Boertjie: Strolling through his life, his thoughts and his time in South and South West Africa / Namibia / Hannes Deetlefs


The story of the people of South West and part of South Africa of “those times” is here recorded as accurately as possible. The facts and thus the selection of themes and events based special on the very meticulous diaries, numerous letters and pictures of Hermann Deetlefs and Elisabeth Deetlefs Reimer. Great effort has gone as correct as possible the events, emotions, fear and confusion of those difficult times to display. Today it is easy to investigate the facts stated by Internet.

Of course, there are always two or even more versions of this historical real heath: The scientifically neutral and politically colored. There is always then attempted to use the neutral facts, even when the neutral fact one or the other party did not fit. Many things not vote more with the modern views of today match, but it is just it: The minirokkie and more the “scandalous” Bikini was then big news today. This as an example. It is also a fact that not all allegations can not be recorded. Many vested but rumors and speculation of those days. Often it was only talks in the presence of the boy and own diary notes who provided information.

People using their first and last name called or where to be marked with a capital letter, is historically and as far as possible correctly. Persons only be called names, historically correct characters and exist or is the combination of two or more “real” people of that time. This applies especially to the lives of Hermann and Elisabeth Deetlefs itself: There are left only onbelangrikhede. Their well-documented life histories have been “story enough” but true from the beginning to the end.
It is obvious that also fictional bridges had to be built to connect the information meaningful. But in the fictional part is trying to stay true to the realities of that time. What things tremendously easier was that the “Southwestern” of those days were accustomed to talking to argue vehemently, to argue. There literally nothing happened that was not selected in the finest details figured out and hand. It was also easier because people had no television, no, they had the time.

Yet a final word on the use of the Afrikaans language: It is attempted to speak every individual “his” or “her” African, though it was still as flat or defective. Only when using curse words is an attempt to find a common mean. “Seasoned” language and words today as politically unacceptable money, is avoided as far as possible. The inclined reader will know how that kind of people, that this was necessary, spoke. In each case it was for the author, who do not curse, yes, never cursed, a rather difficult task to find these mean.

Then have the words such as “sobyso” and “Usikus” that now as part of the African of those days in “West”. “Sobyso” comes from the German “anyway” and means “in any case”. An Afrikaans-speaking who used the word in the Republic, has made clear the word immediately that he was a “Suidwester” is. And “Usakos” just uninitiated said. This is expressed as “you-see” in English and “coffin” in Afrikaans.

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SKU: BIO.MEI.ENG/001/4/18 Category:


Published by Hannes Deetlefs

John Meinart Printing, Windhoek

March 2018

New book!