(JTA) — Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi left his wife for a German-Jewish architect and weight lifter, a new biography says.
The new book, "Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India," by former New York Times executive editor Joseph Lelyveld, reports that Gandhi was in love with Hermann Kallenbach, for whom he left his wife in 1908.
Kallenbach was born in Germany but moved to South Africa, where he became a busy architect. He reportedly lived with Gandhi for two years in a house he built in South Africa, according to the Daily Mail. The men remained in touch by letters after Gandhi returned to India in 1914, and Kallenbach was denied entry.
The book says that Gandhi wrote to Kallenbach: "How completely you have taken possession of my body. This is slavery with a vengeance."
The book also alleges that Gandhi tested himself by getting into bed with young women, including his great niece, to see if it would affect him.