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Nazi Party of South Africa

Last modified: 2019-08-06 by bruce berry
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Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 20 March 2012 See also:

Nazi Party of South Africa

In the 1930's a number of groups sympathetic to Nazism emerged in South Africa, but perhaps the best known was the South African Nazi Party or more simply known as the Gryshemde (Grey Shirts in Afrikaans) because of their paramilitary Sturmabteilung-like uniforms. Their official names of the "South African Gentile National Socialist Movement," and the "South African Christian National Socialist Movement," were rarely used. The South African Nazi Party, which remained active during the 1930s and 1940s, was founded by Louis Weichardt.  Its platform was the basic Nazi anti-Semitic rhetoric that extreme right-wing groups seem to favour.  As the Jews fled Nazi Germany during the mid-1930s, some relocated to Cape Town in South Africa and the Greyshirts were active organizing large and sometimes violent street protests at this time.

Although Headquartered in Cape Town, there was a "branch office" in Pretoria and the Grey Shirts published a newsletter called "The Bulletin" where they attempted to justify the actions of the national socialists both in Germany and South Africa. What was unusual about this particular South African extremist group was that they sought to work with both the Afrikaans and the English-speaking South Africans. During World War II, although the government closely monitored Grey Shirts activities, they were largely left alone. By 1949, the Grey Shirts, after renaming themselves the White Workers Party, gradually faded from the South African political scene and split into smaller splinter groups. (Text from "Historical Flags of Our Ancestors").

   Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 20 March 2012

The flag used by the South African Nazi Party followed the same design as that used by the Nazis in Germany during the Third Reich between 1933 and 1945 but with an orange swastika on a white roundel on a light blue field in both rectangular and triangular versions
Pete Loeser, 20 March 2012