Gandhi’s Letters to Hitler

Gandhi’s Letters to Hitler


By the late 1930s, Gandhi’s method of peaceful
non-cooperation had already won significant concessions from the British Raj, including
the founding of a national administration and local and national legislative assemblies,
albeit still under British oversight. Gandhi, himself, was internationally famous
for his various acts of non-violent, civil disobedience, including his 241-mile Salt
March, which, while protesting Britain’s monopoly on salt and its high tariff, also galvanized
the Indian people against British rule altogether. With his reputation for effective, nonviolent
change well established, many implored Gandhi to write to Adolph Hitler, whose increasingly
aggressive regime in Germany had them worried that a second world war was imminent. For example, by February 1935, Hitler had
ordered the establishment of a German air force, the Luftwaffe, and by March 1936, Hitler
had sent troops into the Rhineland – both in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Also in 1936, Hitler had established pacts
with Italy and Japan, and in March 1938, Germany invaded Austria. At this time (1938), Hitler was named Man
of the Year by Time magazine. They stated, “Lesser men of the year seemed
small indeed beside the Führer.” That said, their reasoning for picking him
was not to honor his actions up to that point, but to widely publicize his exploits. They noted, among other knocks against him,
“Germany’s 700,000 Jews have been tortured physically, robbed of homes and properties,
denied a chance to earn a living, chased off the streets. Now they are being held for ‘ransom,’
a gangster trick through the ages.” They ended their article on their decision
to name Hitler the Man of the Year on the ominous note, “To those who watched the
closing events of the year it seemed more than probable that the Man of 1938 may make
1939 a year to be remembered.” Indeed, although Britain and France thought
they had “appeased” Hitler’s ambition, and ensured “peace in our time,” with the Munich
Pact (that handed only a portion of Czechoslovakia over to Germany) in September 1938, by March
1939, Hitler had breached that agreement by soon occupying the entire country. At this point, finally realizing that Hitler
couldn’t be trusted, Britain pledged to defend Poland if Germany invaded the latter. Seeing the writing on the wall, Gandhi sent
a short, typewritten letter to Hitler on July 23, 1939, telling the dictator:
Dear friend, Friends have been urging me to write to you
for the sake of humanity. But I have resisted their request, because
of the feeling that any letter from me would be an impertinence. Something tells me that I must not calculate
and that I must make my appeal for whatever it may be worth. It is quite clear that you are today the one
person in the world who can prevent a war which may reduce humanity to the savage state. Must you pay the price for an object however
worthy it may appear to you to be? Will you listen to the appeal of one who has
deliberately shunned the method of war not without considerable success? Any way I anticipate your forgiveness, if
I have erred in writing to you. I remain,
Your sincere friend M.K.Gandhi
This letter never reached the German Chancellor, as it was, apparently, intercepted by the
British government. Shortly thereafter, Germany signed a non-aggression
pact with the Soviet Union on August 23, 1939 (which kept the USSR out of the war until
1941), and Britain signed the formal Anglo-Polish Common Defence Pact two days later. Germany then invaded Poland with its Blitzkrieg
on September 1, 1939, and on September 3, 1939, World War II formally began when Britain
and France declared war on Germany. Despite facing two powerful enemies, Germany
encountered little real resistance during those early months of the war. It tore through the European continent, and
by May 1940, Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Norway were all occupied by
Nazi forces. The Battle of Britain, which saw the British
homeland pummeled by a months-long bombing campaign, began in July 1940. Over the coming months, nearly 30,000 bombs
were dropped on London, during which more than 15,000 people were injured or killed. Once again, on December 24, 1940, Gandhi sent
a letter to Hitler, this one significantly longer. Again addressing him as “Dear Friend,” Gandhi
explained that: “That I address you as a friend is no formality. I own no foes. My business in life has been for the past
33 years to enlist the friendship of the whole of humanity by befriending mankind, irrespective
of race, colour or creed.” But, taking a harder line this time, Gandhi
chastised the Chancellor: “Your own writings and pronouncements . . . leave
no room for doubt that many of your acts are monstrous and unbecoming of human dignity. . . . Such are your humiliation of Czechoslovakia,
the rape of Poland and the swallowing of Denmark.” He also challenged Hitler, noting that although
Nazi Germany had lifted the “science of destruction” to a level of “perfection”:
“It is a marvel to me that you do not see that it is nobody’s monopoly. If not the British, some other power will
certainly improve upon your method and beat you with your own weapon. You are leaving no legacy to your people of
which they would feel proud. They cannot take pride in a recital of cruel
deed, however skilfully planned. I, therefore, appeal to you in the name of
humanity to stop the war.” Accepted that both men shared a common disdain
of Britain, Gandhi continued: “We know what the British heel means for
us and the non-European races of the world. But we would never wish to end the British
rule with German aid. We have found in non-violence a force, which,
if organized, can without doubt match itself against a combination of all the most violent
forces of the world.” He ended with a final appeal:
“During this season when the hearts of the peoples of Europe yearn for peace . . . is
it too much to ask you to make and effort for peace?” If this letter ever reached Hitler, it apparently
was too much to ask. Bonus Fact:
• Although Gandhi was a prodigious writer, and was known to use a typewriter, it created
a cognitive dissonance in the great leader. Renowned for his disdain of technology, which
he thought was de-humanizing, Gandhi summarized his love-hate relationship with the device:
“I too detest the typewriter. I have a horror of it, but I survive it as
I survive many things, which do no lasting harm. If someone dispossessed me of the typewriter,
I should not shed a single tear, but, as it is there, I make use of it and even believe
that some time is being saved for more useful work.”

89 thoughts on “Gandhi’s Letters to Hitler

  1. We must revisit the history. The Jewish controlled media tricked everyone. Gandhi was misled about the reality of the situation.

  2. Gandhi was a slave of the Allies. He was a beggar of independence. And the results were 0.
    We should have been sided with the axis with Bose at full force.

  3. Why British intercepted the letter i don't know? Total dictatorship can't even give freedom to send letters at that time. Maybe just maybe if the letter had reached Hitler , He might started to have second thoughts and maybe could have picked a little less aggressive method.

  4. Hmm.. in this era of villifying people and distortion of history…
    There are enough evidences on Internet which point towards Churchill and Lincoln (or most respected people of any other nation as well) as Gays..!! Looks like the political scenario is changing right across the world.

    The opposition or haters tarnish people's image at personal and professional level even today,many times falsely and for personal benefits. if after many decades someone picks up the oppositions point of view and makes it the only point of view then should it be considered as source of knowledge or truth?
    Even before the people of modern history, people who stood up against blasphemy of religious institutions were villified, imprisoned etc.

    The drawback of this is that people can't learn from the great humans who existed before because they no more see them as sources of learning and inspiration. Doesn't serve humanity.

  5. Non violence has never worked. Gandhi was a good human being but his movement costed lives of many. If Indian freedom fighters like Subhash Chandra Bose would've waged a war with hundreds of millions in support, we could've easily destroy London. Americans are stupid if they think Hitler was the worst. Uk had killed more than hitler ever did and germany never stepped out of europe. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose is the real reason why British left india not Gandhi.

  6. I know the full story:

    In 1940 India had an alliance with Nazi Germany
    In 1943 Netaji gone to Hitler and asked help for freedom
    So Japanese Empire and Nazi Germany is helping India to get freedom
    But they two lost the war
    But India got independence in 1947

  7. And hardcore hindus who love the person who shot Gandhi get played into politics by the modi government and abuse him, saying he was a complete asshole and had no contribution to India's independence..wow

  8. Well Sikhs did serve under the Germany army: soo did Africans, Chinese, east euros, parts of Spain, soo for a racist guy he has quite a diverse army, unlike other countries.

  9. Gandhi enjoyed sleeping with large groups of young girls and made no secret about what he was doing. How times change. Also….Hitler is blamed for what the entire world did for a payday. No one person can make War… it takes an entire village organized and equipped by profitable war industries.

  10. Hitler didn’t dislike Britain. He admired them for their colonies and said that Germans were similar to Brits. Britain forced war on Germany

  11. Gandhi: Sends passive letters to Hitler
    Also ghandi: Has sex with multiple women everyday to ascend into a higher place of immortality

    What went wrong?

  12. You Are So Biased towards him man. I see some salty Brit Crying about their Empires Most biggest achievement being taken away from them. I Pretty much Sure you voted in favour of Brexit?

  13. Gandhi should have said " DO IT HITLER, DO IT FOR EVERYONE'
    Germany starts to wreck shit in Europe.
    The Allies eventually win.
    Britain becomes tired of India.
    India is free.

    Wait…

  14. Gandhi the real hero of 20th Century, he had guts to speak the truth. Salute to Gandhi. You will always be an inspiration in my life.

  15. England declared war on Germany, but they did not declare war on the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union invaded Poland as well. It seems like England was wanting to get into another war with Germany.

  16. So in his last letter Gandhi successfully predicted the fate of Germany and how things would turn up for Germans if they continued on that path

  17. B.M.A
    Non-Violence should be used only upto an extent …..
    And you must have the courage to Behead the Oppressors once when Sword 👨‍🌾 is in your hand without waiting for a Second without the fear of own life ….

  18. There is this famous statement made by the panel members as to why Gandhi was not given a Nobel Prize. " He is a personality equivalent to Christ who often acts like a politician". So basically they were saying how can you give a Nobel Prize to such a great human being.

  19. "Gandhi, through his course of life, had put his profound ma ..

    Read more at:
    http://m.timesofindia.com/articleshow/5111533.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

    Edit: extremely interesting please read.

  20. Subhash Chandra Bose *When he's asking hitler to aid the War of Independence and hears about the letters* : YOU DENSE MOTHERFUC-

  21. Gandhis economic ideas had a disdain for the typewriter because India had a local pen making tradition and the typewriter had to be imported as India hadn't started manufacturing it yet

  22. “You are leaving no legacy to your people of which they would feel proud “
    – damn Ghandhi saw the future ,isn’t it illegal to talk about hitler in Germany?

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