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n Historia - Oxwagon sentinel : radical Afrikaner Nationalism and the history of the Ossewabrandwag, Christoph Marx : book feature
A definitive study of the Ossewabrandwag
The Ossewabrandwag was born out of the euphoria aroused by the 1938 commemoration of the trek, a moment of utopian promise that offered many Afrikaners spiritual and national renewal. South Africa's entry into the war decisively broke Hertzog's 'fusion' government and left the Afrikaner nationalist movement more divided than it had ever been. Far from uniting in the face of Smuts's alleged capitulation to imperialism, radical nationalists found themselves torn between allegiance to the parliamentary National Party, the paramilitary Ossewabrandwag and a host of smaller political bodies ranging from the Nuwe Orde and the Afrikaner Party to the militant fascist shirt movements. The Afrikaner Broederbond, which tried to hold the ring in order to unify the volksbeweging under its own authority, was composed of members whose sympathies reflected - and sometimes amplified - the rivalry between the National Party and the Ossewabrandwag. In the context of this fevered internecine conflict the wartime Smuts government was mostly content to play a watchful role, other than when it felt impelled to arrest and intern OB extremists as a preventative measure.
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