A headshot of Tony-Hamburger

South African Jews were in the front line of the struggle against Apartheid from 1948-1990/1992. The legal opposition was relying on them as well as the radical and militant organizations challenging the racial rule. While Helen Suzman was for many years the lone voice of discontent in the whites-only parliament, Ruth First and Joe Slovo conspired with their comrades in the South African Communist Party to bring about democracy to their country. What was the impact of Jewish activists on the liberation struggle in a multi-ethnic society like South Africa? What were their motives? What were their experiences in a highly racialized police-state? What about their Jewishness – or was it Jewish-ness? Are there lessons that we could learn from the South African liberation struggle for the challenges we are facing today?

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