Causes of World War II: Susan Heep, Pinterest.
Geneva Disarmament Conference 1932
“This was a success for Hitler because: a. it wrecked the conference b. it left him free to rearm however he wanted c. it drove a wedge between the French and the British d. British politicians, while they were trying to persuade Germany to stay in the Conference, had agreed in principle that the arms clauses of the Treaty of Versailles were too harsh.”
Prelude to World War II and the Partition of British India
Hitler’s virulent anti-Semitism had, since 1933, helped fuel his rise to dictatorial power over Europe, whose aggressive expansion into defenseless Czechoslovakia in 1938 was sanctioned by Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain at Munich. On the eve of World War II Chamberlain spoke of his pathetic betrayal as “Peace with Honour” claiming it would bring ‘peace in our time’ Gandhi when asked what he thought about the persecution of Jews, replied, “My sympathies are all with the Jews. The tyrants of old never went so mad as Hitler. Gandhi expressed his tacit support of Chamberlain’s policy and called for simultaneous world disarmament: “I am as certain of it as I am sitting here, that this heroic act would open Herr Hitler’s eyes and disarm him.” To Agatha Harrison he wrote “My participation in the event of war would be no participation.” Gandhi’s Passion: The Life and Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, By Stanley Wolpert.
War Is Only the Tip of the Iceberg. The first casualty of war is truth.
Gorch Pieken stands in the entrance hall of the museum. He’s wearing tinted glasses, the top two buttons on his shirt are undone and his blond hair is tied back in a ponytail. “War is only the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “We’re interested in what’s below the waterline.” Pieken studied in Cologne, and then worked for the German Historical Museum in Berlin for 10 years. When the Defense Ministry asked him to become the museum’s scientific director, he jumped at the chance.
Over the years, he has managed to amass a wealth of exhibits that are surprising because they tell stories that have never been told. Stories like that of the nameless girl who sorted the shoes of the deceased in a concentration camp in Lublin, Poland. Shortly after writing a poem entitled “Dead Shoes,” she too was sent to the gas chamber. But her poem survived, and fellow prisoners learnt it off by heart. When the museum opens in October, the poem will be displayed alongside the shoes of concentration camp prisoners. Although the museum is still under construction and many of its exhibits are still in storage, its emotive power is already becoming apparent.
― Mahatma Gandhi
In Young India on March 23, 1921, MK Gandhi wrote, Britain has made promises to the Zionists. The latter have, naturally, a sacred sentiment about (Jerusalem) Palestine. The Jews, it is contended, must remain a wandering race unless they have obtained possession of Palestine. I do not propose to examine the soundness or otherwise of the doctrine underlying the proposition. All I contend is that they cannot possess Palestine through a trick or a moral breach. The British Government could not dare have asked a single Muslim soldier to wrest control of Palestine from fellow-Muslims and give it to the Jews. Palestine, as a place of Jewish worship, is a sentiment to be respected and the Jews would have a just cause of complaint against Mussulman idealists if they were to prevent Jews from offering worship as freely as themselves. By no canon of ethics or war, therefore, can Palestine be given to the Jews as a result of the War. In an interview MK Gandhi gave to London’s Jewish Chronicle in early October 1931, he stated that “Anti-Semitism is really a remnant of barbarism,” instead explaining that Zionism in its spiritual sense is a lofty aspiration. By spiritual sense I mean they should want to realize the Jerusalem that is within. I can understand the longing of a Jew to return to Palestine, and he can do so if he can without the help of bayonets. In that event he would go to Palestine peacefully and in perfect friendliness. The real Zionism of which I have given you my meaning is the thing to strive for, long for and die for. It is the abode of God. The real Jerusalem is the spiritual Jerusalem. Thus he can realize this Zionism in any part of the world.
Practical Dreamer: I appeal for cessation of hostilities, not because you are too exhausted to fight, but because war is bad in essence. You want to kill Nazism. You will never kill it by its indifferent adoption.” ― Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments With Truth. I believe in absolute oneness of God and, therefore, also of humanity. What though we have many bodies? We have but one soul. The rays of the sun are many through refraction. But they have the same source. I cannot, therefore, detach myself from the wickedest soul (nor may I be denied identity with the most virtuous). Whether, therefore, I will or not, I must involve in my experiment the whole of my kind. Nor can I do without experiment. Life is but an endless series of experiments. (YI, 25-9-1924, p313.)
Sabarmati Central Prison, Thursday Night, 16th March, 1922.
As I proceed in my search for truth it grows upon me that Truth comprehends everything. It is not in Ahimsa, but Ahimsa is in it. What is perceived by a pure heart and intellect is truth for that moment. Cling to it, and it enables one to reach pure truth. There is no question there of divided duty. but often enough it is difficult to decide what is ahimsa. For instance, the use of disinfectants in Himsa, and yet we cannot do without it. We have to live a life of Ahimsa in the midst of a world of Himsa, and that is possible only if we cling to the truth. That is how I deduce ahimsa from truth. Out of truth emanate love, tenderness, humility. A votary of truth has to be humble as the dust. His humility increases with every observance of truth. I see this every moment of my life. I have a much vivider sense of Truth and of my own littleness than I had a year ago. The wonderful implication of the great truth ‘Brahma Satyam Jaganmithya’ (Brahma is real, all else unreal) grows on me from day to day. It teaches us patience. This will purge us of harshness and add to our tolerance. It will make us magnify the mole-hills of our errors into mountains and minimize the mountains of other’s errors into mole-hills. The body persists because of egoism. The utter extinction of the body of egoism is Moksha. He who has achieved this will be the very image of Truth, or one may call it Brahman. Therefore the loving name of God is Dasanudasa (Servant of servants). Wife, children, friends, possessions-all should be held subservient to Truth. Each one of these should be sacrificed in the search for truth. Only then can one be a Satyagrahi. I have thrown myself into this movement with a view to making the observance of this principle comparatively easy, and it is with the same object that I do not hesitate to plunge men like you in it. Its outward form is Hind Swaraj. This Swaraj is being delayed because there is yet to be found a Satyagrahi of that type. This however, need not dismay us. It should spur us on to greater effort. You have made yourself my fifth son. But I am striving to be worthy. It is not an ordinary responsibility for an adopter. May God help me, and may I be worthy of it in this very life. Bapuna Ashirvad, (Bapu’s blessings.)
Dearest Kitty! (The name of Anne’s diary.) Let me get started right away; it’s nice and quiet now. Father and Mother are out and Margot has gone to play Ping-Pong with other young people at her friend Tree’s. I’ve been playing a lot of Ping-Pong myself lately. So much that five of us girls have formed a club. It’s called the “The Little Dipper Minus Two.” A really silly name, but it’s based on a mistake. We wanted to give our club a special name and because there were five of us, we came up with the idea of the Little Dipper. We thought it consisted of five stars, but we turned out to be wrong. It has seven, like the Big Dipper, which explains the “Minus Two.”
Ilse Wagner has a Ping-Pong set, and the Wagners let us play in their big dinning room whenever we want. Since we five Ping-Pong players like ice cream, especially in the summer, and since you get hot playing Ping-Pong, our games usually end with a visit to the nearest ice-cream parlor that allows Jews: either Oasis or Delphi. We’ve long since stopped hunting around for our purses or money-most of the time it’s so busy in Oasis that we manage to find a few generous young men of our acquaintance or an admirer to offer us more ice cream than we could eat in a week. You’re probably a little surprised to hear me talking about admirers at such tender age (13). Unfortunately, or not, as the case may be, this vice seems to be rampant at our school.
As soon as a boy asks if he can bicycle home with me and we get to talking, nine times out of ten I can be sure he’ll become enamored on the spot and won’t let me out of his sight for a second. His ardor eventually cools, especially since I ignore his passionate glances and pedal blithely on my way. If it get so bad that they start rambling on about “asking Father’s permission,” I swerve slightly on my bike, my schoolbag falls, and the young man feels obliged to get off his bike and hand it to me, by which time I’ve switched the conversation to another topic. These are the most innocent types. Of course, there are those who blow you kisses or try to take hold of your arm, but they’re definitely knocking on the wrong door. I get off my bike and either refuse to make further use of their company or act as if I’m insulted and tell them in no uncertain terms to go on home without me. There you are. We’ve now laid the basis for our friendship. Until tomorrow. Yours, Anne.”