Ghandi’s Letters To Hitler

On February 22, 2015 by Tim Newman
Dear_Friend_Hitler_film_poster - awful film
Dear Friend Hitler film poster” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

On the 23rd July 1939, Europe was in a palpably tense state. The proverbial dog-doo was creeping dangerously close to the wind turbine. Germany had annexed Austria and marched on Czechoslovakia, it was looking like anyone could be next in line. Ghandi, it seems, decided to at least try to intervene; I guess, if you felt like you had any political sway at all, this would be the time to give it a swing.

Unfortunately, the letter never made it from Ghandi’s mind to Hitler’s desk. The British decided to intervene. One month later Germany invaded Poland. Not that I think the letter would have stopped the war of course.

Ghandi Letter To Hitler never arrived

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 seliberately [sic] 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

That wasn’t the last time Ghandi wrote to Hitler either. He wrote the following on Christmas eve 1940:

Dear friend,

We have no doubt about your bravery or devotion to your fatherland, nor do we believe that you are the monster described by your opponents, but your own writings and pronouncements and those of your friends and admirers leave no room for doubt that many of your acts are monstrous and unbecoming of human dignity, especially in the estimation of men like me who believe in universal friendliness.

If you’re interested there was an Indian film called Dear Friend Hitler which is a dramatised, jumped-up, factually incorrect, blown out of all proportion discussion of a friendship between Hitler and Ghandi that didn’t exist. I haven’t seen it but it was universally panned by the critics so it could be good for a laugh?

The image at the top of this article comes from the international poster advertising the film. Here’s the domestic version:

Gandhi to Hitler Poster” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

Here are a few choice reviews of the film:

IMDb2.9/10 – “This Indian movie is an absurd, ultra low budget unofficial remake of the German movie Downfall, about the last days of Hitler (despite the title, Gandhi appears only briefly in this film)”

Times of India2/5 – “unnecessary play with history”

DNAIndia.com1 star

Komoi.com0.5/5 – they criticized the film’s script, direction, technical values, soundtrack, and the performance from actors other than Yadav who played Hitler.

So perhaps you shouldn’t bother?

I can’t find anything else out about the pen pal relationship between Hitler and Ghandi, I’m sensibly assuming there was no such relationship. Ghandi, bless his heart, did all he could to avoid a war. I don’t think any letter in the universe could have prevented the horror that was to come.






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