Jawaharlal Nehru (14 November 1889 – 27 May 1964) was a major political leader of the Indian National Congress, a pivotal figure in the Indian independence movement and the first and longest-serving prime minister of independent India (15 August 1947 until his death), an office which was later held by his daughter and grandson in the following decades.
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1947) was a leader in India's struggle for independence from Britain and later Germany. Unlike his colleague, Mohandas Gandhi, Nehru had a rudimentary grasp of the inherent immorality of Nazism which allowed it to prove remarkably resistant to the non-violent pressures of Satyagraha. He remembered the testimony by a Jewish refugee named Simon Wiesenthal, who had fled from Europe and into India, although Gandhi refused to believe it.
Nehru joined Gandhi on a march up Chandi Chauk, the Street of Silversmiths, toward Qutb Road, in violation of a German ban. When German troops met Gandhi and his people, Gandhi's unflappable response left them puzzled, and so they simply began walking along side the marching Indians.
However, word soon reached Field Marshal Walther Model, the commander of the German occupation force, who arrived on the scene and personally took control. After several demands that the demonstration break-up, Model dropped a handkerchief on the ground, and warned Gandhi that if anyone passed it, the Germans would open fire. Nehru warned Gandhi that he believed Model would order his men to shoot. Gandhi acknowledged this, and proceeded, prepared to give up his life. Nehru followed. However, many of Gandhi's followers marched ahead of him, to his horror, and were shot down. Nehru and another man promptly tackled Gandhi, keeping him under cover. They immediately pulled Gandhi to safety, much to his chagrin.
Once safe, Gandhi began taking stock of events. He realized that this incident, unlike the Amritsar massacre was not a moment of panic. Nehru agreed, but saw a silver lining in that there would be an immediate work stoppage. Gandhi suffered another shock when he learned that Model had ordered the "mercy" killings of the wounded in Qutb Road. Still, he took for granted that Model would be censured. He was horrified when a radio broadcast by William Joyce announced that ReichministerReinhard Heydrich congratulated Model on his actions, and issued a price on both Gandhi and Nehru's heads.
Gandhi and Nehru became fugitives, until a Muslim turned them in to the authorities. Nehru was promptly executed, though Gandhi was granted a final audience with Model.