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July 30, 2012 2:43 pm

The Advent of Hitler in India

avatar by Jacob Shamsian / Tazpit News Agency

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Dr. Aafreedi. Photo: Tazpit News Agency.

Hitler is considered historically heinous by most of humanity, but in the last few years India has been witness to the advent in his popularity.

Last month, Dr. Navras Jaat Aafreedi, an Assistant Professor at the Department of History & Civilization at Gautam Buddha University in India, and scholar of the history of the Jewish communities in India, concluded a lecture tour in Israel. During the trip, he gave a talk titled “The Rise of Hitler’s Popularity in India” at Tel Aviv University. He notes that “India is the only country in the world where Jews have lived with their non-Jewish neighbours in complete harmony for more than two millennia. Jews are India’s smallest religious minority and Muslims its biggest, and the two have produced beautiful examples of amity, unlike anywhere else in the world.”

The phenomenon of Hitler’s growing popularity in India is a paradox because of the absence of Anti-Semitism in India. Yet, though the country has hardly known Jew hatred, sales of Hitler’s Mein Kampf have risen over 15% in the last decade. The name “Aryan” is becoming a popular first name in India, and “Hitler” is the name of the protagonist in many a Bollywood production.

Dr. Aafreedi offered a few explanations. Unlike modern-day neo-Nazis who idealize Hitler for the racist ideology he espoused and for his persecution of the Jews, Indians who respect Hitler do so as a result of misinformation. “It can be ascribed to the absence of Jewish Studies in India, where Islamic Studies are available at almost all major Indian universities. The level of ignorance among Indians about Jews is hysterical and the state has been unwilling to introduce Jewish Studies in India, whereas in the neighboring country China, Jewish Studies are available at ten of its universities,” he says. He explains that Indians are largely ignorant of the Holocaust, and therefore “tend to see it as a justified collateral damage for the greater good of Germany, influenced as they are by the way Hitler is often projected as a hero by the Hindu right wing.”

He observes that “Most of the Indians do not even know about the Jews, let alone the Holocaust. Among the section of the Indian population that is aware of the Holocaust, there are many who have fallen into the trap of the Holocaust deniers and have started either doubting it as a whole or just its scale.” Also as a result of this misinformation, many Indians believe that the Axis powers of World War II were partially responsible for the establishment of India’s independence from the British in 1947. It is believed that Hitler’s battle with the Allies forced Britain to focus their resources in Europe and Britain was unable to maintain control over a territory as large as India, which left room for an Indian independence movement. Subhas Chandra Rose, a key figure of the Indian independence movement, collaborated with Axis powers to raise an army to fight the British.

Another reason says Aafreedi is the younger generation’s great desire for strong leadership and the lack of good examples.

Dr. Aafreedi believes that the key to combating this situation is in education. “I promote Jewish Studies in India, the study of Jewish history, culture and religion. It is just not possible to understand the two most widely practiced religions, Christianity and Islam, without a study of Judaism, the oldest of the three Semitic monotheistic religions. It is important for any nation to appreciate and recognize the contributions made to it by its religious minorities. If this does not happen, the society becomes intolerant towards minorities which has grave consequences not just for the minorities but also for the majority community. In India, Jews happen to be the smallest religious minority and the Muslims, the biggest. As a result of their small numbers, most of the Indians know them only through secondary sources, which are mostly unreliable, and not as a result of any direct contact with them. Ignorance gives birth to stereotypes and misconceptions, and hatred thrives on falsehood. Hence, it becomes very important to promote Jewish Studies in India. If this is not done, we would neglect one-sixth of mankind.”

Hitler’s Mein Kampf is available in almost all Indian dialects, but the only book on the Holocaust in India’s national language, Hindi, is a FAQ collection about the Holocaust published by Yad Vashem. Dr. Aafreedi has worked and continues to work to spread accurate information about Judaism and the Holocaust in India. He has organized cross-cultural and international student dialogues at the University of Lucknow. There he also invited Jewish authors and filmmakers to speak about their works and brought a number of Muslim intellectuals to speak out against anti-Semitism. “I believe that if awareness is created through the spread of information,” he says, “it can help in eliminating many misconceptions that people have.”

However, he has met resistance in his work. “Since I started working as an Assistant Professor, I have designed a number of courses with Jewish themes embedded in them in a camouflaged manner, as I failed to get approval for my proposed courses focused on Jewish themes and on the Shoah. It is hard to get approval for such courses in Indian academia as the administration fears that it might lose the goodwill of its political masters if any action of theirs has a detrimental effect on their political masters’ Muslim votes.” Muslims in India do not know that Arabs enjoy equality and high standards of living in Israel, and believe that the mosques on the Mount are closed to Muslims as a result of Israeli control. Because of such misinformation, Indian political parties limit expressions of support for Israel likely because of their fear that the large Muslim population will turn against them.

Yet Aafreedi still finds ways to inform his students of the truth. In a History of Science and Technology class he once taught to engineering students, for example, he assigned a paper asking students to analyze the misuse of technology during the Holocaust. He also introduced a series of weekly film screenings at the university, where he shows movies on the Holocaust and other Jewish themes.

“I made a serious effort to eliminate misconceptions and to bring into sharp focus the Jewish contributions to the world,” he says of his work. He concluded, stating: “I ask the world to help me in my endeavour to remove hatred and to promote peace through the spread of knowledge.”

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  • Harry

    God Bless Israel! God Bless all peace-lovers!


    “Most of the Indians do not even know about the Jews, let alone the Holocaust” This words are interesting all over the world knew about them.if you have any doubt about who is Jew
    i recommend you to read the holy book of Jews. or just read the book of prophet Samuel.

  • Sue-Anne Dropkin

    I was recently at Gandhiji’s house in Mumbai. There was a letter written by Gandhi to Hitler urging him not to cast the world into war over his philosophical beliefs. Even if the rest of India was not aware of Hitler’s goals, Gandhiji most certainly knew that Hitler had the power to plunge the world into war.

  • Amit kumar

    Before commenting on Gandhi and calling him abusive names ,first learn about the political landscape in India in that period of time.Gandhi was a shrewd politician and he wanted freedom for India.

    You will also be very surprised to know that very few Muslim rulers were involved in Indian freedom struggle which had zoroasterians,Sikhs,Hindus,Christians.
    While British rule took control over ottoman empire,the majority of undivided Indian muslim political leaders were not fighting for Indian freedom struggle unlike their hindu compatriots but were showing solidarity with Ottoman Empire as their holy ottoman caliphate was defeated by British and they had no interest in securing India’s freedom and Gandhi made a deal with these islamic leaders to support Khilafat movement in exchange for their support for Indian freedom movement.
    You can read this more here :

    So Gandhi honoured the deal in which he was set up with these islamic leaders till his last breath and he died defending it.

  • Hinda

    What this putz has failed to understand is that India DID take in Jews fleeing the Nazis. Why is that so bizarre to understand? Why appease and whitewash the facts? The Islamics in India are not friends but enemies. Why forget the slaughters that have happened to Hindus by the Islamics? Why insult Hindus who have been the greatest friend of Jews since time immoral unlike Muslims who have from the very start wanted to slaughter because Muhammed the fake prophet failed how to be a human being and slaughtered 870 Jews in their synagogue; then built a “house” on top of their corpses. This is Islamic love and respect for you.

    Hence from what I learned – the author is a Jaat. One who supports terrorism IS a terrorist.

  • Amit kumar

    You are a liar with ulterior motives and you seem to think you have the authority of maligning hindus with your lies ,
    Have you even heard of Swami Vijayananda or the mother of pondicherry or swami Radha Nath Swami
    Check it out :
    Mirra (or Mira) Alfassa was born in Paris in 1878, of a Turkish Jewish father, Maurice, and an Egyptian Jewish mother.
    She was chief disciple of Swami Aurobindo Ghosh who was close to Subash Chandra Bose.
    Swami Vijayananda : The great Hindu Jewish Sage who was disciple of Anandmayee Ma
    Radha Nath Swami ..the current head of Iskcon in India
    Radhanath Swami wrote his autobiography on the request of his friend and god-brother Bhakti Tirtha Swami who from his deathbed asked him to share his story. The book “The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami”[10] is the story of how Radhanath Swami grew up in a Jewish family in Chicago, Illinois

    The current head of Iskcon worldwide is Jewish ,his name is Swami Jayapataka

    Do you even know the story of Maharajah Jam Saheb Digvijaysinhji Jadeja who helped the Jewish orphans during Holocaust?

    Answer the following questions :
    If mainstream Hindus and Hindu Philosophy had hatred of Jews has,will they be attracted to Hinduism or Buddhism ?
    How many Hindus have killed Jews and How many Muslims have killed Jews since last 2000 years ..come out with facts before doing Al tqaiya in the media ?
    How many Hindus have put status of Jews as “Dhimmis” ,come out with the statistics?
    Who religion has done Hindu murders in India for last 1500 years and who has killed the last 5 sikh gurus of India ?

    All this is selective amnesia for you because “you” have an agenda to Malign Hindus by selecting and projecting negative bias.

  • Anonymous

    Quite knowledgeful

  • My no excuses, ultra peaceful, non partisan, individual sathyagraha against corruption in India, now in its 22nd year is at least in part inspired by my reading of the horrors of the Holocaust.

    The Jewish people appear to have decided, “Never Again”.
    I decided I will always raise my voice against injustice. That I will try and understand what made a human being a Nazi and that I will never be one.

    The example of the Mahatma, for me, is a rare source of inspiration.

    I request the support of all those who want love and sanity to prevail.

    Please visit and participate at

  • Janet Lehr

    We welcome the Algemeiner as a great voice for it’s support of Israel and the Jewish people and it’s support of freedom and democracy for all peoples. Janet

  • Janet Lehr

    This should be of no surprise to true students of Mahatma Gandhi, commonly known as the ‘father’ of modern State of India. Mahatma Gandhi extolled Hitler and was a perfect case-study of a Dhimini, one who adopts a subservient position to their Muslem leaders.

    Published in Janet Lehr’s CONSERVATIVE VIEWS

    DHIMINI definition: Dhimini Laws in Moslem lands define the subservient relationship of non-Moslems to the Moslem majority. [For anyone choosing to research dhimini in google – pages of sites, one after the other, are completely ‘scrubbed’ of any alarming content but think about Wilders, think about the Intifada, think about bombed Synagogues and torched cars in France, think about the active Sharia court system in ENGLAND.

    M K Gandhi, the prophet of nonviolence, was indeed the father of politics of Muslim appeasement in India , as will be reveled in following examples. It is well known that whenever the Muslims attack a Hindu settlement, they, in addition to killing, looting and setting their houses on fire, rape the Hindu women.

    Gandhi’s appeasement of these horror acts of Muslims was simply mindless. In the 6 July 1926 edition of Navajivan, Gandhi wrote that “He would kiss the feet of the (Muslim) violator of the modesty of a sister” (Mahatma Gandhi, D Keer, Popular Prakashan, p. 473).

    Gandhi: A Dhimmi Hindu Muslim ‘Slave’
    Gandhi was the textbook definition of a Dhimmi/Pacifist whose cowardice was on display during the dark days (1920s – 1940s) where the Indian subcontinent witnessed large scale Islamic pogroms of Hindus.

    As Muslims began raping the Hindu and Sikh women in large numbers in the course of the partition, Gandhi advised that – “If a Muslim expressed his desire to rape a Hindu or a Sikh lady, she should never refuse, but cooperate with him. She should lie down like a dead with her tongue in between her teeth. Thus the rapist Muslim would be satisfied soon and leave her”. (D Lapierre and L Collins, Freedom at Midnight, p. 479).

    It is not surprising that Gandhi met his end at the hands of a young Hindu Nationalist-turned-Newspaper Editor named Nathuram Godse in 1948.

    Godse and his alleged accomplice (Narayan Apte, an entrepreneur-turned-Hindu activist), who were both hanged by the Government of India in 1949 after a farcical trial, are considered heroes and martyrs by large sections of Hindu society to this day.

    Gandhi’s Jewish Solution

    “The Salvation of the Jews lies in their committing collective suicide.”

    In Letters to the Fuerer:
    “Friends have been urging me to write to you. We have no doubt about your bravery or your devotion to your Fatherland. Nor do we believe that you are the monster described by your opponents.”

    “That I address you as friend is no Formality.”

    In a letter to George Orwell:
    Hitler didn’t just come about out of the blue. The conduct of the Jews in Germany during and after WWI helped create the conditions for Hitler’s rise.”
    “The salvation of the Jews lies in their committing collective suicide. ”

    Asked to clarify this last remark, Gandhi replied:

    “Suffering voluntarily undergone will bring the Jews an inner strength and joy. If the Jewish mind could be prepared for voluntary suffering, even the massacre I have imagined could be turned into a day of Thanksgiving. It is a joyful sleep to be followed by a wakening that would be all the more refreshing for the long sleep.”

    And What Of Gandhi’s Grandson Arun?
    “This holocaust” is something the Jews have been unable to shed. It is a very good example of how a community can overplay an alleged historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends.”

    “The Jews don’t befriend anyone. They dominate them. They have created a culture of violence that will eventually destroy humanity.”

    “I think it’s shameful that a peace institute would be headed by a bigot, Europhobic, Jewish suprematist, anti-gentile Abe Foxman,” commented Arun.

    Because of his remarks Arun Gandhi was fired from his position as president of the M.K.Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence at the University of Rochester in America, the Institute he himself had co-founded with his wife Sunanda, in 1991. University President Joel Seligman personally enacted the dismissal. (Seligman took office in 2005, Gandhi was dismissed January 25, 2008)

    Janet Lehr publisher of both Conservative Views and IsraelLives can be reached at

    • Eytan Grinnell

      Having spent fifteen years in the Ashram of Sri Aurobindo, and now an observant Jew, I feel I can say something about Ghandi that few people are aware of.
      Firstly, Sri Aurobindo was the first major political figure to call for complete independence from Britain, and he did so as early as 1905. He spent a year in prison for his efforts in 1909. He went to Pondicherry, then a French colony, in 1910. From there he developed his ‘Integral Yoga’. He felt that Ghandi’s ‘nonviolence’ had been made into a moral imperetive instead of a political tactic and that this in fact was interfering with the process of India’s independence. Sri Aurobindo refused to see Ghandi before Independence.
      Secondly, Sri Aurobindo donated Rs. 10,000 to the British War Fund when Britain declared war on Germany. Many people in India wanted Germany to win thinking that India would thus be free. He is reported to have said, ‘They have no idea the boot they would be under.”
      Thirdly, Sri Aurobindo very strongly supported the 1942 Cripps Proposal that offered India dominion status like Canada and Australia, holding Defense and Finance until after the War. Gandhi is reported to have said, “It’s like accepting a check on a crashing bank.” The propsal was refused. Sri Aurobindo’s prediction that its refusal would generate unimaginable suffering came woefully true with the division of the country and all the consequences of the creation of Pakistan.
      It is not possible to express the damage that Ghandi has done in spite of the remarkable PR that he has had. His implied and expressed antisemetism is one of a long list of abberations that have wounded severely the power of India as a nation and has slowed dramatically humanity’s movement to its ultimate fulfillment. The sooner the truth about this man gets known, the better.
      Eytan Grinnell

      • amol

        actually , it was lokmany bal gangadhar tilak who openly stated it.

  • Mike

    Congratulation for this work , go forwards. As strong as just possible, open this people. Eyes .

    • Cynthia Dettelbach

      Excellent article. Fine work by Dr. Aafreedi should be encouraged and supported!