Memory Against Forgetting

Memoir of a Time in South African Politics 1938-1964 Second edition
Author(s):
  • Publication Date: Oct 2017
  • Dimensions and Pages: 234 x 156mm; 400pp; Available in paperback and ebook; With black & white photographs
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-77614-154-8
  • eBook EAN: 978-1-77614-156-2
  • PDF EAN: 978-1-77614-155-5
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 380.00

The memory so eloquently contained in this book tells especially the younger generations of South Africans who live in freedom that they should never forget that, indeed, that freedom was not free.
Thabo Mbeki, anti-apartheid activist and former President of South Africa, 1994–2008

‘The silence of the cell is less disturbing than the deliberate silence of the human beings
who come and go. I know that it is part of the process, designed to break my morale, but that
doesn’t make it any easier. I calculate that I am speaking less than twenty words a day, and
begin to wonder whether my vocal chords will dry up and wither if this goes on … I have never
been very talkative, but now I begin to hunger after talk more strongly than for either food
or drink.’

Lionel ‘Rusty’ Bernstein was arrested at Liliesleaf Farm, Rivonia, on 11 July 1963 and tried for sabotage, alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and other leaders of the African National Congress and Umkhonto we Sizwe in what came to be known as the Rivonia Trial. He was acquitted in June 1964, but was immediately rearrested. After being released on bail, he fl ed with his wife Hilda into exile, followed soon afterwards by their family.

This classic text, first published in 1999, is a remarkable man’s personal memoir of a life in South African resistance politics from the late 1930s to the 1960s. In recalling the events in which he participated, and the way in which the apartheid regime affected the lives of those involved in the opposition movements, Rusty Bernstein provides valuable insights into the social and political history of the era.

Foreword (by Thabo Mbeki)
The Rivonia Trial Attorney Remembers (by Lord Joel Joffe)
Prologue
1. Starting Blocks
2. Time at the Crossroads
3. A Foot in Each Camp
4. Across the Divide
5. Spoils of War
6. Warning Winds
7. A Line in the Sand
8. Goodbye to All That
9. Overground – Underground
10. To Speak of Freedom
11. Power, Treason and Plot
12. Cracking the Fortress Wall
13. Exercise Behind Bars
14. To Put Up or Shut Up
15. Things Fall Apart
16. To Sit in Solemn Silence
17. In a Deep Dark Dock
18. Telling It As It Was
19. In A Closing Net
20. Over, and Out
Epilogue
Notes
Index

Rusty Bernstein was a lifelong political activist and as a member of the Labour League of Youth, the South African Communist Party and later the Congress of Democrats, he was a committed and tireless opponent of the apartheid regime despite being detained, jailed and banned for his political activism. He was tried for treason in the Rivonia Trial alongside Nelson Mandela and other ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe leaders but was acquitted for lack of evidence. After being re-arrested and then released on bail, Rusty and his wife Hilda went into exile in London where Rusty practiced as an architect and continued working for the ANC. He returned to South Africa in 1994 to run the ANC’s press office during the first democratic election. He died in 2002 and was posthumously awarded the Order of Luthuli (Gold) for his political activism.

The memory so eloquently contained in this book tells especially the younger generations of South Africans who live in freedom that they should never forget that, indeed, that freedom was not free.
Thabo Mbeki, anti-apartheid activist and former President of South Africa, 1994–2008

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