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Richard I. Cohen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190912628

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190912628.001.0001

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Milton Shain, A Perfect Storm: Antisemitism in South Africa 1930–1948. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 2015. 389 pp.

Milton Shain, A Perfect Storm: Antisemitism in South Africa 1930–1948. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 2015. 389 pp.

Chapter:
Milton Shain, A Perfect Storm: Antisemitism in South Africa 1930–1948. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 2015. 389 pp.
Source:
Place in Modern Jewish Culture and Society
Author(s):
Richard I. Cohen
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190912628.003.0017

This chapter reviews the book A Perfect Storm: Antisemitism in South Africa 1930–1948 (2015), by Milton Shain. A Perfect Storm explores antisemitism in South Africa at its peak, from 1930 to the National Party (NP) victory in 1948 that ushered in the apartheid era. The book traces the campaign that began with quasi-fascist extremist groups such as the Greyshirts and Blackshirts, which soon infected the main white opposition party, Daniel Malan’s “Purified” NP, and even some in J.B.M. Hertzog and Jan Smuts’ ruling United Party. When Adolf Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and Hertzog and Malan’s “Reunited” NP were founded several months later, antisemites blamed Jews for the war. The extremists were hardly affected by Hitler’s defeat and even the revelation of the Holocaust. Shain examines the extent to which mainstream Nationalists, especially Malan, may have been driven in large part by economic concerns or political opportunism.

Keywords:   Milton Shain, A Perfect Storm, Antisemitism, South Africa, National Party, Greyshirts, Blackshirts, Daniel Malan, United Party, Jews, extremists

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