South Africa SIG #SouthAfrica RE: smousing and Afrikaner relationships #southafrica


Denise Fletcher <dfletcheroz@...>
 

My great-grandfather Jacob started out as a 'smous' in the southern
Free State in 1895 when he migrated >from Lithuania. His experience
with the local Afrikaners was anything but negative. One of the local
farmers worried about Jacob being alone and unable to afford to send
for his wife and remaining six children (the oldest had left Lithuania
in 1890 to go to the US) to join him. As a result, after the Second
Anglo-Boer War, this farmer approached another local farmer who had
received war compensation >from the British government and asked him to
give that money to Jacob so that he could pay for the rest of his
family to join him. It was an amazing act of generosity >from the
local Afrikaners.

A further example of their concern and caring came during the Second
World War. Afrikaner fascists who were militantly anti-British and
who supported Hitler, had formed an organisation called the
Ossewabrandwag in South Africa, and they were active in the local area
where our family lived. By this time my grandfather (my
great-grandfather died in 1940) had a general store in the little
town, and his relationship with his Afrikaner farmer customers was
such that some of them came to warn him to get the family to safety,
as they believed Hitler was going to win the war and that Jews would
therefore be in danger in the country.

Denise Fletcher
Sydney, Australia
dfletcheroz@gmail.com

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