Bram Fischer

By Cara Campbell

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Life & Accomplishments

Fischer was born into a prominent Afrikaner family on April 23, 1908. He became a lawyer, and in 1942 joined the Communist Party of South Africa, which later became the South African Communist Party. In 1943, he assisted A. B. Xuma in revising the ANC's constitution. In 1952, he defended numerous ANC leaders for participating in the Defiance Campaign, including Nelson Mandela. Fischer defended Mandela again at the Rivonia Trial in 1963 when Mandela was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. On September 23, 1964, Fischer was arrested for violating the Suppression of Communism Act. The following year, he participated in underground activities, was arrested again, and was found guilty of violating the Suppression of Communism Act and conspiring to commit sabotage. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1966, and in 1967 he was awarded with the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union for being a prominent communist supporter. Fischer died on May 8, 1975.

Anti-Apartheid Movement

Fischer was an important figure in the anti-apartheid movement because he led the defense in prominent trials. Fischer played a role in getting Mandela sentenced to life in prison rather than the death penalty, and he continued to support the anti-apartheid struggle even after he was arrested in 1964. By participating in underground activities, he proved he was dedicated to bettering the lives of Africans. Fischer was a communist, but he never let this association prevent him from helping and furthering the anti-apartheid movement.
Bram Fischer Colloquium

Works Cited

"Abram Fischer." South African History Online. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.


"Bram Fischer Colloquium." YouTube. YouTube, 14 Apr. 2015. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.


Bram Fischer. Digital image. Zar.co.za. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.


"I Did What Was Right' Statement from the Dock by Bram Fischer after the Conclusion of

the Rivonia Trial, 1966." South African History Online. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.