First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy is seen with the Maharaja of Patialawww.pinterest.com
|German car Maybach once used by Hitler in the 1930's commons.wikimedia.org|
However, his regime lasted only 12 years and he became the most cruel and despicable character ever lived on this earth. Because the Nazi regime under Hitler had obsession with racially motivated ideology of race superiority. This ultimately led to the worst crime in the annals of world history - the genocide of at least 5.5 million innocent Jews and millions of other victims between 1941 and 1945, not to speak of millions of civilians. It was the darkest chapter in world history
On the other side of his life, in 1930s' Hitler was also well known for his personal character and enjoyment of life. He had special liking for the classic and impressive German car Maybach (the company was founded in 1909 by Wilhelm Maybach and his son), which he personally used.
|Maybach 57 and 62 models - 2005 Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, CA.en.wikipedia.org|
There were only six cars ever made of this type. The fabled car had one powerful cylinder. Cranking up all 12 cylinder would drain any normal battery. So, It had a series of batteries to crank up first. If you switch if off one hour later, one cylinder will give enough power, while all the 11 will go through decompression. You need to use the switch and not the starter button. When you hit the switch one cylinder will come back alive and fire the other cylinders with out draining the battery. The dis - advantage is when you rest the car for more than 4 plus hours, the main cylinder will lose the compression. So, you have to start all over.
|1938 Maybach SW 38,en.wikipedia.org|
Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, (12 October 1891 – 23 March 1938 ), the flamboyant ruler of the princely state of Patiala, Punjab, India from 1900 to 1938 was quite well known in India and abroad
He was a well known 'First Class' as well as 'Test' cricket player, a leader of the chamber of Indian princes, owner of the highest cricket ground in the world, and scores of buildings, etc. He won several coveted honors from the British Crown. An avid collector of costly jewelry, gemstones, etc, owner of the world famous "Patiala Necklace" made of diamonds and gemstones. He was a personal friend of so many European Kings and was very influential on the royal circuit.
On a visit to Germany in 1935 long before the holocaust - genocide of Jews and others , he sought an audience of the Fuhrer. The story of this gift - car is recounted by his grandson Raja Malvinder Singh in his book “The Automobiles of the Maharajas”. He says:
.....“My grandfather Maharaja Bhupinder Singh went to Germany in 1935 and asked to see Adolf Hitler who very reluctantly gave him 10 to 15 minutes. They got into conversation, one thing led to another and 15 minutes became 30 and then 60. The Fuhrer asked grandfather to stay on for lunch and then asked him to come back the next day and then a third day. On the third day, he gave him German weapons like Lignose, Walther and Luger pistols and a magnificent Maybach.''.... Back in India, Maybach was kept in the ruler's vast garage along with a fleet of other expensive cars including 27 Rolls Royce at his residence Moti Bagh palace, Patiala.
The moot question is how come such a powerful leader took a sudden decision to gift away the famous and costly Maybach car, which was close to his heart, to an Indian Maharajah without ever knowing or meeting him before. Perhaps, it may be for the following logical reasons:
01. Hitler had a grand design to become a powerful world leader and his nation a powerful one.
02. Being a shrewd strategist, as he was, Fuhrer wanted to use the highly popular Indian ruler's good office to get other Indian rulers' support.
03. Gradual expansion of German influence in SE Asia will have political and strategic advantage. He frantically wanted an alley against the British. When the Indian rulers support Germany, obviously, the Indian people will also follow suit.
04. Popularity and the influence of England in the vast Indian sub continent could be a threat to German influence and business.
05. Numerical support means, it will be advantage to Germany and its future hegemony in Asia, if a populous country like India, is fully behind Germany and it's tirade against British Imperialism.
06. India' support to Germany underscores the fact that it will pay a path for the British to exit the Indian soil as early as possible.
07. The Fuhrer knew well, the ruler of Patiala was a an automobile buff, a costly presentation of German car Maybach would turn the tide against the oppressive British rule in the Indian sub continent.
Likewise Hitler gifted away the other two Maybach cars - one to the king of Nepal and the other to King Farrukh of Egypt. This was to get political mileage
out of it.
In the second world war, the British did not make any valuable contribution worthy of mention except Churchill's inspirational speech: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat."(House of Commons of the Parliament of the U.K on 13 May, 1940). The powerful German army , in reality, was defeated because of American interference plus Russia's military strategy. Like wise Japan was subdued by the Americans. As for Churchill's emotional and passionate war speeches in the British Parliament during the war time, they were full of sound and fury, signifying nothing; indeed,an exercise in rhetoric Being a famous India baiter, he was against giving full freedom to India. He was one of the reasons for the death of million plus people in the wake of Bengal famine. Any way, the second world war tainted the image of the British Crown in India. Thanks to arrogant and irrational politicians like Churchill and his minions in the British parliament. As for the Maharajah, he knew that the British Sahibs one day would quit and leave the Indian shores for good and the days were not far off.
The expensive and elegant Maybach car was with the Patiala family until 1957, later gifted away. It became a sort of proverbial white elephant.
(Re-modification done : March 02, 2016)