Adolf Hitler infamously led the German Nazi party and ruled the country from 1934 to 1945. Under Hitler Germany was transformed from a republic into the Third Reich. Hitler led a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of National Socialism. Adolf Hitler aimed to eliminate Jews from Germany and was responsible for the holocaust and unprecedented slaughter across the world during World War 2.
Adolf Hitler’s aggressive expansionism plunged Europe into war in 1939, and under Hitler’s leadership his anti-semitic regime was responsible for the attempted genocide of Europe’s jewish population and millions of others deemed in some way “racially inferior.” Hitler and the Nazi regime were directly responsible for the deaths of an estimated 30 million people during a war in which unprecedented numbers of civilians died.
Over the last week it has been widely reported that George Elser missed assassinating Hitler by just a few minutes when he planted a bomb designed to kill Hitler whilst he was making a speech. Hitler escaped by starting and finishing his speech a few minutes early whilst rushing to return to a meeting with his war planners. Elmer’s bomb missed its target and Europe descended into war.
Mahatma Ghandi was famous for his peaceful and non-violent resistance to British rule in India. Ghandi led passive resistance and civil disobedience against the British from 1921, finally winning independence in 1947 shortly before his death. Less well known is the fact that Ghandi tried to prevent Hitler going to war in Europe. According to Business Insider Ghandi wrote a series of letters to Adolf Hitler urging him to seek peace.
In one of his letters to Adolf Hitler Ghandi compared Nazism to British Imperialism saying that “we resist British Imperialism no less than Nazism. If there is a difference, it is in degree. One-fifth of the human race has been brought under the British heel by means that will not bear scrutiny.”
Ghana warned Adolf Hitler that India had struggled for 50 years to overthrow the British regime in India. Ghandi condemned British power as “the most organized violence in the world.”
“It remains to be seen which is the better organized, the German or the British. We know what the British heel means for us and the non-European races of the world. It is a marvel to me that you do not see that [violence] is nobody’s monopoly. If not the British, some other power will certainly improve upon your method and beat you with your own weapon.”
Ghandi implored Adolf Hitler to seek a peaceful resolution to conflict in Europe, a plea that fell on deaf ears, as history shows us that the violence escalated leading to millions of deaths.
Ghandi’s place as a man of peace is beyond question, but was he right to claim that British Imperialism was just as evil as Nazism under the jackboot of Adolf Hitler?
[image via SikhArchives.com]