Debate Rages over Minister’s Boycott Talks
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Debate Rages over Minister’s Boycott Talks

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Jewish circles are still engaged in heated debates over the speech made by Minister of the Interior Jan H. Hofmeyer, in which he deplored the persecution of the Jews in Germany, but declared that the anti-Nazi boycott must be dropped because it is harming South Africa.

Rumors are afoot here that a compromise proposal is being discussed between the government and Jewish leaders providing for the end of the anti-German boycott in exchange for a ban on the Greyshirts, South African Nazis. In this way the government hopes to induce Germans to buy South African wool, while satisfying the Jews at the same time.


There is much opposition in some Jewish groups to giving up the boycott. It is contended that such a drastic step is altogether unnecessary in view of the opposition the Greyshirts are meeting from Jews and Gentiles alike.

In many country districts the Greyshirts have not only failed to make appreciable progress, but have met with opposition in their attempts to blacken the character of the Jews.

Dr. S. S. Hoffman, a Jewish physician of Ladysmith, attended a Greyshirt meeting and interrupted Weichardt, the “fuehrer,” calling him a “damned liar.” When the Greyshirts attempted to eject him, Gentile neighbors formed a cordon around him, shouting that he was a respected citizen and had every right to speak. Dr. Hoffman continued his denunciation of the Greyshirts until the meeting broke up in disorder. Dr. Hoffman was the only Jew at the meeting.


At a meeting held in Vryheid Greyshirt speakers who attempted to attribute widespread immorality to Jews were so heckled by Jews and Gentiles that the meeting broke up in disorder. The Greyshirt leaders, afraid to appear on the street, sneaked out via the back door.

The Port Elizabeth trial, which exhibited the cowardice and the stupidity of Greyshirt theories, has also had an adverse effect on their propaganda.

Mayor Gradner of Cape Town loses no opportunity to denounce the Greyshirts for their attempts to stir up racial hatred by villifying the Jews, declaring that Jews are entitled to all rights enjoyed by other citizens.

The South African Labor party also devoted part of its recent annual meeting to a denunciation of Fascism, particularly the Greyshirt version, and called for severe measures against them.

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