Briewe as vernaamste kommunikasiemiddel tussen konsentrasiekampbewoners, krygsgevangenes en hulle geliefdes tydens die suid-afrikaanse oorlog
Van Eeden, Elize S.
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During the South African War tens of thousands of non-British white residents of the South African Republic and the Republic of the Orange Free State were incarcerated in many camps in South Africa as well as overseas, which led to the forced separation of families and loved ones. This separation and the lack of news led to both prisoners of war and the inmates of concentration camps finding their imprisonment practically unbearable. However, the resilient prisoners made use of various strategies to handle the stressful effects of the separation. Prisoners of war as well as the inhabitants of concentration camps turned to writing letters and sending photos as the only way of communication. Probably even those who had not previously been avid writers of letters started writing. By so doing both groups of prisoners tried to overcome the intense longing for loved ones and to bridge the distance between them. They not only endeavoured to write to their loved ones as often as possible, but also to avoid the censors by their ingenuity. This study briefly investigates letters as the foremost means of communication between prisoners of war, inhabitants of concentration camps and their loved ones. The article furthermore focuses on the ways in which prisoners outwitted the censors; on news from the camps; on the value of mail and on the suffering caused by the lack of news and letters.
- Faculty of Humanities