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Apartheid, Afrikaner
Nationalism and the Radical
Right: Historical Revisionism
in Hermann Giliomee's The
Alma College ,
Published online: 14 Jan 2009.

To cite this article: PATRICK FURLONG (2003) Apartheid, Afrikaner Nationalism
and the Radical Right: Historical Revisionism in Hermann Giliomee's
The Afrikaners , South African Historical Journal, 49:1, 207-222, DOI:

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2001 <http://www. speech to Afrikanerbond. ‘Die Rol van Kultuur in die Staat van die 2lste eeu’. Van Wyk Louw called ‘survival in justice’ (pp. South African Historical Journal 49 ( Potchefstroom.P. xviii-ix. FAK/D. appears to have embraced Afrikaner nationalism of a sort.fak. Hede en Toekoms’.F.html>. It may seem surprising that the author. daunting in length and sweeping in scope. Cape Town and Charlottesville: Tafelberg and University of Virginia Press. thereby pointing to the controversial perspective on Afrikaner nationalism and apartheid that underpins this book.htm>.2003). Malherbe Lecture. 2002 <http://www.and the Federasie van Afiikaanse Kultuuwereniginge (FAK). ISBN 0 624 03884 he argues that in the transition from apartheid to democracy. 9 Apr. Bloemfontein. University of the Orange Free State.en Kulturele Uitdagings van die Histories Afrikaanse Universiteite in Suid-Afrika’. a concept that is difficult to reconcile with the experience of apartheid. in which explanation at times becomes defence. The Afrikaners is an impressive book. suggests that too often these overlook the Afrikaner’s legitimate struggle for what N. 663). and has been invited to address the Afrikanerbond . Yet recently as a leader of the ‘Group of 63’ he has become an outspoken champion of the Afrikaans language and culture. 207-222 Apartheid. By HERMANN GILIOMEE. Pretoria. yet tellingly quotes Irish historian Roy Foster: ‘apology is easier than explaining’ (p.W. Professor Giliomee claims ‘empathy but without partisanship’ @. See H. xvii). and ‘Die Soeke na ’n Sinvolle Siening van die Afrikaanse Verlede. 2003. FAK Seminar on Historical Consciousness. 2002 <http://www.groep63 . striving to correct the unfairness and distortion of many previous Garsfontein.the non-racial successor to the Afrikaner Broederbond (AB) . Afrikaner Nationalism and the Radical Right: Historical Revisionism in Hermann Giliomee’s The Afrikaners PATRICK FURLONG Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 Alma College The Afrikaners: Biography of a’ Disillusioned with many aspects of the ‘new’ South Africa (including high crime. The 24 Sep. a noted critic of apartheid. xxii + 698 pp. de Klerk ‘lacked the 1.htm>. 207 . the declining status of Afrikaans and reduced job prospects for whites). Giliomee. ‘Die Taal. F. fak. xiii). 14 Nov. formerly the chief AB cultural ‘front organisation’.

as unrealistic. Citino’s Germany and the Union ofSouth Africa in the Nazi Period (New York. 208 PATRICK FURLONG ruthlessness that characterizes most great leaders in turbulent times’. Apartheid was. and I. Ossewubrundwag (OB) boss J. 1990).J. he insists. not ‘uniquely abhorrent’ and had much in common with Western colonialism and American segregation. 1981). Christian-Nationalism andthe Rise of the Afrikaner Broederbond (London. Sparks. 1991) or A. van Rensburg. 199 I). 418-21. The apartheid government ‘presided over dynamic growth’ Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 and ‘the development of a sophisticated infrastructure and a steady increase in the life expectancy of all population groups’ (pp. or Transvaal neo-Calvinism. or extremism. Furlong. . 1990). He views anti-Semitism. Even in the early chapters Giliomee expresses concern about the way in which English-speaking whites portray South Africa to foreign visitors (p. xvi). xiv). He singles out for criticism (pp. the European radical Right. xenophobia. De Klerk ‘needed to use his security forces’ to prove that the regime ‘was no pushover’ and to hold out for a ‘balanced system’ that would have protected majority and minority rights (pp. such as a non-racial qualified common roll vote. and who considered them backward. lacking in industry and cruel and unjust in their dealings with the indigenous people’ (p. and Breyten Breytenbach. but marginal to the Cape faction. Hexham. or the frankly racist apartheid theorist Geoff Cronjt. 666). Frederick van Zyl Slabbert.B. Between Crown and Swastika: The Impact of the Radical Right on the Afrikaner Nationalist Movement in the Fascist Era (Johannesburg. especially in the Cape ‘southern’ wing (p. pragmatists such as the anthropologist Werner Eiselen and the churchman G. biological racism (as opposed to policies based on historical or cultural group differences). and ethnic exclusivism as occasional afflictions of the more overtly white supremacist northerners (he stresses the ‘northern’ base of the AB). such as Andries Stockenstrom. 418). often by writers who ‘could not speak their language or pronounce their names. He highlights Afrikaners who challenge the stereotype of insularity. The heart of the book (and the main focus of this article) is his critique of ‘orthodox’ scholarship on the origins and nature of apartheid. Nazi-inspired anti-Semitism. Bloomberg. 649-50. According to Giliomee. which produced the ‘real’ shapers of NP policy. although he views liberal ‘English’ solutions to South Africa’s problems. Hagemann’s Siidafrika und das Dritte Reich: Rassenpolitische AfJnitat und machrpolitische Rivalitat (Frankfurt and New York.F. A.2 He argues instead for the essential moderation of this nationalism. 1989). P. 636-8). especially that stressing the influence on mainstream Afrikaner nationalism of the AB.A. He is critical of how Afrikaners were ‘represented’ after Britain’s conquest of the Cape. The Mind of South Afiica (London. He stresses the jingoism and hypocrisy of many English-speakers (not a few of whom shared Afrikaner racial prejudices). Even in discussing mainstream Afrikaner nationalism. He surprisingly does not cite R. Gerdener are far more central to his story than hardliners such as the anti-Semite Eric Louw. Jan Hofmeyr. 2. The Irony of Apartheid: The Strugglefor Independence of Afrikaner Calvinism against British Imperialism (New York.443-4) C.

HISTORICAL REVISIONISM 209 He is right to correct excessive focus on the north at the expense of Stellenbosch intellectuals. Eloff. (While Vorster grew up in the Cape. were published by Nasionale Pers. They influenced not only the hyper-nationalist. which was so close to Malan that. J. and Geoff Cronje. Strijdom. and between Malan’s exit in 1954 and P. but considers such figures marginal to main- stream NP thought. the new intellectual currents and political trends in interwar Europe and the related crisis of liberal democracy surely also affected that milieu. Hertzog. were not in Nazi racial dogmas. later finance minister and state president) as a ‘Nazi’ and also that OB ideologue Meyer (later AB chairman and state broadcasting boss) published work ‘that represented thinking close to Nazi ideology’. Giliomee concedes (p.) Giliomee’s heavy reliance on archival sources in Stellenbosch may help to explain his Cape focus and his objections to linking the NP or apartheid to the radical Right. Erasmus. however.C. 424) that Albert Geyer regarded Diederichs (AB chairman 1938-44. Die Burger.including Malan’s papers and correspondence between Phil Weber and Albert Geyer. 1936). his OB background and close ties to Venvoerd kept him outside the orbit of ‘moderate’ Cape nationalism. however. equally problematic. Albert Geyer. or even the Eben Donges papers (including AB records) in the nearby Cape Archives. H. and new theories of social conflict in plural societies (pp. racial discrimination in the United States. attended NP parliamentary caucus Most ofGiliomee’s cited archival sources are held at StellenboschUniversity. See N. authoritarian and sometimes patently biological-racistwritings of northern intellectuals such as Piet Meyer. Meyer. the Archive for Contemporary History in Bloemfontein.F. Gerrie Eloff. Die Afrikaner [Bloemfontein. imperialist theorising on indirect rule and trusteeship.M. successive editors ofthe Cape NP newspaper Die Burger. Diederichs. Nasionalisme as Lewensbeskouing en sy Verhoudingrot Inlemasionalisme [Bloemfontein. Several of these ultra-nationalists’ key works.J. and F. P. and G. xvii-xviii). the previous NP leader (1914-34). 1945). which included Paul Sauer. Overstating the ‘moderate’ south’s role is. and B. CronjB. Transvaal NP bosses J.W.the Cape Dutch Reformed Church (DRC). Nasionale Pers published the fust three. Verwoerd. ’n Tuiste vir die Nageslag: Die BIywende Oplossing van Suid-Afrika se Rassevraagstukke (Johannesburg. Vorster led the party. the editor of its chief newspaper. Nico Diederichs. 1940). .G. G.B. While these elements assuredly fed into the historical and intellectualmilieu that produced apartheid. There is no material from the major collections of Afrikaner nationalists or organisations held in the State Archives in Pretoria. according to Giliomee. the OB Archives at Potchefstroom University. and the inner circle of Cape NP leader Daniel Malan (first apartheid-era prime minister). Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 Botha (1978-89). was a Free Stater. but elsewhere: South African school segregation. DRC theology and the goal of self- governing indigenous churches. Rasse en Rassevermenging: Die Boerevolk Gesien van die Standpunt van die Rasseleer (Bloemfontein. 1942). he argues.3Apartheid’s roots.

whom Giliomee cites as being an influential champion of Afrikaans language and culture and yet until 1924. H. based on Venvoerd’s lecture notes and memoranda from his teaching days at Stellenbosch. One would not know from The Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 Afrikaners that by the 1938 Great Trek centenary. Giliomee. 379. that he used the Hitlerian categories of Germanic races with ‘creative’ intelligence (versus the ‘imitative’ intelligence of other races). 268-9. In 1936 he was among the Afrikaner intellectuals who led protests against the presence in Cape Town harbour of a ship carrying Jewish refugees from Germany and was ‘a featured speaker’ at the congress of the ultra-nationalist Afrikaanse Nasionale Studente- bond (ANS) founded by Piet Meyer in 1933. apartheid developed within the mainstream of pre-Second World War racism and social engineering enthusiasms in the West. that he was unaffected by Nazi racial ideology during the year he spent studying at German universities in the late 192Os. ‘Far from being a product of Nazi-style deviance. 1995). 2 9 .Smith. for instance. and claimed that whites had much larger brains than blacks6 Giliomee suggests. In October 1935 in three articles on white poverty for English-language newspapers he praised Nazi Germany for encouraging pride in manual work and argued that Africans should be cared for in the mines and reserves rather than the cities. Dubow. 66-7 and S. The Changing Past: Trends in South African Historical Writing (Athens. with avowed Hitler admirer and 5. who stresses that the young Venvoerd denied biological or intellectual differences between whites and Africans and that he had ‘commended the Jews for their contributions to world culture’. ‘The Making o f the Apartheid Plan’. Preller was drawing parallels between the Trek and German tribal migrations.^ The lines between the various strands of Afrikaner nationalism were often blurred. Roberta Miller. Ohio. Illicit Union: Scientific Racism in Modern South Africa (Cambridge and New York. 379. American sociology had supposedly made a lasting impact on him @. a Smuts supporter (pp. 397). This article provides a useful summary ofkey arguments in The Afrikaners. argues that he changed dramatically in the mid 1930s. 1929-1948’. 350). Giliomee’s chief source for Venvoerd’s American ties. 210 PATRICK FURLONG meeting^. 2 (June 2003). In a recent article Giliomee adds that in the USA Venvoerd ‘was captivated by the new “scientific” approach to curing social ills’. By contrast. 6. Journal of Southern African Studies. ” Even if one were to accept this claim. 364-5. after a few months in the United States. 1988). Giliomee. Dubow argues that Preller ‘played a vital role in elevating the Voortrek- kers to pride of place in Afrikaner mythology’. . despite the fact that Nazism found an early audience among students and professors there. ‘The Making of the Apartheid Plan. was also a pioneer Afrikaner nationalist historian. See K. Gustav Preller. 7.

Journal of Southern African Studies. He raises many of the same points of criticism. reminiscent. Simson.” for while earlier scholars sometimes described apartheid as ‘Nazi’ or ‘Fascist. G . ‘Science and Society in the Early Career of H. Hertzog saw the USA not as a source of inspiration. 4 (Dec. 443). German Nazism). He quotes it as arguing that ‘Malan’s NP.B. 1969) and the chapter ‘The Impact of Nazism’ in W. but nevertheless drawing on sociology or cultural anthropology to justify white Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 supremacism and segregation. 1 1. South African Historical Journal. This produced a more all-embracing. Between Crown andSwastika. were a “hybrid variant” of “authoritarian and populist ingredients. and German NationalSocialism (New York andoxford. and sometimes it was the German scholars who looked to the West for ideas. in particular. pushed Afrikaner nationalism into accommodating aspects of radical Right ideology. 376-9.”’ Between Crown andSwastika rejects the simplistic equation of the NP with Fascism (let alone its most radical variant. but as a warning of the consequences of integration(pp. authoritarian. albeit in greater detail.1934 NP. Verwoerd’. Mzimela. Giliomee sets up a straw man here. Miller. Schellack. mixing (inaccurate) quotes from different parts of the book and giving a misleading impression of its logic. 10. 12. 1992). some not explicitly biological. ‘The Afrikaners’ Nazi Links Revisited’. WarAgainst the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race (New York and London. American Racism. There was extensive interaction between scholars favouring such views in the United States and Nazi Germany. 19. Apartheid: South African Nazism (New York. 1993).M. 27 (Nov. Shimoni. Werner Schellack argues that this study ‘is an attempt to break away from the earlier mechanical interpretations of relations between Nazi Germany and South Africa’: see W.F. for instance. Jews and Zionism: The South African Experience (Cape Town. Kiihl. 1983). HISTORICAL REVISIONISM 211 future OB chief Hans van Rensburg as president. 1980) and S. Bunting. 58-75. B. The Nazi Connection: Eugenics. 1980). esp. the OB and NO [New Order] formed an “interconnect- ing web” and that the nationalists in the Transvaal. 9. See. although never an 8. 78-81.’*The basic thesis is that the complex and sometimes indirect influences of the radical Right combined. 1965). R. Black. White Laager: The Rise of Afrikaner Nationalism (New York and London. Useful relevant studies include S.’ Another problem with emphasising American influences on the NP or apartheid is that the inter-war United States. 660. and which sponsored student tours of the Third Reich.B. also H. .’ On the other hand. Private American funding of German pseudo-science continued even after Hitler came to power. England. Giliomee himself notes that J. 30 1 - 2)! Giliomee overlooks such complexities in charging that in my ‘recent study’ Between Crown and Swastika (published in 1991) the ‘attempt to depict the nationalist leaders as proto-Fascists’ shows ‘a poor understanding ofboth the Nazi and the Afrikaner nationalist movement’ (p. and racist model than had characterised the pre. was rife with eugenic and pseudo-scientific racism. 2003). 1994) and E. in ‘The Making of the Apartheid Plan’. Vatcher. His singling out ofthis book for criticism is odd. Furlong. 117-8. The Rise of the South African Reich (Harmondsworth. like much of Europe. 177. The Social Origins of Afrikaner Fascism and its Apartheid Policy (Uppsala.

1933-1948’(DPhil thesis. before organisational jealousies led to a rift. the first part of Giliomee’s sentence cites my discussion of the later war years and the period immediately thereafter. Strijdom as ‘an adherent of volk democracy. 1994). see F. ‘Radical populism’ and ‘authoritarianism’ were certainly ingredients in most Rightwing nationalist movements of the late 1930s. 216-8. and examining their (incontrovertible) extensive overlapping membership and leadership. ’ . including Cape figures such as Paul 13. C . 1939-1941’. Between Crown and Swastika.” In the opening stages of the war. . 1972). Ibid. as he suggests. are not even part of a discussion of the NP as ‘proto-Fascists’. University of the Orange Free State. the party Executive adopted a quasi-Fascist. of European fascism’” (p. and railway and factory workers at party meetings. Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 clearly differentiating between the Transvaal and Cape traditions. corporatist-style plan for representa- tion of women.on the Jewish ban.378. it is hardly exceptional to detect both elements in the Transvaal NP of those years.102-3. after which the OB moved in a more explicitly Fascist direction. whereas the second half refers to my analysis of ‘Transvaler Purified Nationalism’ alone (not ‘in particular’) almost a decade earlier. ‘Nasionaal-Sosialisrne as Faktor in die Suid- Afrikaanse Politiek. The Congress also gave the Executive the right to expel members without giving reasons and to dissolve and reconstitute any level of party management. Furlong. 20.224-6) listed in his footnote nor indeed elsewhere in Between Crown and Swastika. nowhere near the dimensions of full-blown European fascism . without any right of appeal. apparently summarising its argument. 16. The quotation at the end of the sentence does not appear on the pages (pp. They appear in the context of analysing AB efforts to mediate between the OB and NP. The ‘hybrid variant’ reference follows a description of Transvaal NP leader J.I6 many prominent Nationalists belonged to the OB. The original passage continues by stating that this ‘hybrid’ combined ‘a militant radical populism with signs of a creeping authoritarianism. 15. 102. 224. . 212 PATRICK FURLONG exact facsimile.Z (Nov. ’ ~ The words from Between Crown and Swastika in the first half of Giliomee’s above-cited sentence. miners. The ‘interconnecting web’ reference actually refers to the AB and not the NO. Between Crown andswastika. Furlong. 443). I 3 which is far more cautious wording than Giliomee’s ‘quotation’.‘TheOssewabrandwagas aMassMovement. 14.Journa/ofSouthernAfrican Studies.G. 102.. but far less constrained than the southerners’. This followed the Executive’s decision to give the much smaller Management Committee power to appoint or dismiss fellow members or members of the Executive or the party’s key Organising C ~ m m i t t e e . In 1937 the Transvaal NP Congress voted to nationalise the mines and to bar Jewish members from its ranks. Marx. van Heerden. .

Le Roux. Phoenix: Fascism in Our Time (New Brunswick. Die Nasionale Party: Dee14 . 20. 304..’’ In March 1941 Malan defended his right-wing credentials by stating that 80 percent of NO leader Oswald Pirow’s Nuwe Orde (the NO basic programme) was already part of the NP programme. Z. This assumes an unduly narrow definition of fascism. There are other problems with Giliomee’s analysis of the NP-radical Right relationship. 1964). and R. ‘all elected on a United Party ticket’ (p. Du Toit) had been a leading Purified Nationalist. and leading Free State Nationalist C. Neither Right Nor Left: Fascist Ideology in France (Princeton. This was understandable.M. for instance.W. and all remained inside Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 the NP (led by Malan since Hertzog’s departure in late 1940) until January 1942.. P. See.Die ’Gesuiwerde’Nasionale Parry 1934-1940 (Bloemfontein. A.**or the extremely varied expressions of radical Right movements. Die Nasionale Party: Deel 5 . 25 Mar.W. as the AB Executive included leading Nationalists (Verwoerd. 442). excessive nationalism and an operational ideology prescribing action’. and J. du Plessis. 1998). up to a point. and H. Griffin. In fact. 12. Die Nasionale Party: Deel 4. for the Italian model or Nazism. the AB strove behind the scenes to patch up their differences. According to him. ed.the last two from the ‘moderate’ Cape NP . 1986). 17. 1999). P. 1994). Eben Donges. I94 1 . eds. 18. one (C. Swart.*’ Even after the bitter 1941 break between the NP and OB (as well as the NO). Even Italian Fascist intellectuals disagreed on defending violence and dictatorship and on dismissing theoretical reflection in favour of action. when NP rejection of ‘national socialism’ for South Africa led to their exit from the party. Ibid. In 1924 17. Coetzer and J. E.78. Coetzer and Le Roux.H. it is therefore ‘far-fetched to describe the NP as Fascist or proto-Fascist in this. ‘The Ossewabrandwag as a Mass Movement’. Die Nasionale Party: Deel 5 . P. InternationalFascism: Theories. Die Burger. ed.Van Oorlog tot Oonvinning 1940-1948 (Bloemfontein. 9-10. which works.W.R.J. a belief in the redemptive power of violence. eds. let alone the radical Right.*’ while many leading OB members or sympathisers were prominent in the AB and its front organisations. 443-4).as well as the pre-war NP co-Deputy Leader in the Transvaal. ‘Fascist and other radical right-wing movements were driven by a singular commitment and blind obedience to a leader. 76.18 He states only that in 1942 the NO had 17 Members of Parliament. .H. 19. Mam.290-2. Weber. Coetzer. who became a leading OB theorist). Coetzer. 22. 80. ed.J. 215-16.B. Thom. Varieties of Fascism: Doctrines of Revolution in the Twentieth Century (Princeton. Botha. New Jersey andLondon. 21. but overlooks the controversy over defining fascism. L. Conradie .. Gregor. HISTORICAL REVISIONISM 213 Sauer. and would be carried out ‘in letter and in spirit’ once they were in power. 82.” Giliomee in any case overlooks the origins of the NO in 1940 as a pressure group inside the Reunited NP.W. New Jersey.sense’ (pp. Causes and the New Consensus (London and New York. Stemhell. New Jersey. 1986)..

.26 Conservatives have long borrowed from or been influenced by the radical Right while remaining distinct. . 78-80. See S. r . Fascist or broader movements of the radical or conservative Right. for instance. Giliomee approvingly quotes Lewis Gann’s comment that theNP resembled a pre-Second World War Eastern European peasant party: ‘anti. unlike in Fascist movements. Pats in Estonia. It favoured Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 universal suffrage (including extending the vote to women) and lowering the minimum voting age.. Fascism: Comparison and Understanding (Madison.Schnapp. ‘Platform of the Fasci di Combattimento (1 919)’. ‘Fascism as Intellectual Revolution ( 1 924)’. in J. however. 24. ed.. 444). Ulmanis in Latvia). told party members that ‘Fascism is a revolution of intellectuals’ and that it was a lie that their revolution ‘was the result only of muscular effort . also provided fertile soil for competing fascist movements (Hungarian Arrow Cross. 2 4 The 1919 platform of Mussolini’s Fasci di Combattimento. The latter borrowed from the far Right. Wisconsin. anti- urban. 76-8. 26. King Carol and Antonescu in Romania. Payne. ‘Fascism as Intellectual Revolution’. however. M. Bottai. ed. Fascists and Conservatives: The Radical Right and the Establishment in Twentieth-Century Europe (London.’. were 23. and Croatian Ustasha) and a host of lesser imitators and authoritarian or semi- authoritarian regimes (King Alexander in Yugoslavia. He denies that radical Right movements like the OB or Greyshirts ‘had anything but a fleeting impact on the Afrikaner nationalist movement or on apartheid as an ideology’ (p.. and overtly Fascist or radical Right groups. Latvian Thunder Cross. Blinkhorn. G. A Primer of Italian Fascism. xv). 214 PATRICK FURLONG Giuseppe Bottai. See. more pluralistic conservative ~oalition. members differed on many issues and even denounced NP leaders who rejected violence and ‘found distasteful the efforts to imitate the para-military style of the Fascist movements’. Horthy in Hungary. 2000). even as they feuded with outright Fascists as often as they cooperated with or sought to tame them by including them in a larger. but was ‘not a fundamen- tal or essential defining feature of our methods ofpolicies’. 1990).T. ed. 25. 3-5. 1980).25 Giliomee also overlooks the complex relationships between conservatives (authoritarian or democratic).. Nebraska and London.~’ Giliomee stresses that. ethnocentric and anti-Semite’ (p. 27.capitalist. A Primer ofItalian Fascism (Lincoln. leaders in the NP were elected and could be outvoted. The environment that produced such parties. Bottai. as the new constitution guaranteed ‘the balance between freedom and authority’ and fascism ‘defended not the freedom of a single class but the freedom of all Italians [emphasis in original] . from Ftanco’s co-option of the Falange to Chirac’s Gaullists adopting some anti-immigrant measures pushed by Le Pen’s National Front.23 He argued that dictatorship had been needed to re-establish authority after the post-war crisis. . . 107-28. did not mention dictatorship. Romanian Iron Guard. forerunner of the National Fascist Party. a prominent Fascist philosopher. Dollfuss in Austria. in Schnapp.

unlike the OB). 29.E. 1940. Lawrence.G. ‘Voorligting aan Ampsdraers’.G. 30. 31 Jan. 1941. 42. even affected the Cape NP. some Nationalists displayed a more authoritarian and even violent streak toward external foes. Strijdom urged that rural (mainly Afrikaner) districts be even more favourably represented in Parliament than under the prevailing system of ‘loaded’ rural votes?’ The 1940 Transvaal NP Congress resolved that once in power it would pass a law unseating MPs who had voted for war. see also M.1941 OB). and districts. Trollip. and F. J. each headed by a ‘leader’ (elected rather than appointed.C. Vol. le Roux claimed that only MPs from the NP had the right to vote on the war. HISTORICAL REVISIONISM 215 successful precisely to the extent that they reflected indigenous values and culture rather than simply imitating Fascist Italy or Nazi Germany. Erasmus. 422) issued a brochure advertising a 28. It also passed a reorganisation scheme developed not in the north but by Malan and his Cape lieutenants. whereby existing branches and committees were replaced with a hierarchical quasi-Fascist structure of cells. in April Transvaal NP leader J. p. E. who three Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 decades ago conceded only a few NP ‘superficial experiments with National Socialism’. 10.P. 19 Mar.” If some dissent within the NP was tolerated. with power to exercise all functions of any NP executive or congress. The Star. wards. 1947). Die Burger. 1978). Botha. Jan and Jacob Wilkens. cited in Furlong. House ofAssernbly Debates. the NP would outflank the OB with its own model of a ‘disciplined’ Afrikanerdom. 25 May and 6 June 1941. Cape Archives. In the 1930s Cape NP secretary Frans Erasmus (whom Giliomee cites as a ‘principal’ influence on Malan.’-’ The paramilitary style of fascism. Van Heerden. Handleiding van die Herenigde Nasionale Party (Cape Town. The limited pluralism and internal debate in the NP were perhaps what made it more lasting than more obviously imported forms of authoritarianism such as the OB (especially the more overtly Fascist post. 1940. Roberts and A. Albert Geyer Papers.R. 6 Dec. 197-8.3’In March 1941 NP MP for Harrismith.C. Vol. 3I . ‘Nasionaal-Sosialisme as Faktor’. Beiween Crown andswastika. 80-9. Forum.1942). 13-25. 4897. ‘Nazi Principle in Blatant Form: Exclusive Conception of Afrikaner Culture. col. warned in Parliament that those responsible for emergency measures would be ‘put up against a wall’. E. 385. Sentiment and Tradition’. Strauss. Thus. .28In fact the NP adopted a modified form of the Fascist ‘leadership principle’ (to accord with traditional notions of Volksdemokrasie supposedly derived from the Boer republics) when its June 1941 Union Congress unanimously elected Malan as Volksleier. 1. 20 Apr. Louw. Erasmus and E. 33. Louw. two NP MPs. 1940. M. Giliomee’s position parallels the view of Frederik van Heerden. In January 1940 Oudtshoorn Member of Parliament S. ca. including Sauer. Ballinger. 122-7. were convicted of public violence for leading a crowd that assaulted Interior Minister Harry Lawrence at a UP meeting in Klerksdorp. The South African Opposition 1939-1945: An Essay in Contemporary History (London. in F. diary. Harry Lawrence (Cape Town and London.-’’In the same year. 32. far from being ‘distasteful’.

even though the book includes none of these points. Moodie. . 41 7-8) (on this subject he cites disapprovingly the same pages of Between Crown and Swastika as in his previously discussed critique of that work. Instead. he argues. But ‘hostility was now primarily a product of exclusivist or “Volkish” ideas. 25-7. 1975). This was available at the Cape Town store. NP solutions did not involve expulsion or confiscating property. denying that it was worse in the late 1930s than before. F. Erasmus. but by 1937 he was blaming even Fusion on ‘Jewish organisation’. 36. and the Afrikaner Civil Religion (Berkeley and Los Angeles. 165-7. Fletcher and Cartwright. Erasmus advocated that members form a ‘guard of honour’ (erewag)for speakers at NP meetings. The Rise ofAfrikanerdorn: Power. Junior Nasionaliste: Oranjehemp-Drag (Cape Town. 144-6. Nationalists such as Verwoerd opportunistically but only temporarily embraced ‘traditional’ rural economic anti-Semitism.64-5. had become part of an acceptable political di~course’. Yet. Handleiding van die Herenigde Nasionale Party.). Moreover.d. or that Nazi influences played any role (pp. and included ‘black military leather buttons’. The Roots ofAntisemitism in SoufhAfrica (Charlottesville and London. while the Transvaal NP barred Jewish members. in Erasmus and Louw. for ‘Junior Nationalists’. communism.36 As Milton Shain argues. national socialism. Shain. T. and ‘British-Jewish dem~cracy’.C. by the late 1930s. 49-50. when academics like Verwoerd explained that it was only that they feared economic competition. that Malan had done a volte-face.D. Malan had eagerly sought Jewish votes in the 1920s and even in 1936 was ambivalent on anti-Semitism. n. on those pages) . NP attitudes to Jews had changed. they used an old local anti-Semitic argument. Apartheid. F. 1994). ‘Die Strydspanne van Ons Party’. 37. guards could wear an orange or Vierkleur scarf while a ‘Struggle Team Leader’ Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 (Strydspanleier)could wear an orange or Vierkleur armband. a black scarf and for men a shoulder belt. promote the ‘building up (opbouing) of a spiritually and physically healthy Afrikanerdom’ and form groups to study topics such as the differences between the Boer Republics. and ‘influenced by the rise of rightist politics in central and eastern Europe.~’ Giliomee also downplays NP anti-Semitism. Erasmus. nor indeed the subject of NP anti-Semitism. central to Afrikaner nationalism at this time’.~’ Even Van Heerden argues that by 1937 the NP struggle against ‘the Jew as economic power’ was now ‘a struggle against the Jew as race’ and that as Malan denied the impact 34. M. 35. but ‘unusual’ schemes such as Verwoerd’s idea of quotas: refusing further occupational licenses to Jews until their representation in each field had shrunk to their proportion of the white population (pp. Such teams were to maintain order at meetings. Between Crown andSwastika. Furlong.34After the 1941 NP reorganisation (and months after the final NP-OB split). the hairstyle of the woman whose uniform is illustrated in this brochure is clearly from the 1930s rather than the 1940s. 416-8). 216 PATRICK FURLONG quasi-military ‘Orange Shirt’ uniform. anti-Semitism remained prominent in the Afrikaner Right even after the economy improved in the mid 1930s.C.

whereas Louw’s measure included anybody ‘whose father and mother are or were wholly or partly Jews.R. Glo in U Volk: D. Hofmeyr Papers.^' Strijdom rehsed talks with the main Greyshirt organisation. de Flamingh was the NP candidate in Vrededorp. Furlong. 88-9. .. whether or not they profess the Jewish religion’. before withdrawing on the same grounds as Strijdom. most Germans. J. such as Strijdom. Strijdom’s Transvaal NP did not admit Jewish members until 1951.^^ It does not really matter whether anti-Semitism had earlier roots in South Africa (that was true even in Germany) or that much of NP anti-Semitism was opportunistic (many adherents of Nazism and other anti-Semitic movements were not initially committed anti-Semites).. rejected anti-Semitic poIicies after 1945. In April 1945 as Allied forces entered the Nazi camps. 41 8). Strijdorn. At the 1938 Union N p Congress Malan asserted that behind the ‘gelykstellingsidee’was the ‘huge and steadily growing might . 43.39 Nor was NP anti-Semitism an exclusively northern phenomenon. 40. 41. but even then some Nationalists. but the ‘moderate’ Cape NP negotiated with the Greyshirts for several months about an election pact.Greyshirt opposition to multipartyism:’ Malan himselfused the kind of phrasing that Giliomee argues was confined to Eric Louw ‘among future NP leaders’ about ‘a world Jewry exerting a malignant political influence. I. ‘Nasionaal-Sosialisme as Faktor in die Suid- Afrikaanse Politiek’. like most Afrikaners. the Commission on Current Affairs of the Federal 38. Dh File 2. of organized Jewry’. and Von Moltke addressed NP gathering^. defining a Jew even more broadly than the Nazi Nuremberg Laws (which targeted only those with at least one grandparent of the Jewish faith). 42. The Transvaal NP signed pacts before the 1938 election with the smaller ‘shirt movements’ such as the Blackshirts or Strauss von Moltke’s ‘South African Fascists’. the language of Hitler’ (p. Van Heerden.43 Nor was the DRC always a moderating influence.42In 1939 the NP backed Louw’s Aliens Amendment Bill to block even British-born Jewish immigrants. Van Heerden. Swart and Louw had difficulty with this. Basson.G. Basson. Mulun us Redenuur (Cape Town. Bloemfontein. Cullen Library. 378. ed. 1964). 1938.122)’. HISTORICAL REVISIONISM 217 of Hitler’s or the Greyshirt’s activities.G. Blackshirt leader J. 112. J. C. Pienaar. This Bill displayed unvarnished racial anti-Semitism.L. 165-66. Slrijdom: Sy Politieke Loopbuun vun 1929 to# 1948 (Pretoria. ‘Nasionaal-Sosialisme as Faktor in die Suid Afrikaanse Politiek’. The Nationalists. J.F. J. 236.H. 39.W. University of the Witwatersrand. Between Crown undSwustiku.A. took advantage of a climate in which the voters they sought were open to such a message. ‘Die Groot Beslissing’. this ‘coincided with sharpened campaigns against the Jews by Hitler and the grey shirt^'. in S. 8 Nov. 1980). like anti-Semitic parties Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 elsewhere.. ‘everywhere gathering to himself far more than what is his right by virtue of his strength in numbers’. 1939: An Analysis’ and ‘Press Report (No. speech at NP Union Congress. Malan’s post-1945 shift in stance is also irrelevant here. ‘Louw’s Aliens’ (Amendment) and Immigration Act. 164-5.

Religion and AfrikanerEthnicity’. It did. Dubow. limited notions of segregation. ‘enforcing a totalitarian principle of societal regulation’ that helps explain the NP stress on law and order. however. 420-1).“ On the colour bar.45Johann Kinghorn argues that the DRC use of the Babel story from the 1930s to 1986 to justify apartheid ‘served to elevate the policies of separation beyond the grasp of moral debate’. Handelinge. and acknowledges that his premiership marked the heyday of the AB. This is problematic. neo-Calvinist element was already moving the DRC toward a ‘more systematic concept of apartheid’ and convergence with the AB and the AB.JournalofSouthernAfn’can Studies.3 (Sep. preferring to rely chiefly on an unpublished 1998 history by E. It mockingly referred to the fact that although Hitler had conquered many countries. argued in 1938 that ‘feelings of racial superiority could not simply be understood as the psychological response of a dominant group’. Dubow. 46. 45. 1994). ‘Social Cosmology. 50.P. 8. Stals. a Broeder who was given unrestricted access to the AB archives. Kinghorn. especially in developing apartheid policy. 250-4. colour difference reflected ‘a deep. But by that time the rise of a more fundamentalist. . 258.~’ Giliomee is more in the historiographic mainstream in discussing the apogee of the apartheid regime. a case could perhaps be made that it was guided by pragmatic.L. ‘culminating in the sometimes fanatical drive’ in the 1980s ‘to “cleanse” South African society of alternative voices’. 47. portrays him as bullying Afrikaner dissenters.linked Bond vir Rassestudie interest in race p01icy. notably in the Cape. Raad van die NG Kerke. Koot Vorster. ‘he according to the Jewish testimony only tried to exterminate the Jews!’ The council did not adopt the report. as does Giliomee.45. to argue for the roots of apartheid in a relatively liberal missionary theology distinct from AB-coordinated efforts. particularly the Verwoerd era. Illicit Union. Illicit Union. He dismisses most published studies of the AB. Before the DRC’s adoption of a new ‘Missionary Policy’ in 1935. Supplement. he downplays the AB influence in earlier years. 1945. 20. Why did the AB permit this ‘insider’ scholar such access? Is it fair to use such a ‘private’ source? Would not an insider writing after the transformation of the AB into the more palatable 44. J. 218 PATRICK FURLONG Council of Dutch Reformed Churches (including the Cape) presented a report on ‘anti-Semitism’ in which it was argued that Jews were ‘themselves responsible for the closed doors’ of other lands. and denies that it controlled the NP even in the Verwoerd era (pp. 398-400.46 Earlier DRC segregationist practices cannot be used. However. He views Verwoerd as a negative force. 264. vote to remove the word ‘toleration’ (verdraagsaamheid) from a Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 resolution urging that ‘charity. justice and truth’ be extended to ‘Semitic racial groups’. an editor of the influential neo-Calvinist journal Koers and later Cape DRC moderator. radical physical and psychological difference’ willed by God.

Making Race: The Politics and Economics of Colored Identity in South Africa (London and New York.5’Giliomee also rejects the ‘myth of a mild racial order prior to the late 1940s’ (which he wrongly ascribes to foes of apartheid in the 198Os.’’ One of Giliomee’s most problematic assertions is that the NP victory in 1948 was not the outcome of the formulation of apartheid. This is a stance close to that of Newel1 Stultz. coordinat- ing and mobilising Afrikaner society. Op die Vooraand van Apartheid: Die Rassevraagstuk en die Blanke Politiek in Suid- Afrika. 1983). 59-1 16. 1981). 46. Lacey. 1987). 152. often weak and divided organisation that emerges via Stals in The Afrikaners? While the NP. I. by which time there was considerable work on its pre-1948 precursors). 51. if delayed. 79-80. See D.~’ Even Dan O’Meara. and a labour shortage on farms were 48. or G. the threat of massive immigration. Workingfor Boroko: The Origins of a Coercive Labour Sysytem in South Africa (Johannesburg. insisted that the AB stay out of ‘party politics’. Capital andldeology in the Development ofAfrikaner Nationalism 1934-1948 (Johannesburg. one cannot underestimate the AB’s role behind the scenes. The key 1944 Volkskongres on Race Policy was held under auspices of an AB front. 1994). a government unsympathetic to Afrikaans culture. who claims that the 1948 shift in votes was a ‘probable. Ohio.48. 1996). but earlier. agrees that through its ‘genuine hegemony’ over Afrikaner civil society and civil religion. O’Meara.48Nearly all leading Afrikaner intellectuals who studied the race question in the 1930s and 1940s were Broeders. who denies that the AB ‘ran’ South Africa. be inclined to present the AB as the fairly innocuous. not only in the north. See N. 1974). the FAK. Goldin. 446). even under Venvoerd. 1934-1948 (Berkeley and Los Angeles. 50. Volkskapitalisme:Class. 49. consequence’ of the UP split in 1939. 1939-1948 (Pretoria. (designated by the post. the treatment of ex-servicemen. There was striking agreement between the report of this congress and the more ‘southem’-based NP Sauer Report that formed the basis of the 1948 NP platf~rm. D. it was ‘one of the essential institutions through which political power was constructed and wielded in the South African state after 1948’. Between the Wire and the Wall: A History of South African ‘Coloured’Politics (Cape Town. and Malan’s Cape NP was less susceptible to AB pressure than the Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 northerners. resulting from Afrikaner outrage at being taken into the Second World War on a split vote and from the disruption caused by the war effort (p. 52. Brits. workers’ inability to compete forjobs. 660).” He argues that war fatigue and restrictions. for instance. . See. It was arranged by a commission convened by Broeder CronjC and consisted chiefly of members of the AB Executive (including Diederichs) and the Bond vir Rassestudie. 1948- 1994 (Athens. M. See J. Forty Lost Years: The Apartheidstate and the Politics of the National Party. Stultz.1994 government as its ‘preferred’ Afrikaner organisation) (p. rising living costs. in projects such as the Afrikaner economic movement. HISTORICAL REVISIONISM 219 Afrikanerbond. 1987). 0’Meara. Indeed he argues that the real turning point was not 1948. Lewis. Afrikaner Politics in South Africa.

A.287. in all area^'.53It also took some years for that landscape to become clear. Vol. Donges Papers. in which it was argued that children of mixed unions were mentally and socially weaker (p.~’ 53. pushing equality that would end in ‘bastardisation’ (verb~srering). Black. But the ‘Colour Question’ (Kleurvraagstuk)gets a whole page. Giliomee. 1-2. 100. This petition included a memorandum by British-born biologist H. as having a far more lasting influence than the hardliner^. separation (skeiding)between what is white and non-white. and Malan would have drawn so many votes that he would have won the 1943 election rather than only that of 1948. White survival could be secured only by applying the NP’s ‘policy of apartheid.'^ The language is not that of anthropological and theological euphemism. after an introduction entitled ‘What the election is about’. for NP election workers in his Beaufort West (Cape) constituency. 4 . 480-1). Eloff and Fantham had a common source too: German eugenicist Eugen Fischer.~~ Giliomee stresses the lack of biological racism in ‘main-stream’ apartheid thinking. and 316-17. 461). Afrikaners would have formed a solid bloc around Hertzog and Malan rather than feuding. Fantham (who influenced Eloff and thus Cronje). relatively liberal Cape DRC theologian G. Cape Archives. who later became head of the Nazi Institute for Racial H~giene. ‘Kiesaf- deling Beaufort-Wes: Aan Alle Ampsdraers en Werkers van die Nasionale Party . He notes that in 1942 Gerdener (the lone theologian on the 1947 NP Sauer Commission) became chairman of the DRC Federal Mission Council. but while the role of the war in reconfiguring the political landscape cannot be underestimated. beginning: ‘The main matter about which this election is concerned. 55. 279-80. Were the war vote so critical in 1939. ‘Wenke vir Huisbesoek’. 54. 375. typescript memorandum. Vol. 113-33.^^ Such distinctions are difficult to sustain.e. Donges Papers. 220 PATRICK FURLONG all more important than apartheid. 2 . CA. A 1948 memorandum by Eric Louw. 483-4). Louw. he regards the visionary. ‘Making of the Apartheid Plan’. 57. which ‘as a policy plank had played a relatively minor part in the campaign’ (pp. an advocate of ‘total apartheid’ and the later ‘separate development’ (pp. . T. Eric Louw. Gerdener. Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 with most Afrikaners backing a NP-Afrikaner Party alliance. which submitted a petition to the government to introduce segregation.B. for instance. but now they streamed into white areas. treats briefly many issues listed by Giliomee. 56. is the extremely important COLOUR QUESTION’. Op die Vooraand van Apartheid. 1948. No doubt these other considerations were important. ‘Tips for Home Visits’ (‘Wenke vir Huisbesoek’). Africans lived ‘in their own kaffir areas’ (kufer-gebiede). See Brits. 100. In the past.B. which Giliomee claims had superceded crass racism among NP leaders. WarAgainst the Weak. incited by Communist agitators. i. Louw states.Wenke vir Huisbesoek’. this is not at odds with stressing the significance of the 1948 election or apartheid as a major factor in its outcome.E.

Strijdom put Greyshirt leader Weichardt in the ‘packed’ Senate (expanded to push through the legislation removing Coloured voting rights). Scholtz. HISTORICAL REVISIONISM 221 In 1948 Gerdener lauded the hardline Cronje’s ideas. Dubow.C. Volume II: 1923-75 (Cape Town.T. or that the desire for survival and segregation grew out of historical experience rather than notions ofbiological racism or superiority. 94. E. Education in South Africa. 1977).6’ It is difficult to accept that the ‘peculiar feature of apartheid as an ideology was its attempt to reconcile the demands for white survival and justice’ (p. review in Die Kerkbode. 61. 1981).. 60.G. Malherbe.J. and culture’ made it possible to dispense with ‘full-blownracist explanations 58. E. Gerdener. and linguist B.A. 461). 10 Nov. 244-8. Coertze.J. NO leader Pirow was appointed prosecutor in the 1950s ‘TreasonTrial’. Erasmus. and that in their preface they acknowledged Gerdener’s influence (p. Malherbe relates that within weeks of the 1948 NP victory. Malan blithely dismissed Malherbe’s complaint about this. n13.~’ Giliomee notes that in 1941 Stellenbosch anthropologistP. R. or that Wapenskou. Moodie.B. de Villiers and J. ‘Die Rol van Politieke Opvattinge en Sosiaal-Ekonomiese Faktore in die Ontstaan van die Wette’. such as ‘autonomous development’ (eiesoortige ontwikkeling) for each group: R. published their book. Schoeman urged the creation of large African reserves to promote ‘black pride’. Op die Skaal: Gemengde Huwelike en Ontug (Cape Town. Lombard.274-5.J. 1984). 467). Rise ofAfrikanerdom. clearly showed Cronjt’s infl~ence.where the Schoeman study appeared. 59. PublicitC.I. Vorster and Hendrik van den Bergh. Meyer. Befween Crown andSwastika. however. that the ‘first book . Die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerke en Rassepolitiek: Met Spesiale Venvysing nu Jare 1948-1961 (Pretoria. in E.J.259. Language. chaired by Gerdener.G. The evils of apartheid (such as Immorality Act prosecutions. and race classification fiascos) then become over-zealous application or selfish reluctance to apply the policy fully (true partition). the new (Cape NP) Defence Minister.6oOne of Malan’s first acts once the NP had come to power was to free Eric Holm (voice of the Nazi Zeesen Radio) and Robey Leibbrandt (would-be assassin of Smuts). van Eeden). See Furlong.J. was the journal of Diederichs’s ANS!59 Nor did Cape NP moderation take over after a few brief experiments with extremism. 17-8. G. 683. Consider too the places in the Nationalist establishment given to Diederichs.J. took from the Military Intelligence Director’s office ‘massesof secret files’ on the subversive activities of OB and AB members. He does not mention that all four leaned toward the OB and that the OB press. which proposed a comprehensive scheme of separate development. volk. He also does not mention that CronjC frequently cited them in his work. ‘native administration’ expert F. argues that while ‘idealist notions of nation..L. Kinghorn. forced removals. and OB ‘generals’ B. Lombard argues that the 1950 DRC Federal Mission Board Congress. eds. 1948. propagating a policy called apartheid in social science Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 language’ was written by three Stellenbosch academics (anthropologist P. and Strauss von Moltke became NP leader in Namibia. . W.T. von R.

at least for whites and to a degree for Coloureds. The new regime also marked a sharp break with the liberal state which. but the lengths to which he goes in seeking to balance criticism with empathy come perilously close to defending the system that he so long opposed. It is not difficult to find earlier racist measures which appear to lay some of the groundwork. there is no reason for nostalgia about lost opportunities to preserve the ‘good’ in apartheid. even if a 2001 poll (p. Rather they ‘were incorporated within a cultural form of essentialism that encouraged the articulation of human difference without explicit recourse to arguments based on biological determinism’. Journal of Southern African Studies. 62. 63. rather than simply extra-marital sex). whom liberals have long considered a kindred if maverick spirit. 1994). ‘The Making of the Apartheid Plan’. Dubow. such as the 1927 Immorality Act (which on p. Illicit Union. including the allegedly stunted intellectual develop- ment of blacks!63 The desire of some apartheid ideologues such as Gerdener and Eiselen after the Second World War to distance themselves from anything smacking of Nazism and to prefer theological. but does not require reading back into the earlier period an idealised interpretation of apartheid’s roots. 64. Whatever the difficulties in post-apartheid South Africa. The flaws in the apartheid state were not just problems in application. . the pre-1948 state still was. Giliomee has in many respects written a masterwork. 222 PATRICK FURLONG of human difference’.268-9. The result is a frustrating and sometimes deeply troubling work. 3 (Sep. 20. who suggests elsewhere that the historiography of Afrikaner nationalism in the last quarter of the twentieth century ‘suffered from what Harrison Wright called “the burden of the present”’@ seems similarly so affected by the burden of an Afrikaner society coming to terms with a painful past and an uncertain future. S . 344 Giliomee wrongly dates to 1928 and describes as barring marriage between whites and blacks. despite its limitations. Giliomee. 377. Nor can one assess the conservative revolution of 1948 only in terms of apartheid. ‘[b]iological notions of race were not necessarily repudi- ated’. It is ironic that in The Afrikaners Giliomee. anthropological or ‘practical’ arguments for apartheid is understandable. 359. 655) suggests that many (especially white) South Africans share such feelings.62Even before the war Preller had linked historical experience and racial science by arguing that early Afrikaners’ prejudice and paternalism showed a remarkable grasp of innate differences Downloaded by [Brunel University London] at 12:51 22 December 2014 between whites and blacks. Dubow. especially coming from one of South Africa’s greatest historians. ‘Ethnic Euphemisms and Racial Echoes’.