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Anarchism, 1914-18Internationalism, Anti-Militarism and War$
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Ruth Kinna and Matthew Adams

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784993412

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784993412.001.0001

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‘The bomb plot of Zurich’: Indian nationalism, Italian anarchism and the First World War1

‘The bomb plot of Zurich’: Indian nationalism, Italian anarchism and the First World War1

(p.135) 6 ‘The bomb plot of Zurich’: Indian nationalism, Italian anarchism and the First World War1
Anarchism, 1914-18

Ole Birk Laursen

Manchester University Press

This essay explores the so-called ‘Bomb Plot of Zürich’, in which the Indian nationalists Virendranath Chattopadhyaya and Abdul Hafiz of the Indian Independence Committee collaborated with the German Foreign Office and a band of Swiss-based Italian anarchists led by Arcangelo Cavadini and Luigi Bertoni to smuggle German-manufactured bombs, weapons and poison into Switzerland and Italy in the summer of 1915. This was a prime example of the solidarities and overlaps between, in principle, conflicting ideologies of Indian nationalism, German imperialism and Italian anarchism. The essay draws primarily on proceedings from the Swiss Federal Court and aims to situate the event within both the histories of the Indian nationalist movement abroad as well as the Italian anarchist movement. It argues that, during the geo-political context of the First World War, the Indian nationalists forged strategic alliances with strange bedfellows to overthrow the British Empire.

Keywords:   Anti-colonialism, Anti-militarism, Nationalism, Transnationalism, Terrorism

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