n Journal for Contemporary History - Die verband tussen apartheid en nasionaal-sosialisme - 'n historiografiese oorsig

Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



During the last fifty years a large number of scholarly publications appeared in which the possible influence of the German ideology of National Socialism on the South African policy of apartheid is briefly or, in some cases, extensively discussed. The majority of these publications argue that there was no direct link between National Socialism and apartheid, but there are a significant number of scholars who maintain that National Socialism as a variant of Fascism had an important influence on apartheid. Some of these scholars take a Marxist theory of Fascism as their point of departure and their views have been largely discredited. The arguments of some recent authors, however, are still taken seriously in academic circles. The aim of the article is to provide a survey of the main views about the relationship between apartheid and National Socialism, and to identify dominant trends and key questions. It is concluded that scholars who claim that the influence of the National Socialist ideology on South African political leaders in the period before and during the Second World War resulted in the authoritarian practices which characterised the implementation of apartheid have not done sufficient historical research to substantiate their arguments.

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