National Socialism and Nazism in South Africa: The case of L.T. Weichardt and his Greyshirt movements, 1933-1946

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Bouwer, Werner
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University of the Free State
In 1933, the world saw Adolf Hitler and National Socialism taking power in Germany. That same year on the other side of the globe, South Africans saw the establishment of the first of many Greyshirt movements modelled on National Socialism and pro-Nazi by Louis Theodore Weichardt. This study thus analyses the multiple complex factors which inspired and gave rise to Weichardt and his Greyshirt movements, which includes Weichardt’s early life, him fighting for Germany in World War One (WWI) and his subsequent experiences in the turbulent Weimar Republic. The 1920s and 1930s socio-economic sphere of South Africa characterised by labour unrest, anti-communism, Afrikaner political divide, republicanism and the poor white problem will also be scrutinised as factors which led Weichardt to create his Greyshirt movements. It is also indisputable that the Greyshirt movements went through various transformations such as from the non-parliamentary South African Christian National Socialist Movement (SACNSM) to a parliamentary South African National Party (SANP) and back again to a non-parliamentary movement the South African National Socialist Union (SANSU). This study discussed the reasons and new functions that went along with every transformation. The level of direct and indirect cooperation and connection between Weichardt and the Nazis will be also presented.
Dissertation (M.A. (History))--University of the Free State, 2021, Adolf Hitler -- National Socialism, Germany in World War One (WWI), South African National Party (SANP), South African Christian National Socialist Movement (SACNSM)