Prisoners of Jan Smuts 

Equally skilled in different trades than in the art of love, the Italian prisoners-of-war (POWs) who were incarcerated in South Africa during the Second World War are a source of great fascination to this day. The first Italian POWs arrived in the Union of South Africa in early 1941, most of them being held in Zonderwater Camp outside Cullinan or work camps across the country. The government of Jan Smuts saw them as a source of cheap labour that would contribute to harvesting schemes, road-building projects such as the old Du Toit’s Kloof Pass between Paarl and Worcester, and even prickly-pear eradication schemes. Prisoners of Jan Smuts recount the stories of survival and shenanigans of the Italian POWs in the Union through the eyes of five prisoners who had documented their experiences in memoirs and letters. While many POWs seemed to appreciate the opportunities to gain new skills, others clung to the Fascist ideas they had grown up with and refused to work. Many opted to remain in South Africa after the war ended, forging quite a legacy. These included sculptor Edoardo Villa, who left an important mark in the local and international art world, and businessman Aurelio Gatti, who built an ice-cream empire whose gelato was to delight generations of South Africans. 

Met: Karen Horn, Ruda Landman (gespreksleier) 
Taal: Afrikaans | English 
Tydsduur: 60 min 
Prys: R40 
Plek: ATKV-Boeke-oase (Hoofsaal) 
Tyd: 5 Jul 12:00 

Buy Tickets