Review of 'Soulmates - The Story of Mahatma Gandhi and Hermann Kallenbach' | The Heritage Portal
“Your portrait (the only one) stands on my mantelpiece in my bedroom,” Gandhi wrote to Kallenbach. “The mantelpiece is opposite to the bed.”. A letter from Kallenbach to Gandhi from , on display at the National a former New York Times executive editor, detailed the relationship. Thousands of letters, papers and photographs casting light on the fascinating relationship between Gandhi and his close friend Hermann.
They are an invention of the devil," he said. Another issue was about walking by foot the 42 km from Tolstoy Farm Johannesburg when possible.
Traveling by train was allowed only when it was necessary for the Farm purpose. Gandhi used to note down in his diary the names of the people who did it.
Kallenbach and Gandhi used to walk the long way many time together starting as early as 1 or 2 am but usually Kallenbach would arrive one hour or more before Gandhi. The Farm residents, competed to see who could cover the distance. The record was held by Jamnadas Kakawho walked the twenty-two miles in four hours and thirty-five minutes. Kallenbach tried to break this record.
To save time, he would snatch food from a wayside stall and toss down payment without stopping to take his change; this was faster than stopping to take food out of his backpack. Though he broke the record by a few minutes, Gandhi did not mark him down as the winner, claiming that purchase of non-Farm foods was against the rules. What was the unique historical significance in the encounter between Gandhi and Kallenbach?
Was Gandhi gay? Intimate letters go on display in India
I think that one of most important contribution of Kallenbach is the establishment of Tolstoy Farm in It is impossible to over-emphasize the importance of the experiment called Tolstoy Farm and its influence on the formulation of the spiritual and social ideologies of Gandhi. In Tolstoy Farm, Gandhi built his leadership facility, a capacity which was further developed during the final stage of the Indian struggle in South Africa.
These undertakings prepared him for his unique brand of leadership in India. When Kallenbach was asked by the Zionist leader and future prime minister Moshe Sharet to brief Gandhi on Zionism, and was hoping to get Gandhi support for a Jewish homeland aspiration in Palestine.
Was Gandhi gay? Intimate letters go on display in India - Telegraph
Gandhi came out with his famous disturbing proclamation: The Jews inin which he called the Jews to disobey Nazi laws, to begin civil resistance and to be ready to die as a result. This was the reason why Kallenbach came in for another visit in the eve of the war.
Gandhi wrote about Kallenbach in this context, a fact which emphasizes the tension between his non-violence doctrine and what was going on in Europe. Kallenbach was used as an example.
Kallenbach He has an intellectual belief in non-violence. But he says he cannot pray for Hitler. I do not quarrel with him over his anger. He wants to be non-violent but the suffering of fellow Jews is too much for him to bear.
Kallenbach was the one who shared Gandhi's most inner feelings, fears, hopes, ambitions, sorrows, joys and spiritual world. Kallenbach was the one who Gandhi could mostly trust, and to whom he could reflect his spiritual and political Journey. Since Gandhi became an international figure when he was in India, Kallenbach remains relatively unknown.
It appears that Kallenbach asked Gandhi to destroy his letters, in which he unveiled his heart. There are some more important reasons.
It was almost inaccessible for researchers.Was Gandhi Gay? New Biography of India's Founding Father Provokes Outrage.
In addition to that one has to remember that the complete absence of diplomatic relations between India and Israel, which ended only in the s, has contributed to the general ignorance about this story.
But another very important reason is that in the last decades there is a new approach in the academic research about Gandhi. The assumption is that in order to understand and study Gandhi one has to study his surroundings and personal encounters.
Naturally, during the first decades, the scholars focused mostly on his role as a key leader in the Indian National Struggle. This crucial point lies at the bottom of my research. Gandhi's 21 years residence in South Africa was the period in which he fully developed to be the future Mahatma.
All the components in his social- religious doctrine were developed there before he returned as a local hero to India. Who inspired who in the relationship and how? He was highly influenced by Gandhi's ideas of Satyagraha and equality among human beings and became his intimate friend and a dedicated devotee.
Hermann Kallenbach was Mahatma Gandhi's 'soulmate' - Times of India
In Gandhi's words, they became "soulmates" and, for a time, shared what is now called Satyagraha House. This was a house designed by Kallenbach for them both to live together. The farm was used to run Gandhi's famous "Tolstoy Farm" that housed the families of satyagrahis. Kallenbach himself named this farm after Leo Tolstoy as he was deeply influenced by Tolstoy's writings and philosophy.
Kallenbach was associated with Gandhi throughout the Satyagraha non-violent resistance struggle, which lasted in South Africa until Gandhi and Kallenbach used to call each other "Upper House" and "Lower House" respectively, the Lower House being a metaphor for preparing the budget, and the Upper House vetoing for it.
The rise of Nazism and Hitler's anti-Semitic propaganda shocked Kallenbach into a rediscovery of his Jewish roots. He wanted society there to involve no state, military or industry, in order to avoid colonialism through Zionist settlements.
The architect once again became a simple man, participating in all the activities of Gandhi's ashram life. Kallenbach wrote, "I join the whole programme. It is 'almost' as the old joint life, as if the 23 years, with all the events that affected millions of people, had disappeared. Nevertheless Kallenbach continued his deep friendship with Gandhi, visiting him again in