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Jews and the racial state: legacies of the Holocaust in Apartheid South Africa 1945-1960

Gilbert, Shirli (2010) Jews and the racial state: legacies of the Holocaust in Apartheid South Africa 1945-1960 Jewish Social Studies, 16, (3), pp. 32-64. (doi:10.1353/jss.2010.0007).

Record type: Article


This article is part of a larger study exploring how the Holocaust shaped responses to apartheid in South Africa, a weighty question given that country's identity as the quintessential racial state after 1945. During the apartheid years (1948-94), memory of the Holocaust was regularly invoked by South Africans of diverse backgrounds and political motivations. Where some saw obvious parallels, however, others drew starkly different conclusions. The article focuses on the period from the war years until 1960, a formative phase during which South Africans adapted to the new regime and memory narratives began to be fashioned. Shifting patterns of discourse reveal, on one end of the spectrum, a gradual rapprochement between Afrikaners and Jews based in part on a willful amnesia about the Nazi period, and, on the other end, an anti-racist movement beginning to identify itself as "the most important moral battle in the world since the defeat of Nazism."

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Published date: 2010
Keywords: south africa, apartheid, memory, holocaust
Organisations: History, Jewish History and Culture


Local EPrints ID: 169159
ISSN: 0021-6704
PURE UUID: a9ceb4fb-3417-49cc-bb2f-bbd08968e3ad

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Date deposited: 13 Dec 2010 09:58
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:19

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