|About the Book|
Rivonias Children is the harrowing and inspiring account of a handful of white activists, many of them Jewish, who risked their lives to combat apartheid when, in the 1960s, South Africa plunged into an era of darkness from which it has onlyMoreRivonias Children is the harrowing and inspiring account of a handful of white activists, many of them Jewish, who risked their lives to combat apartheid when, in the 1960s, South Africa plunged into an era of darkness from which it has only recently emerged.. This is the story of Hilda and Rusty Bernstein, longtime communists so deeply committed to the cause that even the threat of life imprisonment did not stop them- of Ruth First, a fiery activist arrested and held for months without charge- and of AnnMarie Wolpe, an innocent bystander sucked into the maelstrom, who had to decide whether to risk her own freedom and the life of her sick infant by helping her activist husband escape from prison.. Their underground headquarters was in Rivonia, a Johannesburg suburb, and it was there that their dream of revolution was shattered after a police raid in 1963. Nelson Mandela, Rusty Bernstein, and eight of their comrades were tried for sabotage and attempting to violently overthrow the government. The Rivonia raid not only destroyed an old order of benign radicalism but thrust radicals into a new, dangerous world of action, leading to the Soweto uprising and the birth of another generation of black activists. The regime turned a corner as well, becoming a full-scale police state that waged a dirty war of brutality and oppression. In the end, freedom triumphed, and the sacrifices of this small group of whites contributed to the miracle of racial reconciliation that is the new South Africa.