From a reader:
I don’t know much about Vlasov, but his story sounds similar to that of
Subas Chandra Bose, a rival of Gandhi’s in the Indian freedom movement in
the ’30s. Unlike Gandhi and Nehru, Bose advocated violent resistance
against the British Empire, and so he lost out to them in the leadership
struggle for the Indian National Congress. After the war started, Bose
escaped from India (he was a fugitive from the British), visited Hitler,
trained Indian POWs to fight with the Nazis against the British, and then
trained Indian POWs from the Pacific theater to mount an attack on India
from the Japanese positions in Burma. Many Indians consider Bose a hero,
but many more recognize the evil of his alliance with the fascists.
Needless to say, the British held that all the POWs who had fought with
Bose were traitors, they having already taken an oath to fight for the
crown. Bose was a patriot, and his enemy was the evil colonial
institution, but that does not excuse his even more evil alliance. Unlike
other figures in the Indian freedom movement, Bose equated the evils of
fascism and imperialism and used the one against the other. That remains
his unfortunate legacy.
As for the Yalta discussion, keep it going! It’s a slow news cycle, so we
might as well discuss important events of the past.