Former Rivonia Trialist and long-term political prisoner Denis Goldberg will introduce the Forgotten Liberators exhibition at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation on the eve of Archbishop Emeritus Tutu’s 88th birthday.
The exhibition, sub-titled, Third World in World War II, presents a decolonised history of the Second World War, acknowledging the six million Jews who died in the holocaust as well as the 20 million others – including gay and lesbian people, gypsies, communists, Blacks and Third World conscripts – who lost their lives opposing the racism of Nazi Germany.
The exhibition is the product of more than 20 years of research conducted by a group of scientists and journalists based in Cologne, Germany. It was previously exhibited at the Steve Biko Centre in King William’s Town.
Approximately one million people from Great Britain’s colonies and another million people from French Colonies were conscripted as soldiers. They fought in the winters of Europe without adequate clothing or equipment, the colonies having to provide 90% of the materials for the war, including food. Not only did many die in battle, but they died of starvation while their families at home lost essential harvests.
“The Arch has always made it a priority to acknowledge the role the international community played in the struggle against apartheid. Now we acknowledge the Third World’s role in the struggle against Nazism, once again under-scoring our human inter-dependency.” said Foundation chairman, Niclas Kjellstrom-Matseke. “This is history we need to know at a time of a resurgence of racism worldwide.”