Everything/Anything and…Chess…"Despite the documented evidence by chess historian HJR Murray, I've always thought that chess was invented by a goddess"–George Koltanowski: from the foreword to:"Women in chess, players of the Modern Age"
Picture from FB: Mother with her dead child – Boer War: Concentration camps. I was so shocked when I saw this picture. How this mother must have felt and the poor little kids. This is what went through my mind:
The camp White tents, white ant hills. Strange, awkward stenches fills the war-torn air Weak, but still proud, with no disinfectant Sitting around in poverty: deprived! Waiting for food. Waiting for water. Humiliation. Disgrace. Filth. Dead bodies carrying along white rows They don’t care, they don’t think! They can’t think. They kill. The pain inside: it cuts deep, very deep. No sound. No breath. No life. No words. Only thoughts. Blue vitriol, no food. Children crying, children dying
Hunger screams, hunger wails Endless waiting and timeless prayers. Shock. Horror. Pain. Forgotten lives. Panic. Fright. Terror. God! My child is dead! Footsteps. No words. Empty arms. Eyes watching. Not my child! Patience: Another seepkissie will arrive soon Silence…
Father and son go to war – image: diggershistory.info How I love thee…to read these quotes – you can read similar quotes on my other link in this post.[The Boer War link on my blog] Enjoy the music of the Hungarian Rhapsody
WHEN IN OCTOBER 1899 the British Empire went to war against the Boers or Afrikaners of the Transvaal (South African Republic) and the Orange Free State, it was widely believed that the conflict would be brief. It became, however, the largest war waged by Britain since the Napoleonic Wars, even including the Crimea, involving the strongest forces sent from English shores since Henry V’s army departed for Agincourt. It was the first of the modern media wars, waged for the hearts and minds of both metropolitan and global opinion, in which military officers and civilian politicians on all sides had to pay acute attention to the coverage provided by the press. Fought at a time when the telegraph and syndicated news agencies had begun to globalise information, it became the most publicised war waged outside Europe between the American Civil War and the First World War. Indeed, in the minds of contemporaries, the South African War shared certain similarities with the American conflict, not least the widespread perception that it involved universal issues and principles which extended far beyond the borders of southern Africa.
Imperialists in Britain and its colonies of settlement believed the very essence of British strength to be at stake. Thousands of volunteers from Canada, Australia and New Zealand flocked to the imperial colours in South Africa. Britain, however, was made to appear both militarily and physically degenerate by the three years and almost half-a-million men it took to defeat the Boers, whose forces never numbered more than 88,000. During the guerrilla phase of the war, between June 1900 and the Boer surrender in May 1902, the tactics of farm burning and concentration camps employed by the British added further charges of brutality and moral corruption before the bar of world opinion. The significance of the Transvaal goldfields and the political prominence of leading magnates, often caricatured as a bloated Cecil Rhodes, gave the war a whiff of the sordid, which opponents of the conflict were all too ready to exploit (even if the actual influence of capitalists in the outbreak of hostilities was and remains controversial). Meanwhile, the unexpected protraction of the struggle intensified calls for a complete reorganisation of British educational and industrial life and gave rise to that peculiar Edwardian imperialist soul-searching encapsulated under the catchphrase National Efficiency. The war polarised political opinion in Britain, where David Lloyd George, Emily Hobhouse and James Ramsay MacDonald were among its leading opponents. The war even affected the young Clement Attlee, then a schoolboy at Haileybury, who, along with the entire middle school, was beaten by his pro-Boer headmaster for taking part in a celebration of the relief of Ladysmith that he had banned. In Ireland, the war greatly deepened the alienation of unionists, whose imperialism was invigorated by the war from nationalists who were enthusiastically pro-Boer. In Canada, too, the conflict widened the gulf between French Canadian nationalists and their English-speaking countrymen and set the pattern of their future relationship. It intensified the imperialism of Australia where it appeared to herald the arrival of The Coming Man, that healthy Independent Australian Briton who represented an almost evolutionary improvement on his metropolitan ancestors, ensuring that the new federation was born with a conservative emblem of imperial sacrifice. Nevertheless, it also provided, in the form of `Breaker’ Morant, executed for shooting prisoners, yet another Australian anti-hero. In India, the unwillingness of the British to employ Indian troops in a `Sahib’s War’, together with imperial failure to ensure Indian rights, further alienated moderate nationalists, while Indian advocates of physical force, like their Irish counterparts, came to admire Boer armed resistance. More generally, at the dawn of the twentieth century the war drew on a widespread, almost millenarian sense of angst about the future, manifested in such events as the Dreyfus Affair, the Fashoda Crisis, the Spanish-American War of 1898 and the Chinese Boxer Uprising in 1900.In Europe and America, where there was enormous interest in the war, and in the United Kingdom itself, there emerged vociferous movements loosely regarded as pro-Boer. These varied greatly in outlook, however, from those who favoured an immediate end to the war and conciliation with the Boers, to those, often represented by the Irish nationalists and continental movements generally, which looked forward to a British defeat. There were also …
Source: Questia HERE. It will open in a new window.
The Guinness Book of Records lists the Anglo-Boer War as Britain’s most costly war outside of the two World Wars.
Camouflage was first used in battle by the Boers, who used camouflaged trenches and adapted battledress to blend into treeless landscapes.
The Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) was the first war of the 20th century and saw the introduction of trench warfare, the first large-scale use of concentration camps for non-combatants, and the most prolonged period of guerrilla warfare by a conquered nation’s military against a victorious army.
Young Boer soldier with the name of Conrad…
I’ve decided it was time for a new post on the Boer War as this link on my blog is now stuffed with too much info on the South African/British War. I will now add new info and links to this new entry as I lost myself amongst concentration camps and battles and thought to find myself again, this time on board with Churchill! Yes, Churchill even made me ordering this book. I like his way of playing with words and he had a humorous way of putting his hand on paper. He made me smile a few times and I’ve quoted some bits here…he even dreamt about South Africa as the country where he saw his great-grandchildren could grow up…er..South Africa is the most beautiful country in the world..no wonder he thought so too…even Ian in Hamburg thinks so too [see his comments on my About-page]. Churchill also made me smile where he writes about the soldiers and the casualties…and them thinking the Boers were defeated. Ha! England, together with Irish soldiers/Scots/ Welsh/Indian+Australian/NewZealand-soldiers+Canadian soldiers…and they fought this War over three years against an army the size of the population of Brighton, that makes you think! I also have with me another interestesting book…Battles of the Boer War – written by W B Pemberton...an English writer. A great book to read. This book is not written one-sided – as you will find most books written by English writers are, as they see it only from their perspective and colour it the way they want. One must also bear in mind, the Boers had no training in fighting wars, no orderly system was in place, whilst the British had the experience and the advantage of fighting battles was on their side! According to this Gutenberg-link, about 15000 Boers were actively taking part in the War as soldiers. Enjoy bits from Churchill’s book..click on images to see a larger view. I must also add, this is the first book ever where I read the offensive word which we don’t use in our country – for years now – to refer to a non-white person. It was quite weird reading it – especially in this book. Where Churchill refers to the Karoo, I was really smiling…could picture him thinking what he was thinking. I’ve quoted it here too. On the above link you will find images, poetry and art about the Boer War and thousands of links to other historical sites/links linking to the War. On this link you can read about my great grandad and the role he played during the war and the peace process. His grandad was also on the most wanted-list of the British and there was a price tag of £300 on his head! [cool!] Read on the link more…
On this linkyou will find more history about the War on the site of Ladysmith-history, also eyewitness-accounts.[I’ve now received my book – see the cover in the next image – which I’ve ordered] From the book:
The Boer War: Londton to Ladysmith Via Pretoria and Ian Hamilton’s March by Winston Churchill
Churchill’s adventures of the first five months of the War. Churchill was eager for news…At last news came through…Boers defeated, three battles, Penn Symonds killed…
Cape Town – 1 November 1899
We caught the Man Who Knew …setting him halfway up a ladder on the hurricane deck…the man told his story quickly, with an odd quiver of excitement in his voice… then for the first time we heard of Elandslaagte, of Glencoe, of Rietfontein…Tell us about Mafeking…someone else said…It’s a long list of casualties…the best officers in the world…Colonel Chisholme…Sherstone…Haldane…Barnes…and many more…
East London 5th November.
The train, which is built on the corridor system, runs smoothly over the rails, so smoothly, indeed, that I found no difficulty in writing. The sun is warm, the air keen and delicious. But the scenery would depress the most buoyant spirit. We climbed up the mountains during the night, and with the daylight we were in the middle of the Great Karroo, Wherefore was this miserable land of stone and scrub created? Huge mounds of crumbling rock, fashioned by the rains in the most curious and unexpected shapes, rise from the gloomy desert of the plain.
At Beaufort Wes grave news awaiting the Mail and we learnt about the capitulation of twelve hundred soldiers near Ladysmith.
Churchill dreams about South Africa…
Boer soldiers ready for War – click for a larger view
“The war declared by the Boers on 11 October 1899 gave the British, as Kipling said, no end of a lesson’. The public expected it to be over by Christmas. It proved to be the longest (two and three-quarters years), the costliest (over two hundred million pounds), the bloodiest (at least 22,000 British, 25,000 Boer and 12,000 African lives) and the most humiliating war Britain fought between 1815 and 1914.” – Thomas Pakenham: The Boer War
Image: Life – Women also took part in the war. In this post you will find the Gutenberg-link with photos from Women that played important roles during the war.
The young Winston Churchill
The news article about Churchill’s captivity – in the Telegraph…image: genealogyworld.net – click on the image for a larger view.
A lovely chess set! I would love to have this one…
A French Hero…
Image: Wikipedia – Villebois-Mareuil My blogger-friend, Brandnetel, blogged today about Villebois-Mareuil and she had us all googled for Private E Brooks in her previous entry – as a secret mission! haha
From Wikipedia:[link at the bottom of this entry]
George Henri Anne-Marie Victor de Villebois-Mareuil (22 March 1847, Montaigu, Brittany, France – 6 April 1900, Boshof, Orange Free State, South Africa) was a Colonel in the French Infantry, and French Nationalist who fought and died on the side of the Boers during the Second Anglo-Boer War. He was the first of only two Boer foreign volunteers to be handed the grade of Major-General in the Boer Army. The second being his second in command Evgeni Maximov (1849-1904) after the death of Villebois-Mareuil. He took part in Franco-Prussian War – 1871 and drove back the Prussians from Blois.
George Henri Anne-Marie Victor de Villebois-Mareuil was born approximately 30 km South East of Nantes. He was a soldier and author. He started his military education at the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr where he graduated as a Second Lieutenant in 1867. He loved sport and excelled in gymnastics. Shortly after his graduation he left for Cochinchina where he joined the Marine Infantry serving under his uncle Admiral de Cornulier who was Governor of the Colony. He was promoted to full Lieutenant in 1870.
He saw in the Anglo-Boer War the chance to avenge the French humiliation at Fashoda in the Sudan in 1898.
“But she (England) can be sure that this tricolour flag, grabbed from Fachoda and ripped to shreds in London, was brought to Pretoria by French Volunteers, and has taken its place next to those of the Southern Boer Republics to support their independence against the oppressors. She gave us a Hundred Years’ War, and for a hundred years she has robbed the farmers from the Cape. Since then she has violated every peace treaty. Her hatred being even fiercer against the Boer, for there is French blood flowing through their veins.” – F. Chinier.
He arrived in Lourenço Marques on the 22 November 1899. In December 1899 he was appointed to the rank of Major by General Joubert, and fought in the Battle of Colenso. Due to his leadership capabilities he was given the rank of Major-General and commander of all Foreign Volunteers on 17 March 1900.
The average age of his troops was thirty with the youngest being Private Boiserolle who was only 17. He had a lot of respect for the fighting ability of the Germans under his command despite the lack of unity between the different German troops and commanders. He did not have the same convictions towards the Dutch under his command due to their apparent lack of courage and eagerness for battle. They were often referred to by the Boers themselves as lowly drunkards. – B. Lugan.
About the Boers he said:
He summed his thoughts about the Boer as follows: “Noble and of good race for the most, they live on their farm like in the castles of old, free and isolated… These people are standing up in the face of the whole world defying the decline of our too advanced civilizations.” – La Liberté.
Read Here more about the hero – Villebois-Mareuil.
The Gravestone of Villebois-Mareuil. He was reintered at Magersfontein – Photo: Brandnetel
“When is a war not a war?” with “When it is carried on by methods of barbarism in South Africa,” referring to those same camps and the policies that created them. Read more here.
image: stanford university
This next book is a must read – [I said to myself]
Sarah Raal, deserves to have had a film made of her life. Born into a prosperous farm family in the Southern Free State outside Jagersfontein, with the outbreak of war her father and four brothers immediately enlisted leaving Sarah, her mother and two small children alone on the farm. On one occasion, when the latter were shopping in Jagersfontein, her mother was denounced for feeding passing Boers and, together with her children, placed in a concentration camp. This left Sarah alone on the farm with her farm workers. After seven months of this, her brothers suddenly appeared seeking sanctuary. Word of this got out, but they all got away before their arrest could be carried out. For a few months Sarah moved from farm to farm but inevitably her luck ran out and she was incarcerated at Springfontein. There she had a run-in with the Camp Commandant that resulted in her being placed in a punishment detail from which she escaped to rejoin her brothers. As the countryside was palpably unsafe for a woman alone, she was allowed to enlist with the commando under command of a Commandant Nieuwoudt. There she took part in a number of guerrilla engagements, coming under both rifle and shell fire several times and displaying considerable bravery during the course of these actions. On more than one occasion she was in actual physical combat with the enemy, narrowly escaping injury, death or capture. She was eventually captured in an ambush and placed in a camp until the end of the war. She later wrote a book entitled Met Die Boere In Die Veld, which was published in 1936 and re-published in English in 2000.
LONDON, The special dispatches from South Africa confirm the report that the Boers are massing artillery in positions commanding Laing’s Nek. Small Boer detachments occupy positions above Buffalo River.
The members of the Afrikander Bund in Cape Town intend to convene the Bund in Congress to consider the situation.
A Bloemfontein paper reports the dismissal of several Englishman from the Bloemfontein Police Force because of their refusal to promise to serve on the Commando.
Mr. Chamberlain came to London from Birmingham yesterday afternoon and spent the evening at the Colonial Office. While there he received a dispatch from Lord Salisbury, who is at Hatfield House, and sent a special messenger to the Premier.
There has been lively interchange of dispatches between the Foreign, War, and Colonial Offices, but no summons has yet been issue for a Cabinet Counsel.
Long dispatches were sent last evening to the Viceroy of India, Lord Gurzon of Kedleston, and to the British High Commissioner in South Africa, Sir Alfred Milner.
General Lord Garnet Wolseley, Field Marshal and Commander in Chief, returned to London yesterday and immediately repaired to the War Office, where he remained busily employed the greater part of the day.
The Daily Chronicle points out this morning that “the Orange Free State would probably better serve the Transvaal by remaining neutral than by active assistance, because the easiest route for marching troops to Johannesburg and Pretoria lies between Orange River and Vaal River.”
The Cape Town correspondent of the paper says: “It is reported here that Conyngham Greene (British Diplomatic Agent at Pretoria) fears that an attempt will be made to dynamite the British Agency.”
The second edition of The Times yesterday contained a dispatch from Johannesburg, which says: “There is, I am informed, some early coup in contemplation. The quantities of compressed forage forwarded in the direction of Natal border indicate some move on the part of the troops in that quarter. The Government is buying horses freely today.”
London Oct 21,1901 – a Dispatch from Brussels to the Daily Mail says:
“Mr Kruger has received a report from Mr. Schalk Burger that the greater part of Cape Colony is in open rebellion and that the Boers have armed 15,000 Afrikanders within the last three months.”
Source here: Source [Schalk Burger is my great grandad] Images from this brutal war where many South Africans and animals died brutally…animals in the scorched earth policy by the British. Farms were destroyed and set on fire, houses burnt down and sheep butchered like at a butchery.
Rugby 1891 – “The best teams were undoubtedly the Western Provinces, played at Cape Town ; the Griqualand West (to whom the “Currie” Cup was given) at Kimberley” …source:
Boer Women – image: nzhistory.net.nz
Boer Soldiers -image:nzhistory.net.nz
Boer Women:Image:ictnetwork.co.uk The Scandal of the Black Camps
A South African visitor to this site has raised the controversy about the imprisonment of Black South Africans in conditions much worse than those for Boer prisoners. Removed from farms or other areas, at least 14 000 Black people are believed to have died in these concentration camps–but for nearly a century the ordinary South African was completely unaware of their existence.
Unlike the Boer prison camps, the Black prisoners were mostly left to fend for themselves, and were not given any rations at all. They were expected to grow food or find work. In a few instances this actually improved their chances of survival because they were able to get out of the camps which were hellholes of infection and disease.
Almost Forgotten Victims – The Anglo-Boer War Camps of Aliwal North
Southbound out of the Free State’s grassy plains, the Friendly N6 Route carries travellers across the great Senqu/Orange River into Aliwal North, gateway to the Eastern Cape.This quietly bustling provincial town was formally founded in 1850 by Sir Harry Smith, then governor of the Cape Colony, who named it in tribute to his 1846 victory over the Indian Sikhs at the Battle of Aliwal. “North” was added to differentiate it from Aliwal South, the old name for Mossel Bay. Fifty years later this hamlet would become the chosen site for two of the many horrific concentration camps of the Anglo-Boer War. Aliwal North’s Northern Post and Border News reported in January 1901 that a native refugee camp had been established at the confluence of the Orange and Kraai rivers for blacks impoverished by the war. The term “refugee” was bolstered by the fact that, initially, blacks entered the camp voluntarily, and also willingly supplied a virtually endless source of manpower for the “labour-strapped” colonial government. Towards the end of January the camp contained just over 200 refugees. At that stage the Aliwal North town council advised the Rouxville Commandant that the council could no longer cope with the Free State refugees – since the camp was a military undertaking, the council would help but would not take responsibility. In February, the council exhorted the authorities to give urgent attention to the poor sanitary conditions in the camp.According to Rev. Kessler, an American researcher on concentration camps, in August 1900 a British Intelligence officer, HR Abercrombie, recommended that defeated Boers, their families and servants should be sent to concentration camps similar to those used by General Weyler in Cuba in 1896/1897. Lord Roberts, the Supreme Commander, did not approve. However, when Lord Kitchener assumed this position, he incorporated the recommendation into his “scorched-earth policy” to end the guerrilla war. He planned to make it impossible for Boer commandos to receive any assistance from their families or the land by burning all their homes, razing crops, slaughtering all the animals and driving all black servants, Boer women and children into concentration camps.Kitchener initiated his campaign in mid-March. Within one month the black inmates had increased to over 2000 and a separate camp was established for them approximately 5 km lower down along the Orange. By May, the arrival of white women and children from the Free State villages of Rouxville, Zastron and Smithfield swelled the white camp population to over 2500; by October, when others were brought from Bloemfontein, the camp reached its maximum of almost 5000.In 1986, a local farmer, Mr Abrie Oosthuizen, suffered a severe heart attack and was given a year to live. Releasing the farm to his son, he retired to Aliwal North where he underwent a heart bypass operation. During his recovery, he found time hung heavy on his hands and he became bored. Then, Abrie enthusiastically started researching the Anglo-Boer War. The result was the publication of his first book, Rebelle van die Stormberge, six years later in 1992. After completing a second book, he turned to the military blockhouses and forts along the Orange River. In all his research, there had always been a gap – the history of the black war refugees: it seemed as if they had simply disappeared off the face of the earth. Until he came across an interesting and illuminating article in a copy of the Northern Post of 1902. It stated that the municipality had planned to construct a turbine pump station but was divided over a suitable site. One group suggested building it below Aliwal North beside the Orange River. The other preferred a higher position beside the Kraai River, since they feared contamination from the graves along these rivers. Eventually the camp superintendent provided proof that the graves were so deep that there was no likelihood of pollution. This controversy indicated that camp graves existed not only in the bend of the Kraai River above the confluence but also along the Orange River right up to Greathead’s Mill, where the pump station stands today. Abrie obtained further proof of a second camp while reading the research of Dr Jan Ploeger, the government archivist, wherein he noted that the black camp at Aliwal North had been moved five miles west of the white camp.Abrie Oosthuizen then heard of a Mr Michael Magetse who helped him identify the place through the fireside stories he had heard from his grandfather, a camp survivor. Abrie found the first camp and the remains of many black graves beside the Kraai River, which were confirmed by the land surveyor of Aliwal North, Mr N van Deventer. After a futile attempt to find the second camp, Abrie located an old map indicating a “native cemetery” five miles west of the first. It was described as Crown Land, ceded to the mayor and town council of Aliwal North in 1912 “on condition that the land hereby granted shall be used as a place of interment for Natives”. The title deed subsequently obtained from the office of the surveyor-general in Cape Town provided irrefutable proof that the one morgen terrain situated in the current township of Dukathole was the oldest formal graveyard for black people. Mr van Deventer had no trouble finding the anchor stones with rusted wire attached to them, indicating the corners of the fence surrounding the “native cemetery”. It is believed to be the first cemetery of its kind in South Africa which could be accurately located.Although a careful record was kept of white deaths, Emily Hobhouse, in her book The Brunt of the War, admits that statistics of black mortalities were scanty. Calculations based on the known number of black mortalities in Free State camps from July to October 1901, indicate that there were at least 250 to 270 black South Africans who died in the Aliwal North camp during those four months alone, mostly from pneumonia, enteric fever and diarrhoea. Conditions in the overpopulated camps had quickly deteriorated, since the little town of Aliwal North with only 800 inhabitants did not have adequate infrastructure to support the sudden influx of camp inhabitants.Two separate and magnificent monuments commemorate Aliwal North’s white victims of war; on one hilltop lies the Garden of Remembrance for 134 British and Colonial soldiers, on the other hilltop, the Concentration Camp Memorial Garden for the 720 Boer women and children who succumbed to the appalling conditions in the camps.A monument has been erected on the picturesque site of the original “Native Cemetery”, along the bank of a river that on its 2000 km long journey brings life and sustenance to vast tracts of our country and many of our people, irrespective of colour or circumstances. The original cemetery is surrounded by thousands of more recent graves extending over an area of at least five morgen. The respect with which this piece of land has been treated for over a century makes it a fitting memorial to those almost forgotten victims.Read the complete story in the June/July issue of ToGOTo
Johanna Brandt, one of four children, was born in 1876. Her Dutch father and Afrikaner pioneer mother greatly influenced her worldview, which eventually made Johanna Brandt a household name. Following the Anglo-Boer War, Johanna emerged as a prolific author, focussing mainly on the Boer War. In later life, however, her eccentric character came to the fore as she explored aspects of natural healing, mysticism and feminism.
Johanna died in 1964.
I am anxious to get this book filled and out of the way … our friend the enemy will come and search our house for documents and then they will carry away this chronicle of my griefs and woes and – joys, lately. What agonies I would endure if this book were to fall into strange hands ! Johanna van Warmelo, 9 February 1902.
When Johanna wrote these words, she was 24 years old and had already experienced helpless anger at the horrors of a concentration camp, the anxiety of working undercover for the Boer Secret Service and the excitement of falling in love. Her diary, secret diary and love diary, combined in this publication, weaves her remarkable experiences during the war together with her everyday life as an ordinary young woman living in an extraordinary time.
The War Diary of Johanna Brandt is an accurate reproduction of Johanna’s three diaries, two of which, the secret diary and the love diary, was originally written using lemon juice. Through these diaries, and with extensive research by Jackie Grobler, we are offered a unique insight into the war that did not allow indecision or disloyalty.
Something about the author:
Jackie Grobler is senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria, Department of Historical and Heritage Studies. He holds a Doctor Philosophiae in History and is the author of three books, co-author of a further ten chapters in books; co-editor of one book; author of 31 biographies in biographical dictionaries and author of many academic journal articles. He lives in Pretoria with his wife Elize.
On THIS LINK on my blog, you can read more about the Boer War. You will find some Boer War art, poetry and a lengthy entry about the war with many links to other sites too.
Today I was inspired by Rosalind due to her post about the concentration camps during the British/Boer-War in the late 1800’s-early 1900’s…I’ve got a book about the concentration camps and it was so sad to read how those people were treated and the circumstances they lived in! My mum has had a relative – Dorie Burger – that was there and in this book she was also quoted where she mentioned who died again in the camp and how they were rationed on food and that the food wasn’t enough. According to her, many children were still hungry at night and couldn’t sleep due to insufficient food. You just feel like crying when you read the book!
Rosalind’s post also immediately reminded me about the Jews and the holocaust and my very own first English “story”-book… Anne Frank’s diary… as a birthday present when I was 12. My birthday is one day before Anne’s birthday – 12th June – and that made the book – as a child – even more special. I’ve always been interested in War-books, fiction as well as non-fiction. I’ve blogged before about other books written about wars…the Cambodian war… the war in Kosovo…Today, when you see the word “Holocaust” it usually refers to this time in which the German Army systematically killed nearly 6 million Jews. People need to learn about the Holocaust and the reasons why it happened. Some say it never happened at all, but we know it did because there are too many witnesses and survivors who lived to tell the world about those darkest of times.Click HERE to visit the site about Anne Frank and there’s a link to the museum.
This picture was taken on the 10th March 1933…. that means… Monday, 10th March…more than 70 years ago.
The movable book case
Anne Frank’s diary made into a musical…
from the Guardian newspaper:
It might not seem the most obvious material for a song-and-dance number, but the Diary of Anne Frank will take centre stage next month when a Spanish musical based on the most famous book about the Holocaust opens in Madrid.
Having been rewritten for films, plays and TV dramas, the story of the Jewish girl hiding out with her family in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam has never before been made as a musical. The Anne Frank Foundation, which jealously guards the rights to the diary – it once turned down Steven Spielberg when he wanted to make a film – has given its support. Jan Erik Dubbelman said: “This production respects the message of tolerance, within the tragedy, that we want to keep alive. Being in Spanish, it can also help to take the message of Anne Frank to Latin America.”The Spanish theatre group behind the musical has visited the tiny flat where Frank hid from the Nazis, seeking inspiration for their characters and performing some of the songs for members of the foundation. Isabella Castillo, a 13-year-old born in Cuba who has been chosen for the lead role, said she had been moved by the visit: “If you’re doing a musical of the family and how they lived and the house and everything, I think it’s very special, and a very important detail, to come to this house.”Frank wrote the diary while she and her family hid in a secret annexe behind a bookcase in a canal-side warehouse. For 25 months, she wrote down her experiences as a teenager – her love-hate relationship with her parents, spats with schoolfriends, crushes on film stars – while in the background the war raged outside. The family was betrayed and arrested in August 1944 and Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945. Her father Otto was the only one to survive, and returned to Amsterdam after the war, where he discovered that her diary had been saved. First published in Dutch in 1947, it went on to be translated into 60 languages and has sold more than 25m copies worldwide.Rafael Alvero, who developed the musical project, said it was the culmination of a decade’s efforts to gain the confidence of the foundation. He said the show would be inspirational, comparing Frank’s life story to a tragic opera.
“When I first came here they [the foundation] had this doubt, about how somebody can do a musical of a story like this,” said Alvero. “The thing we want to do is … through the music, to understand the story better,” he said.
Once the foundation had given its permission, the hunt for actors capable of mixing the sombre nature of the material with the high energy of a musical began. Castillo said she felt honoured to be playing such an important role, and that there were things the two had in common.
The Franks moved from Germany to Holland in 1933, when Anne was four. Castillo’s mother fled from Cuba when Isabella was young, and they lived in hiding in Belize before immigrating to Miami. Please click HERE for the original article about the musical.
Today if you visit the site of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp you can see a memorial to Anne Frank and her sister Margot.
This picture shows the streetside view of the building. Otto Frank’s offices were at the front of the building and the hiding place was at the rear.
The hiding place became known as the Secret Annex. It was located at 263 Prinsengracht. The Frank family would occupy two rooms on the first floor. A week later Mr. and Mrs. Van Pels and their son would move into the two rooms on the second floor. From Peter’s tiny room they could access the attic where food was stored. There was a small bathroom on the first floor. Images: gardenofpraise.com
This is what my book looks like…and the next book is a picture book which I’ve bought for my primary y5/6 kids… it’s really an easy book for them to understand Anne’s story.
This book is one of many on my bookshelf that I still need to finish reading…it’s about a gripping account of how a group of young children who, when forced into isolation by the Nazi occupation of their home town in Czechoslovakia, refused to be silenced and fought back by creating and circulating their own newspaper called Klepy (which means gossip). The “Underground Reporters” chronicles — the lives of the young people who contributed to the newspaper. On the blurb it says: “…They founded a secret newspaper that was to become an inspiration to the Jews of Budejovice, uniting them and giving them something to fight for and be proud of. These young people were the Underground Reporters and this is their story.”
This book seems to be a great book to read, I’ve just ordered it from Amazon. You can read the review I’ve found on the internet.
Review from this site:historicalnovelsociety.org/london-conference.htm
No Place for a Lady
The thrilling and sweeping new novel from the award-winning author of
It is the turn of the twentieth century and war is razing the Boer Republics of South Africa to the ground. Kitchener’s army has intensified its most barbarous campaign: to burn down the homes of thousands of obstinate Boers, forcing a desperate migration to disease-ridden concentration camps. Yet the vastly outnumbered Boers still will not surrender to the British.
In the midst of these horrors is a group of women, each fighting their own battle. Sarah Palmer is an angelically pretty nurse who arrives from England with her madcap friend Louise. Their relationship is threatened when Sarah falls deeply in love with a sick Colonial trooper of humble origin as Louise cannot help but become painfully jealous of her friend’s natural magnetism and beauty. And then arrives the dynamic Englishwoman, Emily Hobhouse, who has come to bring succour to the destitute and dying women and children and to stir the consciences of Britain over the holocaust of the camps.
As their dramas unfold, so too does the history of the war. It was intended to be a quick annexation of the Boer Republics but it turned in to a protracted, savage conflict. Harries shows a depth of knowledge and compassion in her writing; the involvement of the blacks who were promised the vote if they joined the British side, and the injustices and deep inequalities in South Africa which lie at the heart of the story. ‘No Place for a Lady’ is historical fiction at its finest. Ann harries has drawn unforgettable characters and made the period with all its complexities come vividly alive. This is a thrilling, beautifully written, and utterly compelling novel.
Ann Harries was born and educated in Cape Town, where she worked in township schools and community centres. On moving to England she became active in the anti-apartheid movement. The author of the acclaimed Manly Pursuits, she divides her time between the Cotswolds and South Africa.
‘History is ingeniously rewritten in this witty and engaging novel.’
‘Outstanding…Funny, well observed and beautifully written.’
‘Brilliantly funny and inventive…Enjoyable and vivid throughout… I haven’t turned any pages faster this year than I have turned these.’
‘A hugely ambitious novel that takes on an impressive range of themes, from history, colonialism and racism to science, evolution, sexual repression and betrayal…Both an entertaining read and a richly evocative portrait of that era.’
“When is a war not a war?” — “When it is carried on by methods of barbarism in South Africa,” referring to those same camps and the policies that created them.
–see my link in this post: “Churchill makes me smile”– for more on this…
Image: Tararualibrary…Wording on back:
“Boer war 1900 Troops parading prior to their departure.
Site: Cnr Millers Rd and Stanley St Paynes house on the right still there HBF garage on left hand corner”
Above image: HERE on the site of Tararualibrary. The link will open in a new window.
LW: This post gets updated every now and then when I find more resources and information…new information and links will be added at the bottom of this post. Most links – if not all – will open in a new window.
The British controlled government implemented Pass Laws in 1923 paved the way for further restrictions on non-Whites social and political freedoms when Afrikaner-led political parties gained control of the government in 1948 (the birth of Apartheid). This segregation along racial lines has further widened the gap between the White Afrikaans speakers and Coloured Afrikaans speakers…Source:http://www.diversitysouthafrica.co.za/afrikaans.htm
Since the people were of white European descent, nobody was seriously punished for their part in the war….so…if they were black??
The Boer War shaped the destiny of South Africa and, as Rudyard Kipling remarked, taught the mighty British Empire ‘no end of a lesson’.
It was said to be the last of the ‘gentleman’s wars’, a ‘white man’s war’ and it would be over by Christmas. It was none of these things. The Boer War was brutal, racially explosive and it took the greatest empire in the world nearly three years to beat a Boer army smaller than the population of Brighton.
The Boer War capitulated the world into the 20th Century, prefiguring the worst excesses of modern conflicts: the indiscriminate bombing of civilians, scorched earth, rape, concentration camps. It was a civil war dividing families, communities and races.
It was a bitter conflict between two small Boer nations fighting for their life and freedom and a great empire asserting what it saw as it’s legitimate authority. Source: http://neilmulligan.com/JamesMulcrone.htm
I often get people who got directed here – via google – with the search engine term: Boer – well, I would like to suggest you go back to google, put in a search the following: ‘South African farmer[s]‘ – you might like what you’ll see. Good Luck.
THE BOER NATIONS (“boer” is the Dutch word for “farmer”)
Take a community of Dutchmen of the type of those who defended
themselves for fifty years against all the power of Spain at a time
when Spain was the greatest power in the world. Intermix with them a
strain of those inflexible French Huguenots who gave up home and
fortune and left their country for ever at the time of the revocation
of the Edict of Nantes. The product must obviously be one of the most
rugged, virile, unconquerable races ever seen upon earth. Take this
formidable people and train them for seven generations in constant
warfare against savage men and ferocious beasts, in circumstances
under which no weakling could survive, place them so that they acquire
exceptional skill with weapons and in horsemanship, give them a
country which is eminently suited to the tactics of the huntsman, the
marksman, and the rider. Then, finally, put a finer temper upon their
military qualities by a dour fatalistic Old Testament religion and an
ardent and consuming patriotism. Combine all these qualities and all
these impulses in one individual, and you have the modern Boer — the
most formidable antagonist who ever crossed the path of Imperial
Britain. Our military history has largely consisted in our conflicts
with France, but Napoleon and all his veterans have never treated us
so roughly as these hard-bitten farmers with their ancient theology
and their inconveniently modern rifles. Please click HEREto read the complete online book of Arthur Conan Doyle about the Boer War…the link will open in a new window. Concentration Camps
In early March 1901 Lord Kitchener decided to break the stalemate that the extremely costly war had settled into. It was costing the British taxpayer 2,5 million pounds a month. He decided to sweep the country bare of everything that can give sustenance to the Boers i.e. cattle, sheep, horses, women and children. This scorched earth policy led to the destruction of about 30000 Boer farmhouses and the partial and complete destruction of more than forty towns.. Thousands of women and children were removed from their homes by force.They had little or no time to remove valuables before the house was burnt down. They were then taken by oxwagon or in open cattle trucks to the nearest camp.
Conditions in the camps were less than ideal. Tents were overcrowded. Reduced-scale army rations were provided. In fact there were two scales. Meat was not included in the rations issued to women and children whose menfolk were still figthing. There were little or no vegetables, no fresh milk for the babies and children, 3/4 lb of either mealie meal, rice or potatoes, 1 lb of meat twice weekly, I oz of coffee daily, sugar 2 oz daily, and salt 0,5 oz daily (this was for adults and children who had family members on commando).
In the camps – image – photosearch
hmmm….not very nice of them burning down people’s houses, hey… we all know war is war…but…to take away from women and children! that’s really not very humane!
Follow this link to read about the “stalemated” Boer/British War and you will find a link to the Canadian War museum. The link will open in a new window.
On my blog HEREyou can read about the Boer/British-War and Melrose House . The link will open in a new window. On this link you can also read about the role my great grandad played during the war.
On this next link, you can read extracts from the Parliamentary debates that were going on during the War in the British Parliament…you will see the death numbers too – not sure if that is correct, you know what politics are like…they will of course hide the exact figures as we all know – anyway..children’s deaths are about 10 times more than adults and women were held as prisioners as they were not allowed to leave the camps if they wished too. I’m sure more of the deaths could be prevented if people were not held in the camps. To say they were “fed” is just an excuse! They knew it was the only way to force the Boers to surrender, as the Boers couldn’t let these women and children dying in the camps like sheep on their way to a butcher!
In early March 1901 Lord Kitchener decided to break the stalemate that the extremely costly war had settled into. It was costing the British taxpayer 2,5 million pounds a month. He decided to sweep the country bare of everything that can give sustenance to the Boers i.e. cattle, sheep, horses, women and children. Read more on the link I’ve given you. — What a shame for the Britain! Putting women and children in concentration camps to starve… that’s just as cruel as Hitler’s gass chambers! Killing people in this way when you know you can’t defeat them….And what’s more… Britain has already got more experience in fighting and wars than the South Africans, a small upcoming nation…..Hierdie Engelse sal ook nooit “jammer” se oor wat hulle weet hulle gedoen het nie. Hierdie konsentrasiekampe was vir my net so erg soos die Duitsers met hulle gaskamers! Ek het ‘n boek gekoop by ‘n museum op Lady Smith and daarin lees ook toe die naam raak van ‘n niggie van my ouma wat in ‘n kamp was! As jy die link “great grandad” volg, sal jy verstaan waarom ek so ‘n passie vir die oorlog-geskiedenis het en gedurig weer terugkeer na iets wat daarmee te doen het. Ek sal graag meer kuns en gedigte wil kry om hierdie week te plaas, veral kuns en ek was nogal verbaas om hierdie een van Coetzer te kry. Ek het afgekom op ‘n baie oulike webbladsy van ‘n ou in die USA en ek gaan die link hier plaas, daar is verskillende
Sources: Enslin Vosloo painting… ‘How Botha Saved the Union in South Africa’
Click HEREto read…about Genl. Botha…the link will open in a new window.
A very good site about the Boer-war HERE …the link will open in a new window.
Ladysmith Town hall image: tokencoins.com/book/boer.htm#zar04
“Duty called the Cordons to South Africa and the plains of the Transvaal to fight the Boers. The Boers were regarded as an easy enemy and naturally would be overcome quickly. Boers were self reliant farmers dressed in civilian khaki suitable for the vast veldt. Most of British Army still favoured red jackets, white pith helmets and Crimean War tactics. Whereas the Boers formed commando groups to move across country swiftly and stealthily living off the land. They were extremely good shots armed with the accurate Mauser rifle and a common cry was Victory through God and the Mauser.”…from the same site as the site where the image comes from… On THIS LINK you can read more about the War…read these poems too….see more pictures…some very upsetting…the link will open in a new window. C Louis Leipoldt (excerpt)
A poem written by Leipoldt in Afrikaans and it was translated…
You, who are the hope of our people;
You, who our people can barely spare;
You, who should grow up to become a man;
You, who must perform your duty, if you can;
You, who have no part in the war;
You, who should sing and jump for joy –
You must perish in a children’s camp
You must be eliminated for peace:
Fold your hands tight together,
Close your eyes and say amen!
Whooping-cough and consumption, without milk:
bitter for you is the fate of life!
There is your place, at the children’s graves –
Two in one coffin, a wedding couple!
Al you gain is that we will remember:
Our freedom more precious than woman or child!
~~~~~ also the next one…by Leipoldt
In the Concentration Camp
(Aliwal North, 1901) C Louis Leipoldt (excerpt)
You are cringing away from the gusts of the wind
The chill seeping through the hail-torn tent –
Your scanty shield against torturing torrents;
The June chill bursts over the banks of the Vaal –
And all you can hear are the coughs from your child, and the
ceaseless patter of rain on the canvas.
A candle stub, just an inch before death
faintly flickering in a bottle
(a sty offers more comfort and rest)
But here, at night every thought is
a round of torture and tears.
Here, the early-born child flounders
Here, the aged fades away
Here, all you can hear is wailing and sighs
Here, every second is a lifetime of dread;
Every minute leaves scars on your soul, sacrifice without end.
Forgive? Forget? Is it possible to forgive?
The sorrow, the despair demanded so much!
The branding iron painfully left its scar
on our nation, for ages to see, and the wound is too raw –
Too close to our heart and to deep in our souls –
“Patience, o patience, how much can you bear?”
Leipoldt also wrote heartbreaking verses on a soap box to the memory of children who could at least be buried in this luxury:
Image: http://appiusforum.net/hellkamp.html – where I refer to hellkamp at an image, it refers to this site They made you in England, little soap box
To serve as coffin for our children
They found little corpses for you, soap box
And I have witnessed you as coffin
Equally unforgettable is AG Visser’s description of an orphan in the concentration camp in his poem,
The Youngest Burgher:
The camp of women is ruled by silence and darkness
The misery kindly concealed by the night
Here and there a minute light is flickering
Where the Angel of Death is lingering.
In this place of woe and of broken hearts
A young boy’s muffled whimpers quiver through the night
Who can count all the tears, who can measure the grief
of an orphan alone in the world
Later on in the poem De Wet describes the struggle to the escaped child who wishes to join thecommando:
Freedom demands from our ranks
Men of courage who taunt mortal danger.
But also in the camp, the mother, the nurturer
And the innocent child on her breast.
And the reward? Perhaps on the plains
A lonesome grave doused by no tears.
Sometime, perhaps, posterity might honor our heroes…
Boy, do you feel up to it? General, I do!
This Afrikaans poem is about a solder that was beheaded…by a bomb.
Die ruiter van Skimmelperdpan
Op die pad wat verdwyn in die Skimmelperdpan,
By ‘n draai in die mond van die kloof,
Het ‘n bom in die oorlog ‘n vlugtende man
Op ‘n perd soos ‘n swaardslag onthoof.
Aan die saalboom krampagtig die hande verstyf,
Met ‘n laaste stuiptrekkende krag,
En die bene geklem soos ‘n skroef om sy lyf,
Op die perd sit die grusame vrag.
Met sy neusgate wyd en die ore op sy nek,
Soos die wind yl verbysterd die dier,
Met die skuim in wit vlokke wat waai uit sy bek,
En gespan soos ‘n draad elke spier;
By die huisie verby waar ‘n vrou staan en kyk …
In die afkopding ken sy haar man …
Met ‘n onaardse geil val sy bleek soos ‘n lyk …
Perd en ruiter verdwyn in die Pan!
Wee die reisiger wat daar onwetend kom skuil
Waar bouvallig die huisie nog staan,
En vreesagtig by wyle ‘n nagdiertjie huil
By die newelige lig van die maan!
Want by middernag waai daar ‘n wind deur die kloof,
Waai en huil soos ‘n kindjie wat kerm,
En dan jaag daar ‘n perd met ‘n man sonder hoof …
Wie dit sien, roep verskrik: “Heer, ontferm!”
Want die vuurvonke spat waar die hoefslae dreun,
En dit vlam uit sy neus en sy oog;
Styf en stram sit die ruiter na vore geleun,
En die bloed uit sy nek spuit ‘n boog;
En dan eensklaps van uit die vervalle gebou
Kom ‘n vreeslike skrikbeeld gevaar,
Al die hare orent – ‘n waansinnige vrou
Met ‘n hande-wringend gebaar:
“Waarom rus jy nie, rus jy nie, Jan van der Meer?
Waarom jaag jy my elke nag op?
Sal daar nimmer ‘n einde kom … altyd maar weer
Die galop … die galop … die galop?!”
Die afgryslike klank – nog gehuil nog gelag –
En die perd met die romp van ‘n man …!
Dis geen plek vir ‘n Christenmens daar in die nag
Langs die pad na die Skimmelperdpan!
Uit: Die Purper Iris.
Slagveld – Majuba
So sing die jonges vol van vreugde,
maar ag, oom Gert se hart is seer
as hy straks diep en dieper peinsend
gaan langs die slagveld van weleer.
Dáár lê Majuba, donker kleurig,
sy sye een en al terras;
dis of die berg van alle eeue
vir wonderdaad geskape was.
Daar lê Laingsnek; dis of Gods hande
dit vir ‘n skanswerk uit wou bou.
En daar’s Ingogo’s kronkelbedding—
net om die vyand op te hou.
Daar’s nog die wonderlike hoeke,
net om die vyand vas te keer;
maar ag, oom Gert voel nou so anders,
sy hart is onverklaarbaar seer.
Hy sien nou oral groot kanonne,
hy weet nie of die ding sal gaan.
Die treine voer nou alle soorte
van wapens uit die hoofstad aan.
Daar is hom ook so baie mense,
en baie goed word aangevoer;
voorheen was daar so min maar nodig:
‘n ryperd, biltong en ‘n roer.
Dis nodig, ja, die tyd die vorder,
en daarom swyg hy maar en kyk.
Maar heel die Amajuba-wêreld,
alles wil hom so anders lyk.
Tog leef hy weer, die troue krygsman,
al trek hy nou maar same net:
‘n oorlogsperd die stamp en runnik
wanneer hy hoor die krygstrompet!
Uit Goue Gode…XV : Verse van Totius C. Louis Leipoldt: DIE KOPERKAPEL Die koperkapel kom uit sy gat
En sluip die randjie rond:
“Dit het gereën; die veld is nat,
En nat is die rooi-geel grond.”
Die meerkat kom, en sy ogies blink,
En hy staan orent en wag.
En die stokou ystervark sê: “Ek dink
Die reën kom weer vannag.”
Maar die geitjie piep: “Dis glad nie reën!
Dis kollerig, swart en rooi:
Kom jy sulke reën in jou lewe teen –
So glad, so styf, so mooi?”
En die wyse steenuil waag sy woord:
“Dis bloed, dis mensebloed!
Dis die lewensbloed wat hierdie oord
Se bossie-wortels voed!”
Wittekind in die Konsentrasiekamp (Aliwal Noord, 1901) O, pazienza, pazienza che tanto sostieni! Dante. Jou oê is nat met die trane van gister; Jou siel is gemartel, deur smarte gepla; Van vrede en pret was jy vroër ‘n verkwister; En nou, wat bly oor van jou rykdomme? Ja, ‘n Spreekwoord tot steun–daar’s geen trooswoord beslister: “Geduld, o geduld, wat so baie kan dra! Hier sit jy te koes teen die wind, wat daar suie Yskoud deur die tentseil, geskeur deur die hael– Jou enigste skuil in die nag teen die buie; Die Junielug stort oor die stroom van die Vaal– Jy hoor net die hoes van jou kind, en die luie Gedrup van die reendruppeltjies oor die paal. ‘n Kers, nog maar anderhalf duim, voor hy sterwe, Brand dof in ‘n bottel hier vlak naas jou bed. (‘n Kafhuis gee makliker rus: op die gerwe Daar lê ‘n mens sag, en sy slaap is gered!) En hier in die nag laat jou drome jou swerwe ‘n Aaklige rondte met trane besmet. Hier struikel die kind, wat te vroeg was gebore; Hier sterwe die oumens, te swak vir die stryd; Hier kom ‘n gekerm en gekreun in jou ore; Hier tel jy met angs elke tik van die tyd; Want elke sekond van die smart laat sy spore Gedruk op jou hart, deur ‘n offer gewyd. En deur elke skeur in die seil kan jy duister Die wolke bespeur oor die hemel verbrei; Geen ster skyn as gids; na geen stem kan jy luister– (Eentonig die hoes van jou kind aan jou sy!) Wat sag deur die wind in jou ore kom fluister: “Geduld, o geduld, wat so baie kan ly! Vergewe? Vergeet? Is dit maklik vergewe? Die smarte, die angs, het so baie gepla! Die yster het gloeiend ‘n merk vir die eeue Gebrand op ons volk, en die wond is te na, Te na aan ons hart en te diep in ons lewe– “Geduld, o geduld, wat so baie kan dra!” Uit: Oom Gert Vertel en Ander Gedigte, C. Louis Leipoldt, Uitg. Mij. v/h. J. Dusseau & Co, Kaapstad 1921
Image:www.heliograph.com…Jan Smuts Read onTHIS LINK about Jan Smuts. The link will open in a new window.
The title of a painting,” said Marcel Duchamp, “is another colour on the artist’s palette.” He also talked of treating the title “like an invisible colour”. Duchamp’s remarks were part of his ongoing argument with the art of painting…………………………….
The painting shows – well, what it obviously doesn’t show is the Boer War, or any individual episode from Britain’s Imperial war in South Africa, which had ended the year before this picture was painted. But the likely link between words and image isn’t hard to find. A lone woman stands by a stream at the bottom of a field or garden. She was the fiancée or wife or sister of a man killed in the war. She’s lately heard the news, and gone off on her own. Or she’s been in mourning some time, but the place – this is where they used to walk, and never will again – calls out a sudden pang of memory and grief.
The Boer War is her back story, then, her motivation, the reason for her state of mind. It is the content of her invisible thought bubble. It is, in a sense, a perfectly straight descriptive title for this picture. For how do you show the Boer War except by depicting scenes from the war? And why shouldn’t those scenes include, not only battlefields and sieges, but also the scenes of bereavement and desolation that were the immediate consequence back home?
Read the complete article… HERE …. This next poem was written by Totius and it’s about the Afrikaner nation/Afrikaans that was stepped upon/damaged by the English and his message in this poem for the Afrikaner nation/Afrikaans is: “you’re strong, you will get up again, you will be a strong nation again and you should forgive what was done to you. The scars will be there, but you should grow to be strong again.”… a very deep poem… Vergewe en vergeet
Daar het ‘n doringboompie
vlak by die pad gestaan,
waar lange ossespanne
met sware vragte gaan.
En eendag kom daarlanges
‘n ossewa verby,
wat met sy sware wiele
dwars-oor die boompie ry.
“Jy het mos, doringstruikie,
my ander dag gekrap;
en daarom het my wiele
jou kroontjie platgetrap.”
Die ossewa verdwyn weer
agter ‘n heuweltop,
en langsaam buig die boompie
sy stammetjie weer op.
Sy skoonheid was geskonde;
sy bassies was geskeur;
op een plek was die stammetjie
so amper middeldeur.
Maar tog het daardie boompie
weer stadig reggekom,
want oor sy wonde druppel
die salf van eie gom.
Ook het die loop van jare
die wonde weggewis –
net een plek byl ‘n teken
wat onuitwisbaar is. Die wonde word gesond weer
as jare kom en gaan,
maar daardie merk word groter
en groei maar aldeur aan.
Totius The Concentration Camps
1. Introduction The concentration camps in which Britain killed 27,000 Boer women and children (24,000) during the Second War of Independence (1899 – 1902) today still have far-reaching effects on the existence of the Boerevolk. This holocaust once more enjoyed close scrutiny during the visit of the queen of England to South Africa, when ten organizations promoting the independence of the Boer Republics, presented her with a message, demanding that England redress the wrongs committed against the Boerevolk.
Women and children in the camps – image:hellkamp
2. Background The Second War of Independence was fought from 1899 to 1902 when England laid her hands on the mineral riches of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (Transvaal) under the false pretence of protecting the rights of the foreigners who swarmed to the Transvaal gold fields. On the battlefield England failed to get the better of the Boers, and decided to stoop to a full-scale war against the Boer women and children, employing a holocaust to force the burghers to surrender. 3. Course of the holocaust 3.1. The war against women and children begins Under the command of Kitchener, Milner and Roberts, more than homesteads and farms belonging to Boer people were plundered and burned down. Animals belonging to the Boers were killed in the cruelest ways possible while the women, whose men were on the battlefield, had to watch helplessly.
Leaving sheep to rotten – image: hellkamp
The motive behind this action was the destruction of the farms in order to prevent the fighting burghers from obtaining food, and to demoralize the Boers by leaving their women and children homeless on the open veld.
Before the blast – images:hellkamp
After the blast
Destroyed for king and country
However, England misjudged the steel of the Boer people. Despite their desperate circumstances, the women and children managed to survive fairly well in the open and their men continued their fight against the invader.
Women and children on the run…away from the English
More severe measures had to be taken. The English hoarded the Boer women and children into open cattle trucks or drove them on foot to concentration camps.
3.2. False pretences
To the world England pretended to act very humanely by caring for the fighting Boers’ women and children in “refugee camps”. An English school textbook published in 1914 in Johannesburg, but printed in England, Historical Geography: South Africa, by JR Fisher, makes the following claim:
“During the later stages of the war, the relations, women and
children, of those Boers still in the field, were fed and cared
for at the expense of Great Britain, a method of procedure which,
though humane, postponed the end of the war, at the expense of
many valuable lives and much money.”
This statement is contradicted by various sources. The Cape Argus of 21 June 1900 clearly states that the destitution of these women and children was the result of the English’s plundering of farms: “Within 10 miles we (the English) burned not less than six farm homesteads. Between 30 and 40 homesteads were burned and totally destroyed between Bloemfontein and Boshoff. Many others were also burned down. With their houses destroyed, the women and children were left in the bitter South African winter in the open.” The British history text book says nothing about this.
Awfully generous of the English to care for those whose houses they destroyed!
Breytenbach writes in Danie Theron: “The destruction was undertaken in a diabolic way and even Mrs Prinsloo, a 22 year old lady who gave birth to a baby only 24 hours ago in the house of Van Niekerk, was not spared. A group of rude tommies (British soldiers), amongst whom a so-called English doctor, forced their way into her room, and after making a pretence of examining her, they drove her out of the house. With the aid of her sister, she managed to don a few articles of clothing and left the house. Her mother brought a blanket to protect her against the cold. The soldiers robustly jerked the blanket out of her mother’s hands and after having looted whatever they wanted to, put the house to fire. Afterwards the old man was driven on foot to Kroonstad by mounted kakies (British soldiers), while his wife and daughter (Mrs Prinsloo) were left destitute on the scorched farm.”
England’s claim of caring for the Boer women reminds one of somebody who boasts to have saved the life of someone he himself has pushed into the water. However, there is one vital difference: The holocaust on the Boer women and children began in all earnest once they had been forced into the concentration camps under the “care” of the British!
Family at the beginning – newly arrived with tea and bread (Nasty English Propaganda)
Despite the English claims that the concentration camps were “voluntary refugee camps” the following questions must be asked:
– From whom did the refugees flee? Certainly not from their own husbands and sons!
– How can the fact that the “voluntary” women and children had to be dragged to the concentration camps by force be explained?
– Why should the “voluntary refugee camps” be enclosed by barbed wire fences and the inmates be overseen by armed wardens? Kimberley camp had a five meter high barbed wire fence and some camps even had two or three fences!
– Why would one of the camp commanders make the following statement quoted by Emily Hobhouse: “The wardens were under orders not to interfere with the inmates, unless they should try to escape.”? What kind of “voluntary refugee” would want to escape?
Perhaps the words of the Welsh William Redmond are closer to the truth: “The way in which these wretched, unfortunate and poor women and children are treated in South Africa is barbarous, outrageous, scandalous and disgraceful.”
3.3. Planning for death
The English claim of decent actions towards the Boer women and children are further contradicted by the location of the concentration camps. The military authorities, who often had to plan and erect camps for their soldiers, would certainly have been well aware of the essential requirements for such camps. Yet the concentration camps were established in the most unsuitable locations possible.
Boer-family in the camps
At Standerton the camp was erected on both banks of the Vaal River. It was on the Highveld, which ensured that it was extremely cold in winter and infested with mosquitoes in summer. The fact that Standerton had turf soil and a high rainfall, ensured that the camp was one big mud bath in summer, even inside the tents.
The same circumstances were experienced in camps such as Brandfort, Springfontein and Orange River. At Pretoria, the Irene Camp was located at the chilly southern side of the town, while the northern side had a much more favourable climate. Balmoral, Middelburg and other camps were also located on the south-eastern hangs of the hills to ensure that the inhabitants were exposed to the icy south easterly winds.
Merebank camp was located in a swamp where there was an abundance of various kinds of insects. Water oozed out of the ground, ensuring that everything was constantly wet and slimy.
By October 1900 there were already 58 883 people in concentration camps in Transvaal and 45 306 in the Free State.
The amenities in the camps were clearly planned to kill as many of the women and children as possible. They were accommodated in tattered reject tents which offered no protection against the elements.
Emily Hobhouse, the Cornish lady who campaigned for better conditions for the Boer women, wrote: “Throughout the night there was a downpour. Puddles of water were everywhere. They tried to get themselves and their possessions dry on the soaked ground.”
(Hobhouse: Brunt of the War, page 169.)
Dr Kendal Franks reports on the Irene Camp: “In one of the tents there were three families; parents and children, a total of 14 people and all were suffering from measles.”
In Springfontein camp, 19 to 20 people where crammed into one tent.
There were neither beds nor mattresses and nearly the whole camp population had to sleep on the bare ground, which was damp most of the time.
One person wrote the following plea for aid to the New York Herald: “In the name of small children who have to sleep in open tents without fire, with barely any clothes, I plea for help.”
According to a British journalist, WT Stead, the concentration camps were nothing more than a cruel torture machine. He writes: “Every one of these children who died as a result of the halving of their rations, thereby exerting pressure onto their family still on the battle-field, was purposefully murdered. The system of half rations stands exposed and stark and unshamefully as a cold-blooded deed of state policy employed with the purpose of ensuring the surrender of people whom we were not able to defeat on the battlefield.”
3.4. Let them die of hunger
The detainees received no fruit or vegetables; not even milk for the babies.
The meat and flour issued were crawling with maggots. Emily Hobhouse writes: “I have in my possession coffee and sugar which were described as follows by a London analyst: In the case of the first, 66% imitation, and in the case of the second, sweepings from a warehouse.”
In her book, Met die Boere in die Veld (With the Boers in the field), Sara Raal states that “there were poisonous sulphate of copper, grounded glass, fishhooks, and razor blades in the rations.” The evidence given on this fact is so overwhelming that it must be regarded as a historical fact.
3.5. No hygiene
The outbreak of disease and epidemics in the camps were further promoted by, inter alia, the lack of sanitary conveniences. Bloemfontein camp had only 13 toilets for more than 3 500 people. Aliwal North camp had one toilet for every 170 people.
A British physician, Dr Henry Becker, writes: “First, they chose an ill-suited site for the camp. Then they supplied so little water that the people could neither wash themselves nor their clothes. Furthermore, they made no provision for sufficient waste removal. And lastly, they did not provide enough toilets for the overpopulation they had crammed into the camps.”
A report on a Ladies’ Committee’s visit to Bloemfontein camp stated: “They saw how the women tried to wash clothes in small puddles of water and sometimes had to use the water more than once.”
3.6. Hospitals of homicide
Ill and healthy people were crammed together into unventilated areas conducive to the spreading of disease and epidemics. At first there were no medical amenities whatsoever in the camps.
Later doctors were appointed, but too few. In Johannesburg there was one doctor for every 4 000 afflicted patients.
A report on the Irene camp states that, out of a population of 1325 detainees, 154 were ill and 20 had died during the previous week. Still this camp had only one doctor and no hospital.
In some camps matters were even worse. The large Bloemfontein camp did not have a single doctor; only one nurse who could not possibly cope with the conditions. During a visit to Norvalspont camp Emily Hobhouse could not even find a trained nurse.
The later appointment of medical personnel did not improve the conditions. They were appointed for their loyalty towards the British invasion; not for their medical capability. They maltreated the Boere.
Emily Hobhouse tells the story of the young Lizzie van Zyl who died in the Bloemfontein concentration camp: “She was a frail, weak little child in desperate need of good care. Yet, because her mother was one of the ‘undesirables’ due to the fact that her father neither surrendered nor betrayed his people, Lizzie was placed on the lowest rations and so perished with hunger that, after a month in the camp, she was transferred to the new small hospital. Here she was treated harshly. The English disposed doctor and his nurses did not understand her language and, as she could not speak English, labeled her an idiot although she was mentally fit and normal. One day she dejectedly started calling: Mother! Mother! I want to go to my mother! One Mrs Botha walked over to her to console her. She was just telling the child that she would soon see her mother again, when she was brusquely interrupted by one of the nurses who told her not to interfere with the child as she was a nuisance.” Shortly afterwards, Lizzie van Zyl died.
Treu, a medical assistant in the Johannesburg concentration camp, stated that patients were bullied and even lashed with a strap.
Ill people who were taken to the camp hospitals were as good as dead. One woman declared: “We fear the hospitals more than death.”
The following two reports should give an idea of the inefficiency of the camp hospitals: “Often people suffering from a minor ailment were violently removed from the tents of protesting mothers or family members to be taken to hospital. After a few days they were more often than not carried to the grave.”
“Should a child leave the hospital alive, it was simply a miracle.”
(Both quotations from Stemme uit die Verlede – a collection of sworn statements by women who were detained in the concentration camps during the Second War of Independence.)
3.7. The highest sacrifice
In total 27 000 women and children made the highest sacrifice in the British hell camps during the struggle for the freedom of the Boerevolk.
Mrs Helen Harris, who paid a visit to the Potchefstroom concentration camp, stated: “Imagine a one year old baby who receives no milk; who has to drink water or coffee – there is no doubt that this is the cause of the poor health of the children.”
Should one take note of the fact that it were the English who killed the Boers’ cattle with bayonets, thereby depriving the children of their food sources, then the high fatality rate does not seem to be incidental.
Despite shocking fatality figures in the concentration camps, the English did nothing to improve the situation, and the English public remained deaf to the lamentations in the concentration camps as thousands of people, especially children, were carried to their graves.
The Welshman, Lloyd George, stated: “The fatality rate of our soldiers on the battlefields, who were exposed to all the risks of war, was 52 per thousand per year, while the fatalities of women and children in the camps were 450 per thousand per year. We have no right to put women and children into such a position.”
An Irishman, Dillon, said: “I can produce and endless succession of confirmations that the conditions in most of the camps are appalling and brutal. To my opinion the fatality rate is nothing less than cold-blooded murder.”
One European had the following comment on England’s conduct with the concentration camps: “Great Britain cannot win her battles without resorting to the despicable cowardice of the most loathsome cure on earth – the act of striking at a brave man’s heart through his wife’s honor and his child’s life.”
The barbarisms of the English is strongly evidenced by the way in which they unceremoniously threw the corpses of children in heaps on mule carts to be transported to the cemeteries. The mourning mothers had to follow on foot. Due to illness or fatigue many of them could not follow fast enough and had to miss the funerals of their children.
According to PF Bruwer, author of Vir Volk en Vryheid, all the facts point out that the concentration camps, also known as the hell camps, were a calculated and deliberate effort by England to commit a holocaust on the Boerevolk
As a direct result of the concentration camps, the “Peace Treaty” of Vereeniging was signed, according to which the Boer Republics came under British rule.
4.2. Called up by the enemy
It is a bitter irony that during World War I England laid claim to the same boys who survived the concentration camps to fight against Germany, which was well-disposed towards the Boerevolk.
Thereby they had to lay their lives upon the line for the second time to the benefit of England.
Kroniek van die Kampkinders (Chronicle of the camp children) by HS van Blerk describes how, after World War I, this generation were, in addition, kept out of the labor force and how they were impoverished – all simply because they were Boers.
4.3. Immortalised in our literature
In this modern world it seems as if few people realize the hardships our forefathers had to endure in order to lose our freedom only without forfeiting the honor of our people.
Therefore, it is proper to look at the reflection of the concentration camps in our literature, where the nobility of our forefathers is immortalized.
4.4. We may not forget
In total there were 31 concentration camps. In most cases, the adjoining cemeteries are in still in existence and are visited as often as possible by Boer people to mentally condition themselves to continue their struggle towards freedom.
There were concentration camps at: Irene, Barberton, Volksrust, Belfast, Klerksdorp, Pietersburg, Potchefstroom, Vereeniging, Turffontein, Balmoral, Nylstroom, Standerton, Heilbron, Kimberley, Bloemfontein, Middelburg, Kroonstad, Heidelberg, Krugersdorp, Vryburg, Vredefort, Brandfort, Springfontein, Bethulie, Norvalspont, Port Elizabeth, Aliwal North, Merebank, Pinetown, Howick and Pietermaritzburg.
4.5. Pillars of support
Amidst all the misery brought upon our people by the English, there were pillars of support: firstly the certainty that our cause was just and fair and based upon faith. However, there also were people who made major sacrifices in an effort to ease the burden of Boer women and children.
No study of the concentration camps could possibly be complete without mention of the name of Emily Hobhouse. This Cornish lady was a symbol of light and decency for Boer women and children.
Emily Hobhouse did everything within her power to assist the women and children. As a result of her efforts to persuade the invaders towards an attitude of humanity and reason, she was banned from South Africa by the British authorities.
However, the Boerevolk remains grateful towards Emily Hobhouse for her efforts and her remains are resting in a place of honor under the Women’s Monument in Bloemfontein.
Other people who spoke out against the barbaric methods of England were: J Ellis (Irish), Lloyd George (Welsh), CP Scott (Scottish), William Redmond (Welsh) and Ramsey McDonald (Scottish).
Today, the numbers of the Boerevolk are at least 3 million less that it would have been, had the English not committed genocide on the Boerevolk. This robs our people of our right to self-determination in the new so-called democratic system. (In truth, democracy means government by the people and not government by the rabble as is presently the case in South Africa.”)
The holocaust, together with treason committed by Afrikaners (take note: not Boere) such as Jan Smuts and Louis Botha, forced the Boerevolk to sign the peace accord of Vereeniging which deprived our volk of its freedom.
The alien and inferior British culture was forced onto our people.
The various indigenous peoples of South Africa were insensitively bundled into one Union without giving a thought to their respective identities and right to self-determination.
As in the case of the Boerevolk, the local black nations were effectively robbed of their freedom, which gave rise to the establishment of the ANC in 1912 (two years after the foundation of the Union) to struggle for black nationalism.
The British system of apartheid, which they applied all over the world (for instance also in India, Australia and New-Zealand), had to be imported to control the mixed population. The first manifestation of this were signs reading “Europeans” and “Non-Europeans”. No Boer ever regarded himself as a “European”. Apartheid invoked racial friction and even racial hatred which has in no means abated to this very day, and the bitter irony is that the Boerevolk, who had not been in power since 1902 and who also suffered severely under apartheid in the sense that apartheid robbed them of their land and their work-ethics, are being blamed for apartheid today.
England’s pretence for the invasion was the rights of the foreign miners. Yet after the war, these very same miners were treated so badly by their English and Jewish bosses that they had to resort to general strikes in 1913 and 1922 (3 and 12 years after the establishment of the British ruled Union), during which many mine-workers were shot dead in the streets of Johannesburg by the British disposed Union government. So much for the rights of the foreign miners under English rule.
The efficient and equitable republican system of government of the Boer Republics was replaced with the unworkable Westminster system of government, which led to endless misery and conflict. 6. Summation
The concentration camps were a calculated and intentional holocaust committed on the Boerevolk by England with the aim of annihilating the Boerevolk and reeling in the Boer Republics.
Comparing the killing of Jews during World War 2, proportionately fewer Jews were killed than Boer women and children during the Second War of Independence.
Yet, after World War 2, England mercilessly insisted on a frantic retribution campaign against the whole German nation for the purported Jewish holocaust. To this day, Germany is being forced to pay annual compensation to the Jews, which means that Germans who were not even born at the time of World War 2, still have to suffer today for alleged atrocities committed by the Germans. Should England subject herself to the same principles applied to Germany, then England must do everything within her power to reinstitute the Boer republics and to pay annual compensation to the Boerevolk for the atrocities committed against the Boerevolk.
“Their only crime was that they stood between England and the gold of Transvaal.”
Message of Vryheidsaksie Boererepublieke to the queen of England.
Mediadienste. –1995–P 1 – 7.
Suid-Afrikaanse en Algemene Geskiedenis vir Senior Matriek, (Tweede Uitgawe) by BG Lindeque. Juta —1948– Pp 235, 239, 240, 249 – 258, 268 – 272.
Juta se Nuwe Geskiedenisleesboeke vir primêre Skole, Standerd IV by Alice Jenner. Juta. (Date of publication unknown) Pp 41, 42, 49 – 54.
Russia and the Anglo-Boer War 1899 – 1902 by Elisaveta Kandyba- Foxcroft. CUM Roodepoort. –1981– P 254.
Vir Volk en Vryheid by PF Bruwer. Oranjewerkers Promosies. –1988– Pp 346, 348, 407, 411 – 413, 416 – 455.
Die Laaste Veldslag by Franz Conradie. Daan Retief Publishers. —1981—Pp 62, 77, 78, 83, 123 – 126, 129 – 132.
Historical Geography of South Africa. Special edition for Standard III of South African Schools edited by F Handel Thompson. Henry Frowde, Oxford University Press, Hodder & Stoughton, Warwick Square EC. –1914– Pp 160, 165, 167 – 168.
Gewapende Protes by PG Hendriks. Oranjewerkers Promosies. –1988–Pp 8, 11, 12, 21, 24, 27, 29, 30, 46, 53 – 62, 94, 95.
Kroniek van die Kampkinders by HS van Blerk. Oranjewerkers Promosies. –1989– Pp 35 – 38, 49, 65 – 67, 70, 74, 75, 152.
From Van Riebeeck to Vorster 1652 – 1974. An Introduction to the History of the Republic of South Africa by FA van Jaarsveld.Perskor.—1975—Pp 197, 199, 202 – 205, 209, 217 – 220, 253.
Vyftig Gedigte van C Louis Leipoldt, ‘n keur deur WEG Louw. Tafelberg Publishers. (First edition 1946–Pp 19 – 23.
Gedigte by AG Visser (third print). JL van Schaik. –1928– Pp 57 -61.
Family narrations as recounted since the Second War of Independence from generation to generation. (Author’s great-great-grandmother was detained and tortured in the concentration camp at Heilbron.) Source …….. http://appiusforum.net/hellkamp.html[if the link doesn’t open on this link, type “hellkamp.html” in after the main url and you will find the actual link of the Source]
Recently a kind lady from Louisiana mailed me a copy of the “History of the Boers in South Africa,” written in 1887 by a Canadian missionary with no political axe to grind: namely George McCall Theal.
It contains a map showing the territories which were being farmed by the Boers: from the Olifants/Limpopo rivers in the north to below the Orange River in the South (Colesburg).
It shows the names of the towns they had started wihich carried names such as Lydenburg, ( Place of Suffering) Vryheid, ( Place of Freedom) Pietermaritzburg, (named after the famous Voortrekker leader) Pilippolis and Bethulie, (named after their beloved Bible) and Potchefstroom, Rustenburg, Winburg and Bloemfontein… as they Trekked, the Boers named the map of South Africa, and many of its vegetation and wildlife as well.
All these Boer names are now being wiped off the map of South Africa in one fell swoop by the ANC-regime — even though the Boers’ official history had ended in 1902, long before the elitist-Afrikaners who ran the secret Afrikaner Broederbond cabal had started apartheid in 1948.
Yet this is not the first time that the Boers are facing such an ethnic cleansing campaign by a nation which is hell-bent to remove their very rights to exist in South Africa – this is actually already the third time in Boer history.
The first time the British tried to eradicate them from the map of South Africa with their vicious war and their even more vicious concentration camps where many tens of thousands of Boer women, children and elderly starved to death within just a few months.
After this first genocide to target the Boer nation, their descendants still managed to cling to their identity for at least another generation – until ….. …Read more HERE Report of Emily Hobhouse…
Drummer Hodge ~Thomas Hardy
They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
Uncoffined – just as found:
His landmark is a kopje-crest
That breaks the veldt around;
And foreign constellations west
Each night above his mound.
Young Hodge the Drummer never knew –
Fresh from his Wessex home –
The meaning of the broad Karoo,
The Bush, the dusty loam,
And why uprose to nightly view
Strange stars amid the gloam.
Yet portion of that unknown plain
Will Hodge forever be;
His homely Northern breast and brain
Grow to some Southern tree,
And strange-eyed constellation reign
His stars eternally.
Boer War and the movies…
Sean Mathias is directing Colossus, based on Ann Harries’ Manly Pursuits, a novel about the Boer War. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film’s scored a pretty impressive cast, considering that its budget is a relatively small $15 million: Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz, Ian McKellen and Susan Sarandon are all on-board. Though it’s not yet been announced which roles the stars will play, the movie “tells of ailing arch-colonist Cecil Rhodes’ [probably McKellen] belief that he can only recover his health if he can hear the sound of English song birds outside his window in Cape Town.” Get this: Someone is sent from England with 500 freaking songbirds. When he gets there, he falls in love and decides he needs to stop the Boer War from happening. Ah, if only all men in love would immediately resolve to end wars — what a lovely world this would be.
Please click HERE for the Gutenberg-files about the Boer Women during the War and then click on this file-number: files/20194/ Click HERE for a list of Africana books about the war, there’s a list of about 177…English as well as Afrikaans.
Available below is a 1901 recording of the Boer War sentimental favourite Goodbye Dolly Gray. An extract of the song’s lyrics are also provided.
The song was written by Will D. Cobb (lyrics) and Paul Barnes (music). Although it gained widespread fame during the Boer War it had earlier been sung in the U.S. during the U.S.-Spanish War of 1898. The song saw renewed airings with the onset of the First World War in 1914.
Listen to the song here:
Goodbye Dolly Gray
I have come to say goodbye, Dolly Gray,
It’s no use to ask me why, Dolly Gray,
There’s a murmur in the air, you can hear it everywhere,
It’s the time to do and dare, Dolly Gray.
So if you hear the sound of feet, Dolly Gray,
Sounding through the village street, Dolly Gray,
It’s the tramp of soldiers’ true in their uniforms so blue,
I must say goodbye to you, Dolly Gray.
Goodbye Dolly I must leave you, though it breaks my heart to go,
Something tells me I am needed at the front to fight the foe,
See – the boys in blue are marching and I can no longer stay,
Hark – I hear the bugle calling, goodbye Dolly Gray. Source: http://www.firstworldwar.com/audio/goodbyedollygray.htm
Image and caption: nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/boer-soldiers-posing
General Joubert’s unit of Boer soldiers and their African servant stop for lunch at Newcastle, Natal, less than a week after war was declared in 1899. Several of the soldiers are leaning against Dr Visser’s travelling medical wagon. Photographed by Robert Gell, 17 October 1899.
British tactics during the South African War included the burning of farmhouses and destruction of livestock so that they would not fall into the hands of Boer commandos. Here members of New Zealand’s Seventh Contingent pose with the carcasses of chickens and sheep.
Fashion could be important, even out on the veldt, as the garments of these Boer women suggest. Photographed by Rough Rider John McGrath
Drummer Hodge…poetry of the Anglo-Boer War.
Drummer Hodge: Poetry of the Boer War—van Wyk Smith, M.
Clarendon Press, Oxford 1978
ISBN: 0198120826 Source: elizabethsbookshop.com.au
These people were as near akin to us as any race which is not
our own. They were of the same Frisian stock which peopled our own
shores. In habit of mind, in religion, in respect for law, they
were as ourselves. Brave, too, they were, and hospitable, with
those sporting instincts which are dear to the Anglo-Celtic race.
There was no people in the world who had more qualities which we
might admire, and not the least of them was that love of
independence which it is our proudest boast that we have encouraged
in others as well as exercised ourselves.Source: http://infomotions.com/etexts/gutenberg/dirs/etext02/gboer11.htm
Shaw, John Byam : The Boer War (1901)
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
The title of a painting,” said Marcel Duchamp, “is another colour on the artist’s palette.” He also talked of treating the title “like an invisible colour”. Duchamp’s remarks were part of his ongoing argument with the art of painting. His point was that painting should not be understood as a purely visual or optical or (to use his favourite jibe), “retinal” art. That was the state to which Impressionism had reduced it. But painting should mobilise all its resources of meaning, among them the title. This verbal component shouldn’t be neutrally descriptive, nor be seen as something extraneous. It could be an integral effect, like another colour.
Comparing titles to colours was, of course, provocative, because colour is often considered the least verbal, the most inarticulate and untranslatable factor in a painting. But Duchamp’s phrase is more than a tease. It suggests that the title should be liberated. It should be used, not as a caption that presides over the whole picture, but as one more ingredient in the mixture, an active element in the picture’s drama.
Titles were to be given free play. Duchamp’s own were often spectacularly lateral, puzzles and mini-poems in their own right. There was Tum’. There was The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even. And other 20thcentury artists, Dadaist, surreal, abstract, conceptual, took up the challenge, putting the oblique title through all its possible paces.
But the device itself was not the invention of modern art. In the 19th century, while Impressionism flourished in France, another kind of painting had sprung up in England, which would later be criticised, not as “retinal”, but on the contrary as “anecdotal”. In the works of the pre-Raphaelites and their contemporaries, the title of the picture was often made to do crucial extra business.
The Last of England, The First Cloud, The Awakening Conscience, Our English Coasts – these titles are vital ingredients. They introduce story, symbolism, state of mind and always something more or something other than what the picture shows. They make the viewer’s mind jump from the image to an idea behind or beyond the image. And sometimes the jump itself, the sense of distance between the title and the rest of the picture, is where the work’s real power lies.
John Byam Shaw’s The Boer War is far from being a great work. But it’s a work that understands the rich possibilities of the oblique title. The ways that its title performs in the viewer’s mind, both connecting and disconnecting to the image, makes it a kind of masterpiece.
The painting shows – well, what it obviously doesn’t show is the Boer War, or any individual episode from Britain’s Imperial war in South Africa, which had ended the year before this picture was painted. But the likely link between words and image isn’t hard to find. A lone woman stands by a stream at the bottom of a field or garden. She was the fiancée or wife or sister of a man killed in the war. She’s lately heard the news, and gone off on her own. Or she’s been in mourning some time, but the place – this is where they used to walk, and never will again – calls out a sudden pang of memory and grief.
The Boer War is her back story, then, her motivation, the reason for her state of mind. It is the content of her invisible thought bubble. It is, in a sense, a perfectly straight descriptive title for this picture. For how do you show the Boer War except by depicting scenes from the war? And why shouldn’t those scenes include, not only battlefields and sieges, but also the scenes of bereavement and desolation that were the immediate consequence back home?
So the title fits. But at the same time, clearly, we’re to feel a great rupture and estrangement between those words, The Boer War, and the scene before us. And this distance can stand for and stress the various other distances – geographic, experiential – that the work evokes.
There is the distance between peace and war. There is the distance between the green English countryside and the dusty South African veldt. There is the distance between the woman and the man who was absent far away and is now absolutely dead and gone. There is the distance between the woman, with her mind fixed on loss and death, and the burgeoning natural world around her – further emphasised by the way her figure slightly sticks out against the landscape like a piece of collage.
The classic pre-Raphaelite manner of Byam Shaw’s painting, with its manic eye for the proliferating detail of nature, contributes to this effect. You can see it as how the woman herself sees her surroundings. Shock and grief can cause the mind to become blankly transfixed by the minutiae of the physical world, seeking something clear and particular to hold on to – as the narrator in Tennyson’s poem “Maud” focuses on a tiny sea shell after his world has fallen in.
Or again: the way the title, The Boer War, fails to “mean” the picture is like the way those words might become a malignantly empty phrase in the woman’s mind, words she must continually reiterate to herself and to others – the Boer War, the Boer War, he was killed in the Boer War – but which call up nothing and have no purchase on her loss.
Reading things into it? Yes, exactly. That’s what this kind of picture, this word image-juxtaposition, invites you to do. Reading things in, letting scene and title interact in the mind, is the way it works. In more than one way, Byam Shaw’s painting about a remote Imperial war has a rather contemporary feeling.
John Byam Shaw (1872-1919) was the second wind and last gasp of true pre- Raphaelitism. By the end of the 19th century, the movement had moved away from the Ruskin-Millais ideals of intense observational realism and moral commitment. It had drifted towards an airy-fairy religiose symbolism. Byam Shaw recovered some of the old ground – just at the point when this kind of art was about to go completely out of fashion, even in Britain. His name is now too small to get into all but the very biggest artdictionaries. But it is preserved in the north London art school that he founded, The Byam Shaw, which exists to this day.
(Interviews with Errol Lincoln Uys,1970)Johanna, or Joey as she was later called, was born in July 1892. Her mother was killed in a train crash in 1896, and Joey and her sister went to live with an uncle and aunt in Bethulie, Orange Free State, Magiel and Lettie Roux. When the Second Anglo-Boer War broke out in October 1899, Magiel joined the Bethulie Commando.
In September 1900, as British troops rolled over the veld, Magiel and thirty commandos attempted to flee the Orange Free State for the Transvaal. Joey and her cousins, the child Magiel and Johann, were in the convoy when it was attacked and captured by the British “Tommies” near Springfontein in the Free State.
We trekked with fourteen wagons, seventy women and children, escorted by thirty Boer commandos. Three days after leaving Bethulie, the Tommies found us.
“O, God, ons is nou gevang!” – (“O, God, now we’re caught!”)
It was daylight. I hid under a wagon. Magiel and Johann lay on the wagon floor. They couldn’t understand what was happening. There was confusion. People screaming. Shouts. “Rooinek vark!” – (“Redneck pig!”)
Women were shooting and killing Tommies. Tant (aunt) Lettie was a crack-shot. She kept firing till she’d no more bullets.
Several Boers were killed. Then we ran out of ammunition. We surrendered with a white flag on a stick.
I still see the red faces of the Tommies. They wore khaki, brass buttons, and leggings. Their heavy boots thudded as they walked.
They gathered our men together and took their guns and horses.
Before they were led away, our commandant warned us to obey the Tommies or be shot.
My uncle said goodbye. We were all crying.
Magiel looked at me. “Never desert her,” he said to my aunt. “If you’ve one crust of bread, break it in half and give it to her.”
As Joey recounted the attack on the wagons to me, she sang a line of an old Boer War song: “Zij geniet die blouwe bergen op die skepe na Ceylon.” — “They enjoy the blue mountains on the ships to Ceylon.”
Magiel went as POW to Sri Lanka where five thousand Boer guerillas were interned during the war. The British shipped four times that number to other camps in India, St. Helena and Bermuda.
At the wagons, the Tommies searched the women and went through their belongings.
The soldiers weren’t cruel. They hadn’t tasted real war yet.
While they searched our stuff, my aunt sat on a trommeltjie filled with bottles of Lennon’s home remedies. The Tommy’s never looked inside the medicine chest.
Tant Lettie had hidden gold sovereigns under the bottles.
After they took our men away, they made us get back into the wagons. We trekked across the veld to a station. We stayed there all night, some lying down, others sitting up in the wagons. In the morning, they pushed us into boxcars.
I couldn’t see anything. There were vents on top and one of these slammed onto my aunt’s head. When the train moved off, the boxcar shook so much we fell against each other.
My mother’s reference to a boxcar is unusual. Most women and children were herded into fetid cattle trucks to be shunted across the Free State under a boiling sun or through frigid nights.
We realized we were going to Bloemfontein.
“You’ll get food, everything you need in the camp,” the Tommies said.
At Bloemfontein, we were placed in carts. We were taken three miles outside town and dumped down on the veld.
They put up bell-tents for us, one next to the other. Hundreds of round tents, far as the eye could see. We met one of Tant (aunt) Lettie’s sisters and stayed together for a while.
A woman in the tent next to us went into labor. Her baby was born that night. The child contracted some disease and died soon after.
We slept on the bare ground. No bedding, no pillows, only some blankets from the wagon. It rained heavily. In the beginning, we didn’t know we had to loosen the tent ropes and let the water run off. We got sopping wet. Tant Lettie and I went outside in the rain. We released the ropes and knocked in the pegs again. It was a quagmire. Exhausted, we lay down in the mud to sleep.
We lit a paraffin lamp in the tent at night. At nine o’clock, all lights had to be out. Women were kicked and beaten if they disobeyed the orders of the Tommies. We obeyed.
We were issued ration cards and stood in line for food. We got meat, sugar, mealie meal, condensed milk. The meat was chilled. Even after cooking, it had chunks of ice in it. We used a paraffin tin outside the tent for a stove, same as a ‘kaffir-koggel ,’ with holes in the sides and irons to hold pots. We collected firewood on a kopje next to the camp. Water was brought from a river by cart. Every morning we stood in line to fill our buckets. We were always short of water.
Tant Lettie, the two boys and Johanna were designated “Undesirables,” a term applied to Boers who don’t go voluntarily into captivity or had family members on commando. “Refugees” described displaced Boers who surrender, the “hands-uppers” and their dependants. The latter are rewarded with a few extra spoonfuls of sugar, condensed milk and the luxury of the occasional potato. In either case, rations are insufficient to stave off starvation and disease.
If we had grievances, we were taken in front of the camp commandant. Usually, we kept quiet. We didn’t want trouble with the Tommies.
During the day, the women visited each other. We walked around the camp. The sun burnt us black. Our shoes wore out. Our clothes were unironed and filthy. Afterwards we got blue soap to wash our things. The toilet was horrible. A big hole with plank seats and sacking around it, you climbed up on top of the planks. No newspaper, no rags.
The camp was lice-infested. I watched Tommies take their leggings off, unwinding them like strips of bandages. They used broken glass to scrape the lice from their legs. My aunt had to cut all my hair off.
There was a church but I don’t remember going to it or to a school begun in the camp. Tant Lettie read to us from the Bible.
Theft was rife. There were fights between women.
Prostitutes carried on with Tommies and Boers in the camp. Most of the men were elderly. One old man called De Wet was a bastard. He wanted to interfere with my aunt. She chased him out of the tent. Tommies also interfered with the women.
I remember a short man with a gray beard. I hated him.
My aunt became friendly with one of the Tommies. She stole someone else’s skirt and walked with him.
Thousands of newcomers arrived at Bloemfontein camp. Thousands became sick. The marquee hospital tents were always full. The doctors worked day and night.
We found pieces of blue stone vitriol in the sugar. Lots of people were poisoned.
People died like rats. Carts came down the rows of tents to pick up the dead. There were funerals every day.
In the eighteen months Johanna and her family were in Bloemfontein concentration camp, the population soared to six thousand three hundred and twenty two. Of this number, one thousand six hundred and ninety-five perished from want and sickness.
British propagandists alleged that Boer mothers were killing their children through their own stupidity and carelessness. When seven-year-old Lizzie van Zyl died of hunger at Bloemfontein, a report said her mother starved her.
Emily Hobhouse, an English activist, spent six months in South Africa from January to June 1901 visiting Bloemfontein and six other camps. She saw Lizzie van Zyl die on an airless April day.
“I used to see her in her bare tent lying on a tiny mattress which had been given her, trying to get air from the raised flap, gasping her life out in the heated tent. Her mother tended her. I got some friends in town to make a little muslin cap to keep the flies from her bare head. I was arranging to get a cart made to draw her into the air in the cooler hours but before wood could be procured, the cold nights came on and she died. I found nothing to show neglect on the mother’s part.”
Emily returned to England to campaign against “a gigantic and grievous blunder caused not by uncaring women but crass male ignorance, helplessness and muddling.” Her militancy brought the scorn of the British people who called her a rebel, a liar, an enemy of the nation, hysterical and worse.
No one hated Emily more than Lord Kitchener, whose troops burnt down 30,000 farm houses, torched a score of towns and interned 116,572 Boers, a quarter of the population.
“It is for their protection against the Kaffirs,” said the British War Secretary, oblivious to the fact thatAfricans were being armed and encouraged by the English to attack a mutual enemy. Also ignoring the fact that 115,000 “black Boers” were sent to their own concentration camps, loyal servants who saw twelve thousand of their number die.
Miss Hobhouse was banned from visiting the most terrible of all camps that had been established just outside Bethulie, a place name meaning “Chosen by God.” My mother considered it a blessing of the Almighty that they weren’t interned at Bethulie where twelve hundred died in one six-month period from pneumonia and measles and from hunger.
The concentration camps claimed the lives of 27,972 Boers. Of these, 22,074 were children like Lizzie van Zyl.
We guarded the gold sovereigns day and night. After lights out, we slept next to the box where Tant Lettie had hidden the coins.
Women could apply to the camp commandant for a pass to go into Bloemfontein. Tant Lettie went to buy extra food. This was all that kept us alive.
I think of the thousands who died in the camps. I thank God that we survived.
In summer 1902, as Kitchener’s cordon strangled Boer resistance, Tant Lettie got notice that she and the children were going to another camp.
My mother was too young at the time to know why they were moved, whether Tant Lettie’s Tommy friend pulled strings or what other reason was behind the transfer. They went from Bloemfontein to a camp at Kubusie River near Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape, nestled in the green hills of the Amatola Range, a world away from the horrors of the dumping ground at Bloemfontein.
This time, Johanna recalled making the two-hundred-and-fifty mile journey in a cattle truck. According to one report, some of the refugees were supplied with tents, which they ingeniously erected on the beds of railroad cars. Others were covered with tarpaulins like so much baggage.
“The former arrived more contented and less sullen. All were provided with hot water and cocoa en route.”
We were vaccinated on arrival at Kubusie. Our arms swelled up. Magiel and Johann became sick but after a while we were all OK.
We lived in a one-roomed house. A big room with a plank table, plank chairs and three plank beds with straw mattresses.
Our days at Kubusie were happier. Farmers in the district helped the Boers. The camp was small, nothing like Bloemfontein. I don’t recall anyone dying at Kubusie.
A Miss O’Brien taught school in the camp. I learnt English from her. After school, she invited me to her room. My dress was in rags. Miss O’Brien cut up her own clothes to make dresses for me. She taught me how to knit and gave me a ball of wool for a pair of socks.
Who was Miss O’Brien? Was she English or Irish as her name might suggest? Was she one of Emily Hobhouse’s angels of mercy? It matters not, just that she was there, sitting with a child pretty as a flower, teaching her to knit a pair of socks.
Today, the site of Kubusie Concentration Camp has been turned into a car park and the surface area graveled and curbed.
“The socks were yellow,” Johanna said a lifetime later. She never forgot Miss O’Brien’s kindness.
Update: October 2008…this poem is an Afrikaans poem about the concentration camps…very sad poem, maybe I should try and translate it sometime for English readers…
C. Louis Leipoldt (1880-1947)
In die konsentrasiekamp
O, pazienza, pazienza che tanto sostieni! – Dante
Jou oë is nat met die trane van gister;
Jou siel is gemartel, deur smarte gepla;
Van vrede en pret was jy vroeër ’n verkwister;
En nou, wat bly oor van jou rykdomme? Ja,
’n Spreekwoord tot steun – daar’s geen trooswoord beslister:
“Geduld, o geduld, wat so baie kan dra!”
Hier sit jy en koes teen die wind wat daar suie
Yskoud deur die tentseil, geskeur deur die hael –
Jou enigste skuil in die nag teen die buie;
Die Junie-lug stort oor die stroom van die Vaal –
Jy hoor net die hoes van jou kind, en die luie
Gedrup van die reëndruppeltjies oor die paal.
’n Kers, nog maar anderhalf duim voor hy sterwe,
Brand dof in ’n bottel hier vlak naas jou bed.
(’n Kafhuis gee makliker rus: op die gerwe
Daar lê ’n mens sag, en sy slaap is gered!) –
En hier in die nag laat jou drome jou swerwe
’n Aaklige rondte met trane besmet.
Hier struikel die kind wat te vroeg was gebore;
Hier sterwe die oumens te swak vir die stryd;
Hier kom ’n gekerm en gekreun in jou ore;
Hier tel jy met angs elke tik van die tyd;
Want elke sekond’ van die smart laat sy spore
Gedruk op jou hart, deur ’n offer gewyd.
En deur elke skeur in die seil kan jy duister
Die wolke bespeur oor die hemel verbrei;
Geen ster skyn as gids; na geen stem kan jy luister
(Eentonig die hoes van jou kind aan jou sy!)
Wat sag deur die wind in jou ore kom fluister:
“Geduld, o geduld, wat so baie kan ly!”
Vergewe? Vergeet? Is dit maklik vergewe?
Die smarte, die angs het so baie gepla!
Die yster het gloeiend ’n merk vir die eeue
Gebrand op ons volk; en dié wond is te ná –
Te ná aan ons hart, en te diep in ons lewe –
“Geduld, o geduld, wat so baie kan dra!”
–uit: Groot Verseboek, 2000
Die Oorwinnaars By die kindergrafte uit die Konsentrasiekamp van Nylstroom
Oorwinnaars vir ons volk,
bly u vir al wat beste in ons is ‘n ewig’ tolk;
nooit weer sal vyandsvoet u stof so diep vertrap en smoor
dat ons u langer nie kan sien – en hoor.
Nie onse Helde, wat die magtig’ leër
op glansryk’ velde kon weerstaan en keer;
nie onse Seuns, wat aan die galg en teen die muur
die diepe liefde vir hul eie moes verduur;
nie onse Moeders, wat met bloeiend hart en seer,
in swart Getsemane die ware smart moes leer;
nie onse Generaals, vereer met krans en riddersnoer;
– was waardig vir ons volk die hoë stryd te voer
en te oorwin.
Nie ons, met vuile hand en hart ontrou was waardig
om die vaandel hoog te hou.
Maar u, o bleke spokies, in U kermend’, klagend’ wee,
staan voor ons ewiglik beskermend – uit die lang verlee.
Boer internees were separately held from black Africans. There were a total of 45 tented camps built for Boer internees and 64 for black Africans. Of the 28,000 Boer men captured as prisoners of war, 25,630 were sent overseas. The vast majority of Boers remaining in the local camps were women and children, but the camps established for black Africans held large numbers of men as well. A number of the black African internees were used as a paid labour force as they were not considered by the British to be hostile, although they had been forcibly removed from Boer areas. The majority of the black African internees however languished in the camps and suffered a high mortality rate.—so, “apartheid” by the British during the Boer/British war! Source: HERE The link will open in a new window.
Please click HERE to visit the Canadian site about the Boer War to read more. There is also a short movie and this link will open in a new window.
Please click on the image for a larger view
Danie Theron: The man picked for the job was Danie Theron, who was a lawyer from Krugersdorp. Even before the outbreak of the war he had formed a bicycle corps of Scouts believing that the effectiveness of horse mounted men was being undermined because modern bicycle technology was not being utilized properly.
He made a submission to Transvaal President Paul Kruger and General Joubert requesting the formation of a bicycle corps by pointing out that a horse needs rest and food, whereas a bicycle needs only a pump and oil.
To support his belief in the superiority of the bicycle he had planned a race between a bicycle and a horse from Pretoria to the Crocodile River a distance of 75 km.
The man he picked to ride the bicycle against the horse was cycling champion JP Koos Jooste.
The Cape Argus of 21 June 1900 clearly states that the destitution of these women and children was the result of the English’s plundering of farms: “Within 10 miles we (the English) burned not less than six farm homesteads. Between 30 and 40 homesteads were burned and totally destroyed between Bloemfontein and Boshoff. Many others were also burned down. With their houses destroyed, the women and children were left in the bitter South African winter in the open.” The British history text book says nothing about this. Read more on this blogentry on another site about the concentration camps on this link which will open in a new window.
Farmers’ houses burnt down.
Another farm house to be burnt down.
An old man sits in front of his house with a few saved belongings. On this next link you can order some books and I’ve found these three images on this link too. The link will open in a new window. The books are in English, but the site in Afrikaans, you can give me a big shout if you need any help with the site! If you click on the link “kontak ons”, on this site where you can order the books, – it means “contact us” – you will find an email address and contact details.
Lord Alfred Milner – Rothschild front man, executor of the “Scorched Earth Policy” and concentration camps for Boer women and children in 1899-1902; and spokesman for the Royal Institute of International Affairs, which branched into such organizations as the CFR and the Trilateral. His spirit and his legacy lives on in the present genocide of the Boers.
Apartheid is properly the legacy of Britain –- which has been under the control of the Rothschilds and his London Elite for centuries, and which refused to give independence to the Black nations currently within present-day SA, as it did to the cannibal Basuto tribe (Lesotho), and to the Swazis (Swaziland), before forming the Union of South Africa in 1910 out of the two former Boer republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State; and her two SA colonies viz: …read more on this link, but be warned, a very upsetting image…on this link. On the following link: Deirdre Fields – reports on the heroic Boer struggle for survival and self determination.
The Boer Republics had no organised force. In the event of war against natives or against some foreign Power, the burghers were called up from their farms, the husbands, fathers, sons of the nation, to fight for home and fatherland. This left the women and children unprotected on the farms, but not unprovided for, for it is an historical fact that the Boer women in time of war carried on their farming operations with greater vigour than during times of peace. Fruit trees were tended, fields were ploughed, and harvests brought in with redoubled energy, with the result that crops increased and live-stock multiplied.
The following update: 26/9/09 – from an Afrikaans blogger and her grandma who survived the Irene Concentration camp and she blogged today about things her grandma told her when she was little. I will translate for you in short.
Trisia says the following: Her grandad was put in jail and they were given food with worms in it. After the war he worked for a sjieling per day to reconstruct/rebuild the burnt-down farms. Her grandma told her some grusame stories and one is where the English took her little cat, swung it on its tail and smashed it against the wall. [POOR KITTY!!!] Also, they took her grandma’s dolls and burnt it with all their other stuff. [I can imagine their grusame smiles on their faces while doing it] Please find “Maankind”-s link (Trisia) if you want to read the entry on her blog – of course it is in Afrikaans only.
Oupa het graag vertel hoe hy as seun saam geveg het, en van sy hoed met die koeëlgaatjie in waar hy rakelings aan die dood ontkom het. Sy baadjie se moue het te kort geword gedurende die oorlog, en ek sien steeds die prentjie van die rankerige boerseun met die baadjie met driekwart moue in my kop. Hy het ook grusame verhale vertel van sy verblyf in die tronk as rebel, en van die wurms in die sop. Dan ook hoe hulle later na die oorlog op die paaie gewerk het teen ‘n “sieling” ‘n dag om hulle plase weer te kon opbou.
Ouma se stories was meer hartseer. Sy het die oorlog as dogtertjie beleef, wat gehuil het oor haar poppie, wat die Engelsman gegryp het en in die vuur geslinger het, en hoe hulle moes staan en kyk hoe hulle huis met alles daarin, in vlamme opgaan.
Wanneer ouma se oë sonder uitsondering vol trane geraak het, en haar stem gebewe het, is elke keer as sy vertel hoe die “Ingelsman haar katjie gegryp het en aan sy agterpootjies geswaai het, en sy koppie teen die muur papgeslaan het.
South of the Line, inland from far Durban,
A mouldering soldier lies—your countryman.
Awry and doubled up are his gray bones,
And on the breeze his puzzled phantom moans
Nightly to clear Canopus: “I would know
By whom and when the All-Earth-gladdening Law
Of Peace, brought in by that Man Crucified,
Was ruled to be inept, and set aside?
And what of logic or of truth appears
In tacking ‘Anno Domini’ to the years?
Near twenty-hundred liveried thus have hied,
But tarries yet the Cause for which He died.”
Christmas-eve 1899. – Source: marksrichardson.wordpress.com/2009/12/25/the-amusement-of-the-dead%e2%80%93%e2%80%93at-our-errors-or-at-our-wanting-to-live-on-xmas-day-1890-thomas-hardys-christmas-verse/
Schalk Willem Burger – image: Wikimedia [my great granddad]
To Dan [chess-player friend!], As I promised you earlier on my blog…more about my great grandfather…. When he signed the Peace Treaty of Vereeniging in 1902, he said, “Hier staan ons by die graf van die twee republieke.” – Translated in English: ‘Here we stand at the grave of the two republics.’
The “Acting President” of the Transvaal, was born at Lydenburg in the year in which the Sand River Convention was signed, 1852. His grandfather, one of the original Voortrekkers, had the distinction of having the price of £300 set on his head by the British Government, in consequence of his share in a Natal rebellion. His grandson was more of a politician than a soldier.
I Just loooooove this! My great granddad’s grandpa had a price tag on his head…hahaha..the most wanted by the British…[hehehe!]
Born 6 September 1852 (1852-09-06)
Died 5 December 1918 (1918-12-06) (aged 66)
Spouse(s) Alida C De Villiers
Religion Dutch Reformed Church
Schalk Willem Burger (6 September 1852 – 5 December 1918) was a South African military leader, lawyer, and statesman, and was the sixth and last President of the South African Republic from 1900 to 1902 (acting). Military Service.
He served in a number of military conflicts such as the Sekhukhune Wars of 1876, and later during the First Boer War of 1881, he served as Acting Field Cornet.
He was elected as Commandant of the Lydenburg Commando in 1885. When the Second Boer War started, he served as Commandant-General in a number of military conflicts, including the Battle of Spion Kop and Battle of Modder River on 30 October 1899.
As a politician, he was described as “enlightened and shrewd” and it was reported that he rivaled Paul Kruger in his influence over his countrymen.
After the Battle of Spion Kop, due to illness, he withdrew from the fighting and pursued his political career once more. He was elected to the Volksraad (House of Assembly) in 1887, later serving as Chairman.
He served as Vice President under President Paul Kruger and later succeeded Kruger as State President, after Kruger had left for Europe.
During the “Krigsraad” (military council / tribunal) in May 1901, he advocated a cessation of hostilities, but his proposal was strongly opposed by President Marthinus Theunis Steyn of the Orange Free State. Burger remained president until the Treaty of Vereeniging on 31 May 1902.
He died in 1918 at Goedgedacht, Krugerspos.
My great grandad – far right – with his brothers.
OUPA WILHELM VAN DEN BERGH OP KOMMANDO SAAM MET GENERAAL C.R. DE WET – COLENSO
Ds. Kestell wie ook op kommando was het die slag van Colenso ook meegemaak en skryf daaroor “Dit was ‘n verskriklike dag – ‘n dag wat niemand wat dit deurleef het ooit kan vergeet nie. Dit was onuithoudelik warm en ons – maar veral die arme gewondes – het onbeskryflik gely weens die dors. Om vyfuur die middag het enkele groot druppels teen die rotse gespat. Dit blits en dit donder. Dit raas teen die gebulder van die kanonne. Dit reën naderhand so hard dat die bloed van die gewondes afgewas word. Nou juis verdubbel die vyand sy pogings en veg nog harder as ooit in die dag. Maar hulle kan ons nie verdryf nie. Toe die reën so hard val op ons, kan ons ons dors les. Ons het dammetjies in ons reënjasse gemaak, die water daarin opgevang, en dit dan uitgesuig. Ook het waterstrome van die swaar reën deur die klippe geskiet en ons kon tot versadiging drink”.
Die groot geveg by Colenso, waar die burgers so ‘n skitterende oorwinning behaal het, het op 15 Desember 1899 plaasgevind. Oupa Wilhelm het self nie baie vertel oor hulle deelname nie, maar wat hy baie duidelik onthou en van vertel het was die gebeurtenis dat hulle op 16 Desember 1899 ‘n plegtige viering van Dingaansdag gehou het op die slagveld van Colenso. Die naam Dingaansdag was altyd in algemene gebruik, tot enkele jare gelede voordat die naam verander was na Geloftedag, en nou het dit geheel en al verdwyn en het geen naam meer nie.
Die dag is plegtig in ere gehou op die slagveld van Colenso vanwaar Doringkop sigbaar was. Die Voortrekkers het byna 62 jaar vroeër op 17 Februarie 1838 gevlug uit die Moordspruit ramp na Piet Petief se laer op Doringkop.
Generaal Schalk Burger het op ‘n kanonwa gestaan en die burgers roerend toegespreek. Aan die einde van die plegtigheid het hy die Voortrekker Gelofte herhaal:
Hier staan ons voor die Heilige God van Hemel en Aarde om ‘n Gelofte aan Hom te doen, dat, as Hy ons sal beskerm en ons vyand in ons hand sal gee, ons die dag en datum elke jaar as ‘n dankdag soos ‘n Sabbat sal deurbring, en dat ons ‘n huis tot Sy eer sal oprig waar dit hom behaag, en dat ons ook aan ons kinders sal sê dat hulle met ons daarin moet deel tot nagedagtenis ook vir die opkomende geslagte. Want die eer van Sy naam sal verheerlik word deur die roem en die eer van die oorwinning aan Hom te gee.
On this image you can see Melrose House…and on this link here: Melrose House….you can visit the Melrose House-site. The Peace Treaty of Vereniging was signed in Melrose House…mygreat grandadsigned it asActing President of the ZAR. (The Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek)…read on this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Republic more about the ZAR.
Paul Kruger, the President of the time, was in Switzerland and he fell ill there too. There is also a Kruger Museum in Switserland. He died there, but was burried in South Africa in the Heroes Acre in Pretoria.
Read on this blog-post on my blog more about the Boer War
My great granddad – Schalk Willem Burger. He is buried in the family graveyard on the family farm – “Goedgedacht”, Krugerspos, near Lydenburg/Pilgrims Rest. I was lucky to grow up on the family farm! Pilgrims Rest is the historical town near the Kruger National Park in the Mpumalanga Province, previously – Eastern Transvaal.
On this map: The farm “Goedgedacht”…Krugerspos…near Lydenburg.
On this picture, you can clearly identify Paul Kruger third from the left. He was talking to some Americans, I think they wanted to join the South Africans fighting against the British. haha…I think they loved our country….for the gold …of course!
And on this picture: you can see some South African farmers…”Boers”…”Boer” is the Dutch word for “farmer”…also the word for the Dutch Settlers.
My view of the War…I think it was a horrible and ghastly act to put the women and children in concentration camps when the British knew they couldn’t defeat the South Africans [Boer]. Yes, and they had the Australians and the Canadians to fight alongside with them. The South Africans, not having any experience of wars before and a commando as big as the population as Brighton, a coastal city of England, bravely stood up and fought this war for more than two years! They only surrendered because of the suffering of the women and children in the camps. Women and children died on a daily basis due to hunger, lack of clean running water and sanitary conditions. Like the gas chambers of Hitler -just in another version. Farms were burnt down to the ground, even the family farm house where I grew up. It shows how inhumane a nation can get due to greed. They knew they couldn’t defeat us and so they used this very inhumane method to win a battle. I myself see that as cowardly. If you’re a loser, admit it..surrender and move on! But, they wanted the gold..that mattered to them- not humans and their lives! If wasn’t it for Emily Hobhouse to investigate – and believe me, the English/British don’t like you talking about Emily Hobhouse because that’s a soft spot.
During the Boer/British war, the South Africans showed how they could stand together as a nation…”Unity is strength!” This LINK HERE has got fantastic pictures from the Battlefields and the museum at Ladysmith….worth visiting!
See more links/backtracks to other entries on my blog – follow links in the comments boxes.
BBC Radio retrospective on the Anglo-Boer war, 1899-1902
By Brian Smith
29 September 1999
This October marks 100 years since the outbreak of the second South African War, better known as the Boer War. Over the next three years the centenary will be celebrated in South Africa with a variety of anniversaries and memorials. A number of books are planned for release and a spate of broadcasts will mark the occasion.
One such programme was aired on BBC Radio 4 during two weeks in mid-September. Entitled The Boer War, it was narrated by the historian Denis Judd, author of Empire: The British Imperial Experience, from 1765 to the Present, and sought to examine new perspectives on the war. The first part looked at the claim that it was merely a “white man’s war”, whilst the second considered the use of concentration camps by the British, and the claim that they had a deliberate policy of genocide toward the Boers.
The programme made use of aural archives and interviewed a number of leading historians. It also employed actors to speak the words of historical accounts of the day, and in one instance interviewed a 109 year-old woman who remembers the war as a nine-year-old girl. It made for an absorbing programme.
Part One opened with a visit to Mafeking, ancestral home of the Tswana-speaking Baralong people, and scene of the most famous siege of the Boer War. The Baralong feel affronted at the events of 100 years ago. They are considering suing the British government for compensation over the help they gave the British during the war, which was denied by Colonel Robert Baden-Powell, the commanding officer at Mafeking.
Professor Shula Marks, of the London School of Oriental & African Studies, believes that “Imperial historiography took for granted that it was a white man’s war, and simply didn’t see blacks as participants in the war, or indeed as active agents in history at all.” Since the end of apartheid in South Africa this is being reconsidered, and many, including white conservatives, can see the need for rewriting black people back into history.
The programme considered the discovery of gold in 1886 in the Transvaal, one of the republics controlled by the Afrikaners, as the key reason for the outbreak of war. For Britain, “the temptation to intervene was too great”. Britain then justified its wish to intercede by the apparent need to protect the Uitlanders (from the Dutch for ‘foreigners’—British and other Europeans who flooded into the Transvaal following the discovery of gold). This view of the causes of the war is a little simplistic.
It is true that gold was a factor. Indeed it was widely believed at the time, and for half a century later, that the mine owners had manipulated the British government into provoking the war. However, government papers released during the 1960s make it clear that the British government manipulated the mine owners as much as the reverse. The mines would have remained in private ownership and the gold would have been traded on the London bullion market whichever government controlled the Transvaal. It was not gold, therefore, which primarily motivated the British government to go to war.
The late nineteenth century was the time when the European powers were dividing Africa up amongst themselves, in what became known as “the scramble for Africa”. South Africa, with its location at the tip of the continent, is a strategic location, with all shipping trade to the east passing by. Britain’s control of the Cape colony and Natal gave it control of the whole southern coastline and these colonies were not under threat. In 1884, Germany had gained control of South West Africa (Namibia), immediately north-west of the Cape Colony. Portugal had controlled Mozambique (immediately to the north-east of Natal) for some time. Britain’s strategic interests lay, therefore, in a push northward up between the two.
Britain feared an independent Afrikaner state, especially one that was wealthy. This was not because it felt its current colonial possessions were under threat, but because its future possessions might be. In particular, Britain was anxious to make sure that such a state would not have access to the sea and thus the ability to operate completely outside of British influence. Britain had consequently annexed Zululand and Tongaland (in 1887 and 1895 respectively) stopping Boer advances toward the Indian Ocean and thereby isolating the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The military intervention into the Transvaal represented the logical conclusion to the previous 30 years’ policies of the British government, in which it had also annexed Basutoland and southern Bechuanaland and had made inroads into Rhodesia.
The isolation of the Transvaal was complete. Germany and the United States, who might have been seen as allies of the Afrikaners, actually supported Britain’s aims as they stood to gain from the opening up of the Transvaal. The US compared the Afrikaners to the slave owners of the pre-war southern States. Republican sympathisers from the US and Europe did support and aid the Afrikaners, but the world powers in general supported Britain and thought it natural that the greatest power in the world should go to war to support its strategic interests.
Professor Bernard Mbenga of the University of the North West in Mafeking sees three main reasons why the Boer war was thought of as a white man’s war. Firstly, both sides considered it distasteful, morally indecent and outrageous to use blacks in a war between whites. Secondly, the British were confident of an early victory. Lastly, both sides thought it dangerous to arm blacks on a large scale, as it might lead to a rebellion against white control later.
Finding themselves under unexpected pressure from the Boers, the British did, however, arm black Africans. Jan Smuts, a leading Afrikaner intellectual, wrote to a British newspaper declaring that it was horrendous for Britain to have armed blacks. It was, he argued, far worse than the use of concentration camps or the deaths of women and children, because it would hang over the future.
General Piet Cronje, in a letter to Colonel Baden-Powell, was of the same opinion: “It is understood that you have armed Bastards, Fingos and Baralongs against us—in this you have committed an enormous act of wickedness … reconsider the matter even if it cost you the loss of Mafeking … disarm your blacks and thereby act the part of a white man in a white man’s war.”
The British, with antiquated battle strategies, were totally unprepared for the war, in a terrain they did not understand and fighting an enemy they could not see. This incompetence led to the deaths of some 22,000 British soldiers—13,000 died from disease—and forced a reappraisal of the role of black Africans in the fighting. Somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000 were armed and participated in the war, although Baden-Powell denied it. They took part in a variety of offensive military operations, including on Boer farms and going behind enemy lines to steal cattle, etc. Black involvement was widespread—many participating for their own reasons, not least the chance to settle old scores.
There was a strong belief amongst blacks that Britain represented a more liberal order, and that they would reward loyalty after the war. The renowned black diarist at the siege of Mafeking, Solomon T. Plaatje, who went on to become one of the founders of the African National Congress, believed that Britain represented a future that was fair and free. Britain betrayed this trust and went against their own pronouncements of 1901, in which they considered that it would be “shameful” to exclude blacks from the franchise. They compromised with the Afrikaners at the peace treaty of Vereeniging by excluding Africans from any political rights. This was later compounded in the creation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, which enshrined white supremacy in its constitution . The question of “native franchise” was to be left until there was “responsible government”. In the event, it took until the end of apartheid in 1994.
The second part of the programme described a meeting between Neville Chamberlain and Hermann Goering, in which Chamberlain complained about Germany’s use of concentration camps. Goering flourished an encyclopaedia reference, claiming that Britain had invented them. The programme examined whether the Nazi concentration camps and Britain’s were comparable.
Elria Wessels, curator of the Anglo-Boer War Museum in Bloemfontein, took Judd to the site of one of the camps. She described what the scene would have been like. Between 5,000 and 7,000 people were incarcerated at Bloemfontein, and it was only one of about 50 camps. Fully 27,000 women and children died in the camps, of which 81 percent were children. While Britain has tried to write this chapter out of history, the Afrikaners at the other extreme attempted to elevate it to folklore. Both routes led to a distorted history.
The British were unable to fight the Boer soldiers into submission. In 1900, General Sir Herbert Kitchener authorised a scorched-earth policy in response. Dr. Keith Surridge described how British soldiers scoured the countryside looking for farms to burn. He estimated that some 30,000 farm buildings were destroyed. Livestock was killed in huge numbers and often left to rot. This policy caused a vast refugee problem, with those who were left behind often requesting that the British take them away. The British agreed, walking them to the defensive laagers, which in time became concentration camps.
Not only had the British now to feed 250,000 to 400,000 soldiers, but also the civilian population of the war zone. Since they had wiped out most of the agriculture within the region, they had to import food. The task overwhelmed them. Professor Albert Grundlingh of the University of South Africa in Pretoria suggested that the herding of so many people into such small areas was comparable to rapid urbanisation of these farmer people. In the unhygienic conditions diseases spread quickly—thousands died of measles.
The programme explained that the war was not just a tragedy for the Boers. Just as many blacks were caught up in the fighting. Tens of thousands were displaced along with the families they worked for. This suffering has gone largely unrecognised. Grundlingh pointed out that more than 14,000 died in the black camps, in which conditions were even worse than for the Boers. He claimed that the memory of the black experience during the war largely receded within the black community, as the experiences of apartheid came to dominate. The Boer War became just one of many bad experiences. For the Afrikaners, however, the war remains a focal point.
Many Afrikaners thought at the time, and still think, that Britain implemented a policy of deliberate genocide in setting up the camps. Grundlingh argued cogently against this. He believed that this viewpoint was manufactured for political purposes and that the reasons why so many died in the camps were poor administration and a lack of medical care. He also pointed out that the British did not treat their own sick very well.
Other academics agreed. Dr. Donal Lowry of Oxford Brookes University made the point that the treatment of the Boers fed the grievances at the base of Afrikaner nationalism and paranoia. It led to a sense of their being aggrieved and besieged and fed into the perspective of affirmative action for poor whites that became popularly known as apartheid.
Grundlingh observed that the war represents an heroic period for the Afrikaners, with the British as the perpetrators of injustice. It was a period in which they held the moral high ground and for which they do not feel the need to apologise. The war is now being resurrected as a sacred period of history.
The programme ended with the family of Eugene Terre-Blanche (founder of the fascist South African AWB party) visiting the war memorial. He imagined the difference to the white population if 26,000 women and children had not been killed and reckoned on the white population now being at least 10-12 million, instead of 5.4 million, which he asserts could have changed the situation in the country. “In the new South Africa” he said “they will change the syllabuses and tell them about the Kaffir wars, but not about the wars that have been fought by white people”.
Both these programmes were valuable in drawing attention to the work of recent historians who have tried to break away from the old nationalist myths developed under the apartheid regime in South Africa. Their work shows that the British concentration camps were not like those of the Nazis, part of a deliberate and conscious programme of genocide, but were nevertheless one of the most brutal aspects of an imperialist war for strategic control of land and resources.
Emily Hobhouse, the humanitarian campaigner, was able to travel without threat to her personal safety or liberty to the British concentration camps and, on her return, to expose in the press the appalling conditions and horrendous loss of life, particularly among women and children. This would have been impossible in Nazi Germany. The comparison with fascism was a superficial and self-serving attempt to portray the Afrikaners as a down-trodden people, whose privileges under apartheid merely redressed previous injustices.
At the same time, the programmes unwittingly demonstrated that historians today are under pressure to present a version of South African history that is in line with new nationalist conceptions. In post-apartheid South Africa, the Baralong see the vindication of their part in the Anglo-Boer War as the means to win financial compensation that will benefit them in the struggle for investment. The role of black Africans in the war, whether fighting on behalf of British imperialism or their suffering in the camps, has a place in the history books which has until now been denied, but one nationalist interpretation of history cannot be allowed to replace another. The black nationalism of the ANC cannot answer the rhetoric of Terre-Blanche, because neither gives an objective picture of the past.
Pakenham, T., The Boer War, London 1979
Smith, I.R., The Origins of the South African War 1899-1902, New York 1996
The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Chicago 1991 Click HEREto read the original article.
From the newspaper: Rekord Centurion 25th May 2012 – Burgerspark named after my great grandad.
Page 1 – The Peace Treaty of Vereeniging 1902
Page 2 – The Peace Treaty of Vereeniging 1902
Page 3 – The Peace Treaty of Vereeniging 1902
Page 4 – The Peace Treaty of Vereeniging – signed 31st May 1902
THE FOLLOWING NOTICE is hereby published for general information. By order of His Excellency the High Commissioner and Administrator of the Transvaal. WE Davidson, Acting Secretary to the Transvaal Administration -3rd June 1902.
ARMY HEADQUARTERS, SOUTH AFRICA
General Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, Commander in Chief
His Excellency Lord Milner, High Commissioner, on behalf of the BRITISH GOVERNMENT,
Messrs S.W. Burger, F.W. Reitz, Louis Botha, J.H. de la Rey, LJ. Meyer, and J.C. Krogh, acting as the GOVERNMENT of the SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC,
Messrs W.J.C. Brebner, C.R. de Wet, J.B.M. Hertzog, and C.H. Olivier, acting as the GOVERNMENT of the ORANGE FREE STATE, on behalf of their respective BURGHERS
Desirous to terminate the present hostilities, agree on the following Articles.
The BURGHER Forces in the Field will forthwith lay down their Arms, handing over all Guns, Rifles, and Munitions of War, in their possession or under their control, and desist from any further resistance to the Authority of HIS MAJESTY KING EDWARD VII, whom they recognise as their lawful SOVEREIGN.
The Manner and details of this surrender will be arranged between Lord Kitchener and Commandant General Botha, Assistant Commandant General de la Rey and Chief Commandant De Wet.
Burghers in the field outside the limits of the TRANSVAAL and ORANGE RIVER COLONY, and all Prisoners of War at present outside South Africa, who are burghers, will, on duly declaring their acceptance of the position of subjects of HIS MAJESTY KING EDWARD VII, be gradually brought back to their homes as soon as transport can be provided and their means of subsistence ensured.
The BURGHERS so surrendering or so returning will not be deprived of their personal liberty, or their property.
No proceedings CIVIL or CRIMINAL will be taken against any of the BURGHERS so surrendering or so returning for any Acts in connection with the prosecution of the War. The benefit of this clause will not extend to certain Acts contrary to the usage of War which have been notified by the Commander in Chief to the Boer Generals, and which shall be tried by Court Martial immediately after the close of hostilities.
The DUTCH language will be taught in Public Schools in the TRANSVAAL and the ORANGE RIVER COLONY where the Parents of the Children desire it, and will be allowed in COURTS of LAW when necessary for the better and more effectual Administration of Justice.
The Possession of Rifles will be allowed in the TRANSVAAL and ORANGE RIVER COLONY to persons requiring them for their protection on taking out a licence according to Law.
MILITARY ADMINISTRATION in the TRANSVAAL and ORANGE RIVER COLONY will at the earliest possible date be succeeded by CIVIL GOVERNMENT, and, as soon as circumstances permit, Representative Institutions, leading up to self-Government, will be introduced.
The question of granting the Franchise to Natives will not be decided until after the introduction of Self-Government.
No Special Tax will be imposed on Landed Property in the TRANSVAAL and ORANGE RIVER COLONY to defray the Expenses of the War.
As soon as conditions permit, a Commission, on which the local inhabitants will be represented, will be appointed in each District of the TRANSVAAL and ORANGE RIVER COLONY, under the Presidency of a Magistrate or other official, for the purpose of assisting the restoration of the people to their homes and supplying those who, owing to war losses, are unable to provide for themselves, with food, shelter, and the necessary amount of seed, stock, implements etc. indispensable to the resumption of their normal occupations.
His Majesty’s Government will place at the disposal of these Commissions a sum of three million pounds sterling for the above purposes, and will allow all notes, issued under Law No. 1 of 1900 of the Government of the SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC, and all receipts, given by the officers in the field of the late Republics or under their orders, to be presented to a JUDICIAL COMMISSION, which will be appointed by the Government, and if such notes and receipts are found by this Commission to have been duly issued in return for valuable consideration they will be received by the first-named Commissions as evidence of War losses suffered by the persons to whom they were originally given. In addition to the above named free grant of three million pounds, His Majesty’s Government will be prepared to make advances as loans for the same purpose, free of interest for two years, and afterwards repayable over a period of years with 3 per cent interest. No foreigner or rebel will be entitled to the benefit of this Clause.
Signed at Pretoria this thirty first day of May in the Year of Our Lord Thousand Nine Hundred and Two.
KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM, MILNER, S W BURGER, F W REITZ, LOUIS BOTHA, J H DE LA REY, L J MEYER, J C KROGH, C R DE WET, J B M HERTZOG, WJ C BREBNER, C .H OLIVIER
Die Vrede van Vereeniging, 31 Mei 1902. In Oktober 1899 breek oorlog uit tussen die Britse regering en die twee Boererepublieke van Transvaal en die Oranje Vrystaat. Op 5 Junie 1900 val die Britse troepemag onder lord Roberts Pretoria binne. Roberts woon eers in die “British Agency” in Rissikstraat 1268 voordat hy na Melrose-huis verskuif en dit as Britse hoofkwartier en residensie gebruik. Melrose-huis word bekend as die “Imperial Headquarters in South Africa” en hiervandaan is die bevele uitgestuur wat meer as 18 maande lank die aard van die Britse oorlogsbedrywighede bepaal het. Teen die einde van 1900 vertrek lord Roberts na Engeland en lord Kitchener van Khartoum neem sy plek in. Saam met hom is sy Sikh-bediendes wat hom sedert sy veldslae in Indie vergesel het. Die woonkamer links van die ingang gebruik Kitchener as sy kantoor en die vertrek langsaan as slaapkamer.
Die sluiting van die Vrede van Vereeniging het soos volg verloop: As gevolg van bemiddelingspogings in Europa vir vrede het die Britse Regering besluit dat die vrede in Suid-Afrika gereel moes word. Op 4 Maart 1902 ontvang genl. Schalk Burger, waarnemende Staatspresident van die Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek terwyl pres. Kruger in Europa was, vredesvoorstelle van lord Kitchener. Die Transvaalse ,regering’ tree in verbinding met pres. Steyn en die Vrystaatse regering en op 9 April kom die twee regerings te Klerksdorp byeen vir samesprekings. Daar was skerp meningsverskil, maar uiteindelik is voorstelle op skrif gestel en op 12 April was die verteenwoordigers van die verskillende regerings in Pretoria om met lord Kitchener te onderhandel. Die eerste vredesvoorstelle word deur lord Kitchener aan die Britse Regering voorgele, maar uit London kom die antwoord dat die Britse Regering nie aan die twee Republieke se voorwaarde om hul onafuanklikheid te behou, kan voldoen nie. Die samesprekings het tot 17 April voortgeduur waarna besluit word dat die Boereleiers kans sou kry om al die kommando’s te raadpleeg. Die Britse Regering onderneem om al die kommando’s waarvan die leiers met onderhandelinge besig was, nie aan te val nie, en Kitchener stel die spoorweg en telegraafdiens tot hul beskikking. Op 15 Mei 1902 het 30 afgevaardigdes van elke Republiek op die dorp Vereeniging aangekom vir verdere samesprekings. In ‘n markeetent het die byeenkoms onder voorsitterskap van generaal C.F. Beyers begin. Aan Transvaalkant was onder andere: genl. Schalk Burger, staatsekretaris van die Z.A.R. F.W. Reitz, genl. Louis Botha, genl. Koos De la Rey en genl. Jan Smuts. Tussen die Vrystaters was pres. M.T. Steyn wat hom weens swak gesondheid aan die onderhandelinge moes onttrek, genl. C.R. de Wet en genl. J .B.M. Hertzog. Die twee notulehouers was D.E. van Velden en ds. J.D. Kestell. Dag na dag het die samesprekinge voortgegaan. Daar was groot meningsverskil: aan die een kant die wat wou vrede maak en aan die ander kant die wat wou voortgaan met die oorlog. Op Saterdag, 17 Mei is besluit om vyf generaals Hertzog, Smuts, De la Rey, Botha en De Wet, na Pretoria met nuwe voorstelle te stuur. Die kommissie het dadelik na Pretoria vertrek en tuisgegaan in “Parkzicht”, die huis van Carl Rood, langs Melrose-huis. Op 19 Mei het die samesprekings met die Engelse bevelvoerders begin en deur taaie onderhandelinge is die vredesvoorwaardes puntsgewys vasgestel. Na die eerste fase het dit gelyk asof die samesprekings ‘n dooiepunt bereik het, maar is oorwen deur ‘n komitee, saamgestel uit lord Kitchener, genls. Smuts en Hertzog wat die werk voortgesit het. Die finale dokument, bestaande uit tien klousules, is deur Chamberlain en die Britse Kabinet goedgekeur. Die kommissie moes die dokument aan die afgevaardigdes op Vereeniging voorle en daar sou kans gegee word tot 31 Mei 1902 om JA of NEE daarop te antwoord. Om 9vm op 29 Mei is die eerste sitting gehou en die rapport voorgelees. President Steyn het intussen bedank en genl. De Wet as waarnemende president van die Vrystaat benoem. Die vredesvoorwaardes is drie dae ernstig bespreek en die finale stemming was 54 teen 6 vir die aanname van die voorwaardes. Maatreels is getref vir die vervoer per spoor na Pretoria van die lede van albei regerings om daar die Vredestraktaat te onderteken. Kort voor elfuur die aand het hulle by Melrose-huis aangekom en is op versoek ‘n rukkie aIleen gelaat in die eetkamer om die Besluit van Vereeniging weer deeglik deur te lees. Lord Kitchener en lord Milner het binnegekom en aan die hoof van die tafel aan die suidekant gaan sit. Langs Milner het die ses Transvalers gesit en langs Kitchener die vier Vrystaters. Die kontrak was in viervoud op perkament getik. Een eksemplaar was bestem vir die Koning van Engeland, een vir lord Kitchener, een om bewaar te word in die Pretoriase Argief, en een om in die Bloemfonteinse Argief te bewaar. Die eerste eksemplaar is vyf minute oor elf voor die waarnemende president van die Z.A.R., gent. Schalk Burger, geplaas en mi hom het die ander lede van die regering die dokument geteken. Na hulle het die Vrystaatse verteenwoordigers dit onderteken. Links van die tien name het die Britse Opperbevelhebber geskryf: “Kitchener van Khartoum” en daaronder het die Hoe Kommissaris die woord “Milner” geskryf. Vader Kestell het genotuleer: “Die dokument was geteken. Alles was stil in die vertrek waar daar so baie gepraat is. Nog het almal ‘n oomblik stilgesit. Toe staan lede van die Regerings van die nou gewese Republieke asof verbyster op om die saal te verlaat. Lord Kitchener het van die een na die ander gegaan en elkeen sy hand gebied: ‘We are good friends now’ het hy gese. Daarop het almal die saal verlaat.” Na 1902 gaan die lewe in Melrose-huis voorL George Heys gaan voort met sy sakebelange en die Heys-egpaar dra graag by tot gemeenskapsdiens. In 1934 skenk George Heys ‘n klokkespel, die “Heys Memorial Chimes” vir die destydse nuwe stadsaal in Paul Krugerstraat. Na sy vrou se dood in 1929 laat bou hy die “Heys Memorial Hall” vir die Sunnyside-Metodistekerk. George Heys is in 1939 op 87-jarige ouderdom oorlede terwyl hy by sy oudste dogter in Chulmleigh, Devon, Engeland, gekuier het. Hy is in die ou begraafplaas in Pretoria begrawe. Hy was ‘n ware pionier wat tot die ontwikkelingsgeskiedenis van Pretoria bygedra het.
Sedert Melrose-huis in 1886-1887 gebou is, het daar slegs in 1895-96 noemenswaardige veranderinge plaasgevind toe die biljartkamer, plantehuis en kombuis aangebou is en die huidige eetkamer vergroot is. Na die beeindiging van die Anglo-Boereoorlog in 1902, is die interieur opgeknap, en vandag is die huis ‘n uitstekende voorbeeld van die oorgangstydperk van ‘n laat-Victoriaanse na die Edwardiaanse styltydperke in ‘n Engelse herehuis. Vandag is die meubels, tapyte, skilderye, ornamente en gebruiksvoorwerpe wat aan die oorspronklike eienaars behoort het, nog in die huis. Kenmerkend van die Victoriaanse tydperk is dat die style uit vorige tydperke nageboots en saamgevoeg is. Die argitektuur spreek onder andere van Nederlandse, Elisabethaanse en Klassieke invloede terwyl die meubels meestal nabootsings is van Adam-, Hepplewhite-, Chippendale- en Sheratonstyle van die 18de eeu. Daar is ook verskeie Oosterse invloede sigbaar in die huis.
Die Spekboom-rivier Brug – ook die Schalk Willem Burger-brug
Photos of the bridge from this link with photos of other interesting ‘artifacts’ too.
Mnr Cornelius Meyer het goedgunstiglik sy Sondaghuis afgestaan sodat die weeskinders geherberg kon word. Om die kinders na ‘n Engelse skool te stuur, was onmoontlik – en onder die kerkgebou in die donker kelder, meermale genoem die “grot”, het die klein weesskool op 24 Julie 1903 geopen met Mej Anna Basson as onderwyseres.
Dadelik was daar ‘n toestroming van Afrikaanse kinders wat ook toegang wou hê. Tydens ‘n openbare vergadering is besluit om die vroeëre kerkskool te heropen onder die naam “Die Volkskool”. ‘n Beroep is op mnr Dönges gedoen om as hoof op te tree. So is Volkskool gebore, as ‘n skamele kindjie, sonder herberg, toerusting of geld, maar ryk in geloof.
Kinders het nou na die Volkskool gestroom en spoedig is die konsistoriekamer in beslag geneem en die Van Belkumsaal (Nee Hervormde Kerk) gehuur vir klaskamers. Die gesukkel sonder meubels, boeke en ruimte was groot – en toe dit op sy donkerste was, het uitkoms gekom. Die twee broers, Frederik en Willem Bezuidenhout, met hulle swaer, Cornelius Meyer het die erf waarop Volkskool tans staan, gekoop en ‘n gebou teen die koste van sowat 5000 pond deur mnr Johannes Joubert laat oprig, terwyl hulle eggenotes die grootste deel van die meublement geskenk het. Op 11 Januarie 1907 is die Volkskool plegtig ingewy deur prof. Marais, van die kweekskool van Stellenbosch en die hoeksteen gelê deur Schalk Burger, die laaste President van die Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek, In 1907 het genl. Smuts, Minister van Onderwys, besluit om al die CNO-skole in die land oor te neem as goewermentskole. So het Volkskool ‘n openbare skool geword met behoud egter van sy eie geboue en skoolkommissie.
In the South Africa/British War, women and children were put in concentration camps. They suffered a lot. During the war houses were burnt down, animals alike and in that way women and children were driven away from the farms. Women supported the men in the war by supplying them with food. The British couldn’t defeat the South Africans and they’ve thought that by doing so, they will force the South Africans to surrender. Well, who would see women and children suffer in those camps without proper food, sanitary and clean running water? Therefore, the South Africans surrendered to end this mindless war and to make more women and children suffer.
On the document, my great granddad’s signature is on the top right: S.W.Burger. Paul Kruger – the President – was in Europe at the time and he fell ill. He died in Switzerland. Follow this next link with extensive information about the Boer War. The link will open in a new window.
Beauty lives with kindness-Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona
I took the road less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference. Robert Frost
Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality.-Arthur Koestler
No man ever steps in the same river twice-
There is nothing more frightening than active ignorance. - Goethe
Churchill described his impressions of the Boer army when he first saw it, as a recently taken captive: 'What men they were, these Boers! I thought of them as I had seen them in the morning riding forward through the rain--thousands of independent riflemen, thinking for themselves, possessed of beautiful weapons, led with skill, living as they rode without commissariat or transport or ammunition column, moving like the wind, and supported by iron constitutions'. Carlsen vs Anand Sochi 2014
You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.-Abraham Lincoln
Spoken by great men:"Give me 20 divisions of American soldiers and I will breach Europe. Give me 15 consisting of Englishmen and I will advance to the borders of Berlin. Give me two divisions of those marvellous fighting Boers and I will remove Germany from the face of the earth." - Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery, Commander of the Allied Forces during WW2.
"The Americans fight for a free world, the English mostly for honor, glory and medals, the French and Canadians decide too late that they have to participate. The Italians are too scared to fight, the Russians have no choice. The Germans for their Fatherland. The Boers? Those sons of Bitches fight for the hell of it." Amercan General, George 'Guts and Glory' Patton.
European Chess Club Cup 2012
London Chess Classic 2015
A nation that forgets its past has no future - Winston Churchill
He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool. Shun him. He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a child. Teach him. He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep. Wake him. He who knows, and knows that he knows, is a leader. Follow him.
If Education is the key, school is the lock.
Education is either to calm the disturbed or disturb the calm.
He who opens a school door, closes a prison-Victor Hugo
Docendo discimus [by teaching we learn]
Gary Player: 'I am a South African, a nation which is the result of an African graft on European stock and which is the product of its instinct and ability to maintain civilized values and standards amongst the aliens'.
Above all shadows rides the sun- Tolkien
In Renaissance Europe chess was part of the education of the nobility and was proclaimed the “Royal Game.” In 1732 Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay, The Morals Of Chess, in which he said “The game of chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualties of the mind useful in the course of human life are to be acquired and strengthened by it....”
'Rebranding the Afrikaner: World Cup watershed?' [CNN] A good link: read all of Jabulani74's comments on this link.
on THIS LINK you can read the truth - Sharpeville [or the lies, whichever way you want to see it-see the 2nd image too]
The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. Dante Aligheri
Sow the wind - Reap the hurricane
Istanbul Chess 2012 [Click the image for the official site] Biel Chess Festival 2011- Click the image for the official site
"Mag aldus die Afrikaner stam, van wie die toekoms altyd vol hoop was, in die einde opgroei tot 'n kragtige boom, en ons dade toon dat ons waardig is om 'n plek in te neem in die ry van die volke..." Paul Kruger
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... It's about learning how to dance in the rain-Vivian Greene
No one can know or appreciate the Boer who does not know his past, for he is what his past has made him- Conan Doyle - Click HERE to read more by Doyle.
An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
South Africa. Other than Germany probably the most misunderstood White country in the world. A country that has now degenerated into anarchy.Let’s take an unbiased look at their noble history.[click for the link]
He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. Thomas Jefferson
Any dead thing can go with the stream; it takes something ALIVE to swim against it.
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
T.S. Eliot Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different
The man who does not know who his great-grandfather was, naturally enough would not care what he was...the man who fears to disgrace his ancestor is certainly less likely to disgrace himself. Charles Major, When Knighthood was in Flower
Die grootheid van die mens kan gesien word in hoe hy teenoor sy minderheid optree.
Every truth has four corners: as a teacher I give you one corner, and it is for you to find the other three.-Confucius
Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words. ~Robert G.Ingersoll
'And lastly, we learn by chess the habit of not being discouraged by present bad appearances in the state of our affairs; the habit of hoping for a favorable chance, and that of preserving in the search of resources.' -Benjamin Franklin, 'The Morals of Chess'
The hardest game to win is a won game --Emmanuel LaskerAvoid the crowd. Think independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece- Rumi It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. -Herman Melville While one should always study the method of a great artist, one should never imitate his manner. The manner of an artist is essentially individual, the method of an artist is absolutely universal. The first is personality, which no one should copy.
Did you know: Chess has the most extensive literature of any game, sport or pastime.
Chess is a sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe –Indian proverb
Chess is the touchstone of the human intellect.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The chessboard is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the Universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature and the player on the other side is hidden from us--Thomas Huxley.
God created the world just like a knife and left it up to us to take it by the handle or the blade--C J Langenhoven
Jou persepsie hang waarskynlik alles af van hóé wyd jou opvatting van die poësie is-Joan Hambidge.
Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom.- Proverb. I doubt, therefore I think; I think therefore I am.-Rene Descartes-
Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith.- Paul Tillich
He who knows nothing, doubts nothing. Spanish proverb. Wisdom begins in wonder.- Socrates
Val eerder in my sop as in my rede--Langenhoven
Seek in the past everything that is good and clean and build thereon your future.
Vriende moet soos boeke wees, min, maar goed uitgesoek --Langenhoven
Friends should be like books, few, but hand-selected --Langenhoven
Goeie boeke en musiek verryk jou siel --Langenhoven
Good books and music enrich your soul --Langenhoven
Let those love now who never loved before. Let those who always loved now love the more. --Thomas Parnell
Love is like quicksand--the deeper you fall in, the harder it is to get out.
Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same.
There is no failure except in no longer trying--Elbert Hubbard.
The secret of success is the ability to survive failure --Noel Coward.
You cannot step twice in the same river, for other waters are continually flowing in--Knowing not how to listen is knowing not how to speak--Heraclitus, Fragments. Vuil wasgoed is om te was!-- Langenhoven
'I think one move ahead - but it is always the best move'-Reti
Some part of a mistake is always correct. - Savielly Tartakover
Chess teaches you to control the initial excitement you feel when you see something that looks good and it trains you to think objectively when you're in trouble.--Stanley Kubrick A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself. The larger the denominator, the smaller the fraction.
Love is like a knife, it can stab the heart or it can carve wonderful images into the soul that will last a lifetime.
A rising tide raises all boats! - JFKennedy
The artist creates in order to free himself, only to find himself again in the end-Irma Stern
And think not you can guide the course of love. For love, if it finds you worthy, shall guide your course.Kahlil Gibran
Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy.Tarrasch
Chess is a beautiful mistress.Larsen
Chess is as much a mystery as women.Purdy
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.Benjamin Franklin
Love is like a Game of Chess: One False Move and You're Mated ~ Anonymous~
Chess is the art which expresses the science of logic.Mikhail Botvinnik
The pawns are the soul of chess.Philidor~~Play to win, if not, be an artist and draw~~
Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach. Aristotle
By learning we teach and by teaching we learn
Men Top Ten chess players
Women Top Ten chess players
Education is the apprenticeship of life -Robert Willmot
Chess Grandmaster -Vassily Ivanchuk says:
"And do you like playing chess against women?
I wouldn’t say I do particularly, but I also wouldn’t say I don’t like it. In general, I try not to make an exception out of games against women. In chess, female logic differs little from male logic, which you can see just by analysing games. After all, the strongest female players work with men in one way or another. I don’t know what the female style of play is. Or more precisely, I don’t see any difference when compared to male play. In everyday life I also don’t divide people into men and women. For me, personal qualities, mentality and upbringing are the important things when spending time with people."
Everyone is a genius.But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.
It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.― Benjamin Franklin
The real challenges on the way to become a master test your strength of character more than they test your chess skill!-Kevin Spraggett A people are what its women are. The woman is the conscience of her nation as well as the measure of its values. The moral life of a nation is controlled by the women and by the women can we measure the moral condition of the people. - Postma
Descartes: cogito ergo sum (ek dink, daarom is ek)
==The stupid neither forgive nor forget, the naive forgive and forget,the wise forgive but do not forget--Thomas Szasz
Wanneer jy groot dinge dink, groot dinge glo en groot dinge bid, gebeur groot dinge - N V Peale
Mense sonder boeke, is soos arende sonder vlerke-G.D.Labuschagne
A mere copier of nature can never produce anything great. -Joshua Reynolds
Jou beeld is 'n verflenterde foto in 'n skewe, versplinterde raam en 'n sestal geskommelde letters spel jou tweelettergrepige naam Jou woorde is dor manuskripte vir die motte bewaar op die rak en ons dae 'n kralesnoer syfers op 'n outydse muuralmanak. - Koos du Plessis
Love means nothing in tennis, but it's everything in life.
Einstein:Chess grips its exponent, shackling the mind and brain so that the inner freedom and independence of even the strongest character cannot remain unaffected.
Die woord 'skaak' kom van die Persiese woord 'sjah', wat koning beteken. Ook die woord 'mat' is Persies en beteken 'dood'.
If chess is a science, it's a most inexact one. If chess is an art, it's too exacting to be seen as one. If chess is a sport, it's too esoteric. If chess is a game, it's too demanding to be just a game. If chess is a mistress, she's a demanding one. If chess is a passion, it's a rewarding one.
If chess is life, it's a sad one-Unknown Anand vs Topalov 21 April 2010
Book of the moment: In Search of South Africa by H V Morton
by: Unknown Author
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit.
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out:
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are.
It may be near when it seems so far:
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
"Vrome vaa'dre,fier en groot!
Deur vervolging, ramp en nood
was hul leuse, tot die dood:
Op dan broers, en druk hul spoor,
voorwaarts, broers, die Vierkleur voor
laat die veld ons krijgsroep hoor:
Jan FE Celliers
'He who knows not and knows not he knows not, is a fool, shun him. He who knows not and knows he knows not, is simple, teach him. He who knows and knows not that he knows, is asleep, wake him. He who knows and knows that he knows, is a leader/wise - follow him.' -