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Mandela [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Christo Brand

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3. März 2014
Christo Brand was a South African farm boy, born into the Afrikaans culture which had created apartheid to persecute black people and claim superiority for whites. Nelson Mandela, also raised in a rural village, was the black son of a tribal chief. He trained as a lawyer to take up the fight against apartheid on behalf of a whole nation. Their opposing worlds collided when Christo, a raw recruit from the country's prison service, was sent to Robben Island to guard the notoriously dangerous terrorists there. Mandela was their undisputed leader. The two of them, a boy of 18 and a long-suffering freedom fighter then aged 60, could well have become bitter enemies. Instead, they formed an extraordinary friendship through small human kindnesses. Christo, a gentle young man who valued ordinary decency and courtesy, struck a chord with the wise and resilient old freedom fighter who was prepared to die to liberate his people. The African tribesman in Mandela meant that family was a priority for him, yet he had been sentenced to life imprisonment. When his mother died, he was refused permission to go to her funeral. Mandela, the oldest son whose responsibility was written in blood, wept with shame and despair. Christo was to witness that despair many times during his years as Mandela's prison warder. When Winnie secretly brought their tiny granddaughter to Robben Island it was Christo who risked his own freedom to put the baby in Mandela's arms. Their friendship was sealed by many such shared moments. And the bond of trust between the two men extended beyond Mandela's prison years. As President of South Africa, he called for Christo and gave him a job in the archives department in Parliament. He invited Christo and his family into his home and advised his two sons on their careers. A few weeks before his death, Mandela made another call, to say goodbye. This book tells the story of their friendship in Christo's words for the first time.

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'A story of the most astonishing, unlikely friendship. A must read' - Mail on Sunday

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

CHRISTO BRAND is the son of a farm foreman from rural South Africa.  He served as Nelson Mandela's prison guard for 12 years, primarily on Robben Island where he still works as a tour guide and bookstore manager.
BARBARA JONES is the Africa Correspondent for the Mail on Sunday newspaper and has covered Nelson Mandela since 2000.  She lives in Cape Town, South Africa.
-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.0 von 5 Sternen  1 Rezension
4.0 von 5 Sternen A great read 15. April 2014
Von Neale - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I marked in 4 because there is some sloppy editing where he repeats himself that should have been caught. I was skeptical about reading this after reading Long Walk to Freedom and some other books, how much more was there to say. Brand focuses on the choices he had to make as a warder -- where he could give a break, and where he didn't dare. He did take a few daring risks, but balanced that with towing the line, especially in censoring mail where his work was scrutinized. Brand probably had the easiest time seeing through the apartheid myths when he faced Mandela and the others who were not only non-violent, but disciplined and immensely human. We know that, but what helped him was having grown up with working class parents on a farm where all his friends were black or colored in those formative years. And his choice to go into prison work was to avoid the other choices of the military or the street police, so he already had a big heart and a gentle spirit. The most fascinating part for me was what happened when the five most influential were removed from Robben Island and put alone on the top floor of Pollsmoor prison where the warders who were with them locked the door and no one could see them. There they could share food with the warders and play tournaments of tennis and eat foods of their choice. I had had no idea about that part.
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