Mohandas Gandhi, frequently known by the honorific Mahatma (meaning “great soul”), was famous for advocating civil disobedience and nonviolence to achieve his goals.
Starting in 1921, Gandhi led the Indian independence movement through such methods, finally achieving freedom from the British empire in 1947, just six months before his death.
Less known is Gandhi’s efforts through a series of letters in 1939 and 1940 to keep German dictator Adolf Hitler from starting a war in Europe.
The British saw to it that the 1939 letter was never delivered. It seems they did not realise its propaganda value, considering how much Gandhi is revered today. But it did show that the Indian leader was a shrewd reader of international affairs – even a month before the Nazi-Soviet Pact made World War II inevitable, Gandhi had fully realised that the only way to avert war was for the German leader to adopt…
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