[February 1, 2013
Evil Empires I: Concentration camps in the Transvaal
During the Second Boer War the prestige of the British Empire sank to an all-time low. The main reason was the establishment of concentration camps in South Africa as a measure against the guerrilla war led by the local farmers against the Empire. Over 26,000 Boers, mainly women and children, died of hunger and diseases due to the catastrophic conditions of their detention. In September 1901, Jean Veber dedicated a whole issue of the French satirical magazine “Assiette au Beurre” to this topic. The depiction of the British King Edward VII as a butthead led to some diplomatic quarrels and censorship measures. On the German side,in the course of the two world wars, this issue was repeatedly used as propaganda material against England. A slightly modified reprint was published by the Nazi publishing house “Verlag für Militärgeschichte” in 1941, the same year in which the so-called “final solution”, the Holocaust, was decided.