Home > Archives (2006 on) > 2019 > Overthrowing British Rule in India with Nazi Help: A Tale with a (...)

Mainstream, VOL LVII No 35 August 17, 2019

Overthrowing British Rule in India with Nazi Help: A Tale with a Twist

The story of Subhas Chandra Bose in the German Foreign Office from April 1941 to February 1943

Monday 19 August 2019, by Nirode K. Barooah

On April 3, 1941 Subhas Chandra Bose, all of a sudden, arrived in Berlin from Afghanistan via the Soviet Union disguised as Signor Orlando Mazzotta, an Italian diplomat. His purpose of visit was the same as in his three earlier trips to Germany from Austria between 1933-36.1 Bose then had wanted to be an ally of Germany in her possible war against Britain with the aim of freeing India from British rule. He experienced nothing but disappointment and frustration on those earlier visits. At the German Foreign Office he could only meet some lower-ranking officers who possessed no influence of any significance. As soon as he returned to Vienna after his last visit in 1936, Hitler made that vulgar speech to a gathering of 5000 students in Munich on January 26, 1936 asserting that Europe’s white races had the right to snatch colonies and wealth from anywhere and that “the English went to India to teach the Indians how to walk”.2 In spite of all this, Bose seemed to have kept alive a hope that one day Germany would join India against Britain.

Whatever might have been Bose’s reason to seek Hitler’s help, the earliest part of this visit was also far from easy and welcoming for Bose. The German Foreign Office, which hosted him, did not know what political role he had in Berlin. Immediately after his arrival, he met Under Secretary of State Woermann at the German Foreign Office. On April 9, he submitted a memorandum addressed to Foreign Minister Ribbentrop with a plan to work with the Axis powers. Bose pressed for many things in his meeting with Woermann and in his later meeting with Ribbentrop in Vienna on April 19: setting up an Indian Government-in-exile; building an army with Indian prisoners from North Africa; a declaration of support for Indian Independence after the war; launching an attack on India; and, of course, an interview with the Führer. What, however, puzzled Woermann was that he still wished to remain incognito as Signor Orlando Mazotta.3 Thus according to Bose’s wish, the management of the Hotel Excelsior where he was put up was instructed by the Foreign Office to address him as “His Excellency” and to treat him with fitting honour. He was later moved to a large villa, but his desire to meet Hitler remained unfulfilled. Bose was naturally unhappy and remained in a pensive mood for a time. Just at that time the German Foreign Office entrusted the job of looking after Bose to a person named Adam von Trottzu Solz, who ran a Special War-time Information Department at the Office. From that time on, Bose could see that some of his wishes were fulfilled, for Trott was not an ordinary officer but a legendary person. This fact, however, remained secret to Bose throughout his stay in Berlin.

1 Adam von Trottzu Solz: Family background and Anglo-American connections

Adam von Trottzu Solz (1909-1944) came from an old aristocratic family, based in Hesse and Potsdam, who could date their profession of arms back to before 1400. His father, August von Trott, was a friend of Bethmann-Hollweg, the future Chancellor of Germany. When Bethmann-Hollweg was Minister of the Interior for Prussia, August Trott was summoned to Potsdam to become head of the civil administration (Oberpräsident) for the province of Brandenburg. When Bethmann-Hollweg became the Prime Minister of Prussia and Chancellor of the German Reich, he made August Trott the Prussian Minister of Culture. August played a seminal role in founding many institutions for the advancement of science, culture, religion and education, and throughout his eight years in office he earned a reputation as a diligent and efficient administrator. August married late, at the age of 45, and his wife, Eleanore von Schweinitz, gave birth to Adam on August 9, 1909, the couple’s second child. A few days after his birth, Adam was placed in the competent hands of an English nanny, Louisa Bernett, as his mother Eleanore was too busy with official engagement as a Minister’s wife.4 This connection with the English language and people seems to have played a significant role in Adam’s later easy access to the English high society.

Finishing schooling in Potsdam and Kassel, Adam visited the University of Göttingen and later went to Oxford, where he attended various courses in different colleges, including Balliol, as a Rhodes scholar. In 1931 he wrote his doctoral dissertation on ‘Hegel’s State Philosophy and International Law’.5 While in Oxford as a student Trott developed friendships and close acquaintance with a galaxy of English people who were already or soon to be very famous in public life: Lord Halifax, Lord Lothian, Stafford Cripps, David Astor, Richard Crossman, A.L. Rowse, Isaiah Berlin, Christopher Hill, to name only a few. As Giles MacDonogh, one of Trott’s biographers, points out, Oxford in the early thirties was no more “the giddy, party giving university” which it had been ten years before, but a place where a great number of students were “adopting attitudes of heightened social awareness which were more congenial to the serious minded Trott”.6

Returning to Germany in 1933 and unable to accept the National Socialist ideology and regime that had meanwhile overtook his country, Trott travelled in the USA and China and returned home in 1937. A great patriot, Trott considered the advent of the Nazis a terrible tragedy and while abroad he tried to raise support outside Germany for internal resistance to the Nazis. He wanted to avoid German war at any cost, in which, he was sure, Germany would be defeated. Having special respect and affection for the Anglo-Saxon world, he tried to persuade influential personalities there to sympathise with the German opposition. In 1939, for example, visiting London three times, he lobbied Lord Lothian and Lord Halifax to press the British Government to abandon its policy of appeasement of Adolf Hitler. On June 7, 1939, a few months before the outbreak of the Second World War, he met Arthur Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister. As all this did not bear much fruit, Trott tried, in the late spring of 1939, to get a job in the German Foreign Office in order to find out what possibility it could offer him either for his peace endeavours or for internal resistance activities.7

Trott had some good luck. A cousin of his introduced Trott to Walter Hewel, who served as Hitler’s liaison with the German Foreign Office. Trott discussed with Hewel a conference which was being organised by the Institute of Pacific Relations in Virginia Beach in the USA at which he had been invited to speak. The news of Trott’s acceptance of the invitation had been greatly appreciated in England by men like Lord Lothian and Lord Halifax and they arranged a financial grant for his passage to America. Hewel and the Permanent Under-Secretary at the German Foreign Office, Ernst von Weisäcker, both liked the idea of Trott taking part and agreed that the German Foreign Office should also sponsor the plan with a travel grant for Trott.8 It so happened that the secretary of Weisäcker, Albrecht von Kassel, was a friend of Trott’s and he helped Trott to establish a rapport with Weisäcker. Weisäcker was a non-Nazi member of the German Foreign Office at that time, and was obsessed with the idea of preserving peace by any means.

Trott’s report on this American trip in the winter of 1939-40, submitted to the German Foreign Office, was written as if he was a convinced Nazi, anxious that German policy should avoid antagonising the United States and bringing about a state of affairs in which the powerful anti-German interest would take the leadership.9 As a result of this report, the German Foreign Office offered Trott a job in its Information Service, It was only a fringe job and he did not enter the Civil Service proper. He was appointed as a Legation Secretary with charge of the Information Department. Even without Civil Servant status, the extent of activities of his office gave Trott ample opportunity to make contact with foreign countries and for travel.

2 Trott’s Information Department, Kreisau Circle and Franz JosefFurtwängler

Within a very short time after this, Germany occupied a vast area of Europe (Poland, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Denmark and France). This situation demanded an urgent expansion of the Information Service. Consequently, Trott’s office (at Kurfürstenstrasse 136/137) was expanded with the personnel necessary for different activities. Along with the added importance of this office, Trott was also promoted to a higher rank and became the Councillor of Legation. Trott now had great opportunity to choose his own co-workers, and what was more, he made his office the secret focal point for a very small group opposing the Nazi regime, consisting of both military and civilian personalities. Known as the Kreisau Circle, its chief aim was to end Nazi rule and plan a new democratic Germany. The central figure was Helmut Count von Moltke (1909-1945), a jurist whose family seat was Kreisau in the province of Silecia (now in Poland). Although the group met mostly in Berlin, on three occasions during 1942-43 they met at Kreisau.10 Trott and Hans-Bernd von Haeften (1905-1944), also from an aristocratic Berlin family, were very close to Moltke. Trott had first met Hans-Bernd in January 1933 at Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar and Haeften was an exchange student. From then on they became close friends intensely opposed to the Nazi regime in Germany.11 With daring exploitation of the ample travelling opportunities offered by his job, Trott managed to visit Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey in order to keep connections with the politicians of the warring states, of whom he knew many, intact.12

Two situations which prevailed at the German Foreign Office at that time helped Trott to function more or less independently. The first was that those higher officers who projected themselves as Nazis or devoted to Hitler were distrustful of one another. They were indulging in petty jealousies and it was known that Hitler thrived on the inability of his Ministers to act in concert.13 They did not care much about their day-to-day official work. For example, Ribbentrop, the Foreign Minister, did not care about anything so long as nobody tried to come between him and the Führer. In fact, the Foreign Minister cut himself off from the daily operation of the German Foreign Office. The other situation favourable to Trott was that some of the non-Nazi officers above him—men like Dr Wilhelm Melcher, who later became the ambassador to India, and Minister Werner-Otto von Hentig, who had been in charge of the Afghanistan expedition of the Berlin India Committee during the First World War and later was the German ambassador to Indonesia—were sympathetic to Trott’s secret work in resistance.14 There were also young friends of Trott’s at the German Foreign Office sharing with him thoughts of secret resistance—Dr Peter Bielenberg, who attended a few meetings of the Kreisau Circle, had been a long-time friend, and so also Herbert Blankenhorn, with whom he often discussed constitutional reform.15

When Trott’s office was expanded, he looked for friends from other walks of life as well. He first brought in his old friend, Alexander Werth, from his Göttingen University days. Werth had joined the army before the war but now agreed to join Trott in his Information Department. He, however, played little part in the resistance.16 In the middle of 1940, Trott learnt from Hans-Bernd von Haeften that Franz Josef Furtw-ängler’s life was in danger. Furtwängler had already met Helmuth Moltke and through him became a fringe member of the Kreisau Circle. Trott therefore brought Furtwängler to his department, from where he could safely perform his role as liaison between the conspirators and the sympathisers as before. Being truly an expert on Asia, it was not difficult for Trott to engage Furtwängler as such and profit from his talents.

For Furtwängler (1894-1965), India was not at all unknown. In 1926-27, he, as a member of a joint British-German Textile Trade Union delegation, travelled widely in India and wrote about his experiences in the Social Democratic press in Germany. He was the only German who defended the Indian freedom struggle in international forums and was particularly attracted to Mahatma Gandhi and his ideals.17 While in China,Trott learned to speak Chinese tolerably well. About this Furtwängler says: “the effect of the Asiatic experience on a cultured European appears to me plainly the yardstick to estimate the esprit.”18 After his working experience with Trott, Furtwängler found three things that characterized Adam von Trott: diplomatic genius, genuine love for human beings and contempt for any personal danger. To Furtwängler, Trott was the synthesis of Christianity and humanitarian socialism.19Trott sent Furtwängler first to Korea, Japan, China, Mongolia and Thailand to report from these places on the role as well as the mind of Indians living there. Just before the German invasion of Russia, which took place on June 22, 1941, Furtwängler returned home via the Soviet Union.

3 Bose-Furtwängler meeting and estrangement

When Furtwängler was in India, he could not meet Bose since he was then in the British prison in Mandalay in Upper Burma. However, he had heard so much about Bose’s heroism, patriotism and popularity in Calcutta that Bose became his hero as a brave fighter against imperialism and the idol of Bengal’s youth. One of his articles in Vorwärts in those days, about Bose, was reprinted in the American press and Bose happened to read it and sent a letter of thanks to Furtwängler.20 So Furtwängler was full of enthusiasm to meet his old hero, although he was equally puzzled by what brought such an anti-imperialist fighter to Germany to seek, of all people, Hitler’s help for India. He had, however, an understanding of Bose’s present position. He said: “the tragi-comic situation that he now finds himself in Berlin was not entirely his fault—being in the environment of the National Socialist psychopathic tyranny with their intrigues and garrulous entanglement was a permanent nerve-racking test for him.”21 But what Furtwänglerfound from his talk with Bose did not make him at all happy. Following is the summary of the talk Furtwängler later gave in a book:

“Bose, in the confused foreign and for him dismal surroundings in which he could trust no one and felt no ground under his feet, covered himself with an impenetrable cloud, like a cuttlefish. Even then, I soon noticed, he did not leave his differences with the Indian Congress majority behind at the Afghan border, instead he went around with the intention to make just this difference the content of his agitational work and that appeared to me as the worst thing that he could do. Although Gandhi, Nehru and the Congress, he said, rejected Indian participation in the war against Germany, they did not want any violent agitation with Germany and the Soviet Union either... Therefore, he would fight Gandhi from Germany. This was the extent of a two hour long conversation conducted with great caution.”22

Bose’s declared intention to agitate against the Mahatma from Germany disturbed Furtw-ängler so much that he, as he said, had to dismiss all the barriers of precaution to speak his mind in a friendly way but without reservation. In his view, there was only one dignified way to distance himself from fascist Germany and that was to support, as publicist and radio speaker, the efforts of the Indian people to gain their freedom and to make these efforts understandable to the world without identifÿing himself in any way with Hitler’s regime. Furtwängler later wrote that similar views were also expressed to Bose by senior diplomats von Hentig and Melchers. He, however, thought that this well-meaning advice was probably considered by Bose as “unbearable priggishness.”23

To continue Furtwängler’s account, a few weeks after the above conversation Hitler launched an invasion of Russia (June 1941) breaking his non-aggression pact signed two years previously. The German-Russian friendship had appeared to Bose as a guarantee for Hitler’s victory over Britain. Moreover, he could count upon some understanding of his operation in Germany as long as the widely-known Indian sympathy for Russia remained intact. After the invasion of Russia, the Indian Left’s aversion was directed against Hitler’s regime and they began supporting British war efforts. Furtwängler noted that from then on there was no end of grief for unfortunate Bose in Germany.24

4 Trott, Alexander Werth and extended Bose-related propaganda

Of course, the main hopes of Bose from Hitler-Germany to fight together against the common British enemy, and Germany declaring the freedom of India as one of their war aims, were too much to ask for, too abrupt and at a point of time when Bose had nothing to offer in return. Even then, things were not completely hopeless due mainly to some unexpected good luck and the genius of Trott to use a given opportunity tremendously well for the benefit of his cause.

The piece of good luck concerned the relationship between Bose and Wilhelm Keppler. Keppler was Trott’s boss at the German Foreign Office. A great admirer of Hitler, he was known as the troubleshooter of the Office. He had brought Hitler and Papen together in January 1933 at the time of the Machtergreifung (seizure of power) and it was again he who played a role of liaison between Hitler and Himmler. When, at the beginning of August 1941, Trott and Bose visited him, Keppler was visibly haughty with Bose, giving him no chance to speak. Yet curiously enough, there came good news from Keppler for Trott and Bose’s propaganda programme. At that moment a separate subsection for Indian work came into existence as part of Trott’s Information Department, to be known as the Free India Centre. It was to be housed in the Liechtenstein Allee of the Tiergarten, with enough money for wartime propaganda activities. Bose would get press, publishing and broadcasting facilities. Also a German-Japanese-Indian liaison committee was to look into military aspects of cooperation.25 Trott asked Werth to run the India subsection of his office as his deputy.

Both Trott and Werth found it difficult to accept the political ideology of Subhas Chandra Bose and his vision of a future independent India. Both the Germans were ardent supporters of liberal parliamentary democracy as prevailed in England, and, although they found Bose highly intelligent, they also detected in his ideas elements more akin to Fascism and Nazism. Here is an account of Bose’s political mind given by Alexander Werth:

“Bose was no friend of the English parliamentary system and on this he is basically different from Gandhi, Nehru and other Congress leaders. Trott and Werth had many discussions about the English administrative system as the model for free India, but almost every time Bose raised his strong objection. His model for India was not liberal but socialistic-authoritarian. He felt secure with a structure of state like that of Ataturk’s after the First World War. Bose demanded that a nation should be a real community without divisions created by creed, caste, speech and rituals. Here lies a similarity with the secular thoughts of Nehru. However, Bose’s model was very much centralised and he primarily believed that an army must play an integrative role in the transformation period for many years if a united India was to be created. He had already seen the army in Berlin playing the leading role for the future ...Many of his thoughts reminded one of ‘Prussian Socialism’, as formulated by Spengler.... For Bose, a citizen, as a servant of the state, could not be a free person. The liberalism that was to be found in Nehru’s Socialist thought was strange to Bose.”26

Werth also writes that the only thing English that Bose liked, from his own experience, was the English education system: the standard followed in England in selecting persons for scholarship etc. and the general standard of teaching and training.27

As a great admirer of the English political system and also because of his own knowledge of India, Trott, like Furtwängler, was for Gandhi’s cause. He happened to listen to Gandhi once when the latter had spoken at Balliol College in Oxford, and was greatly impressed. At Oxford he also developed a friendship with Humayun Kabir and wanted to visit him in India to learn more about the country. He was definitely not for the continuance of British rule in India but could not appreciate the alternative suggested by Bose.28 However, the Bose-related Indian independence programme promised advantages to Bose as well as to Trott for his ultimate aim of freeing his country from Nazi rule through secret resistance. The extended Indian progr-amme helped hide his secret activities while advancing the Indian propaganda. Since his joining of the NSDAP, which was expected at that time of civil servants, he had been either misunderstood or abandoned by his English friends anyway.29 So Trott concentrated on finding the best way through his diplomatic and camouflaging genius.

On October 29, 1941 the separate ‘Free India Centre’ was officially opened. Keppler, Trott, Bose, his Viennese secretary (later wife), Emilie Schenkel, and several Indian and German co-workers were present, including Furtwängler.30 Many-sided activities were afoot: Azad Hind Radio started broadcasting daily in English, Hindustani, Bengali, Persian, Tamil, Telugu and Pustu. In December, recruitment started for the Indian Legion, which was to form the core of Bose’s Indian National Army. Many helpers and workers were engaged in various works.31

While the Indian propaganda was going on in full swing, Bose himself was depressed. On November 29, 1941, he had another interview with Ribbentrop in the presence of Trott. Bose wanted the offending passage of Mein Kampf belittling Indian independence to be removed. Ribbentrop had no answer to that.32 More unpleasant was the long-awaited meeting between Bose and the Führer on May 29, 1942. The event was in fact catastrophic for Bose. Hitler started his own monologue, giving no chance for the Indian leader to speak beyond the opening words of greetings. Hitler hailed the cultural performance of the British ruling race in India, saying that to his mind it would take about hundred and fifty years before India would be ripe for self-government. Then he gave Bose the well-meaning advice to make himself useful to the Japanese in their march to India.33

5 Trott-Bose relations and Trott’s dedication to Bose-related activities

The Bose-related programmes in Germany helped Trott enormously in his underground resistance work,34 the prime purpose of his being in the Foreign Office. Trott genuinely tried to make Bose’s stay in Germany worthwhile as far as possible. Bose, of course, never knew throughout his stay in Berlin about Trott’s other secret activities. Nor did Trott, unlike Furtw-ängler, try to impose on Bose his own preference for the future political system in India. Although managed superbly, Trott had to live with inherent contradictions in his duties. To Bose he remained formal in his behaviour. Trott once wrote to his wife about Bose: “He is highly gifted but, despite everything, on a human level we remain definitely cool. It is as if every time we have to start again at the beginning.”35

But Trott remarked that he was becoming indispensable to Bose.36 So he remained close to him. The relation between Trott and Nambiar was more normal and natural, but as Christopher Sykes says, true to his principles Trott “was careful not to compromise people outside the anti-Nazi secret movement, so Nambiar could only ‘feel Trott’s unrest, his doubts about the political course’ and not completely his other side”.37

To cheer him up, particularly after the appalling meeting with Hitler, Trott hit upon several plans to take Bose out of Berlin and in so doing he dexterously combined Indian activities with his visits to resistance-friendly high-ups, without, of course, giving Bose any inkling of his secret associations. Once he arranged a meeting between Bose and the President of occupied France, Pierre Laval, on June 11, 1942. At that time, the Military Governor of occupied Paris was General Karl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, an anti-Nazi. Trott, Werth, A.C.N, Nambiar and Nostiz (from the German Embassy, as translator) took part in the meeting. The subject was the war aims of the Axis powers. There was talk about the Middle East, India, Afghanistan, and North Africa etc. Here Bose expressed his anxieties about India after the war. Trott and Werth knew the cause of Bose’s anxiety was the non-existence, until then, of a German war aim about India. However, they remained silent on the point.38 At another time (July 14-16) there was a visit to General von Falkenhausen, the Military Governor of German occupied Belgium, to which Trott took Nambiar along with Bose. Bose asked Falkenhausen what could be done to bring about good relations between Japan and China. To Bose’s surprise, Falkenhausen replied that his sympathy was with the opposite side, meaning China.39 It is to be noted that the above-mentioned Karl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel and Alexander von Falkenhausen were anti-Hitler. In September 1942 in Bose’s presence, the first German-Indian Society was founded in Hamburg. The document was signed by Bose on September 12, 1942 and the signatures of Keppler, Woermann, Trott, Nambiar and several others are to be seen below Bose’s signature.40

On January 16, 1943, India’s Independence Day was celebrated with a gathering of 600 people and on February 7. A.C.N. Nambiar, Werth and Keppler set out for Kiel with Bose, from where Bose was to leave for South-East Asia in a Japanese submarine. Before leaving Berlin, Bose nominated Nambiar to take over all his charges and functions.

About Trott’s contribution to Bose’s India programme in Germany, the following tribute by Werth in a speech delivered in Calcutta on January 23, 1969 is fully justified:

“lt was great good luck for Netaji and his cause that Adam von Trott happened to be the head of the office in charge of all matters concerning Netaji’s activities in Germany, a man who had the power to act politically in accordance with Netaji’s way of thinking and who had the personality of being capable to tie the Netaji to Berlin for at least a certain time ... without Trott, without his circle of friends and his so devoted workingteam, Netaji would not have remained in Berlin.”41

6 Historical significance of Trott’s and Bose’s patriotism

It is painfully sad and highly unfortunate that despite Trott’s own brilliant performance, the Kreisau Circle failed to achieve their prime objective to free Germany from Hitler. All the leading personalities of the conspiracy, including Trott, were arrested and sentenced to death, some immediately and some soon thereafter. On July 20, Werner von Haeften (1908-1944),42 the brother of Hans-Bernd von Haeften and Adjutant to Col. Claus von Stauffenberg (1907-1944),43 accompanied Stauffenberg to the Military High Command of the armed forces, where Stauffenberg planted a briefcase bomb in a conference room at Hitler’s headquarters. Hitler, however, survived the explosion. The same day Werner von Haeften, Stauffenberg, General Friedrich Olbricht and Colonel Albrecht Mertz von Quirnheimwere arrested and executed. When Trott’s connection to the conspiracy and his relations with the Allies were detected, he too was arrested on July 25 and executed on August 26, 1944. Moltke as well was arrested in January 1944 by the Gestapo. The People’s Court could not, however, provide evidence that he conspired to bring about a coup d’état. Yet on grounds of treason, he was sentenced to death on January 19, 1945. General Stülpnagel, the Military Governor of occupied Paris, was also executed, on August 30, 1944.

In 1951 Furtwängler wrote that in early post-war years people in Germany thought that the July 1944 action against Hitler was essentially a work of helpless, reactionary Generals in which civilian participants were mere helpers.44 Unfortunately the situation has not changed much since then. I have lived more than four decades in Germany and to my utter disappointment it is not yet quite properly known by the broad masses of Germans that there were very many small groups of Germans in that dark, thoroughly evil period who kept their most human feelings alive and sympathised with the resistance. Men like Helmuth von Moltke, Adam von Trott, Hans-Bernd von Haeften, at no point in time allowed the delirium of Germany’s early military victory to deafen their consciences.

Coming back to Bose and Trott, the former did not have to surrender himself to his enemies. On August 18, 1945, he died in a plane crash in Taiwan. Trott and Bose both sacrificed their lives in their intense love for their countries, although the means the latter chose would always keep him apart from Gandhi. As for Furtwängler, he disliked Bose’s fondness for Hitler but unlike many Western writers, he never considered Bose a fascist.


1. For details see N.K. Barooah, ’Nehru-Subhas’ Move for Indo-German Co-operation 1927-1936, Mainstream (New Delhi), March 11, 2000.

2. Reuter’s report on Führer’s statement. German Consul in Bombay to the German Foreign Office, February 6, 1936.

3. Giles MacDonagh, A good German: Adam von Trott zu Solz. (New York 1994), pp. 191-2.

4. Ibid., pp. 8-14. As Minister of Culture August von Trott was in charge of Prussian Universities, the Royal Academy of Science, the Royal Academy of Art, the Berlin Scientific institutions; the National Gallery, the Observatory, the Charité Hospital and other similar bodies.

5. Trott Solz Adam.

6. MacDonogh, op. cit.; 34.

7. For Trott’s endeavours in England, see Christopher Sykes, Troubled Loyalty (London 1968) pp. 221-6; 227-9; 248-9; 250-5.

8. Hewel was with Hitler in the bunker to the end and was thought to have died there, according to Trevor Roper’s Last Days of Hitler, quoted in MacDonogh, op. cit., p. 126.

9. Incidently, one of Ernst von Weisäcker’s sons, Richard von Weisäcker (b. 1920), became the 5th President of the Federal Republic of Germany (1984-94).

10. See

11. Hans Bernd von Haeften joined the German Foreign Office in 1933 and worked mostly in the Cultural-Political Department. He served as cultutal attaché to Copenhagen, Vienna and Budapest. In 1940, he became the Department’s leader but refused to join the Nazi Party. From 1933, he belonged to the Confession Church. In 1944, he stopped his brother, Werner, from shooting Hitler with a pistol with the argument that this would break the Fifth Commandment. For Hans Bernd von Haeften, see Christopher Sykes, op. cit., p. 79.

12. ADGB (General German Trade Union Federation) Archiv, F.J.F- Papers Box 2. Mss ‘PolitischeLinke und die Juliverschwörung von 1944.

13. MacDonogh, op. cit., p. 168.

14. For Melcher see MacDonogh, op. cit., pp. 197, 291-2; For Hentig’s Afghanistan expedition during the First World War see N.K.Barooah, Chatto: The Life and Times of an Indian Anti-Imperialist in Europe (New Delhi 2004), pp. 62-65.

15. For Bielenberg see MacDonogh, op. cit., pp. 83, 215,

 and Blankenhorn; see also MacDonogh, op. cit., pp. 272, 276, 296.

16. See MacDonogh, op. cit., p. 170.

17. See Elisabeth and Nirode Barooah, Franz Josef Furtwängler and India: A German Trade Union Internationalist’s extraordinary Engagement with India. (Norderstedt 2014)

18. F.J.Furtwängler, Männer, die ich sah und kannte (Hamburg 1951) p. 225.

19. Ibid. As for Trott’s daring humanitarian deeds in office, Furtwängler cited an instance of Trott taking a few Jews doomed to death in the camps, and using them for political purposes.

20. F.J.Furtwängler, op. cit., p. 197.

21. Ibid., p. 198.

22. Ibid., p. 199.

23. Ibid.

24. Ibid., pp. 200-1.ideologies.

25. See MacDonogh, op. cit., pp. 195-6. Keppler’s generosity had obviously something to do with Trott’s expertises hown in the recent American conference over the Far East, although the two men had different approaches.

26. Ibid., p.146. In this connection Giles MacDonogh, Trott’s biographer, quotes what Bose said in his inaugural speech as mayor of Calcutta on 24 Sept. 1930 his policy would be: “I would say that we have here in this policy and programme a synthesis of what Modern Europe calls Socialism and Fascism. We have here the justice, the equality, the move which is the basis of socialism, and combined with that we have the efficiency and the discipline of Fascism as it stands in Europe today.“ MacDonogh, op. cit., p. 186.

27. A Werth, ‘A speech held in commemoration of the 72nd Birthday of Subhas Chandra Bose in Calcutta on 23 January 1969’. A typed copy of the speech was received by us from A.C.N. Nambiar in Zurich in 1973; See also A. Werth (ed) Der Tiger Indiens (Munich 1971), pp. 144-5.

28. About Trott’s meeting Gandhi and Humayun Kabir, see MacDonogh, op. cit., p. 184.

29. Richard Crossman, for example, in reviewing Christopher Sykes’ biography of Trott, Troubled Loyalty (1969) told how Trott’s patriotism had undermined the sympathy the British might otherwise have had for him. See MacDonogh, op. cit., p. 4.

30. See Reimund Schnabel, Tiger und Schakal (Vienna 1968), pp. 69-70.

31. See MacDonogh, op. cit., pp. 197-8.

32. Ibid., p. 197.

33. F.J.F. Männer op. cit., p. 202. Furtwängler’s account of the Bose-Hitler meeting was given to him by Trott, who was present at the event. The report is authentic and correct.

34. For example, travelling to meet people in many countries and so keeping in contact.

35. Trott’s letter to Clarita, August 8, 1941, quoted by MacDonogh, op. cit., p. 185.

36. Ibid.

37. C. Sykes,Troubled Loyalty, op. cit., pp. 367-368.

38. Werth, Der Tiger Indiens, op. cit., pp. 146-7.

39. Ibid., p. 147.

40. However, writing about the history of the post-war Deutsh-lndischen Gesellschaft H-G Wieck, the president of the society, gives the date of foundation of the first German-Indian Society as September 11, 1942. See Festschrift zum 50-jãhrigen Bestehen der Deutsh-lndischen Gesellschaft 1953-2003, Stuttgart (nodate) pp. 62-63.

41. A Werth. A speech held on Bose’s 72 Birthday celebration in Calcutta on January 23, 1959. A typed

copy of the speech was received from A.C.N. Nambiar in Zurich in 1973, p. 13.

42. Werner von Haeften, the younger brother of Hans-Bernd von Haeften was an army officer and after being wounded on the Eastern Front in 1943 became Adjutant to Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who, besides being attached to the Military High Command, was one of the leading figures of German resistance.

43. For Claus von Stauffenberg, see Claus von Stauffenberg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

44. F.J.Furtwängler, Männer, op. cit.. p. 222.

The author is a free-lance teacher and researcher based in Germany.

Notice: The print edition of Mainstream Weekly is now discontinued & only an online edition is appearing. No subscriptions are being accepted