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Biography D.F. Malan

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Title Biography D.F. Malan
Period 01 / 2008 - 01 / 2009
Status Completed
Research number OND1331926
Data Supplier Biografie Instituut

Abstract

D.F. Malan is known as the South African prime minister who instituted apartheid. In 1994, a mere fourteen years ago, the party which he led to victory in 1948, relinquished its grip on power in South Africa which paved the way for a revision of Afrikaner history and of D.F. Malan himself. Surprisingly little has been written about D.F. Malan. There are only two biographies in circulation, one published in the late 1960?s and dealing with the first half of his life, the other, published in the 1980?s, focussing on the second half. Not only are they written in Afrikaans, which denies those who cannot read this language access to information about D.F. Malan, but both of these studies are firmly rooted in what is known in South African historiography as the Afrikaner nationalist school. They are, indeed, hagiographies. Malan is portrayed by his biographers, one of whom was a personal friend, as a steadfast and principled visionary, who led his volk to the promised land. Today, scant attention is paid to D.F. Malan, apart from passing references to his dour demeanour and his party?s simplistically racist programme. Thus, views of Malan vary from the one extreme to the other. Not only does this leave a sizeable lacuna in South African historiography, but it also denies the student of South African history a grasp of the complex nature of Afrikaner nationalism in the twentieth century. This study therefore has two dimensions: to gain a better understanding of a man who shaped South Africa?s history and through that, to understand the dynamics of Afrikaner nationalism during the first half of the twentieth century.

Abstract (NL)

[Afrikaans] D.F. Malan is bekend as die Suid-Afrikaanse premier wat apartheid ingestel het. In 1994, ?n skamele veertien jaar gelede, het die party wat hy in 1948 aan bewind gebring het, sy greep op Suid-Afrika laat vaar en die weg voorberei vir ?n hersiening van Afrikaner geskiedenis en ook van D.F. Malan self. Verbasend min is tot dusver oor D.F. Malan geskryf. Daar is slegs twee biografieƫ in omloop. Die een, wat in die laat 1960?s gepubliseer is, handel oor die eerste helfde van sy lewe, terwyl die tweede, wat in die 1980?s gepubliseer is, op die tweede helfde van D.F. Malan se lewe fokus. Beide biografieƫ is in Afrikaans geskryf, wat diegene wat Afrikaans nie kan lees nie, toegang tot inligting oor hom ontneem. Boonop is hulle ook gewortel in, wat in Suid-Afrikaanse historiografie bekend is as die Afrikaner nasionalistiese skool. Hulle is dus hagiografieƫ. D.F. Malan word deur sy biograwe, van wie een ?n persoonlike vriend was, uitgebeeld as ?n koersvaste en beginselvaste idealis, wat sy volk na die Beloofde Land gelei het. Vandag word daar skaars aandag aan hom gegee, behalwe vir terloopse en snydende opmerkings oor sy suur voorkoms en sy party se simplistiese en rassistiese beleid. Opinies oor D.F. Malan wissel dus van die een uiterste na die ander. Nie net laat dit ?n gapende hiaat in die Suid-Afrikaanse historiografie nie, maar die student van Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedenis word ook die geleentheid ontneem om die kompleksiteit van Afrikaner nasionalisme in die twintigste eeu te begryp. Hierdie studie het dus twee doelwitte: om ?n beter begrip te vorm van ?n man wat ?n geweldige invloed op Suid-Afrika se geskiedenis gehad het en om daardeur die dinamika van Afrikaner nasionalisme in die eerste helfte van die twintigste eeu beter te verstaan.

Related organisations

Other involved organisations

Universiteit van Stellenbosch, Zuid-Afrika (Penvoerder)

Related people

Supervisor Prof. A.M. Grundlingh
Project leader Prof.dr. J.W. Renders
Doctoral/PhD student L. Korf

Classification

A85100 Arts and culture
A86100 Libraries and documentation
D31000 Paleography, bibliology, bibliography, library science
D34500 Contemporary history
D36000 Language and literature studies

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