WWII OB: Iets Oor Die Ossewa-Brandwag

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Very scarce Post World War Two 1947 Second Edition of "iets oor die Ossewa-Brandwag. Uitgegee deur die Voorligtingsafdeling van die Ossewa-Brandwag.”

Which translates to “Something about the Ossewa-Brandwag. Issued by the Department of Information of the Ossewa-Brandwag.”

134 pages, printed in Afrikaans. Solid contemporary repair to the spine.

The Preface Translates:

“PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION

The accompanying booklet first saw the light around July 1946 and before the end of September the entire print run (8,500) was done. This shows that the demand was strong.

With this comes a second push; it is essentially the same as the previous one, with here and there abbreviations which - hopefully - will not complicate the reader's path.

We live in a world where the old order is rapidly collapsing and where no white can afford to unnecessarily make enemies, especially not among fellow whites.

The test, whether an argument is sound or not, should also contain the sub-test today: is it scolded and alienated in an argument. If it drives people white each other instead of bring closer together... then it is simply harmful to the people, no matter how nicely the self-righteousness is worded not. 

Author wants to deny the hope that this little book can also pass that goodwill test.

The Reader must make his own judgement.

- J. F. VAN RENSBURG. Pretoria. December 1946.”

The Ossewa-Brandwag or “Oxwagon Sentinel” was a Afrikaner Nationalist Movement during the Second World War which opposed South Africa’s participation in the war. Afrikaners formed the Ossewabrandwag in Bloemfontein on 4 February 1939. 

The Boer members of the Ossewabrandwag (OB) were hostile to the United Kingdom and sympathetic to Nazi Germany. Thus the OB opposed South African participation in the war, even after the Union declared war in support of Britain in September 1939. While there were parallels, neither Van Rensburg nor the OB were genuine fascists, according to van den Berghe.

By 1941, the OB had approximately 350,000 members.

Alexandre Kum'a Ndumbe III however shows that OB was "based on the Führer-principle, fighting against the Empire, the capitalists, the communists, the Jews, the party and the system of parliamentarism... on the base of national-socialism" according to a German secret source dated 18 January 1944.

Members of the OB refused to enlist in the UDF and sometimes harassed servicemen in uniform. This erupted into open rioting in Johannesburg on 1 February 1941; 140 soldiers were seriously hurt.

More dangerous was the formation of the Stormjaers (Storm hunters), a paramilitary wing of the OB. The nature of the Stormjaers was evidenced by the oath sworn by new recruits: "If I retreat, shoot me. If I fall, avenge me. If I charge, follow me" (Afrikaans: As ek omdraai, skiet my. As ek val, wreek my. As ek storm, volg my).

The Stormjaers engaged in sabotage against the Union government. They dynamited electrical power lines and railroads and cut telegraph and telephone lines. These types of acts were going too far for most Afrikaners, and Malan ordered the National Party to break with the OB in 1942.

The Union government cracked down on the OB and the Stormjaers, placing thousands of them in internment camps for the duration of the war. Even so many of the internees, including future prime minister B. J. Vorster, became future leaders of the ruling National Party during apartheid. Moreover, the internment aroused Afrikaner opposition to the government and helped the NP win the 1948 general election.

At the end of the war, the OB was absorbed into the National Party and ceased to exist as a separate body.

Collections: All Items, Books, South Africa, World War Two Tags: Books, South Africa, WWII