Gandhi And Hitler: Two Faces of Humanity by Shubha Tiwari
What is truly revealing is Gandhi's position toward Hitler and the Nazis. First off, as the Holocaust was in full swing, Gandhi decided to write. Dear Friend Hitler (Hindi: प्रिय मित्र हिटलर), released in India as Gandhi to Hitler, is a War II and centres upon the letters written by Mohandas Gandhi ( Avijit Dutt) to Adolf Hitler (Raghubir Yadav), and around the relationship of Hitler . Letter to Adolf Hitler. As at Wardha, December 24, DEAR FRIEND, That I address you as a friend is no formality. I own no foes. My business in life has.
Gandhi achieved the exemplary feat of freeing this sub-continent from the mighty British Empire through peaceful means while Hitler became the cause of killing more than fifty lacks innocent men, women and children. The famous idiom says that the sun never sat down in the British Empire. The 'naked fakir' shook the mightiest empire of his day by fasting and praying. He encouraged women and girls to fully realize their potential.
He fought relentlessly for the cause of dalits and all forsaken people. His name evokes deep respect, love and devotion in countless hearts all over the world. Hitler's name universally evokes repulsion and fear. The dictionary does not have such cruel words as may describe Hitler correctly. He was a psychopath.
He was a maniac. He was a murderer. Yet all these words are insufficient to describe the devilishness of Adolf Hitler. The model is open for humanity. If humanity and human race have to survive, Gandhi's path becomes inevitable. There is no alternative to kindness, co-operation and co-existence. Gandhi even triumphed in his death. Robert Payne says, "For Gandhi this death was a triumph. He died as the kings do, felled at the height of their powers. But their ideas and their spirit never die.
When we try to answer the question as to how one human being can be a Mahatma like Gandhi and the other a monster like Hitler, we have to analyze nature of psychological diseases as well as the importance of cultural and domestic background in building an individual's personality. We have to understand that both Gandhi and Hitler were products of their separate cultures.
Only India and her pious spirit could have produced a Mahatma like Gandhi.
Repudiating Gandhian pacifism in the face of mass murder - Opinion - Jerusalem Post
The role of Gandhi's mother in giving human values to him was paramount. Gandhi did not witness anything like domestic violence as a child. His mind rested on a firm footage. Like all Indians, he did not have to bother about domestic shelter and security. A strong family makes a strong person. The Indian atmosphere is soaked in religious spirit.
Mohandas Gandhi's letter to Adolf Hitler, 1939
It was more so in Gandhi's times. Religion was another building block of the Mahatma's personality; India is the other name of absorbing inputs from all sides. Elasticity and flexibility are the prominent features of the Indian spirit. Gandhi completely embodied this spirit. Gandhiji's greatness as an individual lies in his persistence of his views.
His greatness lies in the fact that he never abandoned his ideas. He once said that if evil is so firm in its evil ways, why should we leave our goodness; we have the better thing with us. Hitler was a direct product of a civilization based on aggression. His parents bitterly fought with each other. He had no mental rest and security as a child. Both in artistic and academic fields, he failed bitterly. He belonged to a culture that accepted violence as a valid tool to bring social change.
We may also point out that Hilter had schizophrenic genes.
Repudiating Gandhian pacifism in the face of mass murder
History played a key role in the lives of these two individuals. One tends to believe in fate as one goes through the lives of these two individuals. Situations provided a rich opportunity to Gandhi to experiment with his ideas. Situations also provided an open path to Adolf Hitler to grasp military and political power in Germany.
Things happened because they had to happen. The major contrast between the Mahatma and Hitler comes from their style of demanding. Gandhi demanded truth through peaceful means. The only person that he punished was he himself with his fasting. Gandhi propagated peaceful disobedience. His method was to underline the correct thing. The result of his methods was that the opponents understood the justification of his demands.
His whole idea was based on the goodness of human nature. He evoked and appealed to the goodness of his opponents. He believed that no person is his personal opponent. The wrong thinking and the wrong practices of the opponent were his enemies.
Therefore, he targeted the actual enemy and not any person. His fight was against colonialism, poverty, ignorance, evil practices, discrimination, social inequality, dictatorship and so on and so forth.
The British were not his enemies; their colonial rule was his enemy.
So the whole technique centers around appealing to the good side of a human being, so that she or he herself or himself accepts the faults, withdraws from wrong doing and comes on the proper track.
Gandhiji did not want to hurt even a single British; he only wanted them to leave India. The method of Adolf Hitler was totally contradictory to that of Gandhi. He believed that he had a right to kill people. He thought that he had many enemies in this world. He could not accept people who were different from himself. He made imaginary opponents and then killed them.
This is the basic difference between the Mahatma and Hitler. The second most glaring difference comes in the form of humanity versus racial purity. Gandhi respected all religious. He respected all races on earth. He wanted to grasp good points of all countries and people. He did not believe in sections of humanity. He believed in humanity itself.
He did not believe that one race was superior to the other or one caste was superior to the other. He lived with untouchables, ate with them, played with them, cried and laughed with them.
He wanted to identify with the weakest of the weak. His oft quoted lines are that policy makers of India should keep the poorest person in mind when they form and implement policies.
Hitler on the other hand believed in racial superiority of the Aryan race. His mind was full of non- sense. He believed that all evil in this world comes from the Jews. He believed that the blood of the Jews impure. He thought that weak people had no right to live; they must be killed. We can see that he wanted to identify with the strongest of the strong. Moreover his notions of strength were false. Jews were economically strong at that time. They were aiding to the economy. Why did he call them weak?
There is no answer. The only answer is that he had false and whimsical ideas. Today after more than 60 years of this villain's death, we can say that the Jews have won and Hitler has lost.
So many Jews have survived. Not only that, they have a strong and prosperous country like Israel. The most quoted living intellectuals of our times have been Jews. Nom Chomsky is a Jew. Jews are doing so well, especially in the areas of intellectual pursuits.
Gandhiji believed in democracy. Hitler believed in dictatorship. Hitler did not want to give voting rights to the masses. He believed in a totalitarian and authoritarian government controlled by a dictator. Gandhi's life is an open book. Gandhi lived a totally public life. He had no secrets. He had no fear of being exposed. Hitler on the other hand had an insane passion for secrecy.
He massacred people but never gave a clear-cut written order. These people talked among themselves and maintained utmost secrecy. While Gandhiji had no fear, Hitler had all the fears in the world chasing him.
Gandhi believed in the rights and dignity of women. He fully believed in the dignity of labor. On every possible account, there is a terrible contrast between the Mahatma and the villain. A famous historian describes Hitler "Adolf Hitler, was the sociopathic leader Fuhrer of the Third Reich who was instrumental in establishing a totalitarian dictatorship, institutionalizing racism, and mobilizing the German people for war and conquest.On Emergency Of 1975, Arun Jaitley Compares Indira Gandhi To Hitler
Between and Hitler was able to pull Germany out of the economic depression through government deficit spending, extensive public works projects, and massive rearmament. Through the use of sophisticated government propaganda, which involved the skillful manipulation of mass opinion and mass emotions, Hitler immersed the German people in a collective fantasy that they could overcome any obstacle, no matter how staggering, and become the greatest power in the world.
He promoted the idea that the Germanic Aryan race, being at the apex of biological evolution, was destined to govern the world; but to do so, it had to undergo internal racial purification, involving sterilization of the unfit, euthanasia of "lives not worth living," and elimination of inferior races, chiefly the Jews.
In Hitler's mind, the concept of race was intimately linked to the concept of space because a people's greatness depended upon sufficient living space Lebensraum. As long as sixty-five million Germans were limited to a small geographic space, they would remain small and insignificant.
He promised to change this situation by rearming the German people and providing living space for them in Eastern Europe.
In order to make Germany a world power, it was necessary to mobilize its entire resources and to promote in the German people aggressive and warlike tendencies. For this reason, Hitler wanted to breed a hard and callous youth that would delight in war and conquest. The aim of National Socialism, he insisted, should be to teach all Germans to be brutal with a good conscience. Between andhis volatile, unstable, and sociopathic personality dominated European diplomacy, for he was able to manipulate the war-weary Western democracies into dismantling the Versailles settlement.
At first, he pretended to speak as a man of peace and as a statesman whose nation had been tragically wronged by the Versailles Treaty. Appealing to the latent guilt feelings of the Western powers, he cleverly used the rhetoric of Wilsononian idealism against them by giving the world the impression that he, too, stood for national self-determination and a just and lasting peace.
Secretly, however, he was preparing the way for conscription, rearmament, and war. One brilliant success after another, giving Hitler an aura of invincibility, followed: By the spring ofit has become obvious that Hitler was insatiable and that his goals went far beyond national self-determination, for Czechs were not Germans and swallowing up a foreign state was not national self-determination. Yet, regarding himself as the greatest German of all times, his ego inflated to the point of megalomania, Hitler continued to push his aggressive agenda, this time demanding the Polish Corridor and the city of Danzing from Poland as a prelude to his ultimate aim-the conquest of Poland and Russia.
In order to forestall having to fight a two-front war and still dismember Poland, Hitler allied himself with his archenemy, the Soviet Union, and signed a Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact on August 23, One week later, he attacked Poland.
Honoring their commitment to Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. World War II had begun. Hitler saw himself waging two world wars: Between and his armies, relying on blitzkrieg lightning war tactics, appeared invincible on all fronts.
Dear Friend Hitler - Wikipedia
Poland was defeated in three weeks and destroyed as an independent state by Germany and Russia. After a period known as the phony war or Sitzkrieg sitting warHitler resumed his conquests in Aprilinvading and defeating Denmark and Norway in rapid succession.
On May 10, he attacked the Western powers; in one month he defeated Holland, Belgium, and France and drove the British expeditionary force from the Continent. By the summer of he was lord and master of the continent, but the British continued to hold out stubbornly and could not be subdued either by air or sea.
After being side-tracked into conquering the Balkans and parts of North Africa as a result of Mussolini's military failures, Hitler committed his greatest and most fatal strategic error. In order to fulfill his racial utopia, which required the defeat of what he regarded as a Boleshevized and Jew-infested Russia, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, Hitler was now at war with the major powers of the world: For the next three and a half years, Hitler would wage war on five fronts: Over seven million German and associated troops were stationed on far-flung fronts from Scandinavia in the north to the suburbs of Leningrad and Moscow, the Ukraine, and the Crimea in the east; to Holland, Belgium, and France in the west; to Italy and the Balkans in the southeast; and to North Africa and the Atlantic Ocean.
At the same time, Hitler's brutal occupation of conquered people and territories, combined with his bestial extermination policies of "inferior races"- Jews, Gypsies, "Asiatic inferiors" — truned his empire into a charnel house and caused a savage backlash against Germany. His crowning achievement, what his henchman Heinrich Himmler called "a glorious page" in German history, was the extermination by poisonous gas of over five million Jews in annihilation camps in Poland Auschwitz, Bellzee, Chelmno, Maidanek, Sobibor, Treblinka.
With his cities pulverized by air and his armies in retreat on all fronts, Hitler increasingly withdrew from reality into vengeful recrimination, psychosomatic illnesses, and drug dependency. In Januaryhe went underground, directing the war from the safety of his bunker fifty feet under the Reich chancellery.
When the Russians mounted their final attack on Berlin, closing in on the chancellery itself, Hitler made out his last will and testament, in which he blamed the Jews for everything and exhorted the Germans to keep the blood pure; he then married his mistress, Eva Braun, and committed suicide along with his new bride on April 30, Everybody thought that the monster came to an end.
His death was celebrated all over the world as a victory of humanity. He is the most hated name in history of mankind. His name is used as an abuse for authoritarian, egotistical people. Even an uneducated commoner knows that Hitler means cruelty.
This is what Hitler has gained by his cruel ways. Let us now have glance at Gandhi's life. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the great Indian political leader and social reformer, was born in at Probandar in western India.
In he went to London to study law, qualifying in ; there he first encountered liberal and Christian ideas, and the teachings of Tolstoy. Returning to India, he practised law there until when he left for South Africa.
His experience of racialism in South Africa led him to take up the rights of the Indian community and he soon emerged as their leader. He instituted a campaign of passive resistance in response to the Transvaal government's discriminatory policy, coining the term Saytagraha- truth force — for this new revolutionary technique.
This method of resistance was later used to great effect in India's struggle for independence. His first major clash with the British government came in over the Rowlatt Act, and he then introduced the hartal, a strike during which the people devoted themselves to prayer and fasting.
However, when his policies resulted in violence he abandoned the program of mass civil disobedience. For a period Gandhi withdrew from politics and travelled throughout India preaching the cardinal tenets of his doctrine; Hindu-Moslem unity, the abolition of untouchability, and the promotion of hand spinning.
He adopted the peasant's homespun cotton dhoti and shawl, a gesture which won the people's hearts, and he became known as Mahatma — the great soul. There are many divergent views about Gandhi's personality and his methods. Gandhi being widely recognized as an awesome moral authority across the world today, knowledge of his heterodox views on Hitler and the Second World War cannot fail to bring some people to a more nuanced and balanced assessment of that catastrophic and epoch-making time.
Hitler, like many Westerners at the time, was fascinated by recent discoveries showing that invaders, called Aryans, had conquered Europe and India during their primordial history, accounting for the amazing relatedness of the Indo-European languages in both continents including Greek, Romance, Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, Sanskrit, Hindi, Persian, and other languages.
These conquerors were said to be tall and blond Nords, a debatable claim, but they were certainly sun-worshiping warriors animated by life-affirming Pagan virtues.
National Socialism, in taking on the ancient Aryan symbol of the Swastika common in ancient Germanic artifacts and contemporary Hinduism and Buddhismself-consciously proclaimed itself to be an attempt to revive this conquering, virile, primordial, even barbaric Pagan spirit. Hitler saw this as a return to healthier old Germanic ways, considering that the German people had been weakened and divided by the spread of Christianity, liberalism, and Marxism.
Jews were furthermore criticized for having had a leading role in the promotion of each of these ideologies. Less often remarked is that Gandhi also considered himself an Aryan and was deeply proud of this racial and spiritual heritage. Living in South Africa, he addressed a petition in to the Natal Assembly, arguing that Indians should enjoy suffrage and not be considered racially inferior like the black African natives.
This tactic did not work, yet Gandhi continued to identify himself as an Aryan, using the term in a religious sense as well as a racial one. A March newspaper summarized a lecture Gandhi gave at a Masonic temple as follows: As a matter of fact, Aryanism would have been a better descriptive word than Hinduism, is explanation [sic] of the faith accepted by so many millions of his countrymen.
For as the Mahatma famously said: That said, it is striking that Gandhi retained this Aryan identity up to the end of his life.
Indeed, it is precisely after the Second World War and the publicizing of the real and imagined persecution of European Jewry, that Gandhi again began talking of his Aryan identity. In an April talk to working women, Gandhi ascribed special spiritual powers to Aryans: Gandhi furthermore retained the belief that Aryan descent was significant to national identity.
As he said in a January speech: He is a guest of the Government. Both Iranians and Indians come of Aryan stock. Insofar as fascism proclaims a degree of violence as a moral good, namely in founding the state and enforcing aristocracy and social unity, Gandhism can be considered an antifascism. Gandhi himself declared in an April speech: And in another speech to students that month: You know what Hitler is doing in Germany. His creed is violence, of which he makes no secret. The other day we were told that the sword was their soul.
The boys and girls there are taught the science of violence from the beginning. They are taught to hate the enemy even in their arithmetic, and you will find that the examples have been chosen with a view to inculcate the military spirit. If we endorse their creed, we must recognize the necessity of inculcating the spirit of violence from infancy.
The same thing is happening in Italy. We must be honest even as they are honest. Cast off the cloak of foreign thoughts and ideals, identify yourselves with the villagers. The Western world is giving us destructive knowledge; we want to impart constructive education through non-violence. May God give you the strength to reach your cherished goal. He said in a July interview with a German officer: Gandhi also asked the German why the Jews were persecuted, causing some embarrassment.
But the German persecution of the Jews seems to have no parallel in history. The tyrants of old never went so mad as Hitler seems to have gone. And he is doing it with religious zeal. For he is propounding a new religion of exclusive and militant nationalism in the name of which any inhumanity becomes an act of humanity to be rewarded here and hereafter. The crime of an obviously mad but intrepid youth is being visited upon his whole race with unbelievable ferocity.
If there ever could be a justifiable war in the name of and for humanity, a war against Germany, to prevent the wanton persecution of a whole race, would be completely justified. But I do not believe in any war.
A discussion of the pros and cons of such a war is therefore outside my horizon or province. Contrary to the antifascist fashion, Gandhi never believed that Hitler should be expelled from our common humanity or that he was irredeemable. Hitler too does not kill his own people. In Januaryhe wrote: Hitler being human and having a modicum of ahimsa, Gandhi believed nonviolence was just as effective against National Socialism as against British imperialism.
Gandhi answered some skeptical Christian missionaries in December Gandhi told some American teachers that the dictators should be pitied rather than loathed perhaps underestimating the degree of popular support for Hitler and Mussolini: