In the concentration camps mothers with small children [were told] ‘Did they not know all children under the age of 5 must die?’“
“A tiny force of never more than 6,000 active Boers was able to frustrate and tie down 448,725 troops of the world’s largest empire.” As a result, the scorched earth Holocaust policy was brought into effect.
The Real Goal of The Anglo-Boer War & How It Was Achieved
By the Editor of WearsWar
“Lord Roberts burns our houses down;
The women out he drives;
He cannot overcome the men
So he persecutes the wives.”
(Transvaal State Secretary F W Reitz)
The Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) was a war by the British Empire against a small Farming population in order to dispossess them of their country so that foreign interests, coveting the exploitation of newly discovered mining riches, could gain dominion – by any means necessary. The word ‘Boer’ means ‘Farmer’ in Dutch. The Boer (Afrikaners) are ethnic-Europeans, originally of Dutch, French and German extraction.
The Boer war was unlike any other war in modern history, according to author Stephen Mitford Goodson in his article titled ‘Holocausting the Boers’, (The Barnes Review Journal March/April 2017 issue). This war is more accurately characterized as the Rothschild-Anglo Empire vs Farmer-Boer War – a war conducted largely against women and children.
Despite having signed the Hague Convention on July 29, 1899, the British proceeded to contravene every article therein. The Rothschilds and the British imperialist designs to acquire total control of the newly discovered Transvaal Republic’s gold mines was the sole true motivation for instigating the attack against the independent-loving Dutch settlers.
J A Hobson’s ‘The War in South Africa’, 1900, exposed the fake atrocity propaganda and disinformation against the Boers to demonise them in the eyes of the British public. He revealed the true source of this incitement to war – the powerful Zionist lobby in South Africa which he termed ‘the Jew-Imperialists’.
The British government expected a quick defeat of the tiny Farmer-Boer population within a few months. However, as Goodson states:
“A tiny force of never more than 6,000 active Boers was able to frustrate and tie down 448,725 troops of the world’s largest empire.”
Michael Davitt, former member of the House of Commons who resigned in protest against the British offensive which he called ‘the greatest infamy of the nineteenth century’, wrote in ‘The Boer Fight for Freedom’, 1902, that two months after Lord Roberts had received an Earldom for having ‘finished’ the war [by simply issuing a ‘Proclamation’ to that effect even though the British controlled only one tenth of the Transvaal!] the British War Office announced:
“In view of recent Boer activity in various directions, his Majesty’s Government have decided, in addition to the large forces recently equipped locally in South Africa, to reinforce Lord Kitchener by 30,000 mounted troops beyond those already landed in Cape Colony.”
Top Left: A book about valiant Canadian volunteers. Top Right: Welsh volunteers returning home post-war. Center Right: New Zealand volunteers heading to South Africa. Bottom Left & Right: Australians with their imported artillery. All these forces were combined with English & other foreign regiments to defeat a standing army of 6,000 farmers at any given time.
The Scorched Earth & Concentration Camp Holocaust Policy against Boer Women & Children:
The failure of the British to defeat the part-time Boer commandoes in the field resulted in the cowardly decision to implement a ‘scorched earth’ Holocaust policy encompassing massive sweeps right across their territory, together with the forced removal into approximately 50 concentration camps of mostly Boer women and children.
As a cultured people, the Boers possessed finely crafted furniture, libraries and pianos, Goodson states. Troops entered the family homes and gave the women and children 10 minutes to evacuate, after which all the contents of the homesteads were destroyed, including children’s toys and bibles. The British, Australian and other colonial troops would smash everything which was then piled up and set alight. Homesteads and outhouses were set on fire and dynamited.
All farming implements, transport wagons, crops, orchards, farm animals, vegetable beds were completely destroyed. This ensured that even after the war, there would be no means for these Farmer-Boer families to sustain themselves. Furthermore, the Holocaust policy was designed to create extreme emotional and psychological distress to the men at war in the field as well as to their women and children.
The Rothschilds’ troops showed unbelievable cruelty towards farm animals. Cattle and sheep were either bayoneted, shot, dynamited or burnt alive. These horrific events would be witnessed by the distraught women and children. In addition to farmsteads, 25 towns and 20 villages, including all churches, were destroyed. The countryside was turned into a desert.
Sons as young as 8 years old were considered a ‘threat’ to the British so forcefully separated from their mothers and transported on ships overseas with the adult POWs.
The women and their little ones were carted off on a journey that in some cases lasted 16 days. When the troops ate, usually no food or care was provided them. The women were even used as human shields as documented by Davitt (pg 516):
“On the 6th of June, near Graspan,…the Boers attacked…when some Englishmen had been wounded, and the Boers came nearer, the women were ordered to come down from their wagons and place themselves before the soldiers, who would then shoot at the approaching Boers from under their arms…The bullets of the Boers killed eight women and two children.
When the Boers perceived this, they ceased firing, they roared like ferocious animals, ran at the circle of Englishmen with the butt-end of their guns, and, as if they were mad dogs, struck down the Tommies. But before this happened some twenty Boers at least had been killed by the English soldiers.”
There were many deaths on the journeys to the death camps, dead children often being thrown into ditches. Even worse, women giving birth were dumped out on the veld. Goodson writes:
“Boer commandos frequently found women and their infants lying dead, and in winter completely frozen.”
The next leg of the journey was transportation of the women and children in overcrowded, filthy coal-dust or dung-covered rail cars, mostly open to the extreme elements. As a consequence, many of the women, children and the elderly arrived at the camps emaciated.
Life in the Death Camps for Women & Children
The death camps were euphemistically called Concentration Camps. Some historians incorrectly state these were the first concentration camps; in fact this style of camp, including ‘scorched earth’ and ‘blockhouse’ systems was initiated by the Spaniards in Cuba just 3 years prior to the Boer War –all then repeated by the British against the Farmer-Boers. Byron Farwell in ‘the Great Anglo-Boer War’ 1990 pg 393:
“The idea of sweeping up the inhabitants of entire districts and herding them into guarded camps was not new…. In 1896 Don Valeriana Weyler y Nicolau, captain general of Cuba, had forced the inhabitants of the four westernmost provinces of the island into fortified areas where they died in great numbers [20,000] of neglect, starvation, and disease…”
Imperialist propagandist Conan Doyle was aware of the appalling consequences of the Spanish reconcentrado system so it is unrealistic to believe that Kitchener was unaware; nor did this knowledge discourage him from implementing it wholeheartedly, quite the opposite.
Conan Doyle protested there was an essential difference – in that ‘the guests of the British government were all well fed and well treated during their detention’, an outrageously false statement.
William Thomas Stead, a London journalist and editor of Review of Reviews, helped launch the “Stop the War Campaign” to end the Boer war. In January 1900 he wrote:
“When the helpless women and children were incarcerated in these prison camps, a careful difference was made between those who had husbands, brothers and fathers still on commando and those whose male relatives were already killed, captured or had surrendered [hands-uppers]. Those in the last category were provided with what was called ‘full rations.’…Then it was decided to subject the women and children of those men and fathers who were still obedient to the orders of their government to systematic starvation.
We could not kill or capture the burghers who were still in the field, but we could capture their women and helpless little children. And when we had caught them, we could crowd them into our substitute of the Spanish Inquisition, the prison camps, where….we achieved the same object through the refined and terrible torture of hunger. Under that treatment, the children grew ill and were reduced to living skeletons.
Each one of these children who died thus, as a reduction of rations by half to bring pressure upon their relatives in the field, was deliberately murdered.”
Conditions in the British concentration camps were dreadful even for inmates who received so-called ‘adequate’ rations. The Boers were not allowed to bring their own thicker tents, but were instead accommodated in thinner single-layer bell tents which were inadequate for weather conditions and required constant stooping. Storm water poured in at the base of the tents which were grossly overpopulated. Many had no mattresses, just one blanket on which to lie on the bare ground.
“The heat was unbearable in the summer, while in winter temperatures often fell below freezing. Toilet facilities in the camps were grossly inadequate. The males’ toilet was a long ditch covered by canvas or rolling logs through which children frequently fell. Candles were scarce, and soap was virtually unobtainable. Any inmate who complained about the conditions was deemed a troublemaker and had his or her rations halved.”
Top Left: Severely overcrowded without basic sanitation illness spread quickly. Top Right: Three children from this tent were already dead, shortly after the photo a fourth died. Mid Right: Little “Lizzie van Zyl, who died in the Bloemfontein concentration camp: She was a frail, weak little child in desperate need of good care. Yet, because her mother was one of the “undesirables” due to the fact that her father neither surrendered nor betrayed his people, Lizzie was placed on the lowest rations and so perished with hunger that, after a month in the camp, she was transferred to the new small hospital. Here she was treated harshly. The English disposed doctor and his nurses did not understand her language and, as she could not speak English, labeled her an idiot although she was mentally fit and normal. One day she dejectedly started calling for her mother, when a Mrs Botha walked over to her to console her. She was just telling the child that she would soon see her mother again, when she was brusquely interrupted by one of the nurses who told her not to interfere with the child as she was a nuisance.” Below: Another mother with one of her dying young children.
Personal Accounts of Women in the Death Camps
The following quotes are from the personal diaries and private letters of women internees, later gathered by British humanitarian Emily Hobhouse in her book “The Brunt of the War and where It Fell” 1902. The women write with dignity and restraint. These few examples are typical.
Mrs Meyer to her sister Mrs Louis Botha (wife of General Botha) Aug 1901:
“I can never describe the life we had in camp. Bitter was not the name for it. The most essential was our food, which….was so little, that we often retired with an empty stomach. Shall I ever forget the death scenes….never in all my life have I seen such hardships, heard so much wailing….daily 10, 12, 14, 16 and even 20 children and people died, daily that same number of coffins carried out…..
The food we got was bad; flour, coffee, and sugar for the week which only lasted about two days, and the meat was so dreadful because they killed… sick sheep for us. So many of our people have died in camp; during the four months I was in the Volksrust Camp 587 people died. Is that not a terrible number in four months? This I was told by our superintendent, Mr Carter.
…We (arrived) at 2 o’clock am. The children cried with misery….my mother’s heart bleeds to think of such a treatment…we were set down…without a roof over our heads…some have lain out there 2 whole days in sunshine and rain.
As for the camp life, it is, in a word, ‘slow starvation and defilement.’ 1 medical doctor, Dr Limpert, and 2 nurses attended the camp, far too little for a population of 6,000 people, and sickness in every tent.
The mortality was very great…mothers with small children have had to wait 3 days before being able to speak to the doctor; and when at last their turn came, they simply were told to go away, for
‘Did they not know all children under the age of 5 must die?’
The rations are very small. In six weeks I was three times given a pound and a half of almost uneatable meat.”
A woman who ran away from Mafeking Camp, on oath before General Celliers:
“I am the wife of Adriaan Van Staden….Children under 12 years of age got half rations. The doctors treated us very roughly. Sometimes they assaulted us when we applied for medicines. Many a time we were told:
‘If all those in camp perished it would not matter’
The cases of mortality in the camp were very numerous. Last month we had 580 deaths, mostly children. I have these statistics from my brother, Johannes Smit, who has assisted in making the coffins….The cases of mortality varied from 20 to 30 a day….We got nothing but tinned meat….once we were warned not to eat the meat as the animals had died from lung disease. The tinned meat is very unhealthy and causes diarrhoea……
Before I escaped, two women from Lichtenburg ran away, who were, however, arrested and brought back [by natives]. They were then punished, with 8 days’ rice-water. They got no other food….I had a child when I was taken a prisoner; it died in camp.” [Shockingly, the British armed and paid natives to hunt and round up Boer women.]
A member of the Cape Town Committee (1902):
“…Howick has now a high mortality…..some hundreds of poor people lately from Klerksdorp…had been travelling for many days, but had no food whatever by the way. They arrived at the camp like wild animals raging with hunger – a pitiful sight – the children and women alike worn down to literal skin and bone….One baby had died of starvation on the way…At night they were guarded by bayonetted soldiers, and could not move. Their torments were unspeakable.”
Clergyman’s wife, Mrs Z:
“One poor lady was very delicate, and the doctor said she could not stand the journey…she died on arrival in camp. They travelled for 4 days and it rained hard all the way.
On arrival they found a few small bell-tents, but not half enough for the people to be accommodated….half of the people were thrown out on the bare veld for a fortnight, to fend for themselves as best they could. One lady, cousin to the Rev Mr Steytler of Cape Town, had to do her best with two little babies out on the damp ground. These poor people had to make shelters of sticks and leaves, under which they crawled at night. It was wet on the top of them, wet at the bottom….
No beds or mattresses were provided. In some cases women expecting confinement [childbirth] from day to day were lying on the bare ground, with but one blanket under them. The change of temperature was acutely felt in these small tents. In summer you had to sit for hours with wet cloths on your head, while the babies lay gasping for breath. In winter it was piercingly cold.”
Boer General De la Rey in his official report to [ex-President] Kruger December 1901:
“The treatment of women and children, defenceless creatures, is really the darkest page…of this sad war…Our women who had been taken prisoners after the homesteads had been burned, were sometimes carried along with their columns on trolleys for weeks. At night the women were placed around their laagers as a protection against a night attack from our side. When the women realised what was the object of the enemy, they tried to escape but were pursued….fired upon….
Many women have already lost their lives either from wounds or from the misery they have endured. My own wife was ordered by Lord Methuen to leave her home and everything she possessed. She has been wandering about the country for over twelve months with six small children. My mother, an old woman of eighty-three….has been carried away as a prisoner to Klerksdorp [camp].”
Emily Hobhouse 1902, relating her failure to appeal to British authority figures for humanitarian aid for the death camps wrote:
“… One prominent clergyman thought that to keep Boer women and children alive might ‘prolong the war.’
The following are extracts from Byron Farwell’s ‘The Great Anglo-Boer War’ 1976:
General De Wet: “…that such direct and indirect murder should have been committed against defenceless women and children is a thing which I should have staked my head could never have happened in a war by the civilized English nation. And yet it happened.
“Kitchener had suggested that all of the inmates be transported and settled somewhere outside South Africa – then ‘there will be room for the British to colonize’.”
“Kitchener, who regarded the back-veld Boers as ‘uncivilized Afrikaner savages with a thin white veneer’….never visited a single concentration camp.
“Eventually Kitchener, [who like Rothschild agent Cecil Rhodes, had a disdain for married men,] was eventually forced to acknowledge the Boer Holocaust due to the relentless efforts of one solitary lady, British humanitarian Emily Hobhouse, who came to be called by Kitchener simply ‘that bloody woman’.”
“Miss Hobhouse wrote to the Distress Committee….after she had visited the Bloemfontein camp: ‘I call this camp system wholesale cruelty….To keep these camps going is murder for the children’.”
Left: Lord Roberts Right: Lord Kitchener who “…may be considered to have been the most active to patronise our [freemason] Society…. On 16 December 1899 the British Cabinet appointing Field Marshal Lord Roberts as Commander-In-Chief of the British Forces in South Africa and Major-General Lord Kitchener as chief of staff. Roberts happened to be an active freemason… It will not be a surprise to hear that Kitchener found time to visit a Masonic Lodge during the Boer War.”
By publicly exposing the inhumanity of her Government’s policy Hobhouse was vilified in the media and the general population. To her credit she refused to be intimidated resulting belatedly in life-saving improvements. Without her unceasing efforts the death count could only have escalated as the camps became ever more crowded. She was honoured and loved by the Boers who collected a donation which bought her a home in Europe to live the rest of her life in.
“More Boer boys and girls under the age of sixteen died in British concentration camps than all the fighting men killed by bullets and shells on BOTH sides in the course of the entire war.”
Goodson provides revised and updated figures:
- 155,000 women and children – almost two-thirds of the total Boer population – were imprisoned in these extermination camps.
- About 34,000 (22%) of the inmates of the concentration camps died, of whom 27,540 (81%) were under the age of 16.
- The total losses of the Boers were 17.6% of their estimated pre-war population of 250,000.” If ever there was a so-called Final Solution, this was it.
“Whereas 9,908 Boer soldiers died, more than 34,000 civilian concentration camp inmates, mostly women and children, lost their lives”
In stark contrast Davitt evidences the Farmer-Boers’ humane treatment of their adversaries. The Boer commandoes, unable to contain and provide for the Empire’s POWs in detention, would disarm and release them despite realizing they would always rejoin the war against them. Private correspondence from a private in the Derbyshire Regiment to his father Patrick McCue of Sunderland, published in the ‘Daily News’ stated:
“The Boers behaved like men, never shooting when they could take prisoners, and even apologized because they had to take our rifles and ammunition.”
After a victory by Boer General De la Rey who took 555 men of the Northumberland Fusiliers and of Imperial Yeomen as prisoners, Davitt records their fate “…the 555 men… had surrendered and were subsequently released.” These “Northumberlands had been captured at Stormberg once before.” After a victory at Helvetia Boer General Louis Botha took 200 prisoners of the Liverpool Regiment. “The Liverpools were disarmed and released after a few days. They had been captured and released once before.” On another occasion, Boer
“Ben Viljoen led the attack and captured the Royal Irish who garrisoned the town. His son was killed in the encounter. Viljoen held the town for two hours and then retired, releasing his prisoners.”
That so many more Farmer-Boer women and children died cruelly in this ‘war’ than Boers in the field reveals the hypocrisy of the self-righteous indignation of Britain’s vilification of Hitler and Germany just 40 years later. Goodson states:
“Almost two-thirds of the total Boer population – were imprisoned in these extermination camps…..By the end of the war 72% of the Boer population were either dead or incarcerated in a prisoner of war camp or a concentration camp.”
“The Anglo-Boer War was a great victory for the Rothschilds in that they achieved their primary goal of obtaining full control of the gold and other mineral resources of South Africa. The fact that this achievement required large numbers of women and children to die in inhumane concentration camps, to them was inconsequential.”
In her efforts to vilify the German nation before, during and ever since WWII, Britain and her other Anglo Empire subjects simply chose to ‘forget’ the Holocaust they themselves had imposed upon Farmer-Boer women and children.
Dedicated To Emily Hobhouse & Little Lizzie, Forever Cherished.