“Dear Friend…” A letter from Gandhi to Hitler: July 23, 1939.

Via on Aug 11, 2011

Yes, seriously. He tried:

A letter from Gandhi to Hitler -July 23, 1939 (i.imgur.com)

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21 Responses to ““Dear Friend…” A letter from Gandhi to Hitler: July 23, 1939.”

  1. Joshua Eaton says:

    When it comes to World War II, Gandhi was more than a little naive. King was much better on such issues, as is Mandela.

  2. KristinSLuce says:

    Ghandi's humility and even, skillful means, is unsurpassed– that is what I see here.

    • Revo says:

      Ghandi was indeed humble. But is this letter an example of skillful means? Obviously not. If it was truly skillful, it would have been effective. As history has shown, in this case and countless others, however, sociopaths don't stop b/c you ask them nicely. Men like Hitler only understand force; that is, their power has to be taken from them. In the case of Hitler, it's very unfortunate that the force needed to stop him required massive military mobilizations and oceans of blood.

  3. Rhiannon says:

    It is hard to fathom how Ghandi would be forgiving and hesitant and consider friendship with a diabolic sadistic cold blooded torturer and murderer. Would he have been so timid if this murderer was at his doorstep threatening the existence of the people he loved. I am disappointed in reading this letter. What he do if the "boogie man" was really at his threshold and wanted to gas his nation away into ether and obliterate their existence.Never again!

  4. Steven says:

    The Holocaust in the sense of the attempt to exterminate the Jews and others had not yet begun at that point, and many people had no idea it was coming. The extermination camps including the infamous gas chambers did not yet exist- they would be built later in conquered Poland using Soviet POWs and others as slave labor. The campaign of mass extermination began in 1941-42, and would not be widely understood to be happening, by people in the United States, until 1944. Germany was not yet at war with Britain or France when this letter was written. The Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact had not yet been concluded and announced, and it was what allowed Hitler to invade Poland without worrying about the Soviet Union. Many people thought that the British would buy Hitler off or the Western Allies would make an alliance with the Soviet Union, and thus there would be no war in Europe. So let's not be ahistorical in judging this letter.

    • History_Books says:

      Steven, I was taught in history that the camps had been built and Jewish Gettos already established at this time. The media anti-semitic propaganda was already circulating many years prior to 1939. Where are you deriving your information? I lost many ancestors in that war who had been pushed into gettos and exterminated beginning prior to the Allies offense. It took the United States many years to intervene and millions had already been killed when they finally did. No one could imagine that such a horrific act could occur, but the Allies did know well before their offense that the genocide was happening.

  5. Jason says:

    When reading this letter, it sounds as though Ghandi has chosen his words carefully… very carefully. As he has acknowledged Hitler’s ego directly to him in what is written.

    Hitler’s ego is clearly seen in the line “But I have resisted their request”. As Ghandi knows that even he will not be heard by such a man has Hitler no matter how many of his friends make request to write. And by addressing him as “Dear Friend” the good is also seen perhaps to allow Hitler to see the good in himself and travel a less violent path. In the line “Something tells me that I must not calculate…” (when calculate is defined as: to determine by reasoning – per Webster’s) Ghandi again shows Hitler his ego and knows the greatest hope may be to simply make appeal and forgo any sort of line of reasoning. Ghandi’s message here certainly seems as though he is saying I know there is good in you HOWEVER the power of one’s ego has certainly grasped tightly and if you want to travel in an opposite path than the one you currently walk here is a chance. Ghandi’s hand is held out here and as the terribly violent atrocities of history have shown, Hitler wanted only to serve his ego.

  6. EndCivilization says:

    it would have been better if Ghandi's letter had just said open me on it. Then a fucking bomb went off.

  7. [...] The thing is, as much as I wish I was…I’m no Gandhi. [...]

  8. Paulo says:

    Hahaha so many stupid brainwashed comments. Good sheep. Good goyim!

  9. John says:

    Perhaps dear readers the issue is not what you would expect Ghandi to say, but rather…if that's how the worlds foremost renowned peace activist, the man the symbolises peace…the fact that he sees Hitlers plights as the only means, the necessary path to teach the sick Juden…maybe you'll all start to realise as Goerge Orwell wrote, He who controls the present controls the past.
    I include him in that, because Orwell himself took Ghandi up on this very letter personally…it was used as part inspiration for the book 1984… read into that what you will.

    Just because you believe something, sometimes the rational part of your mind should look at the anomalies…Hitler was worried about a conspiracy where he saw the Jews would take over the world…what does your heart see?
    …are we living 1984?

    • nan says:

      What you are writing makes absolutely no sense. Your message is not clear. No sentence is connected to the previous one or lead to the next one. What about 1984? Who is included in what?

      • Ranieri says:

        Use some logic pls… U know what happened in 84, so why should him write that? I got what he wrote and i barely knows english. I see lots of missing commas, but i can put then on my head (they don't put double meaning into the text)..

        I don't see why people can't stand non formal writing, even if what the person said makes absolute sense (I'm not saying this is the case), some people just don't pay attention if it is not very well written…

  10. viplavi says:

    Oy, it's Gandhi, not Ghandi, people. Look at his signature! Now that I've gotten that out of the way….Gandhiji's stance on the holocaust has always been controversial. He is known to have said that the Jews should have used his methods of non-violent resistance against Hitler. This is thought by many to be extraordinarily naive. Hitler was not the British Raj. Yet, I suppose Gandhiji believed wholeheartedly in his method and he was not willing to compromise on it. His method relied on the firm belief that everyone has some innate goodness or conscience in them that can be appealed to. Gandhiji wouldn't have been willing to say that Hitler was a soulless incarnate of pure evil. That would have weakened his own position.

  11. Hitler was in his own way a bit naive and a tool. He was very attracted to Eastern mysticism. There was the Nazi expedition to Tibet in search of Shambhala. He claimed to have 'met the ubermen' (vaguely remember reading about this, it's been a while). Ghandi may have believed from Hitler's interest in esotericism that he could be swayed by a moral argument. However, I think there's a fair bit of evidence that Hitler may have been not quite the 'master of his own ship' (speaking of his mind, or his sense, not in his right mind or in complete possession of his wits). Subsequent history would certainly seem to validate this position. Occasionally I wonder if there is not something to the stories of extraterrestrial or otherworldly influence upon the lives and minds of those living on the Earth. It certainly plays a large part in popular culture, and already did during the historical period in question. Regardless of the truth or falsehood of such influences, the perceived truth of them has repeatedly been sufficient to cause people to perform horrendous acts, in the hopes of receiving some reward or achieving some mystically significant goal, or pleasing extraterrestrial masters… whatever. The mythology which was built up during the Third Reich… into which the SS were initiated, the search for the "Holy Spear", the aryan race, perhaps Hitler fell for his own party's line of propaganda? There were certainly enough who did. In any event, not one to play Hitler apologist, my favorite comment from the above was "Gandhiji should have mailed him a bomb"… but trying to understand how Gandhi and others might have been fooled into believing Hitler may have been susceptible to listening to reason and a moral argument.

  12. (from the article:)

    "The new man is living amongst us now! He is here!" exclaimed Hitler, triumphantly. "Isn't that enough for you? I will tell you a secret. I have seen the new man. He is intrepid and cruel. I was afraid of him."

    "In uttering these words," added Rauschning, "Hitler was trembling in a kind of ecstasy."
    http://www.mt.net/~watcher/hitleraliengoldendawn….

  13. Kaizad says:

    Gandhi..not Ghandi..

  14. Cimegs5088 says:

    Hitler was actually a genius in art himself if it's not because of poverty. He was so close of being a great name on the opposite site of what we were told about history. Intellectual in art sometimes relate to perfectionism and his desperation had somewhat led him into delusive needs, not to mention the losing of his manhood ability. The result, a traumatic psychological condition.

    What it takes for a mind to ever think of decimating a whole race? It will always be difficult for even the top psychologist to understand the psychological conditions at extreme, it's just because it's at an forbidden edge of behaviour.

    Gandhi, on the other hand, has some questionable private behaviour.

    In brief, this is a letter of a comfortable living playboy to a desperate criminal poor kid telling him that there's more to life than stealing, robbing, killing.

    My point? This letter was already useless before it was written. Disclosing such letter would only attract more debate to ethics of an ever immortalized figure vs an ever damned figure in modern human history. A forbidden zone where mainstream media just wouldn't step foot in.

    Listening to Counting Stars, sometime people feels right doing the wrong thing, sometimes people feel wrong doing the right thing. What we could learn from it, is every single bit counts, where we could possibly tilt the decisions of an individual around us.

    Have we done so? People tend to enjoy the aftermath comment more than anything else isn't it?

    Just my 2 cents. =)

  15. Rhiannon says:

    Thank you for your comment and the clarification of the "skilled politician" aspect of a man that we "posthumously"
    ascribed perhaps difficult to achieve qualities to mere mortals.None the less, I would hope that we develop the appropriate skills to clearly see danger when it is approaching and do our best to ensure our survival as best as we are able.Purposeful,sadistic annihilation of any life should be avoided at all costs in my opinion.I imagine Gandhi would agree.

  16. lavendershaman says:

    I admire that you have been the only one to acknowledge what kind of person Gandhi really was. A quick look into his actual biography will reveal that he was also racist and was not in fact responsible for freeing India from Britian's hold, but was in fact cooperative with his country's captors. He also aided the British with occupations in Southern Africa. There is also evidence that this was not his only interaction with Hitler. Our World History classes only offer one view of history that is not always accurate, and unfortunately I also once held Gandhi in high esteem for this same reason. It is sad to lose these heros, but it is also enlightening to realize that they too are human.

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