Condolence Letter - Denis Goldberg
Denis Goldberg, one of the last two survivors of the Rivonia Trial of 1963/64 died on 29 April 2020 at his home in Cape Town.
With his demise, South Africa lost an outstanding freedom fighter. In his early years, he already joint the anti-apartheid movements in South Africa; first he was active in the Modern Youth Society and in the Congress of People. In 1961 he joined the Umkhonto we Sizwe, the underground armed resistance against the oppressive apartheid regime. In 1963 he was arrested at the Liliesleaf together with Nelson Mandela and the other comrades and spend the next 22 years in prison until he was released in 1985 and lived in exile in England until his return to South Africa in 2002.
He never stopped fighting for the liberation in South Africa! During the time of exile in London he kept close relations to the anti apartheid movement in Germany and became a good friend of Germany. In 2011 he was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (“Bundesverdienstkreuz“). In his laudatory remarks, Ambassador Haller of Germany to South Africa recalls Denis Goldberg's commitment to close ties between South Africa and Germany. "Denis Goldberg, an icon of the struggle in South Africa, is well known in Germany, too. He stands for: a deep rooted concept of humanity, a man who dedicated his life for freedom in South Africa under Apartheid and still remains committed to maintain hard-won freedoms after the liberation in 1994. He committed himself to the development of the New South Africa, to make it a place where social justice prevails.“
He has been invited by the Friedrich Ebert Stifung on a number of occasions and became a good friend of the foundation. In 2014 we personally had the honour to be guided through the Liliesleaf Farm and its history by Denis Goldberg himself.
The world has lost a great freedom fighter and passionate human being!
Heinz Bongartz und Bastian Schulz