Subhash Chandra Bose’s Deputy: A. C. N. Nambiar

Arathil Candeth Narayan NAMBIAR:

NAMBIAR went to Berlin in 1924 as a journalist and worked with the Indian communist group there alongside his brother-in-law CHATTOPADHAYAYA (married to the OGPU agent Agnes SMEDLEY).

He visited Moscow as a Soviet guest in 1929. On the outbreak of World War II NAMBIAR was expelled from Germany but later allowed to return as Subhas Chandra BOSE’s deputy in Berlin, with special responsibility in cooperation with the Germans for the Azad Hind radio transmissions, becoming the German-financed leader of the Free India Movement in Europe when BOSE moved to the Far East to join the Japanese.

He was also concerned with the Indian Legion, composed of Indian PoWs, which in 1944 was absorbed by the SS.

In 1944 Nambiar was appointed Minister without Portfolio in BOSE’s provisional government and arranged the printing of Azad Hind passports.

He was arrested in Austria in June 1945 and interrogated in September 1945 as a Nazi collaborator. The file (No. KV 2/3904 preserved in the British National Archives) includes copies of letters from NAMBIAR to BOSE recovered from U-boat 234 after it surrendered, as well as the long report of his post-war interrogation which contains details of the various military groups set up by BOSE for training in Germany and many other peripheral matters including the setting up of the secret Abwehr transmitting station ‘Mary’ in Afghanistan.


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