n Journal for Contemporary History - Die Fischer-woning en -swembad in Beaumontstraat 12, Johannesburg : simbool van rasseharmonie in apartheid-Suid-Afrika

Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



Bram Fischer (1908-1975), well-known struggle activist and one time leader of the South African Communist Party, challenged the apartheid consciousness of the Afrikaner fundamentally and totally. Consequently in 1966 he was served with a lifelong jail sentence, but in 1975, after being diagnosed with cancer, he was permitted to spend his last days in his brother's house in Bloemfontein. Interestingly enough, his house in Johannesburg, as well as the swimming pool at a time when such amenities were rather uncommon at private homes, contributed to the public declaration of his struggle sentiments. The Fischer house and swimming pool, where both black and white were welcome, certainly emphasises the meaning of non-racialism at a time when such a thing was largely unthinkable in a wealthy white suburb in the apartheid era. As a result the Fischers had to tread warily in handling the thorny question of an "open" house and swimming pool in those years, while the profusion of visitors obviously had an inhibiting effect on their family cohesion, privacy and life style.

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