Gandhi's Great Love Was A Male Bodybuilder

By: Jackson Lourd
3.28.2011

The great love of Gandhi's life was a male bodybuilder named Hermann Kallenbach, according to an article in Wall Street Journal about a new biography of the Indian leader. 

In his review of Joseph Lelyveld's new biography Great Soul, historian Andrew Roberts draws some provocative conclusions about the peace activist. 

While in the article, Roberts refers to Gandhi as “a sexual weirdo, a political incompetent and a fanatical faddist,” Lelyveld's book reveals some surprising claims, including the Gandi often slept with naked young women. 

But that's not the most shocking revelation...

 

 

The love of his life, according to Lelyveld, was a German-Jewish architect and bodybuilder named Hermann Kallenbach, for whom Gandhi left his wife in 1908. "Your portrait (the only one) stands on my mantelpiece in my bedroom," Gandhi wrote to Kallenbach. "The mantelpiece is opposite to the bed."

Roberts writes that cotton wool and Vaseline were "a constant reminder" of Kallenbach, which Lelyveld believes were probably related to the enemas Gandhi gave himself, although "there could be other, less generous, explanations.”

According to Lelyveld, “Gandhi wrote to Kallenbach about ‘how completely you have taken ­possession of my body. This is slavery with a vengeance.’ Gandhi nicknamed himself ‘Upper House’ and Kallenbach ‘Lower House,’ and he made Lower House promise not to ‘look lustfully upon any woman.’ The two then pledged ‘more love, and yet more love ... such love as they hope the world has not yet seen.’”

The two men were parted in 1914, but Roberts alleges that Gandhi dreamed of being reunited with Kallenbach.

 

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