A Look Under the World’s Hood: Jan Smuts in South Africa

Wednesday, July 7, 1943

The bold front page headlines trumpeted continued Allied successes in the Pacific and indications an invasion of Europe was imminent. But moving away from headlines gives a different picture. An election in South Africa merited a very short article but would ultimately shake the world. Jan Smuts was a sure bet for presidency of the country that now, thanks to the Boer Wars, was part of the United Kingdom. An ally at this point, he was also a believer in racial segregation and helped establish the post-war system of apartheid. While he later will take a more moderate view, he still helped perpetrate one of the most oppressive racial regimes of the time. It was brought to an end half a century later not by war or invasion but from within by dedicated South African dissenters and from without by a world-wide Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement without. All of that is in the future, when the old world order falls apart.

 

This entry was posted in Chicago during WW II, Jewish life in America during WW II, Music and Media, WWII, Today in WWII, World War II and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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