The Boer Holocaust

By ingrid Rimland

 

Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997

The letter below was forwarded to the present British Authorities, specifically to the Office of the British High Commissioner Pretoria. 10 Oct 12h00 South African time. It pertains to a much-forgotten Holocaust - the Boer Holocaust of South Africa around the turn of the century (?).

The ZGram reader who sent it to me wrote:

"I might just add that the 27,000 women and children who died in the British ConcCamps represented approxiamtely 20% of the Boer population at the time.

The claims of maltreatment of the Boer prisoners in the camps by the British are, in contrast to the stories concerning the holocaust, well documented."

Here it is:

"Boere Republiek Ko÷peratief can be contacted at Fax number: +27 12 46 5863 Telephone: +27 82 572 9370 ---------

Mr Tony Blair Prime Minister Great Britain c/o Mrs M Ford Office of the British High Commissioner 255 Hill Street Arcadia Pretoria Transvaal

Boererepubliek Ko÷peratief >Regulus Avenue 173 Waterkloofrif

Box 842 Faerieglen 0043 Transvaal

10 October 1997

Dear Sir:

Claim for compensation -

We are delighted to learn from reports in the local press that, during the recent congress of the Labour Party, it was decided to revoke the law which sanctioned British concentration camps.

This decision strengthens our impression that you and your government are sincerely attempting to erase all vestiges of injustice in favour of the protection of human rights.

This laudable deed of your government to terminate the deplorable policy of detaining subjected people in concentration camps once again invoked hopes that Britain will also acknowledge and redress the wrongs committed towards the Boerevolk in the past - and at least try to effect some form of compensation and reconciliation.

Such steps will serve to restore the moral dignity of your nation, which was shattered by the British invasion of our republics from 1899 to 1922.

Reconciliation between the British and the Boer people is now within your grasp and this letter is a sincere effort to, on behalf of the Boerevolk, extend a hand of friendship to you, while, at the same time, offering you an opportunity to display real statesmanship.

The following should serve as motivation for our reasonable and justifiable claim for compensation:

- In line with God's instruction to multiply and fill the earth, our forefathers established two civilised, free, independent republics in South Africa.

- The Boerevolk's claim to our land, Transvaal and the Orange Free State, is perfectly legitimate and was recognised by the English in the Sand River Convention (1852) and the Bloemfontein Convention (1854).

- However, the discovery of diamonds in the Orange Free State and gold in the Transvaal triggered off the British to send Theophilus Shepstone to the Transvaal to lay claim to the land of the Boer.

- This resulted in our first war against England when our nation decisively defeated the English at Bronkhorstspruit and Majuba.

- Only eighteen years after their defeat, the British again invaded our land and the Second War of Independence started.

- Despite their vastly superior numbers, England was unable to defeat our burghers and stooped to waging a full-scale war against our women and children. Under Kitchener, Milner and Roberts, at least 60 000 farms and homesteads were plundered and burned down, animals were killed in the cruelest ways possible, and Boer women and children were left destitute in the scorched veld.

- Still not satisfied with their destruction and the effect of their attacks upon defenceless civilians, the English herded Boer women and children to their hell camps on foot and in open cattle trucks.

- The following extract from the Daily Gazette clearly demonstrates the vein in which these atrocities were committed: "If the Boers did not at once lay down their arms, they should be exterminated whenever they fell into our power."

- The worst possible locations were chosen for the concentration camps, such as the camp at Merebank, which was erected in a swamp, and the one at Standerton, which straddled the Vaal River.

- Even a British Parliamentarian, William Redmond, was appalled by the practice of concentration camps: "The way in which these wretched, unfortunate and poor women and children are treated in South Africa, is barbarous, outrageous, scandalous and disgraceful."

- Major Cavale, Officer Commanding the distribution of the Imperial Relief Fund in Johannesburg, declared: "Starvation was purposefully employed as a measure of torture to make women and children suffer..." No milk was provided for infants by the people who killed their cattle and abducted them from their farms.

- As if the insufficient rations determined by Kitchener himself were not enough, the meat was crawling with vermin, and glass, sulphate of copper, fish-hooks and razor blades were mixed into the rations.

- Britain deliberately murdered more than 27 000 Boer women and children in these hell camps in the most deplorable and most abhorrent proven holocaust in history.

- At Balmoral camp, the corpses of Boer children were fed to the pigs of a nearby English farmer by British soldiers. Bodies of murdered children were generally treated with contempt by the British soldiers who transported them in heaps on mule carts to cemeteries. Mothers had to follow on foot. Due to exhaustion and hunger, they could not keep up and often had to miss the funerals of their children.

- En-route to the concentration camps, Boer boys as young as 8 years were taken away from their mothers and sent to POW camps in Ceylon and Bermuda.

- There they were separated from the elder Boers and sent to Hinson's Island under the pretence that they would be trained to perform woodwork. The "woodwork" consisted of the digging of foundations accompanied by severe lashings. These children were tortured by the English in various ways.

- Finally, as a direct result of the genocide committed in the concentration camps, the Vereeniging peace accord was signed, thereby effectively robbing the Boerevolk of our legitimate land and rights over the dead bodies of more than 27 000 women and children who were murdered in the most appalling way.

- When comparing the Boer holocaust with the "Jewish holocaust", the following facts emerge:

* Proportionately fewer Jews were claimed to be killed by the Nazi forces than Boer women and children killed by the English;

* The Jews were killed in a more humane way than the Boer women and children who were starved and poisoned and tortured in other ways, some of them too ghastly to mention;

* At the time of the purported Jewish holocaust, Germany stood under a dictatorial government with accompanying absence of press freedom and freedom of speech, and few Germans could have known the full story. In contrast to this, at the time of the Boer holocaust, England had a democratic government which was re- elected with an overwhelming majority. They had a free press which chose to support the British atrocities. Apart from Emily Hobhouse, those who spoke out against the British atrocities were mainly not English. (J Ellis - Irish; Lloyd George - Welsh; CP Scott - Scottish; William Redmond - Welsh; Ramsey McDonald, a former British Prime Minister - Scottish.)

* Yet, after the Second World War, England played a leading role in a frantic retribution campaign against the whole German nation, enforcing a collective guilt feeling on the whole German nation and demanding the unrelenting Nuremberg Trial.

* To this very day, the German nation is being held responsible for the "Jewish holocaust" and compensation is being paid to the Jews every year - from the pockets of people who were not even born at the time of the alleged atrocities!

- Against this background we have to inform you that we hold the British responsible for the holocaust of 1900 - 1902. These atrocities cannot be forgotten as they still have a very definite effect on the Boerevolk today. Altogether the English killed more than 50 000 Boers of the finest calibre. Projected very conservatively, these people and their descendants would have boosted our numbers by at least 2 million today, putting us into a much more favourable position to regain our self-determination.

- After World War 2, England refused to forget and forgive. You insisted on the Nuremberg Trial and detained Rudolph Hess until he died of old age.

- England recently embarked on a campaign to inform English children on the purported Nazi atrocities during World War 2. Yet nothing is being done to enlighten them on the genocide committed by England on the Boer people of Transvaal and the Orange Free State.

- Before the British invasion, all the nations of Southern Africa had their own, exclusive lands, each with its own rule and identity. At the National Convention of 1908 England effectively robbed all these peoples of their identity and right to self- determination by forcing them together into one Union of South Africa, which came into being in 1910, under British rule. This suppression gave rise to the establishment of the ANC in 1912, when South Africa stood under British domination.

- Naturally, order amongst the different nations, forced together into one unnatural state, had to be maintained by unnatural measures - apartheid! Had the English not interfered, had the English not created this unnatural state, had the English not disregarded the ethnic identity of every previously free and self-governing people in Southern Africa, and had the English not erected signs saying "Europeans" and "Non-Europeans" the various nations of Southern Africa could have been spared ethnic friction and its resulting misery!

After centuries of oppression the electorate of the British Isles is clearly showing that assimilation of different ethnic groups is undesirable and impossible - and your government is finally demonstrating an ability to take cognizance of this fact.

The desire for self-determination shown by the Welsh, the Irish and the Scots also holds true for the people of South Africa. Different nations could never be forced together successfully. As long as the British-made unitary state of South Africa remains, unrest, violence, oppression and misery will prevail.

Unlike some other nations, the Boer people did not become beggars nor pathetics after the Union of South Africa. My people played a major role to uplift this country and all its people, yet today we are being blamed for everything that went wrong due to England's interference.

Therefore we now urge you to embark on an attempt to rectify the wrongs committed by England under which people still suffer today.

Boererepubliek Ko÷peratief Beperk (BRKB) has bought the land on which the Balmoral concentration camp cemetery is situated and we have started with the restoration of this historic property where hundreds of our women and children killed in the concentration camp lie buried. Yet, 30 other concentration camp cemeteries still remain to be acquired and/or maintained, as most of them are presently in a state of disrepair.

Therefore, representing the Boerevolk, we require from England the sum of ú10 million to be paid into a trust fund for this purpose. We are convinced that, being the creators of these cemeteries, you will feel obliged to contribute towards their maintenance.

This reasonable claim offers England an opportunity to rectify some of her wrongdoings, thereby gaining at least some degree of moral dignity.

You are, furthermore, cordially invited to personally join us at Balmoral concentration camp cemetery on 16 December this year to present the compensation. True to our Boer tradition, your safety and gentlemanly reception will be guaranteed.

We are looking forward to an event where we, the descendants of two nations previously locked in bitter combat, can take the first steps in a process of reconciliation and healing the wounds of the past.

We are anxiously awaiting your prompt reply.

Yours cordially

Fritz Meyer Chairman

Thought for the Day:

"The idea that white Christian civilization is hated more for its virtue than its sins doesn't occur to us, because it's not a nice idea."

(Sobran's, April 1997)

 

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