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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:History effaced: the International Defence and Aid letters
Author:Lenta, MargaretISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:Social Dynamics
Volume:34
Issue:2
Pages:203-215
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:letters
anti-apartheid resistance
female-headed households
social history
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02533950802280071
Abstract:The International Defence and Aid Letters, now in the Mayibuye Archives at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, contain the responses of many South Africans, mainly women, who during the apartheid period and immediately afterwards received funds from the International Defence and Aid Fund via a large number of intermediaries in Europe and Canada. The letters were written to these intermediaries as receipts for funds sent to them. Partly for security reasons and partly because the recipients were often lonely as well as poor, they tended to send news of themselves and their families as well as thanks for the money which they needed. The letters now function as pieces of history of the private and domestic sufferings of families whose breadwinners were imprisoned or exiled, and who had been forced to leave wives and children without support. They are unique in that the writers would not under any other circumstances have written to describe their plight, and there is no other collection of letters which offers such an authentic picture of domestic heroism. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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