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So. African Security Chief Links Jews with Communism, Apologizes

October 12, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The chief of South Africa’s Security Police, Maj. Gen. H. J. van den Bergh, today apologized for remarks he made about Jews and Communism at a symposium held last week by the Council to Combat Communism. In his address at the symposium, which was criticized by Jewish leaders here, Gen. van den Bergh said that he was often asked why so many of “our Jewish friends” were listed as Communists and why so many had been arrested for sabotage. He said the reason why Jews “tend to be involved” was because Communism was “an extreme form” of capitalism.

Maurice Porter, chairman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, criticized the Security Chief’s remarks and said they evoked “indignation and resentment” in the Jewish community. E. J. Horwitz, chairman of the South African Zionist Federation, said the remarks were “deplorable and offensive, and would be resented by all right-thinking people.” Also criticizing Gen. van den Bergh’s statement, the major Jewish newspapers here called on the Security Chief to withdraw his remarks.

In a statement issued here today, Gen. van den Bergh declared: “If I gave the impression in my speech that Jews, to the exclusion of other races, became Communists and engaged in sabotage — which is not the case — it is a wrong impression, and I am sorry that this interpretation was made. I make no such allegation against the Jewish community, and I would like to acknowledge with thanks and appreciation the particular help and personal friendship which I received from Jews in my extremely difficult task in the fight against Communism and sabotage.”

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