Emilie Schenkl – The Wife of Subhas Chandra Bose

Emilie Schenkl was the wife of Subhas Chandra Bose, a leader of the Indian freedom movement. Bose hired her to write a book about him. Later, the couple married and had a daughter, Anita. However, Bose died suddenly in 1941 and left his wife and daughter without support. It is unclear why he didn’t marry another woman.


After the war, Bose and Schenkl got married and had a daughter. The couple spent three years together. World War II separated them, but Schenkl was a devout Hindu and believed in spiritualism. Their goal was to serve the nation, and she sent thirty pounds of food to Bombay each month. After Netaji died in 1945, the Czech lady wrote a letter to her family. The letter was intercepted by the West Bengal intelligence bureau and contained a description of her daughter, Nima. She mentions the shock and sadness of the news of Netaji’s death.

Emilie Schenkl


Emilie Schenkl met Subhash Chandra Bose in Austria in 1934. The two had met at a mutual friend’s party. The two were working on a book called “The Indian Struggle.” The two met, fell in love, and married in a secret Hindu ceremony. After their wedding, they remained in Europe but returned to India shortly afterward.
The couple had a daughter, Nima, in 1937. They had a secret Hindu ceremony before their marriage. The union occurred in 1936. In 1942, Bose returned to India. After his husband died in the plane crash, they stayed in Berlin, forming the Provisional Government of Free India. He also restructured the Indian National Army and aimed to win independence from the Japanese.


Emilie Schenkl was born in Vienna in 1910. She was raised in a Catholic family. Her father wanted her to become a nun, but she decided to pursue a career in journalism. She married Subhash Chandra Bose in 1937. She gave birth to a daughter, Anita Bose Pfaff. Both of them never traveled to India.


After the war, Subhash Bose married a Czech woman. They had a daughter and a son, and they both wrote letters to their families after their husbands died. Their letters were intercepted by British intelligence. In the following years, Emilie Schenkl emigrated to India. After their marriage, she had a child, but they never traveled to India.
In the post-war years, Emily Schenkl worked at the Trunk Office. She and Bose’s daughter Anita Pfaff lived in a separate home with their fathers. In 1938, she met the future president of the Indian National Congress. In France, the two were married and stayed in Paris for less than three years. During their exile, she had a difficult time leaving her mother behind.