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Further reading


  • Bernstein, R., Memory Against Forgetting: Memoirs from a Life in South African Politics 1938-1964 (1999)

  • Eriksen, T.H., Ethnicity and Nationalism: Anthropological Perspectives (2002)

  • First, R., 117 Days: An Account of Confinement and Interrogation Under the South African 90-day Detention Law (1965)

  • Goldberg, D., A Life for Freedom: The Mission to End Racial Injustice in South Africa (2015)

  • Lerumo A. [M. Harmel], Fifty Fighting Years: The Communist Party of South Africa (1971)

  • Maloka, E., The South African Communist Party: Exile and After Apartheid (2013)

  • Marks, S. and S. Trapido, The Politics of Race, Class and Nationalism in Twentieth Century South Africa (1987)

  • Podbrey, P., White Girl In Search of the Party (1993)

  • Sachs, A., The Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter (1990)

  • Shain, M. and R. Mendelsohn, Memories Realities, and Dreams: Aspects of the South African Jewish Experience (2002)

  • Shimoni, G., Community and Conscience: The Jews in Apartheid South Africa (2003)

  • Shur, C., Shomrim in the Land of Apartheid: The Story of Hashomer Hatzair in South Africa 1935-1970 (1998)

  • Slovo, J., Slovo: The Unfinished Autobiography (1995)

  • South African Communist Party (SACP), South African Communists Speak: Documents from the History of the South African Communist Party, 1915-1980 (1981)

  • Suttner, I., Cutting Through the Mountain: Interviews with South African Jewish Activists (1997)

  • Wieder, A., Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid (2013)




  • Adam, H., The Politics of Ethnic Identity: Comparing South Africa, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 18:3 (1995)

  • Adler, F.H., South African Jews and Apartheid, Patterns of Prejudice, 34:4 (2000)

  • Belling, V., When Rivke Left Home: Women's Journeys from Eastern Europe to South Africa, Jewish Culture and History, 11:1-2 (2009)

  • Drew, A., Will the Real Sidney Bunting Please Stand up? Constructing and Contesting the Identity of a South African Communist, The English Historical Review, 118:479 (2003)

  • Israel, M. and S. Adams, 'That Spells Trouble': Jews and the Communist Party of South Africa, Journal of Southern African Studies, 26:1 (2000)

  • Johns, S., The Birth of the Communist Party of South Africa, The International Journal of African Historical Studies, 9:3 (1976)

  • Lodge, T., Secret Party: South African Communists Between 1950 and 1960, South African Historical Journal, 67:4 (2015)

  • Marks, S., Apartheid and the Jewish question, Journal of Southern African Studies, 30:4 (2004)

  • Roth, M., Eddie, Brian, Jack and Let's Phone Rusty: Is This the History of the Communist Party of South Africa (1921–1950)?, South African Historical Journal, 42:1 (2000)

  • Saunders, C., The Liberal Party Reassessed, South African Historical Journal, 37:1 (1997)

  • Shain, M., Jewish cultures, identities and contingencies: reflections from the South African experience, European Review of History—Revue européenne d'histoire, 18:01 (2011)

  • Solomos, J. and L. Back, Marxism, Racism and Ethnicity, American Behavioral Scientist, 38:3 (1995)



This project drew extensively from interviews with exiled political activists, particularly those conducted by Wolfie Kodesh for the Mayibuye Centre between 1992 and 1995. The unpublished transcripts of these oral history interviews are held in the UWC Robben Island Mayibuye Archive.



The images displayed on the landing page are historical artworks that have been digitised and archived online by Digital Innovation South Africa (DISA).


DISA hosts an extraordinary collection of materials from the struggle, including extensive archival catalogues of Umsebenzi and The African Communist – the publications that served as the mouthpiece of the SACP, writing about issues relating to the national liberation struggle from a Communist ideological point of view.

From left: Albie Sachs, Denis Goldberg and Ruth First. Click on the the faces to read more about them.

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