Netaji in Europe

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On 19 January 1941, Subhas Chandra Bose escaped in disguise from British surveillance in Calcutta to Kabul. There, he established contact with the German and Italian foreign ministries, thereby beginning a long period of collaboration with the Axis Powers to counter British rule in India.

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Item Code: AZB524
Author: Jan Kuhlmann
Publisher: Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9788129120847
Pages: 292
Other Details 8.8 x 5.8 inches
Weight 476 gm
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Book Description

About the Book

On 19 January 1941, Subhas Chandra Bose escaped in disguise from British surveillance in Calcutta to Kabul. There, he established contact with the German and Italian foreign ministries, thereby beginning a long period of collaboration with the Axis Powers to counter British rule in India. This led to the setting up of the Free India Centre, the radio station Azad Hind, and the Indian Legionin which 4,500 Indian volunteers were trained by German experts to fight for the freedom of their nation. While his compatriots resisted colonial rule on native soil, Bose spearheaded the cause of freedom in Europe. Using Machiavellian tactics, he discreetly played the Axis leaders off against each other and courted considerable public favour through his transmissions on Radio Azad Hind.

Netaji in Europe pieces together . information from official records, diaries and military archives in Germany, Italy, Britain and India to give a comprehensive account of the daily negotiations between Bose, and foreign offices, diplomats and double agents, during the Second World War. These efforts resulted in a declaration of India's independence long before 1947, and the formation of the first Indian army. The first work to narrate the story of Netaji in Europe, this insightful book closes an important gap in research on Bose’s biography.

About the Author

JAN KUHLMANN studied history, philosophy, Latin and education in Würzburg, Heidelberg, Windsor (Ontario), Berlin and Cologne. He became interested in the biography of Subhas Chandra Bose in the history classes of the South Asia Institute in Heidelberg. Later, he obtained his PhD from Humboldt University, Berlin, for his research on Bose's political - activity in Europe. He worked as a freelance journalist for local newspapers and government publications for a decade, and now teaches history and Latin at a German secondary school.


My enemy's enemy is my friend. This fundamental conception is repeatedly seen as responsible for the formation of those alliances in times of war that could hardly endure under other circumstances. Partners who have nothing else in common, who perhaps not even have feelings of sympathy for each other, come to a temporary agreement of mutual benefit in order to combine forces in the fight against a common enemy. The collaboration of the Indian national leader Subhas Chandra Bose with the governments of Germany and Italy during the Second World War had this character. Bose came to Europe in 1941 to continue from there his fight for his country's independence from British rule; the German and Italian governments granted him support because they expected some benefit from this for their war against Great Britain.

Alliances between powers at war and revolutionary movements are not uncommon. The best-known example is the one of the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilich Lenin who could leave his Swiss exile and travel to Russia in order to lead the October revolution to victory there. The end of the war in the East and the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk were the benefits the German Reich gained from this collaboration. The German government also collaborated with the Indian national movement during the First World War. They supported and financed an Indian exile government under Raja Mahendra Pratap, which wanted to invade India via Afghanistan under the protection of a German military expedition. Anti-British groups of Indian expatriates in America were supported with deliveries of arms, and Indian revolutionaries in exile in Berlin were allowed to engage in propaganda for the freedom struggle of their people.

The German leadership also cultivated such contacts during the Second World War. They tried to establish connections in particular with the Arab world and non-Russian peoples of the Soviet Union. While they cultivated intensive contact with several political leaders of the Arab countries, collaboration with the peoples of Eastern Europe and the Middle East was limited to the formation of volunteer troops that fought against the Red Army with the German armed forces. The Italian government cultivated, especially, the collaboration with politicians in the Islamic regions.

The activities of Bose in Europe between 1941 and 1943 belong in this context. The following work endeavours to give an extensive survey of the India-politics of the Axis Powers, which the collaboration with Bose decidedly influenced. It reconstructs the occurrences that determined and constituted the India-politics of the Axis Powers, mainly based on archival sources and, where these are missing, on the memoirs of direct contemporaries. This should clarify the different motives and driving forces that guided Bose, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and the various authorized government officials in the German Foreign Office and the Italian Foreign Ministry.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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