Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

War About War

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
An interesting article can be found in De Wekker of December 10, 1999, by Prof. Dr. L. Floor, a missionary in South Africa, and member of our sister churches in the Netherlands. It concerns the Boer War that began in1899. Anyone from Dutch descent and having read the books of L. Pennings will certainly take the side of the Boers. Those reading the British version of Boer War activities may very well think otherwise; and the blacks are somewhere in between. Floor writes that a war has begun to be waged about who was right and who was wronged one hundred years ago. A

visit by the Queen of England to South Africa recently has intensified that war. During her trip through Pretoria she was faced with some banners raised by the descendants of the Boers, demanding that Britain confess guilt for the war and ask for forgiveness. Many of the blacks are taking that tack too, because, as Floor points out, not only did the white Boers suffer, but also many of the blacks. Apparently, the British had a "scorched earth" policy in place at that time. Some 26,000 Boer women and children died in British concentration camps in addition to some 13,000 blacks.

According to Floor, the ÒwarÓ about War will no doubt go on for the next three years, as various battles will be commemorated. He concludes that peace will only come about when, from all sides, not merely the stories, (not only the L. Pennings' stories) but also the facts will be examined. This conclusion is also fitting for us here especially in Canada, since we know that Canada too was involved in the Boer War.

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