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Mukto Mona : INA's Supreme Commander at German Submarine - page 2 / 10





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But at the time the leading lights of German politics must have been so busy that they had no time to consider in detail the case of a man, even of Bose's political status, who had appeared suddenly on the scene, with his uncommon demands.

Another reason has also been advanced for some of Hitler's reticence to welcome Bose's proposal. The superiority of Nordic races was a mania with Hitler and accordingly, he had a soft corner in his heart for England. His order on victorious German forces to allow British troops to retreat unharmed from the battlefields of Dunkirk has been cited as evidence to support this hypothesis.

It was therefore not very easy to change this pro-British attitude of Hitler into a friendly gesture towards India which was in direct opposition to England.

Bose's burning desire to forge a tie with all enemies of the British imperialists, his endless patience and his untiring perseverance eventually won the day. After his fruitful contact and negotiations with Adam von Trott Zu Solz (head of the German Eastern Affairs, later made head of Special India Division) and his deputy Alexandaer Werth:

... it was ultimately decided that Netaji should be given every help to choose his men out of POW (Prisoner of War) camps and the German Wehrmacht should give him all the help necessary on the lines suggested.

Very soon we felt the strength of his will power, the honesty of his intentions and the inexorability of his personal dedication to India's cause, ... we could not help being influenced by his ideas and wishes.

One of the demands, Bose was able to extract from the German authorities, was the release of all Indian prisoners from War camps and jails in countries under German occupation. Also, with great difficulty and considerable research, Bose was able to make a reasonable list of Indians living at the time in Europe. Soon he (in the name of his assumed identity of Orlando Mazzitto) invited them all to a tea party - to be held at none other than the former British diplomatic mission. It is here that everyone eventually worked out who this host Signor Orlando Mazzitto really was. Here they started the Free India Centre, Azad Hind Radio centre in October 1941 and finally here was born the Indian Legion (Azad Hind Fauz) later known as the Indian National Army (INA) comprising enthusiastic Indian students, political activists and Indian POW's imprisoned by General Rommel, primarily from the battle grounds of Africa.  Converting the POW's, who fought under the British generals and thoroughly indoctrinated by their masters, was a rather difficult task for Bose and others. All of a sudden, this largely uneducated band of soldiers, had to come to grips with the idea as soldiers of free India. Dr. Girija Mukherjee, who himself was a patriot journalist, wrote about this subject:

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