Gandhi’s 1940 Letter to Adolph Hitler

My son-in-law found this letter on Business Insider and sent it to me. It’s a wonderful letter, and a significant piece of history. I love where Gandhi tells Hitler, “You are leaving no legacy to your people of which they would feel proud.”

He was so right about that. In some ways, Germany is still reeling from what happened under Adolph Hitler. Some of the guilt remains to this day.
Read the letter here:



Albert Speer Quotes From Spandau: The Secret Diaries

I think that for as long as I live, I will continue to try to comprehend what was happening in Germany before, during, and for years after WWII. Much of it is so difficult, so inhumane and so banal, I can’t pretend to wrap my head around it. Still, it remains one of many areas of history by which I am totally fascinated.

Spandau: The Secret Diaries is a definite “must read” for those interested in history of WWII. Below are just a few noteworthy quotes from Speer, Ribbenthrop, and Hitler:

The Himmlers, Bormans, Streichers, and their ilk cannot explain Hitler’ success with the German people. Hitler was sustained by the idealism and devotion of people like myself.

We who were least inclined to think selfishly were the ones who made him possible. Criminals and their accomplices are always around. They explain nothing (8).

Jodl and Keitel: Intelligent men who, because of their fascination with Hitler, cast aside the moral traditions of their class (10.)

Passion, whether springing from hatred or resentment, is still a motivation. Lukewarm-ness is nothing (24).

Relieved of all the need for thinking, we left everything to the chief executive officer (25).

If the human features are going to be missing from the portrait of Hitler, if his persuasiveness, his engaging characteristics, and even the Austrian charm he could trot out are left out of the reckoning, no faithful picture of him will be achieved (40).

First we’ll practice a systematic population policy. India and China shows how quickly nations can multiply.” –Hitler

He then elaborated on a system of bonuses that would make every family regard children as a source of additional income.

In 1932, Germany produced no appreciable increase in births. But, in 1933, National Socialist policy had provided the country with almost three million more people. In light of such figures, the few hundred thousand killed in the war did not matter (48).

We must bring the masses illusions.”- Hitler (103).

Sometimes I think Hitler consciously tolerated or even deliberately promoted the corruption (Black marketeering). It tied the men to him (116).

There’s always a war on. The difference is only whether the guns are firing or not. There’s war in peace time, too. Anyone who has not realized that cannot make foreign policy.” – Ribbenthrop

Whoever succeeds me must be sure to have an opening for a new war.” –Hitler

In future peace treaties, we must therefore always leave open a few questions that will provide a pretext. Think of Rome and Carthage for instance. A new war was always built right into every peace treaty.” – Hitler (144).

Letters From Nuremberg

Thomas Dodd – a chief prosecutor in Nurmeberg. An excellent lawyer, dedicated to his profession; but what a romantic! From Senator Christopher Dodd (His son) we get a different picture of him as a husband away from his wife, who was home in Connecticut with their five children during the trial.

Here’s this brilliant lawyer by day, his talent being noticed by Jackson, the lead prosecutor – and at night, he wrote these beautiful love letters to his wife. In many of them, he sounded like a love sick – almost pathetic teenager stricken by separation from his true love for the very first time. The letters show a very different side of Thomas Dodd, a side of the man which his professional, by-day courtroom persona never betrayed in the least. I loved reading this book. Here’s an excerpt from one of Dodd’s letters:

“My dearest, if my letters seem lengthy and detailed, you will understand that first of all, I am trying to string out my time with you – for while you are in my mind at all times during the day, at letter writing time I have you alone with no interruptions. Thursday morning, standing in the main portal of the Union Station in Washington, you made a memorable picture for me as I gazed out the taxi cab window until the dimness of the dawn light blotted your loveliness out.”

Christopher Dodd said he wept as he read that letter from his father to his mother. – “The power and eloquence of my father’s words overwhelmed me. I had known my parents as children do. I had not seen them in this intimate way-as characters in a love story. And if I had yearned for an inside view of the Nuremberg experience, I certainly found it.”

It’s really a wonderful read, not just for the love letters, but also for “an inside view” of what the trials were like as America’s top prosecutors put together the case against the Nazi regime.

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