

  1. CT says:

    Weird indeed.

    I just came across this info yesterday and was quite bewildered.
    I did a little online research and sent an email out to some friends to share this info
    (I do not own a blog/site).
    Today I continued my research and found your post, which more or less coincides with my thoughts. Especially “Born in 1922, Castoriadis would have been 10-13 years old in these years…. The idea that he was educated at such a crucial point in his life by one of the a famous-and famously weird-fascist ideologue was definitely a surprise.“, which is spot on, given that CC himself, on many occasions, has stressed the fact that he became involved with philosophy and politics at the very early age of ~13 years !

    Moreover, there are references that they kept in touch literally throughout Savitri’s life (she was hosted at his house in Paris few days before she died), according to
    a chronology of Savitri Devi:

    1971
    May: Leaves Ducey
    6 June: Writes to Cornelius Castoriadis from Zürich [ if such a letter does exist, it would be quite interesting to find it ]

    1982
    3-4 October: Stays in Paris with Cornelius Castoriadis and family
    4 October: Leaves Paris for Nantes; stays with Yves Jeanne and family; receives word from Matt Koehl that visa and funds were available for US speaking tour; ticket from London to Washington, D.C. purchased for 6 November
    16 October: Departs Nantes for England
    17 October: Arrives by taxi at Muriel Gantry’s, in Sible Hedingham, Essex, England en route to US
    22 October: Dies shortly after midnight in Sible Hedingham
    7 December: Cremation at Colchester Crematorium

    Now, add to the mix (ok, I am venturing into very very thin ice here)
    Castoriadis’ fixation with ancient greece, plus the fact that during the WWII resistance in Greece, Castoriadis was a member of Agis Stinas’ Trotskyist team, who was a prominent proponent of defeatism.

    Since there are hardly any evidence of their relationship, if any,
    it definitely deserves a little bit more digging.

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