BENGALI HOLOCAUST (WW2 Bengal Famine) writings of Gideon Polya





In the 1942-1945 Bengali Holocaust (Bengal Famine) the British deliberately starved 6-7 million Indians to death in Bengal  and in the adjoining Indian states of Bihar, Assam and Orissa. Australia was complicit in this atrocity by withholding food from India from its huge wartime grain stores.  This atrocity was associated large-scale military and civilian sexual exploitation of starving women and girls on a scale commensurate with the "comfort women" abuses of the Japanese military in WW2. “History is written by the victors” and several generations of English-speaking historians have largely deleted this appalling atrocity from history and general public perception (for a detailed critique of this holocaust-ignoring British literature see Chapters 14-16 of Gideon Polya (1998), “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2008 edition that is now available for free perusal on the web:  ). The BBC (which has an appalling record of censorship; see “Censorship by the BBC”: ) made a belated confession with a BBC radio program on the Bengal Famine as part of a series called “The things we forgot to remember” (myself, Professor Amartya Sen and other scholars participated; see  “The Bengal Famine”, “Things we forget to remember”, BBC, : ). You can do the experiment for yourself: go to your local community  or university library and see if you can find any histories of Britain, England, Churchill  or WW2 that actually make any mention of the WW2 Bengal Holocaust,  the WW2 Bengal Famine or indeed of any Bengali or Indian famines (in the 1769-1770 Bengal Famine, British rapacity killed 10 million Bengalis). One notes that genocide ignoring and holocaust ignoring are far, far worse than repugnant holocaust denial and genocide denial because at least denial permits public discussion.


Books dealing with the WW2 Bengal Famine (Bengali Holocaust).


Some decent historians and other scholars have variously reported at length on the WW2 Bengal Famine (Bengali Holocaust):


N.G. Jog (1944), “Churchill's Blind Spot: India” (New Book Company, Bombay, 1944) [that describes the WW2 Bengal Famine as a “holocaust”, this being the first book to have described a WW2 atrocity as a “holocaust”].


Ghosh, K.C. (1944), “Famines in Bengal 1770-1943” (National Council of Education, Calcutta, 2nd edition 1987).


Sen (1945), “Rural Bengal in Ruins” (translated by Chakravarty).


Das, T. (1949), Bengal Famine (1943) as Revealed in a Survey of Destitutes of Calcutta (University of Calcutta, Calcutta).


Moon, P, (1973) (editor), "Wavell, the Viceroy's Journal" (Oxford University Press) [General Wavell, Viceroy of India,  endlessly pleaded with Churchill for help but was repeatedly rebuffed].


Sen, A. (1981), “Poverty and Famines. An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation” (Clarendon Press, Oxford).


Sen, A. (1981), “Famine Mortality: A Study of the Bengal Famine of 1943” in Hobshawn, E. (1981) (editor), Peasants In History. Essays in Honour of David Thorner (Oxford University Press, New Delhi).


Paul Greenough (1982),“Prosperity and Misery in Modern Bengal: the Famine of 1943-1944” (Oxford University Press, 1982).


J. Dreze  and Amartya Sen (1989),“Hunger and Public Action” (Clarendon, Oxford, 1989).


Gideon Polya (1998), “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”(G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 1998).


Colin Mason (2000), “A Short History of Asia. Stone Age to 2000AD” (Macmillan, 2000).


Gideon Polya, "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds. A pharmacological reference guide to sites of action and biological effects" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003) [that repeatedly refers to Bengal Famines in the period 1769-1945 in a scientific context].


Gideon Polya (2007), “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007), that includes  a mortality-related history of every country from Neolithic times and is now available for free perusal  on the web  :   .


Gideon Polya (2008), “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2008 edition that is now available for free perusal on the web:  ).


Cormac O Grada (2009) “Famine a short history” (Princeton University Press, 2009).


Madhusree Muckerjee (2010), “Churchill's Secret War. The British Empire and the ravaging of India during World War II” (Basic Books, New York, 2010).


Thomas Keneally (2011), “Three Famines” (Vintage House, Australia, 2011).

Lizzie Collingham (2012), "The Taste of War. World War II and the Battle for Food" (The Penguin Press, New York, 2012).

Horst H. Geerken, "Hitler's Asian Adventure", Books on Demand, 2015 ["28. The Bengali Holocaust", pages 335-336].

Shashi Tharoor, “Inglorious Empire. What the British did to India”, Scribe, 2017.

Bengali Holocaust in art, novel and film.

Zainul Abedin Famine drawings (1943): .


Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, “Ashani Sanket” (“Distant Thunder” ), novel about the WW2 Bengal Famine (see “Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay”, Wikipedia: ).


Rosa Maria Falvo (editor), Abul Monsur,  Nazrul Islam and Abul Hasnat (2013),  “Great Masters of Bangladesh: Zainul Abedin”, Skira, 2013. (Amazon: ),


Zainul Abedin (1914 – 28 May, 1976) was a Bangladeshi artist famous for his Famine Series paintings and drawings  created in 1943 during the Bengal  Famine (see Zainul Abedin, Wikipedia: ).


Satyajit Ray (director) (1973),  “Ashani Sanket” (“Distant Thunder” in English),  1973 film about the WW2 Bengal Famine (see “Distant Thunder (1973 film), Wikipedia: ).



Articles by Dr Gideon Polya about the WW2 Bengal Famine (Bengali Holocaust).


Gideon Polya (1995) " The Forgotten Holocaust - The 1943/44 Bengal Famine": (an edited version of this account has been published :


Polya, G.M.(1995) The famine of history: Bengal 1943. International Network on Holocaust and Genocide vol.10, 10-15 [an edited version of “The Forgotten Holocaust”]).


G.M. Polya (1998) Holocaust denial in an open society and the crisis in biological sustainability. Australian Humanist, Spring 1998, 6-7.


Gideon Polya, "Bengali Famine”, Ockham’s Razor, ABC Radio National, 21 February 1999:  [transcript of ABC radio broadcast].


G.M. Polya (1999) Bengali famine. Austenizing history, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability. Tirra Lirra, 9 (3), 37-41.


G.M. Polya (2001). Dr Gideon Maxwell Polya, Australia. In Jane Austen Antipodean Views (eds, S. Fullerton and A. Harbers), pp81-85.


G.M. Polya (2001). Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility and truth in an open society. Observations, 1 (4), 75-83.

Gideon Polya (2004), “Global excess mortality, Bengal and the Muslim Holocaust”, Muslim & Arab Perspectives, vol. 11, 113-128.

Dr Gideon Polya (La Trobe University) , Dr Sanjoy Bhattacharya (Welcome Institute,  London) , Professor Christopher Bayly (Cambridge University) and Professor Amartya Sen (1998 Nobel Laureate in Economics, Harvard and formerly Cambridge)  et al. on the BBC Broadcast with presenter Michael Portillo in “Bengal Famine”, Transcript, Open Learn, 14 January 2008: ; also see  Gideon Polya et al., Untold history – things we forgot to remember, The Bengal Famine, Transcript. This edition of The Things We Forgot To Remember was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 7th January 2008, Information Clearing House: .

Gideon Polya (2008), “Media lying over Churchill’s crimes. British-Indian Holocaust”, MWC News: .

Gideon Polya (2009), “UK BBC Holocaust Denial”,  Countercurrents, 24 May, 2009: .


Gideon Polya (2009), “Churchill’s Bengali Holocaust. Inadvertent confessions of Britain's #1 war criminal”, MWC News, 17 June 2009: .


Gideon Polya (2009), "Churchill’s Crimes From Indian Holocaust To Palestinian Genocide", Countercurrents, 23 January 2009: .

Polya, Gideon (2010). Indian Holocaust, Bengali Holocaust, Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust, US Empire Genocide, Climate Holocaust & Muslim Holocaust, “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”, 2010: .


Gideon Polya (2011), “Australia And Britain Killed 6-7 Million Indians In WW2 Bengal Famine”,  Countercurrents, 29 September, 2011:  .


Gideon Polya (2011), “ Bengal Famine. How Australia & UK killed 6-7 million Indians in WW2”, MWC News, 27 September 2011: .


Gideon Polya (2011), "WW2 Bengali Holocaust: “Churchill's Secret War” By Madhusree Mukerjee", Countercurrents, 13 June, 2011:  .


Gideon Polya (2011), “Pro-Zionist Australian holocaust denial. Holocaust ignoring worse than holocaust denial”, MWC News, 9 June 2011: .


Gideon Polya (2013), “Review: “The Cambridge History Of Australia” Ignores  Australian Involvement In 30 Genocides”,  Countercurrents, 14 October, 2013: .


Gideon Polya (2015), “UK Zionist Historian Sir Martin Gilbert (1936-2015) Variously Ignored Or Minimized WW2 Bengali Holocaust”, Countercurrents, 19 February, 2015: .

Gideon Polya (2018), “Ongoing global avoidable mortality holocaust and horrendous human carnage from war and hegemony”, Radians & Inches: The Journal of Crime, 26 September 2018, Volume 1, Issue 3, pages 26-32: .