Gandhi was an anti-Semite. We think of him as peaceful and benevolent because he advocated satyagraha, which is passive, non-violent resistance. It worked against the British in India. Does that mean it is always appropriate? In an article in the November 26, 1938 issue of a magazine called Harijan, Gandhi suggested that Germany’s Jews could successfully confront their Nazi oppressors with non-violence. Well, this was 1938. World War II had not yet begun. If we wish to excuse Gandhi on the grounds that he didn’t know what he was talking about, since he was writing before Hitler’s plans were known, we should also consider that he told Louis Fischer, one of his biographers, after the war was over, that “collective suicide” might have been a better strategy: “The Jews died anyway, didn’t they? They might as well have died significantly” (see “The Gandhi Nobody Knows” by Richard Grenier, Commentary, March 1983). Collective suicide is not satyagraha, since it is in no way passive. And how passive can one be about one’s children when committing collective suicide? Gandhi never advocated collective suicide in any other situation.
In other words, instead of rejoicing that a few human beings had lived through an attempt to exterminate them, Gandhi expressed the view that they all should have quietly agreed to be killed. What could Gandhi have meant when he said “they could have died significantly”? The Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the other uprisings in Bialystok and other ghettoes, were significant. They showed that starving Jews locked in ghettoes, who started out with no weapons and no organization, were able to fight in the war against Hitler. Non-violence makes no sense when you are facing people whose primary goal is to exterminate you.
In that same article in the magazine Harijan, he also wrote about the Jews, “They can offer satyagraha in front of the Arabs and offer themselves to be shot or thrown into the Dead Sea without raising a little finger against them.” In 1938, Gandhi probably knew about the Hebron Massacre of 1929, in which 67 Jews were killed. He must have known that if the Jews had offered themselves to be shot or thrown into the Dead Sea it would not have taken as a conciliatory gesture. In fact, Gandhi opposed the existence of Israel after the Holocaust just as he had before. His suggestion of satyagraha goes beyond non-violent resistance. It is an implicit statement of support for those who commit violence.
Gandhi was NOT a “good man”. He was a tacit supporter and enabler of one of the most genocidal regimes in human history — to the point of openly advocating that the primary victims of that genocide should “voluntarily” engage in “auto-genocide”.
Exactly how in the fuck would that have been more “significant?” ESPECIALLY if the rest of humankind had emulated Gandhi, by failing to use “violence” against the Nazi onslaught?
If I ever have have an opportunity to go to India, I will make it a point to go to Gandhi’s burial site, for the express purpose of taking a big ol’ shit on his grave.