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Johannes- burg: Jacana, ISBN 1 1. Among them was the historian Hermann Giliomee. During a week of talks about their concerns and visions for South Africa, Giliomee and future president Thabo Mbeki Downloaded by [Lindie Koorts] at 08 June participated in a televised debate. These letters introduced Clingman to two people with whom he would spend a sizeable part of his intellectual and professional life. By no means can anyone claim that the book which resulted was written to order, or with the purpose of feeding into the dominant post narrative. It is an exceptional work, and its merits transcend political narratives.


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There are, however, two dimensions to the book, which are at stake in this discussion. See for example Q.

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Fischer was commemorated in the naming and re-naming of public spaces, in memorial lectures and posthumous accolades. In a sense, he became a new, model Afrikaner — representing an example for contemporary white Afrikaners to emulate. Studies ranging from women trade unionists to rebellious rock bands have rendered attempts at delineating Afrikaners laughable at best — and dangerous at worst.

Bram Fischer was the son of a prominent Free State family. Yet, theirs, as was the case with so many other members of the Free State elite, was hardly a typical Afri- kaner family. Clingman paints a picture of the Fischers as part of a well-educated, multicul- tural albeit white , multilingual gentry which governed the Free State at the turn of the nineteenth century.

In spite of being celebrated as the Afrikaner who broke ranks, Fischer never broke ranks with his family. This is one of the best books I have ever read, and while that may sound prosaic, it is, for me, a fact. Bram Fischer was a truly special human being.

BRAM FISCHER: AFRIKANER REVOLUTIONARY | Van Schaik

He was willing to sacrifice so much for what seemed like so little in return. But one has to look at the significance of his life to see what he received in return, and that was to become a true symbol of courage, a symbol of true non-racial unification against oppression. I feel that he would have wanted nothing in return anyway. Although he suff This is one of the best books I have ever read, and while that may sound prosaic, it is, for me, a fact.

Although he suffered so acutely at the hands of those who were supposed to be of his own "ilk", he never faltered in his efforts to support and comfort others; while never seeking the same in return. This autobiography is especially suitable for the current situation in South Africa, because it reminds of us of the focus that we began with, and which our current "leaders", have since lost.

Dec 29, Kaushik rated it really liked it. Fighting for a cause like the end of apartheid against a Nazi-like government requires a great deal of courage. Bram did this but what truly sets him apart is that as an aristocratic Afrikaner and brilliant lawyer, he could easily have become a Chief Justice or a senior politician. Instead he became one of the bravest fighters in the freedom struggle. What makes the book excellent is the painstaking research and chronicling of the transformation of Bram from a staunch Afrikaner nationalist quite Fighting for a cause like the end of apartheid against a Nazi-like government requires a great deal of courage.

What makes the book excellent is the painstaking research and chronicling of the transformation of Bram from a staunch Afrikaner nationalist quite natural given his background into a left wing liberal. A reader will be struck by Bram's courage - not only to make the required sacrifices but also to question his own beliefs and allow his sense of identity to evolve and broaden.

This book is a must read for anyone interested in the genesis of true greatness. Bram Fischer a very couregeous individual. Him being an Afrikaner didn't mean he could prejudice black, indian and coloured people. Even though his grandfather served under the apartheid government but made a choice that he will follow his conscious not that of his grandfather.

Bram Fischer: Afrikaner revolutionary

He stood against injustices of the apartheid government. The stance he took against the apartheid government was beyond reproach. Particularly after he defend all the treason trail accused. Will Pieters rated it really liked it Nov 07, Reid Bianchini rated it it was amazing Oct 20, Recato Cristiano Eberwein rated it really liked it Jun 05, Christopher rated it really liked it May 02, Molly rated it really liked it Dec 20, Bevan rated it it was amazing Dec 28, Michael rated it really liked it Aug 03, Wessel van Rensburg rated it liked it Feb 19, Ray Hartley rated it really liked it Sep 14, Shirley Roth rated it really liked it Sep 15, Jacqui rated it it was amazing Oct 08, The departure was set for the Saturday before the court reconvened.

Early that morning Bram wrote his final letters, among them his two letters to Ilse, one of which he gave her, one of which he secreted behind.


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  • Then, at about nine, he, Ilse and Pat went via the kitchen through a connecting door into the garage, to avoid being seen from the street. Bram squeezed on to the floor of their small Volkswagen Beetle, between the front and back seats.

    One of the others opened the garage doors: Ilse was to drive, Pat was in the front passenger seat. To add to matters, the car was prone to stalling, and whenever they stopped Ilse would have to manage quick switches between clutch and brake, pumping the accelerator with growling roars. But Ilse had been barefoot during the escape, and Bram was referring only to her heels — all he could see working away at the pedals from his observation point on the floor. It was his little joke. That was where Ilse and Pat dropped him off.

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    Bram walked across to a nearby block of flats which had a row of garages at the back. There — as Violet Weinberg had arranged — he was met by a young man who opened one of the garage doors as he came over. Bram had not said much to Ilse and Pat before he left, just that he would be in contact at some stage.


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    • They had no idea of how near or how far he was going. He was driven off by the young man. When Ilse and Pat returned to Beaumont Street, they had to enact an elaborate charade, creating the impression that all was normal and Bram was still at home. So every now and then Pat and Ilse would stand where they thought the police bugs might pick up their conversation, and complain rather loudly about how hard Bram was working, and how it was high time that he came down. That evening when Tias cooked dinner, they made a show of calling Bram, took a third plate, put food on it and ate it, to keep all the appearances alive.

      Every night Bram had a set routine of parting the curtains and checking all the windows; so one of them put on his pyjamas and did exactly the same, then climbed into his bed and rumpled it as if he had slept there. The following night they did it all over again.