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South African Foreign Policy in the 1930's - Essay Example

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The essay "South African Foreign Policy in the 1930's" presents the historical links between the Germans and the Afrikaners, the anti-Semitic sentiments of the people in the region and the trade links between Germany and South Africa as well as the laws of the time, what show a pro-German leaning…
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South African Foreign Policy in the 1930s
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Download file to see previous pages The links between the Afrikaans and the German people extended through time and had been present since the first European settlements were made in South Africa. J.F.J. van Rensburg, who later became the Kommandant Generaal of the Ossewa Brandwag, wrote in his autobiography that he carefully, meticulously and gratefully learnt the German language since it was the language of a kindred people. Oswald Pirow, the Minister for Justice and later Defence Minister was a self confessed Germanophile. He visited Europe on several occasions, and made it a point to pay his respects to German and pro-German Leaders like Hitler, Goering, Mussolini, and Franco (Bunting, 1964). Mussolini himself employed racial discrimination as a factor in the foreign policies and government of his country much like South Africa (Robertson, 1998).

Considering the example set by her father, Pirow’s daughter must have done her father proud when in 1939 she arrived in England and gave an interview on her way to a German Women’s camp while talking to a representative of the Daily Express to whom she said that even though she had never been to Germany, it felt like home. Her grandparents on both sides were German and her father spent his boyhood in Germany. This idea of taking Germany as home was present in many of the Afrikaner people of German descent since there was a natural affinity between them and the Germans (Bunting, 1964). It can hardly be expected that such sentiments could give the British much confidence in South African support at the eve of war.
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