MARC stayed at Hotel Tempo Berlin 1937

The European tours of M.A. Rahman Chughtai in 1936-1937 were phenomenal in many ways. We wrote a book on it that is entitled EAST MET WEST and it is available as a download on our blog. We researched from our documents and tried to give a true picture of the two European tours for the first time. A Swiss friend of mine resented the mention about Adolf Hitler in it. This is not a political statement from us, it is history, and history we do not hide or confuse with narratives of our own. What happened we know and as a historical truth, we recalled it in the  best way possible. It was an extra ordinary event and there is every reason to give the correct version of same.

Address of Hotel Tempo
Adlon Hitler banners

The Paris show of 1937 was an international event and all countries had their stall and show cases. Germany too had a very big presence there. The artist was visiting the Paris show, where he met a German lady, who was most interested in knowing more about him. She invited him to Berlin, and that was the artists next stop. The artist was stating at Hotel Tempo in Berlin and we have old visuals of same. Adolf Hitler had his residence in those days at the famous Hotel Adlon, and granted audience to visitors. A special five minute meeting was authorized for M.A. Rahman Chughtai with Adolf Hitler.

Adolf Hitler the soft side
Many aspects of Adolf Hitler

M.A. Rahman Chughtai records his first impressions of Adolf Hitler. He said that there was some mesmerizing effect in the eyes of Hitler, that one could not accost him with the radiance of his eyes. The eyes were like balls of fire. Luminous and full of strength. The German lady was there with them. The artist recalled that Hitler talked about their national poet Goethe with great fervour. Chughtai talked about Dr Allama Iqbal with equal fervour. The talk centered about India and Indian art, and Chughtai talked about the Muslim renaissance in the Indian region. Of course Dr Allama Iqbal represented all that, and Hitler understood the Muslim content of same. It is a fact that Muslims of Indian region always had a soft corner for the German leader.

Hitler relaxing on chair
27th JUNE 1937 tribute to CHUGHTAI ARTIST in Berlin

Not much is known about the detailed contents of the talk but it talked of cultural matters. Hitler was fascinated with Goethe, and Chughtai was equally radiant about his close relationship with Dr Allama Iqbal. In fact in the 1932 meeting in London of Dr Iqbal with others, the talk centered on  Muslim state in India, and Chughtai had witnessed all that in the hotel room.  The resultant World war obliterated all records but on 14th August, 1947 Pakistan came into being as an Islamic State, heading towards Iqballian concept of a Progressive Islamic country made in the name of Allah. People tried to persuade Chughtai to permanently stay in England as he was included and accepted in the artist’s group there. A memorable sentence uttered then and is written in his memoirs too. My country is awaiting me and calling me back. It is to be understood we are not talking of India here, but Pakistan, and Pakistan had not come into being at that time. It was to be the first step towards introducing Islamic way of life to the world. And the dream of Dr Allama Iqbal and M.A. Rahman Chughtai is still throbbing with  newer life.

Hitlers paintings
German Pavillion Paris show 1937


  1. Mauuella C Didier Arstuuney if spelling correct gives address as N 4 of Berlin which was a post office distributing mail to those who had no address. We are researching all the time. The post office made in the 30s is still there. The name looks Spanish or Portuguese but tribute is in fluid German. One does not know.

  2. Palestine and now Kashmir suffering at hands of those who were oppressed. Suffering of humanity teaches nothing and meting out the same is a wake up call.

    1. Thanks for help again. If you know German language can you translate the whole poem. Sorry to bother you.

  3. Many important Hartungs in Berlin at that time including Fritz Hartung the historian as well as Hans Hartung the painter. Perhaps Manuella was related to one of them. We continue research.

  4. West blames Hitler all the time but so much obsessed with his name that they continue to pursue even shadows of that man please let go of him. Hitler gave a Mercedes car to another famous intellectual Allama Mashriqi and the family still have those times Renault with them. So two citizens of Lahore were favoured by him and that is history, not politics. Respect for intellectuals is not bad in any way.

  5. Research going on if the car was Renault Benz Pullman or not. Some think it is Renault torpedo. Others think this Renault was bought and the Mercedes sold. A man of the stature of a Nobel Prize in 1925 was serious on this matter. Hitler loved cars and had a fleet to gift. Even today his Mercedes car is preserved in museum.

  6. With due thanks to Elizbeth Chughtai for this valuable translation:

    An Rahman Chughtai

    You son of Lahore

    Tanned in saturated colour

    With the far eastern sun –

    With the beam of the sun

    You came

    Warming me – to meet me

    In the cold occident.

    What separates both of us…?

    Nothing!! With the same thinking

    You are feeling…

    Like I do.., the bosom of nature—

    And its wonders.

    We feel the same… both of us…!

    And when you leave,

    My friend,

    Many thousand miles—

    Till eternity will stay with me

    The beauty of your soul…!

    Dedication to R. Ch. Lahore – India

    – In sincere friendship –


    Manuela C. Didier Hartung

    Berlin N.4, 27. Juni 1937

  7. Why even mention it? I don’t know why you’re so eager to associate the Muslim artist with such a disgraced human as Hitler. He was responsible for the deaths of MILLIONS of innocent people. Abdur Rahman must be turning/hurting in his grave to know this is how his legacy is being preserved. It’s better to not drag his name in the dirt by painting him on the wrong side of history.

  8. Time changes. 1937 was another time, 2022 is another time, and so on 2100 will be another time. We look at other times through spectacles of our times. Historical sense is a living dynamic thing. A short vision is obvious of historical narratives. Propaganda clouds history. Read it again and again. See history without haze.

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