20 Facts About Hermann Kallenbach


Hermann Kallenbach was a Lithuanian-born Jewish South African architect who was one of the foremost friends and associates of Mahatma Gandhi.


Hermann Kallenbach was born in 1871 in Zemaiciu Naumiestis, Lithuania as the third eldest out of seven children.


Hermann Kallenbach's father, Kalman Leib Kallenbach, was a Hebrew teacher and, later, a timber merchant.


Hermann Kallenbach's childhood centered on education, sports and friendships with the village youth.


Hermann Kallenbach was highly influenced by Gandhi's ideas of Satyagraha and equality among human beings and became his friend and a dedicated devotee.


Hermann Kallenbach himself named this farm after Leo Tolstoy as he was deeply influenced by Tolstoy's writings and philosophy.


On this farm, Hermann Kallenbach abandoned the life of a wealthy, sport-loving bachelor, adopting the simple lifestyle, vegetarian diet and equality politics of Gandhi.

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Hermann Kallenbach was associated with Gandhi throughout the Satyagraha struggle, which lasted in South Africa until 1914.


Hermann Kallenbach accompanied Gandhi in his first penitential fast at Phoenix in 1913 over the 'moral lapse' of two inmates.


Hermann Kallenbach accompanied Gandhi and his wife on their final voyage from South Africa to London in 1914.


Gandhi and Hermann Kallenbach used to call each other "Upper House" and "Lower House" respectively, the Lower House being a metaphor for preparing the budget, and the Upper House for vetoing it.


Hermann Kallenbach planned to accompany Gandhi to India in 1914, but with the outbreak of World War I, he was interned as an 'enemy alien' at detention camps and shifted to the Isle of Man as a Prisoner of War from 1915 until 1917.


Hermann Kallenbach became a Zionist and served on the Executive Board of the South African Zionist Federation and planned to settle in Palestine.


Hermann Kallenbach wanted society there to involve no state, military, or industry, in order to avoid colonialism through Zionist settlements.


At the request of Moshe Shertok, Hermann Kallenbach visited Gandhi in May 1937 to enlist his sympathy and support for Zionism.


Nevertheless, Hermann Kallenbach continued his deep friendship with Gandhi, visiting him again in 1939.


Hermann Kallenbach left a portion of his considerable estate for South African Indians, but the bulk was left for the benefit of Zionism.


Hermann Kallenbach was one of the foremost associates and friends of Gandhi, devoting a major part of his life to following his principles and ideals.


Gandhi has frequently mentioned him in his autobiography, where he explains how Hermann Kallenbach was his 'soulmate' in the early days of the development of his personality and ideology.


In Richard Attenborough's film, Gandhi, Hermann Kallenbach was played by Gunther Maria Halmer.