Boertjie (English)

Author:  Hannes Deetlefs

Dear Reader, this is a book to enjoy, to remind, and to ponder in reflection thereof.

The story of the people from South West Africa and partly from South Africa from yonder years is portrayed as accurately as possible. The facts and choice of themes and events are based specifically on the accurate details found in the diaries and abundance of letters and photos, of Hermann Deetlefs and Elisabeth Deetlefs-Reimer. Painstaking effort was put into recording the facts of events and emotions, concerns and confusion which reigned during that difficult era to depict them exactly as they happened. Today it is easy to confirm or verify the mentioned facts by using the internet facilities. Of course there are always multiple versions of the same historical realities: The scientific approach, neutral, and then also politically enhanced versions.  As far as it was possible, the neutral approach was selected, also pointing out when the neutral version did not suit any of the parties involved. A lot of the mentioned issues are no longer acceptable in the norms of today, but that is exactly the contrast we aim to accentuate. The ‘mini’ as an example, and so much more the ‘bikini’ was big news in those days, whereas today they hardly validate a mentioning. It is furthermore a fact that not all implications of the day can be projected as the Gospel truth. A lot of it is thus based on hearsay and speculation passed down through generations. Often it was merely conversations in the presence of the son and own diary notes where information was collected from.

Persons mentioned by their first names and surnames, or where their surnames are indicated with a capital letter, are politically correctly depicted as far as was possible. Persons just mentioned by their first names are people who did exist or a combination of actual persons represented by that person. This is also true with reference to the autobiographies of Hermann and Elisabeth Deetlefs self. Only the unimportant events in their lives were excluded. The well documented parts of their history are already story-like, but yet true from beginning to end.

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