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Nazi collaborator monuments in India

There are hundreds of statues and monuments in the United States and around the world to people who abetted or took part in the murder of Jews and other minorities during the Holocaust. As part of an ongoing investigation, the Forward has, for the first time, documented them in this collection of articles. For an initial guide to each country’s memorials click here. For a 2022 update to the investigation, click here.

Note: due to the overwhelming number of statues, plaques, institutions and street names for Subhas Chandra Bose in India, this section is only a partial listing.

Left: Subhas Chandra Bose (Wikimedia Commons). Right: Bose’s statue decorated during celebrations of his 112th birthday, Kolkata, January 23, 2009 (Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP via Getty Images). Image by Forward collage

Kolkata — In 2019, then-chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., triggered headlines when he wore a T-shirt with the image of Nazi collaborator Subhas Chandra Bose (1897–1945). Bose, often called Netaji (“respected leader”), was an Indian nationalist who created and recruited soldiers for the Free India Legion aka the Indian Legion. Formed in 1941, the legion was originally part of the German army; in 1944 it was transferred to the Waffen-SS (the military wing of the Nazi Party responsible for, among other war crimes, the Holocaust) and became the Indian Volunteer Legion of the Waffen-SS. It fought against the Allies in France, where it was tasked with suppressing the French Resistance; the unit gained a dark reputation for crimes against civilians.

Bose aided Hitler’s cause even prior to recruiting soldiers for the Third Reich. In 1938, Jawaharlal Nehru, a hero of India’s freedom struggle who later became the country’s first prime minister, led the effort to allow Jewish refugees to escape persecution and come to India. Bose actively blocked Nehru’s attempt. (India ended up rescuing Jews and Poles – see the Forward, India Times, The Hindu and Atlas Obscura.)

Bose’s defenders use the same justification as whitewashers of other nationalist collaborators – they rebrand Bose and the Indian Legion as freedom fighters who fought against Britain, not lackeys who fought with Hitler. The fact remains, Bose recruited thousands of men who fought in the Waffen-SS against the Allies, suppressed anti-Nazi resistance and enabled Germany to continue its genocide of Jews and Roma.

The Kolkata metropolitan area is a hub of Bose glorification: in addition to the colossal statue at Maidan park, above right, Bose has an airport (with statue), road, metro station, stadium, memorial and research center (with bust), another museum, cancer research institute, ancestral house (with bust), college and university as well as statues/busts in the Alipore, Bablatala, Bagbazar, Baidyabati, Barasat (another statue and bust), Barrackpore, Baruipur, Belur, Bidhannagar (another statue and bust in Jai Hind Park), Budge Budge (and bust), Chengail, Chetla, Dakshineswar, Dasnagar, Dum Dum, Garia, Ghusuri, Haridevpur, Hridaypur, Ichapur (another statue, two busts and wall sculpture), Jagatdal (and bust), Jorasanko, Kamarhati, Kankurgachi, Konnagar, Liluah, Mali Panchghara, Nalpur, Narkeldanga, Paschim Barisha, Rajpur Sonarpur, Ram Bagan, Rania Mauza, Santoshpur, Santragachi, Satpukur, Serampore, Shyambazar (and relief sculpture), Sinthee, South Dum Dum (plus five busts: here, here, here, here and here), Subhasgram and Tangra neighborhoods/municipalities as well as at a naval military base named after him. See coverage in JTA, Newsweek and Jewish Journal with a quote from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Left: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying respect at bust of Subhas Chandra Bose to mark India’s declassification and public release of 100 files pertaining to Bose, New Delhi, January 23, 2016 (Prime Minister’s Office via Wikimedia Commons). Right: Netaji Subhash Stadium, Rajpur (Wikimedia Commons). Image by Forward collage

New Delhi and multiple other locations — India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who champions the cult of Bose, with his bust in the capital of New Delhi, above left. The Delhi area also has a statue of Bose in the Parliament House, another statue, a park (with monument), university (with statue), a bust at Delhi University, museum, bust, metro station, neighborhood and sports complex.

Bose has an astounding number of statues, streets and institutions throughout India. A very partial list includes a museum and bust in Kurseong; a college (with bust), school (with bust), bridge and museum (with bust and statue) in Cuttack; a medical institute in Bhubaneswar and Bihta; a school (with bust) and statue in Agartala; a medical college and statue in Jabalpur; an institute, statue and memorial in Patna; a college and statue in Arambag, Murshidabad (statue here) and Udaipur; a rail station (with bas-relief) in Gomoh; a school in Doiwala; a college in Haldibari; statues/busts in Ailakundi P, Ajmer, Aligarh, Alipurduar, Amalner, Ambala (in Netaji Subhash Park) Amravati, Amritsar, Asansol (two statues and bust), Bainan, two in Bangalore, Bangaon, Bankura, Basirhat, Berhampore, Bhopal, Bijni, Bokajan, Bolpur, Budaun, Burdwan (another statue and three busts here, here and here), Burhanpur, Burikhali, Chakdaha, Chandrakona, Chennai (and bust), Chinchuria, Contai, Dakhin Narathali, Dalhousie, Daspur, Debra, Dhanyakuria, Dharwad, Dhatrigram, Durgapur (and statue with separate map monument), Farakka, Gazole, Golapganj, Gunjapadugu, Gurugram, Guwahati (two more statues), two in Habra, Haldia, Haridwar, Hisar, Indore, Islampur, Jaipur, Jalpaiguri, Jamnagar, Jamshedpur, Jasthipalli, Jiaganj, Kakraban, Kalna, Kalyayni, Karon, Katwa, Khammam, Kharagpur, Kolaghat, Kothapalle (Karimnagar district), Kotulpur, Krishnanagar, Lakhana Bandha, Lapuria, Lucknow, Madurai, Magurali, Mahishasthali, Mal Bazar, Manwath, Marsur, Moiran, Mucherla, Mukkapadu, two in Mumbai, Nagaon, Nagpur, Nalhati, Palampur, Parulia, Pingla, Plassey, Port Blair (and stadium), Prayagraj, Puri (and museum), Rajkot, Rajmahal, Ramajipet, Ramjibanpur, two in Ranaghat, Rewa, Sainthia, Salboni, Santoshpur Pila, Secunderabad, Shillong (another at the State Central Library), Siddipet, Silchar, Siliguri (bust and more statues here, here, here and here), Singur, Suri, Taherpur, Tarakeswar, Thiruvananthapuram, Tinsukia, Vadodara, Vemulawada and Visakhapatnam; a temple in Varasani; a stadium in Raipur (above right); and an island in the Andamans.

Below left, Bose meets with Hitler in East Prussia, 1942. That year, he also met with Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS and one of the principal architects of the Holocaust. Below right, Indian Legion fighter mans a post in Bordeaux, 1944.

Left: Subhas Chandra Bose, middle, meeting Hitler in East Prussia, Germany May 27, 1942 (Wikimedia Commons). Right: German propaganda photo of Indian Legion soldier near Bordeaux, France, March 21, 1944 (Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-263-1580-06/Wette via Wikimedia Commons). Image by Forward collage




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