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Distributed for Zubaan Books

In the Shadow of Freedom

Three Lives in Hitler’s Germany and Gandhi’s India

In the early 1930s, Ayii Tendulkar, a young journalist from a small town in Maharashtra, traveled to Germany to pursue a doctorate in statistics. There, Ayii, eventually became well-known journalist in Berlin and he met and fell in love with the renowned filmmaker Thea von Harbou, the writer of the classic films Metropolis and M, and the former wife of legendary director Fritz Lang. They later married.

In this unique account, Laxmi Tendulkar Dhaul—the dauther of Ayii and his third wife Indumati Gunaji—traces the turbulent lives of her parents and that of Thea von Harbou against the backdrop of Nazi Germany and Gandhi’s India. The book describes how Thea, many years Ayii’s senior, became his support and mainstay in Germany, helping him in his attempts to bring young Indian students to the country. Hitler’s rise to power put an end to that effort, and, on Thea’s advice, Ayii returned to India, where the outspoken journalist became involved in Gandhi’s campaign of non-cooperation with the British, and where, with Thea’s consent, he soon married Indumati, a Gandhian activist. Caught up in the whirlwind of Gandhi’s activism, Indumati and Ayii spent several years in Indian prisons, being able to live as a married couple only after their release, managing thereby to comply with a condition Gandhi himself had put on their marriage—that they remain apart for several years.

Using a wealth of documents, letters, newspaper articles and photographs, including personal papers never before seen, In the Shadow of Freedom weaves together the tangled histories of two women, the man they loved, their own growing friendship, and two countries battling violence and non-violence, fascism, and colonialism.

324 pages | 30 halftones | 5 x 8 | © 2013

Biography and Letters

History: General History

View all books from Seagull Books

Table of Contents


Thank You


The Beginning

Early Years

My Parents Tendulkar and Indumati


Tendulkar and Thea


The Berlin Olympics

A New Life






My Mother Speaks

Release from Prison

After the War


The Indians Find a Sister


After the Marriage

Indumati Tendulkar

Return to Germany

Two Women



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