On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X
The Ossewa-Brandwag (OB) was the largest of a number of nationalist political movements which existed in the Afrikaner society in South Africa during the period of the Second World War, and which were inclined towards national socialism. This article deals with the role of its youth wing, first called the Jeugfront (Youth Front) and later the Boerejeug (Boer Youth) of the OB. The origin, establishment, objectives, organisation and activities of this youth wing are discussed in some detail. Everything was geared towards volksdiens (service to the people) in the interest of the Afrikaner people. From the mid-1940s, the National Party (then called the Herenigde Nasionale Party) gained the political support of more and more Afrikaner nationalists, at the expense of the OB, and won the parliamentary elections to become the new government in 1948. Having lost its raison d'être, the OB, including its youth wing, was disbanded in 1952. During its brief existence, the Boerejeug, never managed to realise its ideals on a grand scale, despite its good leadership and thorough organisation, because changing circumstances did not allow it to become the popular volksbeweging (people's movement) it set out to be. That honour went to the National Party and its affiliated organisations. However, the legacy of the OB and its youth movement, especially its republican ideal, was perpetuated in the National Party and was merged into the broad stream of triumphant Afrikaner nationalism.
Keywords : Afrikaner nationalism; Boerejeug; Doctor J.F.J. van Rensburg; Jeugfront; Ossewa-Brandwag (OB); Professor D.J. van Rooy; Second World War; South African history.