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Dutch post-war history and the anti-apartheid movement (1960 - 1990)

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Presentation on theme: "Dutch post-war history and the anti-apartheid movement (1960 - 1990)"— Presentation transcript:


2 Dutch post-war history and the anti-apartheid movement (1960 - 1990)

3 Background of the Dutch - South African relations Dutch East India Company and the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck (1652) Dutch colonisation of the Cape province Anglo-Boer wars (1880 - 1881 and 1899 - 1902) Dutch sympathy for the Boer - Paul Kruger

4 21 March 1960 the Sharpeville massacre (SA Police killed 69 black South Africans during a protest)

5 The Netherlands in the 1960s Reconstruction of society after WW-II Pillarization Cold war and Dutch Atlantic focus Youth protest - against Vietnam but also against authorities and bourgeois lifestyle

6 Anti-apartheid in the 1960s South Africa Committee Anti-communism Blood ties with the Boer The changes in the Dutch protestant churches Civil rights movement in the US Honorary doctorate for Martin Luther King

7 Anti-apartheid in the 1970s Linking with the student movement Local groups were initiated New, inventive action methods Boycot Outspan Movement was ideology focussed: Marxism, ‘third world-ism’, anti-imperialism Dutch anti-apartheid movement - AABN Breyten Breytenbach - Solidarit é - and the armed struggle


9 Anti-apartheid and the holocaust The holocaust shaped the moral identity of the Dutch Racism is the ultimate evil Apartheid = racism New insight: Not all Dutch had resisted the Nazi occupier Shame about Dutch collaboration with Nazism


11 1976 - Soweto This time the movement was much better prepared - professionalized Repressive tolerance worked very well in the Netherlands Opposition got finance from state Nowhere more action groups than in the Netherlands The target of the movement became the political centre: Christian democrats Widening the movement instead of deepening


13 And then there was Shell Shell had violated the UN-embargo against Rhodesia/Zimbabwe Talking with Shell An oil boycott against South Africa? The debate in parliament The closure of the political arena

14 Radicalization

15 The squatter movement stepped in Reaction to the slackening of the movement Reaction to repressive tolerance Reaction to the ‘dark decennium of the 1980ies’ Reaction to right wing leaders like Reagan, Thatcher, Kohl and Lubbers Actions against Shell The assaults on MAKRO Violence works!

16 Students against apartheid Blood ties between Dutch and South African universities Free University Amsterdam and Potchefstroom Students protest against meetings with South African Universities Kampen University and the black theology students - Allan Boesak Students protest against all contacts with South Africa The academic community and Shell

17 Wageningen Working Group South Africa - Wageningen ANC support group Wageningen Anti-apartheidfund Wageningen University WUR university news letter taken hostage by radical students (november 1989)

18 The biggest social movement in Dutch post war history The anti-apartment movement mobilized more people than ever before Anti-apartheid became an everyday subject Companies withdrew from SA SA products were driven from the Dutch market All cultural contacts with SA were banned But did it really succeed? Government policies stayed the same

19 In the set-off between clergyman and salesman the latter usually wins For the Dutch the fight against apartheid was a rehabilitation after WW-II Dutch state policies collaborated with the enemy (again)

20 Success factors The anti-apartheid movement made it a national, home struggle There were concrete things people could do to fight apartheid The movement operated strategically The movement was trustworthy, serious, and realistic Movement leaders were upright and self sacrificing The movement had firm international backing (e.g. UN- embargo) The movement was authentic (it voiced the opinion of the ANC) The movement offered a clear and acceptable alternative (democratic, non-racial majority rule)


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