Cawadias was the son of the noted Greek archeologist, Panagiotis Kavvadias/ Παναγιώτης Καββαδίας (1850 – 1928). Alexander was educated locally in Athens and then at Montpellier University and at the University of Paris where he earned a baccalaureate in 1901, and then studied in Bonn and Heidelberg. From 1906-10 he was a resident physician at a Paris teaching hospital, where he gained a MD. In 1912 he was elected Chef de Clinique in the Paris Faculty.
However the Balkan states having formed the Balkan League fought successfully to complete secession from the Ottoman Empire. This was the First Balkan War 1912-13. Immediately afterwards Bulgaria went to war against Greece and Serbia to settle boundaries. This was the Second Balkan War. Dr Cawadias returned to Greece to help his country, and in particular served during the cholera epidemic in Salonika. In 1914, he married the daughter of a banker, and, on the nomination of Queen Mother Olga, he was appointed Chief of the Medical Clinic in the Evangelismos Hospital in Athens, and he became physician to the new king, her son. During the Great War, Cawadias was the liaison officer to the British Sector, and in 1918 was appointed to the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Greece attempted to expand into Asia Minor, but was defeated in the Greco-Turkish War 1919-1922. After this chaos and the need to absorb 1.5 million refugees, there was a referendum on the monarchy, and Greece became a republic in 1924. A fervent royalist, Cawadias followed his King Geórgios II (Olga’s grandson) into exile in London two years later. He qualified as a British MD at Durham University. He found a home in the prestigious Wimpole Street, and became a British subject. He quickly established a consulting practice mainly amongst wealthy Greek expatriates. He did not follow his king back to Greece in 1935 after the right-wing coup that restored the monarchy.
“In all cases of ‘complete’ hermaphroditism described even to-day the testis or the ovary was rudimentary and not functioning. Bisexualism could not be accepted on such slender evidence. Was there a normal woman who did not possess in her ovarian medulla testicular rudiments, or a normal woman who did not secrete testosterone? According to Klebs's criterion all normal women should be considered true hermaphrodites. (1941 p818)” …. “The ovary and testis were not the basis of sex, but merely manifestations or results of the initial genetic sexoformic impulse, which in human beings was either male or female and never bisexual. A female was not the appendage of her ovaries, to use Virchow's phrase, but had ovaries because she was female. A male was not male because he had testes; he had testes because he was male. There was neither absolute male nor absolute female. Every male had more or less latent female features, and vice versa. Intensification of this normal intersexualism characterised the disease hermaphroditism, and all degrees were encountered. (p819)”
Continued in Part II
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