The year 2019 marked the 150th birthday of the “Father of the Indian Nation,” Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869- 1948), who is remembered as one among the key figures of India’s twentieth-century independence struggle. Several commemorative events were observed in the country as well as abroad in celebration of his legacy of a peaceful struggle against British colonialism and India’s ultimate freedom from colonial rule. One simply cannot underestimate the motivation provided by Gandhian nonviolence tactics to all kinds of freedom struggles to later crop up, right from the US Civil Rights Movement, other wars against colonialism (e.g., Ghana), anti-war, anti-nuclear, and peace movements, some elements of South Africa’s apartheid movement, and the latest Palestinian struggles, to the modern-day climate change-related Extinction Rebellion (Ahmed, 2019).
The degree of peaceful resistance employed against colonial forces was different for different nations: peaceful resistance was, perhaps, most actively utilized in the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium. The Nazi attitude towards Eastern Europe (everyone far and wide is aware of the fact that the Nazis aimed at purging Eastern Europe of its citizens and populating it with Germans) implied a different kind of resistance. The magnitude of the diverse resistance efforts varied from one single person to vast portions of the citizen population. For instance, in Norway, teachers’ resistance against school Nazification was roughly 10,000 educators enjoying the support of approximately 100,000 parents. A few protests in other places involved a bigger crowd than this (Sinclair, 2017).
Citizens such as the pacifists encountered the unique challenge of reacting to dictatorship and war-related cruelties. Even in Nazi Germany, direct peaceful…
…other Second World War traces: facing the Lieu de Mémoire stands the huge, granite Protestant Church (Temple Protestant) constructed in the year 1821 on the ruins of an old, razed sanctuary. This sanctuary’s entryway holds (aptly) the following inscription: ‘Aimez-Vous Les uns Les Autres’ (‘love one another,’ or ‘love your neighbor as yourself’). In the year 1979, a commemorative plate was unveiled in the village to honor its courageous Protestant community, hailed as the mainstay of its resistance effort (Isalska, 2018).
World War II was different from the 1st World War in terms of its magnitude, aim, and totality. Outside of the warring areas, peaceful action furthered to tackle oppression. Gandhi commenced his “Quit India” movement in India, a peaceful drive to which its colonial occupiers responded by put him and other Indian National…
Ahmed, T. (2019). Mohandas Gandhi: Experiments in civil disobedience. USA: Pluto Press. Retrieved from https://s3.amazonaws.com/supadu-imgix/plutopress-uk/pdfs/look-inside/LI-9780745334288.pdf
Anthology. (n.d.). World war II and peace 1939-1945.
Isalska, A. (2018). A French village committed to deception. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20180806-a-french-village-committed-to-deception
Sinclair, I. (2017). Resisting the Nazis in numerous ways: nonviolence in occupied Europe. Retrieved from https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/non-violence-against-nazis-interview-with-george-paxton/