In the name of Allah the Merciful

Everyday Communists in South Africa’s Liberation Struggle: The Lives of Ivan and Lesley Schermbrucker

Alan Kirkaldy, 978-3-030-83921-5, 3030839230, 978-3030839239, 9783030839239, B09LLQ75D7, 3030839206, 978-3030839208, 9783030839208, 978-3-030-83920-8

English | 2022 | PDF

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This book explores the role of social movements in the Southern African liberation struggle, through the lens of two ‘everyday communists’. Focusing on the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA), the author explores the lives of Ivan and Lesley Schermbrucker, whose contribution to the party was more clandestine than that of leaders such as Bram Fischer and Joe Slovo. They represent how ‘ordinary’ people could play significant roles based on stances more rooted in common decency and morality than in Marxist theory. The book also sheds light on the interplay between transnational and national tendencies during the liberation movement, particularly between the 1940s and the 1960s. The Schermbruckers changed their views in response to the shifting national and international political landscape, the rise of Stalinism, and the flight of South African activists into exile from the 1960s. Both fluent in African languages, they were able to create relationships of trust with African members of the CPSA. Examining tensions and conflicts during the liberation struggle, this book provides fresh insights into ‘underground’ activism.